[June 30, 2012]

My engine has been sagging almost since the first flight. When I mounted my cowl, I placed them to account for 1/16" or so of expected sag. However, the sag has continued a little more than that and has rubbed my lower cowl somewhat.

You can see a slight sag where the cowl and spinner align.

The bottom tells the same story.

And of course the tell tale sign of the lower cowl having some damage.

There are two main fixes for this. One is to reglass the entire cowl, and the other is to shim the engine via the lower mounts with an extra AN970-7 washer. I didn't feel like spending a bunch of time with reglassing the cowl, so I went the route of adjusting the spacing on the lower engine mounts. First job was to remove the cotter pins holding on the AN7 castelated nuts.

Once the nuts were loose on the lower mounts, I got the engine hoist out and lifted up the engine.

Low and behold, the engine pulled away from the engine mounts.

I installed an extra AN970-7 washer. I also used a all-metal locknut rather than a caste nut. The castle nuts are a pain to get a cotter pin on in this configuration. I needed to use a longer bolt than the previous AN7-44. I opted for a AN7-45A with the extra AN970-7 washer.

While the cowl was off, I re-secured the connector for the #3 EGT sensor.

I popped back on the cowl to see what I got. It looks OK - now the spinner is above the top cowl -- but there isn't any rubbing.

I took the plane out for a test ride with the new configuration. While I was taxing down to the runway, it started raining. I have never had the RV in the rain before.

The test ended up being completely successful. The RV operated exactly as it did before.

I bought some tan Bison Bags recently. They fit perfectly behind the seats and really reduce the clutter I had in the baggage area. They also move the CG forward of all the clutter.

I have had the Appareo Stratus for a couple of months now to receive ADS-B in flight weather for the iPad. I have noticed that it looses the ADS-B traffic frequently when on the dash of the RV, and it gets super hot. Whoever designed a black plastic device that is supposed to be mounted on a dash should be shot! Anyways, the Stratus does get super hot, and I think the metal dash of the RV attenuates the antenna. Whenever I would move the Stratus off of the dash and hold it in my hand, the ADS-B reception would come back immediately.

The Stratus can be powered externally by a USB device (it also has a internal battery). Also, there is an antenna connector for a $70 antenna Stratus sells.

I didn't like the idea of paying $70 for a Stratus ADS-B antenna. So I decided to roll my own. I thought the connector was a MCX female, but I was wrong. It looks like it is a modified MCX female. I learned this the hard way by buying a $3.50 MCX male connector. However, I was able to modify the cable end to fit into the Stratus.

The other end goes to a TED transponder antenna ($20). There is also a MCX-to-BNC adapter to get the MCX cable to connect to the BNC connector of the TED transponder antenna. I did a flight with this configuration and it worked GREAT! I had ADS-B weather almost down to 200' AGL. I did some tests of leaving the ADS-B external antenna disconnected and the results were poor. I am going to make a cross country next weekend and will give this some more testing before I drill it into the bottom of the fuselage.

After the ADS-B test. I removed the cowl and looked to see any interference from the engine shimming. Looks perfect!

I needed some way to power my Stratus ADS-B receiver and my iPad. Amazon had a MediaBridge brand 12V to 1.0 Amp and 2.0 Amp USB type connectors. This looked perfect to power the Stratus and also the iPad. I modified the power adapter to be more "RV Friendly" by soldering on some 20 gauge wire instead of the normal cigarette style adapter.

I mounted the Stratus under by map box with some velcro (crooked to boot!) and secured it further with a zip tie.

One of my landing lights wasn't working....

After some debugging, it looks like the bulb went out. But then all the sudden, neither landing light worked! I don't know if I blew up the wig-wag controller? The fuse wasn't blown.....I will have to dig into this deeper later.

I am also playing around with a better iPad mount. There doesn't seem to be a great way to mount this in the RV cockpit.



Last Modified: June 20, 2024