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somewhereinusa

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New to this forum. After my first post on another topic it was pointed out I haven't been active. I probably don't fit in with most here. Looking at pictures of early FMCA rallies, I probably would fit in with them must fine. My coach is a former school bus, a Bluebird 40 ft diesel pusher.  Everything in it was designed and built by me.

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It has 4 zone in floor hot water heat using an Espar boiler. Front and rear mini-split AC. I have roughly 100 gl fresh, 70 gl grey and 30 gl black tanks. The electric door lock, flag and door light and power awnings on both sides are controlled with my phone as well as with switches inside. All of the interior lighting is LED with many built by myself all are controlled by wireless remote.  It has 50 amp capability but, I can run pretty much everything including AC on 30 amp. Except for heat, witch is diesel, everything is electric. Induction cooktops, convection/microwave oven, and fridge.  With a 3000 watt sine wave inverter most everything will run if not plugged in, just not for long without running engine which has a 320 amp alternator. Larger house battery bank is in the planning stages as is solar power.

Camping with my brother, that thing is tiny.

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Lights over kitchen counter.

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Solid walnut speaker grill, started out as log in my back field.

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Kitchen

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Heat before flooring.

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Still have a lot to do, like cabinet faces and doors. Everything works, some better than I expected. I still have a lot to do but, we are enjoying it.

****  It looks like the forum doesn't like my name witch is the common short form of Richard.😎

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Looking good!!! 

On 1/9/2019 at 11:33 AM, somewhereinusa said:

****  It looks like the forum doesn't like my name witch is the common short form of Richard.😎

Yes another member has to use Richard because you can't enter ****.

Bill

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If not said already, Welcome to the FMCA Forums! 

Rich, love the bus and I love the work/upgrades and the quality of your detail is also fantastic!

What year is the bus, what engine is in it and how does it cruise on the highways? My wife drives a school bus and they aren't typically geared for highway commutes, or I should say the one she drives isn't.  

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17 minutes ago, jleamont said:

Rich, love the bus and I love the work/upgrades and the quality of your detail is also fantastic!

What year is the bus, what engine is in it and how does it cruise on the highways? My wife drives a school bus and they aren't typically geared for highway commutes, or I should say the one she drives isn't.  

Thanks,

It's a 1991 with a 250HP 3116 Cat. It will run 70 but, I generally run 60-65, speed gets expensive. It was a school activities bus in SE New Mexico, didn't do the stop and go pick up kids thing. From what I understand it did mostly longer trips.

****

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18 minutes ago, somewhereinusa said:

speed gets expensive

That's common with all Coaches, none of them are aerodynamic. The bus my wife drives has 6th gear locked out and its up against the governor at 63 MPH and just tipping red on the tach. 

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4 hours ago, somewhereinusa said:

****  It looks like the forum doesn't like my name witch is the common short form of Richard.😎

We have another regular on the forum with the same problem, we call him Rich for short!:) Your project looks great! Actually most of the regulars on here are very much like yourself, enjoying what we do and sharing it with others as well as trying to help others. When you look at my avitar, that is a converted MCI former Greyhound, then sold to Vermont carriers before I took possession back in 2009. Here is a link to my inside photos.

 

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Richard.

Your coach is a perfect example of, newer judge a book by it's cover!  Blue Bird, is solid thru and thru!  Even when they where in the coach business, they brought that solidity of the school bus with them!  Love your home grown grill...well done.  Please keep us updated on the rest of the project and Kay is an excellent, past, cabinet maker! :) 

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I couldn't resist. You are right it is good to have a map available so you can tell where you are and the way the storms are moving. It doesn't do you any good if they say the tornado is in X  and moving north if you don't know where you are. It is good to find you are in the opposite direction. 😉

Bill

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At the request of jleamont here is an explanation of the control for awnings, door lock, and lights that operates from my smart phone. The basic components are  Ardoino Uno or Nano, I've used both. A bluetooth receiver, 8 gang relay and a voltage regulator. The whole project started when my son sent a picture of a device he wanted to use to unlock the door on his MCI. It was a 8 relay bluetooth device, no programming and needed a voltage regulator. It was over $100 and was in China. I said I can make that cheaper.  I'm not really a programmer but, mostly I can coble something together that works. I researched a lot of apps for bluetooth control but, I couldn't get any to work.  Finally I found this one, available on playstore. pfod app.  He was very helpful in getting my setup to work.

This is a picture of the first one  The second one I built for myself uses a Nano

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A video of early testing, I hadn't labeled the display on phone yet.

 

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This is the second one mounted in my bus.

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Screenshot of what I see on my phone. All of this actually resides on the microcontroller. If you have the pfod app on your phone and know the name and code to pair to the bluetooth receiver you would see the same thing. The one for my son doesn't have the lock door since to lock it you just close the door but, it still uses two of the relays. I have an awning on both sides, it was cheaper than window awnings for the left side. I tried using a timed extend/retract but, it seems it takes a different amount of time EVERY time for the awnings to work. The way it is now you have to hit the extend/retract button a second time to stop. I'm still trying to figure a good way to sense when the awning is in/out. 😖

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Because bluetooth don't work through metal very well I  mounted the receiver in the front windshield. 

This is the door lock and it's controls. I can be operated with a key, RF keyfob or the phone. It is a linear actuator that goes through the door jamb into the door. Basically an electric dead bolt. 

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I've been using this for about tw0 years now and it works great. Not counting one winter of research, coding and building I have about $35 in each one. 😎

I see the video link don't work, I don't know how to link to it.

Edited by somewhereinusa
video doesn't work

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Here's something else I have all the parts for, just need some warmer weather to install. It has always bothered me about how much water is wasted when waiting for the shower to warm up. This valve along with a temperature sensor will divert the water back to the fresh tank until the water temp gets warm enough.

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wiring diagram

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10 hours ago, somewhereinusa said:

Here's something else I have all the parts for, just need some warmer weather to install. It has always bothered me about how much water is wasted when waiting for the shower to warm up. This valve along with a temperature sensor will divert the water back to the fresh tank until the water temp gets warm enough.

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wiring diagram

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Since I'm not an electric genius...does it also work when hooked up to a faucet?  Other than the gray tank, you have no loop...to early to  think!

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10 hours ago, desertdeals69 said:

This valve along with a temperature sensor will divert the water back to the fresh tank until the water temp gets warm enough.

Yes Carl, it could be hooked to a faucet, but the idea is to send it back to the FRESH water to create a savings plan, the return pipe is the loop that you create.

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That's kind of what I figured and who would want to re circulate gray water...ugh!  Since I have Aqua Hot & it works both ways, I guess I need insta hot installed if I want to conserve water, using both means of obtaining water!  Does that make sense?

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Since I really only wait for warm water in the shower, I'm just installing it for the shower. The temp sensor is mounted just before the shower faucet. I have a water manifold and it's a bit of distance from the manifold to each faucet. I would need three of these to be totally efficient.  Nothing will come out of the shower until the water is water is warm enough. Theoretically if you took long enough taking a "Navy" shower it would cool down enough , since the cold faucet is still on, to get a cold shower. I don't think this would be a problem though. 

Hope that makes sense.

D ick

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1 hour ago, manholt said:

 Since I have Aqua Hot & it works both ways, I guess I need insta hot installed if I want to conserve water, using both means of obtaining water!  Does that make sense?

I'm not sure what you are asking. I'm not totally sure about how an Aqua Hot is plumbed but, I can't imagine that it heats domestic water without a heat exchanger to separate the "cabin heat" water from the domestic water.  This valve goes in the domestic water just before the point where the water  is to come out.

I built my own hydronic in floor heat. Here is a simplified diagram.

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There are actually 3 separate "water" systems. The engine antifreeze, poison; the heating antifreeze, not poison; and domestic water.  I used a marine water heater that also has a 120VAC element in it. If the engine is running I get  cabin heat and domestic hot water. If the boiler is on I get cabin heat and domestic hot water, also the engine is kept warm for nice "summer" starts. If neither is running I get domestic water from the 120 VAC part of the water heater. Theoretically I could get cabin heat from the water heater but, it's not nearly big enough.  This system has served me well even at temps below 0°

D ick 

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Makes perfect sense to me, I was only pulling Carl's chain since he had not had his morning cup yet. That is a very good idea, and well worth sharing. You can start to see why we need you around.:) Actually I have plumbed houses in my past, and installed similar devices, only need to bypass into the cold water side of plumbing to return to the cold water side, but it requires a small pump at each location to make that happen correctly, in the motorhome the short distance back to the fresh holding tank is the most economical.

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