Since my last post in 2016
, I have re-done the panel from scratch. I was not happy with EFIS and Engine Monitor designs. Audio Panel and Autopilot are still the same, but have new front panels to fit with the modified "form factor". As my skills in miniaturizing have improved steadily, I realized I could/should redesign them from scratch.
The new EFIS weighs less than half, uses 30% less power, 2" deep vs. 3", more powerful graphics, starts in 7s vs. 30s. And parts cost approx $400 less per EFIS. How is that for an upgrade? Only thing I could reuse was the LCD panel, unfortunately.
The upgraded engine monitor uses the exact same LCD, but is less powerful than the EFIS.
By having the boxes build out less behind the panel, I could mount them slightly closer to the left/right edges without them hitting the canopy deck. By using even smaller horizontal spacing, and having the mounting holes go above/below the rectangular opening, I could fit five units -- with some space to spare.
Having the mounting holes that close together was a concern. I used the unorthodox approach of a thick panel and threaded holes. A 3/16" panel (6061) and 6-32 provides 6 threads. I tested with a 3/16 piece, and did multiple tightenings with different torque settings on my Ryobi -- no problem. Total weight of the new panel was still less the previous one. Which in turn was well below the original steam gauge panel.
I plan to post all design notes on a separate website (sorry, no complete software will be posted for now), and will be free to use for anyone as maybe a starting point for a similar project.
Can a forum moderator please chime in if this is OK? I don't want do drive traffic away from this site. We can still discuss designs here, but the repository of files would be on a different site.
See you all at Oshkosh. First time flying in for me, so I'll wait to midweek to arrive.
[ed. Jaw. On. Floor. Just stunning!!!! v/r,dr]