Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2017-2018 - 69

Aging or brittle wiring, signs of insulation deterioration,

about any problems or shortcomings found.

cracked or deteriorated connectors, all warrant looking at

An inspection of the aircraft ahead of booking an

updating the wiring with modern conductors.

ADS-B installation appointment can arm the shop with

An aircraft still running its electrical system on the

the information needed to give the operator an honest

output of an old generator, and in need of a wiring

assessment.

upgrade, seems a ripe candidate to update the system to

Much will depend on how the operator wants to
fulfill the mandate. For example, if the solution sought

an alternator. Chances are the operator or pilot will enjoy

involves nothing more than adding an antenna to go

the at-engine-idle output of the alternator - particularly,

with the plug-and-play replacement of a transponder or

the higher output compared to the old generator.
Moving on, the engine starter may also be a vestige

other self-contained solution, the operator may be little
interested in having a technician dive into the spaghetti

of decades long past. Newer geared starters spin the

monster behind the stack.

engines more rapidly, often draw less current, and

Conversely, if the operator decides to use the ADS-B

weigh less.
The lowly voltage regulator offers a modest

mandate as an opportunity to upgrade other panel
components, what better time than during that project

opportunity to save both weight and improve

to update the wiring behind the panel.

functionality. Solid-state regulators often offer an output
for an instrument-panel warning light that illuminates

Adding components such as an all-in-one comm/
nav/WAAS GPS/MFD, a primary flight display and an

should the alternator trip for any reason, while

ADS-B solution isn't an uncommon project these days.

providing both overvoltage and undervoltage protection.

The upgrade to an IFR-approved WAAS navigator can

Compared to the old mechanical regulators - often

feed an ADS-B Out solution and provide new utility for

weighing upward of 22 ounces - the most-common

direct routings and GPS approaches such as lateral

solid-state regulators save more than 20 ounces.
We can't forget fuses - replaceable with circuit

precision with vertical guidance and other area-nav

breakers or break/switches - relays and connector

approaches.

blocks. Many old airplanes still employ original

The upgrade to flight instruments, the primary radio
and the ADS-B solution alone warrants checking

equipment, so checking the integrity of these

the wiring for compatibility with the new equipment

components should be a priority on any rewiring or

- equipment using electrical power in place of

wiring-upgrade job.
Then there's the battery. Today the sealed lead-acid

air-powered instruments - and may allow for the
elimination of some wiring while removing old gyros

recombinant gas batteries can save some weight while

and air-data instruments. That often takes several

effectively eliminating maintenance needs.
But the up-and-comer for light general aviation

pounds out of the airplane, increasing useful load.

aircraft is the lithium-ion battery. Batteries like those

It's also important to determine that the generating
source can meet the electrical loads brought by a full-

available from True Blue Power, a division of Mid-

blown move to a glass cockpit from an all-analog panel.

Continent Instruments, are approved for a number of
Part 23 and Part 25 aircraft.

Other options: Starters, generators,

The TB17, the smallest currently available, is

regulators and batteries

FAA TSO certified to C179a, STC'd for a number of

If the operator opts for the option to rewire the entire

airframes - and standard on some new-manufactured

aircraft, the shop has an opportunity to delve into the

aircraft - produces more power than comparable

rest of the electrical system for upgrades known to

lead-acid batteries, and weighs barely half what

improve performance and increase reliability. Yes, these
also save weight, a bonus benefit.

Continued on following page...

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2017-2018

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Pilot's Guide to Avionics 2017-2018 - Cover3
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