So - I didn't build it. Like many buyers of these amazing aircraft, I wanted to put my mark on it.
I decided early on I wanted an IFR panel so I began researching the various configurations possible, of which as anyone knows, there are a plethora.
So this is where I started. I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep some of the round dials or not, my initial thoughts were to grab 2 G5's and a GPS and call it good. After many discussions with Stein, I decided against that and decided to go G3X, with another Comm radio (GTR-200B), GTX-35R and Autopilot servos. The future plans would be to add a GPS-175, G5 and GNC-507.
One trip to Danny King's 'Beautiful Doll' would change all of that and save me thousands of dollars in the long run while giving me everything I needed with no future expansion needed. After seeing the capability of the Garmin GPS/G3X combo I knew I couldn't/didn't want to wait. Immediately after seeing his setup I called Stein and the wheels started turning. Switching out the GTX-35R and GPS-175 for the GNX-375 would save me a little over $1000 dollars in equipment and, I'm sure, another $1500-$2000 dollars in Labor (think, tear down and harness' sometime down the road to install the GPS-175, G5's and GNC-507.) It would also give me ADS-B IN which solved another conundrum I was bouncing around in my head: XM vs ADS-B. I had landed on going with XM since it'd provide me better coverage and music. With this set up, I got both - which is more savings because adding ADS-B IN to the GTX-35R would require more equipment and labor.
Are you still following me? It's a lot and I'm not a brilliant writer.. my point is, there are literally a hundreds of ways you can configure this stuff to get to the same point. There is not a lot of literature/tools, in my opinion, that educate the end user on what is needed to get to that point. Lean on people like Stein and Walt. These two are geniuses and they embrace the community.
I thought initially about posting the evolution of my panel, but we'd be here for days. It started out with 2 G5's though evolved to Dual G3x 7" screens to "Wait, why not just 1 G3X 10" screen" and that's just the display! Other questions like XM/ADS-B in, Transponder, to go remote or to go knobs.. you get the picture.
I guess what I'm trying to say, again, Call Stein or Walt. Tell them what you want, and they will not steer you wrong. But before you do that... definitely go sit in an airplane that has what you think you want. It made a huge difference for me.
This is where I finally landed:
G3X (GDU-460) - 10" screen
GDL-51R (XM baby!)
GTR-200 (Comm 1, I elected to keep my SL40 for Comm 2 (was yet, another change in my build which led to needing an audio panel..............)
GMA-245R (remote mount audio panel)
G5 (with battery)
OH! and a pitot tube, yet another change that would have been needed if I went with Phase 1/Phase 2 approach I initially planned
GAP-26 Heated (unregulated) pitot.
I decided, against the advice of many, to build a center radio stack to keep the panel clean and allow for as many knobs (not-remote) as possible. I can't help but think the tactile reference of a knob in bumpy IMC is going to prove helpful.... again, I could definitely be fooling myself.
Work began last Friday at Richmond Aircraft (Monkey’s). I'd like to chronicle it as much as I can, but I am on my way out of the country for a bit. I'll do my best......
Panel and Harness done, ready for shipping: