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  #1  
Old 10-17-2019, 08:44 AM
rmartingt's Avatar
rmartingt rmartingt is online now
 
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Default Panel concept review (very rough draft) try 2

Reposting from a previous attempt, hopefully with working pictures this time:

Although I'm probably a year to a year and a half from really needing to have it set in stone, I figured I probably need to start at least playing with panel concepts now so that I have the time to refine the layout, translate it into Catia, and lay out cut templates and break the panel into parts as necessary for manufacturing and maintenance. It'll also help me better visualize wire routing needs as I'm starting to lay in conduit and figure out where to mount the fuse panels (as those will be going in a little sooner).

With that said, I recently spent a particularly slow morning futzing about in Powerpoint (yes, Powerpoint... it's quick and easy for simple concept creation) and tried to figure out how to pack 12 pounds of stuff into a 10 pound bag. I wound up with about four different layouts and a few minor variations thereof; I screenshotted my two favorites of the bunch so far and theyre posted below. I was hoping to get some early feedback before I've gone down the road of detailed CAD drawings with cutouts and split panel sections, only to be overwhelmed with suggestions to change everything...

Please bear in mind--these are Very Rough Drafts, maybe one step beyond a napkin sketch. Again, I did them in Powerpoint one afternoon. Think about your first time with MS Paint or colored pencils and the outline drawings, planning your paint scheme... please ignore slightly uneven spacing or misalignment of switches, this is a draft. I'll work on precise alignment once I move to laying things out in Catia for cutting.

Concept 1:


Concept 2:
A few notes on the concept:

I intend for the aircraft to eventually be IFR equipped and to get my rating in it.

I haven't actually yet decided on Classic vs HDX; I have experience with the former and like it (single screen VFR implementation), but the latter I only played with at Oshkosh a couple years ago and found the Classic habits hard to break. I don't like that the knobs don't work like sticks; I found the interface a bit harder to use. But HDX keeps getting new features...

This concept is for the eventual full panel--it's likely that I won't have everything all there initially ("fitted for but not with" as the saying goes). IFR GPS, Com 2, standby EFIS (GRT Mini), and/or RH screen may be just cutouts with blanking panels at first flight. But the RH screen will make it in first, as most of my likely right seaters will at least know what they're looking at and be useful with it.

Switches are assumed to be TL toggles unless noted in yellow. Dashed rectangle is width for dual-pole switch.

As regards placement, the hard part is trying to pack in the knob and AP boxes (must-haves; driving autopilot through the screen itself is pain) with everything else. The SDS programmer (3.25x3.25 for the new one right now, per one of Ross's posts) takes up a fair bit of room too.

In both concepts, I placed the autopilot controls top and center like heavy iron; both occupants can reach and use it there. I looked at placing it somewhat towards the LH screen, but I still wanted to keep it to the right of the screen somewhere. I don't want to have to take my flying hand off the stick to twist knobs. The right seater can use the EFIS if need be.

In the first concept, Com 2 is the radio all the way to the left, with the intercom. It won't be used much and (as currently planned anyway) the right seater won't be able to talk on it. PTT for Com 2 on the throttle; I'm envisioning it mainly being used for inter-flight com for formation work, or just monitoring/ATIS/etc. But my bias may be from the type of flying I've done in the past; I have a good bit of formation time for someone with relatively low hours but little cross-country time and no IFR training (yet).

Second concept moves the radios to the center and puts the SDS programmer to the left, where it's out of the way (it won't be used much after initial testing).

I grouped all of the engine switches in the center, by the quadrant, so all the engine stuff is together. I haven't yet decided how to break the panel down for maintenance (I like Carl F's master disconnect idea) but one possibility is having the quadrant and engine controls separate from the rest of the panel. They won't share a disconnect with anything else and they're powered off a separate fuse block. Rest of the commonly-used switches to the left; the rarely-used stuff to the right. Flaps may or may not move to the stick, I haven't decided that one yet.

USB 5V outlets are crammed where nothing else would fit, but I could easily move those elsewhere, perhaps even to the armrest area or something else.

I know which switches are dual vs single pole, 2 vs 3 position, momentary, etc. but I have not noted it in the picture. I know someone will ask; the main and aux master are off-bat-alt.


With all of that said... thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2019, 09:59 AM
Ralph Inkster Ralph Inkster is offline
 
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You have high usage navigation/communication controls directly over your critical SDS engine switches Also the lean knob should be well away from anywhere it could be accidentally be knocked. Suggest the SDS switches & knob be relocated to far left on panel & guards installed around critical switches.

I place these controls well away from passengers and in places safe from my hands flailing around in turbulence.
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Last edited by Ralph Inkster : 10-17-2019 at 10:01 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2019, 10:06 AM
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Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
 
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Some thoughts:
- Tuck the left EFIS display as high and left as possible.
- Mount the GPS/Comm as high as possible.
- Mount the GPS/Com between the two EFIS displays using a little panel width as possible to allow moving the right display as far left as possible. This makes the right display perfectly useable for the pilot. I had to do single SkyView display using only the right EFIS for my IFR check ride and this setup worked well. I typically use the right display for EMS information and the moving map "scratch pad" - it provides simple zoom out to look for weather and such during long IFR cross country runs.
- Use a GPS/Comm unit for Comm #1 and the Dynon radio for Comm #2. No need for a second Dynon radio. For me this is the GTN-650 and the Dynon Radio. I like this combination. I prefer the Dynon comm over the Garmin GTR200.
- The controls used most are the Knob Panel and the Auto Pilot panel. Move those to the left of the left EFIS or wherever you think is best for ease of use.
- The controls least used are the audio panel.
- The SDS thing is a problem.

Another consideration is to create a "skirt" along the bottom of the panel but cutting off the bottom, riveting on a backing plate that then has nutplates to attach the top portion of the panel. This bottom skirt is where you can mount all your switches and such to allow for easy removal of the panel when needed. The simple way to look at this is when you pull the panel, what says in the plane that has nothing to do with avionics?

BTW - I have a lot of years flying with a dual screen SkyView Classic setup and figured there was no better. I now have the SkyView HDX in the new plane - and like it even more.

Have fun,
Carl

Last edited by Carl Froehlich : 10-17-2019 at 10:13 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2019, 11:00 AM
rmartingt's Avatar
rmartingt rmartingt is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Inkster View Post
You have high usage navigation/communication controls directly over your critical SDS engine switches Also the lean knob should be well away from anywhere it could be accidentally be knocked. Suggest the SDS switches & knob be relocated to far left on panel & guards installed around critical switches.
All engine-related switches would be of a locking type (pull the lever out to go over the detent) to deal with the accidental deactivation issue. With the mixture knob I'm envisioning a guard around it, a recess, or even a flip-up transparent cover. I don't want it getting hit accidentally but I also don't want it way out of the way, either--I don't want to limit the ability to fly from the right seat if desired.

That said, I suppose grouping engine switches to the side is also an option that makes use of otherwise-awkward panel space...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Froehlich View Post
Some thoughts:
- Tuck the left EFIS display as high and left as possible.
- Mount the GPS/Comm as high as possible.
- Mount the GPS/Com between the two EFIS displays using a little panel width as possible to allow moving the right display as far left as possible. This makes the right display perfectly useable for the pilot. I had to do single SkyView display using only the right EFIS for my IFR check ride and this setup worked well. I typically use the right display for EMS information and the moving map "scratch pad" - it provides simple zoom out to look for weather and such during long IFR cross country runs.
Good point on keeping the RH screen somewhat left--I hadn't thought of that. The PFD should still be easily viewable from the right seat in such a position, so that works.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Froehlich View Post
- Use a GPS/Comm unit for Comm #1 and the Dynon radio for Comm #2. No need for a second Dynon radio. For me this is the GTN-650 and the Dynon Radio. I like this combination. I prefer the Dynon comm over the Garmin GTR200.
The trick is that I might be "needing" Com 2 well before I'm ready for the GPS. The panel space saving is compelling, though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Froehlich View Post
- The controls used most are the Knob Panel and the Auto Pilot panel. Move those to the left of the left EFIS or wherever you think is best for ease of use.
To the left of the left screen would be too far, I think. I want to keep my flying hand flying and use the throttle hand (in this case, the right) for knob manipulation. It seems to make the most sense to have it convenient for the right hand. My thought in the placement above (top center) is that it's close to the autopilot controls on heavy iron; it's a common industry standard at this point and I'm used to it enough from the engineering sims at work that it seems as good a place as any, especially with an involved and knowledgeable right-seater.
I've considered one with the knobs along the right side of the LH screen but it doesn't seem to alleviate much in the way of troubles.
As the "outside the box" thought, I'd also considered mounting the knob boxes on the top of the glareshield with a closeout behind them, even more like a large aircraft. I suppose I could print them off on the printer one day and test-fit them in Dad's -6 to see how they interfere (if at all) with forward vision...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Froehlich View Post
- The controls least used are the audio panel.
Agreed, that's why I tucked it out of the way. I'd almost put it on the right side....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Froehlich View Post
- The SDS thing is a problem.
Yeah, it's rather big.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Froehlich View Post
Another consideration is to create a "skirt" along the bottom of the panel but cutting off the bottom, riveting on a backing plate that then has nutplates to attach the top portion of the panel. This bottom skirt is where you can mount all your switches and such to allow for easy removal of the panel when needed. The simple way to look at this is when you pull the panel, what says in the plane that has nothing to do with avionics?
That's definitely in the works, just not depicted here. I'll determine exactly how to break the panel up later but I'm really thinking about maintainability with this.


edit: As Mr. Bright pointed out in an email, the GPS can only mount so high before it hits a rib behind the panel. Where I have it is about as high as it can go, I think (subject to tweaking when I get to the 3D side).
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Last edited by rmartingt : 10-17-2019 at 05:52 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2019, 07:15 AM
Southern Pete Southern Pete is offline
 
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Carl has some good points.
I dislike switches at the bottom of the panel as I kick them when getting in and out, or my trouser leg hangs up on them.
I would put all the little used switches (once or twice a flight) at the top of the panel, no danger of inadvertent operation.
Anything that is used often or needs to be accessed quickly (flaps, fuel pump, landing/taxi light, AP disc, trim disc, smoke on, etc) should be sited close to the throttle for ease of use.

I would keep the large screens as close together as possible, perhaps a GTN650 width apart, as you may end up looking from one to the other quite often.

Pete
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  #6  
Old 10-18-2019, 08:48 AM
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sahrens sahrens is offline
 
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There are two ribs supporting the panel, how does their locations affect your design? Sufficient space behind the panel for monitor depth and location of the rib attaching screw.

Recommend you print your screen design full-size and tape it to your blank panel. Sit in front of it and see if you really like the layout.
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:32 PM
Moshonsk Moshonsk is offline
 
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I'll second the question with respect to the ribs behind the panel. How does one get an EFIS screen up as high as possible without the rib interfering with the back side of the screen? Does the rib get modified in some way to allow it to clear?
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  #8  
Old 10-18-2019, 02:43 PM
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dlloyd3 dlloyd3 is offline
 
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In a year and a half, there will be new products and old will go away. I had the Skyview Classic and it was great but go with the HDX as Dynon will continue to improve that product until they introduce something new. Since you plan to have an IFR panel at some point, today most active IFR airplanes have an ILS receiver. Those same airplanes would also have a nice audio panel. I would suggest the PS Engineering PAR200B audio panel with intercom that uses a Trig remote mounted comm radio That and a single Dynon screen with all the Dynon EMS, ADSB in/out, transponder, knobs and buttons will take care of your VFR needs initially. Later as you upgrade, either a Garmin 650 or 750 as the budget allows or an Avidyne 540. That upgrade would take care of the IFR requirements, approaches, ILS, and second comm.
When I built my RV7, I put one 7" screen in front of me, another in front of the co-pilot. That second screen was a total waste of money, I could not use it way over there. I was out of my scan. Later I redid the panel to move that screen to the center, just above my radio and audio panel. Used it all the time there. I did like having the second screen displaying a map with traffic while the primary screen was displaying an approach plate. Someone did point out they liked a display in front of their almost always there co-pilot but my wife was not interested. Print a full size screen, do some measuring and tape it to the opposite side of the next plane you are in. Is it in your scan? Can you use it? Can you read it? Is it worth $5k to have it way over there in front of someone else?
Needs change. Maybe you will not want to bother with an ILS receiver a couple years from now. I have nothing against the Garmin 175/355/375, in fact one is going in my Mooney along with a PAR200B. But I do have another nav/comm with ILS capability.
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2019, 06:02 PM
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jcarne jcarne is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmartingt View Post
edit: As Mr. Bright pointed out in an email, the GPS can only mount so high before it hits a rib behind the panel. Where I have it is about as high as it can go, I think (subject to tweaking when I get to the 3D side).
That is correct, if you look at my build log here and where the top radio stack tray is (IFD-440) it is as high as it will go. I have about 1/4" clearance between the rib and back of the tray.
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  #10  
Old 10-18-2019, 06:45 PM
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wjb wjb is offline
 
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Note: if you're using the Van's .dxf for the panel outline, it is the panel UNBENT. The actual panel vertical height is about an inch shorter on the bottom once the L bend is formed. Double check the height of your physical panel and the .dxf to be sure.

I got burned by this.
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