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Old 10-31-2018, 09:04 AM   #1
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Mini-microwave

When I saw the small upper-cabinet microwave in the "Shorty" AI, I knew there would be one like it in my AI.

In almost 2 years, we have never used the microwave for more than heating coffee water or heating a packaged meal. We have no use for the convection feature, it is too hot most of the year to want that much heat in the coach. Wouldn't a nice, big storage drawer be a lot more practical? The small microwave will take a bit more time, but it will do everything we need.

I ordered the same micro and trim that is in the Shorty. The micro arrives today and the trim tomorrow. In the mean time, I started modifying the upper cabinet. I chose to put the micro in the cabinet end toward the second row chair so it will not be in the face of someone at the sink. I needed to remove the projecting metal at the rear of the cabinet to accept the 12" depth of the new MW. The photos show the projecting metal cut away. I will need the new micro in hand to design wood parts for mounting.

In the mean time, the old micro is out as well as some of the woodwork so that I have a nice rectangular space for either a large drawer of two shallow drawers. I still have to order the laminate for the drawer fronts.

I have included the photo of the Shorty installation to show what I intend.
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:01 AM   #2
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That is a really great idea. Different power requirements?
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:34 AM   #3
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That is a really great idea. Different power requirements?
I would roll the dice on "no". These devices generally run off the inverters (110 V).

Our T1N microwave is "small" to start with, and no convection feature which IMO would be worse than useless. It's a basic black tiny microwave, and I love it. I hope Pahaska posts a link to the exact model he chose.
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
When I saw the small upper-cabinet microwave in the "Shorty" AI, I knew there would be one like it in my AI.

In almost 2 years, we have never used the microwave for more than heating coffee water or heating a packaged meal. We have no use for the convection feature, it is too hot most of the year to want that much heat in the coach. Wouldn't a nice, big storage drawer be a lot more practical? The small microwave will take a bit more time, but it will do everything we need.

I ordered the same micro and trim that is in the Shorty. The micro arrives today and the trim tomorrow. In the mean time, I started modifying the upper cabinet. I chose to put the micro in the cabinet end toward the second row chair so it will not be in the face of someone at the sink. I needed to remove the projecting metal at the rear of the cabinet to accept the 12" depth of the new MW. The photos show the projecting metal cut away. I will need the new micro in hand to design wood parts for mounting.

In the mean time, the old micro is out as well as some of the woodwork so that I have a nice rectangular space for either a large drawer of two shallow drawers. I still have to order the laminate for the drawer fronts.

I have included the photo of the Shorty installation to show what I intend.
Can you give me the brand and where to order? Great improvement. I was thinking of doing something similar so I could use the inverter with the microwave if it is less than 1000 watts. Do you know what the wattage is for this unit?
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:08 AM   #5
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I hope Pahaska posts a link to the exact model he chose.
This is the microwave used in the 19' Shorty AI. The micro plus the stainless trim cost $199 shipped. I obtained the info from the manual on the 19'. The Contour is rated 5 stars on the supplier's website. It is 1150 watts, but I have no need to run on the inverter since we do not boondock. Obviously, it will run on the generator.

The part number for the required SS trim is hidden down in the fine print on the website.

I will cut the plug off the micro and run the cable down small holes, hidden in the window openings, install a new plug, and plug it into the original microwave outlet.

I bought from RVUpgrades.com and I can't recommend them enough. I ordered late Saturday night, after returning from 10 days in Canada. I'm sure they didn't see the order until Monday morning. Here it is Wednesday noon and the micro will be delivered by mid-afternoon. The trim comes tomorrow.

When I have everything in hand. I can bring the AI home and start cutting wood. I have enough laminated pieces left from my twin bed mod to trim around the micro as needed.

In the photos in the Original post, there is a 4" gap at the left end in the metal at the back of the cabinet. This will be filled with a rack that will store our dishes and salad plates vertically The rack will be padded to keep the plates from flopping against the bare wood. I installed a rack like this in my Classic 28 and it is a great way to store dishes. The balance of the cabinet (small) will be dedicated to mugs.
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:01 PM   #6
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For the benefit of those considering this model, can someone articulate the difference between these two figures, as taken from the specs:

Wattage: 700 Cooking

Input Power: 1150 Watts
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:21 PM   #7
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The wattage is the amount of microwave radiation (cooking power) that is sent into the oven interior. 700 Watts rated output into the cavity from the Magnetron tube (Microwave generating tube part). Note that this number assumes a brand-new Magnetron tube that is working perfectly. As the tube ages, the output will go down some...

Before you panic at the efficiency information below, understand that the Magnetron sucks up quite a lot of power to heat its internal parts to generate a LOT of electrons to produce that 700 watts rated output...it is, after all, a vacuum tube device, and not that fancy of one...

It's fascinating how it works--it basically uses a strong magnet that spins a cloud of electrons around the interior of the tube past some slots, that make the electron beam oscillate at a fixed frequency. This is passed out of the tube through a glass window, scatters into the oven cavity, and that's what does the cooking--basically a radar beam bouncing around and zapping water molecules, which vibrate violently, get hot, and heat the food.

The Input power is the amount of 120 volt AC power required to generate the microwaves, heat the Magnetron filament and cathode, generate some nasty high DC voltages, run the lights and controls, and run the cooling fan motor. That's the total 1150 watts input power.

That unit is about 61% efficient, which is not that unusual.
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:54 PM   #8
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I went through Radar school at Keesler in late 1951-early 1952. Those were the days of photographic flashbulbs. We had a magazine photographer come to photograph for an article. He climbed up a ladder in the hanger to get a better angle when all of his flashbulbs exploded as he hit the beam from one of those rocking-horse type Radars.

Lots of energy in a microwave beam.
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:58 PM   #9
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JOHN - Nice work, can't wait to see it all together when your parts & trim come in
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:17 PM   #10
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I went through Radar school at Keesler in late 1951-early 1952. Those were the days of photographic flashbulbs. We had a magazine photographer come to photograph for an article. He climbed up a ladder in the hanger to get a better angle when all of his flashbulbs exploded as he hit the beam from one of those rocking-horse type Radars.

Lots of energy in a microwave beam.
Out in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of Vietnam doing an underway replenishment at midnight. Had a cargo ship alongside our Aircraft Carrier high-lining food and supplies over to us.

One of our ship's photographers was running around taking flash photos of the operation, and getting chased off by the deck crew, who needed darkness to do their work. Dude had a jacket pocket stuffed full of flashbulbs. He finally wandered just a bit too far forward, and either our radar or the adjacent cargo ship's radar set off all the flashbulbs at once. The resulting flash was blinding, even through the jacket.

The kindly deck crew saw that he was on fire--his jacket was now smoldering, smoking, and obviously ready to burst into flames. They gently relieved him of the camera, tossed him bodily to the deck, and thoroughly stomped out the fire...with him still in the smoldering jacket.

When the fire was out, they gave him back the camera, and sent him packing--probably with a fresh set of lumps and bruises from 'putting out the fire'...

Never saw him try to take flash photos at night again. I wonder why? (NOT!!)
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:22 PM   #11
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Next change

I decided that rather than build a big drawer to replace the original microwave, I will construct a fixed plywood box, with a shelf. On the front of the cabinet will be a hinged, drop down door. I can build the box so that 4 screws hold it in place and it will be easy to remove at any time to service items behind and under it. That will mean easy access to the water pump, among other things.

I would like later to cap off the faucet in the sink and install a real kitchen faucet (like in the 19').
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:46 PM   #12
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The mini-micro has landed

Big thump on the front porch, doorbell rings, and here it is. Really nice looking unit with all of the bells and whistles of the original MW except convection.

As I suspected. it will be retained in the cabinet by the SS trim, just like the old microwave. The cord is just a bit short, so I may be doing some splicing.

Now that it is in house, I can determine the thickness and the location of the wood that will go under the feet. I can drill shallow holes at the foot locations to aid the SS trim in resisting the unit sliding as the AI turns left.

Today, I started building the dinner plate garage for the other end of the cabinet as described in the OP.
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Old 10-31-2018, 03:45 PM   #13
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Love the cat's expression, "What's this junk doing in MY resting spot!" look in the photo...
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Old 10-31-2018, 03:48 PM   #14
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Love the cat's expression, "What's this junk doing in MY resting spot!" look in the photo...
Anything new in the house must be investigated. There was a nice, big cardboard box for her to check out, also.

She is 3 1/2 year old Pixie Bob and rules the house.
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:35 PM   #15
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For the benefit of those considering this model, can someone articulate the difference between these two figures, as taken from the specs:

Wattage: 700 Cooking

Input Power: 1150 Watts

When I had my 700W microwave pulled out, I plugged it into a Kil-A-Watt and ran it on a house ac outlet. I don't recall the exact number, but it drew well over 1150 watts. I think nearly 1400.


Tested another 700W microwave, thinking there was something wrong. Nope, it drew the same amount of power.
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:39 PM   #16
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I would suspect the Kil-A-Watt.
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:45 PM   #17
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...

I will cut the plug off the micro and run the cable down small holes, hidden in the window openings, install a new plug, and plug it into the original microwave outlet.
...
John - check the cabinet just forward of where you are placing that new microwave. Not sure if your 2014 is the same, but on my 2013 model there was still wiring in that cabinet for the old coffee maker. The wires and outlet were just inside the panel covering the opening. The panel was removable, held in by a few screws. Attached photos show what I did to add an outlet in this area.
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:55 PM   #18
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I would suspect the Kil-A-Watt.

Except it was nearly spot-on when tested against a 100w incandescent bulb and a 1600w hair dryer. I think the are other significant draws involved in a microwave oven.
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Old 10-31-2018, 05:29 PM   #19
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The power supply in the microwave oven might have a really bad power factor or something that confuses the kill-a-watt device. It does not read true power, probably. What you are reading is volt-amperes and probably not getting the real wattage.

The hair dryer and incandescent bulb don't have the high-voltage power supply in them...they act like a more normal resistive load.

I don't want to write a book on "Power Factor", so those with curiosity can read the Wikipedia article, and probably get a good nap afterward...(grin)

Gadzooks, just looked at the article--"My God, its full of Math". (apologies to Dave Bowman character from 2001: A Space Odyssey) Haven't dealt with all that stuff since college days--when I used a slide rule to solve those diagrams. Let's hear it for the "J-factor".
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:17 PM   #20
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Not sure if your 2014 is the same, but on my 2013 model there was still wiring in that cabinet for the old coffee maker.
My 2014.5 is really part 2015 on a 2014 chassis. One of the things that disappeared was the panel for the coffee maker outlet. However, I do have a 120v wire in the area that, I think, was the coffee maker wire since I can't find anything it feeds. The wire can be seen in one of the photos in the first post.

It may go nowhere and simply be taped off at the end. I'll try to pull it out, but it may be trapped. I'll investigate the wiring schematics and if that is what it is, I'll use it for my new microwave. I may have to cut it off if it is trapped
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