Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2013 10

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2 Unbolt splash moulding and brackets from top of containment bulkhead. Mix 14g Redux 420 and add just over one dose of flox. Apply each side of the 12mm ply bump stop to form supporting fillets. Bring in to boiler cupboard to cure. 1646.4
10 Order comm antenna kit from Europa factory.
12 VHF comm antenna kit delivered.
14 Order some waxed black linen thread for lacing wire bundles. Check length of copper tape in antenna kit. Get fin top F19 out of box 7 in trailer and check how much of sternpost F10 will need to be trimmed off when it is fitted. Mark positions of top end, centre and bottom end of antenna on inside of F10 sternpost. Check RG58 coax cable length and it looks just about right to get to the radio socket with a little bit of slack. Try to figure out best way of installing cable & antenna. I'd like to have good support for the cable especially near the soldered joint and the toroids, but I won't be able to use the pre-made glass-fibre cable clips of the type I made for the trim cable unless I install the cable before the fin is closed. A plastic duct as installed for the wingtip strobes might be the answer, but it would need to be a good fit on the toroids to provide satisfactory rigidity. Put antenna kit in box 13 in the garage.
15 Retrieve from the boiler cupboard the splash moulding with the upper bump stop now well bonded to it, and reinforcement fillets both sides. As the Europa Club VSWR meter appears to have gone AWOL, order an el-cheapo VSWR meter on eBay.
17 Linen thread delivered. I had ordered 2 types from the same supplier, but only one of them appears to be waxed. However, on a quick test even the un-waxed type seems quite easy to use for the cable bundle lacing knot illustrated in Kitplanes October 2013 (clove hitch followed by reef knot). Not raining today, so pull fuselage on wooden dolly carefully out of garage with top still propped up. Remove top and invert onto sling. Measure area between doors for a plywood cover. Although I have plenty of area left over, the 760mm square 3mm plywood supplied in the kit isn't big enough to do it in one piece, but I find a piece of 2mm birch 5-ply left over from another job that will do fine. It's quite stiff as-is, but a layer of BID each side will make it really rigid for headphone plugging & un-plugging. Bandsaw and file 6 pieces of blue foam to act as formers for BID brackets. Pull fuselage lower half back into garage and with some care and effort bring the top in upside-down. Support it at aft end on sling, placed as close to the fuselage as possible, and with a block of wood between the headrests, supporting the central rib between the doors. Fettle the foam pieces a bit more, ensuring they are slightly under the level of the surrounding structures so there will be no gap between the plywood cover and the structure at the edges. Make another blue foam former for the front centre, to ensure good support for the compass which will be hung there. Wrap all foam pieces in polyethylene sheet. Mark positions of brackets on the adjacent structure. The BID for each bracket will need to be 40mm x 100mm and I think 4 plies would be good for rigidity. Thus I need a total of 7 x 4 = 28 strips of BID 40mm x 100mm. 1648.6
18 Tape peel-ply onto the 7 blue foam formers for the overhead panel supporting brackets. 1649.0
19 Collect VSWR meter package from sorting office (needed a signature when we weren't in yesterday). Instructions only in Spanish! Scan them, OCR scan & translate with Google translate service. Seems straightforward enough. Order from All Gadgets Marine 2 adaptors (BNC socket to PL-259 plug) to allow BNC cables to connect to the SO-239 sockets on the meter. Mark out 28-off 40mm x 100mm rectangles on BID. Cut 7 small pieces of polyethylene sheet for wetting out BID and mark out a 40mm x 100mm rectangle on each of them. Find TP18D & TP18F and check lengths. Neither is short enough to fit behind the TP19 mass balance weights on TP18/6 without trimming. 1649.8
22 UHF to BNC adaptors delivered. Check what anchor nuts and rivets I have in stock against what I need for the overhead panel fitting. There seems to be plenty of TAPK33BS rivets but only 2 spare MS21047-3 anchor nuts. Order 20 from LAS Aerospace, plus other stuff to make up the minimum order value.
24 Add autopilot disconnect switch to radio panel drawing. Label it and the fuel pump switch. Check roughly what size the overhead panel is going to be, and find suitable grey leathercloth 1.4m x 0.5m and spray adhesive from Martrim. Their website seems a bit klunky for ordering, so phone to confirm price & place order. Anchor nuts etc delivered from LAS Aerospace. Abrade bonding areas for overhead panel brackets with powerfile and vacuum up dust. Mark a line on top of each former, 40mm from the edge, to show where the end of the bracket should be. Cut the 28 pre-marked pieces of 100mm x 40mm BID, plus a couple of extra pieces for plies on a couple of small areas where the powerfile accidentally cut through the pre-preg to the brown foam. Stack the BID pieces 4-thick on the marked pieces of polyethylene sheet. Mix a 60g (peg 3) batch of epoxy and pour onto the BID stacks. Paint some epoxy onto the exposed brown foam areas and stipple down the BID patches. Finish wetting out the BID stacks and apply each in turn to a prepared blue foam former. Paint the bonding areas with epoxy. For each bracket in turn, peel off the polyethylene sheet and press into place, aligning BID with marks made on edge of overhead recess. Apply peel-ply and weigh down with a lead weight. Spread a large piece of polyethylene sheet over the fuselage top moulding and clip to edges to form a curing tent. Set fan heater aft of door area with full power and thermostat 4. Should have had the heater going earlier as the temperature was quite low and the epoxy was a bit viscous for wetting-out the BID. 20C, 60% RH, leave to cure. Tent does not seem very effective as still only 20C, 56% RH by bedtime. 1652.1
25 Check radio panel drawing and add holes for latest additions & moves. In curing tent now 24C, 45% RH. I should have put some polyethylene sheet under the lead weights to stop them getting stuck, but a bit of prising with an old chisel gets them off. Take off top peel-ply. Realise now I hadn't really thought about how to get the formers out after the layups were made, but it's easy enough to peel or cut the peel-ply and polyethylene sheet at the open end and slide the blue foam out. On the 3 positions where the formers can't go sideways, the bracket layups are flexible enough to allow them to be pulled out backwards. With the formers out of the way, it's easy to peel out the polyethylene & peel-ply. Clean up the edges of the brackets with a piece of Perma-Grit sheet. Try the 2mm plywood for size and it is already just the right width at 247mm. Mark lines on each edge of the overhead recess to show the location of the plywood panel, centred on the recess. The plywood already has a slight curve so put it in place so that is in the same direction as the curve of the structure and check the length required (902mm). Mark the plywood and cut it using a hacksaw blade in a padsaw handle, held at a low angle to avoid tearing the fibres of the wood. Lay the plywood on the BID as a template and mark around it. Remove the plywood and cut out the BID rectangle. Cut a piece of polyethylene sheet larger than the plywood and lay the plywood on it. Lay the BID on top. Mix 120g (peg-7) batch of epoxy and wet out the BID. Apply peel-ply. Lift the whole thing including the polyethylene underneath, place in position between the marked lines on the fuselage top and weigh down with lead weights (on pieces of polyethylene this time) to maintain the profile. 27C, 32% RH, leave to cure overnight. 1653.9
26 After comments on Matronics Europa e-mail list, consider whether I could dispense with the intercom. Draw up a list of the features of the built-in intercom in the ATR833 compared with those of the PM1000 II. The only significant differences seem to be that the PM1000 II has separate VOX thresholds for P1 & P2, but while the ATR833 has only 1 VOX threshold, it has separate mic sensitivity controls for P1 & P2 that should provide much the same effect. The PM1000 II mentions a 1-second VOX hangover to avoid clipping between words; I can't see anything similar in the ATR833 but I would expect its more modern design to incorporate that sort of thing anyway. Send a query to Funkwerk about that via their website. Consider that it might be a good idea for the P2 PTT to have a raised ring around it to help keep the operating finger in place; it wouldn't be difficult to turn something up out of aluminium bar. Draw up the design in CADintosh. In curing tent, 22C, 46% RH. Remove peel-ply from overhead panel layup. Smooth layup edges flush to plywood with Perma-Grit block. Mark and cut another rectangle of BID using the plywood as a template. Lay plywood on polyethylene sheet, other side up, and place BID on it. Mix 120g (peg-7) batch of epoxy and wet out BID. Apply peel-ply. Invert the layup onto the polyethylene sheet and place in position on fuselage top moulding. Weigh down with lead weights. 23C, 43% RH. Check dimensions of Matronics Governor - 25mm wide by 18mm deep. A bracket to hold it should be 10 or 15mm wide. Find some 22SWG soft aluminium sheet, mark and cut out a piece 15mm x 91mm. Mark bend lines on it and make first bends in the vice and then finish off the end tabs with big pliers. Mark and drill 3mm in the tabs, on 40mm centres. Start to draw in the Governor bracket on the radio panel drawing and realise there isn't room for 15mm tabs, they will have to be 10mm, and the holes will need to move towards the centre, probably finishing up as M4 clear. 1656.1
28 Remove polyethylene sheet and peel-ply from overhead panel layup. Tidy up edges with Perma-Grit block. Check where fixing holes should go on the BID brackets and mark edge of recess with positions. Mark hole positions 50mm in from edge of panel except the front one at 40mm in. Drill holes in panel 2mm and open up to 4.8mm. Place panel in position between marked lines and drill through holes into BID brackets, dropping a 10-32 screw into each as I go to maintain alignment. For each bracket, attach a MS21047-3 anchor nut on top with a short screw and spacer holding it from underneath. Drill a rivet hole 2.4mm, insert rivet to maintain position and drill 2nd rivet hole. Remove anchor nut. Countersink all rivet holes with a Perma-Grit countersink bit. For each anchor nut, hold it in place underneath the bracket with a short crew and spacer and place both rivets in holes. Pull up each rivet in turn using a spacer on the shank to keep the riveter nose clear of the screw. Once all anchor nuts fixed, check panel fits OK. A 3/8" screw is OK in the front position, but the others all need 1/2" to engage. Leathercloth & spray adhesive delivered from Martrim (should have been Friday, but I was out at the dentist when they tried to deliver). Chamfer corners of panel slightly. Cut a piece of leathercloth to fit the panel with appropriate overlaps at each edge to clear the screw holes. Spray the back of the leathercloth and the front of the plywood with the Martrim aerosol contact adhesive. Once touch-dry, position plywood carefully onto the leathercloth, laying down the panel in a curve to avoid air bubbles. Spray adhesive around the edges of the back of the plywood. Trim the corners of the leathercloth and fold edges over and press down. Looks quite neat when done. Put a piece of aluminium bar in the lathe, face off and turn down to 20mm over a 15mm length. Centre drill and drill 1/4" to 15mm deep. Smooth and polish turned area. Remove from chuck, hacksaw off at end of turned section. Replace in chuck with some thin sheet aluminium softening to protect the finish. Face to 13mm long. Bore through to 12mm, then counterbore 12mm deep to just accept the front hex nut of the P2 PTT switch. Swivel the topslide and chamfer inside front edge. Chamfer the outer edge with a file. Smooth off with ScotchBrite. Remove from chuck and try on the switch; looks good and works as expected. Order a pack of 10-off AN525-10R8 washer-head screws from Parts For Aircraft for retaining the overhead panel. To make cable clips for the RG58 comm antenna cable, mark and cut 2-off pieces of BID about 450mm x 50mm. Lay on top of each other on polyethylene sheet, on the small curing tent base. Mix 45g (peg-2) batch of epoxy (too much, really) and wet out BID. Apply peel-ply and another sheet of polyethylene on top. Drape the whole stack on a 6mm OD aluminium tube, and weigh down on each side with aluminium bars, further weighted down with chipboard. Erect the curing tent, set fan heater at thermostat 4, full power & leave to cure. 33C, 27% RH by bedtime. 1661.5
29 33C, 20% RH in curing tent. Sample well cured, turn off heater. Running low on layup brushes so order some from Decorating Direct. Remove weights from layup, peel off polyethylene sheet and peel-ply. Smooth off edges with Perma-Grit block. Slice into pieces about 10-12mm wide with the TC blade in the oscillating saw (the bandsaw left the edges a bit ragged last time) and smooth off edges with Perma-Grit file. 1662.3
30 Reply received from Funkwerk about the intercom in the radio - it does have a hangover in the VOX circuit to prevent clipping between words, but is only 200ms. I think that would be OK, so will eliminate the intercom from the panel.
31 Thinking about panel space released by deletion of the intercom, wonder if there would be room for a collision avoidance system. Have a look at what LX Avionics Ltd offer and the Garrecht TRX2000 seems most attractive as a single unit that includes both Flarm & ADS-B. There is a similar item from Funkwerk, but it needs an external Flarm receiver. Removing the intercom does not release enough space for another 57mm round instrument on the radio panel, but on the main panel the change to the electronic hourmeter will release the hole the mechanical one was in, so that should be OK. It's slightly under 57mm, but could be enlarged to that size with care. AN525-10R8 screws delivered from Parts For Aircraft. Brushes delivered from Decorating Direct. Saw the 3/32" section out of the middle of the spare #2 Swage-It tool and mill the edges square, down to 25mm to fit in the hydraulic crimping tool. Find some 6mm steel plate and square the edges. Update the radio panel drawing as v11 without intercom, and re-arrange other items for better ergonomics. Remove intercom from electrical load database. Start to re-draw the radio wiring without the intercom.

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