Current status

11/6/08 - I'm working on the KNS-80 -> MC-60 wiring now.  Still in the planning stage, getting the shielded wiring ready, etc.  While looking in vain for a wiring diagram for my Troll Hypervox intercom, a gentleman named Bill Steer was able to give me a _fantastic_ PDF with all the details I could ever want.  In case anyone else is googling for this, I've placed a copy here.
10/30/08 -
Between working on my costume and other house projects, I've started working on the new wiring bundle to integrate the 'new' electronics.  I've started with the KMA-24 as the heart, as I suppose the audio panel sorta is.  I've wired in the MK11 connector and have started on the KNS-80.
10/8/08 - After a loooong delay where I was just flying locally, staying below 10k and away from Mode C veils, I finally decided to get back to work on the panel.  My first target was getting the KT-79 installed.  Because it's compatible with the altitude encoder already installed, I used the existing wire bundle for the KT-76 I was replacing.  I moved the connectors to their new positions in the connector for the KT-79, then fired it up.  A neat feature of the new transponder is that it shows the pressure altitude being reported by the encoder.  I had a brief problem where the encoder wanted to increment backwards, but this was quickly sorted out with some online advice as being caused by a B1 line that wasn't engaging.  Got it signed off, and I can fly to interesting places in big airspace again!
(Sometime between these two dates) - I got a spool of Tefzel, card-edge crimp pins, crimpers, and so on.  Learned something useful: While there is a special tool for removing the pins from their connectors (which I bought and then immediately lost), a push-pin works too.  From the front of the connector, you slide it under the pin in the tiny groove then pry up just enough to release the little hook while pulling from behind.  Voila!
1/19/08 - Went to the local big electronics shop to get new crimp-pins for all the card-edge connectors I need to wire.  ....and nothing.  They not only didn't have any, but they didn't know where to get any.  Online I go, I suppose.  I've found these at a few different places online, I'll buy from a place where I can also get a second 15 pin card edge connector itself to make up for one that's missing for my new second COM.
1/9/08 - Woo-hoo!  Got a KT-79, now I just need a tray.
1/6/08 - This time I was there at the end and had the highest bid....  but it didn't meet the reserve.  It was a nice little Narco AT-165 V/R, a solid state newer transponder that ended at $567 but below whatever they set the reserve to.
1/2/08 - These auctions keep spiking right at the last minute, I'm guessing this is a popular season to be doing avionics work since there's less flying weather.  No worries, there's a transponder out there with my name on it.  Today's wiring goal: Pull out my wiring toolbox and see what types of pin connectors I'll need for the wiring harness.
- Well, the KT-76C shot up at the last minute to about twice my budget.  There's a KT-76A that looks promising, we'll see what happens there.
12/29/07 - I've sorted through the avionics today.  I'll need some new pins for the plugs for a few of the things, I think that'll be smarter than just splicing the cut wires to a bundle.  I'm talking about the pins for the plugs in back of the trays, of course.  I ain't touchin' nothin inside them thar fancy electronics.
- Found out that the KT-76A and KT-76C are still cavity tube transponders, but I'm looking at a C model for sale that would be nice.  Digital display, may not break the bank, we'll see how the auction goes.
 - Aw nuts, my transponder is busted.  It's a KT-76, cavity tube is busted.  Bloody heck.  Time to find a replacement.
12/14/07 - I've got most of the avionics in hand.  My next step is to finalize the panel redesign.  I need to figure out where things go before I can really dive into making the wiring harness.  I'll post a pic of the current panel and diagram my thinking process.


Still needed

Plan of action

  1. Determine which avionics to buy.
  2. Get the stuff.
  3. Plan final panel layout. - In progress
  4. Build wiring harness with oversight from A&P & avionics specialist. - In Progress
  5. Integrate wiring harness and avionics into plane with oversight and assistance from the same folks above.
  6. Test test test
  7. Fly fly fly.
  8. Begin getting that cloudbuster rating.

Starting basic

I bought my plane in May 2007 with  basic VFR panel.  I've been flying the heck out of it and loving it, but the natural next step is getting my instrument rating.  To do this, I'll need to upgrade my panel a bit.  While N33139 is technically IFR-capable (see the relevant FAR), in the real world, it wouldn't be a great trainer.

Original panel

The current installed equipment:

According to the FARs, the plane is one pitot/static cert & VOR  test away from being legal for IFR already, but it wouldn't be worth much as such, because I couldn't:

The Plan

My original plan was to put the audio panel on top, with the existing MX-300 NAV/COM under it, then the new MX-11 under it, then the transponder, then the KNS-80.  One nice stack.  There are two slight problems with this.
  1. I have a concern about cooling
  2. It's too tall by about 3/4".
The second concern trumps the first quite handily, of course.  I'm somewhat less than enthusiastic about taking a sawzall to my panel to make the avionics fit.

The Plan (MK II)

My current thinking is to move the transponder and intercom to the right.  I'm thinking about workflow while flying, and the transponder and intercom are the two things I manipulate least.  Plus, having the KNS-80 in the center stack would make it easy to refer to during IFR work.  Having both COMs next to each other is pretty straight forward, and ideally the audio panel there too just for ease of use because the buttons and labels are so small and my fingers are so fat.

FAR 91.205

This is the section that describes the minimum instrumentation required for IFR flight for those who don't believe me when I say the plane is technically IFR capable:

You need:

The actual text, for those needing help getting to sleep,  is here.

Wiring diagrams

KNS-80 - RNAV/Glideslope
KMA-24 - Audio panel
MX-11 - Second com
Troll HyperVox - Intercom
MX-300 - Existing com

About me me me me

I fly N33139, a Piper Cherokee Warrior.  I'm a PP-ASEL, work in IT, and have a family in Springfield, OR.   I fly out of 77S (Creswell, OR), the friendliest little airport around.