Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) [ you should read ALL of the following ]:
Do I need the co-pilot Stick Grip?
If you can answer YES to * ANY * of the following, then YES, you will need a co-pilot Stick Grip ( see Switching Command below ) :
So YES, ALL 2+ seat planes should have matching Stick Grips ! Also, the cockpit looks MUCH better to have a matching set of Stick Grips rather than a POS on the co-pilot side, and is a marketing tool if you ever sell your plane !!!
And again, like it says at the beginning of our Stick Grip page -- You've spent years and thou$and$ on your dream machine! Do you imagine flying your Pride and Joy with a Military Style Stick Grip ( from either seat ), or with other attempts at making a stick grip, such as using just a soft bike grip, ski pole handle or dowel rod that you stuck a couple of cheap switches in, which would be labor intensive to make and wire at best, that turn ON ( make contact ) if you bump them 1/200th of an inch ( our Stick Grip switches WILL NOT do this ), and that the only way to mount it is to glue it on ( then always wondering not if, but when, it will come off ) ?!?
How do I switch command / control of the Stick Grips between the pilot and the co-pilot?
Some builders ( who are also electronic whizzes ) have designed a little Black Box like the military and airlines have, that controls the functions and priorities of each Stick Grip ( which is VERY cool to have! ). But / Or, for us Electronically Challenged ( like me ), a real simple way is to wire the #1 4-Way Switch and the #2 Trigger switch in parallel with each other in each Stick Grip, and gang all the grounds / commons of switches #3, #4, #5 and #6 together to a Lever Lock Toggle Switch mounted horizontally in the panel for the side-by-side planes, or in the left aft console across from the pilot's left hip for the tandem builders, to isolate the pilot Stick Grip switches from the co-pilot's switches. If someone is messing with the 4-Way and / or Trigger switch(es) who shouldn't be, the side-by-side builders can just reach over and break their passengers arm ;-) . BUT, the tandem builders can't do this, so they will either wire all the grounds / commons of the 6 switches in the rear seat Stick Grip to the Lever Lock Toggle Switch, disarming all switches in the rear seat at once -- or better yet, they will wire the 4-Way and Trigger Switch to a second Lever Lock Toggle Switch in the left console to disarm those 2 switches separately from switches #3, #4, #5 and #6 ( an RV-8 builder told me at Oshkosh 2000 that he calls the 2nd Lever Lock Toggle Switch that disables / disarms his 4-way and Trigger Switches in his copilots Stick Grip his 'Grandson Switch'. ) [ At Sun 'N Fun 2004, a husband and wife RV-8 flying team said they put both Lever Lock Toggle Switches by the pilots left hip in the console. His wife said that way 'when he has his heart attack in the front seat, she can reach the 2 Lever Lock Toggle Switches by the pilot's ( husband's ) left hip from the back seat, and take back Stick Grip command, and land the plane.' Good idea! ] .
How do I rotate a toggle switch?
Simply take your Stick Grip apart and use a ground down long 5/16" x 1/4" drive socket to remove the nut holding the toggle switch in place (see my 'Pricing' near the bottom of my Stick Grip Page for a dimensioned picture of the socket, which we also have in stock). Remove the toggle switch, rotate it, and re-install it. Then remount your Stick Grip.
How do I remove a switch?
The colored cap just snaps onto the push-button switch. Pull the cap off using a shop rag and a pair of pliers (the rag is so that the pliers teeth don't mark the cap) and see if the switch works normally, AND check continuity.
If the switch works without the cap, there is nothing wrong with the switch.
When the caps are injected by the mfg., there is a little 'tit' where the cap material is injected into the molded, called the 'Gate'. Sometimes the Gate needs trimmed off. Also, there may be a berm around the perimeter of the cap. So we trim them off.
This very rarely occurs, but if the Gate and / or berm does not get trimmed off enough, they can drag on the walls of the counter-bored hole. By trimming the Gate and / or berm off, and / or scrapping excess paint out of the counter-bored hole with a slim Exacto Knife, the switch will work fine.
But, if you are changing out a switch, follow the above to remove the colored cap. Then simply take your Stick Grip apart and use a ground down long 5/16" x 1/4" drive socket to remove the nut holding the push-button switch ( or toggle switch ) in place (see my "Pricing" near the bottom of my Stick Grip Page for a dimensioned picture of the socket, which we also have in stock). Install the new switch, then remount your Stick Grip.
Is there a trick to mount my Stick Grip onto my stick tube?
Yes. Simply follow the Installation Instructions on the back of your Pictorial Wiring Schematic that came inside your Stick Grip package; BUT, leave the Red Trigger out until you get your Stick Grip to close nicely on your stick tube. THEN, install the Red Trigger.
Now, if you are having trouble getting your Stick Grip to close on your stick tube, either you are pinching a wire, or your stick tube is lager than 1 inch ( our Stick Grip ID is 1 inch at the bottom, and 0.993" to 0.998" ID where the Lower Boss goes through your stick tube per instructions so the Stick Grip clamps snuggly onto your stick tube ). Ya see, the problem with 1 inch extruded tubing these days ( since the time when we made our Stick Grip injection mold in ~1992 ), 1 inch extruded tubing is now no longer 1 inch OD! It is +/- 0.015" in diameter ( just like a 2 x 4 is not really 2" x 4" )!! And if your stick tube is powder coated, your stick tube is way over 1 inch OD, which is the ID of our Stick Grip. You will have to polish the powder coating off your stick tube, and maybe even polish a little of the stick tube metal off, until your stick tube is 1 inch where your stick tube goes up into the bottom of the Stick Grip, and 0.993" to 0.998" ID where the stick tube lives inside the Stick Grip around the lower boss area. As always, using a corrosion inhibitor on the bare metal inside and out ( any bare metal, for that matter ) is a good idea. As always, call JD any afternoon CA time if you have any questions.
Why our web site is laid out the way it is:
JD gets 10 to 30+ phone calls per day, and 200+ e-mails per day. If he talks to 10 people for 30 minutes each, that's 5 hours of his day gone. As you can see from the rest of our web site, he has lots of irons in the fire.
So, we don't mean to upset you by asking you to read everything on the Stick Grip page on our web site, but we offer a HUGE service to our customers ( no one else in the world does this ! ) by offering over 65,536 switch combinations of Right and Left Hand matching Military Style Custom made Stick Grips, wired up with the switches of your choice, for only $200 / $208 cc each -- ONLY ones like them in the world ! Our Stick Grip page is VERY helpful to you in figuring out which kind of switch you want in which position of your Custom Stick Grips. In fact, probably 99.99+% of all your questions are answered on our web site.
We have years of experience (since Jan. 1994) in making our Stick Grips for thousands of customers, for thousands of aircraft, and hundreds of applications, world wide. If you just pick up the phone to order without knowing which switches you want in which positions, you'll end up spending a bit of time going back and forth on the phone researching out your needs and options. The intent of our Stick Grip page on our web site is to save you (and us) time and $money$ :-) .
After reading our Stick Grip page and have figured out what switches you want in your Custom Stick Grips, the best way to order is to simply use our interactive *.pdf Stick Grip Order Form, or our Interactive Excel Order Form for ordering extra switches and hardware, and e-mail the form(s) to us. Or, mail or FAX us your Stick Grip Order Form or Interactive Excel Order Form. Still have questions -- please contact JD .
At Oshkosh 2003, RV builders told us a very sad story about an RV-8 builder who was flying his plane when his rubber grip came un-glued, slid up his stick tube vertically, and jammed into the bottom of the instrument panel -- he didn't make it :-( .
Remember, our Stick Grips are ***NOT*** glued on, and *clamp* over the top of your tube with a screw through your stick tube, forming a 3 point clamp. See Installation Drawing.