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Position light and battery upgrades and fixes

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You can crimp, but that can cut wire. You can use a bullet connector and slide a piece of heat shrink over it. I don't think there is enough of an issue where the wires are to make a difference. If you solder them then if you pull the wings there isn't as big a chance of pulling the wires off as there might be with connectors. I don't think one over the other would be a big enough difference to sweat it.

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The main issue is how big a hole you want to drill. Because the wires are next to the nut imbedded in the composite, you can't drill too big of a hole. It you wanted to use insulated crip connectors, the hole would need to be about twice as large as the one I drilled.

 

BTW, these lights are almost as bright as my landing light (300 lumen LED) and help light up the runway in front of you. My 2A breaker started tripping (as it should), so a 5A or 8A will replace it.

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90 minutes to do the install. Only half the LEDs were working on the green side.

before (position)

CToldlight.jpg

 

after (same exposure, later in the morning)

CTnewlight.jpg

 

Based on exposure tests with my camera, the Aurora Ultras seem to be 10x brighter in position lights, and 20x or more brigher in strobe.

I ran them for 10 minutes with a freshly charged battery and no breaker issues. Wires stayed cool.

The only difrerence is the threaded hole is about 1/4" different from the old CT light, so the graphics don't match up exactly.

 

 

CTlightinstall3.jpg

 

If I can get up early enough tomorrow, some night flying....

 

I love the discussion and photos on the installation of these awesome lights.

 

That withstanding, for future reference and for those that may want to do this upgrade, any possibility that this post and the follow-ups could be retitled to "Position Light Upgrade," or something similar?

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might as well post all the pics.

This is after I've drilled out the two new holes and devised a way to thread the wires from the old light from the leftmost rectangular hole to the new hole. I just cut the red and black leads from the old light and soldered onto those with heat-shrink tubing.

 

I fly out of what was once the busiest single runway airport in the country, under DFW class B airspace, that has Southwest jets cutting through the class D regularly on Love Field approach. I have to have bright lights.

 

CTlightinstall2.jpg

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might as well post all the pics.

I fly out of what was once the busiest single runway airport in the country, under DFW class B airspace, that has Southwest jets cutting through the class D regularly on Love Field approach. I have to have bright lights.

 

CTlightinstall2.jpg

 

Certainly it doesn't hurt at all but they probably have you on TCAS or ADS-B In rather than on their eyeballs. The Bonanza maybe has you on his eyeballs.

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So this is exactly what I did and changed the 2.5A breaker for a 4A one. Heat shrink over the solder connections and tied strobe to position. The only problem with solder joins is when they are cold. So use plenty of flux and a temperature controlled iron not some red hot $5 iron. Solder should look like polished silver when done. I too was terrified of losing the wires into the wing. I used a piece of solid copper wire as a snake and needle nose pliers to crimp the hook completely around them before cutting off the old lights and pulling them out the new hole. They are, no kidding, 10x as bright as the old ones. People comment on them all the time to me.

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I flew this morning early. The tower had no problems seeing me in the pattern. I did have a pinging in my Zulu headset, but I could only hear it at idle and on final. Maybe just a choke coil?

 

I submitted the paperwork to FD for a LOA on this mod. It will cost about two Franklins.

 

The solid wire snake is exactly how I did it.

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You can't really choke it well with any reasonably sized coil. Bobby Cau tried it, I think. It is the step ~3A current draw of the strobes that causes the ping. The best treatment is the big cap which mitigates a number of other problems with our not-great electrical system.

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Just so everyone knows that the 22000 cap in the CT is only a Rotax minimum recommendation. It is for people who worry about size and weight of the capacitor. It can be larger and it will help in certain circumstances.

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Could one put another cap in parallel to it? IIRC from high school, you can do that.

 

I do hear a buzz through the headphones on the ground, have for years. Perhaps my capacitor contacts are dirty.

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Why not just put a larger one in?

I have found several contacts that FD solder onto the capacitor broken from vibration. I now have a large stock of capacitors if anyone needs one. I check mine and everyone else all the time. It just takes a few seconds when the top cowl is off. Remember these are polarity sensitive when replacing. Put it in backwards and it will fry the first start. It is marked to show the ground or negative side.

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Your high school was correct, you can parallel them fine. However, to take advantage of the very low ESR caps like the rotax really needs, you need short, fat cables to the battery. The one I use is 0.008ohm. Also, this is one area where you have dangerously wide leeway in cap choice, since Rotax only spec's >=22mF and 25V and does not specify a particular part. You can find lots of tiny capacitors that meet that but can't handle the ripple current. They really should specify a ripple current too and cover the case of heavy electrical load (night) with a dead or broken contact battery. That could be 8Amps of ripple current, 16A if you run the halogen landing light. The cap most people use is rated for 4Amps. You can see the big, crushed connections I use in this pic http://www.johnea.net/~kurt/P1020211.JPG

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I am not certain of the CTSW, but the CTLS Parts and Assembly Manual indicates part number C9997187B for the capacitor therefore on a CTLS it cannot be changed to a different unit without an LOA.

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Technically you're right. Let's add this to the fray. Technically if FD has a part number assigned then you must buy from them and if they say it is okay to get the same part from somewhere else technically they must issue a letter stating that it is okay to do so to each person. If they followed this they would have to hire someone full time to keep up. That would also mean FD USA would be locked in to only parts from FD Germany. That isn't happening and I don't see it happening because it would put a gigantic strain on both FD's. It would get really ugly in a hurry.

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I think it is more than technically correct, it is legally correct. Legally using non-approved parts on an SLSA violates LSA rules. What you seem to be saying Roger is that if FD drops the ball, or it is inconvenient for us, why bother with the rules. Will FD come to our aid to recertify our planes if the FAA decides the rules mean something?

FD should be convinced to drop the part numbers or provide an acceptable substitutes LOA - we are not experimental.

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Hi Doug,

 

Your right, but all the MFG's play a little loose with the rules when it works for them. I would bet all LSA MFG's break the rules and so do a lot of owners whether purposefully or not. From what I have gathered from the FAA certain things don't put you out of airworthy, but are violations.

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The problem is, there is no problem until there is a problem. Then there is no defense. One can not say, "well, everyone is doing it." It's like driving 8 over the speed limit and being given a ticket. What do you say, "well, I was just keeping up with traffic"?

 

If sued in an accident and the plane is not to spec,especially if that part can be implicated in the accident, what does one say? Roger said it's OK?

 

On the certificated GA side there is no room. You are in compliance or you are not. But, there is wide variation in acceptable methods. In SLSA there are not so many acceptable parts and ways to put them on. It is easy to be out of compliance. We don't like that. We want our SLSA cake and we want to eat the certificated GA maintenance soup as well.

 

How long do you think it will take the FAA to subsume ASTM and impose their own rules? All they have to do is point to discussions like this and say, "industry standards and self compliance don't work" and who is going to argue with them?

 

There is an answer, of course.; ELSA.

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Hi Paul,

 

I'm still here and won't be home until tomorrow night. Just sitting in the hotel room waiting for dinner.

 

You have no idea how things are different. :unsure: What an eye opener. :wacko: The engine is 65% different from the 912ULS. :o This engine won't be worked on by just anyone especially if they have only seen Cont. and Lycoming's. Even if you have worked on 912's for a long while this engine is so different it's like the sun verses the moon. If all anyone will do is change the oil and plugs then your good to go. Past that good luck without some training, a class, a dongle and a computer. Did I mention the dongle for the mechanic side (level 2) is $1087. There is absolutely no way any mechanic will figure this out without a class or some type of schooling. If you have ever worked on an auto fuel injection you'll only be one step in front of someone who hasn't. We found that FD has a small change or two to make, but they are minor. Wiring on this has to be just right.

This has dual everything: fuel pumps, computers, injectors, spark plugs, generators, ect... The one thing is if you were to loose both fuel pumps or just the fuel feed the engine will quit in about 1-2 seconds. This engine technically doesn't need 250 rpm to start. It could start with 3-5 rpm so if it has power and the switches or key on you could accidentally start it. It runs smooth, but doesn't start or stop any smoother than the 912ULS because of the compression and they took out the free play in the gearbox dogs.

 

There is a ton more info so it will have to wait until I get home.

 

Bottom line it is a nice engine :D , but it is different.

 

Oh yeah, on fuel use. Once below 92% throttle the computers switch to eco mode for fuel conservation. Above 92% it burns as much or more than the 912ULS.

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I am not certain of the CTSW, but the CTLS Parts and Assembly Manual indicates part number C9997187B for the capacitor therefore on a CTLS it cannot be changed to a different unit without an LOA.

 

I think we have to go by the part numbers just like in the GA world. Just because the manufacturer has a part number doesn't mean you have to buy their part. An example from the GA world is wheel bearings. Cessna has a part number and the description is wheel bearing. You take the wheel apart and find a Timken bearing with a timken part number. Since Cessna didn't list the timken number in their description you have to buy the Cessna part. Piper on the other hand has a part number and the description is Timken 12345. Now you can go to the bearing store and buy a Timken 12345 and install it. For Flight Design any place you see a specification for the part it can be replaced by another part with the same specification.

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Thanks Roger. Looking forward to full PIREP. Since I don't know much about the ULS I guess I won't have to unlearn too much. Here's hoping it doesn't break often though.

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Technically you're right. Let's add this to the fray. Technically if FD has a part number assigned then you must buy from them and if they say it is okay to get the same part from somewhere else technically they must issue a letter stating that it is okay to do so to each person. If they followed this they would have to hire someone full time to keep up. That would also mean FD USA would be locked in to only parts from FD Germany. That isn't happening and I don't see it happening because it would put a gigantic strain on both FD's. It would get really ugly in a hurry.

That's a bit off. It is not really that everyone bends these rules and the FAA turns a blind eye. Nothing in FAR part 43 (appendix B covers modifications and repairs) or 21 or 91 that requires parts be purchased from the manufacturer, neither for a Cessna nor FD. For S-LSA, you are merely required to follow their part specifications when and where FD provides them in their AOI and any manuals sub-referenced in the AOI (FAR 21.190). If they say 12V bulb, you can use any 12V bulb that fits. However for the pos lights, they do specify a certain type with illumination and mounting particulars and power requirements. You do not have to buy those direct from FD. The AVEOs, however, are not direct equivalents.

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