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  #1  
Old 06-05-2012, 08:18 AM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,241
Default Tip: Flush Map Box Door

I just finished moding my map box so that the door is flush with no visable latch. I though I would put this on for forums for anyone that is interested.

A little background: I designed my panel in CAD to be modular. There is a subframe that rivets to the skin and structure. On top of that are separate panel section that screw to the subframe. Each panel section can be removed and replaced without messing up the rest of the panel.

The map box is located in the far right (passenger) panel subsection. My goal for the map box is that is be easy to remove from the panel (ie. not riveted) to provide access the the circuit breaker mounted below the map box. I also did not like the Vans map box door or latch. When making the panel I made the cutout for the mapbox about 0.063 small all the way around and made the door an exact fit to the cutout.

In order to make the mapbox so it would detach from the panel I cut off the flanges on the box and replaced them with flanges attached with #6 screws. I also am using a hinge made for flush-mount access panels. The mapbox had to be notched to clear the hinge.





For a latch I am using a push-to-open grab latch from Mcmaster Carr:
P/N: 10825A28 1-13/16" Width, 1-7/16" High, Black, Push-to-Open Grab Latch

I had ordered two latch versions, a magnetic latch and the grab latch. I opted to use the grab latch since I don't need any more magnetic fields around the panel than already caused by the electrical. The grab latch came with a plastic "hitch" for the door. The plastic version would probably be fine, but I decided to make a copy out of aluminum. I don't have a lathe, so I made it using my drill press. I am very happy with the result given the tools I was working with (drill press, files, sandpaper).





I alligned the latch so the door would be flush when closed. I used a 0.063 spacer between the top of the box and the latch. I plan to install a bit of fabric between the door and box to cover the gap where the hinge is located. I will also put some weather strip on the left and right edges.



The ball is attached to the door so that it can float just a little bit to correct for any misallignment. The retainer is a stack with 0.063 on the bottom, with a large hole (bigger than the flange on the ball), and 0.032 on top with a smaller hole.



I still need to do some cleanup and adjust the gaps around the door (need room for paint, plus the hinge has a little bit of play. Overall I am pretty happy with the installation. To open the door, you just push and the latch releases. To close you just push until it latches.

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Colin P.
RV-6A #20603
Complete 5/10/19
PP SEL / A&P
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec), but donated early in Sep'19.
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2012, 09:05 AM
flion's Avatar
flion flion is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 2,708
Default

I like the use of the hidden hinge. Aerotronics did my mapbox with a push-to-operate clasp back in 2007; I'm not sure what parts they used. But it is handy and easy to use in flight.

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Patrick Kelley - Flagstaff, AZ
RV-6A N156PK - Flying too much to paint
RV-10 14MX(reserved) - Fuselage on gear
http://www.mykitlog.com/flion/
EAA Technical Counselor #5357
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2012, 11:21 AM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,241
Default

For all of $5 it isn't a bad upgrade at all.
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Colin P.
RV-6A #20603
Complete 5/10/19
PP SEL / A&P
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec), but donated early in Sep'19.
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  #4  
Old 06-05-2012, 01:01 PM
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flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,434
Default map box, my pet peeve

ok, one more chance to rant...um, I mean, Help you builders out there.

I think the map hole can use a lot of improvement.
Build it like a radio tray, and make it a drawer. Strapped in the pilot's seat, you can then pull the drawer out as far as needed, and see what you are after. ( especially if you make the sides out of clear plexi!)
if you are outside the aircraft, you can reach in, pull open the drawer, and grab you fuel sampler or screwdriver or whatever else you need, standing in front of the wing.
I just don't get why the inaccessible hole has become the standard...it sucks!

....but that's just me.
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2012, 02:01 PM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,241
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy1963 View Post
ok, one more chance to rant...um, I mean, Help you builders out there.

I think the map hole can use a lot of improvement.
Build it like a radio tray, and make it a drawer. Strapped in the pilot's seat, you can then pull the drawer out as far as needed, and see what you are after. ( especially if you make the sides out of clear plexi!)
if you are outside the aircraft, you can reach in, pull open the drawer, and grab you fuel sampler or screwdriver or whatever else you need, standing in front of the wing.
I just don't get why the inaccessible hole has become the standard...it sucks!

....but that's just me.

mmmeehhh, Don't really need a drawer. My map box is intended primarity for....maps. Why make it more complicated. I don't plan to put my fuel tester in there. However, I am hinking about a aux audio jack inside and a mount for an iPod, don't need a drawer for that either.
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Colin P.
RV-6A #20603
Complete 5/10/19
PP SEL / A&P
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec), but donated early in Sep'19.
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