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Old 03-26-2017, 10:07 AM   #883
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I also ran HDMI from the stock Kenwood to the HDMI switcher to get stereo sound as well as to be able to view on the screen on the head unit. This is really helpful for my wife to cue up movies in Amazon fire stick for my kids while we are underway. Strange thing is it works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. Also, does not work at all for the satellite HDMI feed. Any thoughts?

Sorry, cannot help there, I have the Fusion head unit.

Also! When you replaced the rear speakers (badly needed) did you do anything to the cabinets they are enclosed in for vibration, etc.? The stock Ken woods there are abysmal, but I worry that a higher quality speaker would not shine in the current enclosure...

No change but spacers were needed, used the EQ to take away some of the bass so the subwoofer could "roll over" and take up that responsibility.

Did you use the same box for your new sun and simply replace the driver?

Yes, used factory enclosure and added an amp, amp required direct wire to battery (head unit "trigger" wire retained to turn on the amp) as the factory unit is little more than a circuit board
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Old 04-09-2017, 04:19 PM   #884
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Pilaster strips - my new best friends! Even if you do not ever intend to store a folding bike in your Interstate closet, you owe it to yourself to learn what pilaster strips might be able to do for you.


Project description URL:

CUSTOMIZING THE CLOSET OF AN AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE

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Old 05-30-2017, 12:57 PM   #885
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I ordered thermostat researched by LB_3 while we are camping in Pismo Beach. According to Amazon it was delivered to my sticks and bricks yesterday. I will install it this weekend when we return home. ....
Postscript:

For anyone who did this mod to the Atwood furnace thermostat in the T1N Interstates, check your unit's batteries. It wires into the furnace BUT the display portion is powered by batteries.

I think the batteries ate our Honeywell. We have a problem with battery-related corrosion and leakage in the subtropics which I've talked about previously. I've lost every flashlight to battery leakage. I lost my wildlife cam to battery leakage. And now I think I might have lost our Honeywell thermostat to battery leakage because I forgot that it takes batteries and I didn't swap them out in time.

About the same time as I started bellowing about the condition of the Honeywell, LB_3 noticed that his daily driver no longer sounds right when he turns the ignition. He popped open the battery chamber and this is what he found. It's so corroded that it's barely recognizable as a battery terminal. I can't see the date on this battery - it might be under the hold-down strap - but I don't think it's more than 36 months old. This corrosion stuff never ends around here.



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Old 05-30-2017, 02:29 PM   #886
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Get some ACF-50 and spray it on everything.
Great stuff.

(It replaced the old 'BoeShield' corrosion resistant protectant)

Mark
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:45 AM   #887
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Have you ever noticed that the unpaid and DIY worlds allocate human capital in manner opposite to the paid employment world?

With paid employment and especially with professional consulting (my field), the Peter Principle really does reign supreme – I’ve watched it manifest over my entire career. But in the unpaid and DIY worlds, we are not PROmoted to our level of INcompetence. We are DEmoted to our level of COMpetence.

Case in point. We needed to complete a number of small but time-consuming projects this weekend, and I started out trying to take the lead on this one – the installation of USB ports on the passenger side cab pillar, powered by the house lithiums, not the chassis 12 V outlets. Those other 12 V outlets are nearby on the dash, but their “always on” connection to the engine battery makes me too nervous to use them for certain additional functions that we are building into our Interstate. They represent a battery accident waiting to happen, and so we only use them while the Interstate is in motion (thus the engine battery is charging).

This was a fairly well-defined project - identify the specific needs, source and acquire the materials, pull off a cabinet door and some finish trim, wire the new USB ports plus switch in, restore the trim. But guess what?? There are only so many hours in a day, and someone had to break away from this interesting project and engage in that elaborate, multi-tool, time-consuming, mind-numbing ritual that Houstonians call mowing the lawn. Because LB_3 could execute this entire project without assistance and I could not, I became the lawn girl, demoted to my level of competence.

Anyway, here’s what it looks like. We are fond of this particular bright blue switch which is available at the O’Reilly auto chain store. The USB port itself has a light, but this switch positively screams DON’T FORGET TO TURN ME OFF, so we tend to insert it as a visual reminder of what’s on and what’s not, when building in new systems.

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Old 06-19-2017, 07:29 AM   #888
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I don't like too bright on those switches etc since they get annoying at night. Well, they annoy me anyway.

The USB outlets ive been using have a little rubber cover on them that covers up the led. Since the draw is quite small when not in use I could have just hooked them up 'live all the time'. But I put. A switch also, I don't like small loads on all the time. Perhaps from my background of mountaintop repeaters that only drew 6mil (in standby) -and we ran them on 'air cells'. Replaced every two years. Lots of LEDs can draw more than that.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:41 AM   #889
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I don't like too bright on those switches etc since they get annoying at night. .....
Exactly. That's why we use them. The components that we're installing don't need to run at night, and in fact should not be left on overnight, especially when we are in the van (I'm omitting details for brevity and because some of this pertains to our security systems which I won't describe online). There's no forgetting to punch those switches off. It's an engineering control, in other words.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:59 AM   #890
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This switch is for a small IP camera based security system and will only be used when we're out. The LED should be a nice reminder that it needs to be turned off. If it were on while we were in the van, I would have wired in a 6k resistor to dim it a bit. The always on status LEDs that I installed on our control panel have a common ground with a push button switch so I can turn them off at night.

I'm not too worried about parasitic loads during the day since the solar will easily outpace those loads. But those little vampires are more of a concern when we put our unit in storage. After rewiring our van as part of the lithium battery install, I was able to get the vampires down to about 17miliamps (the always on BMS) which would take 19 months to drain a charged battery.

I didn't like the power draw or the reliability of the solid state relay I was using to control the inverter ignition input so I'm working on a circuit that will drive a motorized switch by generating a 1/2 second pulse when the state of charge reaches a given value on the BMS. I'm hoping to keep the current to 10 miliamps or less.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:33 AM   #891
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Clarification on the bean-spiller here.


The power / parasitic draw is not the primary concern from a number of such minor added systems, some components of which we shall not talk about in open forum (ahem).

The primary concern is that, if we leave them on for longer than necessary, they're going to keep eating my cellular data for lunch. I need a visual reminder or cue that says, "Shut me down, now, lass! Or I'm gonna keep broadcasting and you're not going to enjoy the outcome of that!"
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:59 PM   #892
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I didn't like the power draw or the reliability of the solid state relay I was using to control the inverter ignition input so I'm working on a circuit that will drive a motorized switch by generating a 1/2 second pulse when the state of charge reaches a given value on the BMS. I'm hoping to keep the current to 10 miliamps or less.
FYI I decided to not use the ignition control on the inverter since its internal voltage threshold detection does that job as well. I also have a master disconnect which shuts off all power if that fails for some reason which sounds like what you are doing although mine is for all power.
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Old 07-02-2017, 12:45 PM   #893
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Allow me to preface this comment with an appropriate string of profanity:



Thank you.

Now, proceeding with what I'd said previously about the Honeywell thermostat mod that some of us did, LB_3 installed our replacement yesterday - you can see it here on the left, on the wall.

The thermostat on the right is the old one which I'm holding next to it for comparison - the old one, which jammed at 88 degrees. Which of course renders it useless. It doesn't matter right now when temps are hot, but later this year when it gets cooler, it will not actuate the Interstate's furnace when it needs to. Hence the need for replacement.

Our heat and humidity destroy a whole lot of stuff. Subtropical heat and humidity are mass murderers of electronics. We keep our Interstate garaged to protect it from the most extreme conditions, but it does not matter. It's some new bit of death and destruction every time I turn around.

Oh, and note also what I said earlier in this thread - the Honeywell tops out at 99 degrees. It only has a double-digit display. It's actually over 100 degrees in our Interstate as we are working on this new fridge installation, but the new Honeywell can't read that high.

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Old 07-13-2017, 07:35 AM   #894
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Not Interstate-related, but potentially an inspiration for those who might desire to do Interstate mods but hesitate for lack of confidence or experience.

I get comments and emails and PMs asking me how in the hell LB_3 and I learned to do this thing, or that thing. The answer is always the same: break the task down into the smallest pieces, and execute one by one. Backtrack and reiterate if if doesn't work out on the first try. If you need a do-over, you'll probably end up with a superior outcome anyway, so it's not time wasted.

This below is an unusually candid DIY bus conversion story, right down to an account of mistakes and lessons learned. One of the early comments is, "If I did this again I would have used an angle grinder, but this was still only days into the build and I was terrified of power tools."

'Terrified of power tools?' Now THAT is a noob. One with a great story and an awesome conversion project.

https://imgur.com/a/sJOcN#MHZt6EZ
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:12 AM   #895
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That is a very neat project. Reminded me of my sister-in-law who always wanted to live in a converted school bus, but settled on a fifth-wheel RV.
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:07 AM   #896
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Funny anecdote related to school buses:

They are often auctioned in indivisible lots. In other words, you may be bidding on a school bus and it may be available for $700, but the trick is that you must commit to buying ten at that price. Or however many, because it's too much overhead for them to divide junked buses into individual lots.

For this reason, the cleverest approach for would-be DIYers might be to follow auctions and see who gets what. Then contact the auction winner and ask whether they have plans to unload any.

I have a client who did this. He wanted to convert ONE bus so his kids could have an adventure-mobile. But the auction forced him to buy several. And every time I'd go to work over at his facility, he'd say, "Do you want a bus? I'll transfer a title to you for one dollar. Seriously, I just want some of them off my property because I'm sick of looking at them."


That was earlier in my life when I was not interested in vehicle conversions, so I said no. A similar offer today might yield a different outcome.
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