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Old 01-21-2021, 11:41 PM
JLuckey JLuckey is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Southern California
Posts: 25
Default More thoughts on VP

Someone asked about VP on another forum about a week ago. Here was my response. Thought I would add it to this discussion..

Power Distribution in a little airplane is a pretty straight-forward proposition. We have a small number of circuits and we are sitting right in front of the panel. Remotely-operated electronic-circuit breakers are great in an airliner, but overkill for our little airplanes. The VP systems are a lot of complexity to do a simple task.

I realize that the VP systems do a little more than distribute power, but not enough to justify the cost. Here are my concerns.

VP systems are:
1. a complex solution to a simple problem
2. expensive
3. not serviceable by you
4. if it fails it could ground your airplane (all your eggs in one basket)

I know a couple of people who have VP hardware who are "tweakers". They really enjoy configuring things and continually making adjustments (tweaking), simply for the fun of it. If that's your game, then maybe VP is for you. VP offers a lot of choices & freedom to pre-program behaviors and inter-connect things.

When it comes to Power Distribution in my airplane, I want the simplest, most robust, closest-to-the-metal system I can get, especially since I plan to fly IFR. Good old circuit breakers get the job done with a price tag with one less zero. There are plenty of systems/gizmos in experimental aircraft to "tweak" but getting power to the panel should not be one of them.
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Old 01-22-2021, 07:48 AM
rocketman1988 rocketman1988 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sunman, IN
Posts: 2,343
Default Well

That is the great thing about experimental aviation; we can, and do, build what we want...and everybody has a different opinion of how to do it...
Aerospace Engineer '88

Phase I as of 12-02-2020

Dues+ Paid 2020,...Thanks DR+
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Old 01-22-2021, 03:08 PM
PhatRV PhatRV is offline
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Buena Park, California
Posts: 381

Originally Posted by PilotjohnS View Post
It seems the Garmin G3X system has a lot of fuses/ circuit breakers for the various boxes.
How do I combine the fuses / circuit breakers together to reduce the number in the system?
I use Dynon Avionics so my setup maybe different than your Garmin equipment. I only have two electrical circuits to cover the entire avionics equipment. I have one primary EFIS circuit dedicated to the primary EFIS + ADHARS + EMS. The second avionic circuit covers the rest of the avionics including radio, transponders, ADSB, and a smaller EFIS. The primary EFIS circuit uses about 1.3 - 1.6 amps. The second avionics uses slightly less current. The other electrical circuits are dedicated to servos, flaps, lighting, etc, but I consider them to be separate from the avionics. Because of the makeup of the Dynon EFIS, the ADHARS and EMS are powered up the moment the EFIS is powered so I can monitor the engine while starting. The rest of the avionics can be powered on after the engine is running.
RV8 standard build: Empennage 99% completed
Wing -- Closed
Fuselage -- Canopy Done. Fiberglass 80%
Avionics Installation -- 90%
Firewall Forward -- Engine hung
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:51 PM
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Nihon_Ni Nihon_Ni is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 344

I spent many hours studying this subject, I read Bob Nucknolls book and I'm firmly in the "Why would you ever reset a protection device that operated as intended" camp, and I'd certainly never do it in flight without checking things out first. The only exception being alternator fields, as someone else pointed out above. I have the two alt field CBs that I can reach in the cockpit, but everything else is on a fuse accessed from the forward baggage area. My forward and aft baggage lights share a single fuse, but otherwise every circuit has its own fuse, and I have eight expansion slots between the two busses.
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Old 01-26-2021, 12:41 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,369

For those going the automotive blade fuse route, it's not a huge additional cost to use fuses with built-in LED failure indicators. These aid in quickly locating the blown fuse - look for the one that's lit up and replace it. This speed in troubleshooting is particularly useful in our small aircraft where we might have to "assume the position" in order to access and change a fuse.

One other important point for consideration. When installing automotive blade-style fuse blocks it's always a good idea to also install a device nearby which holds the fuse replacement tool. Sometimes those blade fuses can be devilishly difficult to remove from their holder; the proper tool makes it much easier.
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