Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 147 - Cabinet Doors Install | Bus Conversion

The other day I had some time to install some of the cabinet doors.

I also installed these latches on the dinette table to firm it up. The table legs offer down strength but not much side to side.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 146 - More Cabinet Doors | Bus Conversion

Today we stained and assembled the rest of the cabinet doors that were ready (The doors still need to varnished). We still have 4 more doors that need to be built and then we are done with cabinet doors!

I also stained the platform that sits under the TV.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 145 - TV & Counter | Bus Conversion

Today we did a lot more cut outs for more cabinet doors. All the remaining kitchen cabinets are now ready for stain and assembly.

We also put the final coat of varnish on the kitchen table.

I installed the TV.

Originally I had intended to tile under where the TV is but instead I decided to use a left over piece of 3/4 Oak plywood. I routed the edges. I think it turned out nice (Still needs stain and varnish).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 144 - Cabinet Door Assembly | Bus Conversion

Today I basically spent the whole day putting together the doors that were now stained and ready for assembly.

I have gone back and forth on what design I wanted to use in the way these doors go together and are held together. I hope that the following design will hold up over time. Only time will tell.

I am using dowels to hold the framing together. It is also strengthened from the center piece of plywood that interconnects all of the frame pieces together when it slides into the slot that the milled out of the center of each frame piece.

This is how they go together.

First, I had to pre-drill 1 hole in each frame piece for the dowels.

I glued the slot that the oak plywood slides into.

Here is the plywood in the slot:

I then glued the dowel before putting the next frame piece on:

Here is the frame piece in place:

And the next frame piece:

Here it is all together:

All the cabinet doors are built for just one side of the kitchen. The upper cabinets over the kitchen counter and the lower cabinets. There is still many to build throughout the bus.

Today I was also able to get one coat of varnished on the kitchen table.

More soon!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 143 - Cabinet Doors | Bus Conversion

Yesterday we took the 1x3 material and used a table saw to notch it down the center.

Today, we started cutting the frames for the doors.

I used a router to round the inside of the frames as seen here:

Here it is with the center piece in place:

Here is all the pieces stained:

Here is a door assembled:

I also stained the table today. I will varnish it tomorrow.

More soon!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 142 - Lighting & Dinning Table | Bus Conversion

Yesterday I basically finished up on all the the electrical wiring that had to be done.

After that was done we decided that we needed more lighting added over where the kitchen table would be. Lucky for me I just happen to have a spare wire that I had ran earlier in the project that I never used. So I tapped into that and installed the lights. They turned out great! I still have to install the switch.

Today we went and picked up a sheet of 3/4" oak plywood for the dinning table and some 3/4" 1 x 3 for building the cabinet doors. Lowe's gave me the plywood half off for only $20 because it had a few flaws.

I took the measurements and made the cut.

After making sure it was a good fit I used a router to rout the edges of the table.

Here it is sitting in place.

It is just temporarily here just to see how it looks. I will pull it back out to stain and varnish it.

Here are the legs, again, just sitting in place.

More soon!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 141 - Battery Combiner & Transfer Switch | Bus Conversion

Yesterday I was able to get the battery combiner solenoid installed. I mounted it to the back of the stock battery compartment. It sits right next to the house battery bank.

This is how it is hooked up:

The first thing I did today was complete the wiring from the batteries and solenoid to the Magnum Energy Smart Battery Combiner. The battery combiner makes it possible to charge the house batteries while the bus is running without being a drain on the bus batteries. The fuse panel on the left of the battery combiner sends power to all the 12 volt fixtures in the bus.

It works perfect!

Next I built the platform for the transfer switch to go on. It sits directly over the front right wheel well. I went with the Iota 50 AMP ITS-50R Transfer Switch.

Here it is wired to the inlet 50 AMP cable:

The transfer switch sits next to the inverter:

Here is the electrical panel that I have relocated directly behind the dinette seat. You can see the black 50 AMP cable going in the wall to the transfer switch. I will have 3 breakers.
1 - 30 AMP for the Inverter
1 - 20 AMP For the Fridge
1 - 20 AMP For the A/C

In addition to the above, the inverter has two 20 Amp amp service ports. One is wired to the Kitchen and TV the other goes to all the other remaining outlets throughout the bus.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 140 - Inverter | Bus Conversion

Today I started by installing a piece of plywood on the back wall of the inverter compartment (Under the Front Dinette Seat). This gives me a divider and a wall that I can install things on.

Next I made a base for the inverter to sit on. This will insure good airflow all around the inverter.

We found the Magnum ME Series 2012 Inverter / Charger for $450.00. We bought it from a guy some months ago that had purchased it and never used it. It included the remote and battery temp cable.

Here are it's specs:

Reliable Mobile Power from Magnum Energy
The ME Series Inverter/Charger from Magnum Energy is a new generation inverter designed specifically for rugged mobile applications. The ME Series is powerful, easy-to-use, and best of all, cost effective.

Safe and Reliable: The ME Series is ETL Listed to the stringent requirements of UL/cUL 458 and CSA C22.2 #107/.1-01, ensuring that the inverter is safe and reliable.

Easy-to-install: Install the ME Series in four easy steps: Simply connect the inverter's output to your distribution circuits or electrical panel, connect your power cable (AC) to the inverter's easy-to-reach terminal block, connect the batteries, and switch on the power.

Power Factor Corrected (PFC) Charger:Our PFC charger is built into all of our inverter chargers. It uses less energy from a generator than a standard charger - using only 15 amps per 100 amps versus 23 amps used by standard chargers.

Choices: The ME Series comes in three power models, allowing you to choose the model that is right for you.

Versatile Mounting Mount the ME Series on a shelf, bulkhead, or even upside down.

Lightweight: The lightweight aluminum base and cover also provides noise reduction and corrosion resistance.

Multiple ports: The ME Series provides multiple ports, including an RS485 communication port for network expansion, and a remote port.

Accessible design: The extra large AC access cover with terminal screw block and 360 degree DC connection terminals with covers make this inverter more accessible when it needs to be.

Convenient switches: The ME Series comes with an on/off inverter-mounted switch with an easy-to-read LED indicator.

Expanded transfer relay: 60 Amp transfer service is available on all models.

Buy with ease: The ME Series is backed by a three-year 36 month limited warranty.

Accessories and Options:

  • Remote Control: For convenient finger-tip operation, including the new one-knobTM programming.
  • AGS module: Automatically starts and stops your generator based on temperature or battery voltage.
Inverter Specifications
Input battery voltage: 9 to 16 VDC
Nominal AC output voltage: 120 VAC
Output frequency and accuracy: 60 Hz +- 0.005%
1 msec surge current: 60 amps AC
100 msec surge current: 37 amps AC
5 sec surge power: 3700 real watts
30 sec surge power: 3450 real watts
5 min surge power: 3100 real watts
30 min surge power: 2400 real watts
Continuous power output at 45C: 2000 VA
Rated input battery current: 191.0 ADC
Inverter efficiency: 95%
Transfer time: 16 msecs
Search Module (with remote): 0.2 ADC
No Load (120 VAC output with remote): 0.87 ADC
Waveform: Modified Sine Wave

Charger Specifications
Continuous output at 45C: 100 ADC
Charger efficiency: 85%
Power Factor: >0.95
Input current at rated output: 15 AC amps

General Features and Capabilities
Transfer relay capability: 2 legs at 30a for 120 V/30 A or 240 V/60 A service
Five stage charging capability: Bulk, Absorb, Float, Equalize, and Battery SaverTM
Battery temperature compensation: with available temp sensor (battery temp 0 to 50C)
Remote inverter on/off witch: With available pigtail to connect to dry contact
Internal cooling: 0 to 120 cfm variable speed drive using dual 92 mm brushless DC fans
Over-current protection: Yes, with two overlapping circuits
Over-temperature protection: Yes on transformer, MOSFETS, and battery
Conformal coating on PCB's for corrosion protection: yes
Powder coated chassis and top for corrosion protection: yes
Stainless steel fasteners for corrosion protection: yes
Dual AC branch rated output breakers: Optional on the ME2012 - AC breakers in 15 or 20 amps rating
Series Stacking interface 120/240 V: Yes
Listings: ETL listed to UL/cUL 458, CSA C22.2 #107.1-01
Warranty: Three (3) years

Environmental Specifications
Operating temperature: -20C to 60C (-4F to 140F)
Non-operation temperature: -40C to 70C (-40F to 158F)
Operating humidity: 0 to 95% RH non condensing

Physical Specifications
Mounting: Shelf (top or bottom up) or bulkhead (vents up)
Max operating altitude: 15,000' / 4570m

Dimension (HWD): 13.75" x 12.65" x 8.0" / 349 x 321 x 203 mm
Weight: 38 lb (17 kg)

I went ahead and set the Inverter in place just to give it a good test:

Here is the remote panel powered up.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 139 - Miscellaneous | Bus Conversion

Today I was only able work an hour on the bus.

The first thing I did was foam the holes around the wires coming up through the floor.

After that I installed the remote for the inverter.

Next I finished running the 50 Amp cable under the bus:

Next I installed the Marinco 50 Amp Easy Lock RV Shore Power Inlet:

I installed it using stainless steel screws:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 138 - Battery Rack Installed | Bus Conversion

Yesterday we installed the battery rack under the bus.

It was a very tight fit. The rack sits right behind the drivers front tire. The batteries will be strapped down as a precaution and I may still install a sway brace even though it is quite sturdy.

Here it is underneath the rack:

This is it looking at the top. The metal box on the left is the stock battery housing:

These are the tops of the batteries:

Here is where the wires come down from the passengers side of the bus. The Red wire goes to the battery terminal:

The black wire is bolted to the frame:

More soon!