Thursday, January 18, 2018

Section: Avionics
Hours: 6

I trimmed and fitted the 2nd wing tip lens today. I was more aggressive in trimming after figuring out the process yesterday and the job went much faster today.

I spent the rest of the day inside the warm house soldering. The LED packages are surface mounted and require some attention to detail to orient correctly for polarity. The + / - markings are hard to see on the smaller colored LEDs. These are surface mount devices and the large white LEDs required a little more heat to get the solder to flow properly under the tabs.
 Large resisters are mounted on the other side of the board.
Make sure to leave an air gap below the resisters to help with cooling.

Power transistors are surface mounted to the back of the control board.
 The front of the board has a variety of devices, some with fine pitch leads that require a steady hand.
Assembled boards with heat sinks attached with thermal tape. 
The instructions specify that you test the circuits using a small 9 volt battery. The control board has 3 colored LEDs that simulate the 3 positions so you can run diagnostics and try out the various blinking patterns. All the boards worked perfectly first try. Don't look directly at the LEDs when you apply power- you'll be seeing spots for an hour afterwards. I imagine that these will be very bright on ship power. I'll have to remember to turn them off before doing any formation flying...

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