Monday, April 30, 2012

WH-00036 has pins swapped!

This information is incorrect. The pins are in fact not swapped but the electric diagram is not labeling the switches correctly. See this post for details.

Just a head's up to fellow Skyview Retrofitters.
The conversion harness WH-00036 has the PTT pins swapped. I am the second builder who discovered this, so there might be more out there. When you have hooked up your harnesses you can check the easily accessible Fuselage end. Use an Ohmmeter if you're in the building phase and connect one lead to ground and the other should touch pin 3 on the Fuselage plug. When pressing the Pilot PTT the Ohmmeter should show close to 0 Ohms. Make sure you have the PTT ground really connected to ground (I hadn't yet). If the Ohmmeter doesn't change, then press the Co-Pilot's PTT and it should trigger if your pins are swapped.
Verify this again with pin 1 of the Fuselage plug. This time, the correct PTT should be the Co-Pilot one. The pins are swapped if it triggers when the Pilot's PTT is pressed.
See my post on VAF to catch up with the rest of the thread.
To fix this you can open the Fuselage plug and swap the pins 1 and 3 and you're done.

Taming the Monster

I took some time today to further tame the harness monster that was spread out all over the tunnel area. With the help of some longer, stronger cable ties, I eventually prevailed.

That is except for two wires that will control the little cockpit light which seem to be way too short to even make it into the bracket that is supposed to lead the wires all behind the rudder pedals. I will see later if I can get enough wire length out of it to attach it to the main harness of if it is bound to route straight down like it is right now.
My favorite pilot came by again to see how I was doing.

His kids are still living at home on his expense and so he had to leave pretty soon to get more food.
In the meanwhile, I was busy adding some more snap bushings to the tunnel to accommodate a static line going to the panel base and an AOA line going to the left wing.

The reason I split this into two bushings is that I had to drill mainly by hand, turning the step drill with my fingers and some pair of pliers. Also the two lines split in the tunnel to go on each side for better clearance with the flaperon mixer.
Then aft tunnel was easy as access was much better. Here I combine the two lines in one bushing.

And finally I added two snap bushings in the existing holes in the right aft bulkhead flange. I will route pitot and AOA line on the right side to the ADAHRS and run the static to the tee on the left side. I will add a tee in the center above the ADAHRS just as 42D is asking for.

The snap bushings on the left side leading to the wing root are quite full but I checked and verified that a 1/8" OD line clears nicely without pressure. I will route the AOA line next, while waiting for the other materials to arrive.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Catching Up With Old Skeletons

Today was a day to follow up where I had long left the road. Section 31 to be precise. This is where all the the D-180 wires were put in. I left off when the APDC switch was supposed to be installed because this could not get replaced without cutting wires and so I put a big marker in there to remind me that I had unfinished business on this page.
So I hooked up the APDC switch but I didn't put next to the throttle control but will put it in the left panel in a more convenient location. Right now it's hooked up and just attached to the harness. When I get my F-00028 panel from Van's, I will cut the wires and install it in its final location and then connected the molex connector.
Another unfinished business was the little retainer that is supposed to tame the wildly growing wires and hold them to the skins while they travel trough the rudder area of the tunnel.

There still were wires in the panel area that didn't get connected to a D-Sub connector. They all referred to the tunnel harness and were the PTT switches, the Music wires and the trim harness P30.

Finally, I could put the backshells on the Optional and the Tunnel connectors.

Then the ELT bracket got riveted in. No problems there, thanks to my pneumatic squeezer.

Then it was time to jump back to 42D and pull the wires back into the tunnel. A task I dreaded because of the inevitable mess it would create under the panel base.

Looking good up on the panel base. Now for a look underneath....

Both conversion harness were connected and routed through the cushioned clamp for now. I'm not sure if there's room in it for more, so I connected it to the panel base again. We'll see in 42C if this was premature.

A professional pilot came by to investigate if my activities on the patio were any serious threat to his kids. As a matter of fact, they sound as if they are getting pretty big and I have a feeling that he was trying to lure them out of the nest to experience their first flight (and get their own food).

In the meanwhile, I prepped the mess under the panel base for a little reorganization. I taped the bundles together that had about the same excess length.

With a lot of cussing and cursing, I worked my way into the tunnel and started rearranging the wire bundles and put the first cable ties on. There is actually not that much extra wire that I could loop it as the instructions in 42D had suggested. Looks like I will have to improvise on this ...

Anyway, I grew tired bending in awkward ways to get to these wires, so I called it quits for today. More fun tomorrow, I'm sure.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Magic Bus

After getting over my mishap from yesterday, I started early to enjoy the cooler temperatures of this weekend. I prepared the APDC switch for the eventual cutting of the connected wires and the add-on of a Molex connector.

I didn't cut or install it yet as I want to move the switch from its intended position on the center panel to above the Skyview display. I think it will be easier to get at than trying to hit a button hidden between two large levers. The intended spot of the switch is much better used for a fuel pump switch that will only rarely be used and never in flight.

Anyway, more than marking the wires wasn't really appropriate right now, so I moved on to inserting the wires of the second conversion harness. This is the bundle of WH-00036 and that one doesn't end at the wing split-off but goes all the way to the back where the ADAHRS will sit. These wires are obviously the power supply and the magic Skyview bus.
Unfortunately, this wires bundle cannot easily be installed beyond the point where the two new snap bushings were installed. As it has to go through the tunnel those retainers had to get loosened up a bit.

Just enough so the bundle could slide through. I taped the bundle on the tip and then every foot or so, just to keep it tight while pushing it through the openings.
Here it's coming through.

That went all well until it reached the main bulkhead, right behind the flap handle. This is the worst bushing of all of them. It's already very tightly filled with wires and it's in such a bad location that you cannot get a hand or two fingers to it to help the bundle through.

With the help of some big HF tweezers and a pair of needle nose pliers I got it pushed in far enough so I could grab it from the other side reaching through the service holes and pull it through. After that point it's fairly easy.

I pulled the bundle through so I could focus on the aft part of the job. All the following bushings are fairly easy to access and not too tightly filled. By the way, I'm really glad I removed the obsolete bundle that connected the magnetometer before. These extra 4 wires would have made this job much harder.
When you get to the last bushing, it gets a bit tricky again. It's tightly filled and hard to access again. This time, the servo for the ailerons is blocking your hand from pulling the wire through from the rear. At least until you get about 2-3 inches pushed through.

I finally prevailed - with the help of the tweezers again - and pulled the rest of the wire through to get it tightened up. Failure!

Look closely and you'll see that the bundle went on the upper side of the fuel line and not below it like the rest. So I pulled it out again and did it correct the second time. It was easier as I was still warm using the tweezers.

Here you see the wire pulled through, along with the main tools to finished the job.
One of the good things of crawling so deeply into the guts of the airplane is that you get to see things from an unusual angle. So unusual that you might to see stuff that surprises you. Like this one here:

No, not the tree! The back support bar! Look closely and you'll find a whole bunch of rivets missing. That explains why this piece always felt a little soft when used as a weight support for my body getting in and out of the boat.
I flipped the instructions back to where this was supposed to get done.

Also, I noticed that Dave put the piece with the holes in covering the flange. I couldn't determine that precisely from the instructions and put it in how it fit better. I think this might be wrong, but I'm not sure if it really makes a great difference. Depends on what sideways forces this part would have to hold.
It could get fixed by drilling out a bunch of rivets but I'm not convinced that I'm going to do that yet.

Moving back to WHB-00036 which just got installed. I found that one wire RED/WHT had to get isolated and pulled back to the main bulkhead tunnel. This wire is supposed to get routed along the ELT phone wire and probably is some sort of ELT hook-up or future extension.

Once it's in the gear leg tunnel it gets routed upwards through the bulkhead and then has to travel through the wire hose to the right side. Good I left my threads in place, so pulling the wire through the hose was really easy. Here you see the wire connected to the rope with some blue tape.

Guiding the wire into the hose until it doesn't snag on any edges anymore and then just pulling it through until it shows up on the other side.

This wire got a little splice crimped on but got not connected to anything yet, so it just waits there for final cleanup for now. Back to the WH-00036 harness. Those bus and power supply wires had to get connected to the D-SUB 9 plug that we had relieved from its connections the other day.

That didn't take long at all. Then on to the only wires left back there. The ones from the OAT probe. The shielding and a red wire get cut off and covered with heat shrink tube and the two wires left get crimped on to WH-00008, which is the little plug with the short wires coming out of it.

That was it for WH-00036. Back to the wires I had left from WH-00026. They got routed to the wing split-off point but then I didn't follow through with them. One of them was supposed to replace the power supply to the 12V power outlet. This one is called P350 and it was kind of hard to find and isolate. It's just the shortest white wire on that harness that's not connected to anything. I verified it by tracing the wire back to the plug, its pin and checking it with an Ohmmeter. Then I labeled it, crimped on the spade connector, hooked it up and removed the obsolete previous wire that went through the grommet to the front of the fire wall, awaiting an inline fuse holder and a hook-up to the battery that will never happen now.

Only 4 wires left. Two of them were easy. They are uniquely colored in ORN/BLK and run to each side of the plane and get tie-wrapped to the headset plugs and their ends get heat shrinked. I found that odd that they don't connect to anything but get assigned to a hook-up place close to the headsets, so I studied the electric diagram again. I had a hunch .... and I was right. These two wires are carrying 12V power supply to the headset plug areas. They are fused with 5A and they are going to pin 30 on the Options plug which is called Audio Power. So to power your Noise Canceling Headset from your ship's power supply, just identify the necessary plug and hook it up to those wires and done. How's that? I love it!

Also notice the two white thicker wires that leave the seat pan area in the picture to the left. They cost me some time digging in the diagrams again. According to the plans I now know that they are supposed to be YEL/RED which they are clearly not. They have little tags on them at each end that identify them as WH-L456 and -L458. To make a long story short, they are the nav light power supplies which should get routed to each wing electrical connector to get hooked up in the retrofit action that will allow you to choose between using the strobes and nav lights together or just the nav light without the strobes.
I routed them but as I cannot get to the left side at this time, I didn't do anything else.

That concluded a successful day in the shop. I really appreciate that Van's has released the electrical diagrams! I can read them and it makes all the difference between guessing and knowing. I prefer the latter, no doubt!
Tomorrow I will try to continue in section 31 and finish more wiring work from the previous D-180 layout. Then I might be able to close up those old plugs and finish the retrofit work in the panel area.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Left Panel Replacement

I so messed up my new left panel for Skyview tonight! I came home from work and I was considerably tired but wouldn't want to to admit it. Instead I wanted to get some more hours in the shop done and I picked the wrong part to mess with. Something that couldn't get fixed easily ...
I grabbed the left panel piece, clecoed the angle to it and thought I used the cutouts in that angle to open the holes for mounting the Intercom unit in that place. WRONG!!!!

This picture just shows the markings I put on before drilling. The angle is definitely the wrong template to do this. Look at the right panel if you want to see what really is needed.
Now that I messed this up and am waiting for F-00028 to arrive from Van's (this one is the real SV panel that already has the cutouts in it), I can tell you how to do it right. You only drill the two #30 holes from the angle into the panel. Then you can use either the real front plate that came with the intercom to cleco it on, using the drilled holes, or you use the right panel. Either way, the two #30 holes are your reference, nothing else.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Confusing Rewiring

I came home early from work to get a good move on the rewiring that was coming up. It didn't result in getting a lot done, though. I spent more than an hour trying to make sense out of the description on 42D-20 step 5 and looking at the actual WH-00026 wiring harness. The wires referred to in the description were nowhere to be found on that harness.
Finally, after using the search function on VAF and reading into some of the posts this started to make a little sense. I dug back into the box with all the wires and devices of the Avionics Kit and I found a bag I hadn't paid too much attention to before. It was the WH-00026 FIX-1 which contained the wires mentioned in step 5 and they had crimped the pins that go into the D-Sub plug. Nowhere in the manual had it mentioned that the harness needed an update. Allegedly there is a freshly revised 42D section available for download on Van's website but a brief glance at that page did not reveal major changes. I'll print out the whole section tomorrow and then see page by page if there are any changes.

Notice the FIX-1 wire bundle on the left side in the picture. The WH-00026 harness is on the top.
Finally, I was back at doing actual work. In this case rewiring the headset harnesses from both sides into the WH-00026 conversion harness. This required the wires of the headset harness to get spliced to the wires from the FIX-1 harness. In the following picture you can se that I made a mistake. I connected the shield wires first, they are striped black and white. For these you were supposed to use the two splices that have transparent plastic around them. You can only figure that out closely investigating Figure 2 and counting the splices in the bag that FIX-1 came in. They are slightly larger than the red ones. I don't think it's a problem worth correcting, so I left it as is.

I did better when connecting the green and white striped shield wires.

The next step was to then connected the signal carrying wires from each headset side to the harness. Here you see the harness half way down the road.

After crimping those splices on it was on to the other side and inserting those pins in the right holes on the D-Subs.

One pin had to get inserted in the Autopilot plug, the rest into the Options plug. Thanks to the snap lock on the plug covers this all went fairly easy. Make sure you have a magnifying lens handy when identifying the right holes in the back of the plugs. You don't want to use the extraction tool on all of them.

With everything connected I inserted the additional wires of that harness into the tunnel and routed them through the new snap bushings. I also cut off the two wires related to the lighting kit. I'm not sure why but I am following the instructions to the word. The ones I cut where yellow/green and purple/yellow.

Finally, I pulled out the old Tunnel harness (4 conductor wire going all the way back to the tailcone) that is not supposed to get used anymore. I followed the wires all the way to the Tunnel D-Sub plug and removed the wires from the plug. This removal of wires from the old plugs is the reason why I haven't put the backplates on the D-Subs yet and probably will hold off on until I finished section 31/31A which deals with this stuff. I want to make sure, I shrink the heat shrink tube on the correct amount of wires.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Adjusting The Dsubs

After looking at the tailcone for a while and getting a better understanding what Van's wants me to do there, I decided to hold off for a bit on the whole ADAHRS changes. The reason is that I want to also route the plumbing for an AOA tube as well as running a static line up to the panel base for a backup steam gauge pair of ASI and ALT instruments. I have orders with various vendors pending that contain all the small parts I need to put this together and I rather do this job in one session than stretching it out over multiple ones.
So I went along and drilled the big holes for the snap bushings that will route the additional wiring in the front tunnel bulkheads.

I closed those lightening holes so the debris wouldn't fall down where I couldn't vacuum it.
Then I started playing with the pin removal tool for the Dsub plugs. What an ordeal! I practiced on the AP74 plug that will not be used and got quite a good hold of it after a while. This worked pretty well until I got to the step where I had to remove all the pins from the 9pin Dsub plug that connected to the magnetometer in the tail cone. The important wires for the OAT were so thin that the tool caught on the pin rim instead of passing it. I actually broke one removal tool in the process before calming down and working it lighter but persistently with the backup tool I had.

Eventually I prevailed and got all the pins out. I might pull the twisted 4 conductor cable out as they said it wasn't used anymore. I want to open up the crowded snap bushings as much as I can. And, the extra weight is just dead weight anyway.
I also cut off the AP74 harness and sealed the wires with heat shrink tube.

More fun tomorrow, I guess.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Panel Base Retrofitted

I finished all the metal work today that was necessary to retrofit Skyview. The last steps consisted of going back to an earlier page that I had jumped over and to install 9 nutplates on the flange of the panel base. In the center there were 6 nutplates to be added that previously just had #30 holes for rivets in them. So the task required to widen the holes to #27 so a #6 screw would easily pass. Then draw a center line through those holes that should help positioning the nutplate attach holes.

Then a screw was used for each nutplate to hold it to the flange and I also used a tight clamp to support the nutplate in its position while drilling a #40 hole, using the attach holes as a drill guide. Once one cleco was in, the second hole was cake walk.
This had to get repeated 12 times until all the new holes were added to the flange. Followed by deburring and dimpling the newly drilled holes (as well as the nutplate attach holes) and then rivet them in.

And then finally I riveted in the com support angles and the center panel brackets. This concluded the retrofit metal work on the panel base. Tomorrow, I should be home earlier so I don't have to work into the dark and I will need the time to do the rerouting work of the static line in the tailcone.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Center Panel Brackets

After sweating my rear end off in the heat of the past weekend working on the patio, I was much obliged to see that the following steps were easy to do in the cool of a workshop with a running A/C.
The new brackets for the center panel, aka com support had to get some shiny new nutplates. This and the deburring took a while but because of said coolness I didn't mind.

After a bit more deburring of the new triangular shaped com supports, that will replace the ones I drilled out yesterday, my evening in the workshop was done.