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BM buildng and improvising

I had an interesting encounter with another resident tonight. I was outside crimping a terminal by hitting it with a hammer on the curb, and there was a couple of guys talking by the pool one on a motorcycle. I’m tapping away, he calls out “hey! who’s making that noise, motherfucker!” He starts up his bike, revs it up annoyingly loud a few times and drives over. Kills it, asks me if I live here, what I’m doing. Then he asks me if I want anything to smoke, not because he’s selling, just in case. After that, he starts up again, revs the engine hard and peels off.

Things solved today: cleaned up the apartment; picked up some snazzy Monster platinum coated fuse holder and 150 A fuses for the inverter; rolled out a big Pelican case from Fry’s; bought a plastic boot bin from Container Store.

So I was needing a waterproof, somewhat dustproof, yet vented, enclosure to put my charge controller and Rigrunner in. The controller has a heatsink on the back and requires being mounted vertically. There’s many places selling outdoor enclosures for radios, wifi, SCADA and whatnot, but I only found one that was vented. Unfortunately it was $160, and while it would certainly work if I had a permanent thing outside, it’s way too much for what I need it for. This is where the plastic boot bin comes in. Mount it sideways, drill some holes in the bottom, it has a seemingly waterproof lid (that can always be reinforced with clips), clear so I can see the LCD, and was only $4. Easy access to plug/unplug things. I don’t know if or how hot the controller gets, so it should be easy to poke a hole in the side and make an exhaust vent out of some PVC pipe if necessary. Or it could just all overheat, burn up and turn everything in to a pile of smoldering goo.

Ever since the first BM I had wanted to make a shade out of EMT conduit. I never could find the fittings to build one and never got around to fabricating my own. Standard electrical fittings were limited and expensive, since they’re intended to actually run wire through. I found this place, and it turns out they’re just outside Austin! With an Angelfire page claiming copyright 2001, it’s hard to know if they’re still in business. The guy there replied today that they’re alive and selling. Now that I’m renting an RV, I haven’t decided if I’m going to build a small awning or not. I already have several lengths of 3/4″ EMT, and greenhouse shading from Home Depot seems like it’d do a good job of shade without turning into a giant sail.

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