Monday through Friday, November 2-13—Finishing Projects

It’s been a while since a blog posting was made; every day is pretty much “Groundhog Day” and then life got in the way. We only see the kids and grandkids via FaceTime, exercise care to mask up and socially distance, and avoid crowds. I go out only to do cardiac rehab necessitate by the episode with arterial heart disease, play golf and pickleball, and visit with friend Dan Olson. Kay has kept busy with her social obligations, women’s golf, pickleball, and occasional grocery shopping; even she has cut back on going out.

Kay and other “winter golf ladies”
Mary Seitz explaining rules for Sunday “Couples Golf”
Kay and me ready to take off for the first hole, Sunday Couples Golf
Kay and other Ladies Winter Golfers

I have been busy finishing a few projects, mostly with respect to RVing. If you recall, a list of projects was posted several weeks ago as follows:

  • Commode repair for house
  • Dishwasher repair for house
  • Designing and building briefcase solar system 
  • Replace resin in RV water softener 
  • Collect and organize tent camping equipment 
  • Clean and reorganize RV storage
  • Add gutter spout to RV
  • Make solar shade for RV windshield
  • Make shock cords for RV awning and sunshade

BRIEFCASE SOLAR SYSTEM.  It took several attempts to get the Briefcase Solar System completed, and it is still considered a prototype. It could never have been completed had it not been for the encouragement and advice from longtime friend, Wayne Bodenhamer.

After the trial on Sunday (November 1), it was largely taken apart, and a 4-in-1 combination cigarette lighter socket, dual USB ports socket, voltmeter, and on/off switch panel was installed. A template for cutouts was made, holes were cut on the right side of briefcase, and the panel was fitted into the briefcase.

4-in-1 combination panel
Template for cutting holes in the briefcase
Inside view of 4-in-1 panel
Outside view of 4-in-1 panel
4-in-1 panel is working1

Next, wiring was performed to include an ON/OFF/ON switch for charging either the briefcase battery bank OR the motorhome battery bank, and a fuse block was incorporated to serve all the components. Everything worked, or so I thought. After talking with Wayne, he advised that the wiring was not of sufficient size, the switch should be immediately removed, and the cigarette lighter receptacle should be wired directly to briefcase battery bank so it could be used to charge the RV battery bank.

Note ON OFF ON switch in bottom center of photo, immediately left of fuse block

It was almost like starting over, but the second time around was much, much faster—and more deliberate. Everything worked like it was supposed to—FINISHED!

Note that switch has been removed
The MPPT charge controller remote has been added (bottom right)
Prototype in operation (Photo 1)
Prototype in operation (Photo 2)

ON THE GO” PORTABLE WATER SOFTENER.  Next, I tackled completion of rehabilitating the On the Go Water Softener. The additional plumbing that was thought was to be a big job proved to be insignificant and was quickly done, remaining parts were collected, and another project was FINISHED.

COLLECT AND ORGANIZE TENT CAMPING EQUIPMENT. An old saying when I was a kid was that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” It had been my intent to go tent camping this fall, but arterial heart disease got in the way; hope I’m not destined to hell! Nevertheless, all the old and new camping equipment was organized and stowed in large plastic containers; they are still in the garage awaiting disposition. Typically, the two boxes would be stored in the crawl space under the house, but the stale smell infiltrates virtually everything. The containers are too heavy to store in the attic. So, the tent will be stored in the garage closet, the sleeping bag in the house, and the other stuff (mostly plastic and metal) in the crawl space. Life is too complicated.

The remaining projects will be done in the days preparing for the photography trip to southeastern Arizona after Thanksgiving, and during the winter stay in Casa Grande, Arizona.

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