Monday, July 24, 2017

Look what Santa just brought me!

I've spent the entire of my weekend off and taken today off too. I'm still sick with a bronchial cough, sinus etc. It has been pretty awful with ears popping and all sorts not to mention disorientation too. On Sunday I decided was going to take myself to the quack the following morning. This morning though I was feeling a lot better though still with a temperature. I decided to rest today and just go to work tomorrow.

Lamenting not being well enough to work on the bus, I'd been thinking on my decision to buy a $60 battery and of my thought to install built in ventilation fans. I'll probably hold off on those for the moment as I have two as yet untested 7AH SLA batteries. Put in parallel they should be quite good at 14AH. As my 5AH will reportedly render up to 60A output, there's little reason to believe that my two 7AH batteries either individually or combined will not produce enough to run my 2.5A fan when that's all that'll be running.

My plan originally was to use an ammunition box to house a battery that could be ported around and used to charge USB devices wherever. Then I decided to have a second ammunition box containing the ventilation batteries - which was supposed to be the 10AH battery but the twin 7AH will be fine. My plans are a bit messed up at the moment. The 10AH was supposed to be the fan, the 5AH the door lock and the twin 7AH my portable power supply.

I have a feeling I was far better off before I started messing about with the complicated fancy junk. When my fans were directly solar powered they worked pretty well most of the time. I seem to have added several unnecessary levels of complication to achieve minimal increases. Still, it is what it is and I'll make it work without spending money on extra junk.

I'm going to leave the 10AH battery where it is, powering that fan. I can't understand why it's messing about so much though. It seems to be very random about the length of time over which it will run between charges. I very much suspect that lead acid batteries are just not that reliable for this kind of application. I'd been thinking of using NiMh or LIon when I designed the system. SLA was just a quick fix.
Now Santa brought me two 12v USB chargers. I can build these into the big ammunition box combined with the twin voltmeter that arrived a few days ago to make my portable electronics charger. Much better to do that than to have to put extra wiring under the bus even though I'm all prepared to put extra wiring down there.

It has been questioned as to why I want my SLA batteries in a steel ammunition box. The answer is simple... if they leak, the box will contain the leak. If they catch fire, the box will contain the fire and smother it as its air tight. I can also grab the handle in a gloved hand and chuck it out the door if need be.

As far as LIon or NiMh batteries go, I'd be able to use either since my chargers are all programmable.  My door lock is currently operated by 8 NiMh rechargeable batteries that I charge in a domestic charger every few months. When they're too depleted to run the door lock, I'll measure the voltage and take that as my base for an NiMh system. At about a dollar each and about 2AH per cell, a 2AH 12v stick would be $8-$10. A 20AH setup would be $80-$100. The big bonus is it'd all fit well in an ammunition box.

There are things I could do underneath the bus but I'm trying to minimize that. Though I've been under there plenty times, I just don't like going there. At the moment with wasps and critters, it's inavdisible for the next few months anyway.

Aside from getting the ventilation and USB power set up, the bus has reached the point where any work done is a fix, a touch up or an upgrade. My goal now has to be retitling the bus as soon as possible.

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