Saturday, March 21, 2009

The first cut

There was no real reason to wait to start cutting the panel, plus the temperature pushed 60 out at the hangar today so the door went up for the first time.

I bought a Greenly punch (sp?) to cut the two holes for the backup airspeed indicator and altitude. I'm going with the 3 1/4" because, well, my eyes are old.

I had thought about getting the panel designed and then sending it out to be cut but between the cost of reducing the plan to CAD and then the cost of the jet cutter, plus shipping, I figured I'd be pushing $400. Airplane builders have been doing this by hand for generations and I'm really more interested in following them than the grand champs at Oshkosh.

Of course, the punch for the two round holes cost $140 so I'm not sure how much sense doing it myself makes. I only have one other circular hole that it can be used for (the autopilot), and then I suppose I can sell it.

Here's the original design:

I'm extremely mindful of what's behind the panel and as you can probably tell, I've already moved the Dynon down a bit. It's a tight squeeze between the backup instruments (I have a hunch I'll use the airspeed indicator as my primary) and the subpanel rib, which I moved a bit. There's not much clearance, but so far enough.

I'll have to check again to see whether the Grand Rapids EIS can fit under the Dynon still.

I also have to settle on what I want to use for a master and start switch. The "key" switch is a little pricey and it would take about 10 seconds to hotwire the engine to start (there'll be a lock on the canopy), so I may just go with a standard old throw switch and a momentary push-button for the starter.

I didn't leave myself a heck of a lot of room over the left for that. But we'll see. So far, so good.

Update Sunday 3/22 - Filing is fun:

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Our little Bobby is growing up.

I've also played around some more with the design:

There's really less room in the panel than the Whiskey Victor panel builder suggests. I doubt there's room over on the left for the master switch (key) so I may create a row of switches where everybody else does. I moved the audio stack away from the far right rib and put the PS Engineering intercom back over there on the right, out of the way.

I'm not all that thrilled with all the space under the GPS. But I think it'll fly.

Update Sunday 3/22 6:28 p.m. The Air Gizmo instructions make reference to the radio tray so now I'm rethinking maybe putting it over there on top of the radio stack. That way when I win the lottery, I can buy a Garmin 900 and replace it.

I also measured off the location of the Grand Rapids engine monitor, centered beneath the Dynon D100, but it, filed the hole, and fit it.

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