Firewall Forward

Gretz Pitot Install
Wiring Design
Drop-Down Fuse Tray
Annunciator Fabrication
Auxiliary Battery Tray
Magnetometer Bracket
AFS EFIS 1 Install
Installing Stick Grips
Baggage Area Lights
Control Stick Wiring
Trim System Wiring
Battery Connectors
PTT Quick-Disconnect
Installing Shunts, ARINC
Avionics Wiring
Switch Wiring
TruTrak ADI & A/P
Annunciator Wiring



Description of Task   Hours
10/14/07 Gretz Pitot Installation 2.0
  I had to grind the Gretz pitot in order for it to fit inside the mount tube.  I also had to fabricate a bracket to mount the Gretz electronic control module.  The pitot is designed to work with the ECM but the wires from the pitot are only about 18" long.  The wires must connect to the ECM as well as the power and ground.  I need to install the ECM one bay out from the pitot tube in order to have access to it via an inspection hole.  I riveted the ECM bracket in the adjoining bay with the bellcrank.

I decided to apply a piece of heat shrink tubing over the wires coming out of the pitot tube to help protect them when routed through the rib and around the bellcrank.

  Wiring Design  
12/22/07 Fellow builder Mike Behnke and I have been working together on the wiring design for our individual projects and both have decided to base our system wiring on figure Z-13/8 as depicted in the Aeroelectric Connection.

We also want to add an auxiliary battery for powering the primary EFIS and ADHRS prior to engine start.  Mike has done a fabulous job of combining our discussions and designing the schematic.


  "Drop-Down" Fuse Bus Tray  
1/5/08 I really liked how fellow builder Bill Schlatterer designed his "drop-down" fuse bus panel.  I also like how the design keeps the "fat" wire runs short and all the critical power connections in the same area.

I started by fabricating and drilling the hinge angle as well as cutting out the bus panel out of .040 aluminum sheet.  After bending the flanges I drilled the hinge and test fit.

Next, I laid out the 20-slot Main Bus and the 12-slot Endurance Bus (E-Bus).  I alodined the components of the tray and temporarily attached the busses as well as the D25 E-Bus Diode and heatsink.


1/6/08 I went ahead and mounted the Battery Bus and the Avionics Bus to the rib.  I also installed platenuts on the bus tray hinge bar and temporarily installed Adel clamps.  These will be useful for routing wires later.

1/12/08 I had ordered some #10 screws as well as some other hardware in order to attach the fuse busses as well as the relays so I installed them permanently. 

My Finishing Kit is shipped and should be here late next week!

1/13/08 I safety wired the hinge pin on the bus tray and put more painters tape over the fuse slots to keep out debris.  I also correctly labeled the busses.

Annunciator Fabrication

I have been looking for an annunciator light solution but decided to try and fabricate my own.  I really like the design crafted by Paul Dye.  The design can be found here.  I bought the aluminum "C" track at Lowes and cut it out using my band saw.  The display will have six lights like this:



















We will see how it works.  I cut the face first but may need to re-do as I'm not too pleased with the fit and finish.


Next, I cut slots for the dividers and glued with clear silicon adhesive.


1/17/08 I assembled the annunciator light with the test label.  The concept is sound but the face of the light will need to be re-done to make it more appealing.

  Auxiliary Battery Tray  
1/17/08 I took the day off today due to a snowstorm we had here.  I decided to tackle fabricating the bracket to hold the 7.2aH battery I will use as an auxiliary power source for my E-bus.  Thanks go to Mike Behnke for his idea to build it off the existing rudder brace on the firewall.  I will wait until the battery arrives before completing the tray to insure a good fit.

I also went ahead and installed the strobe power supply.




1/18/08 My Finishing Kit arrived today so I will be focusing on the canopy next...  
1/26/08 I alodined, primed, painted and assembled the auxiliary battery box.

2/1/08 I received another order from SteinAir of 22AWG wire so I pulled the five wires for the elevator trim servo through some plastic mesh.
3/2/08 I received the EFIS main wiring harness from AFS which includes the OAT probe.

I made a change with the drop-down fuse tray by removing the E-bus diode and heat sink and installing it on the rib.  I then placed the auxiliary bus on the tray.  I like this arrangement much more.


  Magnetometer Bracket Re-make
3/19/08 I re-made my magnetometer bracket since I have decided to go with the Advanced Flight Systems EFIS.  The original bracket was designed for the Grand Rapids Technologies EFIS.

I also ran the 18AWG wires for the strobe power supply and used my new DYMO RhinoPRO 5000 wire labeler to label the wires.  Sweet!


  EFIS 1 Harness
3/22/08 I had previously drilled the lower flanges of the front deck ribs at 6.0" intervals and installed platenuts.  Today I screwed adel clamps in each location to support my wiring runs.  I also drilled .50" holes through the subpanel and installed snap bushings.  Then, I ran the wires in the AFS EFIS1 harness.

I routed the OAT probe shielded cable through the center tunnel and behind the spar to the right wing root.  As you can see, if I want to extend the probe farther out on the wing I will need to splice more shielded cable. 

I also found that the magnetometer cable, when routed the same way, will need to be routed up the baggage bulkhead support rib and back along the top support rib.  I went ahead and glued several attach points for zip ties.

To help get the wire lengths pretty close to what they will be during final install I clamped an adel clamp to the firewall support angle.  All I have to do is follow the simple wiring diagram...

I also crimped butt splices on the strobe power supply and routed the wires through the subpanel.

3/28/08 I disassembled the EFIS Main Cable connector shell and added the following wires and pins: Pin 14 (Output #1- Warning Light Current Sinking); Pin 15 (Backup Power) and Pin 25 (Serial #2 RS-232 RX).  Right now I know I will need the backup power but have no idea if I will need the Pins 14 & 25.

I also crimped the pins and installed a DB-9 Female connector on the Magnetometer cable.


  Installing Stick Grips
3/29/08 I started by measuring and cutting 2.00" off the sticks using a tubing cutter. 

After deburring, I wired the teak stick grips and glued them to the sticks using E6000 adhesive.

Baggage Area Lights

I found some nice surface mount 6-LED lights at SuperbrightLEDs.com for mounting in the baggage area.  I was going to mount them in the side panels but Mike Behnke suggested a better location.  I fabricated two small brackets and riveted them to the small top skin support ribs.

Lastly, I went ahead and installed one of my FPS firewall penetration kits.  Although pricy, these fittings are well made and will offer the best protection for wiring through the firewall.

Control Stick Wiring

3/30/08 I started on the arduous task of control stick wiring.  Basically, I have the pilot stick with a 4-way hat switch, Autopilot disconnect and PTT.  The co-pilot stick is equipped with a PTT.  The challenge is to configure the wiring for the sticks in the center tunnel and connect the elevator servo relay, aileron servo relay, elevator speed controller, remote speed control switch, A/P disconnect and PTT's.  I finally decided to wire it all together using D-sub connectors.

I found some "super strong" hook and loop at Radio Shack that will be perfect for attaching the relays and speed controller to the cabin floor between the ribs.


  Trim System Wiring
3/31/08 I ran the NAV lights power wire from the panel to a terminal strip junction between the wings behind the main spar.  I also ran a common ground wire for the NAV lights as well as the trim servos.  I checked the continuity of the stick switches.

4/4/08 Tonight Lynne and I pulled the wiring harness I bought from Steinair for the elevator servo.  I added an additional green 22awg wire by wrapping it around the larger bundle.  We then encased the bundle in the protective covering before installing in the fuselage.

I also ran the three wires to the limit switch attached to the F-706 bulkhead. 

4/5/08 Finished up wiring the elevator and aileron trim servos and elevator trim speed switch to the stick grip.

I tested the aileron trim using the hat switch.  I used my 14V power supply to energize a buss in order to test the circuit. 


4/6/08 Today I decided to go ahead and finish torquing all the nuts in the control column and installing the cotter pins where necessary.

Next, I verified I had maximum stick travel fore and aft by trimming the seat ribs where the control tube was binding.  The Dremel tool was very handy here.

I received my "Thing" from Mark Phillips at the "Possum Works" and shot it with some primer and paint.  This thing is really cool.  It will mount between the seats and is a stable structure to step on when entering the plane so you do not have to stand on the seats.  Once seated, it has a pivoting arm that can be folded back and becomes an armrest.  Oh, it also is a double-cup holder.  More on this later.

I also went ahead and installed the voltage regulator for my LED taillight (Perihelion Designs).

I received a full-scale printout of my panel design from Mike Behnke so I attached it to the panel blank and added the color cut-outs of the avionics.  Pretty cool!

Next week I will be going to Sun N Fun so I hope to snag a few deals.



4/13/08 Had a great time at SnF 2008!  I placed my order for the new Advanced Flight Systems Advanced Deck.  I ordered dual screens (4500EF & 4500EM) with the ARINC adapter, MAP, XM Weather and Approach charts.

I also bought an E-Mag, a SkyTek starter and an SD-8 alternator.

Today I finished up securing the trim system wiring from the sticks.


4/19/08 I soldered the connectors on the two battery cables and temporarily installed them.  I am using 4AWG welding cable for my battery, starter and alternator "heavy" wire.  This wire is multi-stranded and very flexible as well as having outer insulation that is designed to be burned, stretched, drug over rocks and be run over by trucks.  It ought to be good in an airplane.

Installing Battery Cable Connectors

I stripped the insulation back 1/2" and clamped the cable in a vise.  I slipped the connector over the wire and cut 1/2" pieces of 12AWG electrical wiring and "filled the gaps".  I found that it took about 5 pieces in order to fill the connector.  I used a propane torch/soldering iron I bought at Radio Shack and heated the connector until the solder would "suck" into the wire.  I just kept adding solder until I would see it drip out the bottom of the connector.  After cooling, I added a piece of shrink tube to finish it off.  What I liked best about fabbing my own cables is I was able to orient the connectors to their exact positions.

I then installed the aux alternator relay and capacitor.


4/20/08 More wiring... I am basically taking my wiring schematic and running one wire at a time.  I'm also trying to keep all my wiring runs consistent so I can tie it all together after all the wires are installed.

4/26/08 More wiring... I received the SD-8 alternator and regulator from B&C so I went ahead and installed the regulator as well as drilled the "pass-through" for the EGT/CHT probe and alternator wires.

I also received some additional terminals so I was able to finish wiring the relays and battery contactor.

4/27/08 I crimped the connectors on the RG400 for my COM1 and COM2 antennas as well as ran the antenna cable for the ELT.

I pulled the shielded cable for the Gretz pitot indicator out the fuse side for running in the wing.  I also ran the boost pump wiring up to the panel.


5/16/08 I received my avionics wiring harnesses from Stark Avionics today.  Tony was great to work with and was able to wire the harness for all the avionics I will be installing.

5/24/08 I have to wait until Lynne can help me drill the canopy side skirts so I decided to solder the mini jack and plug for the co-pilot PTT on the removable control stick.

  Installing Shunts, Transducers and ARINC
7/4/08 Today, while sealing the panel veneer, I installed the two shunts for measuring the current from my main (60A) alternator as well as the 8A SD-8 backup alternator.

I also installed the oil pressure transducer and the fuel pressure transducer to the manifold

Lastly, I installed the ARINC box to the subpanel.  I had to fabricate some .075x.075x.064" AL angle pieces to attach to both sides of the module.  I don't have the EFIS display units yet so I can't tell if there is a clearance issue... No biggie, this box can be mounted just about anywhere.


  Avionics Wiring
8/27/08 I have installed the back panels on my avionics trays and started trying to route the plethora of wires.  I started by pulling all the grounds and connecting them to the panel ground tabs.  I then began connecting the power wires to the appropriate bus.  I am labeling every wire termination as I go.  This is a time-consuming process, especially in a shop that is over 92 degrees.

  Switch Wiring
8/1/08 I began to route the wiring for the switches.  I had to fabricate a 22AWG fuse-link for the Master switch to the Main Bus.

I temporarily zip-tied the bundles as I went in order to keep the runs the correct length and make the routing as neat as possible.  I am also labeling each termination with shrink tube using my Dymo Rhino 5000 labeler.

I also cut two large 4.0" holes in the subpanel for connector access to the two AFS EFIS screens.  I used a rubber trim to seal the edges.

Finally, I fabricated a piece of delrin material to act as a spacer and mounting block for the Gretz pitot tube LED annunciator.  I used E6000 epoxy to mount it to the rear of the panel.


8/3/08 In order to accommodate the AFS Advanced Deck EFIS screens I needed to trim one of the forward cabin ribs.  I used my Dremel tool and cut out just enough of the rib in order to allow clearance.  I then riveted a full-length section of .128" AL angle.

8/7/08 I received another order for heat shrink labels as well as extra 20AWG wire and push-on terminals.  I find that I am having to re-do many of my wire runs because I have made the runs too long.  I am now tying off the runs a few wires at a time using zip ties and re-crimping new terminals.  It is a tedious process but will look well-organized when I am finished.
8/8/08 Continued switch wiring...

8/9/08 Wrapped up the switch wiring.  Installed LEDs in the subpanel for interior lighting.

  TruTrak ADI & Autopilot Installation
8/16/08 I installed the TruTrak ADI as well as the DII-VSGV flat pack autopilot controller.  I wired the connector for the ADI and had to cut into the harness in order to tap a GPS RS-242 out feed.  This feed will drive the directional indicator on the ADI.

8/17/08 Finished wiring the ADI and started wiring the main EFIS screen harness.



8/22/08 I had a visit from two of our EAA Chapter members, Jack Ryan and Chuck Ogle.  Both of these guys heard I was in the middle of wiring so they decided to stop by and check out my work.  Jack is an A&P and Chuck has over 40 years of avionics experience.  Being the consummate host, I put them both to work soldering my headset jacks.  Thanks guys.

8/23/08 Annunciator Wiring

Today I installed and wired the engine monitor harness from AFS.  I also took some time and soldered up my annunciator lights.  These lights are actually lighted DPDT switches.  With the help of Mark Phillips, who devised the wiring schematic, I can press each switch and determine if the LED is working.

I also started assembling the landing gear.

8/30/08 Today I worked on finishing the wiring.  I had several small things to wrap up including the EI Capacitance Fuel Senders, the XM Radio, the RPM sensor wiring as well as about 100 other things.  I am waiting for a patch cable from Stark Avionics which will allow my EFIS to receive and display traffic from my Garmin 330.

I also received my braided fuel lines from Brett at Bonaco.  These are the lines that run down the gear legs.  Finally, my neighbor Don, Lynne and I put the plane up on it's gear!


8/31/08 I finished the last few wiring issues outstanding and even tested a few circuits.  I still need to finish the annunciator lights and need to research the light wiring a little more.  I still need to lace up a few more wire runs in order to make it look nice.  This is the really tedious part of the wiring.
9/1/08 I have all the annunciators working except the Low Volts and the main EFIS Warn.  I continued to work on lace tying the wire into bundles.

9/27/08 Labeled the fuse panel.


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