to simplify     notes from the open road

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


I bet the list of Vanagon owners who have to switch into panamoric mode just to fit their entire solar array in one photo is a short one.

That's 100 new watts of the good stuff at right in the above picture, bringing the spaceship's total to a respectable 355. So that's one thing I've been up to since the last update. It's been a very busy couple of weeks with music work, but in addition to the above, I've managed to knock out some other key improvements in between bouts with those pesky little black dots.

Such as...

...a brand new 250 amp hour house battery to replace the previous four year old one. No, four years isn't such a great lifespan for an AGM battery, but I guess it's not terrible either. Anyway, I blame my two plus years of daily induction cooktop use. Live and learn.

And clearly, I did not plan very well for this sort of thing when building my cabinets. At least, I'm pretty sure there aren't any pro van conversions out there that require an engine hoist to swap a battery. At 160 pounds though, lifting one of these babies up and out of that center enclosure was simply not an option for this scrawny nomad. Enter the immortal hoist, and another seriously cool tool saved the day.

Speaking of cool tools, the 3D printer has been getting a decent workout around here lately. We turned a huge but super quiet CPU fan into a magnetic upstairs window fan (the plastic borders securing the protective screen were 3D printed):  

Yeah, it's a funky looking fan, but I think it suits the homegrown vibe of the spaceship's decor. It's pretty cool being able to sketch out a simple design...

...and an hour or so later have just the right part for the task at hand. Like these snappy bits that now secure my keyboard cover in place way better than before:

Still more to come...