Quickly crimping on the male connector for the coaxial, I slipped to female to female on and connected the other male cable. In eager anticipation, I powered up the monitor and touched the new camera power cable to a switch and... nothing. The monitor powered up but no image appeared. It was then that I noticed I'd been holding the power cable to the wrong switch. All those cuss words I just wasted too! Connecting to the correct switch rewarded me with a vibrant color image of the area behind the bus. Mission accomplished!
The next thing was to remount the video monitor. Where is was, was fine but it was at the wrong angle and being a cheap monitor meant the viewing angle was too narrow. I'd been thinking of making a totally new mount - until I found a familiar looking thing in my junk box. The monitor came with two mounts and I'd been using the wrong one until now. Mind, as I was still at the internal construction stage, that wasn't all that important back then. Within a few moments I'd installed the new mount and even centered it correctly (unlike the old mount).
As I'd said before, I decided yesterday what with wasps and hornets etc wishing to build their nests underneath my bus, it was time to rethink situating the battery compartment. That has taken me back to a very old idea of having the battery as a portable device. That allows me to carry it around the bus to use for USB power as well as to charge it elsewhere. Indeed I could even have two battery devices.
Measuring the one Radio Shack battery, I found it fitted my Harbor Freight steel ammunition box nicely with almost enough room for a further 3 batteries the same size. That had me hunting eBay for more batteries before I ended up with a 10ah battery. Both the old and the new should fit nicely inside the ammunition box. The thought is to have two power connections. One comes from the back of the bus to the smaller battery and I can put some non weatherproofed hence cheaper solar panels up in the window which will also act as sun shades. I alsready have a small panel powering an extraction fan attached to a ceiling vent in the cockpit. There is already also a charge controller attached to the cockpit wall. That had been connected to the bus battery to keep it topped up via a solar panel but what with the constant currant leakage, it wasn't in use.
The switch that doesn't work has been badly connected. In fact it's a very poor design that allows the connectors from the supposedly isolated sides to connect. I'm going to try to insulate that, somehow. The mechanic suggested putting the power switch on the outside of the bus. I'm not so sure. The less there is that idle fingers can touch, the better, in my experience.
As far as underneath the bus is concerned, I need to put more cable clamps onto the cables and add at least one mudflap at the front. I might have to be cunning about the cable clamps. The bearings all need to be steamed and greased. My using a blower to clear the leaves out so that I could work underneath wasn't exactly my brightest idea as it transferred a lot of sand about the place. If I take the bus to be steamed and greased and get the kingpins checked, the mechanics will doubtless deal with the wasps. It's part of what mechanics do. They can also lower the brake pedal to a sane height!
My biggest task is going to be to redo the windscreen wiper. I still have to get myself a new wiper motor to replace the seized one. It's a shame I can't just go to a store and say "I'll have one for a Carpenter 3800" as they just don't make them any more. I made things harder for myself by not buying one of the Chinese all in one units for $40. I had doubts about how good it would have been. To be fair though, I've not had many problems with stuff from china so my fears may be unfounded.
The list of things remaining to be done is very short now. I crossed off quite a few this weekend by deciding upon simpler routes. This is perhaps the time I need to start removing construction boxes from the bus, putting tools back into the tool box etc. I can honestly say I really hate tidying and cleaning. Sadly, I don't have a maid, a slave or a wife to do that for me.
Remaining to do...
Lower the brake pedal
Replace the right wiper motor and switch and install the new wiper pivot.
Attach the new reversing horn, when it arrives
Check the kingpins
Build my battery power system.
Install a document pouch for vehicle documents.
Then it's a case of putting tools and maintainance supplies away, storing all the other construction leftovers somewhere, cleaning and retitling.
And finally, here's a view from my newly installed camera - the one I installed yesterday.
People have been telling me I need this, that and the other installed such as air conditioning and humongous battery setups etc. I don't think so much of that, to be blunt.
- Air conditioning - open a darned window. I'm planning on remaking my solar powered window ventilation unit anyway.
- Instant hot water heater for the shower - what's wrong with boiling a kettle of water, mixing it with cold and using my battery powered shower pump or even just a bar of soap and a washcloth?
- TV - I don't watch the darned things anyway and haven't owned one for a decade!
- Fridge - nice but they use electricity and lots of it. After calculating the minimum cost of running a fridge when not connected to a mains supply in the thousands, I went with a cooler. Of course if I'm plugged in then I can run a simple dorm fridge happily.
- Built in cooker - not having one gives me the freedom to use a convection oven, microwave or portable cooktop or even a gas portable cooktop when not plugged in. All cooking uses so much electricity that the cost of running off grid would be in the thousands.
- LED ceiling lights - there's no built in power system. Currently the only powered system is the solar powered ventilation. Lighting is provided by LED lanterns that have a quaint charm about them.
- Water pump - I'm not keen on slinging extra stuff under the bus to be honest. Thus my water supply is onboard in 6 gallon jerry cans. This has several advantages - easy and cheap to replace and tamper proof are the main ones.
- Flush toilet - nice if you can afford the space to carry water to waste. Too prone to blockage too. Dry toilets have way less maintainance issues and the waste can be buried or thrown in a dumpster!
- Heating - I've always been keener on putting on a sweater than in putting on heat.