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Show us your RV-10 Panel

I don't have a ton of comments, but I do have a few questions...

1) Do you plan on using the airplane IFR (I'm guessing so since you have a 430 and a few backups)? I would review choices based on the answer to that question.
I know there is no thing as 'light IFR' but I do want to have that capability once I gain experience with it.
2) Do you already have a King Txpdr? If not, then buy a Garmin. If so, that's ok.
Yes, I have a checked-out KT-76A. Perhaps it doesn't look like I'm on a budget, but I'd rather put $1000 into something else.
3) Do you already have the EXP Bus? If so - ok, but if not then forget about it and go with either switches/breakers or switches/fuses...there are a lot of reasons - too many to decipher here. If you do have the EXP bus already-still do some careful consideration about what your plane needs for total current load and what the EXP can handle.
I already have the EXP Bus with the rocker switches, and it is too tall in the current configuration to fit on the lower panel. I see only about an inch of real estate there when the panel is screwed in. I've not opted for a larger panel. I think I'll slide them over to be more centrally located.
4) Is this a plane you're going to keep or possibly sell? Again, makes a huge difference in what I might comment on. Equipment choices can cause huge and drastic valuation differences in the plane.
It is my first plane and I plan to keep it to fly, not as an investment for someone else. Still, I do want the best ergonomics and options I can afford. Certainly there will be swap-outs over time!
5) Will you be flying it from the right seat? If so, then the EFIS location should be re-considered...and if you're going to fly it from the left seat then the switch location should perhaps be reconsidered.
I wasn't planning to fly from the right seat, but would want a co-pilot option as a reliever.
6) I'm guessing no trim switches on the stick? How about using the trim indications in the MGL?
Good suggestion. I'll put trim switches on the stick and use the EFIS indicators.
7) Why put the ELT remote in the valuable panel space in front of the pilot?
I guess I'll throw it way over to the right.
8) Think carefully about putting the Jacks there. Again that's valuable real estate for engine controls, heat cables, parking brake, alternate air/carb heat, flap switch, etc..
Others' suggestions about putting the jacks on the tunnel make sense. I know in the Warrior I fly now, the headset wires are always getting in the way of entry/exit.
9) Back to flying from the right or left seat...and the Garmin GPS. If you don't use an angle adapter, it'll be pretty hard to see the GPS on the right side from the pilots seat. Perhaps locating it closer to the center of the panel (in the stack) might locate it in a more centralized location?
Will move to center, if I keep it.
10) Is there a reason for not locating the EXP bus (if you go that way) up in the main panel instead of on the lower panel? The main panel is pretty valuable space, and the lower "switch strip" works pretty well to put switches/breakers and such.
Old-fashioned switches maybe, but the Bus needs more vertical space.
My 2 cents as usual.

Thanks so much for everyone's comments. I'll go move some things around and re-post!

Updated layout

OK, I took many of the suggestions that were made and have mocked-up a new version. See the new panel image.

It will be hard to stack everything in the middle, as I want to leave stack space for future equipment.

Where does one get an angle bracket for the Gizmo?


  • Added an electric attitude indicator
  • Moved dials to left
  • Moved EFIS right
  • Moved stack left
  • Will control the trim (and flaps?) from the stick and use EFIS indicators
  • Jacks on tunnel
  • ELT panel on right

Any additional comments?

Panel delivery

My panel arrived today. Another quality product brought to me by Steinair, after saving me after the Accuracy fallout. It is dual GRT HX, G530W, TruTrak RV-10 A/P, GTX 330 transponder, and an SL-30. I also threw in the AOA pro with a Co2 monitor and some other little options. Not sure if the picture was inserted properly so here is the link.

Now it is time to start putting it all together.

Eric Kallio 40518

...and a picture of it powered up on our bench. The new GRT HX system is really nice, and Eric ended up with a super nice panel at a decent price. Pleasure to work with as well - even though Eric faced some issues due to the Accuracy mess last year. There is also a full pedestal with throttle quadrant as well as an armrest/center console not pictured.


Stein's rescues

Maybe we need to start a list of all of us who were saved by Stein from electronics companies problems. Let's see there was Chelton (Direct to), Accuracy Avionics, OP. Did I miss any? I was one of the saved ones, how many others are there out there that Stein stepped up to the plate for and rescued them from a bad situation?

Thank you Stein!!

Gary Specketer
40274 Flying
Stein saved my bacon when I was building my 7A. I bought a "prewired" stack from a well known company who did not do a good job (quality wise) and then refused to stand behind their work. Frantic, I called Stein who talked me through my issues and helped me work it out. He probably doesn't remember this because he does it for so many of us, and he does it often. It was because of his wiillingness to help, and the quality work his shop puts out that we chose to have him build our -10 panel.

So how about it Stein, can you throw a shot of my panel up here yet?
Great Panel thanks to Stein

Well I just thought it's time to share my panel although not installed it's just a great piece of work.
I designed the layout using a CAD program and installed plexi glas mock-up to check the ergonomics. Based on various feedback and manipulation simulations this is the outcome. Stein and his team did a great job working with me to get it done.
It currently is equipped with two AF-3500 (AF-4500 ready, once they ship it), VP-200 ( a great piece of engineering, thanks Marc) Garmin, 430W, SL-30, GTX 330, PMA 8000B-MP3, CO-353, Trutrack Digiflight II A/P, 2.25 Backup Instruments Altimeter Winter, ASI UMA (RV-10) and Trutrack ADI II.

If anyone is interested in the drawings let me know.



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Avionics Panels

I have been doing avionics in general aviation for some time now. I own a repair station in Phoenix and had the pleasure of doing some work on an RV-10. Since this aircraft I have decided to start focussing my attention towards the experimental market as well. The avionics are as good as certified and the resrictions simply don't hold anyone back. If you need a panel built or retofitted I can do it way cheaper than anyone else in the states trust me. These panel you see are a snap to do and I'm some of you have felt the pain of being way overcharged for such easy work.
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Stein did not rescue me, but he certainly gave me lots of guidance that almost certainly kept me from requiring a rescue! He installed what was, I think, his first Vertical Power VP-200 in my panel, along with dual Cheltons, 430W, SL30, PMA8000, TruTrak AP100, GTX 330, Dynon D100, and the AFS AOA Pro. The phase 1 and subsequent flying have been very close to flawless from the avionics standpoint. I read about problems others struggle with, and I am so glad I went with SteinAir. I also want to say that with nearly 100 hours on my airplane, I am really delighted with the Vertical Power VP-200. Marc and his team have a great product!
Nice panel!

Nice panel Eric (Kallio)!
I would also like to know more about those toggle switches. I am looking for a good toggle switch that has back lighting for identification and a light of some sort to indicate when on.

Well, I didn't go with the pushbutton start switch. In hindsight I probably would have, just didn't think about it. I have the standard key ignition. The spot below it is for the parking brake cable.

The switches on the panel are great. They have a firm breakout force so accidentally flipping the switch by bumping it isn't going to happen. They are made by "Carling Technologies". I am very happy with the look and the feel of them and can't wait to get flying.

panel is cut

I used a router to make all my cut outs in this panel. I used MDF templates and a spiral cutter. worked out pretty good but it takes lots of care to make a good template. This is just a plane vanilla standar Vans panel like in the plan. Things are shaping up.


This how I hopw it will look.

FWIW--you don't need the large 'backup' instruments. You will use them in an emergency only--the AFS has everything you need. In a real emergence attitude most important, so if you want an 'ADI' handy, put it where the round altimeter is, and move the other instruments over to right, and move radios to left. As I see it, you only have one radio with 430, so you won't be doing hard IFR with only one radio, so putting emergency instruments to right will give you easier usage of high workload instrument--the 430. Have an aux plug with splitter to allow for handheld to get to outside antenna. Also, a second 3500 is better than the 696, unless you want to use the 696 out of the plane or as portable unit. The 3500 has weather, approach plates etc. If you want a backup, get a 296/396/496.(these units, especially 496 are better 'portable' units due to size) Also, I've found that the 'glove' box is using very valuable panel space for something you can have elesewhere (like panels on the sides of the interior pilot/copilot side. Just MHO. Regardless, you'll love the -10. Even with no instruments it is a joy to fly. lb
backup instruments

Larry hey thanks for the good advise, but I already cut the panel so Im gonna hang in there with what I have.

Ive been reading some of the debate regarding backup for the new EFIS layouts. I developed this scheme to make sure of having backup that comes from totally independant sources. Infact, Im debating now whether to use the Trutrak ADI (electric) or going back to the well proven vacuum pump. The trutrak offers more than just a pitch and bank gyro, but ,, and the buts roll on down the hall as the debate goes on. My reason for using the 3.125 gages and placement for same is to imagine what happens if, all the lights go out and your staring at 2 black screens and a black windshield. I dont want some tiny gages that are almost out of sight, I want those big boys standing right in my face. Someone on here pointed out that electric failure is NOT the only gremlin you might need to face on a dark stromy night. Software problems can also leave you blind and I have seen from experience confusion over interpretation of an EFIS can make you wish for a cross check. Ive noticed that the factory ships dont feel shy about putting the old standby right in front of the pilot. If half a sixpack is all I have, I can find my way on down the road and seek some clear air. For starters only one radio is included by design due to lack of funds durn cost cutting accountants got me.:(
Steam Gauges

I've got dual GRT's and full size AS,ALT,VSI & ADI as backups. I've found that I use the GRT's and the "backups" differently depending on the phase of flight.

During T/O and landing - I tend to use the steam gauges. On T/O, it only take a glance at the round ALT to know when I'm at 500' AGL. I also find the AS & VSI more intuitive during climb out.

Once I'm out of the pattern, the GRT's become my primaries - except during climbs and decents, I tend to use the AS and VSI.

When I'm practising slow flight, I use the steam gauges. When I get back in the pattern, my natural reaction is to go back to the steam gauges.

I don't use the ADI much now but when I get back into instrument flying, it will be good for a cross check.

If I had to do it again, I would do it pretty much the same way.
I've got dual GRT's and full size AS,ALT,VSI & ADI as backups.

Yep, me too. See post 38, and 40 in this thread.

Bottom line in all this, do what makes you comfortable/happy.

The panel is where you really get to make the plane "yours"..

Have fun with it.
backup instruments

Mike, thats a very good panel. I wanted steam gages to assist with ITO, or Missed go around. To me they give a quick read during those times that are very critical. climb, enroute and decent are pretty benign. I dont like the idea of fixing a stare at just one do it all box. I also wanted to make a bottom row like yours but the AFS 3500 was to fat.
Another one from Steinair...

Thanks Stein, Christer, Jordan and anyone else over at Steinair that helped get this project finished. With any luck, we'll fly her to OSH next year.

A DIY GRT panel for Tigressa

I just finished lighting up the panel and feeling like I want to share the joy.


The black stripe across the 2 GRT displays is the runway outside the shop - depicted as hard top instead of grass.

The center stack includes a 430W for the big brain, SL30, PS9000EX on the bottom. GTX327 on the right
and a backup stack with a TT ADI and TT AP. The GRT EIS is mounted on a swing out panel on the right.

An Aeroelectric Z-14 electrical system (2 batt, 2 buss, 2 alt) was utilized. Two fuse panels were installed
in the right footwell and only 4 pullable breakers were installed (flaps, AP, and 2 LRC3 regulators). Honeywell rockers and indicators round out the accessories.

The real key to making this a DIY panel was the Approach FastStack product and service. I simply listed the instruments I wanted and
generally how I wanted them to work. Tim Haas at FastStack configured his FastStack box and built a set of cables to
connect each unit to the FastStack box where most all the interconnections between units were made. More important, he
supplied a complete set of detailed documentation of the installation including a one page summary and pin by pin configuration.
I was left with connecting power and ground leads and a few other pigtail connections. Very simple, neat, and done with a
great deal of avionics expertise embedded the offering. I'd highly recommend FastStack for any DIY panel builder. (
I also bought all my non-GRT gear through Tim at good prices and with excellent service).

I was determined to do something other than having the stock air inlets poking out underneath the panel. I wanted the
nice outlets pictured here but was worried about what kind of plenum monstronsity might be required. Turns out
SCAT tubing makes an easy, tight 360degree loop and will connect the outlets with the stock NACA ports without a problem...
of course I'm not finished or flying yet.

Thanks to Bob Knuckolls and the knowledge community he leads on the Aeroelectiric List.
Thanks to Tim Haas at FastStack for really knowing what he's doing.
Thanks to Stein for contributing so much to the community in general.
And a real big thanks to all the builders who post and share their building efforts!

Bill "I sure would like to fly this thing in 2010" Watson
Durham NC
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My new-to-me -10 has an Aerotronics panel that was modified from a Lancair panel to fit the -10. D-100 EFIS, D-120EMS, Trutrak ADI pilot II, 496, SL-30 Garmin 340.
GRT screens and Vertical Power VP-200


Except for some "clean up" items the wiring of the panel as well as the fuselage is now complete. All the systems I have been able to test has been tested and are working. The wings won't be attached until the fuselage is moved to the airport in about 3 months from now so there are still a few systems that need to be tested then.
I have now had a chance to work with the VP-200 and every time I turn it on I learn something new. This is a fantastic unit and I am very impressed to say the least.
The two GRT screens are bright and easy to read. Of course, I have yet to fly the airplane so I will reserve my comments until I do. Suffice it to say that I like what I have seen so far and look forward to flying the airplane and get a chance to use this wonderful technology.
The radio stack is pretty straight forward with a PMA 8000B audio panel, Garmin 430W Nav/Com/GPS, Garmin SL-30 Nav/Com, Garmin GTX 330 Transponder and the GRT EIS. On the right I have installed a Dynon D-100 for a back-up instrument, this should give me plenty of redundancy. Combine all this wizardry with a TruTrak autopilot and XM weather and I should have a great setup for long IFR or VFR trips.
Ivan, your panel looks fantastic. I can tell you that I am really pleased with my VP-200. You will continue to learn a lot about it after you are flying, as well. It just keeps getting better and customer support from Marc Ausman and his team has been the best.
Your setup and mine appear to be the same except I have two Cheltons instead of the GRT's.
Very Cool!

Ivan, it looks great. I can't wait to see you flying around this summer.
Those screens sure look nice, great choice on layout too.
Carbon Fiber panel

Thank you David and Scott for the nice comments. One thing I completely forgot to mention is that the main reason for the good looks of this panel is the Carbon Fiber instrument panel available from Aerosport Products http://www.aerosportproducts.com/ If you have any questions about this or some of the other great products they make available please give Geoff Combs a call.
Looks really good Ivan! You're going to give Geoff a run for his money I think! :) Now we have to get you a cover for that EIS and you'll be set. For anyone who might be scared of this, Ivan has done all of his Vertical power wiring/setup himself, along with a good share of the avionics programming. Goes to show that it's not impossible!

Great looking panel. I noticed the Infinity grips - I'll be doing those soon, myself. How much of Van's stick did you have to cut off?


Our projects are at about the same place however I have not yet installed the sticks and grips. I was planning on the harness being inside the stick. Was there a problem or just personal preference.

Stick grips

I am away on vacation at the moment so I can't give an exact measurement on how much I cut off the Vans stick. I am going to say that it is in the 3-4" area but the instructions from infinity will give you the exact value.

In so far as keeping the wiring on the outside of the stick I didn't like having to cut/drill a rather large hole up inside in the top of the stick to feed the 15 conductor wire down through the inside, seemed to me to be a difficult corner to make. Besides I plan to make up a leather sleeve to go over the stick so the wire will be hidden anyway.
Fired up the panel

Here's my Avidyne PFD and MFD up and running and talking to the GNS430. Looks like we're flying in Kansas . . .


Sorry about poor lighting in this shot with camera phone . . .

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I powered up my Panel today, no smoke and everything appeared to work as planned. The panel was built by the great folks at SteinAir. Those guys do a great job helping plan, build and install your panel. Hopefully the links below work as this is my first attempt to post pictures.

Pat Stewart


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Thanks for fixing the pictures.
Here is whats in the panel:

(2) Advanced Deck 4500's (loaded)
(1) Garmin 430W
(1) SL30
(1) Garmin GTX330
(1) Trutrak DigiflightIIVSVG
(1) Airspeed Indicator
(1) Trutrack ADI
(1) Altimeter
(1) 406mhz ELT
(1) PMA 8000B Audio Panel

Infinity Grips
Flightline Interior

Pat Stewart
Yup, that's a pair of new G2 Odysseys. The console is just built up from 1/4 inch plywood. The recessed EFIS trays are Wearever aluminum cake pans.


The panel is actually in "modules", with each section and the console on CPC plugs so you can just unplug & unscrew each section. Takes about 5 minutes to pull the console. Theres a drop panel in the console face with heater/brake cables. That way you can pull the console without unrigging the push pull cables.
Yup, that's a pair of new G2 Odysseys. The console is just built up from 1/4 inch plywood. The recessed EFIS trays are Wearever aluminum cake pans.

I imagine that's the first time a cake pan has been used in an RV-10... Out of curiosity, why the recessed EFISs?
Lookin Good.

Aerhed, that is sweet.:D


Do you have any photos of the back side of the panel, showing the MGL units and wiring??
The recessed EFIS give more glare protection and protects them a bit. Plus it gives more hand clearance for the stick & also sets them off nicely (I think).
Mike, I'll dig out some wiring photos later, but now I gotta go install my ELT so I can close out the back today. Almost down to Fiberglass & paint now. BTW, the double row of toggles are breaker switches from ETA. They have dimmable LED's and double as annunciators (sorta).
HOw do I attach a image to the post?

Well, you dont attach like you normally think of things------what you do is host the photo somewhere on the web, and link to the image location. I use Picassa, others use Smug Mug, PhotoBucket and others. Once you have the photo hosted, you grab the link to it, and use it to insert into your message.

There is an icon above the window you type your messages in, it is yellow, has a sun over mountain image. Click it, and paste the image location in the new window.

I bow to your mastery. That is the most awsome panel detail I have ever seen in an airplane. Heck, that's better than the dash in my BMW!