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  #1  
Old 02-20-2013, 12:42 PM
RVZoomie RVZoomie is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Spokane, Wa (KSFF) & the 'stan'
Posts: 72
Default Panel Layout Feedback

After much deliberation a few years scheming and brainstorming, I've finally collected all the components needed for an IFR panel upgrade and laid out full scale printouts on a fresh panel. Below I have taken pictures of the 2 configurations that I have come up with, considering aesthetics and functionality/ergonomics & human factors. I would like feedback on the two layouts concerning personal preference, required spacing between components for stiffness, rear panel bracing considerations, rear space interference with the 'Z bar,' and the best way to cut it out. As a note the 2 side panels will have switches for the mags, flaps, ignition, panel lighting rheostat and small annunciator panel which is not pictured.

The first layout I thought was most symmetrical in both the vertical and horizontal, but was really cramping the vertical space. What is the highest reccomended installation of standby instruments considering the 7/8'' or so mounting strip that spans the top of the panel? (ie do many cut into this strip?)



The second layout moves the engine information over to the left, near the throttles (against the convention, but maybe a good human factors thing) but would skew my crosscheck slightly. I think this layout is less symmetric and slightly less aesthetic but allows more space between the components for cutting, installation, and bracing.



I apologize for photo quality, they were taken from the phone and auto oriented themselves. As always I'm open to any suggestions and thanks for the feedback and advice.
  #2  
Old 02-20-2013, 01:32 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,062
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What fun!

I think I'd want the flight instruments in front of the pilot. If the pilot's on the left, then I'd want the stuff used most for approach and climb on the upper left, near where the line of sight would be then.

I would never put a radio in front of the pilot, but I might place a GPS there.

Personally, and your own sense of things might be at odds with this, I'd follow the adage that form follows function. That is, appearance comes after safety and functionality. But it's not my airplane, it's yours, and you've got to be happy with it.

Dave
  #3  
Old 02-20-2013, 04:41 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
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Location: Livermore, CA
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I presume this is an -8 so the EFIS is in front of the pilot...

Is that a Garmin 300? You mentioned ifr and annunciator lights. Look in the Garmin manual. I think there is a requirement for the annunciator lights to be within some specified distance from the pilot's centerline, e.g., the EFIS. Way off to the side may be too far away.

Do you show engine data on both the Dynon and the GRT EIS?
  #4  
Old 02-20-2013, 04:55 PM
chrish chrish is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 53
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Having a fair amount of time in tandem seat military trainers, I would suggest anything you have to manipulate in flight - particularly in the terminal area, go on the left side. This way you can do so with your left hand, while the right hand remains on the stick. So, I would have NAV/COM on left. Probably GPS too. Transponder is required less, so right side is probably ok. Engine monitoring on right side too for the same reason. Primary flight instruments directly in front.

I would go with human factors reasons primarily, modified by the mounting practicalities.

Last edited by chrish : 02-20-2013 at 04:58 PM.
  #5  
Old 02-20-2013, 06:03 PM
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az_gila az_gila is offline
 
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVZoomie View Post

I apologize for photo quality, they were taken from the phone and auto oriented themselves. As always I'm open to any suggestions and thanks for the feedback and advice.
Use the edit features in Photobucket to rotate the pics...
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2013, 08:03 PM
RVZoomie RVZoomie is offline
 
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Location: Spokane, Wa (KSFF) & the 'stan'
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Post

After several attemps to post the rotated pics, they still are posting vertical even though they are 'righted' on the host website. The panel is for my RV-8, hope that clears up some of the confusion. The consensus between my sqn buddies and I was that the pilot should be proficient enough both in formation and regular flying to use either hand on the stick but I agree placing the radio stack on the LH side would better facilitate nav/radio actions. It is a G300XL, which is TSO'd but my research indicates that the specific annunciator and location is only applicable to certified aircraft. I plan on making a 'homeade' annun panel with items such as pitot heat, EIS, boost pump etc. Also I have a dynon D-100 so engine info is only on the EIS. Any suggestions in regards to cut out spacing and back bracing? Do people cut through parts of the attachment border along the top for spacing issues? Thanks again.
  #7  
Old 02-20-2013, 08:19 PM
chrish chrish is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
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I have flown plenty of formation in tandem trainers and side by side trainers/transport aircraft. I am happy to fly form with left or right hand. That is an entirely different scenario, however, to forcing yourself to swap hands on the stick or reach over to the right side of the panel with your left hand. If your cockpit is set up for right hand on stick and left on throttle, the it makes sense to organise your panel such that the appropriate device is located in a location such that the appropriate hand can operate it safely and efficiently. If you were setting up an RV 7 panel rather than an RV 8, it would therefore be appropriate to set up the radio stack above the throttle and mixture in the centre of the panel.

Here is a link to a T6 panel that shows a logical single seat panel layout...

http://www.t6driver.com/Pictures/t6panel.jpg
  #8  
Old 02-20-2013, 09:06 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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I have a good bit of time behind the Dynon stuff you want to use and here is my suggestion.

Dump the steam gauges, you don’t need them. (When I re-did my panel, I removed them and don’t miss ‘em)

Dump the Engine Information System, the D180 has all those function and more. Heck, it even records it all for analysis later. That and you may have some issues with both the D180 and the EIS pulling data from the same systems.

If you are thinking that you are worried about redundant systems, it is highly unlikely that your D180 will go south at the same time as your engine. You will be able to get on the ground and figure out any issues with the engine probes.

I didn’t install any trim indicators in my plane and don’t miss them. It is not like you can’t over power the controls if you trim isn’t set correctly. Keep it simple and light.

Also if you drop the D180 and go to the SkyView, you can forgo the transponder and a few other things, like the trim indicator because they are built in.

You didn't say if you wanted to go IFR or VFR. If VFR, all you need is the 496. I've been all over the place with nothing but the 496 and it is still a great GPS! If you are going IFR, then all bets are off but I would look for a good used 430W.
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2013, 09:38 PM
roee roee is offline
 
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Location: San Diego, CA, U.S.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N941WR View Post
... Dump the steam gauges, you don?t need them. (When I re-did my panel, I removed them and don?t miss ?em) ...
On what basis? Can you elaborate? It seems that the steam gauges are his backup flight instruments in case the Dynon fails in IMC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N941WR View Post
... You didn't say if you wanted to go IFR or VFR. ...
He did say in the original post: IFR.
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2013, 09:47 PM
RVZoomie RVZoomie is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Spokane, Wa (KSFF) & the 'stan'
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I have some pretty fond memories of the T-6, I will most likely be placing the radio stack on the left and the 396 and EIS on the right which it sounds like you prefer. The purpose of replacing the current VFR panel is to enable IFR capability, between the SL-30 and the 300XL I believe I should be well equipped. I'm keeping the 'steam' gauges not out of coincidence; in several years of flying I've had to rely on old school standby ADI's due to losing newer milspec & emp hardened glass. I only have a D-100 so the EIS is my only source of engine info at this time. There are several other more expensive routes for this panel upgrade, but I tried to keep the budget in mind and reuse as many existing parts as possible. I'm really looking for some spatial arrangement suggestions due to mounting considerations.
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