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Monthly Archives: August 2015

BMS System Screen

By |August 31st, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Today my touch screen from 4D system arrived, finally. This was the second attempt via Australia Post. The order was placed over 3 weeks ago and they claimed to have it sent by express the next day. After 2 weeks I complained and they sent it again, by Express post. Neither the first, nor the second shipment was scanned by Australia Post and no tracking event was available. Today the second express satchel arrived after 5 days, Metro to Metro service, how pathetic.

I programmed it quickly with a test program to see if it works and discovered a problem. […]

Holding Tank Valve

By |August 30th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Not getting ahead really well at the moment. The plumbing is not my strong side and it gets a bit boring, however it gotta be done. Today I had to take a step back before I could make a few small steps forward again.

I had to relocate the rear holding tanks. It is a real pity since they were sitting very nicely, however they were too high and there was not enough space between the top of the tanks and the floor. I did not want the inlets going into the side, I want them straight in from the […]

Perth at Night

By |August 30th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Just found an old photo I took in August 2002 when I got my first digital SLR camera. This was a totally calm evening with no wind at all, nothing. Swan river was like a mirror and this image suggests that it was manipulated, but it wasn’t. This was taken handheld with a long exposure and 6 Megapixel camera, an achievement at the day. I used a 24-70 2.8 AFS ED Nikon zoom lens. Time of the day was 20:45. I never again have seen the Swan river so flat. I guess this is as unique as my van.

Hot Water Supply

By |August 29th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Today I only did a little bit of practical work. The lower pressure side for the water tanks is finished. I now started looking at the routing of the pressure lines, specifically the hot water supply lines. The cold is trivial and I have already placed the drinking water lines. For the drinking water I have only 3 connection points and for the fresh and hot water I have 5 and 4 respectively. This is not really a complex installation. The tanks with all the valves and connections have been more laborious.

The main aspect of the hot water supply […]

Blog And Facebook

By |August 28th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Just playing with some plugins in WordPress to auto publish posts to Facebook. I have a very limited Facebook account as far as content is concerned, but it is easier for the friends and family to follow the project when they can read Facebook instead of logging into the  website all the time.

Time will tell if this is good or bad. I am not really fussed about Facebook, but as long as I have no additional effort to keep that updated I don’t really care.

So here it goes, the first post from the WordPress blog to my Facebook page.

Well, […]

Filler Lines Finished

By |August 28th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

The filler lines and all the breather lines for the drinking water and fresh water tanks are finished. Have to finish a couple of outlets for the drinking water, the fresh water is also finished.

I also had to fit the last tank brackets for the diesel and one drinking water tank.

The images below show the brackets and also the cross brace underneath the chassis, holding the tank hangers and pressing against the cross member to eliminate upward movement of the tanks. This is all pretty solid now and will withstand bad abuse even when the tanks are full or […]

Plumbing Almost Done

By |August 27th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Continued today with more plumbing work and fitted more tank brackets along the way. Top image shows another support bracket for piping, making sure nothing is going to move when driving over some bad corrugations.

The images above show one of the drinking water tanks held between two angle brackets, stopping any forward or backward movement. All my braces run perpendicular to the driving direction and are primarily aiming to hold the tanks when accelerating or decelerating. All tanks also have a top brace to avoid jumping up on really rough ground.
I am almost done now with the intake side and […]

Arduino Extender Shield

By |August 27th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Today another Arduino gadget arrived from the US. It is a shield which allows to reduce the stack height of a configuration and use two stacks side by side instead of one. The shield also provides prototyping space for additional components.

I quickly tried it with the current component I have in test and that is the BMS.

For this particular configuration there is no benefit because the height of the stack is not reduced. It is only useful when I remove the screw shield and put the resistor array onto the extender shield. then I can reduce the stack height […]

More Plumbing

By |August 26th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Done more plumbing work today. This is getting real boring, however quite important to make sure that everything is absolutely solid, does not move or rub anywhere and will withstand any abuse by road or temperature.

It took  some time for me to decide what pipes and fittings to use. Until recently I still thought I am going to use pex and push in fittings for the hot lines, but not anymore.

I made some tests after the disaster with the push in air fittings. I used the pex fittings and made a pressure connection with my compressor hose and pumped […]

Load Share Valve

By |August 26th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

A couple of days ago I received my air solenoids for the suspension system. These are electric actuated pressure valves are used to connect two airbags and equalise the pressure. They have a pressure input and a NC and NO output. 12V operated they are driven by a microprocessor and a local switch. The purpose is to make sure both airbags on one side have the same pressure while the air level system lifts the van to the pre programmed position. Because the wheels in a closed coupled system are so close together the height sensor on one wheel […]

Fresh Water Plumbing

By |August 24th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Today I resumed installation of the water tank connections. Had to get a few more hose clamps. I had been thinking a while what to use for inlets and outlets, if I should use pex or push in fittings with standard 12 mm piping etc.

One reason I use food grade hose and hose clamps with poly fittings is weight again. I have motorised ball valves at the inlets and outlets of each tank, they already add up in weight. A lot more brass fittings would considerably add to the weight.

I will use pex for the hot water connections where […]

Manual Air Control

By |August 24th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Another kg of unaccounted weight .. they will be gone by the time I am finished.
went and got the bits to finish the airlines.

Top image shows my manual backup solution for the air level system. I am not going to use the switches, at least no intention in the near future to wire them up although I could. I will mount 4 Schrader valves for manual inflation if everything else fails. It was cheaper to buy the unit with the switches than individual twin needle gauges.


Done some more electrical stuff. This is one box with waterproof plugs, they will […]

Tank Breathers

By |August 22nd, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

I started to put the breather lines in.. I had already mounted some smaller stuff but then decided that I am going to regret a small diameter on the breather when I want to fill the tanks quickly from a high volume source or want to do some transfer pumping.

Making sure they run higher than the breather connections to the tank. Have seen some real bad work on a couple of caravans from a local dealer here where the breather lines run lower at some points and can easily get filled with water and there is no way for […]

Air System – Tidy Up

By |August 22nd, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Today we had a few hours good weather and I used it ..
Cleaned up the wiring around the air engine and the components ..


the empty ports on the manifold are going to be used for the load share solenoid when
they arrive .. 3/8 hose with compression fitting to the solenoid ..


Air System – Operation

By |August 18th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Two images showing the difference in height between low and high.



The first video shows the lift from lowest position to standard ride height.

the next movie shows the chassis dropping to lowest position.

and the next one shows the lift to highest from lowest. That
was the test when I took the measurements of the final set up.

The top image shows the panel at max height.

At the moment the chassis is very light so the lift is pretty quick. This will take a bit longer when the van is finished.

I could fill a few pages with the pros and cons and […]

Air System Fix

By |August 18th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Have worked on the air system to day and finally got everything fixed an working. Took another effort because there were more leaks right at that air engine.

I fixed the main leak and then there were still small leaks around the flow adjuster screw. I fixed that too and then all was tight, BUT it did not survive the rattle test. That’s when I go over everything and rip at the cables and lines and wiggle and push and shove to see if it holds together. Spay some foamy water on it and wiggle again .. check the pressure […]

Air Leak

By |August 17th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Today I swapped all the useless push in fittings with compression fittings using the same plastic hose. Had to tap 4 fittings with NPT thread at the mechanical pressure gauges. I only had BSP fittings, but it worked fine.

All my new connections were tight right from the start, should have done this in the first place BUT Chinese/American or whoever done that struck again:

The main connection of three of the 4 fill valves leaked where the connection goes into the body of the valve. One would expect that such things get pressure tested.. far from it I guess… This really annoys me […]

Switch Mounting Bracket

By |August 15th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Then today I made a mounting bracket for the some switches next to the pressure gauges. Takes a while when you have only limited tools.

Finished wiring and then started the air system when disaster struck.

The compressor output of the control unit does not have and power although I put a relay on it and not the compressor itself despite instructions that this is possible. I did not trust the cable coming out for 40A and the compressor draws slightly more anyway.  But there is no voltage at all on the wire. Ok, I will have to go through the […]

More Cables

By |August 15th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Some setback today .. damn frustrating, but I come to that later.
Yesterday I had two main tasks, putting more cables in, wiring everything up and finishing all airlines was one and the other was my commercial project. Was in and out of the office, so my time outside was limited.
Anyway .. I got all the wires in and a few were left to connect today.



BMS- Wired Up

By |August 13th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Have wired up the components for the BMS. The image shows a couple of relays on the right which were not in the image further up. These are the relays for charge disconnect and load disconnect.
I will not use those, they are not latching, well at least not mechanically. I will use latching relays to avoid permanent power to the relay to avoid heat build up and power loss. The ones in the pic are latching but electronically. The processor stack has another shield on top. It is a IO extender because with this application I need more analog inputs […]