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Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2013 12

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2 Finish numbering wires in all the circuit diagrams existing so far, apart from the main circuit & trim which still have some outstanding. Note that maybe I should have detailed diagrams for some sections such as the regulator, crowbar, 12-24V converter, etc to ease the pressure on space for labels in the main diagram. Reply to water-jet cutting firm reminding them of their proposal to use a hand-held dot-peening machine for the lettering. Print out all diagrams and wire lists. Cross-check them, flagging quite a few errors & omissions. Correct all source files and add a few wire labels to main circuit. Water-jet firm replies saying their insurers won't let them do anything for aeroplanes without an extra 20k premium, so that's the end of that avenue!
3 Do more searching for water-jet cutting and find there are 2 firms in Gloucestershire. Contact both and ask for quotes. Search for other anodizing firms. There's one in Tewkesbury which quotes 93 + VAT, another in Manchester quotes 75, but Oliver of Metal Finishings Ltd in Dorset offers 25 for both pieces and could do a same-day service. Even adding in the fuel for a car trip makes that cheaper than the others. Looking for laser etching/engraving turns up a firm in Oxfordshire, so send them a request for a quote.
4 Laser Engraving & Design (near Wallingford) replies saying they can work from PDFs and that they did some work on an RV8 panel that was featured in Light Aviation July 2011. Water-jet cutting firm (Herbert Phillips of Toddington) confirms that they can use my workpiece by cutting the outline in another piece of metal and dropping mine into that shape.
5 Take radio panel to Herbert Phillips for water-jet cutting. When the outline is cut in a large offcut of aluminium, mine won't quite fit into the hole created. Some of the curves don't seem to be quite right - did I measure the co-ordinates accurately enough? Another run around with a slight offset gets it nearly right and a few strokes with a file eases it enough to fit. Cutting all the 68 holes does not take long and costs 35. Realise afterwards that the outline in my DXF file was a piece-wise linear approximation to the curve rather than a spline so it would have been a bit tight anyway. Scan the flight instruments aluminium panel IM01M in several A4 chunks and assemble with DoubleTake. Adjust colours & levels with GraphicConverter to leave only the panel as a dark shape and erase a few remaining shadows. Import the TIFF into a CADintosh file and start to draw up the outline.
6 Can't find the July 2011 Light Aviation for the piece about the laser-etched RV8 panel, so request a copy from LAA office. De-burr radio panel holes, which are all quite rough-edged from the water-jet cutting. Position it on the instrument module F14 and drill through the fixing holes 5mm. Attach anchor nuts to back of holes using temporary screws. Drill through rivet holes from back 2.4mm, using Tight-Fit drill kit extension shaft. Open up holes from front to 2.8mm. Countersink deeply to accommodate the short grip length of the TAPK33BS rivets. Set all rivets using the spacer on the shaft as usual. Place aluminium panel in position and trace the position of all the holes onto the face of the module. Referring also to drawing of instrument layout, draw cutting lines around marked holes. Start to cut along the straight lines with the oscillating saw, until it runs out of charge. Collect up all the instruments etc for the radio panel and try fitting them. Most fit OK, but fettling is needed for some. The holes for the MGL Stratomaster instruments need most work with the scraper as the unit front flanges are actually 57.5mm instead of the expected 57mm; obviously I had never measured them! The hole for the UMA fuel pressure gauge also needs slight easing to make sure it will fit OK after anodizing. The toggle switch holes need slight attention from the taper reamer. Most instruments come with screws but the Digitrak DT2 (tapped 3/8" deep) and the UMA fuel pressure gauge (through-tapped holes) need 6-32 screws. The 2-56 countersunk screws for the trim switch and indicator are not in the servo box as expected, although the decals are still there. Find 4 pan-head screws & nuts from stock that will do for now. Trim the flanges of the aluminium bracket for the governor, clamp it lightly in place with adjusting screw central in access hole, and drill through 2.8mm from front. Find some M3 screws, nuts and lock-washers and attach. The cable holes do not line up with the GPSmap 296 power and antenna leads and will need some easing to the right. Also the external power lead touches the mounting bracket; don't know why I didn't notice that before, nor why Garmin arranged it thus - using external power is the situation when the mounting clip is most likely to be needed. Oscillating saw battery now charged so unplug charger. 1693.8
7 Light Aircraft magazine July 2011 arrives. The RV8 panel looks good; I won't need the initial layout and cutting as mine is already done, just the laser etching. Do some more work on the main panel drawing in CADintosh.
9 Phone Metal Finishings Ltd to check if I can bring my panels for anodizing this Thursday, That's OK, but for a same-day service they will need them by 10am so I'll have to start early! Finish off the main panel outline and holes in CADintosh and add some of the inscriptions. Need to check size of mag switch guard so offer it up and find the holes don't match those in the panel. File the panel holes a little outwards to fit and de-burr edges. Fit mag switches and guard, also starter switch and guard. Finish cutting straight lines around radio panel cutout on instrument module F14 with oscillating saw and finish corners with padsaw to remove central waste piece. Offer up panel with everything mounted. Some relieving needed in a few places. File off some offending areas and re-check. Repeat a few times until satisfied. Earth tag on trim isolator switch is a bit close to the floor of the module so needs to be bent back a bit to allow room for a connector to attach. Otherwise, everything fits pleasingly well. Fit panel to module with temporary screws. Bring main panel inside, check location of text for mag switches and put that on the drawing. Order some stainless countersunk 2-56 screws & nuts, and some stainless 6-32 screws, from ModelFixings. Order 3 more switches with green LEDs plus some wire from Parts For Aircraft. Check fit of LEDs in main panel; not as tight as I'd like, maybe a drop of adhesive (cyano?) would be worthwhile. 1694.9
10 Remove radio panel from instrument module F14. Remove GPS unit from mounting clip and file the cable openings to allow the cables and connectors to fit without fouling. Needs several iterations to get a satisfactory result. Also much care taken to keep swarf away from the other mounted instruments! The power cable, although fine in the mounted position, still rubs against the mounting clip a bit while inserting the GPS unit into the mount, so file the mount a tiny bit to make mounting easier. Re-fit the radio panel to the instrument module F14 and about to take a photograph of it when I discover that the camera case has been gnawed by some rodent! It hasn't actually eaten it as there is a pile of chewed pieces. There is no sign of droppings so not sure if it is a mouse, rat, or squirrel. Check around other potential chewables such as leather gloves and especially the control-column boots, but can find no other evidence of attack. All wire appears untouched which is a great relief. Take the boots and camera inside the house for safety. Do some research on traps etc and ask Cliff's advice on the likely culprit and the relative effectiveness of preventative methods. Will have to get some traps, and probably should have a good clear-up to check for other possible damage. 1696.7
11 Wire and switches delivered from Parts For Aircraft; unified screws delivered from ModelFixings. Remove all instruments from radio panel and re-check for burrs anywhere. 1697.6
12 Drive to Ferndown Industrial estate with Dorothy and drop off aluminium panels at Metal Finishings Ltd about 10:00 for matt-black anodizing. Go for a walk at Durdle Door and return to pick up finished panels at 15:40.
13 Send e-mail to Laser Engraving & Design with final drawings, asking about turnaround time & if I could drop the panels in on Friday 20th (next convenient free day).
14 Create a CADintosh drawing for the GR6 regulator and crowbar interconnexions and start to number the wires. Consider again the terminal posts for commoning the wires each side of the master switches. Although I spent some time in making them, I've since seen an approach elsewhere that could be better - multiple screws tapped into a solid busbar so that all wires come out in the same direction. That would allow much neater wiring layout as well as making it easier to attach (and detach if necessary) individual wires. The terminal posts would require some care in the sequence and angle of assembly of the terminal stacks to avoid fouling. Order some flat bars in brass and copper from GLR Distributors Ltd Kennions.
16 Draw up the busbar idea in CADintosh. Decide that M4 would be big enough for the terminal screws (as some of the switch terminals are smaller than that anyway) and order some suitable ones from ModelFixings. The area taken up is somewhat greater than for the terminal posts, but it looks much neater and will be easier to assemble safely. Find a suitable piece of 1/4" thick SRBP from stock to use as a base for the busbars. Peel cling film off polyester resin layup; it still seems quite tacky on that face. As no reply received from Rob Wallace of Laser Engraving & Design, phone him and after discussion agree it's best to leave it until January as he doesn't have enough time to do it this Friday. Change terminal type entries for several wires in the wiring database from 6mm ring yellow for the terminal posts to 4mm ring yellow for the terminal strips. Add wire numbers to GR6 regulator drawing.
17 Take peel-ply off polyester resin layup for shelf support flange. Now that the cling-film has been off for a while, the glossy face has lost the tacky feel. Rub down the edges with Perma-Grit block. Draw up wiring diagram in CADintosh for master switches and fuseblocks.
18 Number wires in trim circuit drawing. Get the panel and the parts together to check which of the captive leads will reach their connexions without extending. Screws etc from ModelFixings and metal bars from GLR Distributors Ltd arrive for the terminal strips. Decide that 1/4" square brass would be OK for the busbar strips rather than the 3/16" x 1/2" bar originally drawn, and would be almost 50% lighter. Amend drawing of terminal strips, reducing overall dimensions slightly, and import the new version into the master switches circuit diagram. Create a CADintosh diagram for all the remaining miscellaneous things such as fuel pump, fan, power socket, etc.
20 Thinking about maintainability, change several of the interconnexions from butt splices to blade connectors, amending diagrams and wiring database appropriately. Some butt splices can stay, such as the ones for the tails from the DE-09 connectors on all the MGL instruments.
21 Add firewall positions to several circuit diagrams and corresponding notes to wiring database.

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