Wednesday, September 23, 2015

General annoyances

Hah. I keep finding this holds true. Every forum I encounter, no matter what the topic is full of people willing to offer the most asinine opinions as fact. Today I posted on one looking for ideas other than those stated as rejected solutions. Not one person had the gumption to come up with real suggestions. They merely repeated my already rejected solutions or picked fault where there was none. How asinine!

I'm thinking today about my front door lock. My bus has one of the old fashioned manual opening controls. Had it had an electric door then a key switch to open it from the outside would have been incredibly easy and wouldn't have taken more than an hour or so to install. As it is, I have to go in for quite some engineering. The locking part is easy - just slam the door. Unlocking is harder.

There's a sprung flap that must be lifted. Looking on eBay for solenoids produced a long list of entirely inappropriate solenoid valves etc. It probably means I'll have to develop my own solenoid. It's not hard - its only wire wrapped around an iron core. Usually in such a manner that the iron can slide into and out of the wire coil.

My initial thought is to raise the flap via a solenoid which allows the door to spring naturally. I can just push the door open from there. Activating the solenoid can be done with a simple ignition key switch. I'd thought a motorbike ignition key switch would be ideal as they're usually waterproofed.

Given that I occasionally lock my keys in the bus and have to borrow the key I gave to my lady friend, perhaps I also need to set up some kind of keypad entry system. That would have to be located somewhere that Joe public couldn't see and wouldn't be tempted to play with.

The ideal would be some form of lock attached to a cellphone where a code is sent by SMS to a number and that unlocks the door. Sadly that kind of module is hard to find - probably because its the favored way for terrorists to set off remote bombs.

Of course, an easy way of effecting entry is low on my priority list. First of the list is putting my newly arrived drawer bolts into place followed swiftly by all the underbody work. After that, there's the tow bar and system electrics.

After that, its reregistration and testing! With luck, my bus will be ready to go to photograph fall foliage at least at Table Rock if not further North. I've been in the US for a decade and have never managed to photograph much in the way of fall foliage.

The first thing done today was to go shopping. There was a specialist plumbing supplier buy they couldn't help with my 1.5 inch drain screw. In fact I think it's a weird size dreamed up by Lowe's just so they can screw extra money from customers that need an extra nut. This has to be the most expensive damn piece of zinc in the world!

Having returned home, the nut was installed finger tight. I'll have to get a wrench on it over the weekend. On the end of the tube I'll clamp a rubber hose that'll empty the waste water into a waste tank.

I can see areas under the bus where the black paint has flaked off. I'll have to see about fixing that. Meanwhile, an actual photo of the drawer bolts that arrived yesterday.

In other news, I moved one of the pieces of the former bedframes closer to the bus, ready to cut to form the skeleton of the new battery & cable compartment. Although I'd like to use steel for the body of the compartment, I don't have steel sufficiently strong to hold a battery. That might mean a trip to the scrapyard or that I'll use plywood. I have plenty thinner sheet steel.

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