Category: Wiring

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

Avionics and Wiring

October 22, 2020 – I realized when I looked at my time log how long it’s been since I posted an update, so here goes…

Com Harness

I finished the connectors and put the harness in place. I’m trying my damnedest to not have a rats nest here. Once everything is clamped in place and tied back, it’ll be OK. This is what happens when a sheet metal guy handles wires.

I did the headset and mic jacks. I made some a long time ago, but I didn’t have wires for PTT in there, so I took mine out and used the new ones.

I also installed the antennas.

Tailcone Wiring

Well, I call it the tailcone because once I get in there, I may as well be all the way back there.

I assembled the harness for the autopilot pitch servo. Power, ground and a yellow wire for AP disconnect go up front. The rest go into the Skyview network.

Since I have limited space for wires to go up the tunnel between the seats, I bought a hub to put in the tailcone and I ran a 15-foot Skyview network cable to the front.

I made a bracket where the transponder attaches to the center beam in the fuselage.

Air Temperature Probe

I installed the OAT probe in the fuselage under the left horizontal stab. I ran the wires up through tiny grommets I had and they go straight to the ADHRS.


For a long time I had the “life-size” Dynon templates taped to the panel on my table and I was playing around with them trying to find the best locations. When I was ready to make a decision, I found out that those templates were about 1/4″ small. That made a big difference in what I was going to do. So I did some rearranging.

In the above pictures I have the two coms with the intercom panel above them. I wasn’t sure I liked that, so I redrew that stack with the intercom underneath. Much better.

I decided to do the cutting myself. Lots of filing…

It appears that except for the intercom panel, all the Dynon panel items have the same cutouts. Nice idea…

After those center items, I did the cutouts for the screens.

Here’s the panel in the airplane:

I still have to do the other small items in the panel, which I just ordered.

I’m just going on, routing wires and terminating them as needed. One wire at a time…

Time: 42:00

Tail Wiring

May 8, 2020 – I ran the wiring from the tail forward towards the cabin.

I have the wire bundles for the taillight and for elevator trim. Trying to figure out the cleanest and safest route for the wires…

Here’s what I started with:

I didn’t like the lack of support going into the tailcone. So I drilled a hole in that upper bulkhead and placed a snap bushing there.

I realized I was going to need a path all the way up at least to the wing spar. I was also going to have to run coax from the transponder and ADSB antennas that way, and I couldn’t figure out how I was going to do that. My seat pans are riveted down, so I didn’t know if there was a way to run wires forward under those. The bulkheads are solid forward and aft. So I took a look at the drawings for those bulkheads.

Well, I realized that some holes were hiding from me. I already had holes and snap bushings in the bulkhead between the seat pans at the flap torque tube.

That was half of the problem…how do I get the wires past the elevator torque tube at the baggage bulkhead?

I looked again at the drawing for that bulkhead. Wait a minute…there can be holes there. I don’t really know why I never drilled them.

So okay…I have to drill two 5/8″ holes in there with limited access, without hitting the rivets or damaging any structure.

I carefully drilled two #40 holes, and then took them up to 1/2″ with a small unibit. How to get to 5/8″? A friend had welded a rod onto a large unibit. So I could chuck it into my 3/8 drill and get it down in there.

Here’s the result…

Deburring was almost as much fun as drilling these holes…. Just have to do some paint touch-up too.

And here’s the final result:

I installed a clamp on a bulkhead to hold the wires clear of the elevator pushrod:

I finished this by lunchtime that day, but with the crawling around back in the tailcone, I was ready to go home and go back to bed…

Time: 8:30

Elevator Trim Wiring

May 8, 2020 – I connected the elevator trim servo to its wire bundle.

To get a connector in the tailcone where it can be accessed, I cut about a foot of the wire bundle and spliced it to the servo wires. Those wires are so short, they stay buried inside the elevator, so they needed to be extended.

One big issue I ran into was that I didn’t have wire strippers small enough to handle 26 gauge wire. I have an Ideal stripper, and I guess I wasn’t aware that the blades could be changed. I found a set on Amazon that was a whole lot cheaper than buying a new stripper. This range of wire sizes will make more sense for the work I have coming up.

So here’s the wire I have running from the servo out of the elevator. I’m just running it in the open space of the elevator leading edge. I installed a 6-wire molex connector I got from Stein.

The disconnect will lie in the space under the vertical stabilizer. Here’s the connection with the elevator on:

Time: 8:30

Tail Light

May 8, 2020 – I finished the wiring for the taillight on the rudder.

I installed the molex connector (provided by AeroLEDs) to the pigtails on the light.

I drilled the hole in the vertical spar for the wire to pass through. After a lot of thought and soul-searching about how to route this wiring, I looked on the RV7 Plans CD I got from Van’s. I found OP-56 which covers tail lighting. So I drilled the hole as dictated by this drawing. It goes in the upper half of the lower rudder hinge bracket. The local ground here uses one of the mount bolts for the tailwheel bracket.

So I installed the other half of the molex connector on my shielded wire bundle, and put a piece of expandable wrap on the wire where it passes through the spar.

I doubled up the ground wires. One is for the light itself and the other is for the shield ground for the wire bundle. So I will have two wires connected to the local ground; this pigtail from the molex and the separate chassis ground wire from where the light attaches in the fairing.

Here’s where the wires will exit from the lower rudder fairing.

I have since enlarged that hole so the molex will fit through it. May never have to come apart, but being a mechanic, I’m always trying to think about maintenance, unlike engineers, who just design it to put it together, and solve the maintenance problem later.

I put power to the light to try it out. Wow! I couldn’t see for 15 minutes afterwards! Strobe and position light work great.

Time: 5:00