I got my control stick grips back from Midwest Sky Sports with the engraving done on them. I’m really happy with the way they came and and am thankful to Steve O’Connor from Midwest Sky Sports for getting it done and also for Kevin from Tosten Manufacturing. There’s a special plastic that is needed in order to do the engraving and I had already purchased my grips with the soft touch plastic about 6 months ago. Steve contacted Kevin and Kevin told be to just send the grips in and he swapped the plastic out for free. He also sent them over to Steve so he could do the engraving. So not only does Tosten make some cool control stick grips but their support is great as well. I like to support companies (and people) that are helpful and willing to work with you so if you’re thinking about which grips to buy definitely check them out first at www.tostenmanufacturing.com. Steve is also very active with the other Sling builders and has some good experience with the Slings. I believe TAF at Torrance has been working with them to build some panels so they’re a good resource to hit up if you need some custom wiring done or engraving done.
A few photos of the grips. These are the MS style grips and I added the side thumb switch which will be my AP Disconnect. The trigger is PTT. I’m not using the left/right hat switch and the small front button by the trigger. Steve recommended using the left/right hat switch for frequency swap who seemed like a good idea, but I don’t think I’d every use it and I’d have to do more wiring so I decided not to do that.
I also received my prop extension and spinner flange from Airmaster so I should be able to fit the cowling soon. I want to finish up the charge system wiring which I’m almost done with, just waiting on some terminal ends for the 6 AWG wire. Since I haven’t bough the propeller yet Jean worked with Airmaster to get me what I needed to fit the cowl (Thanks Jean).
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Fit the inside front fuselage skins. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It was a very tight fit and it seemed to hand up on everything. I got a few dents in the right side… not sure how they got there since nothing is really in that area and I didn’t noticed them prior to putting in the skin.
I also receive my Tosten MS control stick grips. They look so much better then the picture on the Tosten site. I’me really happy with the and they also came prewired with pigtails so that’ll work out great. I need to wire in the connectors when I get. I’ll probably just pin the control grips since I can’t really fit them until I know how much I need to cut down the control sticks. The good news is I don’t thing the grips are going to hit the panel so no bending of the controls stick should be needed.
Front skins are clecoed in. I probably won’t rivet these for a while, I just want to get them out of the way so they don’t get damaged.
Kind of a crappy photo, but the grips look nice. They don’t look as plasticy as they did on the Tosten site and they have a good solid feel. The toggle (that I’m using for flap control) is a little stiff, but that should help prevent accidental flap actuation. There’s also a thumb button (AP Disconnect), a trigger (PTT), and a small button under the trigger which I’m planning to use for TO/GA. There’s also the 4 way hat switch which I’ll only be using the Up and Down for elevator trim
Grib on the stick. It looks like there should be enough clearance between the panel and the grip. If I have to cut the sticks back a lot then it might get close the the leather part of the panel.
Ahhhhh I thought I took a better photo. I opened up one of the grips just to see how it was wired up. Unfortunately you really can’t replace many of the buttons with your own because they are soldered onto a board. The toggle (flap) button and thumb (AP Disconnect) button could be replaced with different buttons. This is a bit of a bummer because I was thinking of changing the small index finger button with a DPST switch for the TO/GA function. Garmin calls out a DPST switch because you need to connect to a pin on the GEA24 and the GTN650 and they don’t want any interaction between the two devices. This means I will probably need to use a double pole relay that the index button will trigger instead. The other option would be to mount a button on the panel or center console somewhere. I looked at putting a button in the bolt hole in the throttle handle. It would actually work pretty well using some rubber grommets and maybe some RTV. The problem is where to do run the three wires (2 for double pole switch and a ground wire)? You can drill out the handle inside to make room, but then you’d have to run the wire down the side of the throttle lever and that doesn’t look so nice. Maybe some small conduit might work… will need to look around for ideas.