[August 25, 2009]

Tonight I started by running the power wires from the Main Bus to the taxi light switch and to the nav light switch. This officially completed the wiring of all of the switches.

Next on the to-do list in the wiring realm was the pilot and copilot stick grips. My pilot grip is the most complicated with 4 buttons -- the copilot only has one lonely button. However, first off I needed to trim the length of the pilot stick since with the grip on, it was too long. It was hitting the panel. I got in the plane and rested my hand at a comfortable level on the grip aside the control stick. I marked the stick to indicate where I wanted the bottom of the grip to be. After that I did some fancy math and determined I needed to take off 3 5/16" from the pilot stick.

Next I committed what will certainly be pointed out as a mortal sin on a RV -- I put a hole in the control stick for wiring. A little background -- Van's doesn't recommend putting a hole in the control stick because it will severely weaken the strength of the stick. Someone on the VAF forums did a computer model and found it changed the breaking force of the stick from somewhere around 360 lbs to 120 lbs -- a factor of 3! So why would someone knowingly put a hole in their stick? Well, there are only two places for wires to come out of the control stick -- the bottom of the stick or out the side. I seriously considered the bottom, but I felt like the wires would of had a greater chance interfering with the control pushrods for the ailerons. Since this hole is below the pivot point, the only force exerted on this portion of the stick is load on the ailerons, not elevator. I can't really think of anytime the ailerons would require over 100 lbs of force to move. So, I decided to risk it all. Plus there are 100's of other RV's out there with holes here and I don't think I have read a single NTSB report on any crashes because of a hole here. Anyways, I did this. Don't you do it. BTW, my hole was 3/8" for what its worth.

Here is a grommet in the stick now. Looks great.

Next I spent about an hour soldering 12 wires onto the different controls on the grip. Wow this is a nice grip.

I temporarily ran the wires down the stick and out of the grommet. I will put the nylon cover on them before I am through, I am just rough fitting everything.

Next I needed a way to tie the wires from the stick into the already-run wires under the seats. I started by making a 1" hole. Why on earth would I do this?

At work we use these Amp Circle Plastic 1 connectors all the time. They are rugged and perfect for the control stick connectors.

Here is the male (bulkhead version) on the right and female on the left.

After some drilling I installed the male bulkhead circle plastic connector with some #6 screws. Sure I made a big hole in this rib, but I think the CP connector will sufficiently reinforce this area.



Last Modified: September 4, 2017