Monday, July 5, 2010
Bright lights, little airplane
If nothing else, any time you can get a full instrument installed, wired, and powered up in one session of work, I think you've done OK.
Today I checked off another item on the big dry-ink board in the hangar: Install fuel level indicator.
The Electronics International fuel level indicator has two separate power wires -- one to power the instrument and one to to power the backlight, and a wire for each ground, then you run wires out to the fuel tanks.
I ended up following the headset wires to the left and right, then tie-wrapped to the fuel vent line to the floor and then out the fuselage. Because the fuselage is double-walled, the snap bushing doesn't extend out of the fuselage. I'll put a dab of RTV in to cushion things.
Here's one side at the fuel tank:
And here's the other:
To keep vibration to a minimum, I ran the wire through a couple of inches of static tubing, which is a very hard plastic, and secured the line to the fuel line.
After checking everything, I powered it up. My family, which occasionally recalls when I was kid, my riding my bicycle five or so miles to watch traffic lights in Newburyport, Mass, will understand why I like this instrument so much.
I actually don't remember that much of the installation process, which took about three hours; I was thinking of my niece, Jennifer, and my twin brother, Bill. Jennifer's in the hospital and isn't doing well. I called Bill who was on his way to the hospital to let him know I'm thinking about them both and hoping for the best. If I could trade this damned plane in to make it so, I would in a second.
There a lot more items on that list on the dry-ink board. But I think for now I'll pull up a chair by the hangar door, and watch it rain for awhile.