View Full Version : Mounting GMC507 on Side by Side Glare Shield?

12-12-2019, 03:55 PM
Kicking Around an Idea I Have For My RV-6 ...dr

I'm thinking of maybe mounting a GMC 507 dedicated autopilot control in a cutout on my glare shied - centered in the middle. For the last decade I've been turning on AP modes with a series of soft keystrokes at the bottom of the PFD. Hear me out on this for a bit before you form an opinion. It's only an inch deep, weighs almost nothing, and I think I might be able to find somebody in the interwebs to 3D print me a mount that would allow both securing the 507 in the mount, and the mount to the glare shield.


While talking with Brad from Garmin over lunch he mentioned something about some people 3D printing switch housings for stuff. Later in the day it dawned on me I could use this maybe as a GMC 507 solution.


The edges could be tapered down to a point on top and bottom to make it look a little more professional in appearance. You could put holes on the side for pencils. Horrible rendition here...


- will it compromise the structural integrity of the glare shield. I don't think so but I'm not sure. I'll call the mothership during non-peak hours.
- will it impact my FOV on T/O and landing (NO - I made an actual-size cutout and sat in the plane (more pictures HERE (https://dougreeves.smugmug.com/N617ARPanelLove/)). Put the camera lens right in front of my pupil on one of the pics.
- will it impact my ability to see the switches (NO - see above)
- it would travel up/down as the canopy is opened/closed.


Anyway, I'm still thinking this through. It sure would make interacting with the AP more similar to the stuff I've been flying lately on extra paper routes. 99% of that flying is spinning HDG and ALT knobs and pushing buttons on that panel. Commonality of workflow...

Has anyone done this in a side by side RV?

More to come and happy to hear feedback,

Supporting images:

AFCS control panel on Pilatus PC-12NG

Guidance panel on Falcon 900 (EASy II)

Flight guidance panel Cessna Caravan

12-12-2019, 04:26 PM
I think it would look nice if you can over come a couple of challenges. One, would it cover or interfere with [easy] access to the switches on the panel that will be behind the 507. Two, how are you going to route the cables to the A/P that still looks professional.
The 507 is not very deep but with the connector connected, it probably be deeper than the glare shield.
Another consideration would be to mounted to the panel in the exact same place instead of the glare shield. This way it is not subject to the movement of the canopy.

Good luck and let us know it goes.

12-12-2019, 07:26 PM
If you're going down the 3d printing route, how about adjusting the model to mount the GMC in the same location as depicted but supported from the panel? You could also design in a cable management slot inside the mount.

12-12-2019, 08:11 PM
Here is one Pahan from Avionics Installations at Spruce Creek did in is personal RV-7A. He 3D printed it:


12-12-2019, 08:47 PM
Interesting this thread came up. I've been working in Solidworks to make panels to do just this. This location provides easy accessibility by both pilots. This RV10 panel is done in carbon fiber.

https://i.postimg.cc/8cdcrtNR/rv10.jpg (https://postimages.org/)

12-12-2019, 08:58 PM
Don't forget that you have a connector on the back of the GMC507 to deal with. It has more depth than the 507 unit itself. I think if you mock-up the true depth of the 507 body plus the connector and cable routing it will really be out there in your face.

I have a GMC305 in a tip-up RV6 mounted very high on the panel and offset to the right. Right about where you have some open space above your audio unit. That location works well for me.

12-12-2019, 09:51 PM
Here is the RV-14 panel...

https://i.postimg.cc/m17HKGK8/RV-14.jpg (https://postimg.cc/m17HKGK8)

Tom Martin
12-13-2019, 05:43 AM
If you are going to make a plastic box then you can certainly make a right angle connector shell.
I like this idea, it makes a lot of sense and keeps your eyes looking up and out.
Please report back with the final product

12-13-2019, 08:28 AM
Interesting this thread came up. I've been working in Solidworks to make panels to do just this. This location provides easy accessibility by both pilots. This RV10 panel is done in carbon fiber.

https://i.postimg.cc/8cdcrtNR/rv10.jpg (https://postimages.org/)

Multiple 'like' button hits!

A right angle DSub connector could help with the depth profile......

12-13-2019, 10:16 AM
Hi Doug,
This is strictly personal opinion, my 2 cents worth (in Canadian currency), but i'm planning a panel which is very similar to yours. What can I say, You inspired me with the switch placement etc.!
I would mount the auto pilot controls high in the panel,but not on the glare shield.
This would avoid bending wires with every canopy opening event.
Is there is enough space for it just above your audio panel if you moved some light switches to the right, or below your gps's, just above the throttle?

12-13-2019, 10:56 AM
I've been thinking about doing the same thing with Dynon knob and button panels, albeit in a slider. My main concern is over how far they'd stick out, and how much of the view would be blocked. Glad I'm not the only one thinking along these lines...

12-13-2019, 02:40 PM
It looks like a great idea. I am sure with all the talent on this site, a solution that looks good and works well will present itself to you.

12-13-2019, 04:40 PM
As somebody who has his a/p controller mounted elsewhere, I have to say that glare shield mounting remains my preferred location, by a wide margin. I would prioritize this location above all others, even if it means relocating some of the existing switches.

Yes, having a tip-up canopy complicates matters somewhat. That's why I would try to install the 507 in the very top of the panel itself, thus gaining both sunlight shading as well as mounting robustness. Being able to rest fingers atop the glare shield while using a thumb and other fingers to fiddle with the 507 would be another consideration in favor of mounting it right up at the top of the panel.

12-13-2019, 04:46 PM

In 34 years of commercial flying, almost every part 121 plane I've flown had the autopilot controls just below (or built into) the glare shield. Most likely in order to accommodate either pilot, but it seems to be the 'norm' and it's very convenient. It also lends itself to a 'heads-up' situation rather than 'heads-down' while selecting or changing a mode.
Boeing calls it an 'MCP' ...Mode Control Panel (at least on the 737)... as we use the automation modes to control the aircraft the majority of the time.
That said, my current panel design has the autopilot controller mounted centrally in the glare shield, just as you indicated. Not that my opinion is worth two cents, but I've got an hour or two in jets and I think its a great idea. I'd love to see the finished product!



12-13-2019, 09:43 PM
The Garmin Auto Pilot head without the scroll knobs for altitude and heading are less expensive. Get used to using the PFD heading and altitude already easily managed on the screen, also get used to using the PFD for every entry that is available to you. Therefore, the only external item you need to concentrate on is the Flight Mode Annunciator. Think of it as going to the store and buying a loaf if bread. When you walk out of the store, look in the bag and see if you in fact have a loaf of bread in the bag! Soooo, it is far easier to enter what you want on the EFIS, and on then monitor the FMD , one less thing to mess with and cause issues! In 34,000 hours, this system has never let me down!


Capt. Gary Brown - Continental Airlines - Retired
DAR - NW Mountain region

12-15-2019, 01:09 PM
Don't know if this is of any help with your decision making but I did exactly that with my Dynon boxes when I upgraded the panel. The location works very well from an ergonomics POV and doesn't impede on visibility in any way, regardless of flight conditions. Including aeros.




12-16-2019, 05:32 PM
Tony Kirk, Van's Aircraft proto shop guy, sent me a few screen grabs of a 3D printable housing for a GMC507 that he mocked up over the weekend from home (non-Van's time). A work in progress, and a few back and forths via email, and I'll keep you in the loop. If I can make it work in my plane and there aren't any hiccups, Tony would like to share the model with the community. There are many business that will do the 3D printing for you if you hand them a file. I'll keep you in the loop. Very exciting.




12-16-2019, 05:50 PM
Looks very promising. Keep us updated. Thanks.

BCP Boys
12-17-2019, 07:07 AM
That is going to look fantastic in with your panel. It will be pro for sure :) I know we have a few 3D printing guys/gals here . . . I wonder how much something like that will cost to make?

12-17-2019, 05:02 PM
Tony Kirk sent me an updated SolidWorks model last night (Van's employee working on this after hours at home). This thing is getting pretty close to drop dead awesome. I'll let you know when I have a GMC507 in hand with a 3D printed prototype mount. Expect pics.


12-17-2019, 05:40 PM
That looks really good.

I can see you took into consideration minimizing the connector as the original is just as deep as the GMU itself.

12-17-2019, 05:45 PM
I'm hoping to get Stein to help me work out any connector kinks (pun). Hopefully he can make me a dongle.

Really like how Tony blew this out of the water. Amazing work!!!!

12-18-2019, 06:51 AM
Awesome! Will the GMC307 fit into this?
Is GMC307 the same size as the GMC507.
If not, any chance there will be a version for the 307?

12-18-2019, 07:39 AM
GMC307 and GMC507 are the same size, share the same connector, tray, rack, etc.

Only difference is the addition of the TRK key ('507) and the interface moves from RS-232C('307) to CANbus ('507), and a TO/GA input('507) , so the connector pinout is slightly different.

Steve Melton
12-18-2019, 07:53 AM
I am excited for you guys on this. Another printed application! Can't wait to see it installed.

01-14-2020, 02:31 PM
This is looking great, I just saw the pictures on your panellove smugmug. Any idea when it will be available?

I reached out to ClassicAero to see if they would make a glareshield trim piece to match :) Here is their current product, which I have and really like:

[ed. Short answer, I think 'soon'. When Tony is happy with the 3D printing, he'll send me the SW file and I'll host it for free download. v/r,dr]

01-14-2020, 04:19 PM
Awesome! Will the GMC307 fit into this?
Is GMC307 the same size as the GMC507.
If not, any chance there will be a version for the 307?

The 307 is about an eighth of an inch deeper than the 507. If this housing is designed with the 307 in mind it will fit the 507 but not vise versa.

01-14-2020, 04:28 PM
I reached out to ClassicAero to see if they would make a glareshield trim piece to match :) Here is their current product, which I have and really like:

Just heard back from ClassicAero and they would be happy to make a fitting glareshield trim. Once I print one of these up they will ship me the base material for me to cut to fit and ship back to them for them to finish.

01-17-2020, 04:44 PM
Hey DR, just a heads up that the GMC requires an electrical ground on both clamps. If you put this in a plastic housing you wont have that ground. An alternative that I ran past G3Xpert already would be to run a ground from the backshell of the connector to your forest of tabs. This is assuming you have electrical continuity from the clamps to the backshell. I tested my GMC507 and had good conductivity. In the drawing above you don't have a back shell but you should be able to ground similarly using the standoffs that the backshell would normally connect to.

04-22-2020, 12:40 PM
Hey Doug

Any progress made on the design of this rig? I would really like to make one for my 307.


06-01-2020, 07:22 PM
Any progress reports on this glare shield mount? It seems line a really cool idea.

06-11-2020, 08:54 AM

Any progress on this? I'm ordering harnesses for the -10 and would REALLY like to have my GMC 507 on the glareshield. Even if it's not perfect, this looks like a good enough start to use and optionally replace with the improved version later. I have to justify my new 3D printer somehow.

06-11-2020, 11:21 AM
Hi everybody, at the risk of hijacking DR's thread I thought I would give a status update on my attempts at designing a similar glare-shield mount. Using Solidworks I designed something akin to what DR posted but with a couple of changes to fit my own needs. I then sent that design to Geoff at Aerosport (http://www.aerosportproducts.com/rv-10-products/) to print on his industrial 3D printer. The result came back looking really nice as you can see in the pictures below. I know Geoff has some great idea's for modifications for future models but this is where we are for now.

One aspect specific to the RV-10 is that I used the Aerosport 310 carbon fiber panel which means my AP controller had to be adjusted to fit. Additionally, I didn't want the connector to be attached without the back-shell. I moved the mount higher up on the glare-shield so that the full connector could be used.



06-11-2020, 01:36 PM
Beautiful!!!!! I've been sidetracked by work (moving ISP), summer house drama (faucets leaking, MnL coming to stay with us for a few weeks (95 years young) and cars broken. Everything flying kinda on hold.

I'll get there! Don't give up on me!!!!

Man that looks great!!!!!