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Monthly Archives: February 2015

HVAC Remote Control

By |February 25th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

Another step along the way of full automation has been made today. I finished the page for aircondition control with two heads, one in the kitchen/living area and one in the bedroom. The heads can be switched between the two locations and are connected to the same outdoor unit. The right most temperature scales actually control the target temperatur for each headunit by dragging the red bit to the desired temperature. This will be the same concept on the phone remote control.

Each of the headunits run to the desired temperature, if achievable, but the switch over between the two […]

Battery Monitor

By |February 25th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

A major component of the van are the battery packs. Lithium technology brought the weight down considerably and increased cycle times and higher discharge levels make the technology quite attractive. There are a few downsides though. One has to be careful with the charging regime not to overcharge and also make sure that each cell (4 in a 12V battery) has the same voltage, meaning the cells are balanced. The battery needs a BMS (Battery Management System) which monitors the cells and will disconnect a charge line or a load line in case of over charge or over discharge.

It […]

Security IP-Camera

By |February 18th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

Today my IP-Camera arrived from China via DHL. It took only 5 days from time of order. Wrapped 3 times in bubblewrap and lots of tape inside a DHL bag. Very nice product, software and documentation on CD and additional software through web download. Was easy to set up. Just change ip of one pc to the default network of the camera, login with browser and default user/password, change ip to local subnet, reboot the camera and the live stream was visible in the browser window after downloading the plugin from their website. All took less than 15 minutes. […]

Testing Motorbike Carrier

By |February 14th, 2015|SETTING UP|0 Comments

Originally I had the motorbike on a carrier at the end of the van as most people would think, however there are a few good reasons against it. We have a goose neck trailer so the stability issue is not really as pressing as on a caravan with a larger load at the end. Nevertheless

I wanted to save a s much weight on the van as I could because the weight limits are more critical on the van than on the truck. I have a bit more margin on the truck. So the plan is now to hang the […]

GUI – Holding Tank Control

By |February 12th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

Above picture show the control page for the holding tanks. Tank level gauges display the level in each tank and threshold settings will create alarms when the level goes under or over certain values. This allows automatic clearing of the tanks with a flush cycle for the black water tank.

The activity buttons are not on the page yet. Both aggregate functions and elementary functions are available.

An elementary function is a simple command to open one valve or start the pump, however the pump start will not be executed unless one valve is open. The drain valve for example will […]

Unpacked and Sorted

By |February 10th, 2015|SETTING UP|0 Comments

Two long days and a lot of sweat in 38 degrees but I got it done. Everything unpacked and sorted. I have a few different places to store everything. The truck transmission is in the truck shed and needs a forklift to get loaded again.

The tanks (10 of them) are in the stables and so are the slide-outs and the shower. The tyres are stowed away out of the sun for later.

All the rest is sorted and spread out in my studio, which I had cleared for the repair of some white ant damage. The open space comes in […]

Picking Up Container Content from the US

By |February 10th, 2015|SETTING UP|0 Comments

Our container was unpacked at the freight forwarder (DB Schenker) because of a requested AQUIS inspections. Customs did not have a problem with it, they did not care to inspect, which was to be expected with the kind of content and origin. AQUIS had a hold on it though and inspection was yesterday but brief, since they were convinced pretty quickly that all items were new, pallets were treated and tyres had no moskitos nesting in them.

So we had the additional cost of unpacking at the depot, but did pick it up and saved the cost for the container […]

Main Rails Delivered

By |February 9th, 2015|SETTING UP|0 Comments

152 x 76 x 6.35 in 6082 Structural Aluminium at 9.90m per length times 5
After a turnaround of roughly three months my main rails arrived to day from Ullrich Aluminum. They were extruded in New Zealand and the shipped here. Capral does produce in Australia but wanted 500kg minimum quantity which is way too much. Four of the five length are around 270kg (that was the minimum quantity).

I have to ask my CAD system about the weight of just the 5 length. I have never really looked at it individually only together with the other components.

It is mighty impressive […]

Container From The US

By |February 9th, 2015|COMPONENTS & MATERIALS|0 Comments

At Shipping Etc in Lafayette Luisiana


On October the 8th 2014 I placed the first order in the US to be shipped to Lafayette in Luisiana. My shipping consolidator was located there. The comapny name is Shipping Etc and they do shipment consolidations, but normally not from 46 different suppliers and not into a 20′ container which has to be hand loaded and stacked to the top. Well, but that is the way to make it economical.

The guys at Shipping Etc. went out of their way to get my excentric request accomodated. I have not yet been able to check […]

GUI – Control Application

By |February 8th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

The pictures in the previous chapter showed a first version of the graphical user interface for the control application. It pictured the light switches in the indoor section. I start with the light switches because it is the easiest part to implement from a technical point of view. The above picture is not original resolution. Original size is 1364 pixels wide, the picture above is compressed to 800 pixels wide, everything looks smaller. I decided for a 15″ screen because I wanted more items on the screen at the same time with a reasonable size and not going through […]

Technologies And Concepts

By |February 5th, 2015|CONCEPTS|0 Comments

A quick overview of all the different technologies and technical concepts I am using for the control system and the van. These are points of interest which are not common in RV’s or vans.

Udoo with Freescale i.MX 6 CPU and Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 CPU (same as Arduino Due)

Arduino Uno with ATmega328

XBoard V2 with Atmega328P low voltage version with Arduino bootloader

Ethernet for loacal Lan

Wifi long range access point with up to 15km reach with WPA-PKA2 protection

Ubuntu Linux 12.04

Samba for file exchange between Windows and Linux

Java as main programming language on Ubuntu and Android

Eclipse IDE for Java development on Windows […]

First Material Pickup

By |February 3rd, 2015|SETTING UP|0 Comments

76x76x6.35 in 6082 Structural Aluminium
Now the procurement phase reaches the end with materials coming in. My container has arrived in Perth awaiting clearance and possible inspection by AQIS (we will know soon). The aluminium profiles for the main rails are also in Perth now (custom made) and we await delivery any day. I am not going to pick up 9.90m long 152x76x6.35 RHS and 5 length of them. My roof rack was at its limits with the weight, but it did ok. It was not far to drive for me and I took it real easy.

Will have to go […]