Saturday, August 20, 2016

Behind The Wheel.

As I progress through bus driving, I'll probably add more to this. Today though, I'm sitting on my bus where the temperature is 92F. Clearly I'm sweating!

I've been hunting for an adjuster on my steering column and have thus far not found one. Having found the adjuster on the driver's seat, I rather suspect that the adjuster could be a cobbled together fix. The seat adjuster is simply a long wing bolt. I don't think the bus left the factory like that though!

This is a note from the book I'm studying for the driving course...

Engine Start-Up:
Check for seat and steering adjustment
Check for mirror adjustment
Check to make sure that the parking brake is holding by placing the bus in drive then with the parking brake applied, slightly press the accelerator to show that the parking brake does hold.
Make sure that the bus is in neutral by moving the gear shift up and down and locking the gear in neutral
Check all gauges
Passengers seated
Door is closed

End of trip
Make sure the parking break is on
Place the bus in neutral
Lit it idle for two to three minutes then switch off the bus
Take the key
Check for students
Check for vandalism
Drain the air tanks

That's all about starting and stopping the bus. Now you can see why air brakes featured on the theory test. Having driven both normal and air brakes, I can't say that I can really see much difference in normal operation. Air brakes do have that extra safety feature however, where if the air fails, the brakes apply automatically. Right now all I'm working on is driving, stopping and starting.

I've been sitting in the bus for a while with the internal doors open. The solar fans are blowing warm air out of the bus. The battery fan is sucking outside air in. I can't feel a breeze going through the bus and the temperature has risen in the galley to 97F and in the bedroom to 95F. Outside it is apparently 90F. It is 4pm. I'm not expecting wonders from my ventilation system and I expect the next bit will be to install a small battery setup to power the extraction fans while charging them from solar. That could be 3.7v lithium cells totaling 11.1v or 14.8v though that might overload my 12v fans. With the amount of energy collected and expended, even at maximum power input from the panels of 20W, I'm unlikely to need a charge controller. At 20W (1.67A) for a theoretical 12 hours, the amount of energy collected would be no greater than 20AH or 20000mah.

Now take away what the fans are using which is about 160ma per fan for a total of 320ma. Let's take that away from the theoretical maximum and the amount stored in 12 hours would be 1.67a - 0.32a or 1.35a or 16ah or 16000mah.

Given though that the panels actually produce far less power, I'm thinking more in the region of 500ma or 6W, the energy produced in 12 hours would be 6ah. Take away what the fans are using which is 320ma and the excess storage needs only to hold 180ma per hour or 2ah. That's the realm of cheap NiMh batteries in an 8 pack battery holder. That and a pair of diodes and a fuse. The nutty thing is I already own those parts. In theory, 180ma per hour excess would power the fans for 11 hours. That could mean almost 24 hours ventilation.

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