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 Post subject: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 02 Apr 2012, 02:50 
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Joined: 10/18/08
Posts: 738
Post Likes: +79
Aircraft: Aerostar 601p/700
In removing my engines I noted several splices in the Jpi wires. Not acceptable. I also noted remanents of an old low thrust detection system. Also old unused Alcor wiring. Pulling this stuff out I encountered several terminated wires all over the place. Behind the panel is a nightmare of terminated wires in a tangled mess. I removed an old unused avionics cooling fan, a RC filter stuffed in a sidewall connected to nothing, static lines that are blocked off, plugs that are connected to nothing, etc. There are lots more terminated wires but without removing everything it becomes impossible to to get them all out. Many of these wires pass through the pressure bulkhead. There is a bundle of terminated wires in the back of the airplane as thick as my forearm.

I was thinking of updating the panel at some point and now might be a good time being that my engines will be several weeks to arrive and the interior is pulled out as I was doing some of that too. It is becoming very expensive fast.

I took the last week off from work to get the engines out and everything else apart at the mechanics shop.

I was thinking of adding an aspen or g600 and a garmin 750 and cleaning up the wiring. There is an avionics tech that will work in the mechanics hangar who I need to talk to.

I know the fast stack sytem has been discussed before. It seems very logical and orderly. Pull everything out, determine what avionics you are using, mount hub, order custom cables and plug it all in. Nice and neat.

What are some opinions on this system. Pros and cons. Also the airplane is based in IL, work is being done in OK, and airplane registered in DE. If the FAA gives trouble about 337 is it fsdo where work is being done that is involved? I have heard some concerns about fast track system getting 337 approval.

Aircraft is an Aerostar


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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 02 Apr 2012, 07:31 
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Joined: 01/29/09
Posts: 862
Company: It's Rented,LLC.
Location: LSUISIANA
Aircraft: 1985-B58
I have the system in my 58 Baron, it is "Sweet" with no problems! Tim Hass is a straight shooter, you won't be disapointed! Call and talk to him, he will be glad to answer any questions you have! Tell him I said Hi! :thumbup: :thumbup:

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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 02 Apr 2012, 23:33 
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Joined: 06/25/10
Posts: 2179
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Location: Raleigh, NC
Aircraft: B36TC
Some installers and some FSDOs (I think most would be appropriate here) consider the FastStack "system" to be wiring devices and nothing more. The components are passive--they are connectors and wire.

Before installing the FastStack system, my 36's panel wiring was terrible. Wires went back and forth, grounds were terminated in crazy places. Power had been spliced off from crazy and dangerous places.

During an avionics overhaul, I stripped out everything from the panel except the autopilot and airframe wiring. I carefully documented every change made to the airframe wiring in the Beech wiring diagram manual. Then, we installed the FastStack.

Tim from FastStack sends you measurement sheets. They are well done and easy to follow. You measure the intended wire lengths to all of your intended avionics. They fabricate professionally done harnesses. The connector bodies, terminations, jacketing and QC documentation are all way beyond what all but the best avionics shops do. IMO, the cost is far less than what the best avionics shops do (but they also have some excellent ancillary benefits).

The harnesses arrive individually bagged with full wiring diagrams showing the interconnects, shields, terminations, pin descriptions, wire gauge, etc. A QC chart showing checks for continuity and no crosstalk is also in the bag.

After pulling the wiring, you terminate the power and ground wires per the avionics install manuals using appropriately sized and labeled breakers and the factory or equivalent quality grounding points. Finally, plug in all the plugs, including the plugs to the connector junction box by FastStack.

FastStack benefits:
-Highly professional discrete cables
-Fully documented wiring diagram
-Fully documented QC
-Future expansion and changes by changing one or more cables
-More cost effective (in my case)

Avionics shop benefits:
-Single source for install
-Ancillary benefits of keeping all business with the shop
-Potential (?) for even greater customization

For me, it was easy to decide on the FastStack. Each time I look behind the panel, I smile at how clean and organized the cables are. I can remove and re-install the entire panel (with supervision) in under one hour. I find that to be incredible.

Nick

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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 07 Jun 2012, 19:53 
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Joined: 09/25/09
Posts: 30
Post Likes: +1
Company: alliance international helicop
Location: st cloud florida
Aircraft: S MODEL BONANZA
i have a friend that owns a avionics shop ,he hates the fast stack!but i know why he is worryed about losing jobs! i have a fast stack system and panel up grade im doing .myself.i love it, its really nice and easy wow what a great system!i stared with garmin 420,garmin ,audio,garmin transponder,kx155,plus indicators, i decided later to add a 430 wass and differn glide slode indicator,its so easy just called tim,bought some more cables
plus added auto pilot,so easy these guys are great to deal with im sure i saved $15,000 im using fast stacks in all my planes, i may start doing these installs for other customers also,you wont be sad if you choose fast stack, good luck markmiller


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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 07 Jun 2012, 21:30 
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Joined: 07/27/08
Posts: 151
Location: KBDR, CT
Aircraft: 58TB (B58P)
Nick:

My shop is using the system and said they had to "splice into" some of the cables to finish off the job. I was under the impression that this wouldn't be necessary because you could find a way to draw these other connections into the hub. Did you run into similar problems with your install?

Anand


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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 07 Jun 2012, 22:27 
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Joined: 06/25/10
Posts: 2179
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Location: Raleigh, NC
Aircraft: B36TC
Not at all. No splicing whatsoever. On my install, if something needed to be interfaced directly to one instrument, FastStack left "flying leads" meaning wires that were not terminated on one end. This is how my autopilot got "spliced in" to the FastStack system.

From my experience on one installation, your shop should not have to cut or splice any wires provided by FastStack.

Nick

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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012, 06:38 
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Joined: 07/27/08
Posts: 151
Location: KBDR, CT
Aircraft: 58TB (B58P)
Thanks, I am going to investigate a little further. My guess is there were some items that they didn't plan for and spliced instead of getting flying leads.


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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012, 07:36 
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Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 3493
Post Likes: +116
Company: T303, T210, Citabria
Location: Houston, TX
Aircraft: 1968 Bonanza E33
Username Protected wrote:
Thanks, I am going to investigate a little further. My guess is there were some items that they didn't plan for and spliced instead of getting flying leads.

It just means they did not plan & specify correctly. And then instead of ordering a new cable, ruined the existing one. Use a different shop.

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無為而治 世界大同
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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012, 10:12 
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Joined: 05/17/11
Posts: 362
Post Likes: +144
Location: Kokomo, IN KOKK
Aircraft: Aerostar, PAY4, T-6
You will seldom find an avionics shop that "likes" the Fast Stack. The build up of the avionics harness is one of their better "value added" functions (read profit here), so not likely they would want to delete a big portion of their work. Does a well built shop made harness work well, yes it does.. biggest drawback to shop built harness is changes down the road. Good shops will redo some or most of the harness (value added) as there are no easy changes in a hard wired system.. The Fast Stack has its payback later, when you or the next caretaker of the aircraft want to change one or more items in the stack or associated instruments connected to it. One of our a/c has the FS system, and I do know you have to be very careful when planning the interconnections and ordering the cables. If done correctly, you don't have to "cut" into the cables.. We didn't have to do any cutting, and it was a fairly complex install. We did have to send one cable back for a change, but that was due to our improper input for that cable. Price wise, we don't see a lot of differences going either way, but considering the "down the road" cost, FS might be the overall cost winner.. However, your mileage may vary. FWIW, the last a/c we redid the avionics in, we went with the hard harness, as that's what the shop we wanted to use was the most comfortable with.. Pays yo' money and makes ya choice.. Good luck, you'll probably be happy either way.

best,
Nathan
KOKK

NOTE: this reply is unedited for grammar, spelling nor fact.. just like I talk!

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Nathan "Dirt" Davis
Kokomo, IN KOKK


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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012, 10:39 
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Joined: 08/31/09
Posts: 3668
Post Likes: +185
Company: Telematic Systems, Inc.
Location: Ft. Myers, FL (KFMY) Willow Run, MI (KYIP)
Aircraft: Baron E55
What does J.A. Air Center use when they do a complete "Glass Panel" installation???? :scratch:

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Bill Tassic


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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012, 12:07 
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Joined: 06/04/09
Posts: 4188
Post Likes: +254
Company: Usually good
Location: Chicago - Milwaukee, IL (KUGN)
Aircraft: 1968 Bonanza V35A
I have one PIREP on fast stack, seem nice, but I recently traced a intermittent loose connection to the harness entering the fast stack. a slight wiggle and the problem comes and goes. Considering a new harness there. This may have also affected my AP.

Harness is tight.

Just a Data Point. :peace:

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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012, 12:26 
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Joined: 01/30/09
Posts: 4136
Post Likes: +378
Location: Oklahoma City, OK (KPWA)
Aircraft: planeless
I made my own harness, never used fasstack. Although, I would love to have the experience. My take is that harnesses seem very much a custom thing to the airplane. I think the plug 'n play is limited, and the fasstack reports here seem to support that.

It seems to me that you either pay fasstack to make it or you pay an avionics tech to make it (or do it yourself, I guess). I think the value of any approach largely depends on the labor rate you are paying for the job.

Obviously, the fasstack system is probably going to at least have a generally high level of quality, consistency (one would hope), and documentation associated with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012, 12:54 
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Joined: 06/25/10
Posts: 2179
Post Likes: +56
Location: Raleigh, NC
Aircraft: B36TC
I mostly concur with Eric. The quality is phenomenal. They use quality pins, connectors and backshells. They use modern cable management products (sleeving, labeling, strain relief).

Their "system" for generating the bill of materials, wiring diagrams, quality documentation, etc. seems like the biggest piece of intellectual property associated with the business.

FastStack could have gone without the hub concept and simply been an outsourced wire harness company. Joe's Avionics would fill out the same equipment & lengths worksheets. FastStack would wire up an octopus of a wire harness. Joe could better compete with top tier shops, especially when you consider capacity (Joe can concurrently install three G500-centric systems since the wiring harnesses are done and tested.)

As for Bo's experience with a flaky pin, it's quite likely the issue is one of a pin or socket. I would only begin worrying if the root cause was a cold solder joint on the hub PCB. In that case, FastStack is PMA, so they should ("should") be documenting that failure in a manner evident to the FAA, then modifying their design and/or process to eliminate the cause of that failure.

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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 08 Jun 2012, 14:04 
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Joined: 11/06/10
Posts: 9416
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Company: Looking
Location: KBED - (Bedford MA)
Never having used FastStack but discussed it with two avionics shops. The answer from both was interesting, if you do partial panel upgrades, such as a single Aspen, then the A/P next time, then a GTN750... The FastStack is very good for handling the upgrades. If you do a large rip and replace of a major portion of the panel each time the FastStack will add weight, maybe complexity (more points and connections to check); however it is not likely to save you money. It comes back to how you think about doing your upgraades....


Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Fast stack system
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2012, 12:26 
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Joined: 12/11/10
Posts: 1510
Post Likes: +141
Aircraft: pa 31
fast stack is THE WAY to go. I was skeptical when I first read about it, but it was easy and a breeze. Love it. So simple, clean, fast. Everything is pre wired, labelled. All the mechanic has to do is connect the ground and power wires, which are labelled. No issues what so ever. I put it in my Navajo, garmin 530 was, 430 waas, Sandel ehsi, 330 gtx transponder, ps 8000b audio panel, garmin gel 69a xm radio and weather, and ps engineering pav 80 LCD and DVD player.

Tim haas at fast stack is knowledgeable. The product is warrantied for ever.

Avionics shops cringe when they hear of this, but that is because the down time and cost to owners is slashed by about 10$k

Remy


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