Working Inside The Aircraft
Our last update we discussed the wiring on the bench and showed some of the work in progress with regards to the dual GNS530 units and GTX330 transponder. The racks are being but so to make repairs and upgrades easier and cheaper in the future. The racks and wiring will be installed in such a way that the rack assemblies will slide out of their location, thus making it easy to get behind the panel for whatever reason there may need to be in the future. Some shops install the racks making it difficult to get to the connectors and instruments down the road but Steve is thinking ahead on this project. While it may take a little longer to make the rack installation "Modular" so to speak, it will be worth it in the long run.
Steve wanted to give you an idea of what is aircraft looks like torn apart; sometimes the aircraft owner really gets scared when they see pictures such as you see on this page; these pics could cause customer to loose sleep and hair lose. But no worry mate, the end result will look neat and tidy. Notice the connectors Steve is removing, these are for the old Collins Pro-Line series. Some of these connectors cost over $700.00 new. These connectors are some of the best ever made but you'll need special tools to work with them. Of course back in the 70's a VHF-20 Com was in the $5,000 range new. The old Collins like you see here was designed for turbo-prop aircraft and above; it's basically compressed airline quality radios. Notice the size of the Collins Pro-Line, they are fairly large compared to modern avionics. The Collins comm transmit power was a whopping 20 watts back in those days. Modern radios such as the GNS530 puts out around 10 watts but the receiver is ten times more sensitive. The GNX530A has an output of 16 watts but at VHF (very high frequencies) more doesn't always get you more range. Notice the black bulkhead connector in one of the pics. This is a connector that is designed to work in pressurized aircraft such as the King Air. The connector goes in from the cabin (pressure side) and is held in place with the nut which is safety-tied as shown. DER approval must be obtained before cutting holes in the pressure vessel. By the way, some of these connectors cost in the neighborhood of $600.00 or more. The one you see here doesn't and NASA is glad of that!