corn_flake

M20E Panel Wanted

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Hi, 

Does any one have this panel in your parts collection?  I want to recreate the original plexiglass panel cover and would much rather not have to disassemble my panel to use it as the template.  

 

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The original plexiglass panel..?

Too much incorrect detail, flake....?

What are you looking for?

Our windows are made out of plexiglas...

plexiglas panels are used for making panel mock-ups. To check everything for clearances...

Are you looking for the original thermoformed plastic panel overlay?

Keep in mind, there isn’t much original left in your panel. So having the original plastic cover may not be very helpful...

what are you trying to do?

Best regards,

-a-

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Yes, I'm trying to recreate the original plastic panel overlay.  With out it, the panel light simply shine directly into my eyes.  You can see I still have portion of the original overlay on my panel.  

@siu1526 I already have the plastic panel shown in the link.  Frankly I don't care for the 80s look offer by those plastic panel. 

Edited by corn_flake

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Have you visited the usual spots?

like SIU indicated... this page is specific to 69 I think...

https://vantageassoc.com/airplane/mooney/m20/1969m20c690001thru690098/fuselageinstrumentpanelassembly.html


expect that there will be plenty of work to get it completed still...

How do you feel about a more modern instrument layout and painted aluminum?

Best regards,

-a-

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59 minutes ago, corn_flake said:

Yes, I'm trying to recreate the original plastic panel overlay......I already have the plastic panel shown in the link.  Frankly I don't care for the 80s look offer by those plastic panel. 

I'm not following....you want the plastic overlay?

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You call it plastic.  I call it plexiglass.  I still have a a section of it above the row of switches.  The plexiglass is painted black on the pilot facing side.  Dimple is milled into back side where the penal light bulbs are.  The opening around the gauges are cut at an angle to allow the plexigalss to reflect the light on the gauges.  

 

 

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Flake,

Trust me when I say I’m trying to help you out...   :)


I have a masters degree in chemical engineering/polymer engineering...

I worked in the plastics industry for decades... researching making parts like the one I think you are looking for... thermoforming. 

I actually worked in the plexiglass factory Early on in my career... Hackensack, NJ...  they made the plastic sheet that got formed into F14 canopies...

Aside from all of that...


People are trying to help you find what you are looking for...

How hard do you want to make it?

We have a few people in the plastics business on MS...

A few that have used Plane Plastics...

A few more that have used parts fo sale...

A couple that make aluminum instrument panels...

Some people are asking what you are trying to do...

I still don’t know...

Call it plexiglass if you want to... it doesn’t help to spend time using the misleading brand name...

Flake, see if this helps...

  • You have a 69E
  • You are looking for the plastic panel overlay for the 69E.
  • you are not looking for the panel (That word used in your title refers to the aluminum instrument panel)
  • you are not looking for plexiglass
  • Does it need to be new, used, or is crusty broken OK?

See if that narrows it down a bit...

PP thoughts only, plastics guy on occasion... always trying to help... :)

Best regards,

-a-

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@carusoam  I know you are trying to help :)

The main purpose of this "overlay" is to to reflect the light from bulb to the gauge.  I recall they are at about 1/4" thick.  With this "overlay", the light from the panel simply shin into pilot's eyes.   There is a separate plastic sheet on top of this overlay for labeling.  I think I'm going to take a better picture of the remaining portion of the "overlay". 

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Pics help...

especially for non Mooney parts...

Lighted instruments probably came a bit later Than 69...

Sounds like you may be describing parts of eyebrow type lights...

or post lights that have lost their reflector...

But I don’t see any lights on your panel... to even hazard a guess...

Best regards,

-a-

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Are the red circled things your lights?

When you get a chance look up LED post lights... and eyebrow lights at aircraft spruce...

I think you may be mis-informed with how IP lights work in old Mooneys...

The panel overlay was never used to reflect light very well... if at all...

Best regards,

-a-

 

 

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Try looking for something like these...

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/el/whelen_ledlighting_post.html

each instrument gets one.

each post light acts like a fourth screw to hold the instrument in place.

Your VSI would like the extra screws you may end up with...

Other options include...

  • post lights
  • eyebrow lights
  • internal lighting for the instruments themselves
  • all are dim-able

 

Whatever you were describing before sounds like light ‘piping’... where using acrylic sheet and the right angle of light... you can send light down the pipe.  There are probably a few vendors of that system as well...  call them fiber-optics...

IP lights using fiber optics typically have a single bulb, and then send light to each instrument... they were expensive, and a quick search didn’t find them... a high tech solution for throwing light at a dial...

The usual lighting system for Mooneys was the two lights over your head projected at the IP....

Best regards,

-a-

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1 hour ago, carusoam said:

Whatever you were describing before sounds like light ‘piping’... where using acrylic sheet and the right angle of light... you can send light down the pipe.  There are probably a few vendors of that system as well...  call them fiber-optics...

That's correct.  It's same concept as the piece of clear polycarbonate attached to the navigational night on the wind tip.  As long as I can get a good template, I can CNC "overlay" with light piping capability pretty easily. 

Thanks for the help.  

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Selecting the right thickness to match the right polymer may make it easier...

Getting light to travel down the pipe uses a combination of angle of reflection and angle of refraction...

the right thickness with the right material the light reflects off the inside surfaces and bounces down the pipe...

get the thickness wrong, or the wrong material... the light exits the pipe and spills out before getting to the end... 

PP thoughts only, not a waves and optics expert... :)

Best regards,

-a-

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7 hours ago, corn_flake said:

I already have the plastic panel shown in the link.  Frankly I don't care for the 80s look offer by those plastic panel. 

If you have the plastic panel, use it as a template to make your clear plastic overlay. I've seen something like your trying make on a motorcycle years ago and thought about doing the same thing on my panel. Once you have the clear piece all cut out, the back gets painted white except where the light source is and then painted black, the front gets painted white then black as well. The white helps reflect the light and the cut outs around the instruments are beveled on the back so you don't see a light ring. I would try it on a small scale (1 instrument) before doing the whole panel, the one I did years ago was about the size of a deck of cards

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5 hours ago, RLCarter said:

If you have the plastic panel, use it as a template to make your clear plastic overlay. I've seen something like your trying make on a motorcycle years ago and thought about doing the same thing on my panel. Once you have the clear piece all cut out, the back gets painted white except where the light source is and then painted black, the front gets painted white then black as well. The white helps reflect the light and the cut outs around the instruments are beveled on the back so you don't see a light ring. I would try it on a small scale (1 instrument) before doing the whole panel, the one I did years ago was about the size of a deck of cards

That would be the plan B.  The plastic panel cover is a less precise way of going about it.  

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OK, now we are on the same page, I thought about doing something like the ones @siu1526 has above for my switches and circuit breaker which are just silk screened and getting harder to read.... Same process but with masking to allow the white to show through, the white also has to be translucent so the light will go through. My E never had these so I would have been starting from scratch and only a vision to go by, still might do it down the road.... If you take on the project keep us up to date on the process :D

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Continuing on...

Objective of this project...

1) Nice finished face for the panel...

2) back lit graphics for the current screen printed details... post light type reflector hood to illuminate instruments.

3) OP has computerized CNC to cut the panel overlay...

4) there seem to be existing lights in the panel uncovered bulbs that have been there since new...

5) I put a link to a page for Flake, where somebody has the ‘same’ panel with what looks like post lights of the day... but no posts... it looks like 69 got a lighted panel option that only lasted a year or or a few... flake (check your bell icon at the top of the screen)

6) early 60s used the projector beams from overhead... Alex did a nice job of adding LEDs to his...

7) Some attempts at post lights became popular after that...

8) Lighted instruments became all the rage long term...

9) putting a reflector hood on top of the existing bulb would help illuminate the instruments...

10) modern post light parts mounted on top of the existing bulbs may add instrument light capabilities...

11) If flying at night often... fighting panel lighting challenges can get pretty old... on each flight...

Also consider a good method of dimming from real dim to quite bright... LEDs and modern dimmers to match are pretty good...

Essentially a clear or lightly colored plastic panel with a dark surface, with the graphics etched into/through the surface.... would be modern automotive in style... lots of translucent options... think reddish for night flights...

May require multiple layers of plastic to transmit light, emit light in the dark, and look white in daylight hours...

For experiments... it is easy to purchase a bunch of colored plexiglass pieces... of various thicknesses... experiment...

Since plexiglass is an expensive brand name... you might find some additional success looking for acrylic sheet...

Think in layers... translucent (thick), white (thin), Matte black (paint thickness) or modern beige or gray for the daytime reflective surface...

Cutting acrylic sheet takes some practice... similar to drilling holes in Mooney windows...

PP thoughts only, not a mechanic...

Best regards,

-a-

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1 hour ago, carusoam said:

 

5) I put a link to a page for Flake, where somebody has the ‘same’ panel with what looks like post lights of the day... but no posts... it looks like 69 got a lighted panel option that only lasted a year or or a few... flake (check your bell icon at the top of the screen)

 

@carusoam Did you send me anything?  I check my bell icon and there is nothing.  

I did a bit more reading this afternoon.  Both acrylic or polycarbonate will work for this purpose, but acrylic has better light transmission quality.  Once the "holes" are cut and the face is painted black, CNC laser would work nicely to "burn" away the black paint to create the graphic and text.  The only obstacle now is the bevel cut around the gauge to reflect the light away from pilot view.  That will require CNC router with additional tilt axis.  I may just have to finish it off with dremel sanding wheels.  

 

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Flake,

find Keith’s panel... in the pic he has at the top of this thread...

also see the message I left for you there... it should have lit a light for you...

Check out how the post lights got formed into the panel...

Best regards,

-a-

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Another thing to consider...

Depending on the type of bulb you are using... the incandescent type can get pretty hot...

the softening points of acrylic is about the same as the boiling point of water....

Don’t accidentally melt the artwork that you spent hours building...

Best regards,

-a- 

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31 minutes ago, corn_flake said:

The only obstacle now is the bevel cut around the gauge to reflect the light away from pilot view.  That will require CNC router with additional tilt axis.  I may just have to finish it off with dremel sanding wheels. 

A 5 axis CNC would be overkill for your project, most of the machining is going to be on the side that goes against the instrument panel, once the gauges are cut out use a chamfer endmill for the bevel

Chamfer Mill,  1/8" Dia,  Carb.

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