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Old 08-10-2015, 11:41 AM   #161
Bus Crazy
 
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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, 01:07 PM   #162
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Great to know.

Thanks.

Nat
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:31 PM   #163
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Just Grin and Bear it.
That pun was almost Bearable.......
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:27 PM   #164
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How far are you two from the Soo? I'm over in Newberry, MI...
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:27 PM   #165
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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, 07:52 PM   #166
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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, 08:12 PM   #167
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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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, 04:22 PM   #168
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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(25C) value. Here's what we found out:



So I ordered a couple thermistors. Some with an R(25C) 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, 10:10 AM   #169
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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 0.5C 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, 12:16 AM   #170
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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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Old 01-07-2016, 09:35 AM   #171
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Nothing much done to the bus since my last post, but I figured I'd post photos of some of the other projects happening around the property.

These few pictures are from later this summer. The building of the bridge!

We had the cement mixer running off of the solar system. Pretty cool...


Slapped a shed together. It is built from the abundant supply of balsam fir growing all through the bush. It's not a bad wood for building, but it's a weed in a way. It grows quickly and is a bushy conifer, so it steals sunlight from other slower growing trees such as the maples and oaks. I have no problem re-purposing the fir as rough lumber.
Oh, anyone recognize those windows?




Here's Erin and our friend's dog George on the bridge after a crazy week of rain. The water is down a bit in this picture, but at one point you could dangle your feet in the water if sitting on the deck of the bridge.

Our pup, Willow:


I used a bunch of balsam fir to make a temporary deck. Eventually it will have smaller I-beams for cross members and a deck made of 2x6 rough-cut, but this gets us, the quad and building supplies across for now. All that balsam will become next winters firewood. Good place to season it, no?

A picture of the bus while standing on the river bank:


Our mouse catchers:
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:07 AM   #172
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Nice! Your pics remind me of REDD's.

I love the mouse-catchers
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:07 AM   #173
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I spy some bullet holes. No?
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:20 AM   #174
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And a couple appear to be pretty big bore. Niiicce.
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:34 AM   #175
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Some Bondo, a fresh coat of paint and she'll look good as new.......
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:15 AM   #176
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The cat house looks like a '68 Plymouth Valiant or Dodge Dart--am I right?
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:49 AM   #177
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Quote:
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I spy some bullet holes. No?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
And a couple appear to be pretty big bore. Niiicce.
Haha.. Yup. The bullet holes are from before the car become the kitty palace. There should be some small dents from a 10-gauge and I think the holes are courtesy of a .308. I only possess a .22 coyote scarer, but my brother and friends come over on occasion for target practice and the occasional spruce grouse, deer and/or rabbit hunt.

I also feel inclined to add that the buses name is simply "Armageddon". We're not actually doomsdayers, or end-of-worlders, or anything. We just happen to live in a bus down by the river and fire guns off on occasion. The more I upload pictures, the more crazy I think we look.. haha.. ah well
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:51 AM   #178
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The cat house looks like a '68 Plymouth Valiant or Dodge Dart--am I right?
Think so? We haven't been able to figure it out, actually. All of the emblems are missing and no labels are legible any more. I can see the outline of where a Dodge emblem was on the trunk, but that's all.
'68 Doge Dart? I'll take it! Thanks Trunt.
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:06 PM   #179
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my brother and friends come over on occasion for target practice and the occasional spruce grouse, deer and/or rabbit hunt.
If they are planning on hunting "grouse, deer and/or rabbit"...they need to be practicing on a target smaller than a '68 Dodge!
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:16 PM   #180
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Quote:
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If they are planning on hunting "grouse, deer and/or rabbit"...they need to be practicing on a target smaller than a '68 Dodge!
Actually, the other day a friend and I were driving down the road out front of our place and ran into a 'pack' of rabbits. I had never seen anything like it! There were probably 10 or 12 in a tight formation on the road. I could have closed my eyes and fired a shotgun anywhere in that general direction and came away with a few, or hit the accelerator We didn't have a bow or gun, so we hopped out and scared them away instead. They even took off like a pack...

Back to cars, I also found an engine graveyard with 3 Vauxhall inline 6s. There's an old frame lying nearby, which I'm assuming belongs to the vehicle that tore through each of those engines. Surprisingly, the chrome bumpers are still in decent shape. The best I can guess is that the frame belongs to one of these fellas:
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