VAF Forums

VAF Forums (https://vansairforce.net/community/index.php)
-   Glass Cockpit (https://vansairforce.net/community/forumdisplay.php?f=35)
-   -   10" G3X Touch in an RV-3B... (https://vansairforce.net/community/showthread.php?t=146021)

KatieB 01-24-2017 10:05 PM

10" G3X Touch in an RV-3B...
 
So after years of poking around with pipe dreams, drawings, lists, budgets, and mission evaluations, I?ve begun installing the brains of my -3. It was a long and arduous road, but I?ve decided to go with Big G. Yeah, Garmin. ?But you?re the GRT chick! What happened?? Well? it?s a long story.

The bones of my plane as it sat in the junk yard came with a Dynon D180. I sold that to a fellow VAF'er with another RV-3 and paid off my car loan. Sure, I could?ve kept it all as Tony had it, but I had way too many hours flying behind GRT Sport systems, which blew the D180 away in features. SO that was a no-brainer, even though it would add many months and a few grand to the budget requirements. (Every decision with this plane has added many months, so why not!)

I assumed for a very long time that I would put a GRT system in here. It was by far the most reliable of any system I?d had experience with, and we knew the ins and outs of how to install and operate them. The question was really, Sport or HXr? And besides, I worked there. But in 2014 we left GRT to go back to my father-in-law?s Jabiru airplane business. He had used GRT stuff since the very beginning, with most of the 120-ish Jabiru airplanes built in the USA since about 2002. We tried the G3X system in 2010, but back then it was difficult to install and we had some trouble getting the engine monitor sensors to play nicely with the Jabiru. But now, in 2015, LSA shoppers were asking pretty loudly for the new Touch system, so we decided to give it a try.

Sometime between 2010 and 2015, Garmin must have realized that amateur avionics installers needed more guidance and easier tasks than the professionals they were used to dealing with in the certified world. The new Touch system was much easier to install and the instruction manuals were more thorough. The best part about the system, however, is how fun it is to fly. Our fears and former sales pitches against the touch screens turned out to be mostly wrong assumptions. The touch screen is not any more difficult to use in turbulence than buttons. It is not prone to glare unless you wear white on a sunny day (ask me how I know...) You can?t see fingerprints unless it?s turned off. Its user interface was intelligently designed from the ground up to be intuitive and easy. It?s like using a tablet. The depth of information displayed and the ease with which you can access it is mind-blowing.

I didn?t truly appreciate its capabilities until I flew our first Garmin Touch airplane, a Jabiru J230-D with about 15 hours on it, from Tennessee to Oshkosh for ?the convention? in 2015. It was a giddy trip anyway, because I was going early to prepare for our wedding, which would feature that very same airplane. You might have read about it in AirVenture Today. Anyway, by the time I got past Kentucky, I was giggling like a 5-year-old in Toys R Us. I think my favorite screen was the waypoint information page. While my old standby GRT Sport system had most of the same information, it was displayed on a black screen with white text that blocked out all reference to map and PFD. The 10? Garmin Touch, in contrast, displays an information page for the chosen airport on the map side of the screen with a simple knob twist or two touches of the map, and you never lose your primary instruments. The airport is shown on a static map with big colorful touch tabs along one side for Runways, Frequencies, Weather, NOTAMs, AOPA Airport Directory? everything you could possibly want to know, and so easily accessible! And you could just touch the map to quickly get this information for anything.

In the year and a half since then, I?ve put a few dozen hours on the system, mostly flying cross-country. I spent many enjoyable days last summer navigating around storm systems, using ADS-B METARs and cautiously using NEXRAD radar with ATC flight following to maintain VFR and stay out of trouble. There were a few times I climbed into a GRT equipped airplane with a system that used to be my favorite thing ever, and found myself frustrated at having to punch a bunch of buttons to find what I needed. Not to mention the fact that I forgot where to find things in the menus. I got a little pissed at GRT because my friends have so much talent in that little building, but they've just fallen behind the times.

So after a long period of deliberation, I decided that personal friendships and an old brand allegiance, no matter how strong, were just simply bad reasons to pick a certain system for my airplane. Ultimately, it came down to one fact. I have FUN when I fly a G3X Touch? so that?s what I picked. Oh, and by the way, size does matter? I don?t really care for the layout of the little 7? EFIS, and besides, 10? of glass on this tiny panel is JUST SO **** COOL!

[IMG]0507161959 by jabiruchick, on Flickr[/IMG]

KatieB 01-24-2017 10:11 PM

Panel Layout
 
The layout of any instrument panel should reflect the intended mission profile of the airplane. I plan to use my airplane?s speed for quick, long VFR cross-country trips. I?m instrument-rated, but I?ve been flying cross country in VFR-only airplanes for so long, I don?t feel the need for IFR navigation equipment and ultra-redundancy I would want if I were to fly in the clouds. Not to mention those things cost a lot of money, and most importantly in an RV-3, a lot of weight. Just ask Paul and Louise? :D

So, because I?m VFR, a single EFIS and remote radio is ok, which means that I have room for a big screen. As a totally unplanned bonus, I also have room for Garmin?s new little G5 backup instrument? so I threw it in there for a last-resort battery-powered backup to get home if the big screen or the alternator craps out.

I made my basic screen layout in a publishing program that I?m familiar with, then flipped it to my husband, who knows AutoCAD pretty well. He drew out the basic shapes, using some of our Jabiru panel elements, and then attempted to teach me how to tweak it. I must admit that my first several hours trying to use AutoCAD, I felt like a monkey with a hammer trying to build a house. However, after learning a few key skills, I was able to do enough to really make the layout and text exactly how I wanted it. Normally we send our panel layout files to Industrial Nameplate Inc., a company in Wisconsin that prints them out on vinyl, coats them with plastic and laminates them onto aluminum, but I wanted to ?save time? (yeah right) and so I decided to try screen printing the text and switch hole locations onto my panel face. It?s been cloudy here in Tennessee for like a month, so I have yet to try the sunlight-activated screen emulsion. If I can?t make it work, INI is my backup plan, but he normally takes a few weeks to deliver anything.

Because my panel real estate is all being taken up by this gigantor EFIS, I had to find a different spot for circuit protection. I originally planned on using fuses for everything, but then i realized that a flip-down circuit breaker panel would be easy to make, and I really did want to be able to access my avionics breakers in flight. And then, in a further evolution (all in my tortured head, of course) I decided to make a narrow lower panel extension with the throttle, mixture, circuit breakers, headset jacks, cabin light rheostat, and cabin heat control. I made a posterboard mockup, taped it to the bottom of the panel and tried getting in and out of the plane without hitting it with my knees. It will make getting in and out of the plane a little more delicate, but there won?t be any sharp edges to scrape the shins, so I think it will work out ok.

Here's an older version of the panel layout. I'll try and put a new one up tomorrow sometime.

[IMG]0506161529 by jabiruchick, on Flickr[/IMG]

KatieB 01-24-2017 10:19 PM

Magnetometer Installation
 
One of the quirks of the Garmin installation is its super-sensitive magnetic field sensor. Like the GRT systems, the Garmin magnetometer does much more than function as a compass—it provides data to the ADAHRS as part of the calculation of the attitude of the aircraft in space. If you ask me how it does this, my answer will always be “PFM”—that is, Pure F-ing Magic.

There is a list in the installation manual of things that the magnetometer cannot be near. Basically, it’s servo motors, current-carrying wires, control cables, ferrous metals, and anything that’s been magnetized. In a plane as tiny as the RV-3, it’s a real challenge to find an interference-free spot for it. The wingtip is often recommended, but it is awfully close to the steel aileron counterweights and the wires for the LED tip lights. The tail shelf “aft deck” under the vertical stab is also a recommended location for RV’s, but in mine, it would place the magnetometer within a foot of the steel tail spring mount—and I know for a fact that it’s magnetized because I’ve poked around with a magnet so many times over the past 6 years to fish out dropped nuts and washers! It’s also susceptible to water damage from rain dripping inside the tail fairing at our great air shows. So, that’s out.

Here's the shelf after I bent the support flanges. It's just a piece of .032 out of the trim bundle from the empennage kit.
[IMG]2016-12-17_03-31-03 by jabiruchick, on Flickr[/IMG]

And the neat little mounting ring Garmin supplies with the Magnetometer...
2016-12-17_03-31-47 by jabiruchick, on Flickr

There is one place where the nearest sources of interference are the rudder cables and trim cable… and it’s halfway down the tail cone, between the longerons and a reasonable distance behind the pitch servo. I read on here and in the Garmin installation manual that some RV-8 builders mount their magnetometer on a shelf suspended across the longerons in this location. So, that’s what I did. Let me tell you, if you have a chance to install this thing before you rivet your top turtledeck skin on, DO IT! There are two mechanics at our shop and me, a halfway-wannabe mechanic, and despite the fact that I'm a well-fed Midwestern girl, I'm the only one that remotely fits back there. If I couldn’t do it, nobody could! So I did. With more grunting and swearing than a well-behaved woman would ever do. But nobody has ever accused me of being well-behaved.

[IMG]2016-12-17_03-32-01 by jabiruchick, on Flickr[/IMG]

Here it is in its new home. The camera angle makes the whole thing look a little scatty-wompus, but I assure you it's all straight.

[IMG]0114171458 by jabiruchick, on Flickr[/IMG]

KatieB 01-24-2017 10:31 PM

Avionics Shelf
 
The top nose skin of the RV-3 was designed to be removable to access the fuselage fuel tank, but this is an RV-3B, so my fuel tanks are in the wings. It has a tip-over canopy, which isn’t sexy like a slider…at all…but it affords the opportunity to attach the front top skin to the fuselage with screws. This is an AMAZING maintenance item! I will never have to stand on my head to work on my avionics. And, hopefully, the way I install the avionics tray and wiring will allow me to remove it if I have to dive in to service the rudder pedals, brakes, battery box, or fuel system.

Tony originally used this shelf system to mount his Dynon stuff, fuse block, manifold pressure sensor, and other little things. His shelf is too narrow for the Garmin LRUs I need, so I made a new one. Posterboard was my best friend here. I made a posterboard shelf, complete with folded-down flanges for a little “strength,” and then I cut out paper versions of my LRUs so I could play with layouts. I thought for a while that I would need to install the ADAHRS and transponder in the baggage compartment, but after some playing with the cardboard, I fit everything in the nose.

[IMG]0114171517a by jabiruchick, on Flickr[/IMG]

The ADAHRS was designed to be mounted to the back of the EFIS screen, but some experts advise against this now. The ADAHRS requires an extremely rigid mounting surface, and the panel boxes of some planes have proven to be too flexible for it. Additionally, it’s handy sometimes to remove the EFIS screen to access the avionics bay, but if the ADAHRS is hanging onto it, you have to disconnect the pitot, static and AOA lines. So, I wanted to mount it on the side of the baggage compartment instead, but the more I looked at potential designs for a mounting bracket, the more I started to like the back of the EFIS screen. The RV-3’s panel is a small semi-circle supported around the top by the .032 top skin, and my panel face is built of .062 with a piece of ¾” angle riveted to the bottom edge. I feel confident that it’s the stiffest place on the plane short of the wing spar. My husband has an aerobatic Panther with the same setup and no ADAHRS issues so far.

I didn’t have enough .032 or .040 laying around the shop for my shelf, so my RV buddy Possum brought me an old pre-punched .032 nose skin that came out of an RV-7 kit. He had already cut off one side of it for a custom part for his “insane” but beautiful Zenith 701 project. After shearing and bending it on our 3-in-1 bending brake, I thought it was still a little jello-ish so I back riveted a stiffener to it. I was able to re-use 3 holes that were already drilled into the longerons to mount the shelf, so that was nice. One hole even had a random 3/32” hole next to it which fit the nutplate perfectly. Back riveting worked fairly well for the LRU mounting nutplates, too. After prettying it up with some paint and attaching all the LRUs, I felt like I had really accomplished something-- which is something I haven’t felt about this plane in ages!

[IMG]0119171652 by jabiruchick, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]0120171514 by jabiruchick, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]0123171846b by jabiruchick, on Flickr[/IMG]

Robert Anglin 01-25-2017 06:35 AM

Good job
 
You will like it. We have much the same system in our 8, with an auto pilot and an audio panel. I may never be smart enough to use all its little tricks, but we do like trying. Good job old bean. Yours, R.E.A. III #80888

RONSIM 01-25-2017 07:55 AM

Thanks for the post! It took a lot of work to put it together!
 
Much appreciated, and, as I am attempting to decide which 10" screen I am going to put in my -6A, I was interested in your assessment of the Garmin product.

Ron

vic syracuse 01-25-2017 08:00 AM

Very nicely organized, Katie! The only thing I would encourage you to consider would be to put that fuse block on a swing down panel.

Vic

Chkaharyer99 01-25-2017 08:51 AM

Katie,

Thanks for sharing your rationale for deciding on Garmin. Your pictures and mock up are great.

KatieB 01-25-2017 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vic syracuse (Post 1144665)
Very nicely organized, Katie! The only thing I would encourage you to consider would be to put that fuse block on a swing down panel.

Vic

Thanks, Vic! Have you ever heard of a problem with a fold-down fuse panel being secured upside-down in an airplane? Do the fuses ever vibrate out? I'm planning to use fuses for the lighting and other non-essential items.

vic syracuse 01-25-2017 09:19 AM

Well considering you might be doing aerobatics in the 3 the g-forces might cause them to loosen if they were upside down, but you could easily secure them with a single strand of safety wire across the top of each row. The reality is that they would probably be OK, and if they are for nonessential items, then just checking them for security once in a while should suffice.

Vic

David Paule 01-25-2017 10:52 AM

Katie, thanks for posting all this. It's very helpful and timely since I'm sorting through the "where should this go" issues with my RV-3B. Sure is a small airplane, isn't it?

The discussion of the magnetometer is especially helpful. Much appreciated....

Thanks again,
Dave

TS Flightlines 01-25-2017 11:06 AM

Hey Katie---outstanding job of creating this package. I think you'll love it!
Tom

Ironflight 01-25-2017 11:12 AM

Great write-up Katie!

The only thing you might or might not want to know after all that great work on the magnetometer mount is that Tsam's is on the aft deck, and has worked flawlessly for almost 600 hours of flying. Of course, we didn't go and magnetize any of the hardware back there.... :)

koupster 01-25-2017 02:06 PM

Fuse Block
 
Katie,

Rather than hinge that fuse block, you could configure it so it could slide out from under the panel. no messing with safety wire, and the fuse blades would stay pointed at the belly of the RV-3.

Nice work.

Cheers, David
RV-6A A&P

Canadian_JOY 01-25-2017 04:53 PM

If you look at many modern automobiles you will likely see their fuse blocks are oriented so there is at least some "upside down" vector on the fuses. I've never, ever had a fuse shake loose. I have, however, cussed fuses many times because they were so stubbornly stuck in their holders and some wingnut had made off with the factory-supplied fuse pulling tool.

As for your comments about GRT, I have their stuff in our current project airplane and believe it's good engineering hampered by absolutely the worst installation and operation documentation. GRT needs to pull up their socks if they want to stay in this game. That having been said, Garmin's business practices have long ago made me wary of buying any of their products. I hope your equipment choice proves, over the long term, to be a very wise and enjoyable decision.

jthocker 01-26-2017 07:14 AM

Garmin Rocks!
 
Hey Katie, glad you finally came in from the cold!!!!!😜😜😜😜

Scott Hersha 01-26-2017 08:13 AM

I have a similar setup in my RV4 with the tray-mounted avionics and I have a total of 4 fuse blocks. One of them is mounted upside down and nothing has come loose yet (6 months). BUT - I also have one mounted vertically on a small panel mounted to the avionics tray, pointing straight down. It's between my legs/feet and so short that you can't see it without bending to look under the panel. There is no interference, and it's easily accessible without removing anything.

Just another idea to consider....

kentlik 01-26-2017 09:51 AM

That is great Katie! You certainly have a great setup there. Looking forward to more updates

RBD 01-26-2017 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KatieB (Post 1144606)
Here's an older version of the panel layout. I'll try and put a new one up tomorrow sometime.


Great write-up and an even better panel. The only question that remains: is that short N-number the most expensive part of the panel? :D

sblack 01-26-2017 02:50 PM

I'm building a 4 with blade fuses and I have been mulling over the fuse block question as well. While the forward fuse top is removable, I don't want to have to do that to trouble shoot a fuse. I haven't been able to imagine a fold down fuse block tray that is simple enough for my liking. So I think I will be going with mounting the block on the fuselage sidewall ahead and below the instrument panel basically where the cowl cheek fairings go. So I will be able to bend down and see the fuse block, but it won't be in my direct field of view. It will add a bit of wire, but I learned on my last airplane to make everything as serviceable as possible.

For your panel design be sure to consider that the canopy frame will obscure the top 3/4" or so of the panel. I'm sure you have, but it never hurts to mention it. I am getting near the end of my FWF so this part of the project is coming up next. I am looking forward to that.

Canadian_JOY 01-26-2017 08:10 PM

Scott - you might find it helpful, with a fuse block in that location, to use the fuses with built-in LEDs which illuminate when the fuse is blown. There are lots of sources for them, including Stein. They would make your "upside down time" to diagnose a blown fuse a little shorter! :-)

Larry DeCamp 01-27-2017 05:16 AM

Engine sensor wiring ??
 
Katie,
Your switch to G3x surprised me as you and the Panther folks were solid GRT. I am purchasing avionics for my -4 project and you got my attention with your G3X pick.
I love my iFly 740 cause it is so easy to use as they claim. I considered an engine monitor to complement an iFly, but that approach begs for compass, attitude etc. ( belt and suspenders).
I had decided the MGL lite is the way to go BECAUSE the RDAC makes a lot of sense. Fragile TC wires and Omega plugs for extentions are not elegant . How have you handled the TC extension/ termination issue on your G3X??
Also, our Garmin 5xx Aera is a PITA compared to my iFly. So I had not even considered Garmin but you make it sound user friendly. I will see them at OSH.
FWIW, I mounted the magnetometer on my -3B to the back of the baggage bulkhead and it works great. You might consider some rubber mounting isolators somewhere. Dont know if thats important but good insurance.

avionicsr 01-27-2017 04:08 PM

Nice Job. I'm impressed.

jliltd 01-27-2017 06:15 PM

Scott. Great point on the canopy bow overlapping thrle top edge of the panel. On my RV-3B it is not insignificant Katie, watch the upper corners of the display and the warning lights. Your template looks like it would cause canopy interference on my 3B. Your cut metal panel looks better but just be careful.

And congratulations for getting an accolade from Pahan. The guy who wrote "the" installation training syllabus for the G3X and enlightened us to the capabilities and simplicity of the CAN bus architecture at the AEA class. I went in as a curious underdog brand "x" proponent. I came away completely impressed by the Garmin Team X products.

Jim
the pecan guy

KatieB 01-27-2017 07:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry DeCamp (Post 1145212)
Katie,
Your switch to G3x surprised me as you and the Panther folks were solid GRT. I am purchasing avionics for my -4 project and you got my attention with your G3X pick.
I love my iFly 740 cause it is so easy to use as they claim. I considered an engine monitor to complement an iFly, but that approach begs for compass, attitude etc. ( belt and suspenders).
I had decided the MGL lite is the way to go BECAUSE the RDAC makes a lot of sense. Fragile TC wires and Omega plugs for extentions are not elegant . How have you handled the TC extension/ termination issue on your G3X??
Also, our Garmin 5xx Aera is a PITA compared to my iFly. So I had not even considered Garmin but you make it sound user friendly. I will see them at OSH.
FWIW, I mounted the magnetometer on my -3B to the back of the baggage bulkhead and it works great. You might consider some rubber mounting isolators somewhere. Dont know if thats important but good insurance.

Hi Larry,

The GRT Sport is a great lightweight system for the Panther and the -3. I seriously considered it for a long time, but I didn't want to give up Garmin's touch screen and bells and whistles that we've been enjoying with the LSAs lately. The Sport is simpler, with the built in AHRS and GPS. I haven't weighed the components of both systems but I'm sure the Sport setup weighs less and it's simple to install. The EIS is not as simple to install, but once you get it going it will last forever. I refuse to say anything is "bulletproof" in aviation, but that little old green box pretty much is.

I haven't wired anything firewall forward on the RV yet, but with our Jabiru airplanes, we still use GRT EGT and CHT probes. The EGT/CHT harness is made from thermocouple wire and connected to the probes using spade connectors. We do not shorten any of the probe wires, just trim the harness to length. When I get to that point in the -3 I'll post it here!

KatieB 01-27-2017 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by avionicsr (Post 1145425)
Nice Job. I'm impressed.

Thanks, Pahan! :D

Quote:

Scott. Great point on the canopy bow overlapping thrle top edge of the panel. On my RV-3B it is not insignificant Katie, watch the upper corners of the display and the warning lights. Your template looks like it would cause canopy interference on my 3B. Your cut metal panel looks better but just be careful.
Hi Jim! Yeah the corners of the screen will be close to the canopy bow. I did measure it all the way around, but before I go too much further with the panel face, I suppose it would be smart to secure the canopy up there with the EFIS installed just to make 100% sure!

KatieB 01-27-2017 08:28 PM

Lower Panel
 
Today I built the lower panel for the throttle, mixture, circuit breakers, cabin heat, cabin lighting, and headset jacks. I used a scrap of .025" 2024 out of an old RV-6 kit that our friend Nick finished. I wondered if it would be too thin, but after bending it and supporting it against the F-303(?) uprights, it will be plenty.

0127171136 by jabiruchick, on Flickr

So you know this plane is a weird color... Most people who see it ask me right away if I'm going to keep it that "putrid" or "amazing" color. Guys usually think it's ugly, but other women seem to love it. I've always been a huge fanatic for classic cars and vintage industrial design, so this color makes me happy. Tony originally picked it because--in his words-- it's the same color as the 1955 Thunderbird he bought as a newly minted USAF second lieutenant in 1961, so I want to expand on the old car theme a bit. I was able to complete my first little decorative touch today by machine-turning the finish of the lower instrument panel.

If you look at pictures of a 1956 Ford Thunderbird interior, you'll see that the instrument panel has a neat fish-scale looking appearance. I thought it looked a little bit like the Spirit of St. Louis's cowling, so I Googled "Spirit of St. Louis cowl finish" and learned all about machine-turning. It's an old craft and it looks like way too much work, but I did it quick and dirty using a round piece of Scotch-brite hot-glued to a bolt head. Stuck it into the drill press, clamped a fence to the drill bed at increments of 7/16", and it didn't take long at all to make some neat swirly rows.

[IMG]0127171225 by jabiruchick, on Flickr[/IMG]

0127171432 by jabiruchick, on Flickr

After that, I taped it up real good with painter's tape and bent the flanges on the brake. The tape protected the new finish from scratches from the brake. Here it is clamped to the bottom of the panel. I got into the plane again to make sure my knees still fit underneath it, and they do. The lower edge is bent forward, so if I do graze the edge it won't scrape my shins like some of the extended panels in RV's I've ridden in.

0127171521 by jabiruchick, on Flickr

After that, I made the transparencies for the panel markings. Hoping for sunshine tomorrow to expose the screen printing emulsion. I'll let you know how that goes...

N13BN 01-27-2017 11:35 PM

RV-3 Panel Extention
 
Katie, just a word of caution. Extending the panel that much lower is going to require you to be somewhat of a gymnast. Keep in mind that when your canopy is in place there is not much room for support to lift you straight up out of the airplane. I drive a 3 and I know of which I speak. I vote for keeping Tony's color.

Bill Newkirk

agirard7a 01-28-2017 04:24 PM

Rv-3 cockpit
 
Hi Katie. I've been flying this 3 for almost 300 hours.
The cockpit works well, I would not change a thing other than a new glare shield. The throttle quardrant on the left hand arm rest and the switchs on the right arm rest work very well for space. I can't imagine the throttle on the panel
As it may conflict with the stick.







KatieB 01-29-2017 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by N13BN (Post 1145496)
Katie, just a word of caution. Extending the panel that much lower is going to require you to be somewhat of a gymnast. Keep in mind that when your canopy is in place there is not much room for support to lift you straight up out of the airplane. I drive a 3 and I know of which I speak. I vote for keeping Tony's color.

Bill Newkirk

It looks big in the photos, but it's only 1.5" tall. Just high enough to mount the 1" throttle and 1 1/8" mixture controls with labels. I've crawled in and out of it with the sub panel in place with and without the canopy installed with no problems. I do need to strengthen my arms, though.

The throttle and mixture are in basically the same place Tony put them, just inside the left upright of F303.

After we put the canopy on, I did have to adjust the placement of the warning lights to clear the canopy bow, so thanks for that suggestion. The EFIS clears it by a fat finger width on each corner.

Here is the panel drawing:

[IMG]0128171623 by jabiruchick, on Flickr[/IMG]

KatieB 02-25-2017 02:38 PM

Silkscreening the Panel Face
 
First of all let me say that Stein was right when he said on here a while back that silkscreening instrument panel labels is a pain in the rear!

I did a lot of screen printing of art prints in college, so I wasn't afraid to try it. After some digging online, I ordered a starter kit from EZScreenprint.com. They sell sunlight-exposed, frameless screen stencils. Normally a silk screen stencil is a piece of silk or dacron stretched over a wood frame, which is cumbersome if you are printing on anything other than paper or a T-shirt. The high-definition EZScreen stencils looked like a viable option for printing small details onto metal surfaces. The kit, ink and shipping totaled around $75, not a bad price for some fun experimentation. The kit comes with three 8.5 x 11" high-definition stencils pre-impregnated with light-sensitive emulsion, an exposure board that consists of black felted board with an acrylic cover and some clamps, three laser printer transparencies, a plastic mesh for rinsing, and a squeegee. I bought black Jaquard printmaking ink, which cleans up with water (VERY important) and is permanent when applied to metals.

I printed my AutoCAD design onto laser-printer transparency sheets, then used them to expose the stencils in the sunshine. It took several test strips to get a proper exposure. After exposure, you wash the unexposed emulsion to form the stencil lettering. Large text and areas of color rinse out easily, but lettering smaller than about 16 points gets tough to rinse out.

Because the ink cleans up easily with water, you can wipe off failed inking attempts from your pre-painted surfaces. I wiped more than I kept during the process. It took a lot more effort than I thought it would, but it was fun. If you're an artsy type, you might want to try it.

Here's the exposure unit.

0225171444 by jabiruchick, on Flickr

Close-up of a stencil before inking.

0225171359 by jabiruchick, on Flickr

Stencil taped to CB panel

0216171633 by jabiruchick, on Flickr

Inked CB panel

0216171634 by jabiruchick, on Flickr

Printed CB panel

0216171716 by jabiruchick, on Flickr

Finished lettering on the panel face. The light markings above the lettering mark the location of holes to be drilled for the switches, breakers, and LEDs. This was the default line width in AutoCAD, so as you can see, it's not thick enough to print reliably.

0225171434 by jabiruchick, on Flickr

jliltd 09-03-2017 09:06 AM

Hi Katie,

I was wondering if you have been able to get enough time to continue with your RV-3B panel and avionics install? it's looking awesome.

I am very interested in the placement and mounting of the GSA-28 autopilot servos.

My RV-3B has manual trim and I don't think it's worth the effort to convert to electric trim. The G3X autopilot has trim prompting so that should suffice.

I also see you have left out a dedicated autopilot control head (GMC 307). People swear by one but it would probably take a lot of the 3's precious panel space.

One last thing. Where did you get the panel outline dataset for AutoCad? Did you generate it yourself from the original panel? It is a very simple curve. Since my airplane is flying I can't physically trace the curvature very easily with structure, switches, knobs, covers etc.

Jim


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:07 AM.