Battle Stations!

Saturday I got busy and fixed my front desk, by adding a layer of maple plywood to stiffen the top — which was bowing under the weight of my biometric safe. I painted the edges of the plywood with black spray lacquer.

Somehow after reinstalling the engine, the cowl must have shifted so that its support bracket was now 3/4″ closer to the passenger wall. So I had to shorten the top of the desk’s plastic StarBoard anyway. But the result is good. I took this opportunity to replace all the screws with 2-1/2″ #12 flat-heads, which I countersunk into the StarBoard.

Next up on Sunday, I tackled the daunting task of mounting the 19″ Sony Bravia HDTV to the ceiling, over the helm. This involved some careful planning. That and a Band-Aid for my forehead.

I first cut a piece of 3/4″ maple plywood to about 10″x23″ to span the helm’s ceiling cavity. Then I cut and screwed four pieces of 3/4″x1/8″ thick aluminum angles to the top of the board. The protruding brackets will mount to the ceiling ribs, and the plywood will “hang” upside down by the collective friction of 32 screws.

This unorthodox design is important because an aluminum ceiling panel has to eventually cover this mounting plate, so everything had to be flush across the bottom of the plate. That is, it couldn’t have any aluminum “lip” creating a 1/8″ gap, and it couldn’t have any screw heads protruding below. I was actually surprised this worked so well. I could even hang from it, which is a good test because the motorized mount is almost as heavy as the TV itself. Probably about 60 pounds total. That may not seem like much but remember, this is an RV and it’ll be bouncing around too.

Here’s the TV in its upright and locked position, mounted to the motorized swing arm’s VESA plate using the standard 100x100mm hole pattern for TVs smaller than 23″ diagonal.

And here it is after slowly unfolding to the down position. Now that makes me feel like I’m doing something tactical in a spacecraft. “Battle stations! Battle stations!”

The TV is small enough where I can actually add another display of some sort above it, attached to the upper part of the swing arm. So maybe I’ll mount the weather station up there and free up some space on the helm for something else.

Here’s how it all looks from the door. I’ll finish installing a dedicated AC circuit and button up all the wiring tomorrow, but for now I’m exhausted! We stayed up pretty late last night playing poker with our old friends, Terri & Allen. 🙂

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