Music, ELT, ELT-GPS done.

6 hours.

I know there’s been a dearth of pictures lately, but there isn’t a whole lot to shoot.   Mostly I’ve been cleaning up wiring.   Today is a win, though.  The ELT has been a ratbastard since I first clicked ‘Add To Cart’ at ACS in March.  After the interminable wait, I was presented with the need to run a 4-pin phone cable along my central wire bundle.   A cheesy phone cable is not the first thing I’d pick to run the remote head of a potentially life-saving device, but it’s not my call, I didn’t design it.   This phone cable connects to an audio annunciator, and from that, another cable goes to the panel-mount remote control, which lets you fire off the ELT through blood-fogged vision if it hasn’t gone off from impact and you need help Right Now.   Today’s important lesson: Use the right tool for the job.  Well, no shit, but the thought of paying $40 for a tool I’d use on this project exactly once galled me, so I didn’t buy the phone line connector crimp tool.  I should have.  I spent a good while debugging why switching the ELT to ‘ARMED’ produced no beep.  First thing was that there was no battery in the audio module.  This required a CR2-type lithium battery, which the Radio Shack down the street had, thankfully.   The other thing was that without the crimp tool, the connector on the phone cable didn’t exactly work right.   No beep, no nothing.   I had already made one run to the Shack for the battery.  Now I had to make another.   But then I remembered I needed a 3.5mm mini plug extension so I could test the music input.   With products in hand, I went home and got back to it.  Sure enough, my crap connector job on the ELT cable was the problem, so with the connector installed properly and the battery in place, switching the ELT to ‘ARMED’ gave a satisfying beep.

Before I went my 10 rounds with the ELT, I’d soldered the 3.5mm snap-in CALRAD jack to the Music 1 cable, making sure to stress-relieve it with shrink tubing.   Once I had my 3.5mm cable, I was able to hear my iPod playing back Geomatic’s “Bliss” just fine.   Some adjustment may be necessary to increase the volume on the audio panel, but that shouldn’t be a big deal.   The level is also regulated properly by the audio panel.  When a radio transmission comes in, the music mutes, then comes back up after the transmission is completed.  The only thing that bums me out about the GMA340 is that I don’t have a music on/off switch, which means I’ll have to pull the plug if I want the music to just plain go away.   Fiddling with an iPod in flight is not a good idea.

So yeah, today’s a win.   Tomorrow, I need to think about mounting the comm antenna, running the comm wire, and putting my floor back together.  Then when all this avionics BS is done, I can put my flap actuation system and control arms back in.   Maybe even seats!   Then it’s on to the wonderful land of Firewall Forward, but not before a hellacious shop cleaning.

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