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Old 12-14-2017, 08:51 AM
kaber56 kaber56 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Fairview Park, OH
Posts: 25
Default Easy software to draw electrical system

I apologize if this thread is redundant but does anyone know of an easy software program that can be used draw up my electrical system?

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Old 12-14-2017, 08:53 AM
ShortSnorter ShortSnorter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: NOLA
Posts: 165

Visio has an electrical system component in its built in templates.
RV-14 In-Progress
Build Site
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:55 AM
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rv8bldr rv8bldr is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pakenham, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 567

I used MS Visio for my RV-8 (painful). I'm currently using TinyCAD for my Bearhawk.

RV-8 C-GURV (Flying since Nov 2004) - Sold
Scratch building 4pl Bearhawk
Flying a '79 Maule M5-235C

President EAA Chapter 245
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:15 AM
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wjb wjb is online now
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Posts: 826

I used Visio to draw my schematic (24 B-sized pages and counting).

However, I was to do it again, I'd use a bona-fide schematic capture program.

There are some great programs out there (Altium, Eagle, OrCad, Pads), which I used at work in the past, but no longer have available, and I didn't want to spring for the three or four figure price tags.

There are some good free ones, though: KiCad, TinyCAD, EasyEDA, and others.

- Does a great job keeping track of all the wiring, including maintaining netlists between all components.
- Easy search of connections by user net name
- Forces you to include all connectors and other misc components
- Generates a bill of materials (often directly exportable to Mouser, Digikey, etc)
- You can build virtual cable bundles by combining individual wires into busses, helping fuselage wiring layout.

- Have to learn a new SW tool, and these tools are not easily "self discoverable"
- Have to make individual "components" for all the non-generic stuff like avionics, special relays, fuse holders, etc. This is a big job if you're going glass.
- Are constrained to their grid system and schematic presentation styles (ie, your schematic may look a bit uglier and be more confusing that you'd like)

In the end, though, the benefits outweigh the initial investment to set up the components in the system. It make tweaking and schematic management much easier in the end. YMMV.
Bill Bencze
N430WB (reserved) RV-7 #74152, tip-up. Working the baffles
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:28 AM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Victoria, Canada
Posts: 2,027

ExpressSCH is stone simple.

Example schematics here

Whatever you choose, congratulations. A thoroughly documented electrical system will significantly add value to your aircraft.

V e r n. ====
RV-9A complete
Harmon Rocket complete
S-21 under construction
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:20 AM
leok leok is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Clarkston, MI
Posts: 233
Default These were done in Power Point

The electrical diagrams in this thread were done in Power Point

The files are available for download (links in the thread somewhere) if they provide any help.
Building my RV-10 since Oct 5th 2014
Flying .. once I figure out how to pay for everything
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Dues paid 2018
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:42 PM
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AJ85WA AJ85WA is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 267
Default +1 ExpressSCH is stone simple.

+1 for ExpressSCH is stone simple.
AJ Wessels (Perth Australia)

Completed - RV6
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:57 AM
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KRviator KRviator is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sydney, Aust.
Posts: 715

Originally Posted by kaber56 View Post
I apologize if this thread is redundant but does anyone know of an easy software program that can be used draw up my electrical system?

From an earlier post of mine regarding the Digikey SchemeIt online tool:

By their nature, pilots that fly on their own ruble are always looking to save a dollar here and there. Those of us building planes are usually looking for ways to do things smarter, better, and faster. Put the two together and you tend to wind up with some pretty talented people.

The time came to finalise my as-built electrical schematic and rather than try to hand-draw it a bit of searching online found DigiKey has a free, online tool that will allow you to do any number of drawings, complete with a database of electronic components so it looks just like it came from Stein!

It will export into PDF or PNG format, save it (if you're a registered user) for later use, print and even go so far as to compile a bill of materials for their own webstore, it's a pretty nifty tool all round.

Here's the website, enjoy!

And as a rough example, here's my complete electrical system after around 6 hours of research and drawing - including the first 3 hours lost after I didn't save it... You have the right side SkyView, ADAHRS, GPS and EMS modules, an Xcom VHF and a VP-X Sport as well as 2 PMag's, with all the wiring in the plane shown on the diagram.

Once you have tasted flight you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return - Leonardo DaVinci

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RV-9A 19-8519 - Finished on 10th February 2016 after 4 years, 9 months and 19 days! The 1020th RV-9 flying.

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Old 12-15-2017, 08:35 AM
kaber56 kaber56 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Fairview Park, OH
Posts: 25
Default Thanks!

To all who posted thanks for the info. I think I will try ExpressSCH. This forum is worth its weight in gold!
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:55 PM
gear1 gear1 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Pagosa Springs CO
Posts: 232
Default Creating Electrical diagam

I was not aware of the neat programs available when I did my new Dynon HDX based panel, including ADSB in and out. However I do know how to use spreadsheets, so I used ExCel to create a plan.

On the left side of the spreadsheet, I listed all of the component plugs, then using the columns to list each component plug pin number, the color of the wire, size of wire, and any intermediate plug or connector then on to the destination of that specific connection, whether it be to another plug or to a component such as the landing light. So each connection was shown as a row on the spreadsheet.

By listing all plugs on the left side of the spreadsheet, I could easily see where a wire started, and where it arrived.

Wiring of all of the system was easy. I just decided what plug to start with and worked my way down the spreadsheet, running one wire at a time till I had all of the wires installed in the aircraft and connected.

Another advantage of this system is that it became self checking - as I worked my way down the spreadsheet list of plugs, I would come upon wires that were already installed from another plug higher on the list, and took the opportunity to double check that wire.

The system also allows for easy trouble shooting. I keep the spreadsheet on a thumb drive in the aircraft in case of problems on the road.

It is probably not the best system, but it certainly worked well for me, and I did not have to learn any new software (old dogs and new tricks....)
Craig Taylor
RV8 flying
2019 VAF dues paid with thanks
Navy A7E Vietnam era
Ret. Corporate Pilot: G1159, IA Jet, Jetstar, Falcon 10, 20, 50
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