Homebuilt Aircraft Electric System Hints
I want to pass on to you some electric system
tips that helped during the construction of my airplane. I
you'll also find them useful as you build yours.
soldering multiple pin terminals
I did as much of
this work on the bench as I could manage. It was a lot easier
to do the precise work in a comfortable position instead of lying over
the center spar.
I found it best to solder all the
wires into the pins before I put any heatshrink on. When I
tried heatshrinking as I went, the soldering iron kept burning the old
heatshrink as I soldered the next pin.
I found a
small parts holder tool like this one from Harbor Freight was a huge
was hard to hold both the d-sub connector and the wire at the same time
as I soldered.
I soldered the d-subs by heating each
pin and putting a little solder in it. Only after they all
had solder in them did I start connecting the wires. I
stripped the end of the wire, then touched the iron to the pin and
pushed the wire into the solder. I removed the iron, let the
solder cool, and gave a light tug to ensure the wire was set.
used masking tape to initially label both ends of every wire of all of
my electric system components. I then removed the
tape when I soldered the end or crimped it onto a terminal.
All those white wires look exactly the same when the bundle is run and
you can’t see both ends. See how I would have done permanent
labeling for more discussion.
used string to help pull the wires. I ran a piece of string
through the conduit. Then when I pulled some wires, I taped
them and another piece of string to the original string. I could then
pull everything through the conduit. When I was done, I still
had a piece of string to pull the next wires.
wires through the gearbox, I made a big loop of string that ran from
the top, through the gearbox and out the bottom, then connected the
ends on the outside. I taped the wires I was pulling to the
string, and pulled them through. This gave me an easy way to
continually pull wires without having to reach inside the
gearbox. I ended up making two loops of string. One
ran top to bottom of the gearbox, the other ran from the top to the
side, below the throttle quadrant.
When I finished
pulling everything, I taped the ends of the string in place.
Now if I ever want to pull more wires, it should be easy.
USE A TRICKLE CHARGER! These may damage your
electronics. You are better off using a power
supply, or an extra battery. I didn’t have a spare battery
lying around, so to check a lot of my stuff, I pulled my truck up to
the front of the airplane and hooked up the battery without even
removing it from the truck.
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