12/16 First Flight with new panel

Dynon repaired the EMS-d10 (solder joint problem) and returned it Friday afternoon so we were able to get everything installed again this weekend. I removed the Trio Autopilot to send back to Trio to get the latest firmware updates. I also removed the panel on Saturday and painted it black (the color RV4chick requested).

The RV-4 is ready to go after being down for so long.

We flew to Casa Grande for some cheaper fuel (4.17) versus >5.00 and then to Marana Regional for lunch and then back to Phoenix. Total time about 1.5 hours.
Dynon tries to preserve your settings when you send a unit back, but with mine all of the settings were wiped out so I have to reprogram then because I had not downloaded them to a laptop yet as Dynon suggests. I will definately do that when I get everything reprofiled.
Everything went well. It was really neat to see the TAS, density altitude and relative winds aloft on the Dynons. It felt very strange to fly with the digital readouts instead of analog gauges. Its going to take some time for us to get comfortable with the new setup. One thing that the Dynon EMS showed us was a 60 degree difference between our hottest and coolest cylinder in flight. We will have to redo the baffles to try to get the temperatures evened out.
The VP-100 worked great. It showed about 6 amps being used with all normal daytime avionics powered up in flight including strobes.

This week I will work on recalibrating everything for the Dynons again and making backups so I can restore the settings in the future if needed. I am also ordering the backup battery from Dynon for the EFIS. This coming weekend RV4chick will finally get to fly her RV-4 after all of the changes I made to it and I can get back to finishing the other RV-4 I am currently building. Hope she likes it.

12/9 VP-100 Start Up Sequence

I thought that while I was waiting for the Engine monitor to arrive, I would show how I use the VP-100 during engine start.
I have decided my start sequence is with all buttons on the VP-100 switch panel turned off.
The first step to to press and release the button on the VP-100 switch panel to turn on the VP-100. The VP-100 goes thru its test sequence and then shows the current volts and amps being used and the button turns green.

The next step is to run the boost pump which primes the line to the carburator. I currently have the boost pump on switch 3, but it can be programmed to any of the buttons. You can see that my volts dropped from 12 volts to 11.7 and the amps increased from .5 to 1.3 amps while running the boost pump.

The next steps are mixture rich, crack the throttle and use the keyed ignition switch to start the engine. When the engine starts, I move the first switch from its center position to the up position. This engages the primary alternator. If I moved the first switch to the down position, it would engage the backup alternator.
The volts now show 14.4 volts and indicate that the alternator is charging the battery.

Turning on switch 2 engages the rest of the avionics. The switches have a colored led in the tip of the switch. A green light indicates there are no problems with the circuits that are controlled by the switch. If there is a problem, the led at the end of the switch turns red.

With every light and avionics engaged, the RV-4 uses 24.6 amps. The Plane Power 60 amp alternator should be able to handle this load with no problem.

For shutting down, I turn every switch off and then mixture to idle to stop the engine and mags off.

Final step is to hold the button on the VP-100 in for about 3 seconds and then the VP-100 turns off.
The starting sequence is really not that much different from our old system, but for the first time, we am really aware of what is going on with the electrical system. If any problems show up, the VP-100 will alert us immediately. Between its monitoring of the electrical system and the engine monitoring of the Dynon EMS, and the Garmin 496 audio warnings, hopefully, we will know right away when any problems occur and we can spend more time looking outside the cockpit instead of at the instruments.

12/8 Garmin 496 audio hookup

When I went to the airport last Sunday to fly, the Dynon EMS would not boot up. So I overnighted it to them last Monday. I am expecting it back this week so we should finally be able to get 53L back in the air.
I decided to hook up the audio output from the Garming 496 to the intercom while we am waiting. The Garmin 496 outputs a stereo signal through a 1/8 " stereo female connector on the back of it. Since my PS1000 II intercom is mono, I needed to adapt to it.
This required a trip to Radio Shack to pick up a 1/8 stereo male to male extension and a 1/8 female stereo to 1/8 male mono jack.

Its only a short distance from the Garmin 496 to the aux jack for the intercom so I didnt need a very long cable. Radio Shack had a 1 ft connector so I was in luck.

The "Sound" setup menu for the Garmin controls the sound options.
I turned the Audio Volume up about 3/4 of the way and turned the Terrain Audio to On.
I left the TIS Audio off since I dont have a mode S transponder connected yet.
The Audio Jack option has two settings Headphones or Line Out. I used the Headphones settings and a set of Sony Walkman ear buds to test the sound, but changed the setting to Line Out for the connection to the intercom.

The next screen shows the "XM" setup. We havent activated the XM music subscription yet, but there are still 4 channels that you can receive without a subscription. A preview, news, sports and emergency alert channel. These channels work real good to test the audio output.
When you press the "Menu" key while in this screen, an option pops up that lets you mute or enable the sound.

The audio output worked great on the PS1000 II intercom. Whenever a radio transmission is received it mutes the audio from the GPS and then gradually increases the volume back to the original level after the radio transmission ceases.
Alerts will also sound through the intercom. Garmin uses a female voice to announce the alerts as well as a tone.

11/29 Garmin 496 Installation

Tonight I installed a temporary handheld GPS bracket on the right side rail just in front of the instrument panel for our Garmin 496. I am thinking of putting an Air Gizmo panel mount in the instrument panel and mounting the 496 there. With it mounted on a RAM ball mount, I can move it if there is glare from the sun on it. If it is permanently mounted in the panel, I will have to live with whatever glare there is.

11/28 Programming Dynons continued...

Tonight I set in the airspeed set points for Vs0, Vs1, Vfe, Vno, and Vne into the Dynon EFIS-D10a.

Then I taxied the RV-4 to the compass rose on the airport and calibrated the remote magnetometer for the Dynon EFIS. It turned out to be a very easy procedure. I lined the RV-4 up pointing magnetic north on the compass rose and started the calibration program and pressed the north button on the Dynon. Turned the aircraft to face magnetic east and pressed the east button on the Dynon. Turned the aircraft to face magnetic south and pressed the south button. Turned the aircraft to face magnetic west and pressed the west button. The program took about a second to finish the alignment program.

After calibrating the remote magnetometer, I calibrated the fuel tank level sensors for the Dynon EMS. I drained all of the fuel out of both tanks. Then I arranged to have the fuel truck from the local FBO help me calibrate the tanks. Again it was very simple with the Dynons, put it into fuel calibration mode and press the start button. The screen prompts you to add 2 gallons at a time and press the add button.

The sensors didnt change after 14 gallons so I pressed "FULL" to finish up with that tank then repeated the steps for the right tank.
The tanks actually hold 16 gallons in each but the sensors hit the top of the tank before the last gallons can be added because of the tilt in the wing. The picture below shows the fuel levels on each tank with full tanks.

11/26 RV Reassembled.

The RV-4 was finished assembling this evening. The wheel pants are left off because they are in the process of being refinished.

Below is an image of the instrument panel while the engine was running.
The instrument panel will be removed and painted in the near future.
The Dynon EMS shows the idle at 1040 rpm and the fuel flow at 6.3 gph.
This seems too high an idle and the fuel flow is way to high for idle. Normally it is around 2 gph at idle. The idle was showing about double the RPM until I doubled the Dynon recommended setting for the tach sensor. The fuel flow K factor was at the recommended setting of 30000. I increased the K factor to 36000 and the fuel flow dropped to 4.6 gph at idle. Still too high.

I got the digital handheld tach out to compare the rpm but it evidently doesnt work in the dark.

11/25 Reassembly continues...

When I was installing the protective white rubber boot over the battery solenoid, I put a little pressure on the terminal I was forcing the rubber boot over. The battery solenoid energized! I found I could energize it by applying up pressure against the terminal from the battery. Definately bad internally. I got a new solenoid from Aerozona Parts but the new solenoid had two small terminals on the front of it instead of one like I had. No problem, you just hook one wire to 12 VDC and one to ground to energize the relay. I hooked the red Vertical power lead to one of the terminals and then ran a line from the other terminal to ground. When I turned on the power, the Vertical Power switch panel gave me a Battery Contactor failure alarm. I disconnected the power lead and applied power directly from the battery and the contactor energized. After a quick call to Marc at Vertical Power, he told me in a polite way that the Vertical power lead supplies ground to the contactor not 12 VDC as it states in the installation manual so I had wired it backwards. :<( This makes sense as you can use the vertical power lead with either the single or dual post battery contactor. I knew this but had forgotten it and felt embarrased that I didnt consult the installation manual again. I was thinking the red lead meant 12 VDC. After wiring the battery solenoid the correct way (run a jumper from the hot batt terminal to one of the small terminals and install the Vertical Power lead on the other terminal), the battery contactor failure alarm went away. It made me more comfortable with the robustness of the VP setup knowing that even though I had installed the wiring backwards, nothing was damaged or messed up. The VP-100 just notified me of the error and once I wired it correctly, everything was ok again. Below is a picture showing the two post battery solenoid. The yellow wire between the two small posts is a diode that helps prolong the life of the solenoid.

I spent a couple of hours this morning going thru the dynon EMS setup menus item by item.
Shown below is the Dynon Install setup menu.

After getting everything mostly programmed, I finished up all of the final little details that needed to be done before the airplane was ready to fly. I had rebuilt the master brake cylinders a couple of weeks ago, but had not added any brake fluid yet. Since the RV-4 brake cylinders are mounted upside down, its a little difficult to get all of the air out of them. I made a pressure bleeder out of a 1/2 gallon pump up sprayer from Ace hardware and some 1/4 tubing.
It took us a long time to get the brakes bled properly. We added the fluid from the bottom of the brake calipers. Next time I am going to try using the pressure bleeder from the top of the master reservoir.
Heres a picture of the Dynon EMS right after first startup. One thing I immediately noticed is that the tach is not working. After thinking about it I realized I had ran a new power lead from VP control unit and had not programmed it yet. So once I profile the power lead correctly in the VP switch panel, the tach should start working. The fuel flow is showing 12.4 gallons an hour. I know that is incorrect for an idle setting so I need to adjust the K factor until the fuel flow is correct.

I also need to drain my fuel from the tanks and then add a gallon at a time while running the Dynon fuel calibration progarm. The picture below shows the fuel screen.

Tomorrow I will work on getting the problems fixed that came up during the startup. One other problem that kept me from flying today is that the Plane Power alternator is not charging so I have to figure out what the problem is with it.

11/24 Reassembly continues.

I had to make new supports for the two air controls. The old supports were in the subpanel bulkhead that was removed. I made a little triangular bracket to fit against the new sidepanel that will hopefully be out of the way of my long knees.

The Dynon manifold pressure sender installs in the engine compartment. The sender looks like an automotive part. It uses weatherpack connectors.
There are little green rubber seals that go around each wire. You are supposed to use a special weatherpack tool to crimp the connectors, but one of my crimpers did a good job on it. The pins have an extra long connector that wraps around the little green rubber seals. Don't drop them as they disappear. I am still missing one.

Since I am not using the rpm gauge anymore, I don't have to run the long cable from the engine through the firewall to the rpm gauge anymore. However, I need an electrical signal for a source for the Dynon EMS. There are at least two options. Use the wires from the magnetos or install a transducer on the rpm takeoff on the engine. Vans sells a transducer that mounts directly on the rpm takeoff on the engine, but it wouldn't work on mine because of interference from the SD-8 backup alternator. Vans sells a 12 inch extension for it so you can put it in a different location. I got the extension but had a hard time finding a place to mount it as I didn't want to drill more holes in my already cluttered firewall. I ended up attaching it to the engine mount with Adel clamps. I am reconsidering my choice and may change back to driving the Dynon rpm from the magnetos. You have to put a 30K ohm resistor in line with the magneto output to knock the signal down to an acceptable level for the Dynon. This would clean up my engine compartment a little.

The fuel pressure was also mounted on the engine mount. It uses fast on connectors attach the two wires from the Dynon EMS.

Since I had removed the 60 amp circuit breaker (on the instrument panel) for the alternator, I had to replace it. Vertical power shows an ANL fuse that mounts between the alternator and the output side of the battery solenoid. I ordered one from http://www.BandC.biz.
We had replaced our 35 amp externally regulated alternator with a Planepower 60 amp internally regulated alternator. We had left our regulator on the firewall shelf. We figured if we were ever out of town and we lost out alternator and could only get an external unit, we could reuse the regulator to get us home. However, its location looked like a good spot for the ANL fuse so I removed it and added it to the pile of discarded parts.

Here is what the ANL looks like when its connected.

The next step was to hook up the CHT and EGT sensors to the Dynon EMS harness. The Dynon EMS has a 25 pin lower connector (brown wires in picture below) dedicated to just the CHT and EGT sensors. The harness comes prelabled with the function of each sensor so its a simple matter of matching the color coded wires to the same color wire on the sensors, adding a faston connector and plugging it into the sensor wires.

11/20 Remote Magnetometer rewiring

Tonight after work I squirmed back into the fuselage and took the D sub 9 pin remote magnetometer connector apart. The 2 wires from the outside air temperature (OAT) probe have been put into the wrong holes as I counted from the wrong side. Using the D sub extraction tool, I removed them and reinserted them into the correct holes. Dynon supplied a plastic D sub extraction tool with the wiring harness which I thought wouldnt work as well as my metal ones, but it seemed to work ok. I dont think it would hold up to repeated use though.

Here is what the connector looks like almost reassembled.

11/18 Dynon Remote Magnetometer and OAT install

Saturday, a friend and I went hiking in the West Fork of Oak Creek wilderness area. Its about 15 miles north of Sedona, AZ and is a great hike. Since its so easy to get it, it gets crowded during the day, but if you leave at daybreak you have the trail to yourself. Normally we fly into Sedona, but since the plane is down, we had to drive up. Note to self: Get RV-4 back in the air!!

The RV-4 has manual pitch trim, but we want to convert it to electric pitch trim. Since Vertical Power included a 25 ft 5 wire cable for pitch trim in the wiring harness and I had the floor removed for the remote magnetometer installation, I decide to go ahead and wire the electric pitch trim cable up and run it to the tail so it will be an easy electrical hookup in the future when we convert the trim system to electric.

The 5 wires go into the connector J6 on the control unit. 3 wires on the top row and 2 wires directly underneath them on the bottom row.

The Dynon EFIS Outside Air Temperature Probe (OAT) is installed to the remote magnetometer. This means if you put the remote magnetometer in the tail, the OAT needs to go somewhere close to it. I decided to put the OAT probe under the horizontal stabilizer. It should be out of the sun and hopefully not get any of the engine exhaust.
Dynon does sell an OAT that connects to the EMS instead of the remote magnetometer. I originally was planning on putting the OAT under my left wing about half way out in an access panel. With the EMS OAT, I could have did it. However, until the release of the latest firmware, the EFIS couldnt use the EMS OAT for all of its functions. Now I think either OAT works great with the EFIS if you have the Dynon Smart Avionics Bus hooked up.

The wiring harness for the remote magnetometer comes with the D sub pins already connected.
The blue wire and the ground wire from the OAT probe has to connect to the white ground wire that goes into pin 1 of the remote magnetometer connector. The picture below shows how I hooked them together. I removed the insulation from part of the ground wire on the remote
magnetometer cable that comes from the Dynon EFIS.

After stripping back the insulation in the OAT cable, I used a pick to remove the red, yellow and blue wires from the shielding without damaging it.

The blue wire and the ground wire from the OAT is then soldered onto the ground wire from the EFIS and shink wrap put around it to protect it.
Here is a picture of the complete connector.

I had to build a bracket to hold the remote magnetometer in the fuselage where it is away from any metals that may interfere with it. This turned into a major pain because I decided to put in the the rear of the fuselage. The bulkhead is about 1/2 the width of my body. It a real tight fit and then my arms wouldnt be in the right position to do what I wanted so I would have to squirm out and turn over or on my side and try from a different angle. The remote magnetometer is supposed to be within 1 degree on all three axis of what the Dynon EFIS is at.
I was able to get this with the help of a smart level but it sure was a lot of work. It took about 10 hours to do everything. Here is a picture of the installation. What the picture doesnt show is that my OAT is not working so I will have to go in tomorrow and take the connector apart and see if I have something wrong in the connector.

The plan was to get the remote magnetometer installed and button everything up and go flying today. I severely underestimated how long it take to install the remote magnetometer and the OAT.

11/16 Right side cleanup

dI worked on the right side of the aircraft this evening after work. Since Friday is date night, I only spent a few hours on cleanup. I temporarily wrapped up tied off the dynon dual serial ports. I will build a little bracket for them and shorten them up to remove the excess wire in the future.

11/15/2007 Serial to Parallel Converter for Transponder

Finished wiring up the serial to parallel converter box that Dynon includes for transponders that dont have a serial port. Our Garmin GTX-320A transponders can only take the gray code (parallel wires).

The left side of the aircraft between the firewall and the panel is basically done. There is still a lot of tidying up to do.

My wife is sick fighting the flu and asked me to get her some spicy chicken strips and red rice and beans so I had to quit early and head out to Popeyes chicken.
Heres a picture of sunset at our hangers I snapped as I was closing the hanger door.

11/14 Dynon upgrade to 4.0 firmware

Tonight, my friend Mike Taylor came over with his laptop. He had just upgraded his Dynon D-10a to the latest version 4.0 software and offered to upgrade mine as well. It turned out to be very easy. Plug the serial cable from the Dynon into the serial port on the laptop. On the Dynon support software running on the laptop, you select the Dynon type you want to upgrade and have it autodetect your equipment. With the Dynon turned on, the software program takes control and downloads the necessary software. For the Dynon EFIS, the software program wants the remote compass connected as well because it upgrades the firmware on it. I had run the cable into the back of the fuselage but had not connected the remote compass module yet. The cable comes from Steinair with the connectors already on the wires but not inserted into a DB-6 connector yet. I just plugged the four wires directly into the remote compass connector so I could upgrade it.

The Dynon EMS-D10 took only a few seconds to update to version 4.0. The Dynon EFIS-D10A took a couple of minutes. With the new software and the DSAB wires from each unit tied together, you can swap the screens on each unit to the other unit. Heres a picture of both units showing the primary flight display window.

Or you can put the HSI from the EFIS on the EMS.

Or you can swap both displays if you would rather have the engine stuff on the left side.

Another combination is to show the checklists from the EFIS on the EMS.

Oops, the vertical compass is in upside down! Don Ridder, the president of our EAA 538 chapter, actually spotted it. Don is building a RV-8 and is putting in dual large screen Dynons.

11/13 Intercom Install

Tonight after work I fabricated a quick temporary bracket for the intercom and attached it under the instrument panel. As part of the panel upgrade, the plan was to eliminate the intercom because the ICOM A-210 digital radio has a two place intercom in it that is supposed to work good. I decided to wait on wiring up the intercom portion of the ICOM A-210 until I hear more user reports on how good it works. The RV-4 is tandem seating and the noise levels can be different front to back. The PS 1000 II intercom has separate volume and squelch controls for the pilot and copilot and works well. Also if the radio goes out, the pilot and copilot can still talk through the intercom. Had to stop woring around 6:30 pm for our monthly EAA 538 chapter meeting.