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Old 03-28-2019, 10:33 PM   #101
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 483
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Pretty cool!
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Old 03-29-2019, 05:59 AM   #102
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 11,243
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I somehow got behind on this thread... LOVE the ROY grille and the location tracker.. I built a tracker for my bus with a Raspberry Pi and a USB GPS.. I still. need to buikd a website for it that I can password protect.. I have mine batch all the data in the Pi and it is super small data so it can easily uplinked to a server using server / client cert secure comms and stuffed into a MySQL DB.. I worked on snagging the J1708 data stream so I could have engine conditions, etc as part of it.. now im learning how to snag the proprietary Navistar parameters out of the computers.. (and there is a lot of them). I wanted it open so people could track my progress but then thought friggin axe murderers might come after me so I need to build a website that has user logins and times them out.. so my friends can see me but not everyone can unless i want them to..



I dig this stuff!! Love to see how yours turns out in the end because it is really cool!!



-Christopher
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:49 PM   #103
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 215
Year: 1997
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Vista 3600
Engine: DT466E / AT545
Rated Cap: 72
Back To A New Home!

So the bus has been in the shop for nearly a month now, but finally after a long hiatus it's back out of the shop with a new air brake compressor and dead battery.


To top it off, no more parking on a dead end of a street (which has digressed into neighbor & trucker arguments/fights/tows)!


I have an actual yard and shop to work on it now, and best of all it's a short walk out my side door instead of a short drive out of my neighborhood, which honestly did put a damper on things when it rained or was bad outside. Now I have a small garage to store my tools, and most importantly 110VAC outlets! No more battery powered tools (although thank you Harbor Freight for your cheap tools).




New Plans (?)




So, new plans for the bus. Originally I was going to take it on short road trips in the east coast with only a couple days boondocking capability. This was originally going to be with family that was unable to drive themselves, however medical issues have caused them to not be able to travel anymore at all (although this is largely their own decision, not by a medical professional).


This widens the possibilities for the bus, and likely means I'll be looking at a compatible transmission swap cost and weigh it against buying a slightly better bus with the same engine (DT466), better transmission, and high top at a dealership (hard to weigh estimates for potential repairs that might not be needed or may be underestimates).


Despite the flaws in design, I do love the Vista. To be honest we've had downpours over the last month, and the old bustard hasn't leaked a bit (Vistas were known for leaking apparently). And it's nothing like the buses in our small rural town, so it stands out. I've been toying with the idea of using it as a mobile office/business for IT/Security Systems, although the implementation of it's use is a bit vague (I'm guessing equipment storage, but can't use it as a workshop).


Idea is to keep the Vista for local business and buy another bus for travels. Keep the 545 slip-o-matic happy doing it's intended job of local stop-and-go driving on surface roads. Buy an activity bus for traveling OTR.




Plans


New Bus! Well, not quite yet. If I'm going to build a second bus for traveling long distances, you can be certain I'm going to use what I already have for a testbed. Assuming I actually keep this bus and use it for a mobile business/storage, that won't be for quite a while. End of the year will be the start of contemplating transmission swap vs. new bus vs. two buses.


So, in the meantime plans for the bus are still very much the RV continuation. Plumbing, HVAC, and all the other amenities. If I end up converting to mobile office I just need to remove the plumbing and furnishings, everything else stays.


Upcoming plans after I finish moving into the new house is to get basic furniture and seating in the front section, and go on a test vacation 2-4 hours away and back. Staying at a hotel, just doing long distance driving to see what else needs fixing (or just enjoy it if nothing breaks).


Also got some touch up painting to do, although I'm still wanting to do something over the white that's a bit.....less boring. Barring another paintjob/touch up, I was thinking something Star Wars / Stormtrooper themed.


Hardware - I'm going to be looking at the power system next, and trying to get at least a few house batteries in the thing. I've gotten a few people suggesting using 6v batteries and 24v inverters for safety reasons, although I'd like a bit of input from anyone here that knows about it. Originally I was just wiring 12v batteries in parallel, but am looking at 6v banks in series wired for 12v in parallel banks. I know 24v is more efficient, but I wasn't sure if it's safer than using 12v inverters. Either way, most equipment I can find will support 110VAC (home) or 12VDC (auto), but few have adapters for 24VDC.


Curious if anyone has any input for this and possible solutions.



---------------------------



Well, I think that's about it. Not much done on it and got a move coming up, but I have it back and things are back on track.



EDIT: Wanted to add I chose this wonderful little home with a large back yard - but forgot to make measurements between the many, many trees placed in the perfect places to make turning around difficult. Going to have to figure out how to not mess up the yard turning around, as backing in isn't an option until the night-time.

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Old 05-14-2019, 12:41 AM   #104
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 483
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Looks like your bus is happy in the new home.


Man, you have the fever!
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:20 AM   #105
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 42
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 (3904 RE)
Engine: Cummins 8.3TA
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by geminusprime View Post
Hardware - I'm going to be looking at the power system next, and trying to get at least a few house batteries in the thing. I've gotten a few people suggesting using 6v batteries and 24v inverters for safety reasons, although I'd like a bit of input from anyone here that knows about it. Originally I was just wiring 12v batteries in parallel, but am looking at 6v banks in series wired for 12v in parallel banks. I know 24v is more efficient, but I wasn't sure if it's safer than using 12v inverters. Either way, most equipment I can find will support 110VAC (home) or 12VDC (auto), but few have adapters for 24VDC.
12v and 24v are basically the same safety-wise. 24v can handle more power, 12v is easier to find things for. If you need the power and go 24v, you can find 24v-to-12v converters pretty cheap. I've found 240 watt units for less than $20. That's what I'll be doing, as I need as much power as I can get and am planning a sizable solar array.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:06 AM   #106
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 11,243
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I love this bus!!! 3600 Vista's are just quirky enough to be cool as hell
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