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3 posts tagged with "avionics"

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Cabin Top Riveted

· 2 min read

Have been delaying this step for a long time now since I wanted to get as much done as possible in the tailcone before closing everything up. However, finally realized there would always be more to do. I got the ELT installed, NACA vents cut and installed, and then proceeded to close and rivet up the tailcone and cabintop. In the future, I'm still planning on installing the transponder and #2 COM radio there, and at least one battery will need to go back there. But that's future me's problem. Build on!

Panel Installation

In the same vein, starting to install the panel today. I had the panel built by Pacific Coast Avionics, using an Aerosport 310 Panel and it was delivered a month or so back.
All I did this weekend was to mount the aluminum panel subframe onto the fuselage. The instructions from Aerosport are unfortunately wrong for the product I received.

Instead, you'll notice the aluminum frame already has a hole drilled around this location. If you cut per the instructions, you can't capture this hole and you'll need to file away half of the height to actually fit behind the frame. Instead, cut straight from the top of the F-1003B bottom brace and include the nutplate already in place like this You can see the pre-drilled holes in place on the frame.


· 3 min read

#Antenna Considerations: The following is compiled from Garmin install documents.

  1. GPS Antenna: a. GPS Antenna—Locate as far as possible from all COM antennas and all COM transceivers, ELT antennas, and DF antennas. The GPS antenna is less susceptible to harmonic interference if a 1.57542 GHz notch filter is installed on the COM transceiver antenna output. b. Locate the GDU as far as possible from all COM antennas 3 feet from any VHF COM Antenna 3 feet from antenna > 25 Watts of power at least 6 inches from other antennas (including GPS) c. two gps antennas should not be mounted in a straight line.
  2. COM Antenna: a. 6 feet from any DME or COM antennas, 4 feet from ADF sense antennas. b. As far as possible from ELT antennas. Never be less than 3 feet between COM. c. Recommended one antenna mounted on the bottom close to the front and the other on the top of the aircraft close to the tail.
  3. Transponder Antenna: a. Vertically attached to bottom of the aircraft. Not within three feet of ADF sense antenna or COM antenna. 6 feet away from DME antennas 3 feet of cable at least to GTX 45R

With that said, here's the layout I came up with.

Fairly simple layout. One GPS for the GTN and one GPS for the G3X, mounted in the overhead console in the cabin top, 1 foot apart, on either side of the centerline. Two COM antennas, both COMANT E-Series, one bent whip and one straight, mounted top and bottom. I'll mount the bent whip on the bottom of the aircraft in between the front seats in the tunnel. The top mount straight antenna will be mounted 4 feet from the rear GPS antenna in the tailcone. Transponder antenna, also COMANT E-Series, will be mounted on the bottom of the aircraft about 6 feet horizontal distance rearwards of the top mount COM antenna.

Finally, will aim to mount the ELT antenna under the fiberglass tailcone fairing horizontally. Never ending debate on this topic, but there's no guarantee you'll be upright when needing this antenna, and 406MGZ doesn't really require vertical polarization anyways.

For NAV/ILS/VOR, Archer NAV antenna in the right wingtip most likely. Will need AN509 screws and Garmin recommends DOW 738 to seal the antennas, although I will most likely wait until after paint to apply the sealant as the silicone messes with paint.

Doors & Cabintop

· 2 min read

The past few months have been spent wrapping up a lot of minor details and working on the doors/cabintop interface. Lots of work here and a significant amount has been deviating from the plans.

Here's the order I planned on for this part:

  1. Rough fit cabin top to fuselage done
  2. Build Doors and fit doors to opening done
  3. Fit overhead console done
  4. Permanently attach overhead console and switch pod working
  5. Install Airward Door Reinforcement
  6. Permanently install Cabin Top
  7. Install doors & door hardware
  8. Build lip for McMaster Carr Door Seals
  9. Install Windows & Windshield

With that said, a couple of notes. If I wanted to do over, I probably wouldn't buy and install the Airward door reinforcement kit. Nothing against the kit, it looks well made and sturdy. However, any deviation from plans costs time and money, and I'm not sure the risk of the door departing the aircraft, especially after the Planearound 3rd Latch solves the inflight issue, justifies the cost and extra time.

The doors are the one part so far where the plans are lacking. The location of the mounting holes for example are just straight up not where the plans said they would be. Use your best judgement and try your best to get it aligned. Nice thing with fiberglass is it's very hard to screw up enough to not be able to repair it.

I used a lot of other builders notes in this section to map out what I wanted to do. This thread was helpful keeping the door located in the correct position:

Tim's post here was helpful figuring out how to transition the overhead and switchpod to the cabin top.


Went to Sun'n'Fun this year because I now need to seriously consider avionics. Will most likely go with some version of a G3X system, as the garmin interface just felt better to me. So Garmin system + EarthX batteries and maybe Mountain High Oxygen System is the purchases I'll need to make in the next few months.