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Merlin Instrument Panel

Merlin Instrument Panel

I have had some questions recently about the panel size. IMHO plenty big enough!

Some random notes:

  • The panel is 22 inches long and 7-1/2 inches high. There is about 5/8 inch lost where the attach bolts are. There is plenty of depth.
  • Yesterday I added an idiot light (for me?). The Rotax 582 has a really nice oil-injection system. Means one does not have to pre-mix the oil with the gas. That would be challenging at a airport fuel stop. And even at a gas station with fuel cans it is bothersome. So now I don’t have to pre-mix, just check and refill the oil tank. And if I forget to do that the light will remind me that I am an idiot and did not complete a proper pre-flight.IMG_20160301_113957
  • For clarification the $34,900 price has a very basic panel: ASI, ALT, Ball, trim, a few engine instruments and 2 fuel gauges. It is really all you need except for a transponder and a handheld or in-dash radio. Skip the intercom! I can still stream music and phone calls via Bluetooth direct to my headset from my phone.
  • My panel has a few upgrades: MGL Xtreme EFIS/EMS. Small, light, inexpensive, yet comprehensive. A low-cost but functional transceiver from ACS. I did upgrade to a Trig transponder as it has ADS-B out port. I know someone will ask me if the transponder will be outdated soon…. The gear up/down buttons are for wireless float gear actuation. Yes, it is functional. Below the gear switch is the Trutrack ECO autopilot. This will come in handy on my flight to Oshkosh. Probably not so much on my 3 mile XC to Sun n Fun. It uses RC aircraft servos which are much lighter and much less expensive and complicated than a conventional autopilot. And it is connected to the Garmin AERA GPS.
  • Moving on to the fuse box which uses standard and inexpensive auto blade fuses. Then the very nice fuel switch. And finally a power supply for your tablet, phone, etc.

I don’t know what more I could want on a panel. The MGL has GPS, the GPS has GPS, my phone has GPS, and my Garmin watch has GPS. If all those fail the MGL has a built-in compass. I wonder how it works…..

Not pictured but the lightning holes on the main spar are perfect for auxiliary instruments. I stuck a timer up there as I don’t trust fuel gauges so much. Oh, OK, here is a photo from my friend in Czech:




I am already planning my panel on my next Merlin……







Chip W. Erwin
South Lakeland Airport
Lakeland, FL

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