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Old 03-17-2008, 05:27 PM   #1
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gauge panel?

Hello Airstream enthusiasts!

I am in desperate need of a cheap "gauge panel." (that works) Does anyone have a suggestion for a new one?
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:21 PM   #2
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I think I will make a new one out of wood. The one in my 1982 Excella shows the level of the black and grey tanks by how many L.E.D.'s are on. A few toggle switches and a digital clock. Not a very big job to replace it. I'll lay it out on paper first to get an ideal of how it will look.
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spanky1313
Hello Airstream enthusiasts!

I am in desperate need of a cheap "gauge panel." (that works) Does anyone have a suggestion for a new one?
with meters or LEDs?

Zep
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:25 PM   #4
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I'm not really crafty enough to make one myself. Seems a little complicated, not to mention I'm on a time crunch. Thanks for your input though.

I guess I would like it if it had meters. However, I'm not really sure of the difference. Who makes them? I can't even find a supplier on the internet. Are they called gauge panels? Once again, thanks for your responses.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:34 PM   #5
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Try this search:

rv tank level monitor - Google Search
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spanky1313
I'm not really crafty enough to make one myself. Seems a little complicated, not to mention I'm on a time crunch. Thanks for your input though.

I guess I would like it if it had meters. However, I'm not really sure of the difference. Who makes them? I can't even find a supplier on the internet. Are they called gauge panels? Once again, thanks for your responses.
Your model year came with meters. This is important because the tank probes have resistors in series down near the tank and the wire harness is reduced from 4-5 wires to two wires. This means you have to use meters; to use and LED panel you must rewire from the sensor probes to your panel (or use a little bit more sophisticated electrical logic at the panel end, which is completely straightforward--easier to do than rewiring).

You can see a schematic of the meter panel in this thread:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...ams-38170.html

The panel also had the meters for battery voltage and current. These meters were fed directly from the fuze panel (top photo and drawing in the same thread).

The only essential item on the guage panel was the water pump switch. You can guess/estimate everything else. Just don't let the black tank overflow until you get a meter on it!

Zep
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:30 AM   #7
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LED's on my '78

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
Your model year came with meters......
Zep -

FWIW, my '78 has the "LED" meter (the're not REAL LED's) -

Might have been a mid year change, or, there is a very good chance that the panels may have been changed out.....

All of my tanks have the single lead sensors (capacitors, I think, not resistors), so that leads credence to the "LED" system being original.

BTW, my "power on" light is out - if anyone finds a replacement light I would appreciate them letting me know - also, the grey water 3/4 full light is non-op - could anyone suggest a fix?
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:22 AM   #8
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My ammeter does not read. Can anyone tell me how to check the ammeter to see if the problem is in the ammeter or the circuit?
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87MH
...FWIW, my '78 has the "LED" meter (the're not REAL LED's) -

Might have been a mid year change, or, there is a very good chance that the panels may have been changed out.....
Wow, I am confused. My 70 Carvel and 72 Overlander have the lights, my 75 Sovereign and 77 Safari have meters. Did the 78's go retro to the light system? That would be real interesting (and unexpected in my experience)!

Quote:
All of my tanks have the single lead sensors (capacitors, I think, not resistors), so that leads credence to the "LED" system being original.
You mean one wire from one probe for the whole tank? I would think a capacitive sensor would feed a meter, right? This is a real step up in sophistication--used in airplanes, mostly. Could it be a single wire from a float system like an automotive gas tank--still feeds a meter, just like in a car?

In the systems I see in my trailers each "sensor" (really just a very short metal probe into the tank to touch the water) has one wire. The wiring that feeds the "light" type indicator feeds all the wires up to the panel. If you have meters, the wires are combined close to the tank so only two wires feed up to the panel. You can see that in the previously noted schematic in the 1975 Electrical Systems thread.

Quote:
BTW, my "power on" light is out - if anyone finds a replacement light I would appreciate them letting me know - also, the grey water 3/4 full light is non-op - could anyone suggest a fix?
Do you mean a light bulb? That should be a 12 V bulb, small. If your power on system is defunct, another member suggested a great way to fix--get one of those small wall-plug type power supplies, plug it into an under-cabinet socket and wire it into the power-on light circuit.

Zep
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
Wow, I am confused. My 70 Carvel and 72 Overlander have the lights, my 75 Sovereign and 77 Safari have meters. Did the 78's go retro to the light system? That would be real interesting (and unexpected in my experience)!
Evidently they did....

Here is a copy of what it looks like out of the service manual for a '78 Excella - this shot is identical to mine except for the LPG readouts on the right.

BTW, I scored a Service Manual (a real one) for '79 Airstreams last weekend.



http://www.airforums.com/attachments...4_original.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
You mean one wire from one probe for the whole tank? I would think a capacitive sensor would feed a meter, right? This is a real step up in sophistication--used in airplanes, mostly. Could it be a single wire from a float system like an automotive gas tank--still feeds a meter, just like in a car?

In the systems I see in my trailers each "sensor" (really just a very short metal probe into the tank to touch the water) has one wire. The wiring that feeds the "light" type indicator feeds all the wires up to the panel. If you have meters, the wires are combined close to the tank so only two wires feed up to the panel. You can see that in the previously noted schematic in the 1975 Electrical Systems thread.
Sorry - I meant a one wire probe on each of the four wires to each tank - just as you described in your trailers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
Do you mean a light bulb? That should be a 12 V bulb, small. If your power on system is defunct, another member suggested a great way to fix--get one of those small wall-plug type power supplies, plug it into an under-cabinet socket and wire it into the power-on light circuit.
Good thinking - I already have an indicator of when juice is going to Ol' Sparky - the indicator light is just under the 110 volt switch I installed to manually cut of the Univolt when I do not want it to run - HA!! as if I couldn't hear it buzzing whenever it is powered up.


Additional pages from the service manual pertaining to this matter:


Wire Codes to back of panel.


http://www.airforums.com/attachments...icalpage15.jpg


Sensor wires to tanks.


http://www.airforums.com/attachments...icalpage16.jpg


Explanations and trouble shooting - if the panel is broken replace it.


http://www.airforums.com/attachments...icalpage17.jpg

Probe Circuit Diagrams.


http://www.airforums.com/attachments...icalpage18.jpg

Double click on each of the pics (if necessary) to enlarge.

Luck.

On edit - don't like the new photo restrictions at all.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:24 PM   #11
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If Airstream went back to the light system, rather than meters, that tells me which direction I'm going to go as I do refurbs! Anyone want a couple of old meter panels (just kidding, I need to get further along before I make a final decision on those babies).

What new photo restrictions?

Zep

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seems to work the same...is the a "supporting member" thing?

BTW, I'm normally much more attractive, boys, but you gotta get the rust off the frame somehow.
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