My Panel (Before and After)
The panel upgrade was initiated because my main IFR RNAV, a KLN-88 Loran-C, was going to be shut down by Uncle Sam in the near future. The obvious replacement was an IFR certified GPS and the GNS 430W was the most reasonable candidate. But an IFR GPS would mean a new OBS and it would be nice to have GPSS steering for the STEC-30. I’ve instructed in G1000 airplanes for many hundreds of hours, and really liked most of what I’d seen. I just couldn’t afford a full Garmin setup like a G500. When Aspen came on the scene, it really tweaked my interest. Once I costed it all out, it looked like a no brainer.
Removed was the KLN-88, its indicator, coax and antenna. Also removed were a King KX-170B and it’s KI208 indicator. From the main flight instruments, the DG and VSI were removed. Also removed was an transponder monitor/altitude alerter. A Garmin 396 was moved from the yoke to the panel. New equipment is the Aspen and the GNS430W.
The forums group at Cessna Pilot’s Association helped me design where the replacements would go, and how to interface them.
The comments below refer to the final installation picture.
Down the left hand side there are two switch panels. The top one contains, from top to bottom, a master warning LED that ties into the JPI warning line and the clock alarm line. The switch below the LED dictates bright and dim for the LED. This line also feeds an audio generator that is fed thru a channel on the audio panel labeled Master Warning. That way I can select both a visual and audio warning, or just visual. The next switch down is the STEC-30 autopilot power switch. The bottom switch is the Aspen PFD power switch.
The next switch panel down I credit the Dr. Mike. On it is a 9 pin D connector, wired to mostly his spec for 396/496 connections. But I’ve changed a couple of pins to also include Mic and PTT, so that I can plug in either a 396/496 or my Icom handheld (which also takes power from this connector). In either case, the audio and mike/PTT are channeled thru comm3 on the audio panel. A separate channel on the audio panel controls XM music audio. (The master warn and XM channels were originally ADF and DME audio channels) A similar D-connector is also under the panel behind the 396, so that the pigtail can be easily replaced when it eventually falls apart. The two switches next to the D-connector are power for the JPI, and data select for the 396/496. The data select switch is labeled TIS and 430W. In the TIS position, data from a Zaon XRX is channeled to the 396. Middle position on the switch is no connection. In the bottom position, data from the 430W is downloaded to the 396.
The Aspen PFD ended up being as low as I could put it (pretty much dictated by the previous holes) but in the process, it hangs over the gust lock hole in the yoke collar. Right now I’m going to have to use the seat belts to immobilize the controls. But I think I can get a quick release pin to fit into the collar from below. I need to find the right size, and then attach a HUGE remove before flight banner to it!
The push button switches on the pilot’s yoke are Radio PTT, AutoPilot arm/mode select, Altitude engage/release, and AutoPilot disconnect.
The PFD and 430W required 4 new breakers as per the STCs. I didn’t have the room in the original breaker bus for the additional breakers, so the good guys at Kings Avionics designed a new breaker panel that you see at the bottom of the avionics stack. They moved all the avionics circuits to that panel, then used the original breakers for some other non-avionics items, like the JPI. I also have a few spare circuit breakers now for future use.
I elected not to change the transponder at this point, just plain ran out of money! Besides, Narco AT-150s can be had for cheap on Ebay. I have two spares now, so I’ll continue to fly those until ADS-B becomes a reality.
On top of the glareshield to the left of the SIRS compass is a paneldock for the XM radio antenna. The 396 GPS antenna is hidden between the glareshield and the sheet metal underneath, but it gets a good look at the sky. To the right of the compass, and not visible in these pictures, are three jacks to connect a Zaon XRX traffic receiver. The jacks are power, RS232 data that goes to the MFD (396/496) and an unswitched audio line into the audio panel that can be used for traffic warning audio, or any other temporary non-switched and non-muted audio need.
I thinks that’s about all I see of note. Guess I’m going to hang onto this bird for a LONG time now, if only to sit in it and look at the pretty colors. I flew it from central Utah to Puerto Vallarta and back late last month. The GPSS steering is fantastic. The amount of available info is daunting. My next major task is to sit down with lists of all the available data fields and decide what I want on which pages and fields. I also picked up about 5 pounds of useful load, as the Loran, KX170B, DG, VSI, and dead wiring that came out weighed much more than the Aspen and 430W that went back in.
As a last note, I want to thank the many fellow CPA’ers that made suggestions while designing this project. And I also want to thank Steve Hayden and the crew at Kings Avionics. They had many good suggestions as the work progessed, and I feel that they did a first class job. I’d highly recommend them!