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Idea for backup rotor rpm instrument
Hi guys,

I had an idea for a backup rotor rpm instrument, and a couple of people have asked about it lately so thought I would share some details on here for everyone.

The instrument sits on top of the dash and is a vertical row of LED lights.  It has 3 in the middle that are always on (fairly dull).  As rotor rpm's go high or low lights above or below start turning on.  10 rpm high, 1 light above center on, 20 rpm high, 2 lights above center on etc...  The lights are set up to be progressively brighter the further away from center, and have different colors (green - yellow - red).

Its powered from a separate circuit breaker to other instruments, and has its own pickup via a photocell seeing a reflective strip on the driveshaft below the splitter gearbox.  (someone had a good idea the other day about giving it its own battery backup)

I put it in as a backup, but after flying with no governor I found it actually became my primary flight instrument.  Its easy to just quickly glance at, or even see out of peripheral vision.  A lot easier than focusing on the MGL instrument electronic version of a needle.

The housing is just 3d printed plastic, a base that can be shaped to fit the curve of the dash, then the main housing screwed down to that.  Then a couple of circuit boards, one with the LED lights, the other with a small microprocessor and power supply.

I am also looking now at maybe building in a low rpm buzzer to maybe turn on between 70 - 95% rotor rpm.  Still playing with that idea.
XE285 in NZ
I really like the idea of RPM LEDs on the top of the panel.

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