Sunday, July 24, 2016

Could have saved my money there!

As many of you know, I've been working on a control box for my front door unlocker. It has been really hot and unpleasant trying to work and think in the bus. So much so that I haven't worked on the control box today. Instead I am trying a different approach that will get the lock up and running faster.

My new idea is to use two batteries rather than one. One for opening the latch and one for closing it. My ignition switch has 3 positions - off, 1 and 2. The plan is to feed the common wire into one wire of my actuator then feed the other actuator wire to the positive of one battery and the negative of the second battery. The other battery contacts are connected to switch positions 1 and 2 respectively. That should work nicely.

Before all that, I need to build a small battery compartment into my closet. That need not be anything spectacular - just a rack will do.

Meanwhile, I fitted an outdoor electrical socket cover over my switch to protect it from rain and hopefully prying eyes.
Fighting fatigue from the heat, I plugged on with work on the bus and by the time I'd had enough had completed my wiring.
I make no apologies for version one of my wiring. That is intended to be tidied up eventually. The top was the master stroke or so I thought with my battery packs in place.
It was then that I came across a nasty little snag. It seems that my key switch is not a true SPDT. It seems that the first contact remains live when the selector moves to the second contact. Thus, my dual opposing battery idea was a non starter as was my expensive Radio Shack solution. That is the problem, of course, with vaguely described eBay components.

Thinking ahead, I have a solution. I simply cut the third wire from the key switch as it is now not needed. I fit a double pole push button switch or even a single pole switch going to a separate battery. I have to remember to retract the linear actuator on entry by pressing that button. If I'd known my switch wasn't going to act in the expected manner then I'd have saved the $40 I spent in Radio Shack.

Today I took a look at the fuse box on the bus. There's a fuse labeled as "horn" that has blown. That could be one reason why the main horn does not work. The other, I know, if the cable keeps getting disconnected.

So, I'm one step forward and two steps backward. At least now I know there's a problem so I know how to solve it. I could have done without buying all that stuff from Radio Shack though. The switch itself combined with the linear actuator is genius.

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