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Thread: Project 5 build thread

  1. #191
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    Default Re: Project 5 build thread

    Almost out of excuses for drilling holes. Wish me luck

    Kitfox 5 (under construction)
    Citabria (sold)
    Commercial SE/ME, CFII

  2. #192
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    Default Re: Project 5 build thread

    I've been silently sweating this global semiconductor/chip shortage for a while now. It has been having a direct impact on my avionics order from MGL. I first learned of the chip shortage when I inquired about their in-house transponder which was set to release in 2020 (but you know how that went), and later on they decided to delay it to focus on being able to ship their current product lines.
    At the time I finalized my plans for my instrument panel they were showing many components on back order. I placed my order anyway in March only to see Ford shut down the F-150 plant, Subaru shut down and now every day the news has another industry impacted by lack of semiconductors. It's going to get uglier before it gets better.

    Well good news for me! I got a call from MGL last week and they were able to fill my complete order, which is for everything except my transponder solution. My package will arrive in two days, so now I'm stoked again.

    Earlier today I called up Better Aircraft Fabrics, the US importer of Oratex. My project came with everything needed, but the chemicals have a definite shelf life so I knew I needed to replace all of them. I spoke with Janina on the phone. Super nice to deal with. She just sent me the latest price list so I'll review that and place my order for tomorrow. Worst case it will show up the day I will first need to start on fabric.
    Kitfox 5 (under construction)
    Citabria (sold)
    Commercial SE/ME, CFII

  3. #193
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    Default Re: Project 5 build thread

    My box from MGL showed up yesterday afternoon (shown below with packing materials removed).
    PXL_20210506_131925394-01.jpg
    Personally tested by Adam who updated firmware, maps and databases prior to shipping. The wire harnesses are well made and clearly labeled on both ends which should save me a lot of time. The COM radio harness is complete all the way to the headset jacks. Just add PTT which is already on my stick grips.
    PXL_20210506_002204252(1).jpg
    That is going to be a very clean panel. That's a fully customizable EFIS, engine monitor and moving map GPS. No floppy wires, no velcro, no tablet on a docking station. Fly from either seat with full capability.

    Redundant displays, each with its own WAAS GPS, air data, AHARS, etc. 760 channel COM with built in intercom. The transponder won't add any clutter and if I add a NAV radio it won't either. Built in AoA with three options (two with probes and one no-probe option which works the way the Uavionix does). I'm now strongly considering the electronic circuit breaker feature which will de-clutter my panel even further.

    I downloaded all the manuals last night and found that the installation manual answered many of my questions I had. Next thing I knew I had fired up the screen customizing software, which they call a simulator because it allows you to operate a virtual copy of your display. I had played with it a while back when I finalized my purchase decision and managed to paint myself into a corner a few times. It is admittedly a bit clunky in terms of user friendliness (read: It's not), but this time I was able to blow out some of my previous work and rough in my engine display for my 7 cylinder radial. It's going much smoother now.

    Once my plane is back on its gear I will sit in the plane and begin mocking up the exact locations. I was originally going to use some thin plywood to allow multiple iterations before cutting metal but with the price of plywood now I might just use sheets of gold.

    These displays have flight timers, checklists, W&B (I might be able to retire my knee board which is going to feel really odd). 60 minute black box recorder, density altitude, wind vector, TAS, climb/glide angle, all the usual GPS based flight planning, etc. In short, I'm not lacking any features offered by more expensive alternatives.

    In fact I'm quite sure I could not have purchased steam gauges and a used GPS/COM for what I have in this panel. For VFR airport bagging and cross country trips this should prove to be more panel than I'm used to, and it's all 100% brand new.
    Kitfox 5 (under construction)
    Citabria (sold)
    Commercial SE/ME, CFII

  4. #194
    Administrator DesertFox4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project 5 build thread

    Alex, you will have one clean and uncluttered looking but comprehensive panel. With Michigan Avionics pre-made harnesses, wiring will be an almost stressless event.👍


    Iíve talked with Adam a couple times now at Michigan Avionics. Last time was to discuss and order two Vega 2.25Ē instruments. He was knowledgable and gave me all the time I needed to figure out which gauges would work best for my requirements and made very good suggestions. A third gauge that was not in stock but he will contact me when it becomes available. I just finished installing them yesterday. Powered up they look really good. Now Iíll have to spend some time calibrating, inputing my Rotaxí temp and pressure perimeters. I have MGLís iEFIS 8.5Ē Explorer Lite panel on the pilotís side already. One gauge duplicates all engine readouts and the other is an artificial horizon with all AHARs built in. Really bright screens and for their diminutive size, easily read.
    Iím looking forward to flying behind these new arrivals and having a little redundancy to my one MGL screen.


    DesertFox4
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  5. #195
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    Default Re: Project 5 build thread

    PXL_20210511_140118558.jpg
    I had a couple of days with no adult supervision so I repurposed the dining room table into a layout bench. I extracted the harnesses from their carefully labeled bags and plugged them in. Wow does CAN bus make things less furball-like. Several of the LRUs only need power, ground and CAN bus - that's it. I didn't smoke check anything yet. I mostly wanted to get my head wrapped around the basic connections and start reading up on locating my magnetometer (great resources right here on this forum). After going through the wire diagrams I had a couple of questions which Adam from MGL answered quickly via email. I'm still busy with my custom screens. I dabble a bit every night and make slight improvements, learning the menu structure of the displays as I go.

    Thanks to another tip on this forum I've now jumped in line for a landing gear upgrade. John Roberts is a legendary welder and fabricator of cabane style gear for many models of aircraft. I inquired with him about KF 5 gear and he sent me the following pics (high likelihood these are pics from someone here on the forum). He says he's backlogged about 60 days, but I'm on the list now:
    watermark kitfox 2.jpg
    watermark kitfox 4.jpg
    This will get me some additional prop clearance, which I need for my engine.

    And lastly, to drill my spars at the root end I abandoned my idea of a strap duplicator and went back to my original plan for a drill jig. I placed an order with McMaster Carr for some bar stock and some bushings. They're not complete in this view yet. I will be bonding the bar stock to those self centering drill jigs using Hysol, which I'll probably do tonight.
    PXL_20210513_005045777.jpg
    Those are precision ground "slip fixed renewable" bushings which will allow me to clamp the fixtures to the front spar carry through, indexed to a 0.3215" pin slipped through the intended hole location, remove the 5/16" bushing, then slip in a smaller sized bushing to center drill and then change bushings again to the 19/64" drill size all while keeping the exact hole location. Last step will be to ream the holes to 0.3125" and be done.
    Seems like a lot of work and expense for two holes but it will remove a lot of the pacing back and forth and pear shaped holes. I'll make these drill jigs available to other slow-build wing folks like myself in the future.
    Kitfox 5 (under construction)
    Citabria (sold)
    Commercial SE/ME, CFII

  6. #196
    Senior Member rv9ralph's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project 5 build thread

    I mostly wanted to get my head wrapped around the basic connections and start reading up on locating my magnetometer.
    A suggestion for locating where to place your magnetometer is... pick your suspected location, use a hiker's compass and see if there is any deviation as you move the compass near your intended location. When you locate a spot with out any deviates (sic) mount your magnetometer using non ferris fasteners, i.e. brass.

    You may already know this but I tought I'd kick this in as a reminder.

    Ralph

  7. #197
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    Default Re: Project 5 build thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rv9ralph View Post
    A suggestion for locating where to place your magnetometer is... pick your suspected location, use a hiker's compass and see if there is any deviation as you move the compass near your intended location. When you locate a spot with out any deviates (sic) mount your magnetometer using non ferris fasteners, i.e. brass.

    You may already know this but I tought I'd kick this in as a reminder.

    Ralph
    What I gathered from reading is that it would be impossible to mount it in a location that makes the avionics company happy, but that most are putting the magnetometer in the last rib bay or in the wing tip itself. I'm likely to go in the last rib bay, possibly in the opposite wing from my pitot tube. I will definitely whip out a hikers compass though, which I might have blown off before.
    Kitfox 5 (under construction)
    Citabria (sold)
    Commercial SE/ME, CFII

  8. #198
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    Default Re: Project 5 build thread

    Hey Alex, I am interested in your avionics package and install as we discussed on an earlier post of yours. I have a buddy, building a carbon cub and he is panic stricken at the thought of his avionics install. Your post about power ground and can bus hookups sound promising for a similiar install on his plane, so I will be following your upcoming posts and possible videos? on this subject. Keep them coming. Bruce N199CL

  9. #199
    Administrator DesertFox4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Project 5 build thread

    Alex, I placed my MGL magnetometer in the last bay of my left wing. Works perfect.


    DesertFox4
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  10. #200
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    Default Re: Project 5 build thread

    Quote Originally Posted by airlina View Post
    Hey Alex, I am interested in your avionics package and install as we discussed on an earlier post of yours. I have a buddy, building a carbon cub and he is panic stricken at the thought of his avionics install. Your post about power ground and can bus hookups sound promising for a similiar install on his plane, so I will be following your upcoming posts and possible videos? on this subject. Keep them coming. Bruce N199CL
    Bruce,
    I will absolutely be documenting my avionics install. Good, bad and ugly all from the perspective of someone who hasn't done this before. I just ordered a book tonight on avionics installation and I'll likely be taxing fellow KF5 builder Eric Page for some of the deep electro-geek thinking.

    I was counting on the help of my youngest kid to help pull my wings off and get my drill jigs completed, but he had to have oral surgery today. I was his DD and it was quite obvious I needed to work on another plan. Damn kids! I started in tonight and was sure one of my hangar neighbors would be dumb enough to stick his head in my hangar and be drawn into my trap. That didn't happen but I could hear a party going on around the corner, so I knew I could trick someone into helping.

    I blocked up both wing tips and removed the right lift strut, set up a pair of sawhorses and went to look for a stooge. I found him with a beer in hand and a few short minutes later we had the right wing on the saw horses. I was able to confirm that the witness holes in the lift strut attach fittings were still exactly on top of the scribe lines (huge relief), then turned my attention to the other wing. I managed to pull the lift strut off and then pulled the wing off by myself (just needed to pull it straight off and set it on the high horses.

    The basis for my drill jig is a pair of self centering drill jigs from Harbor Freight. Yes I tend to speak ill of Harbor Freight because I think a drill bit or set of snap ring pliers should last years (perhaps decades) and not just one use. My biggest beef is that if I pay more at the big box home stores I'm buying the same crap at a higher price. I will say they're getting better, but it is still a buyer beware thing.

    Enough of my soap box. It's pretty hard to screw up a simple piece of extrusion, and that is all I needed out of the deal. I marked the location where my 1/2" aluminum bar stock would sit, and then used my 2" sanding disc to get some fresh bare metal on both pieces. I cleaned everything with acetone (wiping the silkscreen markings right off the harbor freight piece) and then put a new tip on my Hysol mixing gun.
    PXL_20210515_015327631.jpg
    I ran my 5/16" reamer through my spar carry through holes (they had obviously not been done before), then used a 5/16" drill bit to locate my full size 5/16" slip fit bushings in my bar stock. I squished everything together and verified that the drill bit just barely slipped through everything. Once I was happy with the location I removed the drill bushing and 5/16" bit without moving anything (and returned later to assure nothing moved, and it had not). Then I set up the other side exactly the same.
    PXL_20210515_015335007.jpg
    I'm going to leave it 24 hours to cure properly and then I'm going to slap it on my drill press and add some mechanical fasteners. The Hysol is probably sufficient, but the 19/64" bit does tend to snag at the last moment so I don't want to risk having the Hysol joint fail and leave me stranded.
    PXL_20210515_015349991.jpg
    Before heading to the aeropuerto I sanded my #1 ribs with 220, and stuck it out long enough to sand my butt ribs too. I slipped the #1 ribs onto the wings because I will surely forget later.

    In about 48 hours I expect to have my wing roots drilled and at least two holes per lift strut attach fittings done. Good times.

    In other news I ordered new Oratex adhesive and another 5 yards of fabric. Janina was able to track down the invoice from the previous owner of my kit and found that he only bought 25 yards of the extra wide fabric (78"), and they recommend 30 yards. I asked for and will receive the lesser grade of fabric to save a bit of cash, 3 liters of adhesive, the iron and heat gun soon. The fabric I have is the non opaque white and since I have no plan for a color scheme yet I just ordered more of the same. I'm counting on slapping on a splash of color before the plane is airworthy, but that is down my priority list.
    Kitfox 5 (under construction)
    Citabria (sold)
    Commercial SE/ME, CFII

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