Sunday, June 18, 2017

Destination: Idiotville. All aboard!

I've been swanning around forums, trying not to hurt myself by laughing too much at the idiots using them. Seriously, some of their ideas are outrageous. In fact, I'd say so outrageous that it's unlikely that any of the posters actually own the busses they claim to be converting.

Forums are usually fairly decent places to get pointers for products worth looking at. I've been idly looking at instant water heaters. Needless to say when I mention low amperage water heaters, I get cries of can't be done and pointers toward solutions I don't want and to expensive solutions. Seriously - if I said I wanted a good black tee shirt, I'd get every color except black being offered and every size other than the one I wanted. It's as though people half read the question then come up with their idea of how things should be done.

It's like a fantasy land out there. People greatly overestimate what their bus conversions are worth. They're very often not worth any more than the cost of the actual bus itself. People seem to think it's worth throwing ten thousand dollars or more into a conversion. It's nuts. If one has that kind of money then one buys a real motorhome.

I'm working on powered ventilation for my motorhome conversion in order that I don't have to blow money on an expensive, bulky air conditioner. The first summer, the interior temperature was 140F. By painting the roof white and putting heat extraction fans, I brought the temperature down to 104F. When I have my cool air induction unit installed, the temperature will drop again. My aim is to match  outside in the shade air temperatures.

Today I installed my Harbor Freight solar panel. I'd thought of all kinds of fancy and labor intensive ways of installing it but in the end used 4 M5 rivnuts and M5 countersunk bolts. I passed the cable through a hole made behind the panel that I sealed with silicone sealant. Working outside in the heat was pretty exhausting!
As I'm sure you'll agree, it looks very anonymous, like a destination board. I had concerns about it cracking when I tightened it because the panel was warped. I don't know yet whether I'm in the clear or nit but it's looking good right now.

I won't be able to use the panel immediately because I still need to complete my ventilation unit (which will use its power) and because my extra charge controllers have yet to arrive. I do already have a mystery charge controller but it's nowhere near as informative as those I ordered (I should have ordered 3).

Several people aboard the idiot train were busily telling me how I'm completely wrong in the way I've installed my panel. Not one asked why I installed it vertically. It's never possible to underestimate the intelligence of those that use forums. When I last checked, that panel was producing plenty power. People don't seem to comprehend that my solar panels are there to provide power for my ventilation system with leftover power being used to charge phone, tablet and MiFi pad if necessary. Lighting is run exclusively from D cells which I can buy from a dollar store for 50c each. Given their 200 hour performance in an led lantern that's on for very short periods, running lighting from solar would be stupidly expensive. It would still be possible to use my solar D cell charger to charge lighting batteries though.

Not feeling too much like welding in the heat, my attention turned to the already completed portion of my ventilation unit. I pulled out the compressor and gave the unit a thorough blasting with sugar as the media. It worked quite well though as can be seen has provided ample food for the next week or two for the myriad of ants that live in the area.
As I still have some welding to do, I merely sprayed primer on my construction. I'll add a supplementary support to the back of the unit when I next weld. That will probably take the form of a U shaped bracket that I can rivet to the ribs to provide extra support as it's way too heavy to have this hanging off just the bus skirt. At my next welding, I expect some of the primer to catch fire and burn off. Then I can reprise those areas and paint a topcoat. As it is, it will prevent rust.

One of the other tasks was that I fed the wire from the panel along the side of the bus, inside, securing it with tape while applying silicone sealant to fasten it properly. That wire now feeds down to my mystery charge controller. Though it goes no further, that controller could well be used to run my induction fan, when I complete it.

Once the fan is completed and the wiring for the power unit completed, that'll be pretty much it aside from completing the re-wiring of the one socket. I'll have to get the brake pedal adjusted, the kingpins checked and then a good steam and grease. Eventually I'll want to put a water inlet, external 12v input (if I decide to put solar panels outside) and a few other equally oddball things. I'm hoping to get my bus retitled sooner rather than later.

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