plans are useless; planning is essential

I was planning on mounting two maxxair fans in the roof, but I was mistaken about the amount of space available between them. If I did install both fans, I couldn’t fit even 2 of my 100 W Renogy solar panels between them, meaning I’d end up with 200 W total (one panel between the two fans, one panel forward of the front fan).

So fuck the 2nd fan. I’ll make due with one, installed in the rear. I shipped the 2nd fan back to the merchant yesterday. Hopefully I’ll just be out the cost of return shipping, and the adapted I bought for the front fan. I guess I could ask the ebay vendor about returning the adapter, but it seems less likely (just called ’em, and they’ll take it back!).

I’ll pick up these window inserts to use as an air intake. It’d be nice to have an intake under the van, but this will serve for now, and is easy.

I was guessing that only 3 of these Renogy panels were going to fit forward of the fan, but getting out there today and looking at it more closely, I think I can get all 4 up there. Fuck yes.

I have the Renogy z brackets, but they don’t fit quite properly. The ribs in the van roof are interfering with the brackets. So I’ll try using their curved z brackets where necessary. If those won’t work, I’ll have to start thinking about modifying something (either panel frame or the bracket). The guy from Renogy didn’t like that idea, but that doesn’t mean I won’t.

I am going to wire up the panels all in parallel. Renogy guy said this should be fine, and should work fine with 10 AWG wire (he recommends copper strand, tin-plated wire) and MC4 connectors. I’m putting a 30 A breaker between the panels and the charge controller, and the 40 A version between the controller and the battery, as the Renogy guy recommended.

So today I picked up: a MC4 crimping tool, more mc4 connectors, 3 mc4 y-connectors (to put 4 panels in parallel; I’ll put up some drawings eventually), 2 curved z brackets (not sure how many (if any) I’ll eventually use; I want these in hand to make that determination), some of this wire, and some dc breakers. This is the 3rd or 4th purchase I’ve made regarding the solar setup. I’m learning. There will be more.

Which raises another point: I’m badly behind schedule. Not that I had a definite schedule, but I’m not where I want to be with ~5 weeks remaining at this apt. (Just sent out my last rent check.) I do need to start setting deadlines for myself. I want to get this shit at least roughed in before I move in. And more is better. I’m going to drop most everything but exercise and this for the coming weeks. My CA buddy and I are going into the city (NYC) for a day at least, and up to Montreal for a few days, but besides that I should be getting 8 hours a day in, at least.

I’ve been having some doubts about the project in a more serious way lately. Both about what I’m capable of doing in this time frame, and about wisdom of this course more generally. I’m still committed to it, and at least as often I still see it as fun and financially reasonable. The doubts are more real at times, and the joy is more real at times. I like to remember that the next step (maybe in 12 months) is to buy a piece of land. The plan starts to sound truly excellent, at that point.

I’ve been smoking some pot, and that’s cost me some time, for sure. Mostly working when high these days (instead of gaming or dicking around online), and still planning on taking a big long break when I move into the van. I beat Witcher 3 high, which is something I wanted to do before selling the desktop. It’s been mostly good, though I have had to wade through some ugly voices, and it always costs me more time than I mean it to.