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Old 02-21-2015, 10:29 PM   #151
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Re: Popping my top

Boywonder: I admire your attention to detail and meticulous workmanship. What material are you planning for the counter tops? I see from your post you build antennas too. I have built a Mclapp and a SBGH but the one that has worked best for me at my location has been a "stealth hawk", and simple to build . Looking forward to see how your van build progresses .
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:14 AM   #152
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Re: Popping my top

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackTuppVan
Boywonder: I admire your attention to detail and meticulous workmanship. What material are you planning for the counter tops? I see from your post you build antennas too. I have built a Mclapp and a SBGH but the one that has worked best for me at my location has been a "stealth hawk", and simple to build . Looking forward to see how your van build progresses .

I'm hoping to find a solid surface double sink cut out to use for the countertop, although I may end up using some cherry or other hardwood leftovers that I have laying around.

My present antenna is a Mclapp 4 bay with a reflector, built out of #10 copper romex and 1 1/4" EMT for the mast. It's painted camo and hung under my soffit outside for complete neighborhood stealth. I am down in a valley/canyon and far away from mount Wilson in LA where all the transmitters are located (maybe 70 miles??) so I'm also using a high gain outside amp and another drop amp in the house.

It works amazingly well although we have vicious Santa Ana winds a few times a year, and the last ones rotated the antenna, so I had to beef up the mounting. I have the reflector connected with all thread so I also adjusted the reflector spacing, that seemed to improve things as well.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:23 AM   #153
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Re: Popping my top

A few more things done.....

I picked up a solid surface remnant for the sink counter top; not my first choice of color but it was cheap/free.

I'll post a few pics of this when I get it sized for the cabinet.

In the meantime, I machined up a bulkhead to pass the wires for my solar panel and camp lights through the penthouse roof. The plan is to use VHB tape to stick it to the roof.

The part is really beefy, I need some width for the tape around the bottom, and with radiused edges the walls remain thick with the tooling that I have for machining.

The cable strain relief is for the solar wire and the power plugs are for a pair of 16W LED lights that I'm setting up to mount to the yakima crossbars.

The power plugs are standard fare 2.5mm panel mount jacks; these are waterproof ones made by Switchcraft, I picked them up from Mouser. They have an O-ring face seal and the little rubber sealing plugs are some of the options available for these. The connectors are about $6/ea and the rubber plugs are about $1.50 each.

I primered and painted the bulkhead black last night; I'll post a few more pics when I get it stuck to the roof.





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Old 03-28-2015, 11:58 AM   #154
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Re: Popping my top

Inspiring work. Thanks for sharing with us. You have great ideas. Makes me want to start on the interior of mine now.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:05 PM   #155
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Re: Popping my top

Can you tell more about that bulkhead you made? What material, etc.?

I was thinking of laying something up out of fiberglass to go over the top of a couple of Blue Sea feed-through connectors. Something like the bottom of junction box lying on a flat sheet so that my formed part would have wide flanges. Then maybe cable glands for the lines coming in from the panels. Yours looks super slick though! Plus the more ideas the better
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Old 03-28-2015, 04:42 PM   #156
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Re: Popping my top

Viva: It's made out of a small block of 6061-T6 that I had laying around...which is what 99% of the stuff I make is made out of.

ABS or PVC would probably work well also. I have a few other plastics like Acetal (delrin) UHMW polypropylene but these are too slippery for VHB tape.
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Old 03-28-2015, 04:54 PM   #157
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Re: Popping my top

Well that is super cool. I don't have machining tools or skills, so it's out of my league, but looks excellent.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:02 PM   #158
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Re: Popping my top

boywonder: You are certainly earning your nick name.

But you are only showing half your homework. Where is the mate to adhere it to the roof top?

(Note to self: Gotta get a lathe...)
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:59 PM   #159
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Re: Popping my top

E350: No mate, I just applied VHB tape to the bottom of this part and stuck it to the roof.

This part is a milled part, no lathe required. I have nice full sized bridgeport type mill; my lathe is the tiniest Harbor Freight one that they sell, pretty crappy but will turn the occasional round thing when required if it's not too big.

Here are a couple of pics of the thing stuck to the roof.

I primed and painted the bulkhead with rattle-can paint and applied VHB tape to the bottom perimeter.

I drilled two small holes in the roof just outboard of the canvas roughly midway back on the roof (where it is widest); one hole for the solar panel wire and the other for the camp lights.

I soldered the 12V power jacks to the camp light feed wire up on the roof (had to bring the soldering iron up there) Then I assembled the connectors into the bulkhead and fed the solar wire through it's hole.

I wiped the roof off with acetone before sticking the bulkhead to the roof.





I don't have a picture here, but the solar panel is now back on the roof as well.

If things go as planned today, I'll hopefully have the camp LED lights wired and mounted for testing. I got stung by a bee right above my left eye this morning riding my mountain bike and it's a bit swollen but I'm not planning on that slowing me down too much.
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Old 03-29-2015, 05:21 PM   #160
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Re: Popping my top

Nice work! Bee more careful on that bike though.
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