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  #1  
Old 06-20-2017, 12:08 AM
WingnutWick's Avatar
WingnutWick WingnutWick is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Lemoore
Posts: 78
Default Finally finished!!! DIY new panel/cockpit upgrades!!

Hello all!

So a few months ago I decided that I was sick of my old nasty cockpit an panel that was not complimentary to my otherwise beautiful 8. I was also tired of having an unreliable engine monitoring system with multiple broken plugs. I wanted to go digital as well as change many of the things that were bugging me with the original setup. I had ZERO experience with working with electricity or avionics but knew that I could use this as a learning experience while taking advantage of fantastic online resources like this fine site to make sure I am doing it correctly and safely. The other goal was to save significant money not only through doing the work myself but also through non-traditional avionics equipment: a hard mounted iPad behind the dash with quick release connectors and 2 AHRS that pump flight data to the iPad.

In the end I designed a modular based panel (to allow future upgrades) in CAD and had it laser cut. Learned flush riveting to rivet the panel to its back bracket. The following is a list of all the things I ended up doing:

1. New stick grips. Removed the trim and flap switches from the dash and added 4 way trip switches to both sticks as well as flap control. Removed old spring aileron trim system and added electric trim servo. I used the UTRB relay board from Pat Hatch which is awesome! Also, he was extremely helpful and friendly. Thanks Pat!
2. Removed old vacuum system.
3. Installed all new engine plugs and sensors with Dynon D-10 EMS.
4. Installed front and back USB chargers and audio AUX inputs which ties into the ICS. Many thanks to rv7charlie for the audio tech help!
5. Made push button start with rocker lock switches (same as our F-18's master arm switch).
6. Hard installed in-dash iLevil 3 AW AHRS with remote GPS and ADSB antenna and connected pilot static lines. Special thanks to iLevel - very friendly folks!
7. Hard installed Stratus 2 (as backup AHRS) also with remote GPS/ADSB antenna.
8. Installed Garmin G5 w/batt backup and connected pitot/static.
9. Installed Fire Extinguisher
10. Created the quick release iPad holder with bus power and audio output with an iPad Air loaded with Firelight and WingX Synthetic vision to work with the AHRS.
11. Repainted and created my on decals.
12. And my most prized mod of all - cup holders!!!

And a few other things I'm sure I've forgotten....

End product, wild success! Well at least for me. It feels like a new airplane and I am extremely impressed and satisfied with the iPad/iLevil/Stratus setup. I am able to get all my flight data needed from the apps to include synthetic vision, flight planning, weather, audio flight/traffic alerts from the iPad. Multiple redundancy for attitude and nav information. I have not have any overheating issues with the iPad even after leaving it sitting in the hot central valley CA sun. Apparently it stays cool enough behind the dash even with the sun on the face.

I know this is not nearly as clean, high tech, or traditional of an install as most but I wanted to do something different, modular, inexpensive, easily updatable, and self created. The learning experience had been priceless and I have all you fine people to thank! While there were times (especially right after tearing out all my old instruments and staring at a rat's nest of wires having no idea what I was looking at) that I wanted to burst into tears, but I pushed through it, hit the books, and it was all worth it! Quite rewarding.

Thank you for all those who helped!! Enjoy!

Wingnut






Last edited by WingnutWick : 06-22-2017 at 02:42 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-20-2017, 02:30 AM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,252
Default

Great job! Inspiring stuff.
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  #3  
Old 06-20-2017, 03:38 AM
74-07 74-07 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 49
Default Panel

Awesome job!
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  #4  
Old 06-20-2017, 05:19 AM
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bret bret is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Gardnerville Nv.
Posts: 2,572
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I did that rout with Wing X in the 172, Hey, it works. but now its the backup to my HDX. Looks great mounted! any Ipad heat shut down issues?
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  #5  
Old 06-20-2017, 06:57 AM
jliltd jliltd is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Farm Shack, TX
Posts: 193
Default

Very nice looking airplane. Inside and out. IMHO a perfect panel for an RV8 mission profile. Congratulations.

Jim
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  #6  
Old 06-20-2017, 07:37 AM
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WingnutWick WingnutWick is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Lemoore
Posts: 78
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bret View Post
I did that rout with Wing X in the 172, Hey, it works. but now its the backup to my HDX. Looks great mounted! any Ipad heat shut down issues?
No overheat issues even when sitting in the CA's 100+ heat. I was surprised by this. Apparently with the vents and all the iPads metal behind the dash, it's enough to do the trick. I haven't even needed the reflective cover I made for it yet.
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  #7  
Old 06-20-2017, 04:31 PM
Capt Capt is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 53
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Now that looks very flash:-)
Oddly enough I prefer yr old panel with maybe a bit of a clean up, old school '6-pack' for me Nice job though, very basic display, uncluttered:-)
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  #8  
Old 06-20-2017, 08:11 PM
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ChiefPilot ChiefPilot is online now
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 1,397
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Looks pretty nice - the way you mounted the iPad is pretty clever. Do you have to launch the app each time or did you use an iOS MDM tool or "Guided Access" and have the iLevil software be always running?
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2017, 08:12 PM
Go Guy Go Guy is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Jenks, Ok.
Posts: 26
Default Upgrade

That looks great! I really like the ipad approach idea. I'm still a steam gauge guy but really like your upgrade vs the magic boxes that are on the market now that will be obsolete in less than 18 months. I'm a RV8 driver also and have been thinking about a upgrade and haven't warmed up to anything that looks as clean, practical and functional as your set up. When I make the plunge would like to ask for your expertise to shave off a month or two of head scratching.

You going to OSH this year? If so I will look you up

Rod Estep
RV8 BPE IO-360,c/s
Flying the grin machine since 2008, still grinning
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  #10  
Old 06-21-2017, 12:32 AM
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RudiGreyling RudiGreyling is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: South Africa, Johannesburg
Posts: 1,308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingnutWick View Post
No overheat issues even when sitting in the CA's 100+ heat. I was surprised by this. Apparently with the vents and all the iPads metal behind the dash, it's enough to do the trick. I haven't even needed the reflective cover I made for it yet.
Hi Wingnut,

Wow I am very impressed and you really did a good job of integrating the Ipad!

From my humble experience, using Ipad permanent in my RV10, i have seen some overheating shutdown, especially if you flying cross country for 1 or 2 hours and the sun directly shines on the ipad continuously over you shoulder, since you heading in one direction for that extended time. The Ipad tries to go to the brightest setting to compensate for the light but generate a lot of heat then over that time and it shuts down.

Since you use your Ipad as a Primary flight device, if you consider long cross countries at a time, consider passive and/or active cooling. All the modern new fancy avionics boxes has active cooling.

I humbly hope my experience is of benefit to you.

Once again, well done on the integration I like it a lot.

Kind Regards
Rudi
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