Saturday, June 18, 2016

Successes happened today!

An incidental success from today was that I finally removed the last remnant of the ridiculous tow hook the heathens that owned the bus before me had welded to the front bumper. Oddly enough, that did not take long when I set to work with the angle grinder and a claw hammer.

The first thing I did today though was to attack an old tabletop with my angle grinder and cut out a long strip from which I cut two rust-free squares. Those squares then had the corners removed and thus were turned into octagons. Next, I drilled holes so that they could be screwed onto where the red flashers used to be located. Then another set of holes. Thinking about that again it doesn't make much sense to have screws holding it them on. I'd probably be better replacing the screws with rivets. I might get onto that tomorrow.

After that, I put the new vent together. That went into place where the left amber flasher used to be. I went through everything I did with the first vent and it went together just as successfully. I even went as far as putting my second CPU fan on. All that remains is for power to be routed through it.

The next thing was to put protective paint on it. I'll have to paint it all grey tomorrow. At one point I thought I was going to run out of silicone sealant but fortunately I didn't.

While I was up there, I looked at the hole where the old TV aerial had been installed. The cable had been fixed in place with some kind of hardening paste. I'd trimmed the cable with a wire cutter last year. I returned to it now and cut it off flush with my angle grinder. In fact, I might just remove it totally and rivet a sealed patch over the hole.

Somebody asked me how much is left to do on the bus. That's rather like asking the length of a piece of string. I know I want to do some underbody sealing in a few places. Having seen a hornet doing a deliberate figure 8 pattern beside the bus until it was sure I'd seen it, I know there's a nest somewhere. Given that it flew through a gap under the fuel hatch, I'm betting it's on the fuel tank. I'm glad I don't need to put fuel in!

That's something I might leave to the garage that does the mechanical checkup to resolve as they're doing their checkup! I could wait til a calm day and put a bug bomb under the bus and pray it hits all the bugs.

I have to fit some kind of electrical system. I'm really not sure that solar panels are worth as much as one cent. My experience of solar is that it's just pure garbage. It generates heat, takes up a lot of space, costs a ton of money and produces minimal power.

I've looked at lithium batteries but they seem horribly expensive for not very much power. Typically $200 for just 20AH when $90 would get me 100AH with lead acid. 100AH would run my ventilation system for two weeks, non stop. NiMh seems the next best option though it'd be a case of building my own battery pack from single cells. I can get 100 cells on eBay for $30. Each cell would have about 2ah. Putting 10 in series would give me 10 parallel 12v lines. That would power just about everything in the bus, easily. Putting it in an old ammunition box together with a charger would allow me to charge it away from the bus and even carry multiples. Seriously, my only use for electricity is my shower, lighting, my ventilation system and charging my phone. Of those, D cells power my lighting and my shower. At that, it's really not worth my while to get anything sophisticated.

My fans both use probably 100-150ma each. Assuming 300ma for the pair, running off solar (when it's hot because the sun is shining) I'd probably need a 4W panel. I have a 5W panel and I can tell you this. The calculations are utter bollocks. In direct, bright sun the panels do make the fans turn but not with any appreciable force. If I had a ball being blown by a solar powered fan on the one side and a battery on the other, the battery fan would shove the ball right in the solar fan's face!

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