Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fun with Electricity

It's time for one of my favorite parts: electricals.  The original 50's wiring was a bit scary and not entirely functioning.  Sounds like a good excuse to start from scratch.

I started on the electricals a couple of weeks ago.  You may have noticed a bunch of obnoxious blue pipes and boxes all over Lynnetta's shiny new insulation.  These plastic tubes are ENT conduit.  They protect the wiring from errant rivets and make it easier for me to add additional circuits later.  

The master plan on the left, and the three mugs of coffee it took to put it together on the right.

Just in time, the brains of the operation arrived.  It's a Progressive Dynamics all-in-one AC breaker box, DC fuse box, 120v to 12v converter, and battery charger.  It's going under the street side twin.


  1. You guys must not be getting much sleep these days. You are cruising along at a record setting pace. The insulation and rough electrical looks great. I'm sitting down right now to start drawing up my electrical plan, but at my pace, you'll be camping before I run any wire. Please post lots of pics of your electrical. I bought the exact same converter/breaker box you are using. I'd like to see how you set it up under the street side bed. Are you planning to re-use all the dual volt lights and run two systems. I really like the original lights and want to run 110v and 12v to all the lights. I have no idea yet where I'm going to make all the junctions. They didn't use a single electrical box in the original wiring. All of it was just wire nutted together in giant webs of wiring behind the walls, so I like what you are doing with the shallow junction boxes strategically placed throughout the trailer. Where are you going to put your battery?

  2. So.... are you adding drops for ethernet? :)

  3. @mojo: No, I'm running 802.5 token ring. ;-)

    Thinking wireless...though the new conduit will allow me to run fiber channel...

  4. Oh we can plug stuff up! I'll bring my glue gun! :-D

  5. @nmbosa: I'm definitely going to keep the electricals well-documented on here. Like yours, it was a rat's nest of wires in those walls. Almost all of the electricals worked for 50 years, so I can't be too critical.

    Yes, we're going to reuse all of our dual 12v/110v lights. Wiring those gets pretty simple with the combination AC/DC box: just run 12/3 cord to all of the lights and make one hot wire 110v and one hot wire 12v. More to come on that.

    Ahhh...batteries. At one point, there was a battery box like yours below the front window, but it's long since been gone. I'm designing a replacement now. I think I'm going to go all the way down to the tongue so that I can fit two 24/27 batteries in there. I've never done any serious metal fabrication before, so that will be a new experience. Wish me luck!

  6. You know me, Dawn. I don't go ANYWHERE without my glue gun. Did I tell you we're going to outfit the whole front of the trailer as a scrap-booking-station? Wall to wall shelves for scrapbook paper and all those cute little thingies that go in scrapbooks. You know my middle name is CRAFT, right?

    (BTW-totally kidding.)

  7. Good idea with the 12/3 wire. I was getting nervous about all the wire I was going to need. Another idea that a friend just mentioned to me is converting all the 110v lights to 12v since we are running converters. That way both lights work whether pluged into shore power or running just off the batteries.