SKarosser Copy Scratch Home build?????

Self builds and DIY projects
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wonkywheel
Posts: 407
Joined: June 5th, 2017, 7:31 pm
Location: East Northamptonshire

Re: SKarosser Copy Scratch Home build?????

Post: # 29153Post wonkywheel
September 5th, 2020, 4:31 pm

Zildjian, Your scales are back under your camper, Thanks
"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" .......(Winston Churchill)

2007 Ford Ranger "Thunder" 4x4
Camper aedificavit domum

User avatar
wonkywheel
Posts: 407
Joined: June 5th, 2017, 7:31 pm
Location: East Northamptonshire

Re: SKarosser Copy Scratch Home build?????

Post: # 29529Post wonkywheel
November 13th, 2020, 11:01 pm

Work on the camper is still continuing all be it slowly.

I am/was in the throws of changing my truck. I had purchased another Ford Ranger. This one a 3-litre auto instead of my 2.5 manual.
It turned out to be a right LEMON :cry: :cry:
I am still trying to rectify the situation with the garage, who are not being very helpful.
The thought of no usable truck to put the camper on took the wind out of my sails a bit. With all sort of options flying about. To sell it? Spend more on either of my truck? I am afraid a new one is well out of my range.
Anyway,

Tidying up the wiring and fitting it into cable trunking is taking quite a time. Shortening some wiring, extending others all is a slow process.

I will try to get the camera out and take some pictures.

The solar panel and controller are working great. I have recently added a data logger to the solar controller to monitor exactly what goes on. It takes a reading every 10 minutes and stores for retrieval later. There is a program available to be able to plug a windows laptop directly into the logger which would be great if I had one. At present, the best I can do is to take the logger to my home PC to access the data. I was hoping to be able to access the logger with my RaspberryPi computer but there is not a convenient Linux program. That is still work in progress.
While the camper is at the home base I might try using a WiFi extender and sender unit to read the logger directly but I would have to swop connections to the internal monitor display as you cannot connect both at once.
With the intension to fit gas struts to the solar panel so that it will be possible to tilt it to take advantage of the winter sun. I am interested to see exactly what difference it will make. Hence the data collection.

A number of runs with the heater confirmed my suspicions that it gives out too much heat for my small (well insulated :shock: ) camper. I ran it until I had used all of the gallon of diesel I had. One cold morning I decided to try to fire it up again. This time on some 6-year-old diesel I had leftover when I got rid of my Lister engine. Not a good idea. The heater went through its start-up procedure only to blow cold air from the heater and white smoke from the exhaust. It then shut off with an error code showing incomplete combustion. I suppose it was asking a bit much for the old diesel to still have any go. Then we were back into lockdown so I have plenty of time to get fresh fuel, flush the system through, and have another go.
The idea that the heater was still too big for my requirement bugged me so I searched out a 2kw heater on Amazon. That arrived a week early, today in fact. It is quite a bit smaller than the 5Kw all-in-one obviously and I am looking forward to trying it out. This one has to be assembled and fitted in as opposed to the 5Kw. It even has a more sophisticated digital controller that allows much more system control. I am not sure yet if it compatible with the all singing and dancing Afterburner controller that I yen for but even if it is not this one has far more options than the previous one.

I fitted a bracket to mount a TV. I took the smart TV from the dining room (bac room :lol: ) and mounted it in the camper. It is true at present I can only use it when "plugged in" and I have no aerial at the minute. The WiFi signal from the house was not strong enough to reach the TV but I was able to test it out playing music and pictures off a USB key. It worked fine for a couple of days then nothing. It seemed totally dead. I checked the power supply to and in the camper, all good. TV nothing. I took off the bracket and back down to the house. Nothing. I took the back off just to check that there was not a blown small fuse on the boards, nothing. I got my multimeter out, the one that works ;) , and checked I had power getting to the boards inside. Yep, it was live but nothing from the set. Fed up I put it back together and stood it up the corner out of the way. I thought I would try recharging the remote control batteries just to be sure it wasn't a switching problem.
The next day , with fully charged remote batteries I tried the set again. Bingo, it works. I'm not sure but I don't think the remote really had anything to do with it. I have a suspicion that the st does not like the cold and damp outside in the camper. Or it could be that there is a break in the mains lead, dry joint on the boards or any of the 101 things that can go wrong. I will see when it goes back to the camper. :?
The extra's that come with that are:- an inverter to use some of my power and an aerial, both TV and WiFi
It might be ideal one day :roll: 8-) :lol:

The winter closing in prompted me to think about finishing the fourth piece of the awning (indoor job) although when I get the heater in?? plenty to do in the camper still.
I had put eyelets in the sheets to enable me to join them with the little bungee balls. That did seem a bit of a pain so I intend to add press studs when I finally finish the corner piece.

Pictures to follow :roll:
"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" .......(Winston Churchill)

2007 Ford Ranger "Thunder" 4x4
Camper aedificavit domum

User avatar
wonkywheel
Posts: 407
Joined: June 5th, 2017, 7:31 pm
Location: East Northamptonshire

Re: SKarosser Copy Scratch Home build?????

Post: # 29932Post wonkywheel
January 28th, 2021, 4:52 pm

It has taken a long time to get going again.
I am still finding doing much a problem as I have little or no energy.
Covid-19 is not a nice thing to have at 72 years old but I consider myself very lucky to be getting over it after 3 horrible weeks.

Back to the job in hand.
The 5kw diesel/air heater was just too good for my small demountable. It was going to fit in the toilet/shower room.
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With the arrival of the much smaller 2kw version I find that it is small enough to fit under the floor in the potential small cupboard that as yet, has no outside access.
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It will need an outside door and ducting for the warm air inlet and outlet. The heater exhaust will be able to go straight through the floor of the cupboard, as will the burner air intake. That will separate the system so that there is no chance of CO or CO2 getting in the cabin.

The unit was put in temporarily to test that it worked and would be more suitable for my needs.

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It did fire up and run very satisfactorily after going through the priming procedure to get fuel into the burn chamber. I did note that as with the 5Kw version there was quite a power drain in the batteries for the first 3 minutes. This was with the glow plug heating up to ignite the fuel.

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These Chinese heaters are copies of the, now patient expired Ebrespacher truck heaters, so they were not worried about battery power. The heaters are supplied with feed wiring that is a not really man enough for the job and is plenty long enough to encourage voltage drop. I noted that the solar display showed a gradual voltage drop from 12.8v down to just over 11v. by the time the glow plug turned off with the heater running. These units will throw up an error code and fail to start if the voltage goes down to 10.8v. With heavier shorter cables a subsequent start-up kept the voltage over the 12v mark.

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With the camper off the truck, a mains battery charger has been used to top up as required but it is only a cheap (smart) charger that turns itself off when the cycle is complete so it cannot be left on just to top up.

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These heaters need to go through a shutdown procedure where the glow plug comes back on to burn off any excess fuel while the fans power up to cool the unit down. Without this, the internal motherboard would be cooked/destroyed, so power is essential at shutdown.
My large solar panel does not yet have the ability to be tipped up toward the low angled sun so there has not been enough good weather to keep the batteries fully topped up. An interior light is left on as is the door light for my convenience.

I know I could get a better charger but with the thought of using the other heater in my shed, I decided to build a Bench PSU from an old computer PSU. This could be left connected inside the camper or in the shed.

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This enabled me to feel I was doing something worthwhile while sitting at my temporary workbench (dining room table)

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When complete I should have a 12volt 16 amp PSU to fire either heater. As well as an auxiliary supply of 3.3 volt and 5 volt USB charging. Wonderful thing Utube.

The rest of the camper is still work in progress or an excuse for a tip.

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"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" .......(Winston Churchill)

2007 Ford Ranger "Thunder" 4x4
Camper aedificavit domum

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