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Harmony Panel

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Harmony Panel  Empty Harmony Panel

Post by wilksy Mon Jul 05, 2021 3:36 pm

Some may have read about the Harmony Panel in my brand new Corinium Duo basically falling into the recess due to only being held on by double sided tape, so this weekend I made a start on trying to fix the panel so it cannot be pushed into the recess yet is still easy to remove if need be - my dealer informed me that they are all like that now due to issues in removing them prior to be taped in.

It should be noted that if I were to return the vehicle to the dealer they would only tape it back up again.

So strip down began on Saturday morning initially this seemed to be easy, remove the two black caps and remove the two screws, however the panel felt like it was held in place by something else, which, it turns out it was - the four screws holding the Truma CP Control Panel which had been screwed through the Perspex facia and into the wood recess by about 3mm - not very good.

Removing the Harmony panel and Truma panel was just a case of disconnecting the wires and pulling the facia free, now the fun and games start.  On initial inspection the Harmony panel has two wedge shaped mounting pieces, these should be secured to the facia and then the Harmony panel secured to the wedges with 4 screws, unfortunately the wedges were secured to the Harmony Panel and then the wedges taped to the facia.

The actual screen for the Harmony is proud of the mounting wedges by 1.75mm so the tape has to take up a minimum of that and then stick to the very shiny surface of the facia.

I tried a half * Inappropriate Word * method of epoxy gluing the wedges to the Perspex but this simply broke away when I tried to refit it into the recess.  So what next, after a bit of thinking I have decided to make the entire facia from 6mm aluminium plate which will mimic the AS Perspex one but more importantly will give me a method of securing the Harmony Panel once and for all.

Luckily I have the machinery and know how at home to do this so the actual cost will just be the aluminium plate and the AS stickers I have ordered to make it look standard once back in situ.

I will also machine a slight recess that the screen will locate into as at present there is nothing positioning the Harmony Panel except gravity and two bits of (not very good quality) double sided tape, which at the very least should be 3M VHB.

I have also remade the wedges in aluminium so I have something solid to mount the panel to, instead of some form of plastic moulding.

Pictures will be posted once BT has decided to work again, I will post an update when finished this coming weekend.
wilksy
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Harmony Panel  Empty Re: Harmony Panel

Post by Kemerton-bath Mon Jul 05, 2021 5:43 pm

That sounds an excellent solution in terms of form, fit and function. No comparison with the "oh that'll do approach" by AS. As you say, at the very least they should have used appropriately spec'd 3M tape. I just don't understand their thinking, part from cost, because those panels gave them so much grief when Sargent introduced them. You might have thought they'd at least fix them properly, especially given how vital that panel is for operating the habitation systems. Unbelievably shortsighted and sad to see such a poor compromise on what is generally a quality conversion in this market sector.

A suggestion if I may, to improve finish still further. You might consider going the extra mile and polish the aluminium plate to a chrome finish, thereby matching door furniture and other fittings in the van.

I replaced the plastic chrome trims on the high-level locker doors last year as part of my task to deal with peeling door foils, which is a whole other story you hopefully won't need to worry about. Having stuck the foils back down again I wanted to cover the edges of the two foils (different wood grain colours) with aluminium flat bar as an additional measure to prevent them lifting again. I had to use aluminium as I couldn't get stainless strip in the size I wanted, so found out how to polish aluminium to a chrome finish. 

I used wet and dry papers of progressively finer grit as per the YouTube clip linked below, and finished off with an aluminium polish.  I was pleased with the result as the finish looks factory-fitted, but with a superior fixing to deal with the lifting foils. The picture below illustrates hopefully.

I look forward to seeing the finished result for your panel, it's going to be a significant improvement and well worth the attention to detail.

Tim

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Post by wilksy Tue Jul 06, 2021 9:00 am

Thanks for the comments Tim, I do actual have a proper polishing machine and have used it many times for polishing a variety of materials including aluminium, the only problem with mirror finished aluminium is it does tarnish much quicker than say stainless steel.

This is something I polished on my Hot Rod a few years ago, the drum is aluminium and the plate has been chrome plated but of course I had to polish it to a mirror finish before plating.

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I must admit I hadn't thought of polishing the plate but may now give it some serious thought.

Should finish it this coming weekend so I've got until then to decide.
wilksy
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Post by Kemerton-bath Tue Jul 06, 2021 10:26 am

Nice work. Being a flat surface in my case I was able to easily lacquer it to prevent tarnishing.

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Post by wilksy Tue Jul 06, 2021 1:32 pm



Pictures will be posted once BT has decided to work again, I will post an update when finished this coming weekend.

So it would seem BT has come back to me so as promised two pictures one of the screen mounts made in aluminium and one drawing for the panel - material still not delivered yet.

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wilksy
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Post by wilksy Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:32 pm

Okay so this weekend I finally made the new control panel facia from 6mm thick aluminium, there is now no way that the Harmony screen will push through as it is no longer held on with double sided tape.

It took me 5 hours to make it on my milling machine and once I was happy that everything fitted properly I painted it black and then applied an AS sticker to complete the factory look.

In my opinion this is how it should be fitted, the AS screen printed Perspex item is really rubbish just relying on two bits of tape to hold it in place - even the cut out for the Truma i-net controller is the wrong size - miles too big when compared to the cut out dimensions in the fitting instructions.

The other thing I found incredulous was the tangle of wires behind the panel, basically no attempt to tidy up anything so I spent 10 minutes untangling as much as I could and then coiling the excess cables and securing with cable ties.

Below are a couple of pictures of work in progress and then the final item, everything was machined from the backside as I wanted a no visible fixing look for the panel, except for the actual securing to the motorhome.

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wilksy
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Post by Kemerton-bath Mon Jul 12, 2021 5:29 pm

That’s a fine piece of design and fabrication. Now that I’ve seen the outcome I see why you chose to go for a black finish, exactly the right decision.

Unfortunately the case to adopt that level of engineering would be lost on AS, even assuming they could make an economic argument for it. If they’re content to use double sided tape as a fixing method for such a key piece of equipment then they simply won’t get why you’ve gone to this level of detailing. 

Many of us on here completely get it, but we use our vans and gain knowledge about how best to operate them to an extent that far exceeds what the designers and builders in the factory have.

Tim

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