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Old 04-07-2018, 08:08 AM   #1
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Classic Motorhome Control Panel Rework

I had started discussing this topic in another thread about upgrading the motorhome dash fluid level module.
It is better that this one has its own thread in the electronics section:

While waiting for this Ice Age to end, I have pulled my Control Panel out, to figure out the circuitry and see what can be done to improve its functionality.

I dont know if TT Control Panels are the same as MH panels, if they are, this may have some useful info for you.


I bought some LED replacements for the #53 light bulbs from Amazon $12 for 20 bulbs:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DA3EOQY/


All the LED bulbs work, but I had to reverse some sockets. The details are in my web page for this project:
http://theouterlimits.ws/projects/ai...trolPanel.html

I am also considering replacing the 3 bulb Battery Condition Monitor with a mini volt meter, So I ordered a few of these from Amazon, 5 for $12
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YALV0NG
The meters will be in today, I think they will just about fit in the space for the rocker switch for checking the batteries. If it looks like the meters are good enough, I will need to file about 1/10th of a inch from the switch slot and the meter should fit flush with the panel in the Chassis and House battery switch slots.


Thinking down the road, if I can build a simple circuit board to replace the Level Monitor:

I think a useful feature would be a audio alarm that is activated when the Gray or Black water tanks hit full.

My panel has a blanked off switch near the other level switches. That could be made active as the alarm on/off.

The normal operation of checking levels will not change; Press a switch for the tank you want to see the level of, and the display will tell you E, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, F.
Turning on the Alarm switch allows circuitry to scan the tanks, one at a time, and the alarm will sound on any tanks that a enable switch is set. The alarm enable switches can be mounted out of site on the rear of the control panel. A switch could be provided for all 4 level sensors including Fresh water and LP.

If anyone is interested, I am starting to draw up the original circuitry on the web page:
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:24 AM   #2
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That was EZ!
Just got the LED meters installed in the Control Panel


I had to take 1/10" off the switch hole with a Dremel cutting wheel and they fit fairly well. The width of the meter is slightly narrow for the hole, so some sort of Bezel should clean that up.
The original battery condition board is left in place and I used it to wire the meters to.

More photos are on the web page:
http://theouterlimits.ws/projects/ai...trolPanel.html

As soon as the weather gets above 50 the wires will be flexible enough to reinstall the panel.
I am working on the circuit details to improve the tank level system to include a scanning alarm for full on gray & black tanks and empty on LP & fresh water tanks
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:16 AM   #3
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You are amazing! Great work and great idea. Between this and the dash control module you are making some wonderful and useful mods for our old beasts!
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:32 AM   #4
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You are amazing! Great work and great idea. Between this and the dash control module you are making some wonderful and useful mods for our old beasts!
Thanks
This winter is lasting too long, so I needed something to keep me from extreme cabin fever.
I cant wait for weather in the 60's to get out and work on the old beast!
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Old 04-08-2018, 01:35 PM   #5
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I wonder if Airstream owns stock in a wire splice company?
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:47 PM   #6
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Looking great!
Hopefully you can find/make a good bezel

I need to fix at least my fresh water sensors, and this looks like a great little microcontroller project.

I also plan to monitor the temperature in the fridge and the AS ambient air temp, to keep an eye on the dog while away. GSM sheild on an Arduino should be an easy way to send sms notifications to the phone in case of shore power failure, or when a request text is sent.

Ds18b20 looks like a good temp sensor, and they share addressing nice with up to 64 of them on a single I/O pin, so i can easily do fridge/freezer/inside/outside (poke out the bottom of the subfloor). Not wireless though but that should be ok, I'll have to figure out how to run a wire into the fridge.
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:05 PM   #7
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I am doing the KISS method for my design. 80's technology
Using the original discrete components, and adding some simple logic for the continuous monitor will fit on a small circuit board and be low power draw..
The Arduino stuff looks promising, but I never got into that. In the day, I could build a interface board for a Apple II or TRS 80 computer but I still like simple circuits for simple tasks.

The temp monitor is cool, I think there are cheap devices to do the job on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Bluetooth-wire.../dp/B0773MX8BH
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:53 PM   #8
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KISS is definitely the wise thing, this is just my playground

All the sensors I can find rely on Bluetooth, which is no good away from home, or wifi, which is no good if the power goes out, so I was looking for a solution that can just send a text message directly, so I know if the power goes out and my air conditioner shuts off
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnet18 View Post
Looking great!
Hopefully you can find/make a good bezel
No luck with anything out there to make a good bezel for these meters
SO...
This gives me a excellent excuse to start shopping for a 3D printer
So many projects that I can justify if I have one.
A shopping I will go!
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Old 04-17-2018, 06:47 AM   #10
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I had the old printrbot simple metal. It was simple, affordable, and bullet proof, don't know why they stopped making it. Upgrade to the latest prusa wasn't really much higher quality prints. Biggest advice, you NEED a heated bed, just bite the bullet and get one off the bat, don't try to mess around without one. Been a few years since I shopped around myself, have fun!
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnet18 View Post
I had the old printrbot simple metal. It was simple, affordable, and bullet proof, don't know why they stopped making it. Upgrade to the latest prusa wasn't really much higher quality prints. Biggest advice, you NEED a heated bed, just bite the bullet and get one off the bat, don't try to mess around without one. Been a few years since I shopped around myself, have fun!
It is hard to decide which way to go, monoprice have a nice one with heated bed for $200. There are others under $300 with good features but they are all slow with the least resolution.
For $600 Prusa has a kit with great resolution.
https://shop.prusa3d.com/en/3d-print...-mk2-kit.html#
and you can buy a kit to make it a 4 material feed for $300.

The low price ones could do the bezel easy, and probably other parts that are hard to find.

If I wanted to try and reproduce (and enhance) parts like the dash heater/ac control panel that is always breaking. The bigger faster machine would be better.

Just think, any knobs that are missing, small trim parts, inside and out could be reproduced! And our 12 year old will love it!
( I am just thinking out loud, trying to convince myself that spending $600 on a machine to make a ten cent piece is a good move)

Darn, now I see they have a even faster version for $750 in June!
https://shop.prusa3d.com/en/3d-print...-mk3-kit.html#
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:21 PM   #12
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Control Panel Removal

Hey Wayne,

I have been following a few of your thread posts, amazing work, really amazing.

What is the trick for removing the control panel above the fridge/microwave?

Iíve tried prying and reaching around behind, but couldnít find anything. I didnít want to pry too hard and break something.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:06 PM   #13
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On my panel there are clips on each end of the panel, and I dont recall but there may be more on the top or bottom. If you are careful you can pry it outward but the old plastic is brittle and I recommend warm weather to try it
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