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Old 10-03-2014, 05:21 PM   #21
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Re: Got electrical questions? I have answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveLind
Helping a friend with the electrical on a Aerotech shuttle bus. I can usually figure out most thing with electrical systems, ie... Wiring, switches, etc... I plan on using a 12 volt dc and 110 volt ac prebuilt panel, 30 amp. I have yet to look at the fuse box for the shuttle, but I'm assuming nothing will work with out the key in the ignition. So any circuit I use (existing lights) I will remove the breaker and disconnect the feed wire then hook into the new system, going through the new panel. Couple if questions. I've been looking at surge protectors which seem really expensive. Is there anything out there that is reasonably priced and resettable? (Under seventy five dollars). Is there any way to make my own with off the shelf breakers? I'm not using gfci breakers but instead gfci outlets. It's the cost issue. Thanks, and this is a great forum.
I dont exactly understand if you are talking about the 110v breaker panel, or the 12v vehicle fusebox when you refer to the ignition key. I will answer best I can.

There is a bit of a difference between the devices people usually refer to as surge protectors...
The breakers in the 110v panel protect from overcurrent. That is, if a device draws too much power from the circuit (usually because something went wrong) the breaker shuts off to prevent the wiring from catching fire, or the malfunctioning device catching fire. In a sense, it is a current surge protector.

GFCI is to prevent from the device shocking people. In an AC system, there's 3 lines (as most may know) Live, Neutral, and Ground. Ground is literally attached to the ground (or the bus frame in your case). When working properly, all power that flows from the Live line should flow back in through Neutral. If someone standing in the bus touches the Live line, or if water touches it, or if it touches the bus frame, some power will not flow back through neutral, and the GFCI detects this and shuts off.

An actual surge protector is really a voltage surge protector. It's job is to kill the circuit if the voltage gets too high. A voltage surge can be caused by a malfunctioning utility transformer, or a lightning strike. Most surge protectors are meant to short-circuit when the voltage gets to high, thereby destroying themselves in a valiant sacrifice for the good of every electronic device plugged into a wall at your house. They are not resettable, but their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

So no, you cannot make a surge protector with breakers, GFCI, or otherwise. They are apples and oranges.

In a bus, you wont have to worry much about utility transformer failure if you are operating off the grid. Similarly, lightning strikes are not a big deal (surge protectors really only protect if lightning hits the power lines). Unless you are lightning-prone, and plugging in expensive electronics, I wouldnt worry much about surge protectors. GFCI is, in my opinion, more of a luxury on a 110v system. It will save you from getting a nasty (but non-lethal) shock if your wires get messed up, or if you spill water on an outlet. Having breakers is far most important but that's obvious to most. If you still want voltage surge protection, try looking for "MOV surge suppressors". They will burn out over time from small surges, or all at once with a lightning strike, but they are pretty cheap to replace.
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Old 10-03-2014, 05:32 PM   #22
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Re: Got electrical questions? I have answers!

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Originally Posted by pictureLOVE
I was realllly excited to find this thread... According to the mechanic who worked on it, our bus (apparently) had its electrical mangled by the previous owner. I completely lack the vocabulary to name the parts - would it be OK to just post a picture?
Sorry, but a picture of mangled wires probably wouldnt help much (give it a try anyway though!) I've dealt with similar problems before. I'm fixing a fishing boat now. The wiring is a rats nest, and it's not even worth trying to sort it out. In my experience, it's usually far easier to redo the wiring entirely. If that sounds like a big job, it's because it is. The key is to sort out which wires are the essential ones, and which are for random crap like indicators, and dashboard lights. The wiring in my boat is still a rats nest, but it runs and drives. Only three wires to the engine. One cranks it, one kills it, one sends power back from the alternator. Once you start there, you can either figure out the rest of the wires, or redo them entirely, but it's not as daunting a challenge when you can at least drive, and have done some process of elimination.
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Old 10-04-2014, 08:25 AM   #23
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Re: Got electrical questions? I have answers!

Does anyone have GOOD wiring for dummies diagrams of how to wire a schoolbus? It would be nice to find clear wiring diagrams you could lay on top of each other with diff colors that had different systems, shore power, batts, solar, dual alts, generator etc.

I have a basic idea of how things work but it would be nice to have visual confirmation and also WHERE in the system things go.

I know I'd buy one.......anyone?
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:55 AM   #24
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Re: Got electrical questions? I have answers!

Hi Ponyracer, I could use one of these too.
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:02 PM   #25
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Switch Question

Hey there,
I am re-wiring the rear heater in my bus, and I am curious if you know about the types of switches used. This one is a three part switch (OFF, LOW and HIGH), and on the back I'm guessing there is a positive, negative and ground connection. I know which one the ground is, but I am not sure which is positive and which is negative. Heres a picture, do you know if the side labeled "RED" is the positive side? The middle is the ground.
Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2015, 04:22 AM   #26
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If it is off/lo/hi
And only 3wire
None are grounds, with switch off 1lead will be hot, flip to lo and 2will be hot, and switch to hi 2will be hot

One will be hot all the time, this is power in

Check with multi meter

My .02

Curious what else is fed with switch, there are 2leads with 2wires each
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:57 AM   #27
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Well the middle black wire comes from each of the 8 switches and goes to the top part of the fuse box. They aren't connected to anything, it looks like a ground, I will take a picture tomorrow. The other two wires (Left and right in the picture) go to each side of the switch on the heater (I assume positive and negative). But even the switches that are only a 2 part (ON/OFF), still have that black wire (middle) going to what I assume is a ground.
Not going to lie, I know nothing about electric, so I am not sure if there is a positive and negative side to the heater or not.
Let me know what you think
Thanks
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:41 AM   #28
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I don't know, a multi-meter would

for a fan to have two speeds you need a resistor, high would bypass resistor 12V and low would use the resistor to change voltage say 8V= 2 speeds

so resistor is either built into switches or at fan

the 2 wires on each terminal is odd, where do they go?
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:02 PM   #29
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Thats a different switch, the heather is on the opposite side, just couldn't get my camera in there. Its the same exact switch and only has one wire coming off each terminal. Like I said the middle wire goes to what i assume is a ground, and the end terminals each go to the heater.

This is the actual switch, the blue wires each go to the heater and the middle black wire goes to...

Heres where the black wires go from each of the switches. Looking at it yesterday, I figured they were grounds, but it looks like something different. The black wires from the middle terminal all go to the top row there...
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:40 PM   #30
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Nice to have you here on the boards, welcome.

I'm an electrician myself, but almost all my experience is in 120-277v ac wiring. I like to help where I can, but nice to have someone more knowledgeable than I around to provide definitive answers.
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