Category: Lighting

All You Gotta Do…

June 28, 2021 – A lot has happened lately. This is a long post, but it’s a lot easier to just do a post with everything I’ve done instead of breaking it out by specific project. So here goes…


We’ll start with the obvious…the panel.

I got the panel installed. I had some nice black brass screws to install the panel blank into the airplane. Well, the third screw in broke. I decided I didn’t have any magnetic sensitive need to use brass, so I ordered black steel screws. Much better. I started to install items in the panel, starting in the middle and high up, so I had access.

I installed a bracket for the alternate air, so I could keep from running the cable through the panel itself.

I also installed my glareshield lights. When everything important was in, I fired it up…

I’ve also been installing placards and labels where needed. My friend Clint Caldwell in Atlanta made me some laser-etched placards. Thanks, Clint!!!

I took the airplane outside to check on the GPS operation. Looks like a lot of green bars…


The next item to take care of was the stick grips and their wiring.

I used 9-pin dsub connectors for the stick grips. I wanted to make them as simple as possible to remove.

I had previously cut the sticks down to height, and I didn’t like the cut on the right stick. Luckily I had enough of the stick tube left over from the cut to make a new one. I then covered the sticks with vinyl again.


Since the airplane is registered and my number is official, I ordered numbers. These will be temporarily permanent. I got 12″ decals from Sporty’s. Decent price and a fairly fast turnaround. These seem huge, but for the time being they’re fine.

Landing Lights

Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time is to replace the HID bulbs in my Duckworks landing lights with LEDs. I ordered some on Amazon. These are very nice.

Aileron Stops

Another item I didn’t do before was to install aileron stops.

I’ve always read about delryn stops at the attach bolt as opposed to the stock angle riveted to the aileron. I started doing a bit of research as to how to do these. I thought about a guy at Aerocountry who does a bit of machining and fabrication for his RV6. I contacted him and he sent me a picture of his. We agreed to meet the next day at his hangar to talk about it. When I showed up at his hangar he handed me a bag with two stops turned to 3/4″ outside diameter, which according to my research seems to be the sweet spot for 7’s. “Here you go; I made these last night.” Wow. I love this community. I asked him what I owed him and he shrugged and said “20 bucks”.

I installed them and the upward throw is 27.5 degrees on both sides. That’s well within the required range, so I’m sticking with them.

Thanks, Colin!!! Here’s before and after, different sides, of course…


I hung the flaps and set out to rig them.

First off is just hanging the flaps.

Here’s my pin safety setup that I made when I built the wings…

The inboard upper skin of each flap did rub the fuselage skin, so I ended up removing roughly 1/8″ from each flap.

I had to make the flap rods that attach the flaps to the bellcrank inside the airplane.

The next thing I had to do was cut the holes in the belly where the flap rods come through the fuselage. This was a little difficult to do, since you’re cutting perfectly good metal, and also it’s hard to get a good shape without removing too much material. There are holes that get you started…

Oddly enough, it appears I don’t have a picture of the final holes.

I installed the flap actuator housing in the cockpit. To do this I closed the baggage compartment tunnel. I cleaned it out really well ,then installed the panel.

Then I installed the forward and aft faces of the actuator housing. I figured out that I had to install the bolt for the actuator before I installed the housing.

I connected the flaps to the bellcrank, locked the ailerons to the wingtips, lined up the flaps with the ailerons, adjusted the rods, the slid bolts into place. Put power on the airplane and ran the flaps. After a small adjustment, got the flaps to a perfect 45 degrees.


After tying some wiring back and cleaning up back there, I installed the large elevator control rod. This goes from the elevator bellcrank just behind the baggage compartment all the way back to the elevators.

I removed all of the blue film from the airplane. I’ve read how this causes some people a lot of panic about how hard it is to remove, but it was no problem. There’s a lot of it, and it took part of 2 days to get it all. I did have to drop end end of each aileron because I left the film on the leading edges and I couldn’t get to it all. It looks like…well…a new airplane. I left one panel of it on the left wing where I’m making a final to-do list. read more

Connecting Wing Wiring

April 27, 2021 – Now that the wings are on I can connect the wing wiring.

I safetied the tank attach bolts. Not sure why they need to be safetied, since they go into a nutplate that locks, but OK… I drilled the safety wire hole in the steel bracket.

I also installed the fuel lines.

I ran the pitot and AOA tubes into the fuselage and back to the ADAHRS, then connected the heat controller. Put power on the airplane and the heat works. I don’t have a message saying the heta is either on or off yet; I’ll set that up later in Dynon.

I ran and terminated the wires for the roll autopilot servo. The Skyview network portion is connected to the hub in the back.

I plan on connecting the wires for the lighting and the stick grips on a terminal bar under the left seat.

When I tried my lights, I had crossed the wires for the right landing light and the right nav lights. Got that figured out and now the lighting works correctly.

Time: 25:00

Right wingtip complete

October 23, 2013 – With the right wing on the table, I wanted to arrange the wiring so that the wingtip would be removable and the wiring would be reasonably secured.

I cut the 4-strand cable for the strobe to length and terminated the wires for the wingtip. I clamped the wires to the rib I installed in the tip. Here’s a before and after:

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Here’s close-ups of the wiring inside the tip, and of the terminal connection on the wing itself.

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I temporarily installed the wingtip to the wing, mainly just for storage. The phillips head 4-40 screws I have will not work later on. I’ve already stripped a few of them, so I’ll be getting torx fasteners later on.

Of course I had to try my lights with everything installed.


I’m calling the right wingtip complete.

A friend from work came over and helped me put the right wing back in the stand and the left wing on the table.

Time: 2:30

Started wingtip lenses

March 21, 2013 – I started cutting and fitting the wingtip lenses.

Van’s provides you with a formed bubble of plexiglass that you cut to make the two wingtip light lenses. I didn’t get a picture of it before I cut it in half, but here is a lens half before trimming:


I set it in place over the wingtip cutout and started trimming. I was able to use snips until I was down to fine adjustment, when I used files and sandpaper.


When I was happy with the fit, I taped it in place, and drilled the screw holes at #40, and clecoed the lens in place. Now on to the other one…


Time: 2:00

Wingtip lighting almost done

March 5, 2013 – I’ve come a long way since my last update.

Since I did the green LEDs last time, I got the red ones done:


Here’s a guide to how I wired the LEDs:


I installed the strobes on the wingtip cutout backing plates I made. As I wrote before, I didn’t want to attach the strobes to the wingtip fiberglass.

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These are the outside and inside views of the strobes. The strobes are Whelen Vertex Hide-a-way Super LED strobes that I got from Strobes N’ More. If they turn out to be not what I need, the cutouts are the standard 1″ hole, so I can drop in a regular strobe if required.

030513005The next thing I needed to do was to make spacers for the screws for the mirrored plexiglass since it sits on top of the LEDs. I needed 1/4″ OD and ID to fit a #6 screw. I found longer spacers and cut them to fit. Unfortunately, the height I need is only 1/8″, so these were kind of a pain to make. They aren’t pristine parts, so I’ll be replacing them with better spacers at some point. For now, they do the job.

Here you see the spacer between the rivets for a nutplate:


…and placed over a screw for the plexiglass:


Here are side views of the plexiglass installed with the spacers:

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I hooked up both wingtips to power, and…


…everything works!

Not the best quality, but you get the idea…


I started installing the wiring on the outboard wing ribs. I made brackets for the LED drivers. I used thermal epoxy to attach the driver pucks to the brackets, then screwed the brackets to the ribs. I plan on using the terminal bars to connect the lighting to the wiring, so I installed terminals on the driver puck wires.

Time: 6:40

Started work on wingtip lighting

January 11, 2012 – I had some time to tinker, so I took down a wingtip from its storage, and I made the template for the LED lighting for the position lights. I’m using the system done by David LaSala. Just barely got started with this, because due to the lack of funds for the fuselage, I want to do this work after the wings are closed.

Here’s the template I traced from the outline of the cutout for the tip.

Time: :20