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Thread: Instrument Panel - Proposed Layout

  1. #1

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    Default Instrument Panel - Proposed Layout

    Hey everyone! I've just recently put my Kitfox deposit down, and have been slated for a Q1 2025 delivery; it's a ways out, but I'm alright with that time frame since it'll give me time to save up, familiarize myself with the build process, and start designing...hence the purpose of this thread! This is the 23rd evolution of my proposed instrument panel, and it's finally at the point where I feel I can share it with the forum and not get totally ripped apart. I would really love whatever feedback you guys can come up with. I'm not looking to get my tires pumped, honest feedback good or bad is much appreciated. I'm pretty junior in my flying journey so I'm very open to suggestions, and have implemented many thus far.

    This was done on powerpoint, so things aren't perfectly to scale, but they're close enough for now. To note, this is a VFR panel meant for mixed use between backcountry and airports, and cross-countries less than 5hrs. I estimate that I will regularly be transiting through controlled airspace (nature of living near an international airport).

    DYNON COMPONENTS
    -SkyView HDX 10”
    -SkyView Autopilot Control Panel
    -SkyView Integrated COM Radio
    -SkyView Knob Control Panel
    -SkyView Stereo Intercom Module
    -SkyView Dimmer Module
    -Autopilot Disconnect Button
    -USB Port Panel Mount
    OTHER COMPONENTS
    -Guardian Avionics smartPanel mount
    -Apple iPad Pro 11”
    -LX Navigation iris EFIS Pro 80
    -Skybox Vigilus
    -McFarlane Vernier Throttle
    -Artex Remote Switch, Standard 8304
    -Radiant Technologies USB-C/A Dual Charging Port

    Other Notes
    - The registration number on the panel isn't real, for demo purposes only
    - I recognize the panel is quite busy, but I figure the space is there so use it
    - Plan is run dual EarthX batteries which will parallel on a bus bar downstream of the master switches, so it could operate on M1, M2, or M1+M2 (I think this should work)
    - iris EFIS Pro and FlyBox Vigilus will be linked directly to the master
    - Radio has its own switch so I can load shed all other avionics/electronics in the event of
    - iris EFIS has 3-5hr built in battery to serve as backup for SkyView HDX failure
    - VPX solid state breakers not seen in pic, but explain lack of visible breakers
    - idea is to reduce as many single points of failure as possible (dual battery/alternator/pumps)
    - cabin light will be coloured red, and behind the panel aiming at feet
    - ignition is an ON-OFF-ON momentary toggle (for fun and easier landmarking)
    - all the "DO NOT TOUCH" buttons are red, not just master/alt

    Unknowns
    - LX Navigation compatibility with Dynon?
    - Too many/little warning lights up top?
    - Dynon pitot heat require a dedicated switch? or is it all automatic or built into their hdx software?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member Eric Page's Avatar
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    Default Re: Instrument Panel - Proposed Layout

    For a PowerPoint rendering, that's a remarkable effort; well done!

    I'll offer some comments, questions and suggestions. Feel free to accept, reject or mock them, as you wish!

    1. Since you have Lane switches, I presume that you're using a Rotax iS engine. The ECU and Fuse Box for those engines manage DC power generation without pilot intervention. Alternator switches are not required.

    2. If you are using a Rotax iS engine, then you also need Start Power and Battery Backup switches (they can be combined in a single switch). Perhaps that's your "Ignition" toggle? If so, the Battery Backup side should be maintained, not momentary.

    3. I don't see an Engine Start switch.

    4. If this is a VFR airplane, why install a very expensive standby EFIS? If you're VMC, then there's zero need for an emergency attitude indicator. You might consider a multi-function instrument like the MGL Blaze ASV-2 or the Radiant Instruments UMFI-22-GEN2 as cheaper alternatives that will provide altitude, vertical speed and airspeed.

    5. Do you have a diagram of your electrical system design? I ask because I've never seen an airplane with two Master Switches and it seems unnecessarily complex. Consider reading Bob Nuckolls' book, The AeroElectric Connection. Since publishing the book, he's developed a new electrical architecture (Z-101B) that he considers state-of-the-art for Experimental aircraft. It's not directly applicable to Rotax engines, but it's a good starting point and a valuable learning tool.

    6. Keep in mind that the Kitfox is not a "load-hauler" airplane; you're working within a limited max gross weight. Given that the iS engines include two stators, carrying two main batteries and an avionics backup battery is probably overkill for even an IFR platform, let alone VFR. The likelihood of losing two stators or two batteries in the same flight are near zero. Recommend eliminating one battery and sizing the remaining one IAW Rotax guidance (see chapter 24 of the engine installation manual).

    7. Why install a heated pitot tube (and associated wiring and warning light) in a VFR airplane? Unless you plan to install an external alternator -- a third(!) source of power -- this will be a significant portion of your available amps.

    8. Radiant Instruments' catalog is sprinkled with re-badged off-the-shelf products from other companies. Their USB charger is one example. It's a Molex product that Radiant resells. Buy it from Digi-Key at half of Radiant's price. Here is the Molex Mini50 connector to feed power to the unit, and here are the crimped sockets to populate the connector (buy ten; you'll need to practice crimping them to find the right crimping tool die and to master the technique).

    9. Consider eliminating the Avionics Master switch. It's a single point of failure for all avionics wired through it and it's a very old idea that hasn't been necessary to protect avionics for at least several decades. Same with the Radio switch. A properly sized and maintained main battery will barely notice a few minutes with the Master Switch on (all avionics powered) to collect ATIS and talk to Ground.

    10. The Dynon EFIS can display and record all necessary engine data through the SV-EMS-221. The Flybox Vigilus is unnecessary. If you want to be able to move engine instruments to another display, it might make more sense to install a 7" HDX screen instead of the Vigilus and iPad.

    11. For ergonomics and ease of use, consider putting the SV-AP-PANEL, SV-COM-PANEL and SV-KNOB-PANEL next to the HDX screen. At a minimum, confirm that the viewing angle of the LCD displays on the SV-COM-PANEL will work from a low mounting position.

    12. Unless they can be dimmed, you may find that illuminated switches are annoying at night. It's common practice in airplane design to use a dark cockpit concept. This means that no lights are illuminated in normal operation. When a light comes on, either something is wrong or is in an abnormal configuration.

    Consider fuel pumps: if the engine is running then the pumps are on; the lighted switch is a distraction that complicates wiring. Unless the light is wired to a fuel pressure sensor and comes on to indicate low pressure (i.e. pump failure; already indicated on the EFIS), then it provides no useful information.

    13. If you use illuminated switches for the Lane circuits, then the associated warning lights are redundant. The switch lights can be used for Lane fault indications. In normal operation, no light should be illuminated when a Lane switch is turned on. If you prefer separate Lane Fault lights, then the illuminated switches are unnecessary.

    14. EMS warnings will be displayed with a blinking red alert on the EFIS, and optionally, an aural alert. The EMS warning light is redundant.

    15. What are the two warning lights on the left, next to (I think...) the USB data port? Their legends look like "M1" and "M2"...

    16. Finally, my most controversial comment: ATC fuse blocks are lighter, simpler and vastly less costly than a VP-X system, and there is significant danger associated with the temptation to reset tripped circuit protection devices in flight. If something goes wrong with a VP-X, your plane is grounded until the box is repaired. If something goes wrong with a fuse or its wiring, you trace the fault, fix it and go flying.
    Eric Page
    Building: Kitfox 5 Safari | Rotax 912iS | Dynon HDX
    Member: EAA Lifetime, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: AMEL | Comm: ASEL, Glider | ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Instrument Panel - Proposed Layout

    One thing I learned the hard way is that not all illuminated switches will work with the VPX (luckily mine were not expensive). If the entire switch has to be energized for the light to illuminate, they won't work with the VPX. From reading most everything Eric has written on the forum about electronics/wiring, he knows of what he speaks so at least with me his words carry some weight.

    Rick

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Instrument Panel - Proposed Layout

    Well Eric, that was a proper undressing lol. Thanks alot for this reply man, you obviously put alot of thought into it and that's not lost on me I'll address each one of your points one by one so nothing gets missed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Page View Post
    For a PowerPoint rendering, that's a remarkable effort; well done!

    I'll offer some comments, questions and suggestions. Feel free to accept, reject or mock them, as you wish!

    1. Since you have Lane switches, I presume that you're using a Rotax iS engine. The ECU and Fuse Box for those engines manage DC power generation without pilot intervention. Alternator switches are not required.
    - The plan is to run an Edge Performance EP912STi. Is neither alternator switch required? or just not the primary alternator?

    2. If you are using a Rotax iS engine, then you also need Start Power and Battery Backup switches (they can be combined in a single switch). Perhaps that's your "Ignition" toggle? If so, the Battery Backup side should be maintained, not momentary.
    - Again, EP912STi. There's not nearly as much info on these as Rotax engines, but from the pics I've seen online they don't use the same starting method. I could be totally out to lunch here though.

    3. I don't see an Engine Start switch.
    - That's my bad, the ON-OFF-ON momentary toggle marked "ignition", should be marked "STARTER", because that's what it is lol

    4. If this is a VFR airplane, why install a very expensive standby EFIS? If you're VMC, then there's zero need for an emergency attitude indicator. You might consider a multi-function instrument like the MGL Blaze ASV-2 or the Radiant Instruments UMFI-22-GEN2 as cheaper alternatives that will provide altitude, vertical speed and airspeed.
    - You're absolutely right. I just went off the first example a buddy of mine sent me without doing enough research myself, I'll definitely look into your suggestions.

    5. Do you have a diagram of your electrical system design? I ask because I've never seen an airplane with two Master Switches and it seems unnecessarily complex. Consider reading Bob Nuckolls' book, The AeroElectric Connection. Since publishing the book, he's developed a new electrical architecture (Z-101B) that he considers state-of-the-art for Experimental aircraft. It's not directly applicable to Rotax engines, but it's a good starting point and a valuable learning tool.
    - I have not yet sketched up the electrical system. I figured once the panel was laid out I could do a proper power audit and flowchart/wiring diagram, this step is likely a ways off for me. I'm currently building an all electric tiny house, so I'm thankfully not a complete stranger to this world now. I will absolutely read The AeroElectric Connection. As for the 2 masters, unless I'm missing something critital, I don't think it's all that complicated. I don't plan to run backup power for the Dynon suite if I run a second paralleled battery. I figured if I'm going to haul around extra battery weight, it might as well help with both the efis AND the engine...plus it'll help get the CoG a little more rearward, which, if I'm reading things correctly, is something people need to get creative doing (short of just adding dumb weight).

    6. Keep in mind that the Kitfox is not a "load-hauler" airplane; you're working within a limited max gross weight. Given that the iS engines include two stators, carrying two main batteries and an avionics backup battery is probably overkill for even an IFR platform, let alone VFR. The likelihood of losing two stators or two batteries in the same flight are near zero. Recommend eliminating one battery and sizing the remaining one IAW Rotax guidance (see chapter 24 of the engine installation manual).
    - I'm not sure if the EP912STi has 2 stators, I will definitely look into this. Wont be running an avionics backup battery, just two Master batteries....but again, very open to being talked into a single larger battery, or single normal size battery.

    7. Why install a heated pitot tube (and associated wiring and warning light) in a VFR airplane? Unless you plan to install an external alternator -- a third(!) source of power -- this will be a significant portion of your available amps.
    - Heated pitot tube is more of a future proofing thing in the event I want to configure for IFR in the future; plus the cost differential is pretty negligible. I believe the EP912STi comes with a single alternator, with the option to bolt on a second. It has been recommended to run a 32A alternator, and bolt on an 18A as backup. I like the piece of mind a 2nd alternator adds as well. Open to suggestions!

    8. Radiant Instruments' catalog is sprinkled with re-badged off-the-shelf products from other companies. Their USB charger is one example. It's a Molex product that Radiant resells. Buy it from Digi-Key at half of Radiant's price. Here is the Molex Mini50 connector to feed power to the unit, and here are the crimped sockets to populate the connector (buy ten; you'll need to practice crimping them to find the right crimping tool die and to master the technique).
    - Absolutely will do this....I just discovered DigiKey relatively recently and I love that place. Fair prices, good inventory, fast shipping. I should probably look for non-illuminated switches there as well!

    9. Consider eliminating the Avionics Master switch. It's a single point of failure for all avionics wired through it and it's a very old idea that hasn't been necessary to protect avionics for at least several decades. Same with the Radio switch. A properly sized and maintained main battery will barely notice a few minutes with the Master Switch on (all avionics powered) to collect ATIS and talk to Ground.
    - So are you saying to have all this power-up with the master? Is 'load shedding' antiquated notion with the lower consumption of modern avionics? This is all very new to me

    10. The Dynon EFIS can display and record all necessary engine data through the SV-EMS-221. The Flybox Vigilus is unnecessary. If you want to be able to move engine instruments to another display, it might make more sense to install a 7" HDX screen instead of the Vigilus and iPad.
    - The idea behind the vigilus was just to give engine instruments a dedicated display, plus it cooperates well with the Dynon, and can piggyback its sensors. I like the idea of an iPad becomes it's completely independent of the aircraft systems....alright let's be honest, it's so my passengers can watch cat videos on longer flights once they're sick of asking "how fast are we going", "how high off the ground are we". BUTTTTT, you raise a very good point regarding the 7" HDX screen; that could replace the Vigilus and iris EFIS, and serve the function of both.

    11. For ergonomics and ease of use, consider putting the SV-AP-PANEL, SV-COM-PANEL and SV-KNOB-PANEL next to the HDX screen. At a minimum, confirm that the viewing angle of the LCD displays on the SV-COM-PANEL will work from a low mounting position.
    - Absolutely valid! I wont be putting any pen to paper until I've actual sat in a kitfox, preferably one with a Dynon, and see how it all looks. Super super valid, and my previous designed had them mounted between the iPad and 10" HDX.

    12. Unless they can be dimmed, you may find that illuminated switches are annoying at night. It's common practice in airplane design to use a dark cockpit concept. This means that no lights are illuminated in normal operation. When a light comes on, either something is wrong or is in an abnormal configuration.
    Consider fuel pumps: if the engine is running then the pumps are on; the lighted switch is a distraction that complicates wiring. Unless the light is wired to a fuel pressure sensor and comes on to indicate low pressure (i.e. pump failure; already indicated on the EFIS), then it provides no useful information.
    - Point taken. All illuminated switches will be eradicated...I just got mesmerized by how cool they look. You're absolutely right that they're a distraction and serve no real purpose.

    13. If you use illuminated switches for the Lane circuits, then the associated warning lights are redundant. The switch lights can be used for Lane fault indications. In normal operation, no light should be illuminated when a Lane switch is turned on. If you prefer separate Lane Fault lights, then the illuminated switches are unnecessary.
    - Will keep the fault lights up top with the rest, and go with non-illuminated buttons!

    14. EMS warnings will be displayed with a blinking red alert on the EFIS, and optionally, an aural alert. The EMS warning light is redundant.
    - This idea came from the department of redundancy department. Consider it removed!

    15. What are the two warning lights on the left, next to (I think...) the USB data port? Their legends look like "M1" and "M2"...
    - M1/M2 are Master 1/Master 2. The internets told me that the BMS internal to the EarthX batteries can be rigged to a fault light. Idea with the dual batteries/master switches is I could just swap to the alternate and flip off the problem battery without any interruption to service. Again, I could be totally out to lunch here.

    16. Finally, my most controversial comment: ATC fuse blocks are lighter, simpler and vastly less costly than a VP-X system, and there is significant danger associated with the temptation to reset tripped circuit protection devices in flight. If something goes wrong with a VP-X, your plane is grounded until the box is repaired. If something goes wrong with a fuse or its wiring, you trace the fault, fix it and go flying.
    - I wish you hadn't said this...this is going to result in many sleepless nights. You're absolutely right about all the above, but I'm going to have to do some serious soul-searching here, cause that VPX system is très nice. What are the Pros of the VPX system in your opinion? I just like how it integrates with the displays.



    Awesome, awesome info and insight, Eric! At this rate I'm going to be on version 50 before I'm ready to share again! lol

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Instrument Panel - Proposed Layout

    Alrighty Eric! I couldn't help myself so I made some quick changes that should address some of the things you brought up. Had to take the scale a bit more seriously to make sure the 7" HDX fits, so what you're seeing now is much more representative of their true sizes. Round 2...lemme have it!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Super Moderator desertdave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Instrument Panel - Proposed Layout

    That looks like an overkill for a non transport category, VFR aircraft to me. I have flown airliners with way less stuff but that is just my personal opinion. Also how much weight is all that plus the wiring going to add? Lots of things to think about before buying anything.
    Here is a simple, 100% functional design with a 2 channel autopilot. If I was going to fly IFR I would add a heated pitot tube and a standby Garmin G5 or a peanut gyro/airspeed combo and call it good.

    DE52C8EB-8D00-43DE-92C5-0F69DA002DFC.jpg
    Dave
    KitFox 6 Taildragger
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  7. #7

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    Question Re: Instrument Panel - Proposed Layout

    I am so glad you all are discussing this again right now. I'm in the final stages of designing my panel before purchase. I've gone back and forth for months and would love a second set of eyes re: the switch layout and if I'm missing anything.

    I do plan to stick w Dynon and use the Fastrak Trays on back of my panel to house most modules to keep wiring challenges to a minimum. My layout is designed the way it is to allow me future space for a G5 and GPS175 (IFR) if I ever wanted it (but unlikely). I chose 2 screens, so I can fly from either seat. A little concerned about weight compared w a 10" screen and G5 backup only but I do like the symmetrical look.

    Here are my questions I'm hoping to get clarification on.

    1. I have space to add a dimmer switch (dual or two separate knobs) but is it necessary? I am thinking of switching out the "round black switches" with ones that have red lights in them. If I do, concern is those could be really distracting at night if I can't dim them.

    2. Any recommendation on the round black switch order for my lights and Cabin Heat? I imagine always turning on my Nav lights, so am changing the order (from left to right): to:Nav”-“Strobe”-"Cabin Heat”-”Landing (and/ or)WigWag”-“Taxi"

    3. I just emailed Kit Fox but haven't heard back yet due to the weekend. I am unclear if the Wig Wag function is used with the Aero LED Pulsar or Sunbeam light, and if the Wig Wag function needs a separate switch or if it's wired with the Landing light?

    Lastly, I did purchase a Cowl Flap control knob which I plan to place to right of Throttle. No room for labeling but if I can, I will have it laser etched on end of knob.

    Any constructive criticism or recommendations would be great!
    Attachment 32168
    Thanks,

    Kevin Olson
    Building KitFox S7 STi (Rotax 915)
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Instrument Panel - Proposed Layout

    I agree, it is quite busy.

    - If you already had an iPad, would you would you not provision your panel to be able to accept it?
    - by the time you buy a Garmin g5 you might as well just add another full size g3x if you have the space since price difference isn't that much
    - heated pitot. Might as well just have it in the first place for future proofing (my thoughts anyway). And there's certainly no downside besides weight and cost to having it, and if it saves your butt even once it will have been worth it.
    - I think 3/4 extra modules in the middle from Dynon are pretty much unavoidable. I think they're all pretty much required except for the heading bug quick button piece.
    - this panel could definitely be slimmed down a lot by choosing Garmin over Dynon, there's certainly no arguing that!
    - I want engine monitoring to have its own dedicated screen, so why not install a screen that can also do more?

    If weight/cost was no object, would you fill your panel up?


    Quote Originally Posted by desertdave View Post
    That looks like an overkill for a non transport category, VFR aircraft to me. I have flown airliners with way less stuff but that is just my personal opinion. Also how much weight is all that plus the wiring going to add? Lots of things to think about before buying anything.
    Here is a simple, 100% functional design with a 2 channel autopilot. If I was going to fly IFR I would add a heated pitot tube and a standby Garmin G5 or a peanut gyro/airspeed combo and call it good.

    DE52C8EB-8D00-43DE-92C5-0F69DA002DFC.jpg

  9. #9
    Senior Member Eric Page's Avatar
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    Default Re: Instrument Panel - Proposed Layout

    Quote Originally Posted by dothedr3w View Post
    The plan is to run an Edge Performance EP912STi. Is neither alternator switch required? or just not the primary alternator?

    There's not nearly as much info on these as Rotax engines, but from the pics I've seen online they don't use the same starting method. I could be totally out to lunch here though.
    Ah, OK. I'm certainly no expert on that engine. As I understand it, that's a modified 912ULS. I don't know the specifics of the Edge Performance EFI, what ECU they use or how any of it is wired. Perhaps one of the guys here who flies that engine can chime in with details.

    Heated pitot tube is more of a future proofing thing in the event I want to configure for IFR in the future; plus the cost differential is pretty negligible. I believe the EP912STi comes with a single alternator, with the option to bolt on a second. It has been recommended to run a 32A alternator, and bolt on an 18A as backup. I like the piece of mind a 2nd alternator adds as well. Open to suggestions!
    Copy re the pitot tube. You may want to fly a Kitfox before you invest money in making one IFR capable. They're known for being very maneuverable, not for Bonanza-like stability...

    If the EP912STi has a different electrical system then my comments may not be applicable. If you only get one alternator as standard on the engine then perhaps a second one makes sense. I'm using a 912iS, so I have the luxury of two DC generating systems from the factory. I'm installing a single battery that's sized to carry engine and minimal avionics loads for a reasonable length of time when the battery is near the end of its life. That said, you have to be comfortable with your plane, not me -- I'm just some random guy on an internet forum!

    I just discovered DigiKey relatively recently and I love that place. Fair prices, good inventory, fast shipping. I should probably look for non-illuminated switches there as well!
    You should have seen their inventory before COVID ruined the world. There's a lot more of their catalog out of stock now than there used to be.

    So are you saying to have all this power-up with the master? Is 'load shedding' antiquated notion with the lower consumption of modern avionics? This is all very new to me.
    Not necessarily; I'm just saying that the worry about depleting the battery by turning everything on while listening to ATIS and asking Ground a couple of questions about local departure procedures is overblown. There's definitely a case to be made for separately powering some of the avionics to permit load shedding. I'm doing it in my airplane. My Battery Bus will power a Main Bus and an Essential Bus, but the Essential Bus will have a second feed, via a relay tied to the battery side of the main contactor. On the 912iS, in the event of stator/regulator failure, the ECU/Fuse Box will run the engine from the remaining charging circuit and battery charging is lost. I'll flip one switch to load-shed the entire Main Bus, leaving me with the standby instrument (MGL ASV-2), comm radio, interior lights and landing/taxi lights -- just enough to get safely on the ground in this exceedingly unlikely scenario. The Essential Bus alternate feed path is there to bypass a failed main contactor, but it can also be used as a "radio only" switch for pre-flight activities.

    Bob Nuckolls' book shows dual batteries paralleled for engine starting in designs with large engines or remote batteries (he even has a design for an Aux Battery Management Module), but his architectures do not run them in parallel for normal operation. Two Earth-X batteries would be massive overkill for starting a 1.2-liter four-banger.

    The idea behind the vigilus was just to give engine instruments a dedicated display, plus it cooperates well with the Dynon, and can piggyback its sensors. I like the idea of an iPad becomes it's completely independent of the aircraft systems. [SNIP] ...you raise a very good point regarding the 7" HDX screen; that could replace the Vigilus and iris EFIS, and serve the function of both.
    A separate engine display does allow more real estate on the EFIS for PFD and moving map, and there's nothing wrong with that if you want it that way. The iPad can also serve as an ersatz EFIS, minus the air-driven instruments and airframe-referenced ADAHRS. The 7" Dynon could definitely serve the functions of the Vigilus and Iris, but if it's part of the overall SkyView network, I'm not sure it could be powered from a separate bus for emergency backup. Perhaps that's a question for the Dynon forum.

    All illuminated switches will be eradicated...I just got mesmerized by how cool they look. You're absolutely right that they're a distraction and serve no real purpose.
    Again, I'm just some random guy on an internet forum with my own opinions and biases. I'm sure there are other guys on this forum who are perfectly happy with their illuminated switches and don't find them distracting. Techniques and standards that are used by certificated airframers aren't de facto applicable to Experimental builders. I guess what I'm saying is that you should weigh what you read in this forum, or any other, through a safety-vs-preference lens. There are definitely right and wrong ways to do some things, but for many others it's just a matter of choice.

    M1/M2 are Master 1/Master 2. The internets told me that the BMS internal to the EarthX batteries can be rigged to a fault light. Idea with the dual batteries/master switches is I could just swap to the alternate and flip off the problem battery without any interruption to service. Again, I could be totally out to lunch here.
    OK, got it. I had forgotten that the Earth-X battery's BMS has a fault output. That too could feed to a configurable input on the Dynon (either directly, or via an EMS input).

    Take a look at Bob Nuckolls' Z-101B architecture and see how he handles what he calls the Endurance Bus and electrically-dependent engines. Single battery with dual feed paths for critical items. Incidentally, Bob has no beef with two alternators.

    I wish you hadn't said this...this is going to result in many sleepless nights. You're absolutely right about all the above, but I'm going to have to do some serious soul-searching here, cause that VPX system is très nice. What are the Pros of the VPX system in your opinion? I just like how it integrates with the displays.
    I suppose the pros of the VP-X are ease of installation, seamless integration with the EFIS, load monitoring and alerting, and so on. The VP-X website probably has a comprehensive list. I want to be very clear that I'm not suggesting there's anything wrong with the VP-X hardware or software; I'm sure that it's all designed by competent and conscientious engineers. My argument is a philosophical one: I don't believe in spending money on up-front convenience that results in an electrical system design that's run by a box whose internals are unknown to me, that I can't service myself, and that forms a single point of failure for the entire aircraft. Yes, you could make a similar all-eggs-in-one-basket argument about the Rotax 912iS ECU, but I'm pretty comfortable with the engine's service history and with the "Rockwell-Collins" sticker on the ECU. If any other item of avionics in my plane goes dark, oh well. I've thought about what I would do if each item failed and the answer in a VFR airplane is the same for almost everything: land when convenient. Other than both fuel pumps and the ECU/Fuse Box, there's nothing that represents an emergency.

    As long as the VP-X can't stop the engine from running, and if you like the unit's benefits and have room in your budget, then by all means go forth and enjoy!
    Eric Page
    Building: Kitfox 5 Safari | Rotax 912iS | Dynon HDX
    Member: EAA Lifetime, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: AMEL | Comm: ASEL, Glider | ATCS: CTO
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator desertdave's Avatar
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    Jun 2019
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    Scottsdale AZ
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    307

    Default Re: Instrument Panel - Proposed Layout

    Quote Originally Posted by dothedr3w View Post
    I agree, it is quite busy.

    - If you already had an iPad, would you would you not provision your panel to be able to accept it?
    - by the time you buy a Garmin g5 you might as well just add another full size g3x if you have the space since price difference isn't that much
    - heated pitot. Might as well just have it in the first place for future proofing (my thoughts anyway). And there's certainly no downside besides weight and cost to having it, and if it saves your butt even once it will have been worth it.
    - I think 3/4 extra modules in the middle from Dynon are pretty much unavoidable. I think they're all pretty much required except for the heading bug quick button piece.
    - this panel could definitely be slimmed down a lot by choosing Garmin over Dynon, there's certainly no arguing that!
    - I want engine monitoring to have its own dedicated screen, so why not install a screen that can also do more?

    Sounds like you have your mind made up. I look forward to seeing the end results.

    If weight/cost was no object, would you fill your panel up?

    ​Nope, I am a simple man with simple needs
    Dave
    KitFox 6 Taildragger
    912 ULS
    Whirlwind 70” Prop
    Garmin G3x
    All around nice guy

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