Monday, January 25, 2016

Plans and ideas

Remaining to do on the bus are:
1. The front door unlocking system. A quick and dirty solution would be just to add a standard door lock and wedge something under the door locking flap to stop it locking the door. That would allow me to lock it from the outside on my way out. Ideally though I'll continue with my plan for an electromagnetic solution. There's nothing to say that I can't use both solutions.
2. Waste water system. The bucket under the bus is a temporary measure that will work just fine though the goal is to plumb in two 15 gallon waste water drums. Even a single drum would be just fine though.
3. Fresh water system. Now here I had a brainwave. I clearly cannot trust used chemical drums for fresh water nor any kind of secondhand drums. The 5 gallon buckets from Walmart are a little small but several plumbed together could well provide enough water for a couple of days. I saw a video on YouTube about how one woman put leak-proof plumbing into a 5 gallon bucket. That gave me thoughts though securing such a small thing as a 5 gallon bucket will not be easy.
4. Carrying on with the 5 gallon bucket idea, it would be possible to put a copper tube looped through the bucket. Air could be blown through the tube. The bucket could be filled with water that's allowed to evaporate via the inlet. This would have the effect of cooling the air slightly. That could be useful for air-conditioning. Pouring water into a barrel will have zero cost. Blowing air through a tube using a CPU fan will use negligible electricity.
5. Ventillation in the bedroom is planned using a CPU fan to suck air from ceiling level to blow it out underneath the bus via an existing hole made by the hillbillies.
6. The cooking extraction fan will have to go through a hole in the side of the bus. Again, a CPU fan will be used.
7. The lights still need work to turn the school bus flashers into brake and indicator duplicators. The front reds will just be removed.
8. The reversing horn needs to be wired to a switch on the console. I'm not a fan of horns coming on automatically.
9. The drawers need padding and separators in those intended for crockery.
10. The breaker box compartment needs to be built.
11. I'm going one way and another as regards batteries. Currently I'm thinking that since I'm using solely 3 fans - maybe 4 if I put one in the bathroom. Other than that, all I'm using battery power for is charging phones etc. At most in terms of power I'd be using 20AH a day. That could easily be handled by 60 AA NiMh cells. I spotted 100 NiMh cells of 3000MaH on eBay. That seems to be better value than lead acid deep cycle batteries. NiMh have other benefits too in that they can be totally discharged with no ill effect. A battery compartment below the bus means the batteries performance might be adversely affected in cold weather but inside the bus there's a risk of fire left unattended while charging from solar panels. Thus, a small battery compartment under the bus could be ideal. Such a self-built battery would probably be best housed in an old metal ammunition box. That could even contain the charge controller and a voltage regulator.
12. Given that I'm now using gas, fitting a further compartment where a 20lb gas cyliner might be fitted could be interesting.
13. The bathroom vanity - now that I've decided not to use the vanity as a site for a gascooktop - does need a sink but I am still against plumbing in a standard sink. I'm considering a drop in-lift out enamel bowl with handles. If necessary, I could weld handles onto a standard enamel bowl.

The good news is that I should imagine I shall soon be able to work on the bus in the evenings on a weekday. The evenings are drawing out now to the extent that at 6pm, instead of barely being able to see my hand in front of my face, I was greeted by this scene as I left work.
Of course 15 minutes later it was pitch black but that'll change fairly rapidly. Currently we're gaining another minute of daylight every day. I predict that this will be the amount of light left when I get home by around the end of February. By then I hope I'll have done everything needed with the bus including getting the alternator belt changed.

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