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Old 08-17-2022, 05:43 PM   #201
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Pleased to hear a good outcome

I hope the rest of your journeys go as well or better.

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Old 08-17-2022, 07:23 PM   #202
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Glad to see you've got it moving Johan!
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Old 08-18-2022, 09:09 AM   #203
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Thank you all for the good vibes. Hoping on continuing good fortune myself..Putzing on more " refinements"
Today , we planned another short trip to bald eagle state park. The only noticable change are more cleanup and lithium iron fosfate battery to see how the solar is doing with that.
I build these 12 volt units in stainless case. Insulated from wall and each other if course.. then I used flexible welding cable to connect the cell to minimize terminal stress.. the 19pin amph nil connector has future use as additional charge and low power takeoff. The individual cell voltage will be connected thru these pins as well.

Disconnect will be thru Anderson 175amp connectors.

I am not impressed with the bms systems that are available.. hands of and out of sight also means people forget and do not notice anymore what is going on with their stuff... I like fool proof oil level dipsticks...with electronic backup.

In the one battery case you can see orange wires .. an experiment with cell warmers... The thinner inter cell connect wire is being replaced with a 150amp blade fuse with a flex wire to guard against mechanical stress on terminals and fuse

The cells are 272ah lishen, the temporary screw terminals have to be modified with stainless studs.

System is designed for 50amp load.

Johan
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Old 08-19-2022, 07:06 AM   #204
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We made it to the lake with no problems.
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Old 08-20-2022, 04:21 PM   #205
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We made it back without a hitch, amazing.

Returning home I found a nos class1 es-key pdm8 multiplex modules I ordered from eBay... I was lucky again.. set it on the correct address and my multiplex alarm light and fault diagnosis went away..

The broken one had been doused in mouse pea and it had penetrated the enclosure thru the LED light. The damage seems superficial and I cleaned it up but no cigar..

Anybody on this forum has experience with this specific class1 es-key brand??? I would like to get some instruction how to copy the program of the usm module. Class1 es-key is used often in fire fighting equipment and emergency vehicles....please contact me..

Johan
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Old 08-27-2022, 06:41 PM   #206
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Red face

Well I was pretty darn fortunate on class1 es-key problem. The suspected broken module was available at eBay, cheap enough to take a chance.

After it arrived I opened it up and set a rotary hex switch at the same number as the old one......it worked... Most of my happiness went to the fact that the error message went away. At least I will be alerted if something else shows up.

So this weekend we took Dory out again for another camping trip to bald eagle state park..more experiences ..and my list with things to do on Dory is growing.
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Old 08-27-2022, 07:13 PM   #207
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Johan, you're getting us inspired to get the bus up and running again after being in dry dock for the past year and a half. We'd planned on building a smaller, more nimble, gypsy vardo wagon (and we still plan to) but taking the old bus out west again sounds like a blast. Its great to see Dory running on the road again.
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Old 08-28-2022, 11:25 AM   #208
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Question

Hi Drew, good to hear from you, checked your site to see where you were but could not find your location.
Hope you folks will. It is nice to "forget" about all the other things you have to or think you have to do at home.

We are trying to get ready for this winter.. couple of months in the SW and then back thru the PNW.

Wondering if skoolie palooza will be still exciting around quartzite.

Anyhow trying to have some quality relax time here in bald eagle state park.

Maybe we can run into each other at some location but maybe our business with two kids and two dogs would be more then you would wish for.

Johan
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Old 08-29-2022, 06:55 PM   #209
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Fuel level sensor

Since we bought Dory it had a broken fuel level sensor.
Last week I did some measurement to confirm it being the sensor and not the gauge or wiring.
Confirmed the range as being 33.5 ohm to 240 ohm.
Red is gauge wire, black is ground, blue is low fuel light to ground.

The sensor is made by intellitech. The partnumber does not show up and I have a feeling it was made specifically for this bus.
.
Coming back from our last trip I decided to dig into it. Cleaned up the tank around the the sender and removed the 5 screws . Was able to pull the sender out but could not remove it.. well there is the access panel to the front of the engine ..indeed that did the trick.

Took the sender apart.. two yellow copper plates separated 1/16 of an inch. Must be a capacitive sensor. Dug a bit into the potting to see if I could the electronics out but gave up.

Decided to modify some fuel sender I liberated from a Volvo big truck that was at the scrap yard .
Range good, unfortunately a round tank , mine is square, and the sender is to long..

The Volvo sender also is a two wire. I need a two wire and a low fuel wire, so mods are required.

Coming back on the intellitech..so this sender gets the power thru the gauge wire, similar to 4-20ma circuits. Then it activates a transistor / fet to pull the third wire to the low fuel light down to ground. That is incase the capacitance is low enough.. the yellow copper was dirty, cleaned it and tried again without luck. I will did it out later or see if I can find another one and exchange the sensor part.
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Old 08-29-2022, 06:58 PM   #210
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Fuel level sensor

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Old 08-30-2022, 12:21 PM   #211
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Shortened the Volvo sender. Tig welders the bottom and pressure tested . Then modified some of the restance values to go from a round tank curve to a square tank curve.
From the shortening I had two glass reed contacts left over. Reused one to make a dedicated switch for the low fuel level warning light.. pulled and extra wire thru the sensor head and reconnected to the original 3 prong connector. Tested 1/1.. 3/4..1/2..1/4 and light.
It all seemed to work.
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Old 09-17-2022, 12:20 PM   #212
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More refinements.. with the lithium batteries I adjusted the charge controller to gel batteries.. for the tracer that means 28.4 volt. A little high to my liking but I found a way of tricking the charge controllers with an additional resistor in the feedback. Even with 28.4 volt the active balancer does a nice job.

Installed current meters in line with the 4 groups of solar panels , so before the charge controllers. Also upgraded the fuses from the charge controller to the batteries to maxi fuses. The range of these fuses go up to 60 amp and the construction is much better then the
ordinary car blade fuse. Accordingly the voltage drop and heat was lower..all good things.

We wanted to get our communication gear in better shape so as both of us being Ham licensed I installed an old Motorola spectra VHF and a Yaesu 107 HF rig.

To keep antenna losses low I mounted the spectra and Yaesu in the middle of our bus. That resulted in having to run a double awg10 directly from the 12 volt tap at the battery. Cables were twisted to reduce the potential of HF interferences with the bus electronics. The 12 volt tap is regulated to half of the 24v battery ataem with battery equalizer. Still working thru some SWR problems with the Spectra.

The ladies with a male protector out for a hike. Smita has the communication with a baofeng and Leena is into recconaissance. Tanya is in control of defence.
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Old 10-14-2022, 07:11 PM   #213
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Struggling forward towards a new snow bird trip. I like to pull our small bus Elfie along. With 10000 lbs Iwe need a proper hitch and towbar. Here the first step of taking the bumper off. The plate that is visible now carries the rear part of the engine. The engine is lifted up a bit and tomorrow this plate comes off to be reinforced.

As usual our Rosie is monitoring the work.

Johan
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Old 10-15-2022, 09:44 AM   #214
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why pull elfie and not a car or SUV? seems like a heavy setup and elfie is still pretty big if looking to go of-roading someplace. . granted its probably good and heavy and has great traction but I sometimes ran into branch issues just with a Jeep or full size pickup going out and about off the road let alone a bus body..
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Old 10-15-2022, 04:58 PM   #215
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I know, that is what we did last time Chris. We towed Cherokee.
Kids are bigger, a second dog, then there is the thought of having a backup plan in case Dory developes a significant problem.
But yeah it is heavy . We will have to make a test run and see how Dory likes it.

Johan
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Old 10-16-2022, 02:27 PM   #216
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Just to get an idea about the scale of things.. Elfie is 6" longer then our red van.
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Old 10-17-2022, 01:30 PM   #217
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Got some good progress this morning.. removed the motor mount. The welding shop did some nice cutting , drilling and welding. The original motor mount is 5/16 steel. A second 5/8 steel plate is spaced a half" away and then welded to the original motor mount..it is pretty stout. It will be a bit heavy for one person to deal with.
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Old 10-18-2022, 05:38 PM   #218
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Some more pics of the progress made today.the mount had to be as high as possible to line up with Elfie. We also wanted to keep the extended length to a minimum. The receiver is going to be flush with the bumper. The bumper has to modified so that it fits all together
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Old 10-21-2022, 02:03 PM   #219
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A little more progress.. not perfect yet but workable.
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Old 10-31-2022, 06:41 PM   #220
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Was a week under the weather or better under the blankets with 103f but now back in the saddle.
Finalizing the Dory / Elfie connection completed

Everything is fitting and it looks pretty good I think.
Now I have to think about adapting Dory's air brakes and actuating Elfie brakes to make it safe.

Many options.. I can adapt the electrical signal from the brakemodulation to the retarder.... Or convert the brake pressure directly in an electric signal ...or use the brake and parking brake air hose and extend in the bus and rig up a brake chamber against the brake pedal..



Johan
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