Headset Hangers and Starter
We're having a pretty warm winter here in the north country, which
has kept me flying fairly regularly, especially with my daughter
preparing for her spring solo. I also took the time to add a
necessary option for hanging up my headsets. I had not done
this during the build, because I wasn't sure where I wanted to
drill any holes. I knew I didn't want to drill more holes
than necessary in the structure of an aerobatic plane, but decided
to just let it go until later. Now I finally was able to
come up with a good way to do it that didn't involve drilling at
all. It started because I talked to Abby at Flightline and
she's planning to have some side panels ready to test fit soon, so
I wanted to make sure that whatever I did, was not going to
interfere with any side panels. Also, I wanted it to be
drill-free if possible.
What I came up with was to just take some scrap aluminum (I used
some scrap from some part of the build that used thicker .050 or
.063 aluminum) and make a couple of glue-on pieces for the side
walls, that were conjoined, to make a "slot" that a headset hanger
could slide into. So the parts are just glued onto the
walls. If I had known prior to painting I could have riveted
them and that would have been great, but this should hold plenty
well. Then I just bent up a piece of aluminum to use to hang
the headset on. It just slides in the slot and is fully
removable. It's a pretty snug fit, but if I make it
permanent I'll just throw some clear rtv bead on the top by the
side skin, to keep it from ever coming out on it's own.
Then, I finally have some good pictures of the heater controls
that I upgraded to last fall. These are the FAR superior to
stock, A-700 72" controls sold by aircraft spruce as part number
05-13172. I highly recommend upgrading to these before you
order them in your kit.
Next I realized I had never taken photos of the throttle quadrant
covers I made. It's just some vinyl side skins on a thin
layer of foam, over a firm backing that get velcro'd on to the
side of the quadrant. It makes a great pad to rest your knee
against while flying. In the sides, I also have a USB jack
on each side, that connect to a Scosche ReVolt Dual 2.4A (12 Watts
total) USB charger in a lighter socket located on the
subpanel. So it's a handy place to plug in your iphone or
ipad for charging, without being obtrusive.
Then I took just a couple other pictures for my reference. I think
I'll cut the bottoms off and raise my rudder pedal blocks in the
RV-14. The size is right in the RV-10 but the RV-14 with a
pad on the floor, raises your feet a little more, and you don't
need to have the pedals as low for the ladies to use. So I'm
going to cut 1.5" off the bottom and see how it goes. We're
past 90 hours on the hobbs now, and having a great time!
People occasionally ask me for measurements of where my firewall
passthru is on my governor cable. Here are a couple pictures
Another RV-14 builder tipped me off to this issue...
Someone told me that they had worn thru or almost thru their cowl
because the aluminum engine baffling was rubbing on the cowl top.
I just put it on my checklist for the next time I had the cowl
off. This week I did, and sure enough on both the left and right
sides, I have spots on the cowl top that are wearing in pretty
harshly. If I had to guess I'd say I'm worn in maybe .030 or so.
The locations are, if I measure from the front outer corners of
the cowl by the air inlet, about 9 or 9.5" in from the front
corners of the cowl. The groves run maybe 1.5-2" long and then
skip about 4" further back and then there is another spot that
hits. With the baffle seals installed, it's tough to get a file on
without wrecking the baffle seal, but I did manage to file it down
in those areas slightly.
I put some gorilla tape over the spots and flew it for a couple
quick flights, and yesterday I pulled the top cowl to check it
again and it's still hitting a little. It's pretty good now in
most locations with just one really heavy hitting area. I would
suggest maybe when you do your baffles, you look at those areas
and maybe about 8.5" to 15" back from the front corners of the
cowl, I'd lower the baffle sides about 1/8". That should help
eliminate the issue. You could go even further lower perhaps.
A few people have asked for pics to see the areas on the cowl that
were being hit. I took these photos to show. The black tape
is gorilla tape I put over the area until I fix it permanently
with resin. I wanted to see if the tape was being cut into after
filing down the areas above. It looks like it's still
hitting but less severly now. I removed the tape and took
some photos of the damaged area. The photos aren't very
good, so you can't easily make out the depth, but it's perhaps
.015-.025 in depth in some spots. The paint peeled a bit
when I removed some tape which makes a larger spot, so only look
at the narrow groves being cut.
Time for a fresh start
Finally, since day 1 I have had a very minor issue with my
starter. I wired it per Van's recommendation, not
Sky-Tec's. Sky-Tec uses only the fat wire, with the solenoid
jumpered to it, so when you hit the key and power that wire, it
engages the solenoid and starter at the same time. Van's
does it separately, using the firewall contactor to feed them
separately. They do this because when you release the key,
and the starter spins down, causing an induced voltage in the
coils, it would tend to keep the starter from disengaging as
quickly. It did not cause problems in operation, but sometimes
created a "noise" that people noticed. So Van's changed the
way they wired it. Sky-Tec doesn't really like the way Van's
does it, but it should work. It basically disengages the starter
faster when you release the key. I decided to do it the
Van's way, because the theory sounded good. The kicker is,
when installing the NL starter, you cannot install it this "two
wire" way...the NL starter can only be installed where the
firewall solenoid delivers power solely on the single fat wire. So
I will have to change wiring methods for sure.
The 149-12LS starter I got with my Lycoming factory new engine was
a great starter that spun the prop just fine...faster than I ever
expected, but since I just bought a 149-12NL to replace my RV-10
starter due to poor starting torque issues, I figured I'd get the
same thing for my RV-14. It is 1lb heavier as well, helping
me keep my aerobatic CG forward.
The issue I had been having was that often, when I turned the key,
my firewall solenoid clunked but my starter did not engage at
all. I would then just release the key and turn it
again. Usually after 2 or 3 clicks it would engage and the
starter would crank right away. I wasn't sure if my firewall
solenoid was the cause (specifically the S terminal), or something
else was, but I decided to deal with it. The big issue is,
to send it in for warranty required me to remove the starter, and
ship it in (ground because of cost) and then they look at it and
return it (ground) and then I'm good to go, and, I was not really
sure the starter was even an issue.
I didn't want to be down for nearly 2 weeks while shipping this
thing back and forth. So, I ordered a new 149-12NL starter.
The 149-12HT that was on my RV-10 had the solenoid on the opposite
side from my 149-12LS, so I figured it would be a pain to try to
use that as a spare, otherwise I would have. The bonus is
that now both airplanes use the same starter, and if the starter
breaks down, I always can yank one off the other plane. So
I'll soon have a 149-12LS starter to sell.
The first cranks on both airplanes were flawless...however, the
149-12NL cranks slower than the 149-12LS. This makes sense
I guess because the gear ratio on the NL is 6.5:1 and the ratio on
the LS is 4.3:1. Specs show the RPM and current specs to be
125-220A@11V 140RPM test on the NL, and 185-285A@11V 160 RPM Test
on the LS. So the LS Starters indeed should spin the prop
faster. Now I can say that this is true...the LS is a faster
turning starter on the IO-390 than the NL, and if ultimate low
weight is your requirement, you may want to use the LS. But,
the NL should be a great starter, and it keeps both of my planes
equipped the same. Most people are very happy with them.
Update: After removing my LS starter and bench tesing it,
I was unable to get it to fail to crank. It appears that
the starter indeed is fine, and my firewall solenoid was the
culprit all along. Fortunately, now that I was forced to
re-wire where I don't use the additional small terminal, I don't
have any issues any longer.
Here are some pics of the starter swap
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