VP-X and Communications

Time: 6 Hours

The other day I recieved a box of goodies from Aircraft Spruce that contained several items including the Vertical Power VP-X Pro, Dynon COM and Dynon Intercom. The VP-X is a solid state circuit breaker technology that allows for a lot of customization and control of your electrical system. The pro version is a two buss system for redundancy and safety. I went agead and bought these items so I could power up the plane to check my wiring. I got the COM and intercom so that I could check my intercom harness and the headset jack for squeals and interference. First up was to mount the VP-X and get it into position.  

   Once I got it’s perfect placement I removed it and the brackets it came with to drill four holes for the screws that I would use to attach it. I then returned the VP-X to the spot and clamped it into position so that I could match drill the holes.  
 The forward side of the box I used the shelf I built and screwed it directly to the VP-X instead of the supplied bracket. After all the holes were drilled I removed the front bracket and primed it as well as put in two nutplates.  

 To get power from the battery to the VP-C I needed to run a #4 cable from the battery contactor to the VP-X. I figured out the best run path and needed to drill a hole in a flange just aft of the battery compartment which was just above the battery contactor giving me a straight path to the lug I need to attach to. I had to remove the contactor to get access for the drill.  I also was drilling blind up through the flange and used a mirror to align the drill bit with a mark I made in the center of the flange. I then stepped up the hole size to a 1″ hole for a grommet that allow the cable and terminal to fit through. 

   I then made up the cable for the right length and attached the terminals. With it built I put it into two adel clamps to hold it into place and attached both ends to the VP-X and the contactor. Holding my breath I flipped on the battery master switch and watched as the VP-X lights came on! First test complete – pass. From there I grabbed my laptop I just bought off eBay, it’s a PC and I’m a MacBook guy, since the software is windows based. The VP-X comes with a crossover cable to allow you to transfer information from their configurator  application to the VP-X. The cool thing is the online planner that I designed my electrical system on the Verticalpower.com website creates a file you can use to upload to the VP-X. So that’s what I did and in a few seconds my system was loaded with all my switch inputs and all the avionics I loaded. So when I flipped the boost pumps switch on my pump actuall came on! Test two complete – pass! Now I grabbed my COM unit and intercom and screwed them into the panel for testing. The COM unit is just a head and has a box that I placed in the tail to conect the antanae and power harness up to. With all the harness’s and antanae connected I flipped the avionics switch on….they powered up!  Test three – pass! 

 The knobs and switches all worked and looked great. Now Glenn grabbed his headset and we plugged it in. Glenn turned on his handheld radio and I pulled the PTT switch and whoa it worked and worked very well! No squeals or static, at least not right now. So this proved that all my wiring for the intercom was a success and had no issues with all the grounds I had to deal with in that one harness. I tested both the pilot and passenger headset jacks and changed the com to both the number one spot and number two spot to check both sides wiring. The other thing I was able to test was the flap switch on the pilot grip. I found that I had the two wires backwards and the up went down and the down went up. That was an easy fix with the harness that went to the VP-X. One thing that I didn’t like was that the flap switch had to be held either up or down to make the flaps run continuously. In order to get the full benefits of the VP-X flap control you need to have a flap position sensor installed to allow the system to know where the flaps are at all times. So that’s the next install for me. 

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