Designing the Van Part 30 – Connecting the Dots

Some precision drilling and screwing later I had my access door in shape with its little adornments of a solar regulator, carbon monoxide alarm, switch bank, kitchen strip light and water heater control firmly in place. Holes were drilled for the wires to run through and where possible had been connected to the appropriate terminals. When finished it was going to look like Cape Canaveral.

The wiring was almost ready to go but before committing to a final installation I made sure to mark each wire with a little plus or minus and a note to say what it came from. This is the kind of organization that has established fantastic banking empires the world over, banks which I might add, are definitely not stealing from the poor at all. No, not a bit of it.

My old and trusted crimp tool was in its element as not since I worked at a car stereo dealer has it been taken out of the tool box. I’m sure I heard it squeal with delight at every crushed connector, holding wires in place so tight that only an act of god could shift them.

The process of wiring is a tedious and cautious one, a single mistake could signal the end of every single component in the chain and I could ill-afford such a costly cock up.

After what seemed like an eternity of trimming, stripping and twisting wires (actually about seven hours), clamping crimps on them and taping them tidily out of the way, I was ready to test everything.

The solar panel still needed fitting but I needed a dry day for that, and the leisure battery still had plenty of charge so I was okay for diagnostic checks. I always wanted to say that.

First up, the light. I switched it on and it lit up. I’d call that a success.

Next was the water pump and its confusing to wire switch. I pressed the switch, its little green LED came on and the pump pumped. Another success.

The water heater also provided no shocks and its green light came on when I slid the switch across. That meticulous planning had worked so far and I was feeling that swell of gushy pride again.

Last of all I checked the bean can sized inverter which had a lighter plug on one end and the plug socket and USB slot on the other. It came on and I plugged my phone charger in. The phone was happy receiving some juice and I was happy that there were no fireworks, sparks or unpleasant ‘plastic melting’ type smells.

Not much left to do now except fit the solar panel on the roof, my job for the next day.

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