Carlson Skunk Works

November 8th, 2013

AMF 14H MARANDA SN:1026 Making Sawdust November 8, 2013

Posted by Roger in AMF 14H Maranda SN1026, news

Wow! Another month has gone by since the last post. Well, I am still making progress, but have not taken many pictures of the steps that have occurred in the past few weeks. What I do have is project pictures and a report about the EAA Sportair Workshop that I attended in Dallas, TX on October 19 & 20. The experience was fun and I learned a great deal!

The EAA Sportair Workshops are presented at multiple locations around the country. This was my first workshop, but I am already considering attending another one as Sawdust progresses. I went to the Electrical Systems & Avionics course, but there were other courses being held at the same site at the same time.

I chose to go to the workshop in Dallas because I can get free lodging while I am there and can see my son and grandson at the same time. So I took some vacation and did the ten hour drive on Thursday afternoon so I could be with on a school outing on Friday with my grandson. I left Kearney just at noon and arrived at my son’s apartment at 10:30pm even with a supper stop at Braum’s on the north side of Oklahoma City. I can make pretty good time if I am by myself.

This is what I came home with from the workshop. The manual has lots of good information, includes a copy of every slide that the instructor talked to and notes about what he said. There is enough room around the edge of the slides to include quite a few notes. The hands on portion of the workshop provided instruction and practice of soldering and crimping and the theory portion helped me to understand why things need to be done in a particular way. The projects that I completed were mine to keep and take home with me. I should be able to reuse some of the parts.

The manual is really well done and has lots of additional material that will be useful for reference.

The first project was learning to use crimpers to connect wires together and to attach terminal ends. What I found really interesting was that using crimped connections is the preferred technique for aircraft wiring. My electronics background had me prejudiced toward soldering, but in our airplanes there is a lot of vibration and soldering the multi-strand wires that we use turns them into a solid wire which becomes quite susceptible to work hardening and breaking where there is vibration. Anyplace where the wires are soldered we need to add strain relief such as shrink tubing collars.

The second project was to wire up an intercom harness. We only wired it for one headset, but it gave us experience with crimping and soldering and applying shrink tubing and planning ahead. Be sure to put the shrink tube on the wire before you solder it to the connector, or you will have to unsolder it and put the shrink tubing on and re-solder it. This also provided experience working with shielded cables.

Sunday morning’s project was to install a BNC connector on a coax cable. This was a bit more involved and required some careful measuring, cutting, trimming and crimping. Not hard, just detailed.

The final project was to wire up a circuit by following a wiring schematic. This circuit simulated something that most people will end up doing in their planes. There is a switch that will turn on the navigation lights and the cockpit lights. If you need the cockpit lights it is probably dark enough that you will need the navigation lights, so one switch controls both. The cockpit lights may need to be dimmed, so there is a rheostat for dimming them. Each circuit needs to have a protective fuse so that a short in that circuit will not remove power from other, possibly more important, circuits. Therefore, there is a fuse in the circuit. Then there needs to be a power distribution bus and a power supply. Our power supplies were a AA battery that is in a holder on the underside of the chassis.

When the switch is turned on the lights come on.

Adjusting the rheostat dims the cabin light, but leaves the navigation lights on full.

I really enjoyed the class! They also had coffee and cookies available at the start of each day.

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