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Thread: Travel Trailer Electrical Upgrade

  1. #121
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    After another overnight soak and wire brushing, here's what the worst rusted part looks like:



    Some of the pits/pores are clean all the way to the bottom. But you can still see a lot that have rust in the bottom. It's back in the solution again now. Thinking of trying something new... Krud Kutter "Must for Rust" is the product I"m pondering next. It's harsher than the oxalic acid so I need to be sure I won't get interrupted when using it.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  2. #122
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    No offense, I'm sure you're enjoying this endeavor, but unless you're going for full authentic restoration, out seems to be more practical to just make or have made the part.
    Don't bring skittles to a gun fight.

  3. #123
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    We're getting there, Flock - painfully slow, but we're getting there. "Enjoying" is probably the wrong word - "compulsion" is more like it.

    Time in the tank is time I can spend doing other things. You'd have to see these pieces to appreciate... you could make a rough approximation pretty easy, but it would never look right. Making an exact replacement is outside my skill and tool capability. Having it made, with the labor involved - $kaching$. This piece is actually structurally pretty solid. I just want to make sure it stays that way after being repainted, rather than just covering up the problem. Once I get these pits cleaned out, it'll be smooth sailing from there. I hope and pray. It was never painted "right" at the factory to begin with... which makes it a problem for me, now. I don't want to create a problem for myself or a future owner down the road... trying to do it right this time.

    Other concern is, it may not be mission critical this time... but if it were, would I know how to do it? or would I have to be learning this on a "failure unacceptable" situation? I'd rather learn it now than when I'm under the gun on something where it really counts. Even if what is meant by "counts" is not a life or death matter.

    ETA: Another 24 hours in the tank... more progress. Looking better except in a few deep spots. Maybe by Sunday I'll have the last of those pits cleared. Wire brushing every 24 hours seems to be helping. If I had tried to sand or grind it all out it would have removed a lot of metal in the process... too much, would have ruined the piece. This way is slower, but it's getting the job done without destroying the piece. Sometimes patience is a virtue even though we want to rush ahead and " git 'er dun!"
    Last edited by bruss01; 04-21-2017 at 11:47 PM.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  4. #124
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    Well it's been about a week (ETA: 9 days by the calendar) in and out of the tank, getting wire brushed between dunkings. Hey, what happened to all that rust?





    It's gone! All the black stuff down in the pits is history. It's a little darker gray is all because I can't buff down in there... up close, you can see it's down to nothing but metal. This is the really spectacular result I was hoping for... took a while but wow!

    After work today I'm going to go get some longer plastic pipe sections to soak the longer trim pieces... and also going to go pick up some of that POF-15 that Cav mentioned. After taking such pains getting this baby clean, I'm not going to let it sit around and develop a crust again. It's been a chore getting to this point but I'm glad it worked out, I couldn't have asked for a better result. That rust is gone baby gone, and I didn't have to grind away half the metal to get it that way. Woo hoo!
    Last edited by bruss01; 04-25-2017 at 03:22 PM.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  5. #125
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    Looks good

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
    One day somebody's gonna have to make a stand,
    One day somebody's gotta say enough!

  6. #126
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    Looks great! Persistence definitely pays off.
    Don't bring skittles to a gun fight.

  7. #127
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    Thanks Flock, Sandy - Yeah... persistence... or what my wife calls "mule-headed as an SOB!" sometimes!

    Hey Flock, I scored one of those Preval sprayers... going to give it a whirl with the POF-15 tonight. Thanks for the tip.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  8. #128
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    After you get done with yours you can start on redoing my motorhome.. lol

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
    One day somebody's gonna have to make a stand,
    One day somebody's gotta say enough!

  9. #129
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    hahaha, I know what it's like to be called a mule. Guilty here!


    It's looking good!
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  10. #130
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    This is supposed to be about electrical upgrades so let's switch gears and talk about something electronic.

    This is the Fan Assist System I have designed for the fridge.

    First, why is this even a good idea?

    Refrigerators largely rely on passive air movement to remove heat from the coils (the rest of the fridge system is focused on channeling heat away from the fridge interior and into these coils where it can be gotten rid of). The coils get hot, the air around them warms, and rises. This causes a flow of air over the coils that removes waste heat from the system. The greater the difference in temp between the ambient air and the coils, the faster the air rises when warmed. Just like a hot air balloon. This is called convection cooling.

    Now - inside your home where it's a reasonably consistent temperature, this works fairly well. However, this mode of operation starts to lose efficiency as the ambient temp where the fridge is located begins to rise. At 80 or 90 degrees room temp, the difference between the temp of the coils and the temp of the room air is less... meaning the air moving past the coils begins to slow down... just when we need it to be speeding up, if anything. So as the room temp rises the fridge becomes less and less efficient. A fridge in your home, powered by the grid, can just run more and compensate for this (at the expense of your electric bill). An absorbtion (ammonia) fridge is a different and more sensitive critter... there's a limit to how much it can compensate for that reduced efficiency.

    What to do? How about an electronically controlled fan system that helps the fridge compensate by physically moving air past the coils when the temp rises. For this we would need a high ambient temp sensor to ensure that when air is above 85 degrees it gets a boost to keep air moving past the coils at a low speed (just to prevent stagnant warm air from pooling in the fridge enclosure) and a sensor that detects when the fridge coil gets hot that will kick in and boost airflow when the fridge is near the top of it's operating temp range (about 130 degrees). This ensures the fans are only running when beneficial and only running as much as necessary... and will turn them off when no longer needed, automatically.

    I've taken care to design this circuit to use the minimum amount of juice necessary, such as power being off to any components not in use in whatever mode it is in. Because when you're running on battery and solar, every amp counts.

    The system has 4 modes...
    1 - Main switch off - system powered down
    2 - System on, no sensors active, indicators and fans off
    3 - System on, high ambient temp, HA indicator on, fan on at low speed
    4 - System on, high coil temp, HC indicator on, fan on at high speed

    Here's the schematic. In the diagram there is an ambient temp sensor that triggers at 85 degrees and a hot coil sensor that triggers at 130... these are simple "thermostat" type switches that consume zero power themselves and only close at a predetermined temp. The regulator is a solid state module that efficiently (96%) buck-converts 12v dc in to 7v dc out. I have almost all the parts on hand and should be able to start putting them together by next weekend. Prior to assembly I will do some testing to make sure I haven't made any mistakes and that the system will operate as envisioned. If I have to re-work something that's a lot easier on the bench than in the rig.
    (eta - small error in the diagram in that the magnet in SPDT should be on the opposite side of the switch throw - drawing it this way made it easier in that no wires cross that do not actually connect-the "normally closed" switch position is to the low voltage branch)

    Last edited by bruss01; 05-01-2017 at 07:48 AM.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

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