If you already own any kind of enclosed vehicle, you can make it work. Even a small hatchback car can protect you from the elements while you look for something larger. There isn’t much you can do to convert a small car into a full-featured dwelling, however. It’s basically a place to sleep, store a few things, and move from point A to point B. Eventually you will want to expend the resources for something with more space.

Living on the road and off the grid doesn’t mean you have to forego the conveniences of modern technology. Most of the electronics and appliances in the home are available in smaller packages suitable for use in a car or camper situation. But be warned: Setting everything up will be more complex than just unboxing and plugging in. Fortunately, it is possible to start small and build up to a complete electrical system, learning as you go.

Opinions vary on the value of insulation. What insulation does is slow down the transfer of heat by conduction and, to a lesser degree, radiation. In the cold of winter, this can make it much easier to maintain a comfortable temperature. On hot summer days, however, insulation seems to make it more difficult to cool down the interior without resorting to expensive air conditioning. Regardless, you definitely want to seal up any cracks or openings that let air travel freely between the inside and outside.

Finding a good place to park is always an ongoing concern. Rather than finding one perfect place to park every night (until the day comes that you can’t park there anymore), it’s best to scope out several options and rotate between them. If you don’t need access to city amenities, there are many campgrounds and national forests where you can park for a few days for free or a small permit fee.

Here are a few things you can do before a permanent or long-term trip to make the transition easier. This is not a checklist; don’t worry if you haven’t fulfilled each and every one of these points. In most cases, these are things that you can address after making the move. It is just easier if you have thought about them beforehand and planned ahead. Basic necessities Several changes of clothing.

Electric stoves are basically not an option unless you have installed a heavy duty electrical system. Even tiny electric hot plates draw hundreds of watts. You will either need a gas-burning stove, or you can restrict yourself to a diet that doesn’t require cooking in your vehicle. As always, when flames are involved, be careful. Keep the vehicle well vented while cooking and stay alert. If you’ve been drinking or are otherwise not in a clear state of mind, then eat a snack, take a nap, and cook up a meal some other time.

If you do nothing else to prepare your vehicle, the one thing you need to do is equip it for sleeping. After all, that’s the whole point. Here we will discuss some possibilities for you to evaluate and apply to your situation. Traditional mattress The standard approach to bedding is to lay down a twin-sized mattress. This works. It’s easy, comfortable, and provides a good deal of insulation from below. On the other hand, traditional mattresses are bulky and don’t offer a lot of flexibility.

You will need to find a way to wash clothes, dishes, and of course your body. Waste elimination Maintaining our daily elimination cycle is one of the more difficult parts of van dwelling. Using a public restroom is best whenever one is available. At a campground or secluded area, you can dig a hole and bury the deed. Sometimes there is no other choice but to go in the van, so you should prepare for this eventuality.

Your first line of communication is a cell phone. At the time of this writing, maintaining a minimal level of service for a TracFone costs about $20 every 90 days – in other words, about$7/month. There may be even cheaper options if you shop around. Even if you can’t afford service, you should get a cheap phone with no service and keep it charged. The cellular networks are required to allow emergency calls even when you don’t have a service plan.

Unlike dealing with extreme cold, one nice thing about hot weather is that, except in the most extreme cases, you at least have the option of getting out of the vehicle if it has accumulated too much heat. Finding relief in the shade Your first defense against extreme heat is to prevent as much heat as possible frome entering the vehicle in the first place. This means blocking sunlight from striking the vehicle and especially from penetrating the windows.

Stories abound about police harassing people who live in their vehicles. However, this “harassment” is usually just police trying to determine if you’re up to no good. Most police really don’t want to punish people for living in their vehicles, specifically. They do want you to be insured. They do want your vehicle to be up to code. They do want to find drugs or contraband or money. They will investigate if someone reports you for unruly behavior, trespassing, littering, and so on.

Your priority is always to keep your body above a survival temperature. Set up multiple failsafes so you are never at risk of freezing if one approach fails. The key to efficient heating is to limit the heated area to as small a space as possible. It’s a lot easier to heat a tiny room in your vehicle than to bring the whole vehicle up to temperature, especially in larger vehicles.

Avoid idling for long stretches of time, which can cause carbon buildup and reduce the life of your engine. Follow a regular maintenance schedule and learn as much as you can about vehicle repair. When you have some free time, pop the hood and get familiar with your vehicle. If you change your own oil, dispose of the waste oil properly! Finding a trustworthy mechanic can sometimes be a difficult and stressful affair, compounding the stress of having an inoperable vehicle in the first place.

This section is aimed mainly at people who plan to move around a lot, making it impossible to maintain a traditional employment. While the mobile lifestyle makes the classic 9-to-5 job difficult, it can also open up opportunities that weren’t available when you were anchored to one plot of land. You are already a business Any time you sell goods or services, you are engaging in business as a sole proprietor.

Many of society’s institutions expect you to have a permanent home and mailing address. Even though you may feel right at home in your van, you are “homeless” in most people’s eyes without a permanent address, and everybody loves to hate the homeless! To stay legitimate in the eyes of the world, you need some kind of address. Some reasons you may need a mailing address: To get, maintain, and renew your driver’s license, registration, and insurance.

People often think aesthetic decor lacks any utility or intrinsic value. I tend to disagree. The way you decorate your living space is an outlet of expression for your culture and your personality. Moreover, your environment can affect your mood. The place where you spend your time should be a place that makes you feel good. Colors White and reflective materials can make a space feel larger but also sterile like a laboratory.

In this book, we will look at the Arduino hardware and software platform. When someone mentions “Arduino” in conversation, the word can mean a number of things. Arduino is a company (actually two companies, but we won’t get into that now) that produces electronics hardware and software. An Arduino device is often simply called an Arduino, although each model also has a more specific name. (“My project uses an Arduino.”) Software for these devices is developed using the Arduino IDE and associated code libraries.

In this chapter, we will go step-by-step through a few simple projects to demonstrate various ways to use the Arduino. Blinking LED Many impressive projects involve LED light effects of some sort. At the heart of it all is the concept of turning an LED on and off in a regular pattern. Doing this is very easy! To light an LED, all you need is voltage and a resister. We will use one of the Arduino pins to supply the current.

Communications come in three forms: Communicating between two Arduinos. Communicating between an Arduino and a computer. Communicating with a common hub. USB Serial to computer Using serial communications via the Arduino Serial class is very useful for debugging or to send data to a computer for heavier analysis. The Arduino IDE has a built-in serial monitor, as do the Visual Micro extension for Visual Studio and other tools. You can also write your own code in, say, Python, to read/write to the serial port and talk to the Arduino board however you please.

While the digitalWrite function just toggles a pin between 0 and 5 volts to indicate “off” and “on”, the analogWrite function is able to represent up to 256 distinct values. However, analogWrite does not actually set an “analog” voltage (i.e. between 0v and 5v), but instead uses pulse width modulation, or PWM, to encode values from 0 to 255. In a nutshell, the PWM pin will switch rapidly between 0 and 5 volts.

The goal in creating this series is to make it easier for programmers without a strong mathematics background to read and understand mathematical notation well enough to implement the ideas in code. Some programming languages map more directly to mathematics than others. The code examples are written in C#, which sits somewhere in the middle ground. Arithmetic and equality The basic arithmetic and equality symbols translate almost directly into most programming languages, but there are differences.

Probability overview “The probability of something” is represented as $P(\mbox{something})$. For “the probability of something, given something else,” we use a vertical bar to separate “something” and “something else”: $P(\mbox{something}|\mbox{something else})$. This second variant is called conditional probability. The $P()$ notation suggests it is a function, but we would rarely try to write a software function P(...) to compute arbitrary probabilities. Rather, we write code specialized for a particular application of probability.