N104CD gets the Fresh Start(er) and some new Nav Lights
After flying with my RV-14
Nav Lights I really just had to replace the ones on my RV-10
with the same thing. They look so much better than the
circuit-board look that my old ones did. Those were a kit
from a place that was one of the few choices at the time.
But now, 11 years later, the LED options are so much better that I
had to do something that looked and worked even better. The
only thing is, I was too broke to also remove my old strobe system
and replace it with the same Feinex Hideaway 120 strobes I use on
my RV-14. Those are only $69 per side, but then the tail
strobe adds a lot more cost. As it turned out, my old strobe tubes
had exactly the same hole and mounting hole requirements as my
RV-14, so the extra set of mirrors that my buddy cut me would
still work! Being the tail end of winter, I had a little
time on my hands for a week at night, and decided to build the
lights. Then, if I could find the time to install them, I
Below are some construction photos of the LED's being soldered
together and stuck to the mirrored plexi, and then thermal epoxied
to the heat sink plate, separated by some nylon tubing cut
spacers. It's all pretty self explanatory. I also have
photos of the Mean Well drivers that run them, and the thermal
epoxy that I used.
As you can see, they ended up nice and once again, very bright!
With some great weather, and some projects behind me, we were
itching for a quick family flight again. It had been a very
long time since we had all of us in the airplane. We decided
to fly up to Lake Superior and visit KSUW (Superior Bong Field)
and then drive to Duluth for a couple hours. My buddy Ed was
going up there with some friends so we ran into them for a short
time and did some side-by-side on the way home.
Last but definitely not least, it was time for an upgrade that I
have wanted to do for a long long time. Ever since day 1, my
starter, a Sky-Tec 149-12HT, had trouble getting past the
compression of the first prop blade on starting. I never had
any other problems with the starter, and it turned the prop fine
after the first blade, but it just needed to be a stronger
crank. The 149-12NL starter is a geared inline starter that
has a bunch more crank to it than the permanent magnet type PM/LS
model starters, and the HT starters. It was a very easy swap on the RV-10. The
only thing that required a modification on this was making a
hanging bracket for my Lightspeed Ignition wire that I had
previously on an Adel clamp on the starter. There was a
mounting lug that is un-used in my situation, that was in the way
of that being an easy thing to put back in, so I relocated it.
The NL starter is about 1lb heavier than the PM/LS models, and about .5lb heavier than the HT, and is
a wire-wound starter rather than permanent magnet. That
should be good for helping keep a nice forward CG...to allow for
better load carrying capabilities with baggage.
One thing to note...the Starter has a couple of replacement shear
pins stuck to the mounting flange of the starter...just in case
you ever need them in the field.
Wiring wise, the only thing I had to change was remove the small
solenoid wire that drives the starter solenoid with the firewall
solenoid..something I wired per-Van's-Plans. The NL starter
does not use this wire.
While I was on the project of starters, I also decided to replace
the one on my RV-14 with the same thing...and the 2 s/n's are even
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