Avionics mounting and tailcone ground plane

While I was down with COVID, I took the time to 3D print the new case for the AFR sensor controller - it was my first attempt at dual-extrusion printing, which resulted in big failures and a few lessons learned, including that sometimes it's just simpler to go with single extrusion :) eventually, I realized it was only $25 to have it printed professionally using MJF, so I did that instead.

Very poor attempt at printing the new AFR case myself with PC/ASA

Original Spartan3 case (left), my attempt (center), and MJF-printed version (right)

I also took the opportunity to update the Spartan3's firmware, which, annoyingly, requires a Windows device (or VM in my case):

Spartan3 connected to power and USB, for upgrading the firmware

I also made some progress on avionics attachments, including riveting the ECU brackets and then the GTR mount in the tailcone:

EFII ECU angle brackets

GTR20 mount with nutplates riveted on

GTR20 mount riveted in place

With the bracket in place, I used the inspection camera to check that the nutplates were clearing the bottom J channel, and they were - just barely:

Clearance between nutplate and J channel behind the GTR20 mount

I also made the firewall passthru holes for sensor and power wires:

Firewall wire penetrations

Rear side of firewall wire penetration

For the top COM antenna, I needed to expand the tailcone's ground plane a bit, so we marked and carved "slots" to run aluminum tape through as an extension:

Cabin cover marked for the ground plane extension

Carving the cabin cover for ground plane extension

Cabin cover with slots carved in for the ground plane extension

Next we'll install the aluminum tape in those slots and cover it back up with fiberglass strips - with that, we'll finally be able to rivet the tailcone top forward skin from section 43.

Time lapse:

Total avionics rivets: 124
Total avionics time: 109.3h

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