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Just acquired a fancy home automation system for the vintage bus. I was going to use e-plex, but it was starting to get too difficult dealing with the people who implement it and it was much more expensive. I think I’ve found a more modern system that I can program myself!

This will be used to control all lighting, wall switches, tank monitoring, generator autostart, systems monitoring and a heck of a lot more. I can control it via iPhone, iPad, web browser and remotely via the internet.

I just had to put a quarter in there for scale. From left to right: 120V to 24V power supply, main system CPU, Infrared addition (to control TVs, etc.), RS232 extension. To the right is a simple wall switch for testing purposes and an IR box for teaching the system to replace IR remote controls. I can also add Modbus, RS485, DMX control and other stuff.

I forgot to mention that I visited the vintage bus a week ago! Here are a few progress pics: clockwise from upper left: 

1) this is a mockup of the air conditioning ducking that will run down the center of the bus. It won’t have the lip that’s shown here and it will be made out of the same material as the ceiling… vertical grain douglas fur. It will run from just inside the entry way to just before the entrance to the bedroom. This will allow the air conditioning to feed all areas of the bus and will also hide two roof vents. I might also have a lighting added down the middle, but I’m not sure yet.

2) When I got there, the TV mount needed two notches in the overhead area above the dash in order to clear the cabinet. By the time I left, we had figured out how to get rid of those notches.

3) When I got there, the far edge of the TV lift did not match the curved ceiling and Larry had tried to merge the AC ducting with the TV to cover up the mismatch. By the time I left, the TV lift had the same curvature as the ceiling… Larry had to cut lines into the wood so that it could be bent. Now it perfectly matches the ceiling and is 98.9% invisible when closed. It’s only the 1/8″ gap between ceiling panels that gives any clue. 

We’ll be using these LED reading lights in the bus. One on each side of the bed and one at the bottom surface of the kitchen and workstation cabinets near the front edge.

The ones in the front of the bus can be used to light either the sofa area, the workstation/booth, or the kitchen depending on which way you point them. The lights turn on automatically when you pull them out of their semi-recessed mounting thingamajig. They had them on the cruise ship we were on back in December and we really liked them.