|CAP Technician making a permanent change to this Robin's sub-panel.|
1) Safety and regulatory compliance are the first priorities (in that order).
2) Whenever possible, avoid alterations that change the panel and interior furnishings. (i.e. Don't drill a hole unless there is no other alternative!)
3) If altering anything, try to do so with minimal changes and try to do so in a way that retains the original "look" and feel of the airplane.
The next image shows the original instrument panel prior to alterations. The following images show the added components.
Notice that there is a toggle switch visible on the lower sub panel in the "before" modification photo. As it turns out, this switch (labeled "Navigation Lights") was not connected at all. The aircraft has no navigation lights. Aparently, this switch was added sometime in the airplane's history. So, we decided to utilize this location for our "master" switch. This will be discussed in further detail later on.
The airplane will utilize an alternator to charge the battery during operations. The customer also requested two power receptacles (cigarrette lighter sockets). These will be used for portable electronic devices such as a GPS or to charge cellular phones, tablets, or laptops. Therefore, it was necessary to install a "power buss" with circuit breakers for the alternator, "power socket A" and "power socket B".
|New power buss with room for expansion.|
|Power buss under the sub panel.|
|Normal view of the instrument panel (after mods).|
The last photo shows the forward side of the firewall where the electrical equipment and wiring are neatly installed. Note the master solenoid is mounted at the right and the starter solenoid at the left. Most of this will be hidden behind the oil tank which was removed at the time of this photo. One more change will be necessary. That is to change up the orientation and routing of the fuel primer and primer lines (at mid left) for better separation from the electrical wiring. Look for further discussion of the starter switch installation (mid right in photo) in the next installment of this series.