Mon Sep 07 2020

Installing LED light strip in roll bar support cover

The cover was dry this morning, and as expected, there were a variety of dust nibs in the paint. I wanted to do an experiment about polishing out dust nibs on a painted sample (shown here) before trying to remove the dust nibs on the cover. I made a little sanding pad by cutting out a small cylinder of particle board and bonding on a bit of 2000 grit sandpaper. You can see a dust nib just to the right of the sanding pad.

After a bit of sanding. You can see the dust nib is mostly knocked down. Also, the orange peel is getting sanded off.

Sanding complete. The dust nib is gone, as is the orange peel. Time to polish it up.

I don't have any paint polish, so used this metal polish instead to polish out the sanding marks.

Well, if I were going for a glossy finish, this would've worked great. Unfortunately, I'm shooting for a satin finish on all the interior surfaces. Glad I tested this approach on a sample rather than the cover. For the time being, I'm just going to live with the dust nibs on the cover.

It was a bit tricky to get the LEDs positioned relative to the holes on the cover, then peel off the adhesive backing and cleco on the backing joggled strip. This was my first attempt...use some pieces of transparent double sided tape to stick the faces of every third LED to the cover plate. The double sided tape didn't want to stick to the faces of the LEDs, so this didn't work. Instead, I just fussed around with the LED strip while it was clecoed between the joggled strip and the cover, then peeled off the adhesive backing from in between. Worked reasonably well, but got a couple scuffs in the paint.

Riveted and testing the light output. Should light up the baggage area reasonably well.

A closer view with the lights off. The position of the LEDs is a bit off near the ends, but pretty well centered for most of the middle portion of the strip.

After this, I spent a bunch of time thinking about what to do. You may recall I was thinking of running all the wiring before moving on. Unfortunately, until I know for sure what avionics I'm going to have, that's going to be premature. I think I'll deal with that once avionics have been ordered. Instead, I think it's time to get back to working on the upper forward structure and the canopy frame.