Saturday, July 8, 2017

86 to 97

Despite the best efforts of my extraction fan, the temperature inside the bus crept from 86 when I went in at midday to 97 by 2pm. The night had apparently been a cooler 72.

Thinking more about extra power for the battery pack, it seems I could put two charge controllers onto the battery with each being powered by different solar panels. As long as the controllers are set up with the same cut off voltage, all should be fine. That would eliminate for the moment, my need to put more cables under the bus. This little project is on hold for one important reason.
Today I'm trying to clear the cockpit. It has been pretty much of a pigsty for the last two years. When I finish a job at the end of the day, I dump everything in the cockpit and close the door. I don't put things neatly away. Thus I'm having quite a time. I'm putting stuff to be sorted later behind the drivers seat, putting trash in the black bag on the drivers seat, tools in the tool box and screws etc in a jar.

As a little break, I swept the aisle of the bus and had a huge pile of sand. There were also cardboard boxes and other litter to move. One would think that I'd not cleaned the bus ever before but it's not so!

Remaining on the bus after I've done with the construction will be just maintainence supplies. Nothing too spectacular. Just screwdrivers, wrenches etc. I have no need for the welder, angle grinder etc. As I've said before, the welder was not one of my brightest purchases. Sure - it gave me a lot of fun and taught me to weld but it's not something that has been as beneficial as it could have been.

One of the ideas that struck me today was to install a pair of fans. One in the galley and one in the bedroom, tied into the extraction fan circuit, blowing air toward the back of the bus. That might help circulation quite a bit. I'm not quite sure what's happening to the airflow as air is definitely being blown out. The heat seems to be remaining though. I do, after all, have several unemployed 12v CPU fans.

Cleaning the bus cockpit took several hours. It had been knee deep in junk and that, sadly, is not an exaggeration. Some of the tools went to the shed as did some supplies. A 120v lamp stand complete with its 40W bulb went to an old trailer, where I had to duck to avoid a dangling light fixture weighted down by a birds nest.

Eventually, though the cockpit needs a really good wipe down, one huge bag of trash made it successfully to a huge pile of trash bags dumped in a corner of the yard. Those might one day make it to the dump. Sadly, some of the stuff from the cockpit made it to the galley. Clearing the galley or at least one side is a job for another day.

Now that's an almost clean cockpit. Everything needs a very good wipe down, to be honest. A lot of the brown dust I swept away was from when I sanded the OSB during the construction phase of 2015.   There's definitely some black paint touchup needed and I'll have to get some purple cleaner onto the floor. Otherwise, it's not looking too bad.

A few days ago, if you recall, my two charge controllers arrived. One has obviously had a sharp impact on the protective screen. I didn't catch it when I opened the box so I can't claim it as shipping damage. Not to matter though. It's ugly but it'll work.
During my tidying I found one of the things I'd been seeking - the cable converter I built that will allow me to use standard 20A cords with my non standard electrical inlet. The reason for the non standard inlet is cost - standard inlets were $75 whereas mine was $7. Even accounting for the non standard connector I used, it still works out at about $15 or a fifth of the price for something with equal electrical capacity. The TT30 crowd are really getting ripped off.

Just now the extraction fan cut in and out with a four minute cycle. That's probably why it's not really cooling the place. I adjusted the settings slightly so that the solar cell cuts off at 14.4v, the fan starts at 13.4v and cuts off at 12.2v. I'll have to see how that affects cooling. It could well be that I need to rethink my battery setup. I'd been running the CPU fans off a 5AH battery. I'm on a 10AH battery right now. If I moved to my twin 7AH batteries then I'd have 14AH. It could well be that instead of using small batteries - remember I didn't want electrical or solar stuff - I'd be better with a bigger battery though how big, I'm not sure. Running for an hour, just my extraction fan will use 2.5AH as its 2.5 amps. It therefore puzzles me as to why my 10AH battery voltage drops so quickly given that it was new. More to think about...

I almost put my welder in the shed. The only reason I did not was just in case I want to make something for my little generator. I've been thinking of turning it into a vertical axis wind turbine very idly. That might involve welding some steel for the arm.

Well, despite I didn't achieve a whole lot, at least the bus cockpit is clean enough to wipe down. I'll have to get on with that and get on with screwing the top of the console down properly too.

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