Tanya & Bryan Duke's RV-6 Panel Rebuild
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24 May 05: The panel design has changed again! (More on that below.)

My Spruce order hadn't arrived by the time I went to the airport, so I got there looked at my list of things to do. This weekend is Memorial Day & we were asked to fly in a flyby for one of the local festivities. It's also a 4 day weekend that'd be great to get a ton of work done on the plane. I'm now committed. I took off the cowling & started removing old sensors on the engine. My A&P said he was interested in my old Electronics International (EI) CHT & EGT gauge, so we're working out a deal for that. I'm taking my time removing all the old sensors that talk to the EI so that they can be installed in whatever is next for them.

One concern I have is the difference in diameter of the old EGT sensors comapred to the new ones. Hopefully the smaller diameter new ones don't let little jets of 1300 degree exhaust gases out into the engine bay. I'll let you figure out which one of these is the new one.

I removed all the temperature sensors on the engine except the Oil temp. I also un-routed the wire bundle for the sensors & have it almost ready to pull through the firewall for final removal. Here's a photo of the wires that go to the EI CHT/EGT gauge. I'll replace these wires with the same number for the new engine monitor, so I'm not really saving any weight here...in fact, it feels a little like busy work. The new sensors are different though & are already calibrated for my AF2500 engine monitor.

Alright, so why the panel design change? We've always wanted to build in room to add another EFIS on the right side of the panel. It's pretty cost-prohibitive to plop down the cash for another EFIS/Lite, so I started researching my options. The EFIS/Lite has an "External HUD" output that you can select. Long story, but I'm now working with Blue Mountain Avionics (makers of the EFIS/Lite) to develop a repeater display for our plane. I'll release more details later on the project, but the goal is to have an EFIS/Sport sized display that will serve as a primary flight instrument reference for the person in the right seat. It is not the EFIS/Sport, but it might end up looking pretty close to one by the time I'm done.

This display is pretty large (6" wide x 4" tall), so it required moving the backup instruments (vacuum powered attitude indicator, airspeed & altitude) to the left side of the panel. The arrangement shown here isn't the best as far as an instrument cross check would go if you are on the backup gauges, but there's some non-movable structure behind the top left 2 gauges for the canopy. That's the only arrangement that'll work given how I want the instruments spaced. I think the display on the right looks great. Hopefully that project won't take too long to complete.

My order from Aircraft Spruce was waiting for me when I got home from the airport. It doesn't look like much, but it should be all of the wire, big switches & circuit breakers I'll need for the project. Oh yeah, and a bottle of AvBlend too - gotta have that.

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