Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Successes and defeats

Today I found a chunk of aluminum that happened to be the right size to make a one-piece block under the bracket on the one side of the microwave. Thus I drilled a hole and cut it to shape with my angle grinder. Interestingly my Walmart $18 angle grinder seems to cut faster than my $15 Harbor Freight angle grinder. The end result was that in a very short time I had my microwave fully secured. It’s now held down by four brackets screwed to the microwave that are in turn bolted through the countertop. That’s not going anywhere!

The next step was to mount the switch for the solar power supply. That was relatively piainless as was adding a fuse. I just used an in-line automotive fuse holder. That, was simple enough. I still have work to do at the front. I have two spare wires coming from underneath that will probably get connected to the spare charge controller. I’ll put an input from the inside to the charge controller with probably a panel inside the window. The cables below will be connected via crocodile clips to the driving battery in order to keep it fresh.
The wires on the bottom right are part of the door lock control and the plan is to tidy them away into the space underneath the switch console.

I got on and found out which wires to solder where and got a Hopkins two pin connector soldered onto the wires from my solar panels. Then having tested the panel using my solar monitor I got on with putting the other end of the Hopkins connector into the cigarette lighter plugs. Or rather, I didn’t. It turned out to be extremely fiddly and I really wasn’t feeling like very fiddly work today. It was 99F inside the bus with the ventilation off. Thus I looked around and found a cigarette lighter plug with a Hopkins adaptor ready attached. I knew I had one.
I’m probably not going to bother with this fiddly work. Micro soldering has never been my thing. There have been a few things that have turned out to be over fiddly that I’ve quietly junked. These cigarette lighter plugs are going to be another.

The other day I found some Hopkins to cigarette lighter assembleys and ordered one. That’ll arrive in due course. Meanwhile I remember I had a scrolling LED sign that got broken. I cut the cigarette lighter plug and cable off it thinking it might one day be useful. Free hot dinner to anybody that can find it for me though! I suspect it’s somewhere in the galley but I’m not sure where.

Anyway, I got the first solar panel connected and installed. Now the bus is running off 65W of solar panels with the 30W panel better placed to catch the sun.
I have a second panel and connected a Hopkins connector to that also. As can be seen, I propped both panels against the side of the bus. Being $30 panels, I can do this without worrying too much if somebody pinches them. They’re also just the right size to fit inside the windshield. I’ll have to build some kind of mount in order to put them in the windshield but that’s a simple matter of buying aluminum angle, cutting and riveting.
 Not being able at the moment to plug the panel into the bus power supply, I put my watt meter on it and proved it is definitely producing power. I don’t think much of that watt meter - it’s cheap junk but it does work. What I’d have preferred was a simpler device that didn’t consume solar power but ran off a couple of AA batteries.
It was pretty hot today. Inside the bus came in at 100F. Normally if it was 100F outside I’d have been baked out of the bus. One year it got up to 145F inside. Since I put that Rustoleum elastometric roof paint on though, that 67% reflectivity and insulation has cut the internal heat down to the heat of outside the bus. I wonder whether if I’d bought something with 85% reflectivity whether it would have been cooler in the bus than outside.
Even the official outside temperature matched the inside of the bus. This roof paint is the bees knees. It really seems to be working which is quite amazing for what is essentially a tin can.
I went to install my battery meter today and found that the voltmeter I have in place has been soldered in. I have a tendency to do that when I don’t have right-angle spade connectors. As fixing that will require soldering inside the bus, I resolved to wait for a cooler day for that.

How far off completion am I? Hard to say. I know I need to get a couple of cigarette lighter sockets. A double for the house battery side of things and a single for the driving battery side of things. I need to start tidying wiring. There are two or three places that need a little work. Other than that I’d say the bus is probably complete until the results of the first test run.

Using the ventilation and a single 30W solar panel it was noticeable how quickly the battery refilled and how long it would go. I also noticed that immediately the fans came on, though it was still 100F inside, it felt cooler. I’m onto something here!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Solutions to problems

Yesterday was one of those days when nothing seemed to work. It wasn’t restricted to me though - the lady in the grocery store in front of me managed to empty the contents of her purse onto the floor while others had crazy things happen too.

Today the temperature inside the bus with the ventilation turned off was 97F and 56% humidity. It was pretty hot. Outside it was reportedly 96F with a breeze so it felt far cooler. Still I plugged on. The  aim of the solar input is to take the output of my two 30W panels and feed my system with them. That will allow me to have the extraction fan operating full blast during daylight hours. I’m going to add another solar input toward the back of the bus in order to be able to plug in a heftier solar panel or wind generator or whatever. I’m limited to 7.5A on the stuff I have at the front of the bus. With heavier wiring at the back, I can go directly to the charge controller with more power. Extra is not planned but I’d like the opportunity without much prevarication to be able to install more.

As far as the battery goes, 35AH is plenty. If I were to add extra battery capacity then I would not add another lead-acid battery. I’d likely add a similarly sized but greater capacity lithium battery.

After having problems with the MC4 connectors yesterday, I had no such problems today. I took a totally different tack and examined the connectors carefully.
Crimping the wings on the backs of the connectors are supposed in some miraculous way to secure the wire to the pin. I tried that yesterday and couldn’t get the pins into the plugs properly. Today I cut the perishing wings off and simply soldered my wires to the plug for a far better connection. This involved tinning the wires with my electric soldering iron then using my gas torch to solder the wire into the pin.
As can be seen, it worked quite well. Now I don’t have to butcher the connectors on the solar panels. Popping the wires into the MC4 plastic was then quite easy and took no time at all. I was then at a stop because I’d done all I really could or so I thought with the panel wiring.

Yesterday I ordered a set of heavier Hopkins connectors and a Hopkins to cigarette lighter plug adaptor. I needn’t have bothered because I found today that my existing spare Hopkins connectors are 16 gauge. That will handle 10-12 amps fairly readily. Each panel is putting out 30 watts or 2.5A. I probably way overdid it with the wiring but I like to be sure with wiring. I will have a go tomorrow at wiring the existing Hopkins connectors to my cigarette lighter plug and my wires from my solar cable.

My solar cable wires are long at 15 feet but I figured that would be good to pass under the bus and prop up on the other side. There’s also an opportunity to add some kind of clamp and fasten the panels to the mirror arms while I’m parked or even to put the panels inside the windshield.
The next thing I did was to fill the empty spaces inside the switch box with expanding foam. I didn’t have any cable strain relief in place so expanding foam should do the job reasonably well. This will be my switch box. The white is the common and the two reds are the inputs. I will deploy this at the front of the bus to switch the solar input off or on for internal or external plugins. I’ll put a pair of cigarette lighter sockets inside the bus to take the output from the solar panels if they’re in the windshield. The switch has three positions - on for outside and off for inside, off for inside and on for outside and off for both. It’ll stop meddlers from trying to mess with the system as will the fuse I’m installing.

I would have installed the switch box and wired the underbus plugin to it but had to wait for the expanding form to cure. Thus I got on with the next project - securing the microwave. That was pretty straightforward to be honest. I put the four brackets on, drilled the four holes in the countertop and spaced the brackets off the countertop with stainless steel washers. I actually ran out of washers. I should have bought 6 packets instead of just 4. Thus the microwave is bolted securely with three brackets instead of all four.
As can be seen, the theory is simple - a stack of washers and a bolt. Bolting was fun though as the top of the bolt was very close to the edge of the microwave.
I had to get quite creative using several extenders on the cordless drill in order to reach while I had my hand under the counter, holding the nut in a deep socket held via an adaptor in my interchangeable bit screwdriver. I’ll get the washers on my next trip to Lowes (hiss spit).

If at any time I write “Lowes” without adding “hiss, spit” please remind me to add “hiss, spit”. This refers to a time about two years ago when Lowes served me poorly and rudely. Since then they have just been “hiss, spit” as far as I’m concerned. I would have taken my money elsewhere but for the fact Home Depot is several miles further away and going there would hit my bottom dollar.

Arriving in the post yesterday were the next parts of the strap system I’d designed to hold the microwave in place. That was all ordered before I went with my newer system of steel brackets bolted to the microwave. Also arriving in the post was my latest battery monitor. I put voltmeters on my USB charging units but then decided I needed a battery meter as well so I bought one back in May. It arrived today and I’ll probably install it tomorrow. It should give me a better idea of the state of the underbus battery. At the moment that’s reading 13.1V but if I put the light on and the USB charger then it drops to 12.7V. I need something just a shade more accurate though I have a feeling battery level management is more of a witches cauldron than anything accurate.

I’m anticipating being able to use my 12v input within the next few days. As for the internal input then I still need to buy a cigarette lighter socket. I’m not sure why I didn’t just put a double socket on the side of the bus rather than using a socket doubler. Still, if I put the rear socket on then that’s probably not important.

How complete is the bus? The rear solar input is an optional extra that I’m adding. The microwave needs one to two packs of stainless steel washers. The solar input switch needs to be installed and wired and I need to buy a cigarette lighter socket. Other than that I need to tidy the wiring in a few places and it’s done. It needs a test run to see how well it all works and to see what if any modifications are needed.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Problems looking for solutions

Today I looked into both extending the solar power cords on my solar panels and installing the microwave. I started by working on the solar panels before having to give up on that for the day. It was one of those days when nothing seemed to go right.
Looking up the correct gauge for my wires it seems that I need 14 gauge. Thus, I got some 14 gauge and found it would not fit into the MC4 connectors nor into the cigarette lighter plug. No matter how hard I tried, I just could not get it to fit. I’ll probably have to put thinner wire (which is not recommended for the amperage of solar panel in use).
Looking at the connector on the back of the solar panel, the wires are undersized there too. I’m not a great fan of the junction box either. So, I’ll probably end up doing what I should darned well have done a month or so back - cutting the MC4 connectors off and soldering my new cable into place. Then I’ll solder a Hopkins connector on the end of that and a Hopkins connector onto the cigarette lighter plug. The wires on the Hopkins connector are a bit light but honestly I trust my soldering far more than the flimsy MC4 connectors.

Putting the microwave in wasn’t as straightforward as it could have been either. I’d picked up some stainless washers and a vinyl tile. The vinyl tile was to stop wet under the microwave from rotting the wood of the countertop. Unfortunately when I put the tile down I put it in slightly the wrong place and of course it’s self adhesive. On boy, things really aren’t going well today!
Needless to say, I can work with the microwave where it is but if I can lift the tile, I will and I’ll move it succiciently that it’s on the right pace. As you can see, the tile will catch drips and splashes from the microwave.
The plan is to secure 4 brackets - two at the back and one on each side of the microwave. It turned out that the bolts put in by the maker are long enough that I can go through the bracket and secure the microwave. A pile of stainless steel washers spaces the bracket off the countertop and a stainless steel bolt will secure the bracket to the countertop. Four bolts and brackets should keep the microwave in place and if anybody asks, it’s definitely built-in

So, the plan with the microwave is to move it a couple of inches to the left if possible. I might have underestimated the number of stainless washers needed so I might need more. I’d forgotten that the floor tile would have thickness.

The plan with the solar panels is to throw out those silly MC4 connectors and to solder longer wires to the provided wires then to solder a Hopkins connector to the end since I already use Hopkins connectors. Then I’ll put a Hopkins connector on my cigarette lighter plug. That’ll be far easier to solder. I just have to remember where I put my Hopkins connectors.

So the upshot was nothing of any substance happened despite having bought about $20 worth of wire plus about $10 of other bits and pieces.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Several advances all at once (maybe)

Over the period since my last blog entry I have done several things, none of which was big enough to merit a blog article though. Thus, today you get all the juicy, intimate and dare-I-say-it naughty bits.

A few days ago I worked on my digital door unlocker. That’s now in place and functioning. In fact I went beyond the original plan by including an alarm that sounds when the door unlocker has been used. My regular key lock works just fine and now I have an emergency unlocking keypad in use for times when I don’t have access to my keys.
That’s the magic that makes everything happen. Two relays and a button. When the digital codeock has not been used, power flows from my key door unlocker through the relays. The key unlocker works off 10x AA batteries and they last a good long time. When the digital door unlocker is active, power from the solar battery is used. That operates the right hand relay which cuts off the key unlocker circuit and powers the door unlocker. The button operates the left hand relay, cutting off both the digital unlocker and the key unlocker and closes the door unlocker. That way everything is failsafe.
And there you can see the digital door unlocker installed. When the correct code is punched in, the door unlocks and at the same time, a truly ear-piercing alarm sounds. Everybody within 100 yards will see what’s going on! It’s just an emergency unlocker with a few safety precautions.

The wiring doesn’t look that tidy and I’ll have to tape it properly and tuck it out of sight. When people see bundles of untidy wire they all scream “unsafe” but the reality is what they can’t see is the untidy bundles of wire behind panels. I have never ever seen wire that looked remotely tidy in any vehicle.
I had to do some painting on a derelict mobile home that I’m renovating. Thus I located my paint roller and tray from when I put the elastometric paint on the roof of my bus. The paint peeled out of the tray in a very solid, very flexible, very tough sheet. This is that paint. It’s possible to see that it has turned into a very good waterproof membrane. As far as its insulating properties go, it has already been established that this membrane keeps the bus internal temperature very much closer to the outside temperature.
Having seen the “welcome” signs people seem to put on their bus steps, I went the other way and put a “go away” sign. It goes together with the prison bus look of my bus. The text of the sign is copied from the first two lines of the Groom Lake /Area 51 sign. I figured it looked more official and in keeping with the looks of my bus. I really relish my privacy and being on my own for periods of time. I spent too long in a place where I was screamed at, yelled at, hit, lied to and generally abused both physically and mentally. If this keeps the bullies away, I’m happy.
My next little task was to get some stencils and spray “Max 56 MPH” on the back bumper. I don’t normally get problems from other drivers, driving a big bus but there are some. I figured that might help. I did want to put 55 but there was only one of each number in the set. Likewise there was only one M so the other M is an upside down W. Because the stencil wouldn’t lie flat against the bumper I had to spray through the stencil and the spray has blurred the outside of the lettering. Thus today I sprayed it black as I’d found I still have a small roller and tray. I can apply with a roller - that will be far more satisfactory! I decided also to move the painting to the left side of the bumper anyway.
A small job but a necessary one. I’d not had a fuse on my solar panels before so I spent a few minutes installing one. As can be seen from the red color, it’s a 10A fuse. I doubt I’ll need more. My regular 35W of panels is about 3A and my additional 60W panels come to 5A for a grand total of a shade under 8A. At 95W total amperage would be 7.92A - too much for the next fuse down with is 7.5A.
Today I had a whole load of fun putting this box together It’s going to go on the positive (or negative) side of my extra solar power. I put a 12v cigarette lighter socket under the bus to plug in, extrenal solar input. Many solar panels come with 12V adaptors but with the usual Murphey’s law, my twin 30W panels came with totally different connectors.  Anyway, the switch is three way - on, off, on. That means I can have the external input on or put the panels inside the windshield and plug them in on the inside of the bus. I will, of course be putting a fuse between the switch and the solar collection hub. I figure a 5A or maybe a 7.5A fuse will be best. Again, I’m sticking with automotive fuses.
My plan had been to secure the wires etc inside the switch box by filling vacant space with foam sealant. That was not to be, however. I picked up my can of great stuff and found the nozzle seemed to be clogged. I cleared it with a 1/8th drill bit held between my fingers. Interestingly I went further and further down into the can without even hearing a hiss of gas. When I pulled the bit out I realised I’d gone 6 inches into the can with no release of gas or sealant. That meant that the gas had all leaked out.

Because I’m inquisitive like that, I pulled out my .177 air pistol and popped a .177 pellet into the side of the can. Nothing happened immediately then I noticed a small bead of foam. I put the can down and 5 minutes later the foam was really beginning to ooze out. I’m assuming because air had got in, it was beginning to expand.
What I didn’t expect when the foam oozed out was to see a pale looking Poppa Smurf riding the can. Still, I suppose he’s better out than in!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Progresso - not the soup but progressing in Italian!

So I don’t really speak Italian but I figured I’d put Progresso instead of Progress because it makes me sound fancier than I am *wipes snout on sleeve and belches*. Today was one of those days that sounded like an English cricket match (rain stops play).

The first thing I did was to get under the bus to install my code lock. That’s just about hanging in there now. It’s secure but not as secure as I would wish as it began to thunder and rain before I’d got the last bolt fully secured. Thus I finished up quickly and will have to return to the task tomorrow. No picture because that’s a security issue and I’d like to keep it where I’m the only one that knows where the lock is situated. I don’t think Uncle Sam would look too kindly upon me slaughtering people that found out the location!
My watt meter turned out to be something of a disappointment. It works but seems to burn quite a bit of power and does not like starting in the morning. I made it so I could plug it into and out of the circuit so it’s currently plugged out. What happens is in the morning it really doesn’t like the low light levels and never starts its computer so I have to switch the solar power off then on before the unit initializes and starts to function.

Just now I unplugged the unit and plugged the solar panel directly into the charge controller. Immediately the solar charging light lit up whereas it was dead when the meter was plugged in. The panels are currently producing 8v because it’s pretty gloomy outside.
Yesterday I had a look inside a storage box. I’m really going to have to get shifting on sorting the storage boxes out. They seem to have so much just sheer junk in them. I found a broken picture frame in one. I’ve assembled the glass so I can see how much is missing. There are a few slivers missing so I’m going to have to keep on being careful sorting that box. I have a feeling that most of the boxes are full of the same kind of trash, namely out of date papers and irrelevant baubles.

I took a photo of my two solar panels leaning against the side of the bus or at least my phone told me I’d taken a picture of them. In actual fact it had not done any such thing as there was no such thing stored in the phone’s memory. Technology - don’t you just love the stuff? Honestly, if I didn’t want ventilation and lighting I probably wouldn’t have bothered putting solar power into my bus.

So, I took another photo but not as nice because it’s now dark outside.
Those are my two solar panels. Both are light, small and cheap. I can put them inside the windscreen to collect extra power or I can put them on the ground, leaned against the bus to produce maximum power. I will probably rivet legs to them in order to help keep them out of long grass.

Really and truly not much got done today. Having said that, there’s not a whole lot left to do. I ordered some connectors to connect the solar panels to the bus both inside and outside. Other than that, there’s the microwave to secure, a few cables to secure and the unlocker to complete. I’m a little nervous that the unlocker will consume too much battery power so I’m considering putting some kind of power switch on it. The solar power monitor certainly consumed copious quantities of power.

On the way from China is a battery monitor/voltmeter. That will fit in place of one of my voltmeters. I am also considering an ammeter/voltmeter that will give me at the touch of a button, a current reading of the state of the solar input. As that does not need to be constantly on, it won’t burn precious solar power. As far as the existing watt meter - it was nice and might be nice to put together in a display module for presentations on solar power but for my purposes it’s junk. I glued it into place so ungluing it should be fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Yay solar panels

Today my solar panels finally arrived at Walmart. I’d ordered them for pickup as it was $2.05 cheaper than having them sent to the house. Given that I was likely going to have to go to Walmart anyway, it made sense. Mind today I had to go even further. It was time to pick up chicken feed. So off I went to Tractor Supply and picked up 100lbs of chicken feed.

While I was there, I looked at stuff to bolt the microwave down. It seems #6 self-piercing screws are what I need and I probably need 4 of them and probably need them with about 1/2 inch of thread. I looked at what Tractor supply had, thinking some 1/4 by 20 bolts would fasten some brackets down to the bench. They had every 1/4 by 20 bolt that I didn’t want and none that I did. I left the hardware there! I shall try Lowes (hiss, spit) another day. To be honest I have three projects on the go right now anyway.

The first project I started a few days ago. That was the emergency unlocker. I still have not yet completed that. I need to brush soil from the underside of the place where it’s going to be mounted and lots of other fun stuff like that. As I wasn’t feeling the urge to lie on my back under the bus I started by gluing the power monitor in place yesterday.
The first thing I did today was to wire-in my power meter. As it’s late afternoon it’s only reading 0.1 amp but it was reading 0.72 at the highest point when I’d just installed it. That’s not too bad given that it was after 5pm. The theoretical maximum from my installed panels is going to be something like 2.9A
The panels that arrived today are 30W and there are two of them. In keeping with every panel I buy seeming to have a connector different from the panel that I had the previous time, these have MC4 connectors. Looking at the price of MC4 connectors, they’re just going to get cut off and replaced with two pin Hopkins connectors. In fact the cables might well be changed too. There seems little purpose in having 2 foot long separate cables. I’d rather have a 5 or 6 foot cable with a Hopkins connector.

Placed on the ground these two panels combined should produce 60W or 12V at 5A. That’s sufficient on their own to power my ventilation fans most of the day. That’s the intent too. They can also be placed inside the windscreen to produce less power but to double or triple what I get from my existing panels. What with the overcast weather this week my batterry went right down. It took two days of overcast weather to charge it up again. There’s no point in a bigger battery as that would drain too. Better to add more solar capacity.
Reading the reviews of the solar panels on the Walmart website was pretty fearsome. They had a two star rating. The reviews appeared to have been written by people that just didn’t have a clue. One review said “no blocking diode” so I popped the cover off the connector box to reveal a blocking diode. Another review said there were no wires and they had to go and buy wires. Funny - those look like wires to me. Maybe I need a second opinion on that?

Honestly, these online reviews are such utter bunk. I’m amazed that real adults actually write rubbish like that! A long time ago, somebody gave me a Canon S1 IS camera. It’s still lying around here somewhere. It’s probably so old nobody would want to buy it - especially since the cheapest of the cheap phones has more megapixels and probably takes a better picture. The point is though that this camera had professional reviews written about it that bemoaned the clack of a built-in intervalometer. Oddly enough, that was my favorite feature of that camera! Thus I take online reviews with a huge pinch of salt. It’s usually possible to work out that the person writing them is some form of imbecile from what they write.

I went to ebay again and ordered some connectors. Heaven knows when they will arrive. I ordered some MC4 connectors because I had an afterthought that I could use those panels for other projects, not just the bus if the connectors were standard. As my inlet power port is a cigarette lighter socket I ordered two cigarette lighter plugs and a splitter. That means I can wire up a length of cable for each panael and have them both entering at the same time. I can similarly put the same kind of input connector on the inside of the bus so that I can simply place the panels on the dashboard to produce power.

I discovered State Farm tends to be better for school bus conversion insurance. That sounds very promising. I’ll have to look into that. I really need to bolt the microwave down, install the unlocker and remove the tools and construction supply surplus from the bus, give things a good clean and get it picture ready for State Farm. I can honestly say I’m looking forward to taking the bus on its first trip. I probably won’t go anywhere that exciting for the first trip. Probably only Cherokee or somewhere close by.

One of the things I might want to do before I take it anywhere is get the oil pan gasket changed and get it an oil change. The oil has been in the system since 2014. It should be changed every 3 months or every 10,000 miles - whichever is the sooner. It’s way over 3 months - more like 43 months at the moment. While they’re doing that I’ll get it steamed and greased and get the brake lines fitted with new clips. I noticed the clips were very elderly last time I was near the brakes. As for the tires - that’s a future project. KumHo tires seem (despite the name) to be good value. If I can get them with a good speed rating then I might also adjust the governor so that I can get at least 70mph out of the bus rather than the current 55. The brake pedal needs adjusting too but that (if it unscrews the way I think it does) should be something I can do.


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ridiculous weather

Today was as hot and humid as yesterday. Yesterday ended with a thunderstorm and 100% humidity. Today inside the bus it’s 88F with 58% humidity.

Yesterday I shall combine with today as I was working on the same task. It’s challenging when I have to work with the bus door shut and it’s both hot and humid. The amount of work done in those conditions is truly pathetic.

So, yesterday I ran a cable from one side of the bus to the other. I’d investigated and found that my ideal spot for installing my emergency door lock control which was under the hood was a no go. That led me to the other side of the bus and another location. I suppose it would be possible to do away with the body-mounted turn signals. The’re repeated above the bumper. Hinging one, I could hide the keypad inside a now fake turn signal. Anyway - that was just a thought.

The big problem yesterday was that my drill ran out of power. There’s not an awful lot I can do with a dead drill so I put it to one side and used a screwdriver. Oh boy, was that time consuming and hard work! I’d put the cables into cable sleeving and it must have taken me most of the day to screw the sleeving into place. I was exhausted by the end of the day.
Today I worked more on the system. That included working on two relays, wiring them so that when one is operated the door lock opens and when the other, the door lock closes. Included in that is a button to press when one has gained entry that closes the door lock since the keypad serves solely to open it.

At the end of work today I’d got all the wiring done bar actually installing the code lock. At the moment that would involve either two people or a considerable amount of work. Thus I left it until another day.
I could wish I could get my wiring to look pretty but on the other hand I like my wiring to be accessible and visible. That was I can maintain it and trace it if needed. Above the two relays (the left relay closes the door lock, the right relay opens it) is the button to press to close the door lock. This is all almost completely concealed by the medical box so it’s not too ugly. Just have to remember to move the box to press the button to lock the door.

The original door unlock circuit with the key that runs off ten AA batteries remains untouched. The emergency lock that runs off the solar-charged battery is the new thing. All I need do is to install the keypad and the whole thing is done. I’m ready for an emergency such as locking my keys in the bus. Believe me, it has happened several times!

One other thing that will be added is an alarm. That will sound when the door lock is opened using the keypad. It gives me time to grab my gun. As sure as eggs are eggs if that door lock opens when I’m inside there’s villainy afoot. As I’ve said before, I’d rather the police carried the bad guy away in a body bag than they had to find the bad guy after carrying me away in a body bag!