Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Rainy day at the Chicken Ranch!

No - not that kind of chicken ranch - the kind that actually has chickens that lay eggs! It's pouring down rain like there's no tomorrow. Indeed, after my hot shower this morning, I've had several cold showers since that made my hot shower seem somewhat arid in comparison.

Being a rainy day, I went shopping after my voluntary work this morning. Stopping off in a few places, I found that the Geek Squad won't work on tablets. I was, fortunately, referred to The SmartPhone Medic. Arriving there I found that they couldn't tell me anything because the boss was away. That begged the question as to why the place was even open and staffed since the staff seem so purposeless.

The next stop was *spit* Lowes where I got some copper tubing to make the base for the coil for my magnet. While there, I looked at the price of cables. $1.15 per foot for 20A and $1.89 per foot for 30A. Needless to say, since I want to set up for both 20A and 30A I bought 20A cable. Now, I don't really see a true requirement for 30A though internally the bus is wired for 50A. I figure a microwave will draw 10-12 amps and a fridge - if I install one - will draw 2-7A.  That's 19A and I can always unplug something if I need to use more amperage. Now I bought 30 feet of 20A cable. That worked out at $34.50 whereas a 30A cable the same length would have been $56.70 - that's appreciably more. I also got a 20A double pole breaker just so I won't accidentally overload the cable if I end up plugging into a 100A, 50A or 30A supply. 30 feet should do for most things. If I need longer cable then 20A is going to save me a bundle. Ready made 20A cable of 25 feet was $80 which I thought excessive! Admittedly I had to buy a 15A plug and 15A socket so theoretically I'll be overloading them. The truth is though that they're made the same as a 20A but with the live pin angled differently. I needed 20A cable in order to supply the welder. If I need more cable - say another 30 feet then the savings with 20A over 30A are much larger.

The general plan is to be able to use 20A and 30A. That's way off in the future though. Right now the plan is to get the bus operational as a motorhome. There's welding to do but that'll have to wait until a dry day. Putting the cable together is a breeze that can be done in approximately 20 minutes. Initially I'll put a 15A socket on one end but after I've got everything done, I'll switch that to one of my Nema 5-30/6-30 connectors.

The big battle is to get things done enough that the bus is operational. Then I can get it retitled as a motor home. Speaking of retitling, today I took advantage of the deluge to visit the DMV to get the retitling papers. As I suspected, nobody wanted to get wet so I popped in to ask which forms I needed. The reeptionist pointed to a seat and told me somebody would be out to help and within a minute or so, a very helpful lady arrived, asked what I needed, zoomed off and returned with some papers. It was all very civilised and very quick.

Once I have the cable/battery compartment completed and a battery installed powering USB and 12V devices, I"ll be ready to retitle. There'll be a lot of tidying and rearranging to be done inside plus installation of roller blinds or drapes as well as the shower curtains but it's all getting tantalisingly close!

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