Chapter 22 – No turning back… now!


I didn’t get ANY actual building done on the plane today!  Why?  Well today I got a nice delivery from the UPS bubbas . . . you gotta love people who bring you airplane parts!

Hmmm? . . . a big box from GRT Avionics.  This can’t be anything but good!

And what do we have here, 3 smaller boxes inside the big box.

Small box #1 revealed HXr EFIS accessories: GADAHRS, magnetometer, GPS antenna puck, OAT probe, and wiring harnesses.

I had already located my preprinted label stash and as each item came out of the box it got labeled with it’s 2-digit component ID.  I also wanted to check the fit of the GADAHRS on the top cross mounting shelf of the Triparagon: perfect fit!

The bigger of the 3 boxes was the GRT HXr EFIS itself. I bought the smallest HXr EFIS GRT sells –the 8.4″ model– since I wanted to conserve as much panel space as I could.  I figured it would fit well and still have exactly the same features as the large 10.4″ and 12.1″ models . . . actually more, since those models don’t have the optional touchscreen feature that I ordered on this unit!

You can see the top layer of the box contained more wiring harnesses, a thumb drive, and a display unit cross connect ethernet cable (that I won’t use since the Mini-X does not have an ethernet port… the displays will talk to each other via an RS232 serial pair).

And then I pulled out the centerpiece of my instrument panel: the GRT Avionics 8.4″ Touchscreen EFIS.  When I started this EFIS journey years ago, I’d never imagine that the unit I’d get was even more capable than what I was asking for.  I have to say that I’m extremely happy with the configuration, outlay and capability of my panel and avionics!

Here’s a shot showing the depth of the HXr EFIS.

And the back panel.

This shot gives you an idea of the actual size of the unit.  It’s not like I have gorilla paws, so this EFIS is a perfect size for a Long-EZ panel (in my opinion).

I’ll reflect back on how it is to plan something for literally years and then finally have it come to fruition.  This is my personal money shot right here.  Finally… my HXr PFD & the Mini-X MFD, together . . . where they belong!

I then opened up box #3, which contained all the wiring harnesses and engine sensors for the GRT EIS4000 Engine Information (management) System.  Since I needed a different MAP sensor that doesn’t come in any of the EIS4000 packages, I ended up getting the basic package and then just adding a couple higher quality sensors to the lineup.

And here’s the very capable EIS4000 control unit.  A lot of builders simply place this in their panel and call it a day, and it will work well that way.  But to spice things up a bit all you need is one little 22 AWG wire to port all that info via serial data into the HXr & Mini-X and you can see all the engine data in beautiful, colorful graphical representation.

I can’t even begin to relay how many phone calls that I fielded today.  So besides inventorying the new orders and crosschecking interfaces with components I already have on hand, I finished out the evening by “simply” figuring out the configuration of my GIB headrest (aka “component storage facility”) which will house the following (top down, CW):

  • Hobbs Meter
  • EIS4000 Control Unit
  • B&C SD-8 Backup Alternator Capacitor
  • B&C SD-8 Backup Alternator Voltage Regulator
  • B&C SD-8 Backup Alternator Self-Excitation Bridge Rectifier
  • Princeton fuel level control unit – Left Tank
  • ElectroAir EIS (Electronic Ignition System) Controller
  • Princeton fuel level control unit – Right Tank

(That’s all . . . at least for NOW!)

Oh, and let’s not forget the other item I also received in the mail today: my diminutive (cool in itself) MakerPlane AMX-2A Audio Mixer that allows me to take all my GNS480 system and NAV reporting messages, combine those with Trio AP audio reporting and CO sensor audio alarm, etc. and run it all seamlessly into my Dynon Intercom.  It has 10 channels so it can handle more than enough devices that I think I’ll ever throw at it.  And, as you can see, it’s literally the size of a 25-pin D-Sub connector backshell  [because it is one!].

Tomorrow I plan on getting back onto the build.  I’ll be honest though, as I start prepping for RR, and my 2 weeks of visiting friends in NC and VA, time will be in short supply.



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