Blogs

Dark Star Solar Tracking Controller - Intro Videos

Dark Blue Android App - Part 1: Features and Parameters

This video introduced the various features and settings available with the DarkBlue app for operating the Dark Star dual axis solar tracking controller.

Dark Blue Android App - Part 2: Connecting and Editing Parameters

Compound Parabolic Evacuated Tube Heater Experiment - Part 1

I thought I'd share a couple pictures of my latest water heating experiment. These evacuated tubes can be found fairly cheap, but making a manifold for a whole bunch of them is complicated and expensive. With just two evacuated tubes a couple simple Tee joints will do. If you've never played with these heat tubes, they really are amazing. Just like a glass thermos they insulate the central part from outside, and they have special low emissivity coating as well to make sure that they trap all incident heat radiation.

Home Automation Products and Solar Energy

A couple months ago I found out about the SmartThings V2 Home Automation Hub. Since then I've bought variety of HA products that I'm now using with my SmartThings Hub, and I've been learning quite about about all of the trends in home automation technology. Things have come a long way from the old X-10 devices. SmartThings seems be run by a very smart group of people that got their start from a KickStarter campaign that made them attractive to the likes of Samsung who quickly purchased the startup, and seems to be providing support to help them as well.

Full Site SSL coverage

Hey its a scary world out there. Hackers, ISIS, and crazy renegade terrorists without a cause seem to be everywhere. At least the Home CSP website is a little safer now thanks to full site SSL coverage. That means you can feel safe that all of your data is fully encrypted while visiting our website and entering information on forms. Our content management system is also fully update on security patches to protect our website's integrity.
The bottom line is that you should feel good because you are never going to notice the security problems that wont ever happen now!

I Sense Something

This is a video for the new Temperature Differential Controller!

New Wind Trigger Functionality and Video

I was inspired by the new DarkStar controller's wind speed learning features, and incorporated the same functionality into the Tiny VCS Wind Trigger. The Wind Trigger version of the Tiny VCS features a lower maximum sensed voltage (15V) for greater sensitivity, faster sample and update frequency, and minimal hysteresis. These features help provide optimal functionality for wind trigger applications.

Track'n Park Demo Video

After creating a video for the anemometer interface, I realized we didn't have a basic video explaining the park function and what makes the Track'n Park different from the TinyTracker series.
So...here it is:

Updates to Website

I'm happy to report that some long neglected work has been done to improve the Home CSP website. As part of our new DarkStar controller rollout we realized some work was needed to improve the organization and better reflect our current focus. The recent content frame has been removed as it was distracting, and our product pages have been organized and updated. Best of all, the menu sidebar has be updated and now appears on all pages instead of just the main one. I hope this gives visitors a better experience.
Cheers!

It Has a Name!

Well the new solar tracking controller is almost ready to ship, and the documentation is written. This meant we had to come up with a name. Being devoid of any cute ideas, the decision was made to explore acronyms, and that is when the breakthrough happened.

Dual Axis Radio Controlled Solar Tracker and Remote Sensor

DARCSTaRS --> DARKSTaRS --> DarkStar

Looking forward in 2015

New products are in the pipeline for this new year. We've got a dual-axis external sensor that should be ready to make it's debut by the beginning of March. We've come up with a vacuum formed dome design to create an ideal enclosure. The attached pictures show a prototype unit. One of the nice features is the built in light vane which should make for accurate solar aiming. Also shown is one of the rough domes fresh from the vacuum former before it's been cut from the sheet of PET plastic.

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