Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Almost there!

Today was meant to be a day when a lot got done! As usual, little was achieved but for very different reasons. The holdup this spring break has been somebody going into ICU in the hospital. Not me, I hasten to add!

So, today I went under the bus, removed the old non functioning reversing horn, installed the new one but in a better location and completed wiring and attaching conduit. In the photograph it looks a jumble and there is a connector visible that has no wire going to it. That, oddly enough, is by design. I figured a spare cable might come in handy. I'm already thinking of re-siting the battery for the extraction fans to the front of the bus!
I have two conflicting ideas for the extraction fans. I can either power them from my 5AH lead acid battery and keep the battery at the front or leave it where it is or the second idea is to replace the lead acid battery with AA NiMh batteries. Since the charge controller is programmable, that might be a good solution. I'm waiting for my rechargeable AA NiMh batteries in my door lock to run down so I can test the low voltage level in order to set the low level on the charge controller. Once I've charged the batteries, I'll know what the full level is.

Meanwhile, my work under the bus was halted by the discovery of a hornet building a nest. I don't particularly want to be stung by a hornet or a wasp or any other insect for that matter. America has some rather vicious insects though fortunately nowhere near the variety Australia has. The hornet nest is visible in this photo. The mud spatter is due to having no front mud guard. That's another project!
A few days ago I bought a 10ah battery on eBay. It turns out sadly that it's just too big for my needs. My panels produce such puny amounts of power that it takes forever to charge the 10ah battery though it roars away for hours, powering my extraction fans. Still, that'll be handy for future expansion. I've been thinking of running an air intake, taking cooler outside air and blowing it inside with the fan powered by the sun.
Also, a few days ago, I encountered a strange new light in Harbor Freight. It's an LED worklight with an adjustable angle. Being magnetic, I can stick it pretty much anywhere. I was thinking for underbus work, initially. It's so much brighter than most of my LED lanterns that I'm now thinking of putting some kind of non scratch covering on the magnetic foot so it won't harm my paintwork and busing it for lighting.

The new idea for progress is once the right hand wiper is working, to get the underside steamed and greased by the real mechanics who will at the same time remove the hornet nest and will inspect the kingpins and lower my ridiculously high brake pedal by at least 2.5 inches. The accelerator could probably use work too since it takes a lot of travel to get it above 5mph.

At some point the bus must have been hit by lightning. I noticed an ionized smell in it a few days ago.  Today I found 4 blown fuses. I replaced them. Most things seem to work though I'm having to charge the batteries again. I suspected the kill switch was bad. I've  been hunting for other explanations but none seem to work. Of course, the battery box is close to the hornet nest. What fun! I'll have to go for the original method of battery isolation and simply remove the cable!

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