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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fuel Senders and Lower Baffle Ties

I went ahead and set up my fuel senders, leaving a bit of extra room to ensure they can connect to the tanks appropriately.   These guys will eventually be tied to the fuel line vents as they exit the cabin in front of the main spar.  I ended up cutting a ¼ inch hole with a bushing through right next to where the tank vent penetrates.  The senders require power for which I used an open terminal on the VP-X and the grounds were ganged at the ground block.    I did the connections with D-Sub pins in line and a loop with some heat shrink to ensure they don’t separate. 

Also, I found some extra brake line and using safety wire around washers so that it wouldn’t cut into the aluminum, I tied together the lower baffle flanges.  Van’s indicates to use some rod then tap it to be secured with a nut, but this method is used by most all builders and works really well, if not better.  The problem is you have oil return lines under the cylendars that can interfere with the solid rod, having a flexible solution is perfect in this case.  I plan to take an additional small loop of safety wire through both washers, just in case the main wire breaks, I don’t want the washers loose in the engine compartment. 

Also, I continue to fine tune and torque fittings firewall forward.   Things are really coming together now.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Antennas and Autopilot Servo

We started the weekend with a riveting experience out in the Garage. J    Bekah was able to climb under the plane and shoot rivets while I bucked to finish off the antenna doublers.  We found it a bit challenging after noticing a couple rivets were driven crocked.   Initially no clue as to why this was happening since we clearly should be experts by this stage in the project.  But just like everything in aviation, you are always learning.   We discovered that since the doubler was on a softer part of the skin with no sub structure support behind, that the skin was able to flex a bit while riveting.   In the end we had to really support the structure with my hand while we finished up the riveting.   Replaced the defective rivets and all is good.

 After that I spent some time working on the wiring in the central section just behind the baggage compartment.   Cleaned up the wiring pretty significantly, reworked the ELT, and also connected the autopilot “pitch” servo.   I am feeling pretty good about this section now and actually don’t have much more to do except get the push-rods in and torque everything.  At this point the rear top skin is within striking distance.  I’ll continue to wait for a while to make sure I am completely done with everything in this section.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Transponder and ADS-B Antennas

Dynon is coming out with an ADS-B solution in a couple months.  ADS-B allows for both Traffic and weather to be visible on the Skyview.  The benefit is that it is free with no monthly subscription, the drawback is that it isn’t fully built out nationwide yet.  But it’s getting there and is the next generation solution, so I am going with it.  The ADS-B antenna is very similar to the Transponder antenna and Dynon indicates it  needs to be at least 2 feet away from each other.  I was able to get two feet separation with the antennas just behind the baggage compartment.  They are fairly close to the outside edge, but still can’t really be seen from standing next to the plane, although I think the symmetry makes them look really cool, almost like fins or something.   Anyway, I created some doublers and drilled them out.   Happy with the way they turned out, of course there is lots of wire cleanup to do, but all in all good progress.   Also Bekah has signed up to help me rivet these in the next week or so.  She is going to have to shoot them from underneath while I buck from up top.

I also clean up the wiring a bit and test fit the fuel pump.  My planning works out, it fits perfectly, so I ran the fuel pump wire up the conduit to the VP-X.   My right side conduit is stuffed, since I didn’t use split conduit I can’t get anymore wires inside.   The good news is I have no more wires to run through this area except for the Nav antenna cable, which can go up the left side if necessary.   That won’t get run until I am at the airport, so I am hoping to clean this up a bit more and put in all the covers until I make the big move. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Misc Firewall Forward

With the baffles in place more or less permanently I slipped the oil dipstick in place and started connecting the CHT and EGT sensors.  I guess Dynon indicates you can cut them as necessary, but they aren’t very friendly wires to work with once cut, so learning pretty quickly I ended up only cutting a couple of them that would have been way to long.  The Dynon fasteners that are provided are fairly large, but they are secure and they keep a good electrical insulation between the two wires.  I am learning that just heat shrink around wires, doesn’t always guarantee a good layer of insulation.

I also quickly secured my engine alternate air cable.  This is only to be used in emergencies, if for example the air filter ices up or something.  This allows for air inside the cowling to be routed directly to the engine.  Probably will never be used, but will be checked each annual for proper operation.  Right now it is quite smooth, and I did exactly what the plans called for with the cable and got the length right on the money.

I also got some RG-400 and ran a couple more lengths to just behind the baggage compartment.  I decided to go with both my transponder antenna and my ADS-B antenna under the plane on the outside about 2 feet apart right along the edges.  I think it will both look and function good.  Pics shortly.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Final Paint on the Baffles

Some builders leave the baffles withouth paint, others go all the way and have them powdercoated.  I decided I wanted to do down the middle wtih a more finished look to my plane but not the weight and complexity of powdercoat.   The SW Genesis paint I have been using is so rock hard I decided to use it on the baffles and am I excited about how it turned out.   The black looks really good against the yellow at least from my perspective. 

After the paint dried, I was able to start putting some things together for the last time, which is always exciting.  My baffles will hopefully never be removed again.  The air filter won't stay in though just put it there to see how it looked.  I also did some re-routing of the plug wires and sensor wires to separate them and secure them in a final state.  Oil cooler has been remounted as well.  The bummer is that I destroyed my paint gun..  For some reason the black paint was so thick it dried in the middle of the gun and I couldn't get it out.  Gun is beyond repair and I only have a few more items to paint so not looking forward to paying for a new gun.  Oh well, off to harbor freight to buy another HVLP gun..  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Finished Fuel Line Routing

Taking a tip from a fellow builder’s site I ordered some fuel line from Bonaco to allow for a short final run of my fuel line from the Fuel Injection servo to the Spider on the top of the engine.  I had to remove and cut a hole in the inner cylinder baffle and install a grommet, to go around the fire sleeved fuel line, but everything went together really well.  Inline I included the "red cube" fuel flow transducer, which measures my fuel burn.  I feel pretty good about this set up.  I had removed the baffles to allow for easier access, so am also taking the time to prep them and final paint them before re-installing them.  Bekah snapped a photo of me out on the deck doing RV work.  Living in Seattle is great, as I was out there two RVs flew overhead.   With the motivation above, I started scrubbing the metal really fast after that.  ;-)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Seat Heat wiring and few odds and ends

After getting the ELT up, running and tested successfully, I started working on a few odds and ends like running the cabin heat cable and I even started programming the Dynon and VP-X.   The most challenging piece was figuring out the seat heat wiring. It was challenging because the seat heaters are designed for automotive use.  They are ceramic heaters so are the best ones made, but the wiring is automotive just the same.  Automotive quality is not something you want in an airplane, but the switches that came connected to all that automotive wire were designed specifically for the heaters so I wanted to use them.  This required running an extra yellow 18 gauge wire down to the seats themselves and also cutting out and replacing all the linking wires with aviation grade wiring.  The seats come with resisters that allow for the low vs. high setting and I was able to mount them on the back side of the battery bus using the same bolts.  This means I can’t use nutplates here but it worked out so well that I went with it.  I can still remove these down the line, just will be a bit more challenging, but I am OK with that since it is such a great location for these guys.   The seat heat is pretty much wired up except where it connects to the seats.  That will happen later.  Also attaching a cool photo of the current status of the panel.  I am really liking the way this is turning out.

Places we have been in our RV-7 ! (Blue 2013, Yellow 2014, Green 2015, Purple 2016, Red 2017)