Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Choices, choice, choices

After an unexpectedly early release from work, I retreated to the bus cum motorhome to work. Work today was centered solely around deciding what to do with my accessory sockets. I have two kinds of accessory socket - the one I bought the other day that's self-contained and the pair I bought on eBay.
The unit on the left has a voltmeter and twin USB connections, one of USB 1.1 and one of USB 2.0. The one on the right has a cigarette lighter socket and two USB 2.0 connections. Interestingly, I discovered that drilled carefully with my 1.5 inch hole saw, a piece of 2x4 could readily house the unit on the left. Now that unit has the advantage in requiring only a 3.5A fuse and lighter wiring than the other unit. The other because of the 12v socket requires a 14A wire and fuse because the socket is rated at 12A. I really don't want nor need massive amperages in the bedroom nor do I actually have any great need for a 12v socket, in the bedroom.

As I already have the circulation fan functioning in the galley, It's a straightforward matter to put in a USB and power socket. That's the theory! The problem is finding that ideal site. Ideally, my 12V stuff  could run much of the same route as my circulation fan. The only problem, I glued the 12v fan wires in place and the higher amperage cable was better put through a conduit. With a conduit, putting the lighter wire through also made sense. Doing it this way also means a 12V and USB socket could be operational today.

Meanwhile, I looked at my extraction fan. I'd already noticed the T section end had a tendency to wobble about. While stationary, that's not a problem. In motion though I fear it could break the mounts for my extraction fan. That could prove expensive. Thus I resolved to add a bracket each side and to support it with a stout zip tie. The zip tie does not have to support any great weight, rather it has to dampen vibration. That should work quite well!

My requirement for fuses now includes 14A, 0.5A and 3.5A for my assorted sockets and fans. It would make sense when I mount the underbus battery to put an overly large fuse on it so that it will be protected absolutely in the case of a short circuit but then to have an overall fuse for it totaling the maximum amperage likely to be used so that I'm protected from drawing too much current. In the unlikely event too much current is drawn, the easily accessible fuse will blow while the underbus fuse will not.

I'm still awaiting two items from eBay. One is my timer for my fan at the back of the bus. Once that's in place I can set it to a 10 minute run time every hour and set the charge controller to work correctly rather than using it as a fan controller. The other is a remote camera I ordered. This apparently has remote pan and tilt controls and is accessible via wifi. A very useful gizmo to have! The problem is I don't think I'm going to receive it. Hours after I purchased it, eBay sent me a memo stating that the item had been deleted but not to worry as it should arrive soon and that if it didn't I should contact the resolution center.
Not only did they delete the item, they also deleted the seller. Thus, I have to wait for the item not to arrive before I get my refund which looks like being September. This is absolutely ridiculous and smacks to me of eBay being a shade dishonest. What they're actually saying is: "We've deleted the seller and we're going to hang onto your money until you can prove the seller never provided the goods". As far as I know, as soon as the seller was deleted, their account was killed off and they have no access to the data files as to where to send my stuff, assuming of course that it wasn't a scam in the first place.

Despite being insanely tired having been wide awake at 3am - a full two hours before my 5am alarm, I managed somehow during today's meeting to remain awake - something 12 others did not manage! Even more amazingly I managed actually to do something on the bus rather than just blogging about what I might do and studying things. I installed my extra zip tie support for my T section.
As it's possible to see, things are supported at the T end. The other end already has plenty damping and support. With luck that will mean there won't be any fractures taking place. In the unlikely event the thing does fall apart then I probably won't replace the bilge fan. I'll probably put Y adaptors on each of the vent tubes and put a pair of CPU fans of about 3 inches diameter onto each of the open legs of the Y. That should provide 2A of extraction fan that will run much quieter. My bilge fan is pretty loud!

Siting my 12V + USB power connector proved particularly challenging. As there was an overhang under the back of the unit that critters could theoretically use to hide, siting was limited. In the end, lateral thinking was used such that the unit was cockpit mounted. Having studied the other units carefully and found a 1.5" hole saw and a piece of 2x4 was all that was needed for a mount, it was decided that was how they were to be mounted. That raised my available USB sockets to 6 running from battery power. It had an unforeseen consequence that I will have to add extra fuses and an extra couple of fuse positions.

Well, that was my decision until I'd put connectors on the device and discovered that there just wasn't the available real estate amidst all my wiring etc to put my connector. That put the project on hold for today which given how tired I was, was probably a good thing. Mistakes are costly as the Vicar's wife discovered when she found her opponent was not bluffing and strip poker meant just that!

I am definitely feeling the lack of a Radio Shack type place in Lexington. There's just nowhere to browse electrical components for possible solutions to issues nor a place to buy electrical components. Lowes (hiss, spit) has a good 120v section but their low voltage and 12v section is pathetic. As for the car parts stores - they have most of it but the prices are outrageous.

Having discovered I can just drill holes in a block of wood to mount my USB connectors and volt meters, I might just do that. Have twin USB connectors with a voltmeter. Having said that though, more USB charging ports is definitely better. That raises the amperage to 6.6A for a dual dual. That's definitely something I could mount on the partition between driving compartment and galley. On the other hand, with Chinese stuff it might be better to mount it in a non-flammable steel box just in case of fire. Something to think about tonight!

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