Cabinet Lights Finished

Time: 3.0 hrs

The last component of the cabin lights was to wire up and install the switch and potentiometer plate. I originally tries to use a dual concentric 100k pot and dim off the two ground leads coming from the lights, but I wasn’t able to dim the lights all the way off and I wasn’t able to find a dual concentric pot with on/off switches built in, at least ones that would fit in the small space of the canopy ceiling. I had to switch to using a PWM dimmer, really a motor speed control that came with a pot with a built in switch. Fortunately the pot is very small so I was able to fit it on the plate that needed to also have a double throw double pole switch so that I could switch between the red and white lights.

Wiring was pretty straight forward. The lights have a single power lead, a ground lead for the red LEDs and a ground lead for the white LEDs. The power was fed from the dimmer directly to the lights and the ground was fed from the dimmer into the DPDT switch. Once assembled I tested prior to putting in the plane. The trouble with this arrangement is fitting all the parts up into the canopy ceiling. The nut plates also get in the way and there are foam blocks that also make it lots of fun. It ended up not being too bad getting everything stuffed in neatly. The one issue I had was the circular connectors are a bit long when you connect them together so it was a bit tricky to get them through the small opening for the lights. I hope they come out if I every need to do that.

So in all it probably took a little over a month to get all the parts and work out the issues to get the lights installed. Maybe it would have been better to get the Aveo’s. I probably saved quite a bit of money, but then again with having to buy some things that didn’t work or that I didn’t use that added some expense. Oh well. I’m happy with the way it came out. I just hope the electronics hold up. It’s a bit more complicated then I was hoping.

The switch is all wired up I’ll have to put the connector on for the the right light connection once I pass the cable through to the right side. There’s a bump in the middle of the canopy for the parachute cables so the connector won’t fit through.

I wrapped the dimmer in silicone tape. Now all that has to fit nicely up into the canopy.

Ah success and it all works, even the rear lights. I guess I’ll need to label the switch or maybe put a red and white paint dot.

I think next I need to start figuring out were all my avionics are going to go.