Archive for the ‘airstream’ Category

Airstream Lights

Friday, February 17th, 2012

On a recent camping trip some fellow campers waved to us as we went by.  “Hey, you know you got a tail light out?”  Us, “What, hmmm, it was working when we left from home”, them, shrugging “It happens.”

When we finally got our site picked out we had a look. Yup, tail light on, but boy, dim, I guess, if you can’t see it without getting down and peering in there and squinting then it aint really “ON”.

On our trip home we discussed the importance of tail lights etc.. lucky for us no one creamed into us during the conversation.  We decided we needed to fix the situation for good, possibly we could upgrade, to LEDs


Airstream Lock

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Our door lock was looking pretty sad.  It had a big chunk broken off the corner and someone got in there and got all happy with a welder, welding on a stainless paddle with plain old steel or some such.  The vulcum seal around the edge  had dried out and there was a crack in the corner and I was afraid the corner might fall off on the highway somewhere.  It was time to take it off and have a look see.

Cracked Lock (more…)

Capacitive Liquid Level Sensor

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Capacitive sensors of all sorts have been an interest of mine. They become interesting when you start to discover the huge variety of applications they are used for. While doing research for the new Control Panel in our airstream, I came across a couple of varieties of what appear to be a capacitive liquid level sensor for tanks. The TechEdge moda sensors appear to be capacitive based if you download there moda sensor manual and have a look.

These sensors incorporate two sheet aluminum plates that when stuck in proximity to one another on the tank form a small capacitor between them. Filling the tank with water changes the dielectric and therefor the capacitance. I decided to conduct a little experiment to see if I could do something similar.


Control Panel – Step 7

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Ok, now for the Arduino, yup, its got to happen.  I debated and debated, but I gave in to my own peer pressure.  I just had to put a microcontroller on our control panel, it only makes sense 😉


Control Panel – Step 6

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

So the current meter had me stumped.  At first I thought it may be the charger for the battery, but, nope.  Next I thought it had something to do with the fact I was running off upstream shunt side of ground.  Switching to a direct ground connection didn’t help either.  However, in the process of trouble shooting I figured out that if I ran the meter off an isolated supply, it worked perfectly.


Control Panel – Step 5

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Finally Electronics. 😉  I ordered some nice big LCD panel meters from Circuit Specialist.  I felt a little foolish doing this as a whole harbor freight multi meter only costs 5$ 1/3 of the price of fancy snap in panel meter, but, the harbor freight meters rely on a 9V battery and are physically large and hard to mount.


Control Panel – Step 4

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Now it was time to replace the old board, with a new one.  We decided to make it a little longer and round the corners to match the contoured curve at the top of the trailer.  After some measuring and playing around with the design in Rhino, we made a large paper template and used it to mark out the board.  Unfortunately the size of the board was to large to fit in the CNC, or I could have made a perfect cut, instead I had to resort to the old scroll saw.


Control Panel – Step 3

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

After removing the board that was our old control panel I fished out the shunt wires and tested to make sure they still had a connection to the back of the trailer.  Also at the same time I found the brown insulated multi conductor wires for the water tanks sensors.


Control Panel – Step 2

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Since I wanted to have a current meter on the control panel the first step wast to go through all the wiring in the “One Stop Service Center”.


Control Panel – Step 1

Monday, June 20th, 2011

For the past few months we have been working on fixing up an older Airstream trailer.  Its a 1970 Safari, and came to us in pretty good shape, but was missing one very important item.

The Control Panel duh, dunh, dunh, duh!!!