Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Day 68, 69, 70 - Gordonville, TX - TT

Monday (68) - It dropped down to 37°F last night as a cold front is moving through the central states. It’s supposed to be cold again tonight. By this time, I would already be getting ready for my next flight home but due to the mandatory 14-day quarantine in Alaska, that’s not really feasible. Especially since another 14-day quarantine would be required upon my return. I just sent an email to the Division of Retirement and Benefits. We’ll see what they say.

I moved our Ubiquity setup from the rear cabinet to the cabinet above the drivers position. This has unobstructed view of the activity center and resulted in a 12db increase in signal. I’m hoping this translates to more consistent throughput. While I was at it, I also moved the two Raspberry Pi computers into the same cabinet. The lower one with the small OLED display is the DMR UHF hotspot. The other on the upper shelf is the one that I just set up last week running Home Assistant. The antenna on the lower right is the Ubiquity inside antenna. The outdoor antenna is in the next cabinet to the left aimed roughly at the activity center.

I'm not at all sure what the DVD drive on the upper shelf is even connected to.

Tuesday (69) - Another night of needing to use the furnace. The heat pump just doesn’t work when it gets down to around 43°F. It’s already 12:40pm and the weather app is reporting only 45°F in Gordonville. The temperature sensor in the front of the RV is reporting 49°F. Moving the Ubiquity antenna to the front cap did make a difference. We were able to watch Netflix last night. It usually buffers a lot after around 6pm to the point where the Netflix app gives up.

Most of the afternoon was spent rearranging the stuff in the front of the coach. I temporarily removed the flatscreen TV and the wood supporting it from the old TV box. There used to be a tube TV in the front so there is a large empty space behind the current TV. I ran the cat 5 network cable that connects the Ubiquity Nano and its PoE power supply from the drivers side compartment into the center section. The power supply connects directly to the WiFi access point and I mounted this next to the TV.  This is shown in the picture. The other network cable goes to the Home Assistant Raspberry Pi which is also in the space behind the TV.

For now, it is being powered by the USB port on the power strip. The outlet that is is plugged into is powered by the inverter and shore power. But it is connected to a relay that will turn off the outlet when the engine is running. A safety feature. In the next cabinet over is the switch for the TVs that allows any source to be directed to any of the three TVs. This switch is powered by 12VDC so I’m thinking of tapping into that with a 12VDC USB power supply that I just happen to have with me. It doesn’t make sense until there are some IoT devices connected to Home Assistant. I will also need to have the IoT wireless network always running.

Wednesday (70) - More messing around with things in the front of the coach. I removed the amplifier to get to the 12VDC wiring and added this small DC-DC converter (blue rectangle). It provides 5VDC at 3amps and has two USB connectors. Since I am using a Raspberry Pi-2 for the Home Assistant and a Pi-3 for the DMR hot spot, the 3amp supply is probably sufficient. I used Anderson PowerPole connectors (red oval) again since I have them available. The Pi-2 is still in the old TV cabinet since it needs an wired Ethernet connection. The Pi-3 has built in WiFi.

It almost hit freezing last night and I’m hoping that we won’t be getting any more cold temperatures. I went ahead and disconnected the water last night just in case. Last year we got some freezing temperatures and I ended up cracking the water pressure regulator. I tried Amazon again and all of the microprocessor stuff I was looking at still has delayed shipping as it is classified as non-essential. This RV park charges a $5 handling fee for any package so I wasn’t too keen on getting things shipped here anyway.

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