Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Parts Is Parts…

Nicole took the opportunity yesterday to do one of her favorite things.  She took the old heater apart to see why it stopped working.

She discovered what went wrong.

All that trouble because there was a snowflake stuck inside!

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    Just kidding.  But it was pretty cool to find this in there.

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The real problem was that the upper coil (wire) in this photo is supposed to be connected to the lead on the right.  It had broken clean away.

That’s the good news. 

Here’s the bad news.

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        She will NEVER get this back together again!

Although it would have been nice, a re-build was not in the plans anyway.  Nicole’s original intent was to break it down into its usable parts and for future projects.

First on the list is a ceiling mounted 110 volt fan.  Why?  Because we can and we have the parts.  Although we already have a 12 volt rooftop vent fan and two USB fans,


we did rid ourselves of our AC unit.  Once we’ve volunteered for a position, there is no moving with the wind or the weather no matter how unpleasant it gets.  When it gets warm, the more air we’ve got flowing the better.

Since most of the positions we’ve been interested seem to offer electric hookups we figured why not wire another fan up.  Just so happens that the parts we have are 110 powered so that’s what the end result will be.

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This is the fan from our old heater.  We’ve already tested it (as a lone unit without the rest of the heater parts) and it works just fine, is nice and quiet, and puts out a good deal of airflow.  So, next is the creation of a fan box and mounting system.  It will go in our tray ceiling (aka, the hole where the AC unit used to be).

The beauty is we left the original run of 110 wire when we removed the AC unit with no real ideas in mind but just in case.  We’ve now found the ‘in case’.  More on that later as the ideas are still flowing on this one.

Meanwhile, one of the parts that we took off of our electric heater was a power cord. 

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Essentially, we got to thinking… we’ve got electricity provided and yet we keep running our 12 volt items off of our batteries because we had disconnected our converter long ago. 

Why?  Well, our original thoughts were because we had a solar set up that was juicing our batteries much better than a 1988 converter would and we never planned on hooking to shore power.

However, at this location we’ve taken on a bit of shade to our panels by parking so close to the trees.  At our next location we hope to also park a bit in the shade because we won’t be at altitude as we were last summer and it could get quite warm.  Both of these positions provide electricity.  We’re working for that electricity so why not use it.

Although we had disconnected our original 1988 MagneTek converter we left it in the van and kept the wires of our 12 volt items running through the included fuse panel.

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           She may be old but she still gets the job done.

So, in order to make our lights run off of the provided 110 we decided to wire a ‘power’ plug to the converter.  Two twists, some wire nuts, tape and it was done.  Easy peasy.

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We did not activate any of our outlets to run off of the converter as we had already wired them to run without it.  So, the end result is that we can now plug in our converter any time we’d like and run our 12 volt items off of the Forest Service supplied electricity instead of pulling from our house batteries.

And that concludes the latest update in our ongoing Van Rennovation series.  Don’t worry, we’ll be back to sightseeing and the usual nature loving photos in no time!

See, here’s one now!

In honor of New Years the Forest Service rigged this palm tree to drop all of it’s fronds at midnight.

Over and out…