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GrassStripFlyBoy

Panel Update

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Following is a preview of what I'm doing for panel update.  Keeping the existing analog instruments, and add EFIS.  GRT Sport 7" fits in with little to spare, I've drawn up in CAD and doing more precise layout than this view, this just shows a more pictorial representation of the selection.  A few other small items will be to left of display, USB port for database updates, maybe a USB power tap for feeding iPad / gear.  Any suggestions on this topic of other odds & ends you'd suggest?  Lastly, this EFIS can drive TruTrak servos, so I'm in the market if anyone has a roll servo for sale.

image.thumb.png.0a165c861d253d3a09e07d6c58a79377.png

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My first CT had a D100 with the same analog instruments you have. If you put the airspeed and altimeter next to each other, and the vertical speed to the left it will make better use of the space.

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I second Tom’s suggestion. The left side behind the panel tapers and the airspeed is a deeper gauge. 
 

panel will look great once complete!

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Why keep the existing analog instruments?  My CTLSi only has the Skyviews and I love it.  I thought I would need the analog instruments coming from a "six pack" background, but after about 2 or 3 hours of flying time, the EFIS was all I needed.  I would recommend ditching the analog instruments and going bigger with the EFIS.  I promise you'll love it!

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1 hour ago, Andy A said:

Why keep the existing analog instruments?  My CTLSi only has the Skyviews and I love it.  I thought I would need the analog instruments coming from a "six pack" background, but after about 2 or 3 hours of flying time, the EFIS was all I needed.  I would recommend ditching the analog instruments and going bigger with the EFIS.  I promise you'll love it!

Redundancy! With the CTLSi you have 2 Skyviews with independent sources for critical flight information. With a single EFIS you don't have the redundancy. If the display fails, and they sometimes do, you would have no critical flight information. 

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Exactly - redundancy is primary reason, having room remaining in panel, and already owning them, as well as I still like steam gages.  I was lacking attitude indicator with very basic original panel, considered Garmin G5, the new uAvionix and Garmin "single" type instruments, and others.  The GRT Sport EFIS is significantly larger with many other features, in a fairly low price point (starts at $1.5k, I went with $2k middle of the road having synthetic vision), even has free database updates.  Their office is a few hours from my home so if I have issues down the road I can get service on the spot.

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On 2/20/2020 at 10:11 PM, Tom Baker said:

My first CT had a D100 with the same analog instruments you have. If you put the airspeed and altimeter next to each other, and the vertical speed to the left it will make better use of the space.

That's the same setup I have now, though my VS was on the left and has since been replaced with a Trutrak AP head.

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19 hours ago, Andy A said:

Why keep the existing analog instruments?  My CTLSi only has the Skyviews and I love it.  I thought I would need the analog instruments coming from a "six pack" background, but after about 2 or 3 hours of flying time, the EFIS was all I needed.  I would recommend ditching the analog instruments and going bigger with the EFIS.  I promise you'll love it!

My first flight review in the CT involved the CFI on climb out failing the EFIS and saying "That is failed, we won't be using it today."  I flew the rest of the flight on the backup instruments.  Without the backups it would be doable, but harder. 

I don't like the chance of a single failure to kill all my flight instruments.  It's not necessarily critical for VFR flight, but very useful.

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Good point about the redundancy.  I wasn't thinking about only having one EFIS system.  On a side note, I am considering selling my CT and moving back to a 4 place airplane but I don't think my budget allows for the glass panels that I have become accustomed to on the new airplane and the thought of going back to steam gauges is killing me.  Those Skyviews are incredible! 

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On 2/20/2020 at 10:11 PM, Tom Baker said:

My first CT had a D100 with the same analog instruments you have. If you put the airspeed and altimeter next to each other, and the vertical speed to the left it will make better use of the space.

As I've looked at the clearance to the lower panel mounting screw I'm finding that being a packaging space issue as those have shared here, considered trimming the carbon near the fastener then thought better not.  I think I'll leave the VSI out of mix, that is not as critical from a back up standpoint, and then will have some space left for possible needs down the road.  I did locate all the particulars around pitot / static tubing, with info in the parts and assembly manual.  For those newer members that are not aware, component parts are detailed in exploded views, a fantastic resource:  http://flightdesignusa.com/support/resources/

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New panel is in, will launch in the morning for first flight.  Wiring / plumbing and most of the hard work is complete, will paint and laser etch some markings to finish it up when weather is better.  The open slot on left is USB data in for EFIS updates, currently have some serial wires hanging out for ADS-B data in from the Stratux, awaiting some connectors and bits for that part of project and don't want to pull panel when ready to test that out.

image.thumb.png.d891fc6f3fde9490f1dcc6b8e64444b1.png

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Nice set up Madhatter.  Flew 1.3 hours today and love the glass, far better than I thought it would be.  Could see clearly even with my polarized sunglasses, synthetic vision is interesting to have the runways shown on screen just as they appear out the window.  Need to configure the GPS side for what I want shown, and learn the menu selections & personalize the controls, but relived no technical glitches to debug.  Now to study the user manual and tap into the rest of what this unit offers.

 

image.thumb.png.56608115f1700c0d620ef6c2019ee4e0.png 

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I have flown with gyros and analog instruments for 50 yrs. What a difference with glass, especially IFR, so much safer with redundant systems and low failure rates. The nice thing about light sport is the affordability of the avionics as compared to certified. It's easy to spend $75000 in avionics for an average install in a single today. 

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Here's the latest item in panel revamp, in my quest to rid the aircraft of decals, made a new cover plate for the controls this past week, shot it with paint yesterday and lasered my own artwork for the ID.  Looks so much nicer than the old warn factory item. 

image.thumb.png.f94bba8b9627bd791bf8f577f950ab12.png

 

 

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Considering making a few up in time, as well as the fuel indicator placards others have commented with interest in.  I'm currently motivated to finish the other panel sections, so hang tight for now.  I may start a side hustle doing custom panels (all of industry - some of those RV guys have deep pockets), both the aluminum work and or just the paint and markings on finished product.  If anyone is able to do the fab work, I'm a whole lot more willing to do the spray & marking.  Maybe I should move on a CNC mill, which would be a sweet tool to streamline things.

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3 hours ago, GrassStripFlyBoy said:

Considering making a few up in time, as well as the fuel indicator placards others have commented with interest in.  I'm currently motivated to finish the other panel sections, so hang tight for now.  I may start a side hustle doing custom panels (all of industry - some of those RV guys have deep pockets), both the aluminum work and or just the paint and markings on finished product.  If anyone is able to do the fab work, I'm a whole lot more willing to do the spray & marking.  Maybe I should move on a CNC mill, which would be a sweet tool to streamline things.

Cool.  Making the plate blank should be easy with a bandsaw and something like an arbor press to curl the sides.  The PITA is cutting those nice neat slots.  I do have a friend with a plasma cutter...

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You could replace it with fiberglass/carbon fiber version and everything would become easier ( cutting would become a simple dremel operation , bending would go away and would become a simple mold etc )

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4 minutes ago, Warmi said:

You could replace it with fiberglass/carbon fiber version and everything would become easier ( cutting would become a simple dremel operation , bending would go away and would become a simple mold etc )

Hmm...I think working with aluminum is easier than composites, but different strokes.

I really do think you want an automated process to cut the slots...using a dremel every piece would be different and it would end up looking a little "hillbilly" IMO.  WIth the automated plasma cutter I mentioned you could probably knock out several of these blanks an hour, including the bends.  Minus the markings of course.

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Fabricated mine from 0.063 aluminum, has good integrity after the slots are cut in.  I have some sheet metal equipment, breaks and such, and rolled the edges using a 1.5" rad tool, that was easy enough - I could probably form the blank, trace cut outs and leave the fussy stuff for you.  I ended up using Dremel tool and buzzing slots rough, then cleaned up shape and size with files.  Notice I reduced the length of slot for brake function and reduced / more centered the trim wheel opening, some minor changes.  Keeping the throttle slot ends matched to current travel is only critical aspect here.  That would be my only concern in making these for others, there is build variation potential.  I overlaid the factory item, traced openings, then adjusted to more center and such.

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2 hours ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Hmm...I think working with aluminum is easier than composites, but different strokes.

I really do think you want an automated process to cut the slots...using a dremel every piece would be different and it would end up looking a little "hillbilly" IMO.  WIth the automated plasma cutter I mentioned you could probably knock out several of these blanks an hour, including the bends.  Minus the markings of course.

That’s the thing ... automated plasma cutters capable of cutting metal are pretty darn expensive ... dremel tools are cheap and you can do a professional job with if you are careful. True, it will be a manual process but then you have to do it only once and then build a mold out it and you can knock out 10 copies of the same panel with minor finishing work only.

Anyway,  the main trade off here is that you don’t need expensive metalworking tools and you can manufacture just about anything ( non structural , that is ) with minimal tooling but you do need some experience working with composites.

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22 hours ago, GrassStripFlyBoy said:

Here's the latest item in panel revamp, in my quest to rid the aircraft of decals, made a new cover plate for the controls this past week, shot it with paint yesterday and lasered my own artwork for the ID.  Looks so much nicer than the old warn factory item. 

image.thumb.png.f94bba8b9627bd791bf8f577f950ab12.png

 

 

What is the largest surface your laser engraver can handle ? I am looking for a reasonably cheap way of engraving my panel ...

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The individual etch can be as large as 13" x 7.5" envelope, the item can be any size, it is not a "box" type chamber as I'm not doing heavy work and worried about fumes.  Details are in link below.  This control panel project had 17 etches, each piece of artwork was a unique file and located precisely.  It takes roughly :15 min per burn, some a few minutes, others longer.  

Thickness of paint is also a factor, rattle cans make heavier film build and if primer coat and top coat is thick, the outcome will be more difficult to be clean and crisp with 20W laser power.  Don't buy any less than 20W for burning paint off.  Orbital sand the aluminum and don't prime it.  Spray paint on thinner film build side, I used rattle can paint decanted and loaded into a small touch up gun, and sprayed with air compressor set up, much easier to obtain a nicer & more uniform finish.  After burning the image the residue needs to be cleaned off, use cotton ball and rubbing alcohol to clean it up.  A few hours of experimenting with this gets you rolling, buy the same item and I'll post the set points I'm using, but not hard to trial and error a process either.

 

 

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