Changing Instrument Panel Lights

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Changing Instrument Panel Lights

Post by 6930 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:00 am

I am going to be installing an ADS B out Tail Beacon in my plane which means that every time I fly I will need to turn on my navigation lights and I am thinking of installing LED lights in the panel to reduce battery load (I have a generator). Other option is to not turn on the lights until after the run up and when ready for takeoff and turning them off as soon as I land. But, I thought I would pursue the LED option if practicable.

Question - how do I change the lights for the oil pressure/temp and clock/ammeter? Is there an easy way to do this? I’m thinking there isn’t but thought I would see if anyone has any thoughts.

Thanks,

Mike

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Re: Changing Instrument Panel Lights

Post by 6643 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:01 am

Can't really help you with the panel lights, but you could always use the dimmer and turn them all the way down. There are approved LED nav bulbs you can use. It is my understanding that you are supposed to have the ADS-B on all the time, even when on the ground, so turning it on right before takeoff may not be a legal option.

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Re: Changing Instrument Panel Lights

Post by 6930 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:07 pm

Thanks John.

You may be right about having it on all the time. I haven’t been able to find anything that specifically calls for that though it makes sense they would mandate that at a Class B or C airport. Maybe even a Class D airport within a Class B mode C veil.

I operate at a private airport within O’Hare mode C veil and figure I could conduct ground operations without the ADS B on. But who knows. I’ve heard the FAA is still trying to sort out the details on implementation and enforcement. For example, what are they going to do if a plane pops up without the unit on? I’ve heard they will be issuing warning letters followed with some form of action if there are repeat offenses. It seems it is something of a bureaucratic mess. Go figure.

Anyway, I do have a rheostat dimmer installed...but I’m not sure it actually reduces the load on the system. It seems a lot of the energy is turned to heat at the rheostat (it gets pretty warm).

Do you know if it reduces the amp load when dialed back?

Mike

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Re: Changing Instrument Panel Lights

Post by 6643 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:14 am

6930 wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:07 pm
Do you know if it reduces the amp load when dialed back?
Yes, it does. How much depends on which rheostat you have. Some apparently had an "off" position, which would reduce it to zero.

From the tailBeacon user manual: "tailBeacon must be enabled (turned ON) during all phases of flight including surface movement operations. To ensure tailBeacon is enabled, aircraft power to the position light must remain on."

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Re: Changing Instrument Panel Lights

Post by 8233 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:18 am

It's in the AIM, 4-1-20:

3. Transponder and ADS-B operations on the
ground. Civil and military aircraft should operate
with the transponder in the altitude reporting mode
(consult the aircraft's flight manual to determine the
specific transponder position to enable altitude
reporting) and ADS-B Out transmissions enabled (if
equipped) at all airports, any time the aircraft is
positioned on any portion of an airport movement
area. This includes all defined taxiways and runways.
David Freeland - CFII
1972 Bellanca Super Viking and 1946 Cessna 120

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Re: Changing Instrument Panel Lights

Post by 6930 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:28 am

Got it. Thanks, gentlemen.

Mike

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Re: Changing Instrument Panel Lights

Post by 1567 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:51 am

And they wonder why general aviation is dying !

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Re: Changing Instrument Panel Lights

Post by 8482 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:05 am

"Should" is the past tense of "shall". The Supreme Court ruled that when the word "shall" appears in statutes, it means "may." Legal reference books like the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure no longer use the word "shall" because it can also mean "may, will or must."

One would think that if the FAA wanted something to be absolutely mandatory they would write "must" or "must not" and not "should".

Anyways, that is my two cents...

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Re: Changing Instrument Panel Lights

Post by 6277 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:11 am

Anybody know of a LED replacement that will plug into the existing instrument panel light socket?

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Re: Changing Instrument Panel Lights

Post by 6643 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:19 pm

8482 wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:05 am
The Supreme Court ruled that when the word "shall" appears in statutes, it means "may."
Seriously? After a lifetime of writing standards documents and system specifications, "shall" and "must" meant the same thing; if it doesn't it won't work right and we ain't paying. "May" and "can" were optional, or referenced details left up to the implementer. "Should" and "will" were never used.

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