Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -- Carl Sandburg
There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

June 26, 2011

Pudding in the Thermos Cooker

I used some of the blueberries I picked to make a clafootie type pudding and tried out the thermos cooker I bought to cook it.  I used my Shuttle Chef thermos Cooker as a bain marie (water bath) and my tiffin pots as the bake pan.  It worked as well as anything except the bottom tiffin pot leaked.  Not much harm done.  I just poured out the water on top and the pudding is fine.  I got the Shuttle Chef cooker because the interior pot is a very high quality stainless pot with a thick bottom for heat dispersion and its superior insulating qualities.  Not easy to find anymore.  I ended up ordering it from a Canadian supplier which triggered my credit card fraud alert.  Nothing wrong with the vendor tho, just automatic software.   

June 25, 2011

LEDs and Deco

LED Bulbs

B15 base LED installed in porch light
Aluminum cookie bent to send beam down

Porch light with LED lit
I got my new LED bulbs today from http://www.prudentrver.com.  Great service as I only ordered them Thursday.  I got replacements for my 6 halogen puck lights under the upper cabinets and the porch light next to the side door.  The site where I ordered them has really good information on how to select the replacements and how to figure out what kind of base the bulbs are.  I don't remember where I found this site but I bookmarked it.

June 23, 2011

Making a List, Checking it Twice, Thrice

Cat and Dog making themselves at home in the van while I work
Cat jumped into the van and rested.  Dog checking him out.
The reason I've been working so hard on my van mods and repairs this spring is that I'm trying to get on the road in a couple weeks.  Time is getting short.  Very short.  Now that the electrical is fixed, I'm breathing a big sigh of relief.  I found a blown fuse in one of the lights circuits that gives me pause.  It might have blown while I was doing the installs so maybe it is ok.  I'll keep an eye on it.

June 17, 2011

New Inverter Installed

Xantrex Prowatt SW Inverter in Electrical Cavity
And look at that open space!  A place to hide something.
Yesterday, I finished installing my new inverter.  It is a pure sine wave Xantrex Prowatt SW 1000 with a remote switch.  My biggest stumbling block for installing it was finding connectors for the very fine stranded 1/0 audio wire that the old inverter POS was connected to.  After failing to get a soldered connection and another screw on connector, I finally found a clunky but all copper screw-down connector at Home Depot that made a firm connection.  Once that was nailed down, I could proceed.  I had made a new ground cable and mounted it to the ground screw when doing the converter installation so that was ready.

June 16, 2011

Battery Monitor Install

I finished the Trimetric 2025-RV battery monitor installation in my 2005 LTV Free Spirit van with 2 house batteries.  Running wires is the hardest part.  The monitor requires a shunt to be in between the battery negative and all other connections on the negative/ground side.

June 8, 2011

New Converter

I completed the WFCO Ultra III WF-9855 converter kit installation last weekend.  It was a fairly involved procedure so I am late in documenting it.  This replacement started when I blew fuses and discovered the source was 3 melted wires to the NEG post on the DC fuse board.  That was a simple enough fix (wrap the melted insulation with electrical tape) but that left the question of why was the post so hot that it melted the insulation?  Anything getting that hot is not a good sign and could well be an electrical fire hazard.  Rather than just patch it up and forget it, I looked into correcting the why and making it work properly in the future.

It appeared that the wire sizes were too small for the loads.  They had used 8 AWG wires to get the battery power to the fuse board.  It was especially bad when I ran the water pump and the POS post got very hot.  From my research on the web, this seems to be a fairly common problem and other people had serious charing in places near the converter.  I also wanted to have a good 3 stage battery charger to take better care of my batteries.  This led me to replace my Parallax 7355 converter/charger with the Ultra III 9800 series kit that included a new and better fuse board.

June 7, 2011

Installed the Trik-L-Start

Trik-L-Start with labels on wires
I got the engine trickle charger installed today into my 2005 Sprinter LTV.  After searching on the internet, I discovered the battery disconnect switch between the house and engine batteries is located under the driver's seat and it is accessible from the top of the seat base.  Thanks to TrikLStart.pdf this excellent write up in this thread: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1150&highlight=trik-l-start, I found the disconnect switch.  I didn't want the unit where he put it because I like to store some things there.  I found a bracket bolted to the driver's seat on the door side that has nothing else on it.

Battery Disconnect Under Driver's Seat
Left wire = Engine battery
Right wire = House battery