Thursday, August 11, 2016

The idiots that make electronics need to be lynched!

I am heartily glad that my bus has minimal electronics. In fact, the fuel pump is mechanical so the fuel supply has to be killed in order to stop the engine. As you might have guessed, I have a healthy dislike of unnecessary electronic garbage.

The other day I bought an LED lantern. Just like the other lantern, I turn it on and have to cycle through umpteen dimness settings before it's barely bright enough to be worthwhile. There's almost acceptable, unacceptable, wholly unacceptable and what's that dim glowing object? What is it with these dimness settings? LED lanterns need two settings - on and off. I see no point in gradations of dimness. They're not very bright to start with!

Anyway, today I picked up two more LED lanterns at $7 apiece. They're pretty bright and have a hanging hook built into the handle. Now that's a significant advantage! I can, with three bright lanterns, have the galley well illuminated and visit the bathroom. If I put another hook in the bedroom then I can have the bedroom fully lit too!

Today, I picked up some more foam insulation from Walmart and it was a dollar cheaper per can than Lowes (hiss, spit). Thus, returning to the bus, I sprayed insulation into the middle bay. I'll have to put foam board where I cannot spray foam due to cables.

Needless to say, before I'd had a chance to take a photo, the sky darkened, thunder rolled, lightning flashed and I raced into the house in just enough time to avoid getting drowned in the torrential downpour that ensued. There really isn't a whole lot more that needs to be done inside the bus for now.

Yesterday, a lady came to trim milady's dog. She had a ratty old van with a portable air conditioner unit. It stood vertical on four casters. Now that was interesting. It needed to be plugged in and used 9 amps but it looked like something I might at some point be able to employ. At the moment my air conditioning relies upon it getting naturally cooler at night.

Today marked a turning point. I'd had a phone message at 6pm that I saw at 9pm telling me to be at work at 7am. After doing an interesting course at work that finished at 9am, I headed to the DMV. It was an utterly ludicrous thing to do having had just two hours sleep but I did. The upshot is that I passed the passenger and school bus endorsements. There was a slight hiccup as the fellow behind the counter forgot to add my school bus endorsement but I discovered it before I'd driven away, returned and had it fixed. I'm not surprised. That office is very swamped so if the staff get confused and make mistakes, it's only to be expected since we are all human an therefore prone to human error. I like seeing humanity at work like that.

The upshot of the turning point is that I start learning to drive busses on Monday. That pretty much eliminates my current paid job but on the other hand, the same organization will be giving me a paid role to supplement my income. I'm grateful for that.

Remaining to do on the bus... Removing the last little bit of the no guns sticker and the glue residue, filling the hole in the bedroom floor, putting cargo tie downs in the back, finishing the back insulation and adding insulation in the front. Finally, more solar panels.

I'm still unsure about how I'm going to store power. I'm happy with D cell powered lighting. Some people get a bit anal about the cost of D cells but honestly, I doubt the LED lanterns themselves will last more than one or two battery changes. These things are churned out cheaply and not designed to last. My $20 fancy lantern is worthless with a broken handle and it's not as bright as my $7 bargain store lanterns!

So, D cells will power lighting. All that's left is the shower which again uses D cells. Then there's phone and tablet charging. Both of those can be done from the main bus battery as long as I can keep it topped up via solar power. There is no heavy drain device on my bus.

Looking at costs, it's really not worth paying $100 for a fridge, $100 for an inverter, $100 on a generator and $200 on batteries just to keep food cool when that $500 would pay for 200 bags of ice. My cooler says it'll keep ice for up to a week but even buying a bag of ice every 2 days, it'd still be 18 months before it'd have been worth setting up with generators etc. That's without mentioning that I could use a $100 fridge when the bus is hooked up to power anyway. It's not as though I'd be traveling away from hookups very often anyway.

Keep it simple! I say this with all things. After the difficulty I went through with my front door lock, the answer was simple and not electronic. It's my gripe with cameras too. Everybody uses a cellphone because camera manufacturers loaded their modern cameras down with so many options, nobody wants to be bothered carrying the manual.

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