Sunday, April 16, 2017

I moved it

Yes folks, the battery box has been moved. It was in the closet at the back of the bus near the fans and the solar panels. It made sense at the time. It's now moved to the cockpit where it also makes sense. With the long length of cabling I have taken the liberty of adding a fuse, just in case.

Today I connected all the wires that I'd installed on Friday. Then I ported the battery box to the front and tried to get it working. Oops, nothing happened. Then I noticed I'd reversed the battery polarity at the charge controller. Fearing a blown controller I set the wires right and it started working. Now that was a relief!
So, after all that it was a case of sweeping and moving boxes back to the closet. While I moved them I looked inside. All clothes. I had no idea I had so many clothes! I'll have to have a sort out. There's precious little point in donating to charity and using the donation as a tax deduction. I did my taxes this week and ended up with no tax to be paid and a refund despite the fact that until October I'd been paying zero tax. I don't think donations would have raised that refund any. Mind, I don't think they actually charge tax on incomes under $10K.

The next task will be to secure the batteries in my ammunition box and to add plugable connectors. Yesterday I visited Radio Shack and took full advantage of their 80% off going out of business sale. I spent a massive $7 but this time rather than air-head electronic garbage (the kind of stuff that the high school electronics classes I had tell me would be good but rapidly turns out not to work), I got practical stuff. Some blade fuses and some connectors. They're allegedly XLR audio connectors but the look like they'll handle the small amounts of power I'm using. 
I had a look at my windscreen wiper pivot. It looks very much as though with modification of the original mounting bracket I can install it. The pivot arm is too long but that's what angle grinders are for! I will probably have to weld something to the original bracket but that's really not a problem. Getting it square is going to be the biggest challenge!

I still have plenty to do.
  • Fix the right hand wiper
  • Check the kingpins
  • Lower the brake pedal
  • Install forced air ventilation 
  • Install a water inlet
  • Clean
  • Toss out junk
  • Clear out I'll fitting clothes
I think after I've finished fixing up the battery box, fixing the wiper, lowering the brake pedal and checking the kingpins, it's time to retitle as a motorhome. At the very least, it's time to send off to get it retitled. After I've sent off, I can always work on forced air and the water in etc.

One of my thoughts with the battery box has been to put a second battery box. The first contains two batteries. One is 10ah and one is 5ah. My solar panels at the back are both 10W combining as 20W. Powering fans directly they were pretty good. With a battery and a charge controller they don't go as strongly but they're more consistent. I'm reasonably happy with 5ah.

The air induction fan needs to shift more air. I might be better with a more powerful fan. I don't want solar panels at the front that look like solar panels so I will have to try to find some of the black looking panels. I've seen some 30W panels and if I can put two of those in place I might be ok. One could feed the 10AH battery and the air induction fan. The other could feed a second power box containing the same 15ah but with a double USB charging socket mounted. That would allow me to charge my tablet, phone and a MiFi pad.

Thinking further ahead, it might be an idea to use my Peltier module and to get more Peltier modules so that when plugged into a 120v supply I could have air conditioning. Peltier stuff is horribly energy inefficient but that's on paper. 10 x 12V Peltier elements in series with a bridge rectifier should run well off a 120v line. Each unit consumes I believe 60W for a total of 600W or 5 amps. Building the forced air unit with the option of adding Peltier coolers would be a good idea.

In terms of cost, 10 Peltier coolers plus 20 heat sinks plus heat sink grease will cost more than a standard AC unit, uses more power and performs only 20F of cooling. Having said that, its way more compact and totally maintainance free. On the other hand this could be air-head highschool electronics surfacing 33 years after I left high school. I wonder how many of my old teachers are still alive. I remember the science and electronics guy was Mr Pugh.

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