As discussed in Ch18_22A, I have designed and built a dual actuator control canopy. A smaller actuator to open and close the canopy hooks, while the stronger one lifts and closes the canopy. A limit switch is integrated into the lock actuator assembly that disables the canopy lift while the canopy lock is at the close position. Conversely, when the canopy lock is at the open position (i.e. unlocked), the canopy lift actuator is enabled. I have been exercising this dual actuator approach for almost a year now and it has worked reliably thus far. Both the lock and canopy lift are activated via remote control module manufactured by Firgelli (the actuator manufacturer). My remote control has a range of 40 - 50 feet.
One of the concerns I have regarding the remote control is the longevity of the battery in the remote pendent. Though I plan to have 2 of them on hand, there's always a remote possibility that both batteries dies. Since I am doing the wiring at this time, I decided to improve my odds by adding local control at the Instrument Panel. This 'local control' consists of 3 toggle switches at the instrument panel:
- Remote/Local selection switch (for operating the lock and canopy by the wireless pendent OR the toggle switches at the IP);
- Canopy lock switch (lock & unlock position);
- Canopy lift switch (canopy open & close position).
A copy of my circuit is available per request.
The local control provides an added safety feature - it eliminates the possibility of 'butt activation' of the control system via the wireless pendent in flight.
Here's a picture of the Remote/Local set up.