Drumstick

Skybeacon Installation M20C Question

Recommended Posts

The existing wingtip light grounds to the frame - there is no grounding wire.  For others that have installed this device - where/how did you add a grounding wire to complete the installation of the skybeacon?  Has anyone run an extra wire yet to power the strobe?  

Edited to add - an A&P will be installing mine but just wondering how much time to estimate for installing an extra grounding wire etc.  

Edited by Drumstick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Members that donate $10 or more do not see advertisements*

Interesting question...

1) grounding wires are good ideas, but have the costs of weight and additional chance of failure...

2) Traditional grounding of strobes uses extra wires... but the xenon flash has all kinds of high voltage and noise possibilities...

3) Modern LED lights are not high voltage, and aren’t known for generating noise...

4) Extra wires are expensive to run, but are often used when strobes are timed to flash simultaneously or in a pattern...

5) What does the installation guide recommend?

PP thoughts only, not an avionics tech...

Best regards,

-a-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, carusoam said:

 

5) What does the installation guide recommend?

 

 

The original draft installation manual and user guide on the website stated that the grounding wire may not be necessary.  On the TSO approved Installation Manual it appears that the grounding wire must be secured.  I confirmed with the company via email that attachment of the grounding wire is necessary.  Just trying to figure out where the A&P should attach it.  The access panel on that part of the wing doesn't really allow access to the wingtip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like everything else.  Secured to an aluminum airframe is the usual ground...

Want to post a link in case there is something hidden in there that is easily seen by somebody with experience? (Not me :))

Best regards,

-a-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TSO Installation Manual

Intallation and User Guide

So the difference between the manuals is that one suggests that the mounting screws is sufficient for grounding (even though they are isolated by washers) and the TSO Installation Manual (stamped "approved") does not have that language contained.

These manuals are both linked from the manufacturer website.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drumstick,

I’m not seeing where they say anything about using the mounting screws for grounding...

I briefed both manuals...

The pictures show...

  • hot wire
  • ground
  • Hot strobe wire

The line that said the most....

‘skyBeacon is designed to use existing position and/or anti-collision light wiring.’

So use the same ground wire that is being used by the existing light makes sense...

If the existing light is grounding through its mounting bolt, a separate ground wire to a bolt or other nearby grounding location should work...

The odd thing about the sky beacon instructions... they give specific detail including torque specs for the mounting hardware...

You would think connecting the ground under one of the screws/washer/nut in contact with the airframe would work...

Most likely, they have used a single approach to installation that includes fiberglass wingtips, plastic planes, And wooden and fabric planes...

Expect that your mechanic will land that ground wire pretty easily...

If using the strobe function use the 12v wire that goes to the strobe energy supply, NOT the high voltage wire that comes FROM the power supply...

PP thoughts only, no electronics knowledge or training...

Best regards,

-a-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, carusoam said:

Drumstick,

I’m not seeing where they say anything about using the mounting screws for grounding...

I

Its on the top of page 20 of the User and Installation manual. Step #5.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Drumstick said:

Its on the top of page 20 of the User and Installation manual. Step #5.

Perfect.

Have the document printed and ready for your mechanic.

Highlight the install page for your mechanic...

Are you going to be helping on the install?

Removing the old screws might be half of the labor. Depending on how rusted they might be...

Also be ready to update things like WnB, installed equipment and any POH details... got the app yet?

Great project, take pics!

Best regards,

-a-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I pulled off my old nav light, there was ground wire available.  I did not create a ground.  With that said, did your plane have the strobe power supply?  There is a good solid ground there you can use.  It will take pulling a wire back to the bay where the strobe light was mounted and to the wing tip.  You should already be doing this get a 14/28v power line to the wing tip for the strobe.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Drumstick said:

The original draft installation manual and user guide on the website stated that the grounding wire may not be necessary.  On the TSO approved Installation Manual it appears that the grounding wire must be secured.  I confirmed with the company via email that attachment of the grounding wire is necessary.  Just trying to figure out where the A&P should attach it.  The access panel on that part of the wing doesn't really allow access to the wingtip.

I just read this part of the post.  How the unit is made and installed, the installation itself can't create a ground.  You use a pair of o-rings under the mounting screws and the metal backplate of the skybeacon is isolated from the chassis with a rubber gasket so I don't see how it can work without a ground.  You don't need to run a ground wire all the way back to the panel, but you need a way to tie it to the bare metal of the wing somewhere.  Like I said in my last, if you have the power supplies in the wing tips, that's your perfect option.

On another note, make sure to check the transponder threshold during your install.  I didn't check it so it failed my first validation flight.  I now have to go fly again to get my rebate.

https://uavionix.com/support/skybeacon/mode-3a-failure-on-papr/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone heard of an estimated price for the Skylight for the other wing?   I thinking if you have strobes on both wing tips, then one could remove the big strobe off the belly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Browncbr1 said:

Has anyone heard of an estimated price for the Skylight for the other wing?   I thinking if you have strobes on both wing tips, then one could remove the big strobe off the belly?

From the FAQ page of the Skybeacon.

Screenshot_20190119-061744_Samsung Internet.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Removed whelen power pack. Used one of three existing strobe wires via splice to power wire running to the power pack for strobe spliced to yellow.  Used existing two nav wires ( ground/power)    Removed other two strobe wires.   Programming took 2 minutes.    Flew in mode C veil. 500 fpm climbs decents  and shallow turns. Requested flight report - passed all four parameters- submitted for rebate. - Simple and done!!!

849E930C-7942-45E0-98AD-95EC39A930F1.jpeg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around section 10.4 “Post-Flight and Annual Checks “ which “requires (?) performing a check every 12 calendar months (via the monitor page of the smart phone app) to confirm the Last Calibration date corresponds to the last flight date.

Is this a thing like a transponder or pitot/static check? Forever? Even when the app may be long gone?  Is it a logbook item? Another sticker? I haven’t gotten into the weeds on ADS-B stuff ( I’m not even sure where the weeds are) but I’m curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am and A&P and am installing the Skybeacon on a Cherokee.  Very disappointed in the help I'm getting from UAvionix due to the fact that they don't give clear instructions for what to do with the Whelen Stobe/Position light combo that is extremely popular and factory installed on this Cherokee.  I'm going to pull the plug from the strobe power supply that goes to the left wingtip strobe and splice into the 12v power supply power and then to one of the wires that goes to the wingtip.  My mounting plate at the wingtip has a ground wire that I'll attach the Skybeacon ground to. The Skybeacon ground wire must be grounded because the framework of the Skybeacon is plastic therefore the mounting screws won't provide a ground.

Edited by musketeerflyer
Update grounding info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard to both MusketeerFlyer and JW.

MF, did you get the SkyBeacon to work as expected?

Best regards,

-a-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grounded to nearby inspection panel. The inspection panel already had some holes driled in it... and screws in the holes... where the removed old strobe power supply used to live. Made a little ground wire with a wing terminal.

It seems to me that a solid ground is probably very important given the theory of operation of this thing.

Edited by Immelman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.