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Old 09-08-2022, 08:09 PM   #81
Rivet Master
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 606
Amplifier & Backup Camera

I finally got our camera installed but it wasnít by me for a change. Like I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I really dislike doing car audio work and only installed our speakers as our installer was too busy.

We were able to connect and he installed our Alpine KTA-450 amplifier that I previously purchased with the speakers and added a Sprinter camera that is housed in the back taillight. He used the existing camera wire and wired it straight to the taillight so he didnít have to mess with the AM Solar combiner box. I just need to remove the old one when I wire up Starlink.

The camera is now tied to our Alpine Halo 11. It turns on when we put it into reverse or I can just tap on the screen to view it when driving. We got that old screen off the the mirror up front which was always in the way. Overall, weíre pleased with it and saved me some time. Better yet, now we have some nice sounding music upfront when driving for a change.

Next stop is getting Starlink setup. I got confirmation on shipping and it should be here on either Monday or Tuesday. All the additional parts have been trickling in too so I should be good to go.
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Old 09-16-2022, 09:45 PM   #82
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Surge Guard Display Panel

Well I finally got around to this since I had to run some additional wires again for some 12v wiring and the Starlink installation. I’ve had this for a while and initially was going to install this up front in the locker area but it’s just plain ugly. I can already get some of this info from our Victron GX monitor but unable to get the the detailed faults if there is ever an issue with power coming into the rig.

Of course there is always a mod to to mod and I had to rig this darn thing to fit in the storage bin above the the locker next to the bathroom. Install wasn’t bad and very easy as I had everything torn apart already. However, I had to modify the backing to allow the the cable to fit. Overall easy job but this thing is just plain ugly and glad that is it’s hidden in one of the storage bins.

I’ve been working on the wiring for the Starlink installation and should have that done in a few days.
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Old 09-17-2022, 08:30 PM   #83
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Starlink Prep Work

I’m in the process of setting up the Starlink connection to the roof but it all starts from within the AI. I started to run a CAT 6B cable from the front upper bay area above the drivers seat where our Pepwave router is all the way back to the back upper storage area and out to the roof. Since I had to remove the refrigerator yet again for this and pull back half of the reflective insulation, I decided to run an additional CAT 6A cable just in case I need it in the future which I’m sure that I will at some point. I also had to run new 12V wires for the Powerstream that will power the suppressor that will be wired to the our Pepwave router. Yeah, if sounds like a PITA - it was.

While at it, I decided to install two new fans with a thermostat to cool down the Pepwave router which runs extremely hot and I don’t want to have to replace this pricey router. I ended up splitting the new wire to power the the Powerstream and the fan. I tied it to a new 12v fuse box that I added as well. Since I needed space, I ended up replacing the solar cutoff switch with a smaller one to allow space for the new 12v fuse box.

I installed the Powerstream and suppressor up front next to the Pepwave router. The flow is like this: CAT 6B cable from the the Pepwave router to the suppressor, from the suppressor, a CAT 6B cable to the roof AM Solar combiner box and from the combiner box to a splitter and then to the the Starlink dishy. The Powerstream will power the suppressor.

My next project is to remove the existing AM Solar combiner box and replace it with a new one that will accommodate the new ethernet port connection to the Starlink dishy. Right now I have ran the two CAT 6 cables to the back of the bathroom sink. I’m just going to follow the path that I took for the solar cables up to the roof. It will just will be tedious and time consuming but I’m trying to get this all done before our big trip out west. On a positive note, I was able to get a new TMobile SIM card/plan and now the Pepwave router has a Verizon, TMobile and Starlink connection. However, I'm still debating wether we should add AT&T as well for a just "in case."
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Old 09-18-2022, 07:14 PM   #84
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Starlink Prep Work

Yesterday I left off with the cable runs up to the back of the bathroom sink area. From there, I usually run the wires through underneath the side jump seat through the water heater area and up the channel to the upper storage bin. This time I decided to go a different route as there are too many wires and cables under the jump seat already and went through the back side of the mouse hair panel and under the back window. There is plenty of clean runway back there. I checked it with a flashlight and all you have is insulation and flat area so nothing will caught or rub. I ran the cables back there and back to the plastic channel.

I grabbed my fish tape and ran it up the channel into the upper storage area and taped one cable at a time to the fish tape and ran it up the channel until I was able to grab it. I did this with the other one and I had both cables up in the storage area.
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Old 09-18-2022, 07:17 PM   #85
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I thought of starting the work on the new AM Solar combiner box today and glad that I didnít because we had a nice rain shower. Instead I did some work on the combiner box by cutting out the knock outs and installing the RJ45 connection. I also cut the Starlink cable and added the RJ45 connector to it and tested it everything out. I was able to connect to the Starlink internet albeit not at the speeds that I would like but it was very doable. Got around 60-80 down and below 10 up.

Since I had the area opened up and the awning sensor adjustment controller exposed, I dialed it up to 9 which is the least sensitive setting. I want to thank Rig Rat as I reached out to him regarding this adjustment. I read in one of the threads that he had done this. I couldnít find my manual and think that I mustíve thrown it away by mistake the last time that I had to do some exterior adjustment to the awning.

Next stop is the roof work.
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Old 09-27-2022, 07:26 PM   #86
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Starlink Connection

Well, Iím getting close and trying to get this finished up before our trip out West this week. I havenít been able to do any of the roof work as its been raining almost every day and unable to get at least two straight days without rain until today. Thatís fine as I really needed a break from this anyway.

I ended up also running a an additional CAT 5e cable for the Starlink as I initially though that I did but they were CAT 6 and 6a. Probably wouldíve worked but I wanted to make sure that the Starlink cables and connections were all CAT 5e as thatís what the original cable is. I ended pulling out the refrigerator again to run this additional cable. So now I have a CAT 5e & Cat 6b going up to the roof and I left a CAT 6a under the locker just in case I need it for something down the road.

I pulled out the old AM Solar combiner box out and had a hell of a time cleaning up all the old SikaFlex off. I used some 99.9 alcohol and a heat heat gun and did a decent job at it and cleaned it off pretty good. I installed the new AM Solar combiner box but before I applied a bead of some Black SikaFlex underneath and around the base after I installed it and let it dry for for a few hours until it was dry to the touch.

Next, I installed a rubber grommet and pulled through the two ethernet cables and solar panel wires and then filled that entry way with more SikaFlex for a weatherproof seal. I also ran all the solar panel wires into the combiner box along with the new ethernet connection and was good to go. I pulled off the covers to the solar panels and turned the solar panel cutoff switch back on was back in business. I know this sounds like it was a fairly quick process but I started around 8am and finished right around 4:30 PM.
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Old 09-27-2022, 07:28 PM   #87
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I then grabbed my drill, drank some Bourbon and started to drill into the Starlink dishy. Pretty easy and fast process overall. I ended up using the drill bit provided with the mount and new rubber grommet. I had to put the Starlink into to bypass mode and then into stow mode in order for it to come back down and fit into the flat mount. Finally, I unplugged the motor.

I tested the Starlink through the new Suppressor POE and Powermax 12v DC power connection and was good to go. I had to modify the flat mount base as one of the foot legs landed right on the raised ridge of the roof line. I just used a different hole and was able to mount and level it just right. Iím going to add some 3M VHB tape and some Eternal Bond tape to the base and install it. Hopefully thatíll be tomorrowís project. I ended up re-installing the legs to the mount as I want to make sure that everything works fine before I cut the pole mount down shorter. If after the trip there are no issues, I will cut it down and remove the legs to the mount.

I also redid the the Pepwave router area. I ended up removing the old thermostat as it kept the fan blowing at low speeds even after it hit the temperature target and I didnít want this. I looked and found a decent one but the only draw back is that itís in Celsius and I had to covert it. Other than that it turns on and off at the the right temp settings that I have it programmed to.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QZ5VRYC...t_details&th=1

It came with two so I might just end up installing the other one next to the Victron Multiplus 3000. I just havenít found a decent place to install it that will actually help cool the damn thing down as itís a shroud of metal. Iím all ears if you have recommendation.
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Old 09-29-2022, 06:34 PM   #88
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Starlink Dishy

I finally was able to get this wrapped up today and working. I put some 3M VHB tape on the three leg bases of the mount. I placed the dishy in the base mount and screwed on the top portion of the base. It was a pretty easy install.

The total height with the dishy mounted is 7Ē high and where I installed it on the awning side is about 3Ē higher than the top of the awning. Once we return from our trip and if I have no issues with this setup, I plan on cutting down the dishy mount pole even lower so that I can remove the legs off the mount and that will drop it down below the awning and out of side view.

I placed the dishy down with the 3M VHB tape and I also applied some EternaBond tape across the top of the bases. I did prep the area and made sure that it was clean as this is key when adhering this tape. Iíve had our four solar panels on now for about 3 years with the same setup of VHB tape and EternaBond tape with no issues. Every so often I check to make sure that everything is still secured and all is been good.

I ran the cable to the new Ethernet port connection off the solar combiner box and zip tied the cable to the existing solar panel wire run.

I powered up the POE suppressor and and Starlink powered up without any issues. Elon Muskís router deleted!
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Old 09-29-2022, 06:36 PM   #89
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Starlink Dishy

Our Pepwave router now has Starlink, WI-FI, Verizon or T-Mobile to choose from. This Pepwave router is a really nice addition. The router manages everything flawlessly and seamlessly without us having to tell it what to do after the initial setup.

So now we donít need to fuss around with running cables and mounting the dishy to setup Starlink or having to store it when not in use. Whenever we want to use it, we just plug in the 12v connection and power it up.

Overall the hardest part was running the cables up to the roof. The suppressor and DC converter installation was not very hard to do at all. One thing that I learned the hard way is to make sure your RJ45 connections are solid after you cut the dishy cable or you will run into issues.

I did order and extra 75í cable to have just in case and will bring the Starlink router along on this trip just in case I run into any trouble.

Lastly, a big thank you to Ephraim again for posting his detailed install on YouTube of the POE suppressor and DC converter and helping me do some troubleshooting.

In one of the pics it looks like the mount is over the solar panel but itís not just the angle of the picture.
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Old 09-30-2022, 04:39 AM   #90
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Height:
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Old 10-01-2022, 07:10 PM   #91
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Nice work…. Where do you usually camp? Will the fly always dishy give you a good signal? In the short time I have been using the dish in Colorado it’s always tilted and not flat? Just curious…
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Old 10-06-2022, 09:58 PM   #92
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Nice work…. Where do you usually camp? Will the fly always dishy give you a good signal? In the short time I have been using the dish in Colorado it’s always tilted and not flat? Just curious…
Thx. I really don’t know for sure. We camp all over the place and got Starlink for those out of the way no cell service locations. So far on our trip out west, we have been getting consistent service at all of the overnight locations so it doesn't appear to be affecting the signal.
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Old 10-13-2022, 11:10 AM   #93
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Our next upgrade will be to swap in a stainless Smart Plug shore power inlet for the stainless-covered conventional twist-lock inlet that came with our van. It seems a good idea to make this switch. Is that something other folks have already been doing, and if so are there any things we should watch for when we attempt this?
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Old 10-13-2022, 01:44 PM   #94
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Our next upgrade will be to swap in a stainless Smart Plug shore power inlet for the stainless-covered conventional twist-lock inlet that came with our van. It seems a good idea to make this switch. Is that something other folks have already been doing, and if so are there any things we should watch for when we attempt this?

Rocinante,

This one is a pretty easy upgrade. We did it as I got tired of cross threading the old plug and the old style plug generates more heat. Other benefits include a better locking system, weatherproof and runs a lot cooler as it’s a better connection.

I installed it during our lithium upgrade so I ended replacing the old plug and old electrical wire with a new beefier 10/3 wire all the way to the transfer switch.

You won’t have to do this and the side connection to the van is pretty easy and all the old screw holes line up perfectly.

The new connection to the plug is a bit tougher as you have to pull through a rubber boot that’s a PIA to pull through so use some soapy water. This is the only hard part of the install.

I bought the plug and outlet separately from Amazon but you can buy the kit as a set from most boating supply stores. I liked this one as it has a nice stainless steel cover. I also ended up making a plug for a 15/20 amp connection that I have used on many occasions when moochdocking at relatives or friends driveways.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0055NKGAQ...p_mob_ap_share

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MEJ7VW...p_mob_ap_share

Attached are some videos on install and benefits of the SmartPlug.







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Old 10-13-2022, 02:15 PM   #95
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Thanks! We bought the Smart Plug socket and the cord from TechnoRV, as separate items not a full kit. I think we already have a dog bone adapter that will allow us to plug the new cord into a 15-amp outlet, should the need arise. If we don't, I'll create the one you pictured above.

Given we had our RV's entire electrical system professionally upgraded two years ago, including feeding shore power into a Victron 3kW inverter / charger, we expect that our wiring from the shore power inlet to that unit should be good to go. Thanks for the soapy water idea for pulling and pushing the shore power wiring through that rubber boot! Hopefully this will be, as you noted, a relatively easy upgrade to complete. We're sick and tired of the twist-lock 30-amp connection on our van. It works, sure, but it's always a pain in the neck, especially when connecting after dark or just fiddling with the screw-down collar that never wants to thread correctly. This upgrade will eliminate all that, though at the end we'll have a perfectly good conventional 30-amp power cord and 30-amp shore power inlet - maybe we can drop them on the "free pile" at a future camping community event, or donate them to a volunteer camp host in case one of their future campers finds themselves in a jam!
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Old 10-13-2022, 05:54 PM   #96
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maybe we can drop them on the "free pile" at a future camping community event, or donate them to a volunteer camp host in case one of their future campers finds themselves in a jam!
Funny you mention this as I have a pile of Airstream Interstate functioning parts after all the upgrades that weíve done. I donít throw them away as I think someone will be asking for a part that they need. Maybe we should start a thread on ďfree parts just pay for shippingĒ to help out fellow AI owners..
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Old 10-15-2022, 01:34 PM   #97
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Done and tested!
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Old 10-19-2022, 02:09 PM   #98
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Bluetooth SeeLevelI Bluetooth

We replaced our Garnet SeeLevelI with the newer SeeLevelI 709-BTP3 MO which has bluetooth, a pump switch and common alarm. I replaced it for a couple of reasons - one was because it would be nice to able to know when your fresh water tank is pretty close to full when filling but the main reason is because I’m going to be adding a remote switch for our macerator pump and since this one has a pump switch, I’ll be tying into it for the switch. Since the pump switch on the SeeLevelI monitor is only rated for 7.5 amps, I will need to add a relay to it per the instructions.

The install was very easy for me as I already did the hard part prior when I installed the regular SeeLevell. You can find the install back on post #4 on this thread. I just had to cut the old wires and reconnect them. I’m going to attach a cheat sheet on what the wires are that come from the wiring harness.

I’m also going to take advantage of the common alarm function and add a light that will come on when either the tanks are full, empty etc. The white wire is for the pump switch and the orange one is for the common alarm.
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Old 10-19-2022, 02:16 PM   #99
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Done and tested!
Attachment 424104
Nice! It looks better and overall a better connection too.
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Old 10-21-2022, 03:39 PM   #100
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I came across this video on the SeeLevel II install on a 2017 AIGT. I did not follow this video on my install but it's pretty spot on. I found it as I'm doing some research on where where the easiest place to install a relay for the macerator switch would be. He did not install his pump switch or alarm either.

Overall this mod is easy to do as you can see in the video. I cut my wires in front of the wiring harness as apposed to him that did in back of the harness and both ways will work fine and just preference. I like that I can pull mine out easily for troubleshooting if need be. I also cut my sensor strip for the blank and fit fine and not sure why he wasn't able to use the supplied one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=duOZp607Rh4
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