The panel we’ve been flying with was very ugly as it was repurposed after Blue Mountain went out of business and we shoehorned the Grand Rapids EFIS in there. In order to get the interior ready we needed the panel to look nice and we decided it would be easier to start fresh.

We’ve elected to use the VP-X from Vertical Power to eliminate our breakers and some troublesome wiring, and generally simplify the whole system. I’ve done the planning and ordered everything I think I need, but some of which (including the VP-X itself) will not arrive for a couple of weeks yet. I did however get a fair amount of work done over my holiday.

All of the old electrical system has been removed. I’ve also cleaned up nearly every old bump and oddity that I wanted to remove (I’ve got the old EFIS battery and some diode mounts to blast yet) vanquished. I’ve got the new panel setup with a 3 mm metal overlay for the instruments to mount in, and have bonded it to the fiberglass panel. I never really liked how the instruments mounted onto the fiberglass, and this will give a nice rigid base. Everything outside of the metal reinforced areas will be filled even and covered with 3M Di-Noc faux carbon fiber. The panel edges have been cut and matched for nutplates, and the new pilot side will feature the prop controller for the constant-speed prop we will probably order in the coming weeks.

I’ve also built a new avionics shelf for the AHRS that now runs from side-to-side across the fuselage just behind and slightly below the panel similar to my buddy Andy’s. I plan to mount the VP-X on it, and run the wiring up the wiring ducts to the nose and through a grommet in the canard bulkhead rather than having so many wires crossing above the canard as I did previously.

While I was making the new radio stack rack mount, I improved the rear stack mounting with bars on both sides the support the rear of the whole stack, and then used two bars to attach the G430 box to the fuselage structure. I’ve also mounted a 5″ 1/4″ thick bar to the bottom of the panel that I intend to connect to the fuselage sides as well as triangular throttle/prop/mixture reinforcing tabs on the ends so that (hopefully) you can grasp the panel bottom when you’re racking your seat forward.

Here are some pictures. My apologizes for the fuzzy focus on many of them, the new camera is giving me some fits. Click on a picture to get a larger copy.

old Panel V2.0

old Panel V2.0

old Panel V2.0

Removed wiring

Preparing angle AL bracket for radio stack

Radio stack fitting

Adding filler to the bottom of radio stack for finish

Making a blank cover for Garmin 430 box

Radio Stack fitting

Fitting panel to airplane

Fitting to new avionics shelf

Filling Andy’s control panel cutout

Preparing to mount metal support

Mounted metal supports

Test mounting instruments and radios

Posted By: Brett Ferrell
Sunday January 2nd, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Categories: Avionics GRT Hx EFIS Instrument Panel
Tags: Avionics Blue Mountain (BMA) Building GRT Instrument Panel Instruments

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