Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Step 1: Read directions. Step 2: Follow directions.

OK, this is a just a quick post to remind everybody of the golden rule of building a Van’s aircraft:  If something doesn’t work, then double check everything in the instructions because you’re doing something wrong.

In this case, I assumed since this was  physical drop-in-replacement that all I had to do was drop it in.  Instruction #8, in turn, refers to the elaborate (and I must admit, not the most well written document) which says to load the appropriate configuration file, 12-GPS-2020-PRE-SETS_01-14-16.dfg.  Note that this is not the same as the 12-GPS-250-PRE-SETS_01-14-16.dfg which I have had loaded since last year.  

How did I realize this?  Well, recall that I had determined that the 2020 "wasn’t working", so I took off the canopy and the avionics bay.  I figured out that the old 250 still worked by soldering pins on the cut-off wires and individually putting them in the socket of the Control Module, and it worked perfectly.  I concluded that I had received  a bad 2020.  I ordered a replacement and finally got to the airport.  This time I was smart enough to not undo anything before I had to.  I inserted the plug from the 2nd 2020 and—lo & behold—it didn’t work either. That’s when the light bulb illuminated that I had failed to follow Rule #1 and Rule #2.

Sigh.  Now all I have to do is put the avionics bay cover on and reattach the canopy.



8/31/16:  Removed SV-GPS-250, replaced with SV-GPS-2020 IAW Van’s Notification 16-01-16.
(s) DBHill 3132802 RLSA-I.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

dead SV-GPS-2020

I got a chance to go flying the other night.  Technically, the excuse was that I haven’t been night-current for a long time, but you & I know that it’s just because it’s fun to fly.  I had had a fairly stressful set of days at work, and I just needed the stress relief.

The flight was effortless and smooth, taking off about dusk.  I did accomplish 5 night landings. 

and Alas, not everything was roses.  The left strobe refused to light up.  I think I may have done some damage to the electrical connector when I first attempted to replace the wing after installing the AoA hardware.  I recall the AoA connector being wedged between the electrical connector.  That will be where I start debugging, anyway.

When I had installed the new SV-GPS-2020, I received an error message which I mistakenly attributed to no GPS signal inside the hanger.  Nope.  It was the SkyView trying to tell me that there was no GPS receiver.  In other words, the new one wasn’t working.  Yesterday, I was able to have a friend help me get the canopy off and I opened up the avionics bay.  Unfortunately, the new one is wired correctly.  I got my old one and soldered on new pins (I had cut off the old connector as I don’t have an insertion/extraction tool).  Plugging it into the system resulted in a “no position” error for about 3 minutes, then everything worked fine.

I ordered a replacement today from Van’s, along with the extraction tool.  They will give me a credit when I return the defective new unit.  BTW, I’ll do a temporary test installation of the new unit before I run its cables and install it.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Punch List

There’s a term that I’ve heard recently that refers to a list of minor items found on an inspection—punch list.  This posting addresses my punch list from phase 1 testing.   As you may recall, the airport was closed for nearly a month.  I wasn’t able to get out there very often, but took advantage of as much time as I could to address the items I found.  See below for the log entry of tasks that were actually completed. 

I had misdrilled holes in the main wheel fairings.  After a quick consultation on VAF, I filled the holes with floxed epoxy and then put 2 layers of glass inside the fairing.  I’ll get back to them, eventually.

The painters out in Cadiz OH haven’t contacted me yet, but I’m no longer convinced that it’s worth $13K to paint the plane.  I contacted a local painter who has done several RVs on the field and I (and others) like his work.  He only does 2 planes per year, so I’m waiting for next spring.  He’s saying $6-7K, so I think that’s worth while.  I’m using the $6K ‘saved’ to purchase a new avionics box for the Cardinal.

The fuel tank measurement clearly had an electrical problem.  VAF wisdom suggested that it was a faulty ground.  I happened to be lucky enough to have the gremlin poke its head up while I was working on the autopilot (e.g., I noticed the fuel level suddenly at 1 gal.)  I grabbed a test lead and was able to make the level normalize with grounding and could reproduce the up/down swing by removing/replacing the makeshift ground strap.  I will research the best way to attache a more permanent ground screw into a tank full of gasoline (vapor.)


Logbook entry:

Installed angle-of-attack line using 25’ of nylon tubing, McMaster-Carr Quick-Disconnect Tube Coupling 5012K114, Van’s Static Kit.   Removed SV-1000T per factory recommendations. Unit returned to factory for warranty repair.  Reinstalled in aircraft.  Power up test good.   Removed SV-GPS-200, replaced with rule compliant SV-GPS-2020.  Power up check good.  Flight test pending.   Rewired pitch servo and roll servo.  Power up check detects both servos & auto-updates them to current firmware revision.