The new motor driver pcbs arrived today. After several versions, this is the perfect driver for standard satellite dish style linear actuators. Next to the control logic connections is a connection for the reed switch. A mini terminal block next to the motor output terminal provides pass through connection for the reed signal from the actuator. What this means is that you can do something like run some Cat-5 wire from the linear actuator to the HB4, then run a separate Cat-5 wire to the SolarMega1B using an RJ45 connector.
We offer the TinyTracker as a bare board, which means you need some way of enclosing it to protect it from the weather when it is installed. Here's a quick rundown on my experiments building an enclosure. Although the TinyTracker is unique, it is not the only small LED based solar controller, and others have struggled with the question of how best to approach the issue of an enclosure. The consensus that I detected from others is that a clear jar works best, so I decided to try that first.
So much has been going on it's been hard to take time out to keep up the blog. The new TinyTracker prototype showed up last week and worked perfectly the first time I tested it. Got to love it when that happens. It looks like I may have the enclosure issue resolved as well. I'm really excited because this should provide a totally affordable tracking solution for simple applications that don't need the advanced capabilities of the SolarMega1.
The official launch date for the site is now March 1'st, just four weeks away! The new SolarMega boards are in, and the membrane keypad overlays are ready too. Version 2 of the motor driver will accomodate heat sinks and even fits in a 1/2" conduit body! The best news of all is that I've been able to hook up with a great supplier for linear actuators! HomeCSP will be able to offer you the best deals on linear actuators in the USA, along with the only out of the box smart controller solution, and we've even got prime focus parabolic dishes.
Well I’ve spent the last few days writing about 3000 lines of code for a temperature differential controller. With the basic configuration routines debugged, I decided to do an actual test run to see how the data worked without putting the unit in control of the pump relay just yet. I’ve got two tanks, and once the first one was nice and topped off, I switched a couple valves and heated up the backup tank.
I hope everyone had a nice holiday. 2012 is off to a great start because I just got word that the first membrane keypad prototypes are ready to ship! I've been hard at work working on new software for the SolarMega1 board. I've made great progress on a temperature differential control (i.e. T-Diff) application. Getting the code to handle jack detection and configuration has been fun.
Sometimes the universe has ways of making you slow down, like being cloudy and rainy for an entire week with no sun. It made me realize how much of an energy junkie I am, and made me be patient getting around to testing the new boards.