July, 2004 AVIONICS, ELECTRICS, & CONTROLS
July 1 - Received my Blue Mountain Avionics (BMA) EFIS/One system. Very exciting! It was VERY well packed, as was their autopilot system I received a few weeks ago.
July 3 - set up EFIS on table & start bench testing it. 2.0 hr
Here is my Blue Mountain Avionics EFIS bench testing setup, in the house. At first, as shown here, I was just clamping the bare power wires to the battery. I later soldered them together and rigged up a switch in one of the leads, for better control & less voltage drop . The Battery Tender keeps the battery charged, but I unplug it when I hook up the EFIS. I have a Radio Shack 12v 10a bench power supply on order. Clockwise, from lower LT is the display, the Flash Card reader, the CPU/AHRS, the battery, the magnetometer, the autopilot controller, the Battery Tender, my cellphone charger, and the EFIS keyboard. And, of course, portions of the manual in the center.
July 4 - bench testing BMA EFIS 2.5 hr
July 5 - study EFIS manuals & BMA & Eggenfellner support sites/lists, post some questions, study AeroElectric book, plan for sensors I'll need with the BMA EFIS. Had some problems for awhile (later went away) with switches not working (battery voltage too low?) and with magnetometer apparently starting to crap out. Mag now works for a few seconds when powering up, then it dies. The EFIS is a very cool unit, though, and I can hardly wait to to fly it. I think I'm going to love it. It's very intuitive & easy to use. I noted a couple things I didn't like with the display, with regard to limited moving map range/zoom options, and Greg at BMA says he's already working on major improvements in that area for the next software version. 9.0 hr
July 6 - panel & EFIS planning, studying, asking questions on 'net, particularly about sensors for the two EFIS systems I have planned. Jan Eggenfellner now says my order, and his product line, no longer includes the Grand Rapids Technologies (GRT) EFIS. This is the second time he has just "dropped" something from his product line, that I have as part of my order with him, without notifying anyone, and I only found out by chance while asking some other question. Also, some of the Eggie list say it's dumb to plan to do any engine monitoring other than using the GRT EIS, and that they think it's dumb to have more than one brand of EFIS. I don't know why they say that; people use something like Dynon as EFIS backup all the time. I definitely plan to have backup, and I still think it should be a different brand, in case one has a problem. I also found out the GRT EFIS and the GRT EIS are completely separate products, and my Eggenfellner engine will come with the GRT EIS4000 already installed & configured. Anyway, now I am reconsidering what to use for secondary EFIS. Contacted GRT and Dynon about their systems & mounting requirements. 3.0 hr
July 7 - query BMA list about how others used BMA display when the F745 is right in the way. I was referred to a site that shows one way of doing this. See also THIS on Walter Tondu's site, about halfway down the page, beginning with 6/14/04. Here's a picture of how he did it. Looks nice & simple. There are also some pics on the BMS (RV installation) discussion group on more ways of doing this. Exchange emails with BMA support about dead magnetometer. They suggest some voltage checks before returning it. 0.5 hr
This is the latest version of my dream panel.
July 8 - Study secondary EFIS options, study GRT web site & their details, learning how the GRT EIS4000 and the GRT EFIS interact. Garmin now has a real simulator for the CNX80, as well as one for the GNS530, so I downloaded and started using them. Also worked on tweaking my ePanelBuilder. After using the simulators for several hours, I decided that, so far, based on using the simulators, the CNX80 sucks. It's hard and non-intuitive to use, while the GNS530 is much simpler and intuitive to use. I will try real ones when I go to OSH. The 430 is kinda small, and the 530 is so big, I'll have to either use a taller custom panel or move something in the stack over to the side. 2.0 hr
July 12 - get new Radio Shack 10a 13.8v DC power supply. Test EFIS & magnetometer. Mag worked about 15 minutes & died. Everything else is OK. The problem with the switches was surely low voltage, caused by me leaving the EFIS turned on for hours, and running the battery down. 2.0 hr
July 16 - got new BMA magnetometer sent to me overnight at no charge. It works great. 0.25 hr
July 21 - contacted David at Avionics Systems & said I want to get seriously moving on the panel design & build. I will see him & give him a deposit at OSH in a couple days.
July 22 - ordered the Grand Rapids Technologies EFIS system. Big picture of it HERE. They said to expect it to take 3-4 weeks for delivery. They were also nice enough to agree to lend me an empty EIS4000 case, so I can get that mounted, without having to wait until December to get mine that's coming with the Eggenfellner engine.
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