Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It is.... ALIVE!

You've seen those movies. The protagonist has spent years of his life chasing a dream, shunned by society for his off-the-wall ideas and pursuits. His goal? Why, to create life, of course! Finally comes the big denouement: he flips a switch, or captures a bolt of lightening, or fills a syringe and injects a biological concoction. There is a pregnant pause... the camera zooms in on the creature's eyes.... AND THEY OPEN!

"IT     IS     ALIVE!!" he shouts!

And so it was that I installed a DB9 connector on the GPS antenna cable, plugged it into the J-box, and turned the page to see what the next step was.

There wasn't one.

I'm done with the avionics!

So, what to do? After pondering it a moment, I decided that I would hook up the main ground wire to the battery and see what happened.

Well, nothing happened. That was to be expected - I had ensured that all of the power switches were off.

The big moment would come when I flipped the master switch to ON.







Nothing happened.


But wait, I think I heard the master relay thunk, so power was in fact coursing through the braided metallic veins of the airplane.  No sign of life on the Skyview, though. The eyes remained steadfastly shut. But... the Hollywood movie creature never displays sentience right away - there is always the suspense of apparent failure.

I did what I normally do when faced with one of Van's Little Mysteries: I fired off a questioning text to Kyle, saxophone reed custodian for The Jackson Two. He asked a pretty pertinent question in return: "Is it plugged in?"

"Well, of COURSE it's plugged.... oh, wait."

You see, there has been this pair of white wires with a black connector on the end that I have been pushing out of my way for days now, waiting for Van's to tell me to plug them in somewhere. I was pretty sure they went into the back of the center switch box, what with that connector being of the right shape and to date unfilled with anything at all. And sure enough, Kyle told me to look for a  pair of white wires with a black connector on the end.

I plugged them in and turned on the master switch again.

Fans started to whir.

And then......

The creature opened his eyes!

He began to speak, but I didn't understand a word.

The newly sentient creatures always ask two questions: "Where am I?" followed by "Who am I?"

The first question he already knew.

We're at Bolton Field, KTZR.

 The big red X means that the second question is still in doubt. Skyview knew where it was, but did not yet know who it was. A quick consultation of the installation guide told me that Skyview had to be told the tail number of the airplane before it would be completely cognizant of its identity.

And so it was...


Scott Kuhar said...

I never thought about the fact that an altimeter reads from sea level. I'd think that the ground would surprise someone doing an instrument landing in the dark when they touch at 800 ft. Congratulations too!

Anonymous said...

Congrats Dave. It is getting closer!

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