Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Fly Time & Landing Light Install

Since I was planning to go flying today I decided to first update my landing light. I currently have a GE4509 installed, and I am replacing it with a HANDXEN PAR36 Aviation Grade LED Aircraft Landing Light.
PAR36 Aviation Grade LED Aircraft Landing Light,cone Beam.

Includes 18 LEDs Max 2,100 Lumens in Long Lasting Glass Lens with Die-Cast Aluminum Housing.
  • INCREDIBLE BRIGHTNESS: 2,100 raw lumen output from 18 high quality LEDs, 15 times brighter than incandescent bulbs, crystal clear glass lens
  • LONG LIFE: waterproof, shatter and thermal resistant Borosilicate glass lens won't yellow over time like cheap plastic models, OSRAM LEDs with 50,000 hour lifespan, die-cast aluminum housing for maximum heat dissipation
  • EASY INSTALL: screw on terminals with polarity labels, no pigtails to wire, accepts 10-30 volts DC with with 80% less amp draw
  • HIGHLY COMPATIBLE: standard PAR36 4.5" drop in replaces GE4505, GE4509, GE4313, GE4591, GE4594, GE4595 GE4596, GE Q4631
  • OPTIMIZED BEAM: daylight color (5500k - 6500k) optimizes obstacle reflection, 20 degree cone shape for landing
Once at the hangar I set up my moving blanket and strapped on my knee pads, getting old ain't for sissies. I removed the three screws and was surprised to find three springs fall out. I guess I should have consulted the Commander 112 Illustrated Parts Catalog first. 

Mistake number one was not putting a mark on the GE 4509 light terminal connections that I was removing. I removed the light and set it aside. Next I unwrapped the LED, again not noting the positive and negative terminal and removed the pig tail since I did not need the hook up.  What I should have done was leave the pigtail, cut off the old connectors on the plane and run out and by two new connectors for the new pigtail.  Nahhh...that would have been the smart thing to do.  

I proceeded to hook up the LED, trying to make do with the very short wires from the existing light connection. I had a 50/50 shot on the connection. I had positioned a step stool so I could crawl out from sitting in front of the plane and be able to grab onto something to help me stand up. I climbed up in the cockpit, turned on the landing lights, and switched the battery on.  No bueno, I had no light. I crawled back in the cockpit shut the battery off and crawled back under the front of the plane. Easy peasy, right? Just switch the leads.  I fumbled with the screws and dropped one, causing me to set the light back down, and without marking the terminals I had no clue which terminal I had hooked up where.  
At this point both my shoulders are hurting from working with my arms out front of me and I really didn't feel like taking another swing at hooking up the light, then doing the in and out of the cockpit test routine. I muttered a few choice words with regard to my stupidity of not marking the terminals and proceeded to reinstall the GE4509. 

I was worried about installing the springs behind the holding plate with such a short wire. It took some fiddling and a few more choice words but I got all three in place and secured. At this point I could not lift my tool bag so I pushed it with my foot out of the way and did the same for the step stool. I did climb back in and out to make sure I still had the existing landing light working, it was good to go. 

My shoulders felt so bad that I didn't feel like tugging the plane out. I had no interest to fly, I just wanted to get home and put some heat on my shoulders. I think it's finally time to see the doctor.  I can barely pick up a full ice tea glass without sharp pains on top and the outside edge of my shoulders, it's almost unbearable on some days. Other days It's sore but I can totally function. I really need to be in warm weather for winter. 

So 453 Tango Charlie is buttoned up. I will head to the store tomorrow to find the correct connectors, and a good splice connector to extend the wire from the plane to the light.  I will give it another go this week after I take a couple of Advil in advance. Besides, I already know the routine, that's a plus. Ok, it sounded good.

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