Canopy Wiring

Last week I finished the electronics design for the overhead console and sent off the PCB design for manufacture. I’ve already received the parts to stuff the boards, but the boards themselves will take another week. In the meantime, I decided to set up the canopy in my lab / office space to run wiring.

Canopy set up in my office / lab space

To start, I selected a location 75mm back from the front edge of the canopy, and measured out the holes to drill for the custom overhead console. There is nothing else under the skin in this area (i.e. it’s hollow), so there’s plenty of room for hardware and wires. I used M4 rivnuts, reinforced with JB Weld to make sure they stay put. I used a 1″ Forster bit to drill the hole for the wires to exit.

Drilling holes for mounting the console
Rivnuts installed

There is a small split-loom tube built into the canopy, starting at the rear C-pillar on the pilot side. It was a little hard to use on my canopy. Due to how the inner and outside plies were joined, the exit point of split loom was mostly obstructed, making it difficult to snake wires through. I eventually succeeded with help of a Wifi endoscope and some #14 solid copper wire, used as a snake.

View inside the canopy; here you see the red snake wire exiting the split tube, approximately near the rear hinge covers

In the fuselage I already ran three wires to supply power to the canopy – two for power, one for communication. These wires are run through to the back seat and up the side wall to meet up with the canopy. I ran mating wires starting from the provided split loom up to the front of the canopy, where they will plug into the console. From the front of the canopy, I ran a wire pair down the front pillars to the doors, for a door latch sensor I plan to install. This sensor will trigger the dome lights for entry/egress, but also a caution light on the panel if the doors are not latched properly. I also installed a 4-wire bundle back to the passenger row, to provide power and comms with smaller dome / reading lights that will get installed there too.

Overhead console wiring
Wire group for the rear seat overhead lights

At the moment I’m not planning to use the three holes in the middle of the canopy for lights. I think I will use them instead to put some hooks for hanging my headsets, or a mount for a GoPro camera.

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