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  #1  
Old 03-01-2020, 12:21 PM
David Carter David Carter is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 151
Default Looking for feedback on RV-7A Garmin panel design



Remote mount equipment:
- GSU 25, GMU 11, GEA 24, GSA 28 (x2), GAD 27, GAD 29
- GTR 20, GTX 45R, GDL 51R
- TCW IBBS 6 Ah
- Artex 345 ELT
- B&C 410H backup alternator & controller
- Vertical Power PPS
- FlyLEDs "The Works" lights

I've been working on this for quite a while now with the guys at Stein Air. I have to say that they are very knowledgeable, helpful, and above all patient!

I attended the Avionics Installation for Experimental Aircraft class last week at AEA HQ in Lee's Summit, MO which really helped solidify my equipment choices and also helped with some of the panel layout decisions. A huge shout out to the the instructor, Levi Self, owner of Midwest Avionics. It was an excellent class & he brought a tremendous amount of experience to the classroom

Please let me know if you see anything you'd suggest changing. I'm especially interested in suggestions on switches & breakers - inclusion, exclusion, placement, labeling, etc.

Please don't waste any electrons telling me I should have gone with a different vendor for any of the avionics. I understand that the choices I've made are likely not the least expensive ones available. I work in the enterprise software business & have a hard-earned appreciation for how difficult, expensive, and frustrating it can be to make systems from different vendors work well together. I get plenty of that at work, and don't want more in my flying.

Thanks in advance for any & all constructive feedback.
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David
RV-7A Slider N87BP (bought flying in 2018)
Superior XP-IO-360, Hartzell G2YR/N7605W-2X
AFP Fuel Injection & Dual SDS CPI-2 ignition
KLZU - Lawrenceville, GA
2021 Dues Paid
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2020, 12:40 PM
Ironflight's Avatar
Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,830
Default

Looks very nice - the only thing I’d have you think about is that anything you plug in to those USB charge ports is going to have cords hanging down right near the stick.....and over your legs....

Just something to think about.
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Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
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  #3  
Old 03-01-2020, 12:48 PM
mfleming's Avatar
mfleming mfleming is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Joseph, Oregon
Posts: 799
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Very nice layout and I'm staying with one manufacture for the reasons you mention.

On the layout...many people put the 650 and autopilot controller in the same spot as yours. But, it seems to me, the autopilot controller should be at the bottom of the stack so when things get exciting, one has easy reach with your throttle hand (easily hit the wings level button). Conversely, the 650 would be best on top of the stack for line of sight.

Interested to hear yours and others opinion on this.

Oh, as an aside.
Laying out the panel on a drawing program is great but try printing out all the components in actual size and laminating them. Nothing beats seeing a real life version of your creation.

Also, is your panel deeper than stock?

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Michael Fleming
Joseph, OR
sagriver at icloud dot com

RV-7 Slider #74572
Started 11/2016
Empennage completed 11/2016 (sans fiberglass)
Ailerons and flaps completed 3/2017.
Wings completed 12/2017
Started on QB fuselage 01/2018
Sliding canopy mostly completed 10/2020
Wiring and Avionics harness completed 9/2/2021
FWF Started 9/3/2021

Donated for 2021 and so should you

Last edited by mfleming : 03-01-2020 at 01:38 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-01-2020, 01:09 PM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Wichita KS
Posts: 713
Default

If it were me, I wouldn't put a starter button on the sticks.

I get that some people like them there so you can hold the stick back and not run out of hands during start, but unless you have a starter arm/disarm switch somewhere on the panel, there's a significant opportunity for accidentally cranking it over.
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Terry Shortt
AGI, CFI, CFII, MEI, A&P, Janitor
RV7 Empennage & Wing done
Fuselage in process
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2020, 01:34 PM
terrye terrye is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 962
Default Looking for feedback on RV-7A Garmin panel design

I would suggest putting a space between your light switches and your spares. Makes it easier to see the 'like' functions.

I see you are building a slider. Check for interference between the GTN 650 in particular, but your center stack in general and the F-7108 center forward fuselage rib.
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2020, 01:43 PM
N1Flyer N1Flyer is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Port Orange, FL
Posts: 36
Default Feed back on your Garmin Panel Design

David,

I think your panel looks great. I would suggest a couple of things for you to consider. 1. Relocating the USB ports to the 'edges' of the panel to avoid the dangling cords that Paul talked about would be a good choice. 2. Perhaps move the primer button to the throttle area. 3. You state you have a flap switch on the stick (mine is there and I like it.) So do you really need another flap switch on the panel? 4. If you could move the TOGA switch next to the throttle you wouldn't have to move your hand from the throttle when the time comes to go around. 5. The start switch on the stick may not be the best use of that the switch. Too many things to go wrong versus the benefits to be gained. 6. I think placing one of the spare switches between the pitot heat and fuel boost pump would be useful from a human factors standpoint. 7. The copilot disable switch is an excellent idea (I have that feature and really like it.) However, I would allow the press to talk switch to be full time active and not disabled. 8. Maybe (re)consider the Vertical Power Electronic CB System. I have it and it's excellent. It frees up lots of panel space and provides a lot more information than a popped breaker. The money saved in relays, CB's helps defray some of that cost. Good luck and enjoy the build.
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2020, 03:59 PM
RV8Squaz's Avatar
RV8Squaz RV8Squaz is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Senoia, Georgia
Posts: 894
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironflight View Post
Looks very nice - the only thing I?d have you think about is that anything you plug in to those USB charge ports is going to have cords hanging down right near the stick.....and over your legs....

Just something to think about.
I agree with Paul. It was the first thing that caught my eye. I wouldn?t even put them on the panel. Maybe put them on the side, on an armrest or bulkhead.
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  #8  
Old 03-01-2020, 04:47 PM
flyvans.com flyvans.com is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Posts: 487
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my free 50cts of advice ;-) :

"Radio Stack"
- definitely keep the autopilot panel at the top, it's the most natural and no accident that all serious airplanes (airliners, bizjets etc...) have it up there near the glareshield. you'll rest your hand on the glareshield a lot, while twisting the autopilot knobs. so make sure they are not too far apart and the glareshield also feels comfy. we have "female" velcro on it and that has been working real well, also no reflections in the windscreen when taking pictures!

- consider even moving the GTN one up and the audio panel one slot down.
we have the audio panel in a traditional "top" position, but considering how rarely we have to operate it once all is set, it even could be on a center console or subpanel in terms of priority in my opinion (were there any subpanels). you'll use the GTN a lot more.



Stick:
- i would never ever put the starter button on the stick! just simply too many things that can/could go wrong. accidental engaging during flight control checks or when getting in/out of the cockpit come to mind. or mistakenly engaging on an already running engine. breaking off starter gear teeth and so forth.

- same for the flaps, albeit a little less problematic if you really care for. i would not put this on the stick, or at least only if there is some sensible airspeed protection against deploying flaps at cruise speeds. and even if so, definitely still keep the parallel / separate switch in the panel with a nice flap handle for feel. also, consider that in a go around / touch and go, you will have to do a lot of pitch trimming with your hand on the stick, and then it is more natural and less confusing to operate the flaps with the throttle/right hand. having both trim and flaps nearby on two similar switches on the stick is asking for trouble in my opinion. under stress, chances that you operate the wrong thing are significant.

- consider keeping a spare on the stick for a smoke system retrofit.

- com flipflop and switch definitely keep on the stick, that's one of the very few things i'm missing on our airplane now that i do a lot of formation flying.



Switches:
- consider "fatter"/different style switches for the battery master certainly, and possibly the avionics master and alternator, clearly differentiating them from the light switches and all the other ignition test switchery.

- swap the alternator and avionics master positions. traditional order is battery, alternator together and then avionics master towards the light switches from left to right. i see no benefit in deviating from that de-facto standard. if you want to keep bat and avionics master together, then put alternator somewhere else close to engine stuff.

- put the primer pushbutton somewhere near/above throttle and the engine start pushbutton where the primer is currently. works real well from an engine start "workflow" perspective (assuming left seat is default PIC).

- agreeing with all the comments to relegate the usb chargers to the very corners/remote places. e.g. swap the usb charger on the left with the battery/avionics master positions.

- consider a separate PTT for the right seat in the panel in order to not having to interfere with stick pressures of the pilot flying. (left seat vice versa depending on your missions / use cases)

- another vote for VPX, CB's like that are so old school. otherwise look for an alternate placement.

- keep the TOGA button roughly where it is or even closer to the throttle.

- i suppose the extension below the air vents would be the headset jacks? consider mounting them in the invisible bottom edge of the panel pointing skywards. you then only need a label marking where they are. quite convenient and makes for slicker vent brackets and less stress on headset cables.

- i would check if the three lighting dimmer controls could fit where the passenger warning currently is (and move that further to the left or right). i do not like two "functional" and three lighting dimmers all in one row besides each other. if you have 5 identical rotary knobs side by side it's hard to make out which is which on a glance. having smaller subgroups of controls and switches (e.g. max 3) makes it much more intuitive to know exactly which is which by heart. the oil cooler shutter one would also be better placed somewhere near the ignition stuff for example. cabin heat on the other side closer to the usb chargers or other convenience items.

good luck in finalizing the design!
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  #9  
Old 03-01-2020, 07:16 PM
mfleming's Avatar
mfleming mfleming is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Joseph, Oregon
Posts: 799
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyvans.com View Post
my free 50cts of advice ;-) :

"Radio Stack"
- definitely keep the autopilot panel at the top, it's the most natural and no accident that all serious airplanes (airliners, bizjets etc...) have it up there near the glareshield. you'll rest your hand on the glareshield a lot, while twisting the autopilot knobs.........(clip)
Interesting...in all my flying, I have never had my hand on the glare shield. No offense intended but it must be a big airplane thing...
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Michael Fleming
Joseph, OR
sagriver at icloud dot com

RV-7 Slider #74572
Started 11/2016
Empennage completed 11/2016 (sans fiberglass)
Ailerons and flaps completed 3/2017.
Wings completed 12/2017
Started on QB fuselage 01/2018
Sliding canopy mostly completed 10/2020
Wiring and Avionics harness completed 9/2/2021
FWF Started 9/3/2021

Donated for 2021 and so should you
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  #10  
Old 03-01-2020, 09:33 PM
Ed_Wischmeyer's Avatar
Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is online now
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,574
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Here's a bunch more comments, and, yes, some of these are duplicates of the posts above -- I wrote my comments before reading the others:

1. Engine controls, left to right, are traditionally carb heat, throttle, mixture;
2. Electrical switches: put some spacing in there. Boost pump on the end is good because you?ll use it a lot; if you fly IFR, strobes and pitot heat will alternate.;
3. Flaps traditionally go on the right side of the power knobs, not the left;
4. Too many things on the stick ? boost pump is already on the panel. Flip flop and comm swap are questionable, as are flaps. Things should earn their way onto the stick ? things that get used frequently or need to be accessed in a hurry. PTT and trim are the only clear winners. Start definitely doesn?t belong there. Anything you do non-standard for personal taste means that you?re establishing bad habit patterns for when you fly a ?standard? airplane, and you?re setting other people up for trouble when they fly this one ? like after you sell it, eventually;
5. I?d swap the GTN650 and the audio panel;
6. Organize your CBs better;
7. Rename com1 to GTN?
8. Add a ?database upload bus? for the GTN650 and the two GDU460s, using their second power connector. That will allow you to turn on just those three when you do your database uploads without draining the battery excessively;
9. I have the autopilot servos on a circuit breaker switch;
10. My plane should, but doesn?t, have the elevator trim circuit breaker switch where it is easily identifiable and easy to pull, just in case;
11. On the left side, move the USB outboard so wires don?t conflict with the battery and alternator switches;
12. Make sure that when you turn the G5 knob, you can?t inadvertently touch anything else important, like the starter (!);
13. Relabel the GAD27 CB, give it a name that doesn?t require Garmin-speak;
14. Move the TOGA button over the throttle so it?s easier to reach it;
15. Don?t install the spare toggle switches. Leave room for them, but don?t install till you need them.

Also, send me your email and I?ll send you my avionics interconnect sheet ? very useful. A wiring diagram is pin to pin, this is serial port to serial port, and also includes all of the settings for each port.

Hope this quick pass is useful, feel free to PM me with any questions.

Ed
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