Jul 22 2009

Electrical work

 A few interesting notes for today.  I wanted to make a way to center and align fuse blocks on to the covers.  I found you can just wax the holes, put some flox in them and clamp them to the panel.    After curing the block will now be held in perfect alignment relative to the slots.

After milling the slots (a major PITA) I felt there had to be a better way.  I took some Shape Lock molded the openings in the fuse block,

Glassed (3 layers) and vacuumed everything down to the table,

When cured, removed the shape lock, sanded the high spots, and ended up with a perfect match for the slots.  MUCH quicker than milling slots (especially for a 20 fuse base).  I learned that I needed to coat the shape lock with mold release as it was tough to get the glass to release.  Overall, I am very happy with the first try.

This technique would make it easy to make covers for the fuse blocks to protect the wires and to have a place to attach lables to identy the fuses.

Jack came over with his new rotary lock design to eliminate the canopy access door.

Yesterday, I glassed the door shut and removed the hard ware.  Installation was extremely easy.  A couple of holes in the longeron’s and it bolted right into the airplane.  I’ll take some foam and fill the old door opening and extend the shaft to the outer fuselage to allow a exterior key to be used.

Also worked on the back trim panels and some map pockets.

7.3 hrs worked today

Jul 21 2009

Windows 7

Windows Release 7

I am now using Window 7 RC  (Release Candidate) on my computer.  I really like it.  A lot more civilized than XP.  I started out many, MANY years ago on Zenith computers which didn’t even have hard drives.  They used 7″ floppy disks.  Ouch!  We were so happy to get an upgrade to a IBM with 5 megs of super duper hard drive memory.  No floppy boot ups, no nice menus, no mouse, no standardized print drivers, no internet.  Talk about primitive!  Boot the computer up and you received a simple C:> prompt.   Type “C:>format” and guess what, hard drive is completely erased.  I cant tell you how many times I had to rebuild my 5 meg hard drive.  A great time to learn the basic fundamentals of computers.

Windows 3.1 came out and it was really primitive too. I’ve used Windows 98, 2000 and finally Mr. XP.  When XP came out I promptly picked up and early edition to be on the cutting edge.  It was CRAP, finally erased my HD and regressed to 98.  Ah, the comfort zone again.  After a few years XP found a warm home on my computer after Microsoft worked the bugs.

Over the years, Mr. XP and I have had a contentious life together.  Kind of like me and my cat Cosmo.  Arrogant, unpredictable, skittish, flakey and some of the time just plain weird.  XP seems to be the happiest right after I install him.  After a few months he just starts to slow down.  Longer boot ups and shutdowns.  XP is really a high maintenance kind of guy.

I have heard  many bad thing about Vista given my experience with early upgrades from 98 to XP the best approach appeared to be just wait and see.  Vista turned out to be  crap too.   The follow on to Vista is Window 7.   Apparently it is the 7 the release of an operating system and Microsoft is just going to use a numbers for the versioning now.

In January Microsoft releases the Windows 7 (beta) free for testing.  Having a spare hard drive I just wanted to see if it would work on my computer.  The beta edition was crap too.  Went back to my old friend XP (just swapped the HD out).    A few month ago Microsoft released Windows 7 (Release Candidate).   It is very almost exactly like what will be relapse to the general public and all the bugs were fixed.

After reinstalling the RC on the HD, I found Seven (like Voyager’s Seven as I affectionately call her) is very well behaved.  Seven  is sleek, sexy and just seems to be, well for a lack of a better term, sophisticated.  The total opposite to the klutzy, cantankerous XP.  I really enjoy the look, feel, and nice menus and screen savers.  All my numerous drivers just seemed to magically load on their own.   Programs work quickly and nicely.  Boot up and shut down is very quick on my old computer and after using her for a few months, she is not slowing down at all.   I am in love….but she (RC) is terminal and going to die next spring when Microsoft shuts her down.  Amazon had a pre-release sale for $49 for Home Professional which I jumped on (it is now $119).   What a deal.   I would highly recommend Seven to you, she is sweet, intelligent and you’ll love putting your hands all over her keyboard, but you’ll have to get your own gal.  She is mine.

My OCD  kicked in today.   I really wanted to spend some time with the PPod and Bob stopped by.  We spent the day talking, went to get my SS brake lines for Tweety, picked up some real MOGAS for Tweety ($1.30/gal cheaper than AVGAS),  had lunch at the Olive Garden.  Right after he left Jack made a visit to just chat…  I did get the chance to spend about an hour glassing….  I was a little stressed and anxious but I am trying to get deal with it…….

Jul 20 2009

Annual on Tweety

Not much to report today.  I worked on Tweety to complete the annual inspection.  I decided to replace the nylaflow tubing with 1/8″ SS tubing.  I was tired of the leaky nature of nylaflow.  You can see the fire stop tubing is just covered with oil and it is time to stop the mess.  After replacing the brake lines on PPod (Pats Project) and seeing how easy it is to work with SS I just wanted to get rid of the plastic crap in my plane.  I also ran into a slight problem rebuilding the Matco master cylinders which required me to order some replacement parts from Matco. They will be here on Thursday.   I am leaving on Sunday for OSH so I have to get the plane done soon! 


I have always been concerned with back seat stick getting jammed and thus losing the ability to control the plane.  When I came up with the idea of a removable rear stick with a safety cover over it, I found I wanted to put one in my plane.  Using some blue wing foam, I made a block,  put it in place on the plane and hollowed it out where the stick attaches.   I tried covering the mold with metal foil tape as an experiment to make it reusable.  Normally I would use duct tape, but I want to use a couple of more times to make covers for PPod and the Toad (Toan’s plane). 


I did get a chance to glass the inside of the arm rest. 


The access door is now closed up with foam.  I ran a wire chase out of AL tubing to be sure I dont cut into them when I install the rotary lock. 

Jul 06 2009

Compartment Heater

I picked up the oil pan today.  It looks great!  Started mounting the fuel injection system on the pan.  Called Airflow, they have the fuel regulator and should complete modifications this week.  When I get it back I can mount all the hardware for the fuel injection, mount the pan and get all the hoses made and installed.  At that time the engine compartment will be completed!   Getting close.

I contacted Grand Rapids and talked to them about the probes issue.  Apparently I as right a resistor that needs to be changed to adjust the capacitance for them to work.  I finished one of them up, and am sending it to GRT where Todd will adjust the circuit and test it to make sure it works.  This is terrific news as now I’ll be able to put in fuel probes for Pat.   This is also great news for the LongEZ community as there has never been a good solution for installation of fuel probes in our planes. 


I’ll make another one after I get the modified electronics back at which time I’ll document the procedure for fabricating one.

I started on the cabin panels and installation of the heat system.  The blower will go in the nose of the plane along with a oil cooler.


I then made a duct system to direct the cool air through the heater.


 wpid-IMG_2872-2009-07-6-20-59.jpg   wpid-IMG_2875-2009-07-6-20-59.jpg  

This is the base mount for the fan.  After glassing it, I used the Low-Vac procedure to make sure it conforms to my desired shape.



I also glassed the back head rest for the plane which will cover the battery and Engine info system.   Basically, this picture will be the concept for the back headrest area.  You wont be able to see the battery and wiring when the headrest cover is in place.


I also installed some tabs so I can mount a cover to hide the stick mechanism.   I have no idea why anyone would want to leave the mechanism exposed.   If you want a light plane, go on a diet, lose a pound and put a cover over the stuff….


What a long day….  Time to rest.