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[December 15, 2011]


Unfortunately for me I couldn't go to work today -- I had too much vacation left over for this year so I needed to burn it before I lost it for the year. The forecast today was somewhat overcast with a chance of showers in the afternoon - plus very seasonable temperatures. While I could of snuck in a quick flight, I really wanted to get my autopilot installation finished. During the annual, I was able to get the servos installed and wires up to the pre-run wires I ran during the build. Todays goal was the control head installed into the panel.

The first thing I needed to add was a Autopilot switch to the panel. While some could argue it isn't needed, I wanted to have it just to be on the safe side. Something easy to turn off in case it went haywire. I may regret installing the switch down the road, but I can always reuse the switch hole for something else eventually.

In order to drill the hole for the switch, I made a template out of some scrap 063 in order to get my 15/16" spacing between switches perfectly.


I removed the retaining nuts from the fuel pump and position light switches.


I put some tape on the panel to protect the panel's paint from chipping while I drilled the new hole.


New hole in, however, the Fuel Pump label pealed pretty badly. Oh well, adding another label shouldn't be too hard.


New switch in!


I also needed to add another switch so the TruTrak Digiflight II could be controlled from either the GRT EFIS or the Garmin 430W through the ARINC interface. This is how GRT recommends installing a TT AP.


These 6 wires took a while to solder into the switch.


I was running short on time because I needed to run to class. However, I did wire up the DB25 that connects to the TruTrak AP's head unit.


I didn't really have time for this, but I was too close to say no. I fired up the head unit. I turned on the pitch and roll axis on the autopilot, and voila! Both servo's came to life! It was really cool seeing the stick move when I changed the orientation of the control head. I didn't have time to check if the servos were moving in the right direction or not. However, both were moving. Good news! Hopefully I will finish this up this weekend and get a test flight in!

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