No luck with the weather this week - way too much low cloud whenever I had time available - so no RV-8 flying :( I did manage to get one prof flight in Transport Canada’s C182 late Friday afternoon, but that wasn’t nearly as much fun as an RV flight would have been. Oh well. You can’t fight the weather.

I did crank out a software update for the preheat remote control. The new version, in theory, will write the ON/OFF state of the solid state relay (SSR) to the EEPROM whenever the state changes. The program will check this recorded state on startup, and will put the SSR ON and start the timer if it was ON when the system lost power. This change, if it works, will provide protection from any power interruptions. Next time I get to the hangar, I’ll load the new version and test this new function. If it doesn’t work I’ll load a simpler fall-back version that defaults to SSR ON at power up, with no fancy reading and writing to the EEPROM.

Some time ago, Dynon updated their EFIS software to allow GPS data to provide a backup to pitot data in the attitude computation algorithm. This was a welcome software change, as the previous attitude algorithm was heavily dependent on valid airspeed info to stabilize the attitude computation. If pitot pressure was ever lost, perhaps due to an iced up pitot tube, or a bird strike, the attitude display could become unstable. Not good for IFR ops. The latest EFIS software, which I loaded last week, will use GPS groundspeed to stabilize the attitude computation if the airspeed data becomes questionable.

Originally I thought I would have to do a major panel diving exercise to run a wire from the GPS 430 to the Dynon EFIS. But, when I dug into this, I discovered that the GPS data that is needed is exactly the same data as is currently sent to a jack in the cockpit for data recording. Similarly, the input to the EFIS that this data must be sent is the same wire that is connected to a cockpit jack to allow in-flight data recording and on-ground EFIS software updates. So, rather than crawling under the panel to run another wire, I’ll use a cable with a plug on each end to connect the GNS 430 cockpit data-out jack to the EFIS cockpit data-in jack. I made the required plug yesterday, and I’ll try it next time I go flying. The new GPS data in the EFIS will also allow it to update its internal clock, and to provide GPS track on the heading tape, and GPS data on the optional HSI display.

Terry got clearance to start weaning herself out of her cervical collar 10 days ago - that took a week, with a few more hours out of the collar each day. She still has occasional pain, but it is much, much better than it was before the surgery. Her neurosurgeon says that it should continue to gradually improve for several months, so it is too early to know what the end state is going to be.

I’ve spent way too much time the last three weeks fighting with computer hard drive melt downs. The hard drive on our main computer crashed between Christmas and New Years. Fortunately I had a current backup to restore from (thank God for Time Machine). I reformatted it and reinstalled everything. But, it failed again on Thursday, and this time it seems to have completely died. The computer doesn’t find it, and all it does is make a deathly repetitive squeaky click. I’ve ordered a new Samsung F2 1.5 TB drive which should arrive tomorrow. This drive is quieter and/or more reliable than anything I can find in stock in Ottawa. I’ll perform major surgery and open up the all-in-one iMac to replace the drive. I could take it to a computer shop and have them do the work, but the job doesn’t look as hard as replacing the hard drive in my 12” PowerBook, which I managed a few years ago. Wish me luck.