Laying out the Panel pre-cutting - Filling it with Radios
Sorry this jumps around a lot, but I got pretty busy with this panel.
The first photos show laying out the panel for the instruments.
I myself think there are a few EXTREMELY valuable things you
should do when laying out your panel.
There is probably a lot more that should be pointed out than the above.
The main point is, if you're doing the panel, you need to not be
too far behind the curve on your planning....by this point, you're
going to have things that you'll really need to have fully thought out.
I had completely forgotten that I had a trim kit that came with
the empennage, so the shrewed viewer will notice my avionics master got
replaced with a RayAllen trim switch, and a Trim indicator appeared out
of nowhere. Also, I ended up only leaving room for 3 switches by
the keyswitch (already a tight fit), whereas I really have 4 items that
should be there. This is what happens when you don't have your
power diagram 100% complete and in front of you when you lay your panel
- Make Stick-on fullsize photos of all your equipment and place them where you like them
- Have your power wiring (mine was an Aeroelectric Z-Diagram) complete before you start the panel
- Make sure you have your Load Analysis done for all your equipment. (This one is incomplete)
- Make your list of switches and lights and breakered items well before you get to this stage
- Print out true-size switch layouts and stick them on where you want them too
- Draw everything in exact size onto the panel as below - Write dimensions on the panel
- As you're going along through the cutting process, doublecheck EVERYTHING
- Have your add-on's handy (i.e. Trim kit, Flap position system kit, ... )
- Know which throttle (3-lever or push-pull) you're going to have before this stage
- Cut carefully, and not oversized holes.
Another thing that MAY be critical at this stage is panel labeling.
I plan to silkscreen on my labels. There are local places
that will produce silkscreens for about $60, and with those you can
produce very professional labeling. The issue is, you need to do
this BEFORE you permanently install the gauges, and BEFORE you put that
bottom support bar (I call it the switch bar) into the plane. So
after OSH, I'm going to jam on that and get it done right away.
We just ran out of time right now.
So far, none of the last pictures on this page are 100% complete.
There are still a couple of indicator light holes that I need to
drill. I don't have any good photos of the current panel, but
come to OSH 2005 and it'll be sitting in SteinAir's booth #2030 in
Hanger B. My engine will also be on display at AeroSport Power's
As for the Load analysis and Z-Diagrams linked above, those are things
that I've borrowed from others and modified for my wishes and
equipment. I know my "essential" list of equipment is on the
heavy side for the standby alternator I'm choosing, but I'm considering
that I'll still have 2 batteries to feed this stuff with.
The load analysis might not be 100% accurate either yet, but it does
give a good indication of the load that we'll be operating with.
Much more to come!