12 July 2003 – Comms/Navigation/WX Systems Cleanup

cleanup involved getting rid of unnecessary wires, rerouting the
existing wires and adding cable ties and/or Velcro to tidy things up. Everything
was torn out and set on the passenger’s seat or the dashboard. The end result looks
like the picture at thr right:

  1. Magellan Meridian Gold GPS unit
  2. Panasonic PV-DV402 digital camcorder
  3. Kenwood TH-D7 2 m/440MHz ham radio
  4. Sylvania SSC090 13 in. television
  5. Davis Weather Monitor II
  6. three-outlet, 15 amp multiplug adapter
    (a second one is not shown in the photo)
  7. RadioShack 500 channel scanner
  8. RadioShack citizens band/weather band radio (8A: radio, 8B: microphone)
  9. (not shown) Nokia 6162i cell phone

a difference! Prior to the cleanup their wires everywhere.now everything
is in neat bundles, and I could move the console as a whole given about 10
minutes.the two main things are:

  • I can turn everything on it once now.
  • I am not tripping over a bunch of wires and neither is anyone else.

Now I just have to clean the rest of the van!


The key technical challenge in redoing the electrical system was to properly
balanced the load between the left-hand power outlet (20 amps) and the right
hand power outlet (15 amps) in the front of a van.on several occasions ,
the onboard television was turned on and the fuse on the 15 amp circuit was
blown after about the third time this happened . I took a closer look at
the circuit diagram for the van and realized I had a 20 amp circuit right
next door.  Now the 20 amp circuit has on its the following: the onboard
television, the camcorder, and a two  outlet. adapter that powers ,
both the GPS  unit and the ham radio.the 15 amp circuit runs everything
that is mounted in the lower console: the Davis Weather Monitor to display,
the CB radio, and the 500 channel scanner.

As a matter of documenting the electrical demand in the van and also establishing
a good load balance . I diagrammed out , where everything needs to go in a separate document.

COST I  spent $22 on an assortment of fuses,though
I only replaced a single 3 amp fuse, since I managed to lose one when
one of the adapters broke open.  That little glass fuse may be somewhere
under the seats, but I’ll be darned if I can find it. This is a good general
maintenance investment, as I have no spare fuses for the van at all.  The
$22 also included four single use tubes of superglue.

TIME SPENT I spent pretty much every moment from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. (when
I lost the light of day) cleaning things up. About six hours total,
including a brief dinner break.

next challenge is figuring out how to get the laptop computer into comfortable
spot in the van and integrate the APRS software and the output of the Weather
Monitor.  The idea is to be able to take moving weather measurements
and relay those out to the Internet using the ham radio.I have not decided
whether to use the modified hospital tray(that I picked up at a garage sale)
or improvise some sort of pedestal to let the laptop . swing over the passenger
seat or over the existing center console that holds the radios and the weather

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