Saturday, September 3, 2016

One step forward, five steps backward

Electronics, as I keep saying are such a huge disappointment. I really don't know why I keep trying!

Well, my phone was left plugged in, in the car overnight. It charged fully. It had charged in the house on my wireless charging pad quite well for about the last year or so. Suddenly and without warning, it refused to charge from the wireless pad or with a direct cable connection. These electronic things are so finicky. It's not as though they're fixable either. When the black magic inside runs out, no matter how stupid the money spent on them is, they're landfill.

I wired my solar panels via diodes last night to the two extraction fans. That was probably a good step to take. I have been thinking of wiring them into a set of NiMh AA cells such that when there isn't sufficient light, the fans keep going. That in turn led me on to considering going beyond this simple yet functional setup.
Ignore the black cable in the foreground as that belongs to something else. As can be seen, I've used hefty rectifier diodes to protect my solar panel. Today I checked the readings and I was getting between 19 and 19.5 volts with the fans connected and spinning, Clearly plenty excess power.

One of the creations I dreamed up was the following. Then I realized I was getting way too complicated. All I need is to connect the two fan wire pairs at the bottom together and connect to a battery pack. There would be no switch and no fuse.
The plan was to have power from the panels coming in the top and power out to the fans at the bottom. Then the battery to the right. I'd like also to have included a fuse and switches but there just wasn't room in the box. Then I realized the banana connectors probably weren't the best thing to use since the prongs might touch if they're not plugged in. I looked into using coaxial power plugs but realized my cables are too big so, I'm back to just having each panel powering an individual fan.

Meanwhile, I tried to start the bus today. The battery was showing a woeful 8-10 amps and it wouldn't start. Thus I had to put a charger in place. That's despite my attempting to keep the batteries topped up with a solar panel and charge controller. Indeed my fag lighter socket volt meter read just 11.8v. I suspect there's a current drain somewhere. I really do need to take the bus in for a good diagnostic!

As mentioned before, I'm working on my CDL. I'm not there quite yet though. I'm also considering a type F non commercial license so I can pull a trailer.

Last night the heavy rain from hurricane Hermione did no damage. No rain penetrated the bus. That means my leak sealing worked. There was no wet noticeable from my newly installed vents either which is amazing when they're installed horizontally instead of vertically as designed. 

As far as completing the bus is concerned, I need to work underneath when the wasps and ants have gone. That cannot be long now. It would be nice to add more solar capacity in order to keep the battery topped up and to charge AA or D batteries.

I headed to the bank to pay a check in but found that helpfully, the bank had closed a couple of hours earlier. Still, it gave me an opportunity to visit Lowes (hiss, spit). There, I got some more metal to make more security strips for the front door.
When the paint dries, I'll work on attaching the bars. That'll probably be tomorrow. Meanwhile, my batteries have been on charge for several hours. I checked and the voltage came in as 11.8v. By 8pm it was a healthier 13.4v. I have a feeling that the broken 5A ABS fuse is the culprit. Something is bleeding power hence somebody had previously installed a cutout switch. When the battery is charged, I'll have to use the cutout. Tracing the short is a job for the international guys when I take my bus in for a diagnostic.

There are things that need attention. The right wiper doesn't move. The left wiper switch is faulty as is the hazard light switch. The wiring for the rev counter and speedometer needs attention too as both act as though there are loose wires somewhere. The short needs to be found and the reversing horn needs to be wired in properly. I have a feeling a lot of that is due to the hillbillies tender attention.

With the solar stuff, nothing looks all that promising. It all looks like bunk so far. On the other hand, when somebody says, "Here's some free energy for only a little investment", why exactly shouldn't I put that in the same class as "Psst. Wanna buy a bridge in Brooklyn"? The fans do work. I guess I'll have to try adding NiMh batteries. I have a set of 8 waiting to be used. Just to be safe, I'll discharge them using my electric toothbrush. Adding batteries to my solar ventilation is not a high priority.

No comments:

Post a Comment