Time: 2 hrs
While the epoxy was drying on the vertical stabilizer I started wiring up a few connectors. I decided to use TE mini CPC connectors. The connectors are sealed and lock together. They come in a few pin arrangements but so far I’m just using some 4 pin ones in the VS, 5 pin for the pitch trim and flaps, and 9 pin for the control sticks. I bought these from online-components.com. Their site looks pretty minimal and I was a bit hesitant to order from them, but the items arrived on time and it was exactly what I ordered. Their prices were also much better then Digikey or Mouser (with the exception of the pins… Mouser had the best price for those). This stuff adds up quick so it’s always good to shop around. I was hoping I could finish up most of these connectors, but I ran out of heat shrink labels so I need to wait on putting on the connectors until I can label the wires.
Some pins done on the tail cone. These are for the tail strobe.
I decided to put in a connector between the VS and the rudder so I can take the rudder off if ever needed.
All connectors done for the vertical stabilizer/rudder. I put in a female coax for the VOR.
Put pins on the control stick wires. I’ll be using a 9 pin panel mount connector that will mount under the control stick. The other side will connect to the pigtails of the control stick grips.
Jean gave me an instrument panel a few weeks ago since he knows I have to buy the canopy kit :-). I thought I should see how it fit and what concerns there may be with the control sticks and control stick grips. I also fit the forward top fuselage skin which I thought would be really quick, but I had to do quite a bit of bending to the top rib flanges to get it to fit. I think a bit more bending is needed for a really good fit, but at least most of the holes line up now.
I also noticed that the control sticks are pretty close to the panel and a bit long. I had asked some other builders and a few said they had cut down the sticks a bit. It really depends on the stick grip just how much. Also I have the stick adjusted all the way forward so I think I can extend the control tube a bit and that should move the sticks back. I was originally going to use the Tosten CS8 grips but after looking at another builder’s photo of the gribs and how much they curve forward, I’m thinking they’re not going to work so well. I called Tosten and he said the MS (Military Style) curves quite a bit less and that he knew of a few Slings that had them installed. With that info I think I’ll give those a try. They’re a bit more expensive then the CS8’s and I don’t like them as much, but they can be customized with an array of buttons and other options. The MS grips have a trigger button and a small button on the front, plus a 4 way hat switch just like the CS8. You can also add thumb and palm rests with more buttons so I think I’ll add a thumb button for my AP disconnect and the small front button will be for the Go Around button.
Instrument panel and top forward fuselage skin test fit. The top skin fits very tight against the upper rib, but finally got the bottom holes close after some bending of the rib flanges.
The control sticks will need to be cut and I’m hoping that adjusting the control rods will move the stick back a little so the grips don’t hit the panel. I’ll have to wait to cut them because I don’t have the upholstery for the seats and can’t get an accurate feel for where the gribs will need to be.
This is the configuration I ordered for the Tosten MS gribs. The thumb rest button will be the AP Disconnect and the toggle switch on top will be flaps. My only concern about the flaps switch there is it may get hit by accident so I might try to find a better toggle switch. The grip comes completely apart so you can modify it as you like. The gribs are a bit expensive though, this configuration is just under $200. The right side is the opposite configuration.
Finished installing the new control sticks and also redid the rose joints in the AP servos.
The controls sticks seem much better then my old ones, though they’ve tightened up a bit not that everything is installed. Probably because the sticks are tied together and there’s more stuff the move.
Above photos are the roll servo. After installing the short push rod between the control stick and the servo I noticed that there wasn’t much movement of the servers arm. It turns out that I had mounted the rose joint on to the bottom hole of the servo arm and not the 3rd hole (2nd from the bottom). With that fixed the servo movement is much better.
On to the pitch servo. After connecting the push rod between the servo and the rear elevator control tube I noticed that the servo was the stop limit of the elevator movement and not the main stops. After reviewing the manual I saw that the rose joint should be mounted in the bottom hole and not the 3rd hole of the servo. I also saw that the end of the bolt was very close to one of the bolts holding the servo to the frame. I added one thick washer to the head side of the assembly and that created enough space.
Photo of how close the end of the bolt was to hitting the mounting bolt. I probably should t have used washers on the mounts, but the bolt was long enough so adding the washer to the head side of the rose joint assembly worked fine.
Time: 1.5 hrs
I went down to Torrance TAF today and spoke to Jean about the issues I had/am having with the control sticks. We were able to get some new control sticks assemblies for me to compare and try. Wow what a difference. From the photos you can see that the rear control horn is further back plus this one has stop collars. It installed quick and the movement is very smooth and free now. What a big relief that this problem is finally fixed right. Now I just need to update the other side.
For the below photos. My original control tick assemblybis on the bottom and the new one is on the top.
Rear control horn is 1/4-1/2″ further back then mine. Having the control horn further forward made it so I had to elongate the adjustment slots in the rear bracket that holds the control stick to the main spar. It also caused the stop bushing to not hit the control stop. But the new control stick fixes all that… Yay!
Looks like they added a bit more tube and rivets for strength as well.
Mine didn’t have the stop collars. The collars make a world of difference, it eliminate the forward and back sloppiness in the movement.
Things done today:
- Put pins on pitch servo wires
- Started to disassemble the control sticks to fix tightness in aileron movement
- Finished up front seat back
One of the parts I picked up from TAF Torrance was the side channel for the front seat. I had received one a few months ago, but TAF had updated the channel to a thicker aluminum and elimated the angle doubler piece. Since I had already built one seat back and had riveted the right side together of the other I wanted them to match. TAF was able to send the older style part so now the seat side all match. Now I just need to paint it grey along with the rear seat back and some brackets.
I also started to disassemble the control sticks in attempt to do a comprehensive fix. I’m going to try to go to Torrance TAF tomorrow to look at the control stick assembly from one of the kits there. Mine is a bit different then the other builders so I’m not sure if mine is supposed to have the stop collars. Also mine was assembled incorrectly with the control horn not all the way to the end of the tube. So now I’m questioning everything about these parts. If the control sticks in the kit are significantly different then what I have Then may just see if in can take them and go through the process of removing mine and swapping them out. If not then I may be able to fix mine in some capacity. It sucks to have this issue come up again so far into the build, at least I didn’t rivet the sides on to the fuselage yet, so swapping them out isn’t too difficult.
This is the source of all my control stick issues. If you find the 2 rivets on the right side of the photo. Those rivets attach the control horns to the control tube. Notice there’s about 1/4″ of tubing past the end of the bracket. That should really be flush to the end of the tube. The 1/4″ is causing all kinds of problems.
I also pinned the wiring for the pitch AP servo. I need to look at the pin assignment in the G3X install manua so I can put the pins into the DB15 connector.
All pinned and labeled. Just need to look at the pin outs for the DB15 connector to see where the pins go.