Instrument Panel

NOTE:  photos link to full size image

Initial layout of the instruments and vents. I have not bought any instruments at this point, but will need to do so very soon.
This is my final panel layout using Experimental Panel Builder. I settled on traditional altimeter and airspeed indicator, used Narco com radio, EIS with fuel probe, slip indicator, and Richie boat compass. I will use my portable Sigtronics intercom rather than a panel mounted one. This is definitely a low cost approach!
The radio came with a tray, but I needed to fabricate a bracket to attach it to the panel. I used scrap 1x1 angle and some 1/2" aluminum bar. The whole thing turned out very sturdy.
The panel then had the instrument holes cut. I used my fly cutter in my hand drill for this. This approach may seem intimidating, but it works great.
Instrument and radio holes cut and debured.
I decided to have the eyeball vents mounted right on the panel (I've got plenty of room!). The SCAT hose adapter was positioned and marked on the back of the panel.
After the holes are cut, the eyeballs will be glued with silicon to the back of the panel so that just the movable part of the vent pokes through the panel. This should give it a clean, simple appearance.
After the holes are cut and dressed up, the vents were test fitted in place. I won't glue them in until after the panel is painted.
I received my Altimeter and Airspeed Indicator and was able to test fit them in the panel. The holes were just a smidge too small, and needed to be enlarged with my half-round file. The notch for the Altimeter is a bit of a hassle to cut, but make a template and work slowly.
After getting the altimeter placed in the panel, I realized that I had some interference with the radio bracket. I modified the bracket to remove the offending material.
It fits very nicely, and the loss of strength is minimized.
The panel is next etched with Alumiprep prior to being coated with black wrinkle paint. I've used this paint before and it makes an attractive, non-glare finish.

Finishing the Panel


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Updated: 2 Dec 05