TailBeacon

How to keep the Cessna 170 flying and airworthy.

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TailBeacon

Postby 170C » Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:20 am

Received my TailBeacon today. Checked to see if it fit the tail nav light position and itq that if a couple of my friends, there is no grounding strap between the rudder and the vertical stabilizer (‘56 C-172). The tail navigation light, both regular and led, have worked perfectly all these years. I have to think the rudder is grounded via the 3 hinges even though they are lubercated quite well. Any thoughts? Spent about an hour trying to fish a wire down through the rudder so I can attach a dedicated ground wire without success. Better luck tomorrow! Then to figure out the programming and do the certification flight.
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Re: TailBeacon

Postby dstates » Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:11 am

Can you post a before and after picture? Did you compare the weight of the old vs. new lights?

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Re: TailBeacon

Postby 170C » Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:19 pm

I have not weighed the old nav light nor the TailBeacon. Data located on the internet states the old tail nav light weighted 50 grams and the TailBeacon weighs 70 grams. I don't have a scale that will weigh such lightweight items.
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Re: TailBeacon

Postby rupertjl » Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:45 pm

if i remember correctly on my skybeacon install, i just added a post on the last rib for the ground. Being that its a flying surface and you just can't go adding weight anywhere, is there any way to just allow a ring terminal on the mounting screw to the light base on the rudder?
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Re: TailBeacon

Postby 170C » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:28 pm

Likely could do so, but just to be sure of a good ground I ran a separate ground wire to a bolt on the Tailwheel bracket.
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Re: TailBeacon

Postby dstates » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:40 am

Did you have to rebalance the rudder? Did the instructions talk about that at all?
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Re: TailBeacon

Postby lowNslow » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:19 am

Here is how McFarlane shows grounding flight controls.
https://www.mcfarlaneaviation.com/produ ... 1570102-1/
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Re: TailBeacon

Postby pdb » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:59 am

This is a copy of my 337 which may answer some of these questions.

B38D3860-0B51-40B1-8FCF-4DE30AB4A9DB.jpeg


When I installed mine, the TailBeacon unit was only .1oz heavier than the Grimes light that came off.
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Re: TailBeacon

Postby 170C » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:32 pm

I didn't rebalance my rudder. Don't believe its warranted for the very minor difference in weight. Got mine installed Thursday after installing a new power wire from under the verticle stab (the original '56 vintage wire with the covering was deteriorating) and a grounding wire which I grounded via one of the tailwheel bracket bolts. Did a test flight Friday morning and it passed so then flew the certification flight in the Nashville class C airspace for just over 30 minutes. Unit passed and am told my unit meets the FAA required parameters and I should receive my rebate in a few weeks. :D
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Re: TailBeacon

Postby Kyle Wolfe » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:37 am

Anyone else done the tail beacon install on their 170? Any issues with the fit/size? Balance issues?
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Re: TailBeacon

Postby Bruce Fenstermacher » Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:31 am

Kyle, I've installed 4 Tailbeacons. One on a L-19, two on 150s and one on a 172. It is a very easy straight forward install. Unless you don't have the standard grimes light fixture on your rudder (and I'm sure you do), the unit will fit. On the L-19 the opening of the fixture was not exactly flat with the mounting holes being pulled out a little. The supplied foam gasket did not bridge the gap. I simply used some clear Owens Corning silicone to fill the minor gap and no one is wiser. The other 3 where flat and the supplied foam seal worked nicely.

Your 170 and the L-19 did not have a ground wire relying on the airframe for ground. The 150 and 172 did have a ground. This really should be no big deal. Your white nav light has been operating that way since it left the factory. Instructions say to just run the ground to one of the mounting screws for the unit. I choose to drill a hole in the side aft of the light fixture and install a screw for the ground inside. If you do this make sure the screw is deep enough inside so it will not interfere with the Tailbeacon unit when installed.

There is no call for rebalancing the rudder.
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Re: TailBeacon

Postby 170C » Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:40 pm

These recent posts brought to mind my experience with the TailBeacon. My '56 172 rudder was not grounded by a grounding strap. As previously stated, I ran a new power wire from the bottom of my rudder and a ground wire up inside the rudder. My unit has worked flawlessly with one recent exception. One must turn on the nav lights for the unit to work :oops: . Guess that was my anonymous mode.
On the other hand my Scout ADS-B IN is not as dependable. When it works, it works great. However it continues to message me on my iPad w/ FF "Scout Disconnected". Sometimes it will reconnect, sometimes not. Sometimes I can go back to settings and check to be sure its connected in FF and it will work. I've contacted uAvionix and been told I would be connected in 3-5 days. That should be today or tomorrow. Also contacted FF and received a quick reply. They have given me some instructions to log data and send it to them for analysis. Apparently there is a know problem, but I'm not sure if its one with Scout or with FF. We will see what comes of this.
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Re: TailBeacon

Postby brian.olson » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:07 pm

Regarding the Scout problems ... this is a wild guess for you, but I experienced the same thing when I first got my Stratus. Connected, disconnected, connected, disconnected ... and sometimes wouldn't re-connect. Often when in flight. What I ultimately discovered via trial/error is that I had set up password security on the Stratus so nobody else could/would connect, and that was causing the issue. Went back to an "open" connection and the problem went away. It's been two years since then, and perhaps a firmware update may have resolved that very issue, but it immediately popped into my mind when I read your post.
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Re: TailBeacon

Postby 170C » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:38 pm

Thanks Brian. I will keep your suggestion in mind. I was able to preform the FF suggested procedure with the plane in the hangar (got good IN data on aircraft in the area). I am not sure this will give FF what they want, but will be forwarding the "logging" data to them and see what they say.
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