More avionics progress

The CAN bus issue turned out to be very simple to fix - I was plugging Garmin's GSA28 removal adapter to the intermediate breakout connector behind the panel, but turns out that only acts as a terminator if pins 3 and 4 are connected together (I missed that detail on the manual) - adding that jumper got everything working, and I then spent a lot of time updating, testing and configuring the panel:

Termination jumper between pins 3 and 4 of the roll servo breakout connector

In the process I also found out that the White Lightning power supply I'm using has an auto-shutoff (by default, after 2.5h), but luckily that didn't happen in the middle of any of the updates:

White Lightning external power supply plugged in

I also updated the light switch labels for the Ziptip Vegas (some day when I make v2 of the panel inserts I'll have the actual engravings updated, as well as adding a dimming/maintenance switch):

Updated light switch labels for the Ziptip Vegas

I also trimmed the bottom part of the center panel to run engine cables and wires underneath it, making it roughtly 1/4" narrower than the center console that mates against it:

Bottom center panel marked where the center console joins it (arrows) and offset for trimming

Trimmed bottom center panel

I then connected the baggage light:

Baggage light connected and turned on

We installed the GHA15 radar altimeter, roughly underneath the fuel valve - this gives a couple feet of distance from the GA58 TAS antenna (plus the GHA15 operates at 24GHz, so ~23 harmonics apart from the GA58 which transmits at 1030MHz), and the 120-degree cone just barely clears the landing gear:

GHA15 installed underneath fuel valve

GHA15 attached to bottom skin

I installed the roll servo in place and ran its wires through the wing.

Roll AP servo installed in the wing

To connect the wing wiring, my plan is to install CPCs at the wing root, so I drilled the holes for those:

Left-side wing root connector holes

Right-side wing root connector holes

For fuel quantity sensors, the connection is right at the wing root, so no connector is needed, I just made a hole for the single wire to go through:

Fuel quantity wire coming out of the wing root area

I also ran the light wires through the wings, which was very easy to do with the conduits. I attached the Vegas Ziptip Molex pins, but will wait until the tips are here to attach the connectors so I know the right length and can add some sleeving to them:

Wingtip wires running through the wing conduits

Molex sockets for Aveo Ziptip Vegas

The overhead console switch pod was a really tight fit around the brace nuts, so I had to trim it slightly:

Interference between the Aerosport switch pod and the brace nuts

Trimmed switch pod to clear brace nuts

Switch pod clear of the brace nuts after trimming

Last but not least, I attached the EFII connectors to the firewall and tied the wire bundle together to avoid hitting anything:

EFII wire bundle and connectors attached to the firewall

EFII firewall connectors in place

Time lapse:

Total avionics rivets: 177
Total avionics time: 281.9h

Panel turns on!

I started connecting the coax cables, with the transponder and bottom COM cables first (since they don't require messing with the overhead console):

COM and transponder coax cables running through the subpanel

The GPS antennas had too-short screws that were not going through the nut inserts, so I replaced those with longer ones (turned out MS24693C56 and MS51958-68 were the right lengths):

GPS antenna doubler with screws not coming out

GPS antenna doubler with longer screws

Bottom COM cable connected to the antenna

Transponder cable connected to the antenna

Tailcone ground wires connected

It was then the time we've all (or at least I have) been waiting for - I assembled the panel in place, and started turning on the LRUs one by one (by controlling each output of the VP-X from a laptop):

Panel frame and center section attached in place

Connecting left-side switches to wire harness

Panel turned on in place!

All of the magic smoke stayed inside!
I played a bit with the system and most connections seem to be fine, but of course there's a CAN bus failure which is preventing most LRUs from communicating - my next step will be tracing that down, then finishing up the wiring (still have to do all of the overhead console wiring, baggage light, securing all the wires, and then later the engine sensors).

Time lapse:

Total avionics rivets: 161
Total avionics time: 268.8h

Panel breakout connectors

I put together the left-side breakout connector, which is a mixed power/signal connector (TE CPC series 4). For the 10AWG EFII battery wires (which are the main reason to have this connector, so I can easily disconnect the hot battery wires from the rest of the panel without going into the tailcone), they're supposedly standard open-barrel crimping, but my generic crimp tool from ATS did a pretty horrible job at it, ruining the fancy expensive socket:

Bad crimp on $23 10AWG CPC socket :/

Part of the problem was that the crimp tool "pinched" the corner of the connector as it was compressing. I managed to crimp them properly on the second attempt by trimming the tabs, compressing the sides slightly to make it narrower and not caught on the corner of the tool, and by crimping the insulation first before crimping the wire (which left a small mark on the wire but oh well). With that, and by adding all the signal wires, I completed the left-side CPC:

Completed left-side breakout plug

The Aerosport interior panels have a recess that occupies most of the bottom part of the under-panel sides, so to route wires away from that area, we installed some Click Bond mounts on the sides:

Clickbond fasteners to secure the right-side wires behind the Aerosport panels

Battery cable attached to Clickbond fastener

Left-side wires running through Clickbond fasteners

With that, I could tell the wire lengths for the left breakout receptacle and install pins on those wires. This time, I managed to do a much more decent job with the 10AWG pins on the first try:

EFII/bus manager battery wires pinned for the left-side breakout connector

Completed left side breakout plug and receptacle

Assembled (and quite bulky!) left-side breakout connector

It was then time to finish the right-side breakout connector (for which I had to wait for more snap bushings for the side passthru holes):

Right-side breakout receptacle wiring

Right-side breakout receptacle closed up

Right-side breakout connected

I also transferred the location of the wing conduits to the side of the fuselage to get a sense of wire lengths and where to cut holes for the CPCs:

Wing root wire exit location markings

Next I'll be working on the tunnel and wing root wiring.

Time lapse:

Total avionics rivets: 161
Total avionics time: 259.3h

Avionics connectors progress

I ran that last remaining ground wire (the 14ga pitot heat ground) through the existing bundle, then connected the defrost fan power/ground crossing above the GTN, to be secured above it in some way (probably a Clickbond?) later along with the G5 GPS cable:

Cooling/defrost fans connected (wire over GTN to be secured later)

For the door sensors, I had previously attached Molex SL connectors to them, not realizing that the 18AWG I had ran for it per plans does not fit in the SL series :( so I swapped those for Molex CP series which can do 18AWG and are still fairly small:

Molex SL series (bottom, black) vs CP series (top, green) attached to door sensors

I ran the wire between the sensors on each side, but I'm still waiting to do the side connectors before I trim the other wires:

Molex CP series connector attached to door sensor

To prevent any chafing of wires coming out of the LRUs against the subpanel edge, I paranoidly added some grommet edging to that:

SL1 edge grommet on subpanel edge to prevent chafing

It was then time to finally work on the side connectors - the plan is to replace most DB connectors with a single CPC, and leave only the roll servo connector as is (so I can plug the CAN terminator to it). I started by trimming all wires to roughly the same length, re-pinning them (the TE series 2 CPCs use M39029/63-368 sockets just like the the DB connectors, so for all wires that were on the shortest bundle, no rework was needed), and adding labels which were missing:

Labels for right-side CPC breakout connector

Right-side breakout wires (including longer GTS power pin)

For the few 18AWG wires (the GTR20 and GTS800 power wires), those pins are too small. Stein's install had the GTR wires spliced onto a 20AWG wire just to go through the connector (and I left that in place since it was already the final length), but they had used a large separate Molex connector for the GTS power and ground - instead of doing that, I used the special 18AWG pin/sockets (FC6018D2 / MC6018D), which are a tradeoff - they require no splice, but they extend outside the connector housing and require heatshrink around the extension, plus they're not removable (the way to remove them is to cut them off since there's no way to get the removal tool around the bulkier part of it). I figured that if I ever do need to remove them, I can then add the splice and use a regular pin.

I then finally installed the CPC - the shell was a tight fit but I didn't need to go to the large-size shell as I had feared:

Right-side breakout connector fully pinned and ready to close

Right-side CPC and roll AP connectors closed up

Right-side CPC and roll AP connectors

Next I'll do the same to make the left-side breakout connector (which is much simpler since that's the power connector, but also much more critical as it'll carry power to the EFII system and feed the essential bus).

Time lapse:

Total avionics rivets: 161
Total avionics time: 242.7h

Ground/power wiring finished

I shortened/rerouted the fuse block wire bundle:

Fuse block and door relay wiring

I also finished wiring the VP-X by running all the light and pitot heat wires to the wing root exit points, and changing how Wig-wag is connected - in the old Ziptips they had to be grounded, were 18 AWG wires, and were associated with the landing lights, with the new ones they're 22 AWG wires connected to power and associated with the taxi lights, so I ran the wire out of the taxi light output of the VP-X. 

I then took on the tedious task of labeling the ground wires (which didn't come labeled from Stein) - which meant getting a probe into each device's ground pin, and then using the other to figure out which ground connector it was wired to, and since there were multiple wires per terminal, then cutting off the connector and figuring out which of those wires were for the device:

Tracing ground wires (multiple per terminal) before cutting off the terminals

Labels for all the ground wires

Labels on all the ground wires after tracing them

I also ran ground wires for the devices that didn't have them yet (fuel pumps, door sensors, GHA15, etc.), and then finally trimmed them all to size and attached faston terminals:

All ground wires shortened, labeled and with fast-on terminals

Ground wires connected to the forest of tabs on the firewall

(there's actually one ground wire left to run - the pitot heat ground - because I didn't have any black 14AWG handy - but I can easily slip that one through the existing wax lacing)

I ran the left-side signal wires through the conduit to the tailcone, connected the relay control wires, and attached terminals to the battery fault and hall effect sensor wires. These will get trimmed up front where I insert the breakout connector:

Primary power control wires in place in the tailcone

Next on the wiring, I'll add the side breakout CPC connectors and route the side wires where it doesn't interfere with the Aerosport panels.

Time lapse:

Total avionics rivets: 161
Total avionics time: 231.6h