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Old 11-30-2020, 08:46 PM   #1
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Remote controlled pneumatic door

Hello everyone, I am looking for some advice and maybe see if someone has done something similar or if my idea is shortsighted.

So, I have a 2007 Bluebird Vision. It has air powered front doors and I was planning on keeping them. I love how it sounds and works.
But I don't like how I can only open and close the doors when the bus is on. I can enter the bus when I pull the emergency air release lever to disengage the doors.
I was wondering if anyone has been able to operate the doors via a switch with either and external battery, or wiring it to the house or bus batteries.
I'm having a hard time figuring out how the directional valve wiring works.
If I can figure out how to operate the doors via a switch I can then add a remote controlled switch and with the press of a button have the doors open or close.
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Old 12-08-2020, 10:33 PM   #2
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Pneumatic door actuators are cool...as you pointed out! Two of our buses have them. Keep in mind that, because they're pneumatic, you'll need air pressure to operate them or keep them closed forcefully. So it's going to take more than a switch...you'll need air pressure. If you really want to do this, you'll need a compressor (12 or 24v, depending upon your bus) to keep the air tanks pressurized and provide the motive force to the door cylinders. But, once you have sustainable air pressure you can either add (and hide) an manual valve or you can use air solenoid valves and a switch...which could even be a keyed switch, for security. That compressor will run all the time, though, turning on and off to keep the air system pressurized.


EDIT to add: if you want to avoid the air system, you could replace the pneumatic cylinder with an electric linear actuator.
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Old 12-09-2020, 09:43 AM   #3
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Have you taken anything apart and given it a looksee?

If you do, you'll see that all of the air stuff is above the door and operated by electric solenoids. The switch by the driver only switches between providing power to the open or closed solenoid. The air pressure is then applied to the cylinder to either hold the door open or closed. The emergency switch cuts off this air pressure and vents the cylinders, which then allows the door to move freely.

To make it functional all the time would require you to bring battery power, instead of switched power, to the door switch. That wouldn't be hard at all. You'd also have to have air pressure in the system, but that also wouldn't be hard.

I'd install a small air tank to feed the doors. And then have that tank fed by 2 sources. One being a small electric compressor ran off your house bank that turns on at 50 and off at 75 psi. Have it also fed by the bus air system with a pressure protection valve so as to not drain your air system below 75 psi.

To do what you're asking with multiple switches, you'd have to convert it over to something similar to an electric window switch, so that one switch's command is disabled if the other is overriding it. Wouldn't be a difficult thing to draw up and build if you've got the mind, skillset, and know how.

As far as electric linear actuators are concerned, new buses use those vs the air actuators, and they're way more reliable then the old air systems. I'm thinking there might be retrofit kits to upgrade the air units to electric, but I'd have to check to be sure.
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Old 12-09-2020, 02:17 PM   #4
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Given that electronic valves control the existing door, its pretty simple to hook up something like a remote relay: https://www.amazon.com/Solidremote-1.../dp/B01JGDV8UM

Keeping the air tank pressurized under all conditions is the key- Booyah45828's suggestion of a secondary tank that is supplied by both the existing air system and an onboard pump is a good one.


I was doing this a long, long time ago using a Raspberry Pi when I first started the build...
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Old 12-09-2020, 05:10 PM   #5
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Your video is private.
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Old 12-09-2020, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Your video is private.
Fixed- see above.
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Old 12-11-2020, 11:16 PM   #7
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I hope it's okay i jump on board and shift the topic a little, i considered remote entry and may still want to keep that in my back pocket but I'm currently wanting to do push button open from inside and NFC fob access from outside.

Currently our door switch rests in neutral. Up activates open then returns to neutral, down activates close then returns to neutral. I want to change that push button to change the doors current position that way when i want to exit i push a button by the door and wave the fob outside to close it. Wave the fob outside to open it then push the button to close from inside. I know this should be a simple relay but i can't figure out the name of that type of relay. I also currently have what i believe is an accessory tank under my bus, i could plumb in a check valve so when the rest of the system bleeds off it'll hold pressure and tie in a 12v compressor to top it off after each use.

Any tips or recommendations?
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