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  #1  
Old 12-17-2019, 05:34 PM
jamesrw2002 jamesrw2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 46
Default RV-4 N129MS

Avionics

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
GNX-375
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)
GMC-507
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......

Teardown begins:



Panel and Harness done, ready for shipping:

__________________
James Walsh
VAF Staph since 98
RV-4 based at 52F
G550 Based at VHHH
... or LGB.. or ZHHH... or wherever they tell me to put the thing.
Proudly paid the donation!
USN OEF/OIF Vet

Last edited by jamesrw2002 : 12-21-2019 at 09:28 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2019, 06:14 PM
jamesrw2002 jamesrw2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 46
Default Additional thoughts..

After looking over invoices of the various changes and asking Stein if he minds me sharing, abandoning the VFR (Phase I) then sometime next spring IFR (phase II) approach saved me over $3k in equipment alone.

I wanted to share this with the community for those that may be thinking about doing something similar, but also to gather any feedback from the community for what to do next/what I should do differently whilst I'm in the install stage.
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James Walsh
VAF Staph since 98
RV-4 based at 52F
G550 Based at VHHH
... or LGB.. or ZHHH... or wherever they tell me to put the thing.
Proudly paid the donation!
USN OEF/OIF Vet
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2019, 07:40 PM
jamesrw2002 jamesrw2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 46
Default Future Considerations:

Future Considerations:

  1. Cockpit Lighting
    Thinking of blue/red LED strip lighting under the canopy rail on both sides running front to back (for the backseat too)
  2. Labeling the panel
    Thinking I may find someone to print out my labeling in vinyl then go over it with a matte/flat clear, if anyone has any other suggestions, I'd like to hear!
  3. Hotel Whiskey Aux Fuel Tanks
    Add another 1+ hour of fuel for 3k? Seems too good to be true.
  4. Swap SL40 with SL30 to gain VOR NAV capability
    Other possibilities would be to sell the GTR-200 then pick up the GTR-20 and then throw a GNC-255 where the 200 was. This would obviously be the more expensive way to go about this all, I am definitely open to suggestions here
  5. Smoke System
    Because, why not?
__________________
James Walsh
VAF Staph since 98
RV-4 based at 52F
G550 Based at VHHH
... or LGB.. or ZHHH... or wherever they tell me to put the thing.
Proudly paid the donation!
USN OEF/OIF Vet

Last edited by jamesrw2002 : 12-17-2019 at 08:40 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2019, 09:33 PM
jamesrw2002 jamesrw2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 46
Default Everything has arrived

Everything is here!


*photo credit Doug

I want to thank Stein again for all of the help! I am looking forward to getting back to this Airplane!
__________________
James Walsh
VAF Staph since 98
RV-4 based at 52F
G550 Based at VHHH
... or LGB.. or ZHHH... or wherever they tell me to put the thing.
Proudly paid the donation!
USN OEF/OIF Vet

Last edited by jamesrw2002 : 12-21-2019 at 10:15 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2019, 04:49 PM
jamesrw2002 jamesrw2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 46
Default Battery relocation, G3X Wiring diagram

Monk found a brilliant fix to a possibly sticky scenario, the plan for the center radio stack pretty much hinged on relocating everything under the floor that would be affected. So the Battery and relays needed to move - the firewall seemed like a good place because this would help with the aft CG of my airplane and free up some much needed space. The only issue is, apparently on my airplane there isn't any room to do this so Monk devised a genius plan and mounted it on the engine mount, it will sit in the cheek of the engine cowl. Barring any unintended consequences of placing it here, it should be perfect!

I'm also going to post my G3x wiring schematic just because I think it's cool.. and it may help out a future builder.

Battery:




Wires!!! :



Link to a bigger diagram picture

<Edit>
Speaking of wires, I have to say (without having actually laid eyes on any of this in person, as I am currently out of the country for work..) I am thoroughly impressed by Stein's design work. The schematic and the way the wires are labeled, I am sure will make life so much easier in the future. Money very well spent. I cannot sing Stein's or Monk's praises high enough! Seriously, unless you ABSOLUTELY want to go through the process of designing a harness/electrical system, Stein is the way to go. </edit>
__________________
James Walsh
VAF Staph since 98
RV-4 based at 52F
G550 Based at VHHH
... or LGB.. or ZHHH... or wherever they tell me to put the thing.
Proudly paid the donation!
USN OEF/OIF Vet

Last edited by jamesrw2002 : 12-27-2019 at 07:57 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-30-2019, 10:38 AM
Jvon811's Avatar
Jvon811 Jvon811 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: KFNT Central Michigan
Posts: 143
Default

Excellent work! That's exactly where my battery is located on my RV-4. If space/weight ever is an issue, I'm running a Odyssey PC545 battery which is a bit smaller. Saved 4lbs too. Zero issues with cold cranking starting an O-320 with dual P-Mags.
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-Justin

RV-4 N249P
O-320, Dual P-Mags, Warnke Prop, GRT Sport EX
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2019, 11:37 AM
iwannarv iwannarv is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Olathe, KS
Posts: 392
Default

Looks good James! Looking forward to seeing the final product!
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RV-10 Emp/Tailcone - Complete, QB Wings - Building, Fuse - Building
Never judge a man by his trim tabs.
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2019, 12:11 PM
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AndyRV7 AndyRV7 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hudson County, NJ
Posts: 1,092
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Beautiful. Thanks for all the pics.
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2020, 07:33 PM
jamesrw2002 jamesrw2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 46
Default Work continues...

So, ran in to a bit of an issue:



Luckily, Monk knew just the fix. I didn't really want to move the A/P panel. Seemed to be a great location being so close to the throttles. Can Easily reach for functions with my non-flying hand if needed. We came up with several ideas how to proceed but eventually settled on this and the way Monk did it makes it just look like it was meant to be that way:



Next issue is the top arch where the canopy and panel meet. Apparently, the old one wont work, my previous panel (unknown to me) was warped and twisted in order to fit under the old arch. A new one will need to be fabricated. This, I understand, is not an easy job.





I am still out of the country for a few more weeks, I will try to continue posting updates as I get them!

As always, if anyone has any ideas or suggestions while we go through this, I am always all ears!
__________________
James Walsh
VAF Staph since 98
RV-4 based at 52F
G550 Based at VHHH
... or LGB.. or ZHHH... or wherever they tell me to put the thing.
Proudly paid the donation!
USN OEF/OIF Vet

Last edited by jamesrw2002 : 01-04-2020 at 04:15 AM.
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