Finishing the Instrument Panel

 
 
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The tools used to get a nice wrinkle finish: Tempo Wrinkle Paint from Wicks, and an IR Thermometer.
The paint works best when it is warm, and being December and all, I'm a little shy on warm right now :-) I'll use a couple of 500-watt halogen lights and a cardboard box to make a hot box.
The goal is to get the surface of the panel around 100-110 degrees, and uniformly so. The IR gun makes testing this simple (but not absolutely necessary). The positioning of the lights and the degree to which the box was closed up is adjusted until everything is about right. The wrinkling should occur within 30 minutes this way.
Nice uniform, DEEP wrinkling!
A couple of days to dry, and it's time to install the instruments.
The vents are glued into place with the same silicon adhesive I used on the NACA scoops on the fuselage sidewall. The radio tray is also riveted in place.
All the instruments are installed, and the bottom panel cross tie is riveted in place. Here is a comparison of the concept drawing vs the final panel.
The glareshield was clecoed back in place so I can hang the panel. I still need to drill the tank stop angles before I can rivet it in place.
The panel clecoed in place. This felt like another milestone!
The backside of the panel is a bit cluttered with lots of wires. The EIS is responsible for most of this. You can also see the pitot and static plumbing.
Closeup of pitot and static lines. I am using conventional airspeed and altitude gages, but since my EIS came with the airspeed, altimeter, and vertical speed options, I figured I'd go ahead and hook them up as well.
I wanted to eliminate as much potential noise from my radio installation as possible, so I researched power filters. I found a good one from JC Whitney for about $20 designed for car stereo applications (PN ZX037093N). It uses several capacitors and transistors (with large heat sinks) and is rated to 35 amps! It's much larger than I though it would be, but in it's defense, it's relatively light and should last forever.
Power filter installed, and most of the wiring bundled up now. The panel is just about ready to go in for good.
Panel riveted!
The finished panel installed in the plane.

 

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Updated: 12 Feb 06