Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2014 01

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1 Make a spreadsheet table of all milling table co-ordinates for terminal strips and base, assuming a 4mm slot drill and converting mm to turns of feed handles.
2 Hacksaw the SRBP piece to approximate size for the terminal strip base and true up the long edges in the mill with an 8mm end mill. 1698.2
3 Hold the SRBP terminal strip base horizontal in the milling vise with a piece of ply underneath as a sacrificial parallel. Mill the ends true to length with the side of the 8mm end mill. Change to 4mm slot drill, drill the mounting holes and mill the slots for the ends of the terminal screws. Hacksaw off a piece of 1/4" square brass to approximate length for 7-way terminal strip. Hold horizontal in milling vise with sacrificial parallel underneath. True ends to length with side of 4mm slot drill and drill mounting holes. 1700.2
4 Change to 3mm slot drill and drill 7 holes in the terminal strip. Hacksaw off a length of brass bar for the 4-way strip, repeat milling & drilling process with 4mm & 3mm slot drills. Repeat all again for 3-way strip. Tap all 3mm holes M4 with taper tap held in drill chuck turned by hand to ensure squareness, then carry through with plug tap freehand. clean up ends of al holes with small snail countersink. Countersink terminal strip mounting holes on undersides. Assemble and add crimp terminals to check fit and appearance. The whole thing weighs in at 168g, slightly better than the original M6 terminal-post design which was 180g. 1702.0
6 Drive to Laser Engraving & Design near Wallingford with the 2 anodized panels, arriving about 10:40, and leave them for laser etching with Rob Wallace. He explains in passing that the laser etching process will simply remove the dye which colours the anodizing but leave the anodized layer itself intact so that corrosion protection is maintained. The work is ready for collection just after 13:00, looks great and the cost is 36.
7 Mark fuseholder positions on the polyester resin layup for the flange on the underside of the shelf on the instrument module F14. Mark required hole outline around these and transfer to F14 shelf. Drill 1mm starting holes and cut out centre of shelf with diamond blade in Minitool jigsaw. Check again that fuseholders will be accessible and choose optimum arrangement. Mark extent of flange on flange layup and cut out centre. Consider now that it might be neat and easy to have a flange (aluminium or composite) all round on top to help with securing and keeping possible spills away from electrics. Need to consider thickness for riveting if aluminium. Select and cut some pieces of wood to act as softening for clamping the flange to the underside of the shelf during bonding. 1703.4
9 Abrade flange layup and underside of F14 shelf. Cut pieces of polyethylene sheet for each side to prevent softening and clamps sticking when bonding flange. Check F14 fixing positions on forward flange and decide to put GPS antenna central, as there is an even number of fixings called out. Mark and drill 3mm at 2 positions for antenna, using mount plate as a template. Don't have a large enough grommet (~20mm ID) to clear the connector so defer making a hole for that. Consider that maybe the mounting plate is acting as a groundplane for the GPS antenna and if so I need to provide one. Get fan out and check possible mounting positions for it. Check rotation and note that it doesn't run with reverse polarity applied! Need to get a 90mm holesaw and some wire mesh to cover the hole. Mix a small batch of polyester resin and paint onto underside of shelf. Add some flox to thicken but almost as soon as mixed it gels - must have used too much hardener. Mix another batch with less hardener and add flox to thicken. Paint onto flange layup and underside of shelf. With a considerable struggle, position polyethylene sheets, wooden softening strips and clamps. The polyethylene sheet wants to curl away from the resin, and after the first edge, it's difficult to hold the wood in place and get room to fit the clamps. In fact there isn't room for as many clamps as I hoped - 2 edges only have space for a single clamp. The resin is squeezing out and making things messy too; I can see I'll need to do quite a bit of cleanup after it cures. 1706.0
10 After searching widely for wire mesh to cover the fan aperture, eventually find a UK supplier and order some steel wire mesh finished in black and some aluminium finished in charcoal-grey. Phone Garmin support and they confirm immediately that the GPS antenna needs a ground plane. Start to think how best to avoid windscreen reflections from bright aluminium. Could cut an aperture to exact size of antenna to keep the aluminium edges below the surface of F14. Or could make the aluminium the exact size of the antenna and fit it with studs for mounting. Get some large grommets at Maplin and a 86mm holesaw at Screwfix. Remove clamps etc from instrument module shelf flange. Clean off resin that has oozed onto exposed top surface of flange with an end mill in Dremel (not enough room to use the side of the mill). Scrape off some light overspill on top surface of shelf with razor scraper. The good finish there means most of it comes off quite cleanly. Check fit of lid and that fuses are all still accessible. Think about using a piece of aluminium from stock for the top lip, but the only piece I can find is too soft. Will need to get something better, maybe while getting what's needed for the cooling duct. Decide to use the Garmin windscreen mount that the external antenna came with as the ground plane. Remove the adjustable sucker and fold the middle tab flush with the main part. Mark around base of antenna with scriber. Remove antenna and cut near line with tinsnips. File down to line and around end curves. Drill 2 mounting holes for M3 countersunk screws and then decide it would be better to use M4 for attaching the ground plane to the top of F14 instrument module. Mark the positions using the ground plane as template. Open up the previously-made 3mm hole in F14 to clear the heads of the M3 screws and allow access through the skin of F14. Trial fit and check where cable grommet will go. Punch a small central hole in the larger closed grommet and cut radial slits with a razor blade to allow the connector to pass. Drill pilot hole then open up to 25mm with grit-edged holesaw. Persuade connector through grommet and check fit in hole. All fine. Position fan on top adjacent to GPS antenna, hold square and spaced from flange with a ruler. Drill fixing holes using fan as template, fitting a M4 screw in each after drilling. Mark centre and drill pilot hole. Cut fan hole with 86mm holesaw. Assemble and all looks fine until I sight through from the from of the panel - the fan looks as though it might foul the TRX-2000, depending on how deep that is. Get out TRX-2000 and fit to panel. Alas, it interferes by about 10mm sideways. Remove fan, drill new fixing holes 15mm to starboard using ruler spacer as before. Fit an offcut of plywood behind using old fixing holes. Mark the new fan centre on it, pilot drill and cut with 86mm holesaw, producing a small crescent of fibreglass. Re-fit fan and check clearance of TRX-2000 - all OK now. Cut a piece about 30mm x 115mm of the flange layup centre piece and fit it in place to cover the gap at the port side of the fan. The correction should not look too horrible once the wire mesh is in place. 1710.4
11 Re-draw the master switches wiring diagram to better simulate the layout of the switches, terminal strips and fuseholders. Update the PDF wirebook.
14 Wire mesh pieces delivered. Steel looks a bit too open, and aluminium might be a bit too flimsy, but either would do. The fan label is clearly visible through either one. Remove fan and apply black duct tape to the label and wire egress areas to prevent them showing up so much. Trim a bit off the aft edge of the flange under the shelf to give better access to fuseholders. Offer up the small conduit to see how it will fit along the length of the fuselage, up towards the fin, and through the fin to the VHF antenna. Mark the lower 2 fin rib positions on the port inside of the fin and extend the marks on both sides toward the LE to help visualise possibilities for cable and conduit. Decide to try routing conduit through top of rear bulkhead on port side with a single section of conduit going from below the fuselage joint line through the bulkhead and up through the middle fin rib. That should simplify getting at it from the antenna position. Cut a length of conduit for the fuselage side, not taking it too far forward as I want to avoid interfering with the baggage bay bulkhead. Drill a 10mm hole at the top of the rear bulkhead on the port side and enlarge it with TC file to an oval shape to fit the conduit. Fit the offcut through the hole, position the bottom end and cut the top end long enough to pass through the middle fin rib. That leaves about 250mm, which I can use as a former to make securing clips. Cut a couple of pieces of polyethylene sheet for protection. Cut 2 pieces BID about 50mm x 220mm from the offcut pile. Mix a peg-1 (30g) batch of epoxy and wet out the 2 layers on BID on a polyethylene sheet. Drape layup over the conduit placed on a flat piece of aluminium, add peel ply & another sheet of polyethylene. Place wooden strips each side to form the contour and weigh down with lead weights. Bring whole assembly in to boiler cupboard to cure. 1712.7
16 Bring conduit clip layup out to garage from boiler cupboard. Remove polyethylene sheets and peel-ply. Trim & smooth edges. Mark off every 10mm and with diamond blade in angle-grinder cut into 23 pieces. Smooth the cut edges. Find a piece of felt that will fit tightly into the conduit and try the heat gun on the short length of conduit stuffed with the felt. Rather easy to overheat conduit but but otherwise seems a workable method. Push felt strip into end of the piece of conduit cut to length for going up through the rear bulkhead & fin and warm it enough with heat gun to bend the bottom end to fit against the fuselage side. Remove the blanking piece from beside the fan, the rubber mounts and the instruments and switches from the instrument module F14. Rub down all cut edges for safer handling and the interior surfaces to remove lumps and needles from the layup. Check again the fuseholder positions and mark through fixing holes for drilling. Although 4 holes provided, really only need 2 on each item, diagonally opposite. Don't have M5 screws the right length - will need M5x25 or M5x30 button-head and some locknuts. Drill holes through and check for correct position with longer screws. 1715.0
17 Print left end of sub-panel onto an A4 sheet of transparency film. Cut out and tape to sub-panel area, aligning with existing holes as well as possible - the MGL instruments appear to be slightly offset to the left of their designated position. Centre-pop and drill pilot holes for switch guards, other switches and fuseholder. Open out to 4mm, 12mm & 16mm respectively. Check fit of switch guards - panel too thick to get enough thread for nuts so first try counterboring with 1/4" bit in tight-fit drill kit. Not large enough, so switch to countersink which although not so elegant provides enough room for nuts. Temporarily fit M4 anchor nuts to the main panel mounting holes with short (8mm & 10mm) screws. One has to have a lug cut off using a cut-off wheel in the Dremel as there isn't room for 2 lugs at that position. Most of others need to be angled so that one lug gets a good purchase and other will not be used. Only 2 anchor nuts can actually use both rivet holes. Drill through rivet holes with 2.4mm drill in tight-fit drill kit. 1716.8
18 Countersink rivet holes and set rivets using a spacer for the nose of the puller as usual. Position terminal strip block, keeping clear of rear of instruments and referring to wiring diagram for the orientation already considered optimum. Mark and drill fixing holes. Try various types and grades of abrasive on the bottom of the F14 instrument module. 1500 emery clogs too easily, but 600 seems OK. Red ScotchBrite is a bit scratchy; 1000 Abralon disc gives nicest finish and seems less likely to clog than paper. 1717.9
20 Order some M4 & M5 screws for fixing fuseblocks & terminal strip from ModelFixings. Wash instrument module F14 with a bucket of very hot water and liquid soap to remove mould release residue. Rinse off with a bucket of clean hot water and leave to dry in the sun. Check position of conduits and abrade bonding area for the bottom of the section that comes down through the fin and rear bulkhead. Abrade clip lugs. Mix small batch of 90-second epoxy and spread on bonding areas. Hold in place by hand until gelling. Fit a speedclamp lightly on the end of the conduit to prevent it pulling away from fuselage side while the epoxy cures. Make some wooden saddles for clamping the clip lugs on the main run of conduit to the fuselage side. Abrade 3 bonding areas and clip lugs. Mix a batch of 5-minute epoxy and spread onto bonding faces. Clamp each clip in place with a wooden saddle, interposing patches of polyethylene sheet to prevent unwanted bonding. Check thickness of duct parts - they are 40 thou. Post query on Matronics e-mail list asking for suppliers of 6061 in small quantities. LAS Aerospace & Skycraft are suggested, plus Aircraft Materials UK and Click Metal, but Barry Tennant says he's got a pile he can cut some off for me. 1720.0
21 Screws arrive from ModelFixings. Remove M4 x 16 CSK screws fixing terminal strips to base as they were too short and not even engaging the stiff part of the Nyloc nuts. Replace with M4 x 20. Put the required M4 x 16 button-head screws in fixing holes and retain them with Nyloc nuts finger-tight. Check lengths of screws for fuseblock fixing and fit a pair of M5 x 30 button-head ones to each, held by finger-tight Nyloc nuts. Take clamps off conduit clips and check conduit alignment. Slide main section slightly aft to better line up with the section going up through the fin. Remove overhead panel from fuselage upper half & store AN525-10R8 screws back in small drawer. Carefully lift fuselage top out of garage and place right-way-up on drive. Roll lower fuselage on dolly out of garage onto drive. Lift fuselage top into position on bottom half, taking extra care to get fin sides clear of conduit protruding above rear bulkhead. Get baggage bay bulkhead out of trailer and check, as far as possible, for fit. Measure fore-and-aft depth of shelf (360mm) and mark fuselage sides where aft end should be for reference. Position fin top moulding and hold in place with gaffer-tape. Get rudder out of trailer and offer up to fin flange, holding top of rudder in line with top of fin moulding, to check hinge positions. Mark approximate positions on outside of starboard flange. Also mark approximate position of rudder drive fitting on the inside of the port flange. It looks as though the bottom of the rudder will clear the tailwheel rod, but of course the flange will get trimmed a bit and so the rudder will be slightly further forward (& so nearer the tailwheel rod) than at present. As the bubble-wrap is getting quite shredded, wrap rudder in several layers of polyethylene sheet and return to trailer. Take baggage bay bulkhead back to trailer. Rub down fuse cover piece, that was cut from instrument module shelf, with 600 grit emery paper. Clean off with acetone-soaked tissue. Lay on a couple of laths across the top of the bin and with extractor running, spray a coat of Halfords matt black acrylic aerosol. Allow to dry for about 15 minutes and spray another coat. 1722.1
22 Start to draw up a cue-sheet for the fuse layout.
23 Do some clearing-up of tools etc. Finish drawing up fuse layout.
24 Check length of 4mm screws required for main panel fixing to flexible mounts. Find a piece of steel angle slightly thicker than the required screw length. Drill a tap a hole near one end M4. Countersink it slightly for the screw head. Insert one of the M4 stainless button-head screws and grind off the end flush with the surface of the steel angle. Try it for fit in one of the rubber bobbin mounts. Doesn't seem to bottom fully, so run a M4 plug tap into the mount and that allows slightly better engagement. Countersink slightly deeper and again grind off end of screw. That gets it about perfect. 1722.3
28 Run the M4 plug tap into the other 6 rubber mounts. Grind off ends of 6 more M4 button-head screws and check fit of each. 1722.7
29 6061 T6 Aluminium sheets (6 off 305mm x 457mm) delivered from Barry Tennant. Move fuselage upper half forwards enough to get access to rudder bellcrank.
30 Remove peel-ply from transponder ground plane securing layup. Assemble spare lengths of 7x7 control cable with made-up ends onto aft end of EURO34 springs. Fit forward end wire loops onto shackles and fit to rudder bellcrank. Fit tailwheel spring with bolt for location. Fit tailwheel fork to spring and secure loosely with castle nut. Clean up end of CS28 and insert rod end. Mark 5mm from end and with CS28 supported in vee-block, drill 3.3mm for rivet. Insert rivet to hold rod-end in place, mark 10mm from end and drill at right angles to first hole. Deburr holes. Mark for orientation, remove rod-end. Apply Duralac and re-assemble. Fit rivets and form shop heads with 4lb club hammer. Fit MW4 to bellcrank with plain nut and fit pushrod. 1725.3
31 While cross-checking the parts used list with the manual pages, realise that the latter PDF manual chapters are numbered differently from my paper copy; apparently chapter 33 was inserted for the tri-gear and the old chapters from 33 onwards were pushed up 1 digit. Sight line of port tailwheel cable as well as possible by eye and mark a spot where it should pass through fuselage skin. Drill 3.3mm and enlarge at an angle with Perma-Grit needle file. Thread the cable through it and it looks not too bad - maybe could have been just slightly lower. Enlarge the hole a bit more and lengthen the angle with a larger TC circular file. The cable ends are a bit long and getting in the way so check length needed to reach tailwheel horn and add a bit to be safe. Cut both cables to the same length with a cut-off wheel in the Dremel tool. Cut the TU50RM nylon tube in half with a razor blade and thread onto cable ends. Try it in the hole. It won't really be possible to get a perfectly straight line for the cable as it's at such a shallow angle to the fuselage side that the tapered troughs inside & out would need to be ridiculously long. File some more on the inside where the tailwheel mount layup starts, and now it seems reasonably acceptable-looking. Mark a corresponding point on the starboard side and drill 5.9mm. Open it a bit with the needle file then switch to the larger TC file. Enlarge and angle the hole as before until the grooves inside and out are about the same as on port side. Remove tailwheel spring and slide fuselage top back into position. Start to rub down instrument module with 600 grit paper and then decide it would be better done wet. Still raining a bit so take it outside. Rub down mostly with sanding block, and loose paper freehand on the concave areas etc where the block doesn't reach. Rinse off under the outside tap and after it stops dripping, take it inside to dry off completely in spare bathroom. Fit the instruments & switches to the radio panel, noting fixing sizes. Perihelion switch guard are M4 studs with 7mm AF nuts. Nuts on LED toggle switches are 15mm AF. SmartASS knob screw is #2 Phillips, nut is 13mm AF, switch nut is 8mm AF. The power outlet nut is 30mm AF. The trim switch and indicator use 2-56 UNC x 3/8" CSK screws with a 1.3mm hex recess; the Nyloc nuts are 1/4" AF. The Governor bracket screws are M3 with a 2mm hex recess and the nuts are 5.5mm AF. The CSC-1/G comes with pan-head M4 x 12mm screws; replace those by M4 x 12mm button-head stainless with a 2.5mm hex recess. The MGL instruments use M3 x 20mm cap screws with a 2.5mm hex recess - they could be replaced by M3 x 15mm button-head stainless which would look better. The VDO fuel gauge uses 8mm AF nuts. The UMA fuel pressure gauge is tapped 6-32 UNC so use 6-32 x 1/2" button head stainless with a 2mm hex recess. The autopilot is also tapped 6-32 so use the same 6-32 x 1/2" for it. The comm radio comes with M4 x 8 Phillips head screws so replace those with M4 x 8mm stainless button-head with 2.5mm hex recess. The nuts on the knob spindles are 8mm AF. The transponder head comes with 4-40 UNC x 5/8" CSK Phillips #1 screws. I've used 6-32 UNC x 1/2" CSK Phillips #1 screws for the GPS, but 5/8" would be better. Would also be nice to get some matching button-head 6-32 screws for fixing the whole panel to the instrument module. 1729.9

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