I finally worked on the plane today for the first time in longer than I care to think about. It was still too cold (my fingers almost froze), but it felt good to get back into the shop. Warren came over from ZTron labs and brought me a new breaker panel he just designed to try out (see photo above). It almost fits into the hole from the previous panel, but required cut-outs for the status LEDs. I used a nibbler and file to make them nice and pretty. I may end up enlarging the entire hole, but for the moment, this works. I love the tactile switches. Much nicer than the “touch switches” on the previous version. This version comes with a piece of Windows software to configure the characteristics of each breaker (amperage and reaction time) and also shows live how much power each breaker is allowing. It also plugs into the SkyView and shows breaker status on the Dynon screen (assuming you buy the license). I had to borrow a Windows machine from the kids to set it up. Next project is to write a Linux and/or Mac client to do the configuration so I can use one of my own laptops instead of having to borrow one each time. I’ll post it (and give Warren a copy to post on the ZTron Labs web site) as soon as I get it written.
I also ran the engine today for the first time in a few months. Didn’t have too much trouble starting it, but it only ran for a minute or two before the primary fuel pump failed and it shut down with a horrible rattle and stop (it doesn’t like running on less than full fuel pressure). I actually suspect the pump didn’t fail. When I ran the engine, I had some tools perched on the center console in the plane. When the engine started, the vibration caused the tools to fall all over the place, including on top of the running fuel pump. I suspect it shorted the pump and blew the fuse. The way I have the wiring done right this minute, the pump fuse is very hard to get to, so I haven’t checked it yet. Anyway, oil pressure came right up just like it was supposed to. Didn’t run it for long, it’s still running a bit rough. I still haven’t solved the fuel injection problem to my complete satisfaction. Need to order four new injectors, but I’m being cheap, and haven’t felt like shelling out that much cash until I rule out everything else.
I also have a new gas leak somewhere in the fuel pump area. Didn’t notice it until after I shut down, but it leaked enough fuel to be concerning. I haven’t figured out where it came from yet, but something clearly worked lose while the plane has been sitting. I also found a bee in the fuel filter. Can’t even imagine how he got in there, considering the whole thing is sealed. But sure enough, he was there. Might get more work in tomorrow, we’ll have to see. I have some “real job” work I have to do before Monday, and unfortunately, that may take precedence. I can’t seem to get two boxes to form an OSPF adjacency through my new managed ethernet switch (worked fine on the old cisco 2950). Everything (including the MTU) matches, yet the broadcasts are not showing up on the sniffer at the other end of the VLAN. Very puzzling, that’s one of those “this can’t happen” things that drive me crazy.