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Instrument Panel

5. The narrow area next to the monitor also was difficult to cover. The flexing precluded adequate adhesion of the contact paper. I got everything in the panel including the circuit breakers and master switch. I ended up with two coax antenna wires, one avionics harness with a cannon plug termination and the factory instrument harness. I left enough lead to be able to pull the panel aft enough for future accessibility.

 The instrument panel took much longer than anticipated! As did everything else! The sides of the panel next to the Monitor are narrow and easily bent. There is not a lot of room so wire routing needs to focus on the panel installation into the pod. Think towards future maintenance accessibility.

1. This is everything laid out prior to swapping to the new RWI panel blank. I found the layout on the new panel very efficient use of available space. If I were to do this again I would add a doubler to either side of the monitor mount cutout. This was very flimsy and during installation into the pod it kept flexing.

2. The monitor mount has to be designed for the application. RWI doesn't really show how to accomplish this for all installations. Remember, always think about future access! I trial fit this numerous times until it fit the pod and cleared adjacent instruments and tabs. Use anchor nuts not rivets in case you ever need to remove unit for repair or calibration.

6. Done! Overall it looks good and is functional. All the radios are controlled from the cyclic grips. The transponder code input has to be done on the radio itself. Notice that the standby compass is mounted on top of the pod. I later relocated it to the top of forward instrument panel near the pilot's feet. Reason: it conflicted with the rotor/engine tach and I needed a place for the Garmin 296.

3. The previously installed avionics rack was well done but the harness had to be re-routed for the new layout. Also all the breakers had to find a new home in a limited area. I also installed a master avionics switch on the panel. I figured if there was ever smoke it would be more intuitive to turn them off there rather than locate the correct overhead switch in a bad situation. I harnessed everything together as much as possible to facilitate installing the panel as an assembly into the pod.

4. This back view shows the limited work area. Note that the indicator lights at the top of the panel must clear the upper pod mounting tab. It took quite a few temp installations of the panel to the pod to get all the tabs trimmed, aligned, drilled and anchor nuts installed. The flexing near the monitor was a constant concern! It would have been nice to have a tab there to draw that edge in but there was not enough room.