A Christmas story

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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Warmi
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A Christmas story

Postby Warmi » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:04 am

Well, there is nothing really about Christmas except the fact that it takes place during Christmas :-)

Anyway, while my Sting was down for strut replacement, I decided to fix a few unrelated minor issues I have wanted to fix.
On of these were repainting control sticks ( paint was coming off at places ) and also install a matching neat PTT button on the passenger side – for some reason the plane came from SportAir ( the dealer ) with mismatched buttons , one of them looked like the top came off and somehow got lost.

plane_switch.jpg
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After dismantling both buttons I tracked the parts used by SportAir for the PTT installation and , heh, what they use it this:

A $2.5 Japanese-made momentary switch, which seems to be designed for some kind of arcade/casino like machines – all in all, not a bad idea given how much workout these buttons get.

switch1.jpg
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The mounting mechanism comes from Amazon – it is basically a plastic 1 inch , end cap- chair glide :-)

Button1.jpg
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Part 2 to follow...
Last edited by Warmi on Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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Re: A Christmas story

Postby Warmi » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:08 am

So the idea was to drill the cap top , slide the button in and you are pretty much done.

Unfortunately, if you try to drill the matching hole, it will take the bottom right off leaving you with a cap only – basically, the hole diameter is larger than the bottom support on the cap so you have to somehow expand the bottom part to make it wider and accommodate the hole.

After trying few things , including a heat gun and melting a few caps, the solution turned out to be simply dropping the cap into boiling water for about 30 seconds then stuff it onto some kind of matching pipe to expand it and then finally drill the hole.

pipe.jpg
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Then once again, drop the cap into the boiling water , and then immediately while it is still hot and moldable, slide the switch in for a semi-permanent installation.
After that you just solder the wires, heat-shrink wrap the wires and you are done.

wires.jpg
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The whole thing matches perfectly the way the original button was installed , and I guess, doesn’t violate any LOAs since I was using exactly the same , factory approved components :-)

final.jpg
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It is a silly little story but I found it somewhat ironic how a 160K plane is being delivered by SportAir with basically make-shift solutions – don’t get me wrong , nothing wrong with that, it works great - I just found it a bit amusing.
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Re: A Christmas story

Postby drseti » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:39 am

Makeshift solutions are the norm for an LSA. If you want a $100 PTT switch, you have to buy a $359k Skyhawk!
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Re: A Christmas story

Postby Sling 2 Pilot » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:20 am

I didnt find that to be the case with my Sling. I spec’d my plane with Tosten grips and the factory was more than happy to oblige. I also opted out of the IMHO carbon fiber look panel for a more traditional painted one. Again, no problem. The cost for the grips was minimal, basically what they cost.

So it truly depends on the manufacturer. Thankfully, The Airplane Factory (TAF) doesn’t resort to makeshift solutions, as either a work around or cost cutting measure.

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Re: A Christmas story

Postby ShawnM » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:45 am

Great work Warmi, way to improvise and get the job completed. Why the different colors?

My SportCruiser came with the Ray Allen G205 grips and they work very well. I too need to remove my sticks to repaint/powder coat them. I'm going to add a DB9 connector on the cable that comes out of the stick so they can be easily removed by simply unplugging them. Right now the wiring goes from the grip all the way to the radio and my trim controller. Not easy to remove......yet. :mrgreen:

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Re: A Christmas story

Postby JJay » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:24 pm

ShawnM wrote:Great work Warmi, way to improvise and get the job completed. Why the different colors?

My SportCruiser came with the Ray Allen G205 grips and they work very well. I too need to remove my sticks to repaint/powder coat them. I'm going to add a DB9 connector on the cable that comes out of the stick so they can be easily removed by simply unplugging them. Right now the wiring goes from the grip all the way to the radio and my trim controller. Not easy to remove......yet. :mrgreen:


I want to do the exact same thing in my Sting so I can remove the stick quickly to access stuff under the glare shield. Do you think I need an LOA to add a simple plug in the wire?
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Re: A Christmas story

Postby ShawnM » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:52 pm

JJay wrote:
ShawnM wrote:Great work Warmi, way to improvise and get the job completed. Why the different colors?

My SportCruiser came with the Ray Allen G205 grips and they work very well. I too need to remove my sticks to repaint/powder coat them. I'm going to add a DB9 connector on the cable that comes out of the stick so they can be easily removed by simply unplugging them. Right now the wiring goes from the grip all the way to the radio and my trim controller. Not easy to remove......yet. :mrgreen:


I want to do the exact same thing in my Sting so I can remove the stick quickly to access stuff under the glare shield. Do you think I need an LOA to add a simple plug in the wire?


I would think you do since you are modifying the OEM wiring but dont quote me on that. Check with Sting and see what they say. Some LSA manufacturers are easy to work with, my manufacturer, not at all. That's why I'm E-LSA and the sky's now the limit. My reasoning, it'll be great to remove the sticks when I have to work in, around and behind the pedals. My panels are easily removed to work behind them so that makes any wiring jobs easy. I want to powder coat them again and be able to remove them for easier access down low.

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Re: A Christmas story

Postby drseti » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:56 pm

JJay wrote: Do you think I need an LOA to add a simple plug in the wire?


If your plane is an SLSA, and unless the manufacturer lists the connectors as an available option in their master equipment list, you absolutely do need an LoA to make the mod. It will have to specify the exact connector type to use, with a wiring diagram of the approved pinout, and must state the qualifications required of the person allowed to do the work.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: A Christmas story

Postby drseti » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:02 pm

FWIW, for certified aircraft, the standard for replacement parts, under 14 CFR Part 43, is "equal or better." But for an SLSA, Part 43 does not apply, so the standard is "manufacturer provided or approved."
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
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Re: A Christmas story

Postby Warmi » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:20 pm

ShawnM wrote:Great work Warmi, way to improvise and get the job completed. Why the different colors?

My SportCruiser came with the Ray Allen G205 grips and they work very well. I too need to remove my sticks to repaint/powder coat them. I'm going to add a DB9 connector on the cable that comes out of the stick so they can be easily removed by simply unplugging them. Right now the wiring goes from the grip all the way to the radio and my trim controller. Not easy to remove......yet. :mrgreen:


I was actually thinking about Ray Allen , which appears to be the gold standard in the US non-certified market, but ultimately wanted to keep the current unique look , which I like.
For the actual grips , there are tons of options at Amazon for the bicycle market - nothing wrong with Ray Allen but that's just one size fits all type of thing while the bicycle grip market has something for just about any preference ...
The ones I got were simple but quite ergonomic silicon grips

As far as why red ... got a set of buttons , red , black and green and will keep changing them to keep things interesting :-)
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Re: A Christmas story

Postby Warmi » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:22 pm

JJay wrote:.....

I want to do the exact same thing in my Sting so I can remove the stick quickly to access stuff under the glare shield. Do you think I need an LOA to add a simple plug in the wire?


I would say call Bill Canino at (501) 228-7777 - he is very responsive to all sorts of requests and he may just give you his blessing on the spot.
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Re: A Christmas story

Postby ShawnM » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:07 pm

Warmi wrote:
ShawnM wrote:Great work Warmi, way to improvise and get the job completed. Why the different colors?

My SportCruiser came with the Ray Allen G205 grips and they work very well. I too need to remove my sticks to repaint/powder coat them. I'm going to add a DB9 connector on the cable that comes out of the stick so they can be easily removed by simply unplugging them. Right now the wiring goes from the grip all the way to the radio and my trim controller. Not easy to remove......yet. :mrgreen:


I was actually thinking about Ray Allen , which appears to be the gold standard in the US non-certified market, but ultimately wanted to keep the current unique look , which I like.
For the actual grips , there are tons of options at Amazon for the bicycle market - nothing wrong with Ray Allen but that's just one size fits all type of thing while the bicycle grip market has something for just about any preference ...
The ones I got were simple but quite ergonomic silicon grips

As far as why red ... got a set of buttons , red , black and green and will keep changing them to keep things interesting :-)


The question that JJay asked is no different than what you did. You changed your grips in your S-LSA without a LOA (or did you have one?), can you do it? Sure, just not legally without a LOA. Adding Ray Allen may be approved by Sting but if you only need one PTT button on top is would not be worth it in my opinion. I have electric trim on the G205 along with my PTT button for a total of 5 buttons on each stick. My thought was to use a male and female DB9 connector that can be screwed together so there's no chance of if coming apart to where I'd lose trim or PTT functions while in flight.

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Re: A Christmas story

Postby Warmi » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:14 pm

Grips and other minor stuff is not even listed in the MEL - planes are delivered without any grips and the final assembly is done in Arkansas with basic foam grips ( or , if you wish , something different ) purchased off of amazon.
Anyway, my advice for JJay still stands - call B Canino , when in doubt - he can tell you one way or another as he maintains the MEL list for the US market.

And to underscore this point, a few months ago one of the members of this forum who owns a Sting got a LOA for a new battery my contacting B. Canino on a weekend and having the LOA in place a day later or something like that ...
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Re: A Christmas story

Postby Warmi » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:26 pm

drseti wrote:FWIW, for certified aircraft, the standard for replacement parts, under 14 CFR Part 43, is "equal or better." But for an SLSA, Part 43 does not apply, so the standard is "manufacturer provided or approved."



The equal or better is a very loose standard imho :-)

How do you define equal or better for , say, stick grips - by the number of buttons ? , ergonomics ? .. and who defines it ?
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Re: A Christmas story

Postby drseti » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:36 pm

Warmi wrote:.. and who defines it ?


I can answer that one. The A&P who fills out the FAA Form 337. Yes, it's subjective - that's why the A&P has to sign the form.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
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