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Old 02-28-2018, 10:16 AM   #1
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High Tech Gadgets?

I am an IT Project Manager so in my 1978 MCI Coach Conversion am going to HAVE to leverage some high tech gear somewhere...

Cameras on all 4 sides, Sirius Radio system, inside/outside radio, maybe a fold up TV stand or a pop up one...

What kind of cool tech have you guys used in your conversions? I need ideas...
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:25 AM   #2
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It's cool that you have maintained a solid hobby interest in tech gadgets.

I used to be a gadget freak. Then 30 years of IT it all turned into work. I am envious of people who have the ability to turn a hobby into a job and continue to enjoy it as a hobby.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:35 AM   #3
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my digital dash... and the J1939 protocol translation converter whuich gives me better transmission control.

IMG_2833.jpg

-Christopher
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
my digital dash... and the J1939 protocol translation converter whuich gives me better transmission control.

Attachment 19503

-Christopher
All that tech and you're using binder clips? I love the juxtaposition of high and low tech!
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:44 AM   #5
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WOW! Very Tech! --- Lots of info at a glance there pardner! And knowing your capabilities... I'm guessing it can do double duty as an Xbox or at the very least, satellite TV receiver with live radar weather coverage.

Excellent!
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:00 PM   #6
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WOW! Very Tech! --- Lots of info at a glance there pardner! And knowing your capabilities... I'm guessing it can do double duty as an Xbox or at the very least, satellite TV receiver with live radar weather coverage.

Excellent!
I have live weather radar on my GPS.
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:12 PM   #7
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I have live weather radar on my GPS.
I stick an ipad mini over on the left which has the cellular modem in it (doesnt have to be activated). so it has a GPS chip.. I use it for GPS and live radar.. the Weather underground app is awesome because you can create overlays of various types.. winds, temperatures, precip, etc...

-Christopher
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I stick an ipad mini over on the left which has the cellular modem in it (doesnt have to be activated). so it has a GPS chip.. I use it for GPS and live radar.. the Weather underground app is awesome because you can create overlays of various types.. winds, temperatures, precip, etc...

-Christopher
I may do similar with a spare Galaxy Tab I have. I set mine up on the GPS because it was for my motorcycle and there is limited space.

Same unit (Garmin Zumo 665) also has SiriusXM.

One advantage is that I do not need data reception for it all to work. It works everywhere.
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:28 PM   #9
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I may do similar with a spare Galaxy Tab I have. I set mine up on the GPS because it was for my motorcycle and there is limited space.

Same unit (Garmin Zumo 665) also has SiriusXM.

One advantage is that I do not need data reception for it all to work. It works everywhere.
with the right apps you dont need data reception for the ipad either.. obviously weather radar does.. your garmin may get its weather from SXM if you are subscribed to Travel-Link. . my trucker GPS is co-pilot Truck and it is an offline GPS.. I download the maps into it and it can run without data unless i want traffic live, which then I need to have a WiFi Hotspot turned on.. I think SXM travel link gets its traffic through satellite.. in general i like the Garmin. devices over some of the others ive had, since i always have data going anyway I started using my ipad mini.
-Christopher
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Old 02-28-2018, 03:25 PM   #10
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Oh sure...weather is easy for you techies. But I want to see a Grand Theft Auto overlay on my GPS!
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNWorBUST72 View Post
I am an IT Project Manager so in my 1978 MCI Coach Conversion am going to HAVE to leverage some high tech gear somewhere...

Cameras on all 4 sides, Sirius Radio system, inside/outside radio, maybe a fold up TV stand or a pop up one...

What kind of cool tech have you guys used in your conversions? I need ideas...
You're in IT and trying to poach ideas off of all the other guys, eh? Yeah, you're a manager.

It's a joke. It's just a joke.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:21 PM   #12
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I guess the days of sniffin the dirt are over
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
my digital dash... and the J1939 protocol translation converter whuich gives me better transmission control.

Attachment 19503

-Christopher



OK, how much is home-brew and how much is off-the shelf?? Do you have a build thread on that set up?? My inner geek is telling me I must have it!!
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:49 PM   #14
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I like the idea of the tablet
I知 going to build in a
10-12 inch tablet (a la with Data to use completely for GPS and smart home controls. On an all in one custom dashboard I値l create, the widgets shown include.
- Lithium Battery Charge Levels
- Solar Production
- Water tank levels
- Light and Blind Controls
- Music Controls Inside and Out
- And more
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:37 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TrailLifeBill View Post



OK, how much is home-brew and how much is off-the shelf?? Do you have a build thread on that set up?? My inner geek is telling me I must have it!!

its a mixture, the left Tablet is an Asus win 10 unit. it does OK but is real sensitive to its power supply in cold weather. im running the SilverLeaf electronics VMSpc J1708 device and the software they give you with it.. I did some of my own calculated gauges and also intercepted their data with a program of my own. but for most people the device itself would be just fine.

on the right is a Surface 3 Tablet running my EFIlive which is used for monitoring and orogramming the shift points / shift quaklity of the allison 1000 transmission. (theres a thread about me swapping in the transmission)..

behind the scenes is a raspberry Pi based device which translates engine data from the J1708 and J1939 porrts into a single J1939 stream fed to the transmission. the transmission uses this data for shifting / deiveability quality..

Planned and in the build / coding stages is another raspberry Pi with a 7 inch touchscreen that will be my "glass dash" so I can get rid of the ugly Bluebird switch panel.. (sorry I really dont dig the dash in the 1995 and newer bluebirds...).. im using some USB relay boards and custom software based on PHP / Python / QT.

I MAY add a 7" screen to the Pi thats doing my translations and ditch the left hand dash tablet in favor of a QT based display in the second spot on my left dash.. this would free up dashboard area for Air-Conditioning Vents.. (which I desperately need for hot summer)..

I need to update my thread and get some more of my Code up there for you guys to look at.. I just havent had as much time... ive been writing a lot of code that makes $$ lately so not as much time for the busses other than to drive them...
-Christopher
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Old 03-02-2018, 06:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rberriz View Post
I like the idea of the tablet
I知 going to build in a
10-12 inch tablet (a la with Data to use completely for GPS and smart home controls. On an all in one custom dashboard I値l create, the widgets shown include.
- Lithium Battery Charge Levels
- Solar Production
- Water tank levels
- Light and Blind Controls
- Music Controls Inside and Out
- And more
**THIS!!**. Love this.. yeah thats one area i really need to do something about is Music controls!! I listen to all my music right now from the ipad i use for GPS.. Ive got a nice amp, subs, and speakers to install. but I need to integrate better... am interested to see what you use for your front end master wrapper software to switch between tasks.. or are you going to write it?
-Christopher
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
**THIS!!**. Love this.. yeah thats one area i really need to do something about is Music controls!! I listen to all my music right now from the ipad i use for GPS.. Ive got a nice amp, subs, and speakers to install. but I need to integrate better... am interested to see what you use for your front end master wrapper software to switch between tasks.. or are you going to write it?
-Christopher


I was planning on writing myself.
If it works well, I値l share.
I知 a bit away from that point though.
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNWorBUST72 View Post
Cameras on all 4 sides, Sirius Radio system, inside/outside radio, maybe a fold up TV stand or a pop up one...

What kind of cool tech have you guys used in your conversions? I need ideas...
Awesome! An ever BETTER idea than outside speakers - a bluetooth link to a headset!!!

Yes... I admit it... being forced to wear ear plugs so I don't have to listen to the next guys idea of "music" or news or whatever is a bit annoying to me (yes, even when out boondocking).

Anyway.... lots of possibilities for high tech gadgetry. I've got an electric chain drive opener that I will soon be experimenting with for opening/closing my (top hinged) windows . If that works, it's easy to imagine a variety of manual and automatic controls for them. Same with the shades.

Some threads here discuss hydronic heating and some tech to control all that.

If you have air suspension, easy to imagine a tech solution to controlling valves to keep the coach level while parked.

I'm leaning towards (eventually) setting up a techie solution to detect when my lithium bank is 100% SOC and then diverting excess power to the water heater.

If you wanted to be REALLY techie - you could create an automatic food and water dispensing system for my cats! To date, the manual notification system (they start making noise and circling me) has worked but I suspect they would like to skip this step.
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:35 PM   #19
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Eventually I plan on installing a couple of these:


TOSR181 - 8 Channel Smartphone Bluetooth Relay - (Password/Momentary/Latching)

Then using a dedicated android tablet to initially control all the interior LED lighting.


Eventually add in other devices, I would like to add lights in the Luggage bays and possibly electric locks for the Bay doors, could also add Larger relays to turn on things like the hot water heater and fresh water pump.


I would wire the 12 volt LED interior lights in parallel between the toggle switch and the Bluetooth relay so either could control the light, if the tablet or relay board failed.


We have our home wired to turn most everything on and off verbally with our Amazon Echo, we had though to do the bus the same way only to find the Echo needs to have an internet connection and WIFI to work.

Peter
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:50 PM   #20
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OK, everyone here is breathlessly talking about the highest-tech ways of doing sometimes quite simple tasks (Rube Goldberg, you just can't imagine life now!). That's all well and good, but what's the Plan B for when, not if, electrons cease to flow. Do you have a simple backup to maintain at least the essential services? Too many systems I see here and on other forums have single points of potential critical failure, i.e. bottlenecks where one single failure could cascade to many other places. I think, and it's just my personal opinion, that redundancy always needs to be built in from the start. Aircraft have multiple systems for critical functions, so even a Cessna 152 has a simple magnetic standby compass in case the gyro compass goes tits up, not a good thing in a VFR aircraft. I'm a firm believer in KISS, or at least in Sods Law, or maybe I'm too much of a pessimist/realist. (Pessimists make the best engineers and mechanics because they assume everything eventually fails. You don't want an optimist designing an aircraft or a boat!) I recently even bought a second DDEC II engine computer to keep as a usable spare, because to me the ECM is a critical point of failure that will make me dead in the water if it doesn't work - there's no limp-home mode to keep the engine running without it. Heck, I would have a spare entire drivetrain with me if I could!

John

Maybe I should have a license plate surround that says "Entropy Rules, OK?".
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