Monday, August 4, 2008

The fan is in!

Thanks to the craftsmanship and hard work of a fellow local vandweller, I now have ventilation! And some natural light too!

It's a MaxxFan. It's very stealthy; can't even see it from the street level. From above, it still looks like a delivery vehicle, just one with a vent in it.

I learned a lot and I'm eager to put in another vent-- one with clear plastic or tempered glass to let the sunlight in (and a frosted-white plastic sliding cover for privacy).

I noticed a few things. First of all, the vent creates noticeable drag when driving. Even with the vent closed, it feels like driving with the windows open-- lots of wind resistance. However, it doesn't seem to hurt fuel efficiency, in fact the 7.3L biodiesel-burner seems to actually like it that way.

Secondly, it totally screwed up the reception pattern of my WiFi antenna. It's not necessarily worse, just different. Spots that used to have great reception now have nothing, and other spots that didn't have anything, now have great reception. Not too surprising since I cut a 14" square hole in my ground plane, and also added a protrusion above it of a few feet of metal tubing (the skeleton for the mostly-plastic electric vent). So the radiation pattern of the antenna has changed a bit.

It's also a little less stealthy at night, but as I said you can't see the thing from street level. Apartments above might notice some light, but if I park somewhere that there are streetlamps, and since I just have my little LED lights in here with not much output, I don't think anyone will see the light from the outside.

Overall I love it. I have fresh air. I feel better. I'm not stumbling around in the dark when I walk in to the thing.

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