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.

1 comment:

  1. Whenever a child is ill, one's heart aches the most. Whenever I hear "not doing well" I think of the days when our son was so ill, and at times in so much pain. We always felt helpless, and but for the prayers of literally hundreds of people, his eventual death might have torn our family apart. Instead it became stronger, and the pain, while it is less today, has never completely gone away. I know that your kids have had some trials as well, so please assure your brother and his family (and yours) that you are in our prayers.