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Old 08-10-2015, 12:41 PM   #161
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,223
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
I'm so going to come visit you one day.

Sound like your living my dream with the fishing, bears, and living in the woods.

Nat
Hey, everyone's welcome! If you're ever in the area then pull on in for a while! We can even accommodate a 40 footer if we take a couple more trees down at the entrance of the driveway. For long term stays all we ask for is a hand in the projects We actually have a couple friends who are seasonal forestry workers that take us up on that offer in the off-season. I'm really looking forward to them coming home for the extra hands
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:07 PM   #162
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
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Year: 1992
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Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Great to know.

Thanks.

Nat
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Old 08-10-2015, 03:31 PM   #163
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Katy, TX
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Year: 1989
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Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mokibrabrant View Post
Just Grin and Bear it.
That pun was almost Bearable.......
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:27 PM   #164
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Newberry, MI
Posts: 17
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Bluebird
Rated Cap: 12
How far are you two from the Soo? I'm over in Newberry, MI...
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:27 PM   #165
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,223
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
Hi Mike! Not far. We're 15 minutes outside of Soo, Ontario. So what's that? 2.5 hours from Newberry or so?
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:52 PM   #166
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Newberry, MI
Posts: 17
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Bluebird
Rated Cap: 12
I'm about an hour from the Soo (US side) so we are fairly close. I'm in the middle of a shop build right now so can't run that way for a while. I'm trying to beat the snow but my trusses should be here in about a week. Last year I had to shovel the roof on the furnace room so I could shingle it. Not fun! I'll let you know if I can find a break in the action and maybe we can work out a visit. Are you guys heading south for the Winter again?
I've barely started on my bus project but I am learning a lot from all of the people on here!
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:12 PM   #167
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,223
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
We're in a similar boat! We're trying desperately to wrap up some outdoor projects before the snow flies. Happily, the weather right now is amazing for doing outdoor work. I'm loving it.

We'd like to get away for a chunk of February, but haven't made any plans yet. If we go somewhere for any extended amount of time we may try doing a HelpX style vacation. Doing that would allow us to keep costs down and settle in for weeks at a time instead of being always on the road. 10,000km last winter was a bit much

I'm looking forward to seeing what you'll do with that bus! It's a nice looking unit.
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:22 PM   #168
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
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Year: 1997
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Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
I finally got around to the job of adding a remote temperature sensor to the Tracer 4210rn 40 amp MPPT charge controller. It didn't all work out as planned, but in the end it'll be worth it.



^ Here we have a picture of the Tracer 4210rn. As you can, it has a front mounted temperature sensor. This would work acceptably if the charge controller were located next to the batteries. This is not the case for mine.

To open the cover on the charge controller, 8 little screws need to be removed; 4 on one end and 4 on the other. The cover easily pulls off.

Now the thermistor is exposed (temperature sensor). It looks like a small, dark LED to the right of the actual LEDs. Hhere is where I had a problem. The thermistor sits on top of a little black pedestal. The leads for the thermistor are about 1/2" long, but they go through the pedestal. I tried to crush and break the black pedestal off, but ended up damaging the thermistor as well. Oops! Whatever.. moving on.

With the thermistor damaged I had no problem cutting the leads near the top and removing both the thermistor and the pedestal. After doing so there were two nice little leads to solder a length of wire to. This was trivial. Don't forget the heat shrink!

After that was all done up I grabbed the hot glue gun and secured the leads and wires to the circuit board so I don't accidentally break the leads. After that I made a knot in the wires (with some hot glue to hold it together); drilled a hole in the side of the cover; pulled the wires through; tested the continuity of the wires; and screwed the cover back on. Now it looks like this:



Ok, so I now have reasonably long leads. What should I put on the end? To determine this took some probing.

My brother and I grabbed a multimeter and a high-accuracy potentiometer. We set resistance values and watched the temperature value on the charge controller's display. We then used a really nice Steinhart-Hart thermistor calculator at SRS Thermistor Calculator to determine the R(25°C) value. Here's what we found out:



So I ordered a couple thermistors. Some with an R(25°C) rating of 47KΩ and some at 50KΩ. I was hoping for one at 40KΩ or 43KΩ, but could only find them in bulk packaging (500 minimum order). I'm sure one of the ones I ordered will be acceptable.

Once they arrive I will adhere the most accurate one to a plate of aluminium with thermal glue and secure it to the side of the battery for a good temperature reading. What fun!
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:10 AM   #169
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,223
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
Alright! The thermistors came in! I tried the 50kΩ thermistor first and it seemed to do the job. I tested the temperature readings by temporarily connecting the thermistor to the charge controller then placed a thermometer next to the thermistor and compared the readings. They were correct within ±0.5°C so I went with it.



^ Here it is. I got them off of eBay. A 5 pack went for $3.59
- Model No: 3950
- Resistance: 50KΩ
- Tolerance: 5%

I then used Arctic Alumina ceramic thermal compound to glue the thermistor to a piece of aluminium then used the same stuff to glue the aluminium to the side of one of the batteries.



I also wired a 3MΩ high-accuracy potentiometer inline with the temperature sensor so that I can force equalization if I want. This works by tricking the charge controller into thinking the batteries are colder than they are, which will in turn increase the charge voltage. Supposedly these charge controllers have an equalization stage that occurs once every 30 days, but I've yet to see it operating in that mode and the documentation doesn't describe a means of forcing it, so this 50 cent fix will do the job.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:16 AM   #170
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Oregon
Posts: 45
Year: 1978
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: IH Loadstar 1600
Engine: 345 v8
Cheers to showing your awesome build. Much appreciated! Looks like you guys have an awesome setup out there off the path.
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