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'Bird Projects & Modifications Share with us that latest project or modification that you have done to your 'Bird right here.

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  #1  
Old 03-24-2017
badandy badandy is offline
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Default 1983 PT35 Project - modernification / restomod

I'm not sure what to call this, but coming from the car world it would be considered a restomod. I bought a nice PT35 from a member here about a month ago and I've started working on some things. I thought someone might find it useful (or at least get a good laugh) if I posted a log of sorts here.

My objective is to have a cool retro bus on the outside that is as modern as it gets inside. I would like to be boondocking a lot more than hooking up, so that's driving some of this. I also like to tinker with things - engines, electronics, computers, etc.

So far I've been mostly fixing broken and worn things. Some are mechanical and some are electrical gremlins.
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Old 03-24-2017
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Welcome to ownership!
We always want to see what other guys are doing,keep us in the loop and you do remember "without pics,it never happened!"
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Old 03-24-2017
badandy badandy is offline
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I've rewired the headlights and replaced them with the Hella H4/H1 sealed beam retrofits. Holy awesome, these might be the best headlights I've ever had on anything. The clearance and marker lights are all fixed and replaced with LEDs now. The tail/brake lights have LED replacement 1156 bulbs that, while certainly bright now, kinda don't look very nice. I'll deal with that later, maybe.

The confounding thing now is those front amber running lights. My lenses are crackled pretty well and were leaking water, so the sockets and bulbs inside are rusted solid. I can't seem to find any NOS lenses so I'm looking for something to replace the whole housing with. I can machine a new aluminum housing and mount a new LED unit on it, but I want it to look as close to the original as possible, but housing LEDs of course.

Many of the interior lights were upgraded to LED already and I finished those off this week. The gauges are all updated now since I had to take the dash apart for a new headlight switch.

OK none of that is very exciting. The next post will get into some more exciting things!
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Old 03-24-2017
badandy badandy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Dupree View Post
Welcome to ownership!
We always want to see what other guys are doing,keep us in the loop and you do remember "without pics,it never happened!"
Thanks! This group has been a great resource all around!
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Old 03-24-2017
badandy badandy is offline
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This is a 10" touch screen connected to a Raspberry Pi. I'm going to make a new panel using this setup to replace the original one in the kitchen, but keep the same look and feel of the original.

It will do much more than what the stock panel does. This will be the central hub of all bus systems. It will have a simple interface to adjust thermostats, monitor temps, humidity, tanks, batteries, gen, etc. It will also be connected to a cellular modem and wifi (when available) so it can communicate to our cell phones. We will be able to monitor what's going on, get alerts, and control a lot of things remotely. Our dogs are going to be spending some time in the bus when we can't take them with us, so this is important to us. I will probably put a video camera or two in there somewhere.

I'm working on the I/O board design this weekend. Once that's done I will start working on the user interface software and get the mobile stuff working. I should have something going in a few weeks, but it might take a few weeks to get a PCB made.
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Old 03-24-2017
badandy badandy is offline
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OK one more juicy post for the day. I bought a complete battery pack out of a 2013 Chevy Volt to become my new house batteries. They will be reconfigured to provide 48v and will power a (duh) 48v inverter. I should be able to reuse (hack) the existing cell balance electronics that the Volt used, but I'm on my own for charging power. These will fit, with ease, in the rear side compartment on the curb side and provide 16.5 kwh (well, 80%ish of that is usable). The whole unit should weigh around 400lbs + inverter and charger.

I have no immediate plans to install solar panels, but it might be something I do in the future. My intent is to charge the house batteries as quickly as possible with the 12.5kw generator and/or shore power when connected. In theory that's around 1 hour, but in practice will be 1.5-2 most likely. I still have to do the math on alternator charging via the prime mover, but suffice to say it will take a while on its own. One advantage of lithium is that you do no harm at all by only charging part way. There's no float charging, either. And the Volt pack is water cooled and heated, so they should last a good long time.

I'll get some pix tomorrow when I'm out there.
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Old 03-24-2017
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I have a set of NOS amber lights for the front,the whole assembly.
$200 will buy them.
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Old 03-24-2017
badandy badandy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Dupree View Post
I have a set of NOS amber lights for the front,the whole assembly.
$200 will buy them.
I will keep that in mind!
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Old 03-24-2017
badandy badandy is offline
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Say, I thought I read a post from long ago stating that you had the rubber insert for the aluminum trim that runs down the sides. Do you still have that?
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Old 03-24-2017
technomage99 technomage99 is offline
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Default RASPBERRY PI CONTROL

HI ANDY:
Some comments and questions:
I saw your picture of a lil screen attached to a RASPBERRY PI .
I didn't know of small flat screens which had an HDMI INPUT. I admit I haven't looked too hard. If you have the source name, please let me know.

If you have or work up to a "black belt" in Raspberry Pi programming and can concoct a separate interface board with lots of inputs and outputs, you can do whatever you want. I appreciate that stuff since I'm an electronics weenie from way back.

My 2 cents: Use opto-isolators coming and going and protect anything like a computer with well protected/isolated power. Reason: Lightning! Hopefully the old "battery boiler chargers" in your coach have long since been replaced with 4 stage efficient "smart chargers". My Wizard chargers saved me from damage when a nearby lightning bolt hit. Only popped the chargers' 120vac breaker in the main panel. Some other coaches and campers in my row had expensive damage like a fried diesel engine control computer and coach chassis circuits.

I looked up a PT35 on Google. Is that coach ~36' with a tag axle?

My current project is to add "dual purpose" security and driving cameras
(might as well all be 1080P since prices have plummeted) with a DVR. More thinkin to be done before I bend a credit card. Lots of choices. I also want to see what's around me while driving and parking.

We can't trust our pup to not eat "something", so he has a crate/cage, I
don't think he would be embarrassed by video evidence.
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