Sunday, September 13, 2015

Red letter day!

That's an old Chinese thing. In China, a red letter means good luck. Usually on a red letter day, children receive envelopes stuffed with money.

No money for me though. The nearest to a genuine red letter is that my electrics as installed, work. I tested each of the three sockets by plugging in a humble fan. The main breaker box is not yet secured due to my needing to rebuild the hillbilly battery compartment but this is how it looks.

The whole system is earthed and the white and black wires are in the correct places. This is a very simple system with 3 sockets only. There is room for future expansion on the breaker box and, replacing the inlet cable, the system can go to a maximum of 55A. If the cable between the breakers were to be replaced, 100A would be almost possible.

The ratings on my system as installed are:
1. Electrical sockets - 20A
2. Wire betwixt sockets and distribution panel - 30A
3. Distribution panel - 125A
4. Wire betwixt distribution panel and main breaker box - 55A
5. Main breaker box - 70A
6. Wire betwixt main breaker box and plug - 30A
7. Plug - 30A
8. Breakers in distribution panel - 15A (all six)
9. Breaker in main box - 30A - dual breaker.

So, my system can take much higher amperage assuming portions closer to the supply are changed. I regard this as being a safe system. Indeed, if anybody can see a problem, I'd like to know about it!

By the way, for anybody wanting to use 30A solid, 30A flexible and 55A solid wire, yes it is hard to work with! It took a good couple of hours to complete what I just have. Partly this is because I am still not 100% recovered from my virus but also because the wire was hard to work with and I was being very careful to get it right.

My bus electrics are now 100% complete on the 110v side. Next comes the plumbing. For that, I need a few things. As it is, it should pass inspection as a motorhome. And I'm only 8 months, 12 days behind schedule! Mind, my schedule was over ambitious.

What followed the electrics was little short of a miracle. I removed the large pieces of construction debris and stored the surplus materials in a nearby shed. Given that I'm not over my bug, that was a lot of work. I can almost reach the driving seat now.

The hillbilly underbody compartment wasn't quite as bad as it looked. Certainly its badly installed and for that reason alone, needs to be replaced. It is, however made of inch thick marine plywood. I found that out when I drilled a hole through it to allow me to plug my electrical cable in from underneath.

Where the hillbillies went wrong was in not painting their plywood on the inside of the compartment. Having seen that, I'm minded to use plywood for my compartments. Mine, however will be painted white on the inside but with oil based paints rather than latex. Unlike the hillbillies, my compartments will have angle iron on the corners, strengthening and supporting them.

Thinking ahead to a 12v battery system which will power future extraction fans, charging ports etc, I'll have to find how much weight plywood will support to see how much bracing to use to support a battery. I have a feeling that just a single 105ah 12v marine deep cycle battery will provide for most of my needs. Of course, if later I use batteries to power my fridge, I might have to raise that capacity.

Thinking further, until I have sufficient solar and battery capacity to power a microwave, I could perhaps use a cheap generator to provide 800w to run the microwave while taking 240w from batteries to gain the 1040w needed. That would take me squarely into boondocking territory!

Later, after dinner, I returned to the bus and cut the PVC planking to the right size to fit my shower base. In a few days I'll have the base put together and the bus fully cleaned.

My favorite place at the moment is my bathroom as I can sit on the toilet lid and think. There, I had the idea that since my LED lantern has a loop as a handle, I could put screw hooks in the ceiling to hold my lantern. I'll have to see if Lowe's sells 10-24 screw hooks or bigger s-hooks to use with their existing screw eyes.

Some people might see my minimal electricity lifestyle as somewhat quaint. I regard it as practical. I'm just not a great fan of electrical appliances in general. This is why my forthcoming water pump will be manual.

Thinking about night privacy, I looked at my windows and measured them. The bathroom windows I don't give a rip about. I'll put pieces of shower curtain over the windows but that's all. No need for more than that.

The galley windows are doubles measuring 54 wide by 28 high. I figure a wooden dowel with a plastic fabric fastened to it together with a string could act as a roller blind. The problem would be what to use as bearings.

The bedroom windows are 54 wide by 14 high and 26 wide by 28 high. That's just 4 blinds needed. I've had various thoughts but I really like the idea of a DIY roller blind.

Aside from that, there's just the pool noodle needed over the doorway from the cockpit to the cabin and some form of lock on the front door. Well, not really a lock but a way of unlocking the existing door lock from the outside.

As well as that, I have to put my white and grey tanks under the bus and rebuild the hillbilly battery compartment. There's plenty to do and since I'm doing it all on my own, its taking rather longer than I'd like. The big thing is that I'm learning a load of new skills.

It's pretty astonishing how much I've done since I started the project in November.

No comments:

Post a Comment