GSU25 Install

Time: 4.5hrs

Over the past few days I got the GSU25C ADAHRS and GTP59 Temperature Probe installed. Nothing too exciting to report on the install. I was originally going mount the GSU vertically, but found there were 2 holes in the rib that would work and the GSU fit well horizontally so I changed to mount it that way. I used M5 rivnuts and M5 screws to mount it. The kit comes with AN3 hardware which is mainly used when mounting the GSU to the rear of the GDU though can be used for other situations, but I chose to use M5 screws to keep consistent with the way I mounted other avionics. For the pitot/static lines I decided to use the nyloseal fittings rather that the push in type that I used In the rear fuselage and pitot tube. They seem kind of cheaply made, but seem durable and install fairly easy, just remember to get the small inserts that fit into the end of the nylon tube if you’re not using the nyloseal tubing.

Also rerouted some wires and clean some things up and replaced some zip tie mounts with adel clamps

GSU installed with M5 screws also I used nyloseal fittings for the pitot/static lines. The pitot and static lines (not the AOA though) will continue on to the G5.

Lemo Headset Jacks

Time: 8 hrs

Over the past few days I installed and wired up the 4 Lemo jacks for the Pilot, Co-pilot and Passenger headsets. I decided to use Lemo Jacks because: A. Most ANR headsets come with a Lemo jack option, B. It simplifies wiring a bit, C. It’s easy to convert from Lemo to regular jacks, but a little harder to do the other way around, and D. I have an ANR headset with a Lemo jack so I want to plug that directly in and not have to use a converter. I purchased the pre-made jacks from Aircraft Spruce. They’re about $20 more than just the Lemon jack itself and saves some time in wiring. They come with 3 ft of wire soldered on to the Lemo Jack: a ground wire, power wire, Mic Hi and Lo, and Comm L & R. They’re designed to be wiring into an existing Mic/Phones type setup, but you can wire them directly if you don’t have existing audio jacks.

I also installed the USB port for the front seats. This is just a panel mount connector that connects to the USB port on the GMA245R. It just converts the USB-B connector on the GMA to a USB-A type port. Originally I was doing to put this on the instrument panel, but I have a USB charger in the center console in my car and I like it there so I figured it would be good to have it that way in the plane as well. It will also be convenient to store the cable in the box when not in use. The Lemo jackets for the Pilot and Co-pilot also were installed in the storage box.

I made up a quick template in FrontDesign to use for marking the drill holes. I was fortunate that I made the top of the storage box removable. It was much easier to drill these out with the top off. I purchased a 15/16″ punch to make the hole for the Neutrik USB port. I suppose I could have used the step drill, but I figured it would be easier and cleaner to use the punch.

For the passenger area I had installed the Stratus USB charger a while ago and now the Lemo jacks are finally done. To install the Lemos I just marked the location to drill and then used a step drill to get the hole to the correct, size (14mm or about 9/16″). I love the split wire jacket, I’ve started to use it in quite a few places now. It’s super easy to install and keeps all the cabling organized and protected. For the Lemo jacks I used it to organize the passenger wiring coming from the rear console cover and the pilot/co-pilot wiring coming from the storage box.

The Pilot and Co-pilot Lemos and the Neutrik USB port installed in the storage box.

Amazingly it all fits.

All done with the jack installation. Now just need to pin up the other ends and connect it the the main wire run back to the GMA.

The installation manual for the Lemo Jacks calls for 1/4A fuses or 1/2A circuit breakers. I found this on Amazon and thought with was kind of nice. It mounts on a DIN rail that I attached with some 1″ standoffs and a piece of aluminum. I didn’t want to drill the large holes for the M5 rivets into the supports here because the flap motor attaches here and thought it might weaken the support. The main feed runs to the VPX and is a 2A CB. This box then feeds that through the fuses and out to the headsets. The only thing better would be if it fed all the fuses directly from the main input like some fuse boxes do. This on I had to jumper over to each input

Another view of the fuse box ad the connector I had to wire up for the Lemo jack interconnect. I used 2 15 pin connects and ran the shields through for the shielded wires.

That’s all done. I’ll clean up the wires a bit more and secure everything down.

I finally received the left fuel tank skin so I can get back to working on the fuel tanks. TAF unfortunately sent me another right wing tip. I now have 3 right wing tips and no left. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next shipment for that. Anyways I’ll be shifting gears and getting back to the wings and finishing up the fuel tanks.

Lastly, I should be getting my custom floor mats from SCS Interiors very soon so can’t wait for that.

Control Sticks

Time: 2 hrs

Today I put the rear seat in and verified that I need to make an extension so the the slide latch on the back of the seat has something to latch into. While I was at it I installed the pilot seat so that I could figure out where to cut the control sticks. I’m using the Tosten military style grips so the control stick needs to be cut back so that the grip sits a comfortable height. I ended up cutting off 3.75″ from the tube. The grip curves forward a bit so I checked that the grip looks like it will not hit the face of the PFD. If so I can adjust the stick back a bit more by adjusting the control rod that connects it to the main elevator torque tube.

One thing that kind of concerns me is that sitting in the seat feels a bit tight. I have the seat in the middle of the 3 adjustment holes so that my feet reach the pedals, but the control stick hits my legs and it’s hard to move it left and right far enough to hit the control stops this is especially true with the stick pulled back. Everything is roughed in so I’m hoping things just need to be adjusted a bit, but it seems that the stick movement may be somewhat limited.

The control sticks are mounted. I’m not going to permanently attach them because they may get in the way when I work on the avionics. I spent some time putting pins on the wires as well. Once the grips are permanently mounted I can put the pins in the connector and connect it to the other connector end that’s mounted under the control stick arm.

It’s starting to look comfy. I noticed a few small things with the rear seat. One is I put the hole for the ELT antenna cable a little too far forward so I’ll have to cut a little off the flange of the rear seat so that it doesn’t rub on the cable. I also verified that the slide latch doesn’t reach the seat back stops so I’ll need to make some extension and mount those on the seat stops.

Avionics Work Continues

Time: 14 hrs

I’ve been working on getting some of the avionics done for the past week. I’ve kind of switched my thinking in that originally I was going to mount a few more things on the panel so that it could all get wired by someone else. Well I’m thinking that it will be better if I do the wiring and run it so that the panel mounted avionics can be easily connected through the holes in the panel. The issue I have with outsourcing the panel work is there are quite a few connects that have to come back from the panel mount avionics into the ones mounted on the aircraft structure. Like power if using the VPX and a few serial lines, switches, ignition, etc so what you end up having to do in install a few connectors so that you can more easily connect all that stuff once the panel is screwed in. What I’ve decided to do is mount as much stuff to the aircraft structure and get that all wired up. Then I’m running wiring out to each location where panel mount avionics will go. For the switches and indicator lights I may need to wire up a DB15 connector so that I can more easily make connections to them since a few of them are solder only. There should be reasonably good access through the GDU holes in the panel to connect everything and going underneath the panel isn’t too bad either. The GNX375 (which I’ve decided to use instead of the GTN650) has a premade 4 ft pig tail so that will need to go into a DB25 or maybe a few smaller connectors.

Anyways it’s coming along, but still a long way to go. I think next I need to purchase the G3X kit which has the GTP59 (temperature probe), GSU25 ADAHRS, and config module, I also need the VPX (I have the light weight cheaper version right now… ha ha) so I can get that all done. The last will be the 2 GTR20’s and the GMA245R audio panel which will mount on the left side shelf.

I have just about all the wiring run now. Just a few short runs needed. I’m using some split cable sheathing to protect and organize the wire runs out to the panel mount avionics. It seems to be working out well.

I mounted the LC50 dimmer and GAD29 on the right shelf. Originally I was going to mount these to the GNX cage, but with the change in plans this seems to make the most sense now.

Next I’ll do some work on the baggage area. I orders some tie down rails that I need to install. I can then order the floor material that I’ll be using for the small luggage area. Oh and I need to make up some templates for the front and rear floor mates so I can get those ordered as well.

And Now For Something Completely Different… Partial Panel

I’m kind of excited about this. While I was thinking about how to lay out my panel I had an idea. Rather than drill holes in the panel for each switch it might be more flexible to come up with a removable panel that the individual switch could go into and then just mount that into the main panel. This has quite a few benefits. One is the labels can be etched rather than silkscreened (since I’m using a carbon fiber overlay you can’t really etch that) also I can change buttons or possibly add a button or two later on if needed without messing with the main instrument panel. And lastly I think it will look kind of cool. It’s still an idea, but something I think will work out well.

So with that I decided to design and order the main switch panel. I’ll also have one for the alternator and battery switches on the right side of the panel, but I wanted to see how this one came out. I ordered it from a company called Front Panel. They have software that allows you to design the panel and then submit it to them. It only took a week for them to produce the panel (and could have been expedited if I paid more) and only cost around $70 (plus shipping). It’s surprising actuate. Everything seems to fit perfect.

So here’s what I got in the package… I was most impressed by the gummy bears 🙂 Seriously though the quality is great and the accuracy to what I specified in the software is incredible. All the labels are etched and filled so they won’t rub off.

Here’s the panel populated with the switches and a 5A breaker for the main fuel pump. Even the Sling logo came out awesome

Misc Wiring

TIme: 1.0 hr

I received some wire and wire sleeve that I ordered so I finished up a few things. I put some wire sleeve around the wires in the fuel pump to protect them from rubbing on anything in the fuel pump box. I also finished running the wires for the turbo boost and warning lamps. For these I cut off the connector on the wire coming from the engine and then used a solder sleeve to extend the wire. The lights will be mounted on the instrument panel on top of the PFD next to the Servo ISO switch and Reversionary switches. Lastly I ran the 8 or so 22AWG wires from the VPX for the various switches.

Sorry no photos

Avionics Wiring Continued

Time: 4 hrs

Over the past fews days I finished up most of the wire runs for the avionics that I’m mounting on the shelves and rib. I also terminated all the grounds to the main grounding block. I’ve been trying to understand the way Garmin has set up the grounds on the avionics. It seems like most of them have redundant grounds. I’m not sure if it’s just for redundancy or if they actually need to be connected to function properly. It seems like a few actually do need the multiple grounds connected like in the case of the transponder, but most seem to be merely for redundancy. I’m planning on only doing redundant grounds on the “essential” equipment since I’ll probably run out of connections on my ground bus.

I’m going to get the connector kits for some of the avionics so I can start wiring them up. I don’t have the money right now to get all the avionics that I need so with the foam mockups and the connectors I should be able to get everything wired up. When I do get the avionics it should go very quick getting them installed.

I’m also wondering if I need to wire in connectors for the avionics that will be mounting to the instrument panel. It seems like it would be good to do so that the whole panel could be more easily removed, but I don’t want to add in more potential points of failure. I guess I’ll need to think about it a bit more.