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Catalina Project

11 posts in this topic

Posted

Has anyone replaced the manual gear retraction mechanism with an electric linear actuator/ jack screw?  If so, did it work? What linear actuator did you use?

I'm having a hard time sorting out the forces it would be subject to. However it looks like it would be a relatively easy install and would be a lot nicer than the manual handle.

Mine, even though it moves freely requires more force that I want to apply every time I want to cycle the gear once I am flying this thing.

Chris Bolkan

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Posted

HEY CHRIS,

 

YES MINE IS MODIFIED TO ELECTRIC..WORKS GREAT

My actuator is a SKF CAT R 33x15/C12c

see this website page https://www.skf.com/binary/tcm:12-243108/index.html

 

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Posted (edited)

Sweet! I'm on it! Would you mind taking a couple photos of how you did the install from a couple different angles?

Thanks man!

Chris

Edited by ChrisBolkan

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Posted

I am having trouble finding the particular actuator you used. Can you re-check the number? The link leads to a blank page.

 

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Posted

Hey Chris, here a PDF version for you..on page 11 you will find the details. Today I will take some close-ups for you

actuator.pdf

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Posted

Thank you! I am sure from other posts I have been exposed to your name but I do not seem to know it. Since we are likely to be talking a bit and for a while, what's your name?

Thanks again!

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Posted

Hey Chris,, here some pictures of the install for you. When photos were taken the gear is in its "gear down" position. Also note the gear switch on the cockpit is a 3 way switch...switch in Gear up =-blue light on, gear up / switch in middle position=no power to system and all lights off / switch in gear down=gear down and green light on.

The switch mid position allows you to not have the bright gear up light on all the time. Also it allows you to partially extend the gear at any position between gear up and gear down. 

 

...my name, Laurent

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Posted

Thanks Laurent

It's crazy but my Catalina has gear up, down and "no mans land" indicator lights already in the instrument panel, but no wiring. They may have been intended for manual indication, but that seems unlikely. I think there was a future plan to go electric.

Does your actuator go through its complete end to end travel from gear up to gear down positions or do the microswitches limit the travel?

If it does go limit to limit is there internal protection inside the actuator to stop it and prevent damage to the actuator?

Or do the micro switches just turn on the position indicators?

I assume the gear up/down rocker is a cross wired DPDT switch?

Do you have a diagram of how you wired it?

I have a lot more questions but I don't want to overload you right off the bat!

Take care!

Chris

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Posted

Hey Chris,

the actuator travel is limited by the two end micro switches, they also switch the lights on the dash. The way I protected the actuator is by a 15A circuit breaker. That breaker will pop if the actuator hits it's end limits (limit micro switch not working) or if the actuator is energized gear down with aircraft on ground. Yes it is a DPDT crosswired switch plus a couple of relays, I'll get you the wiring next...have to do a bit of paper digging :)

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Posted

Thank you Laurent! Curious, do you remember approx what you paid for the actuator? I'm going to do the install but want to brace myself for the sticker shock! :-)

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Posted

Hey Chris, sorry I tend to forget the price of things....feel better that way. Also this actuator is quite old and i find a bit heavy. I am sure you can find a reasonably priced actuator with similar specs (boats have a wide selection, see trim tab actuator/engine lift actuator/hatch actuator etc....maybe you find a second hand one). The pull-push force to get the gear up/down is not much.....maybe 80-100Lbs. The strength needed from the actuator is mostly when landing at touch down...a bad hard landing will give you a static load of about 3600-4000Lbs. This number is what the actuator has to withstand in compression when retracted (gear down). Any 12v DC linear actuator able to handle 4000Lbs static load and a few hundred Lbs dynamic load will work just fine. You will need about 150mm / 5,9 inch travel. There are some with integral adjustable limit switches...less wiring and simpler installation than mine. If possible I would choose a waterproof one.

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