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.
Here's a couple picture's of me working on the compound parabolic trough project. It's been cloudy and rainy for the last 5 days or so. The batteries are pretty much drained from me staying up till 2:00am working on the website, so there's plenty of incentive to do something besides work at the computer. I've spent the last 3 afternoons working on the compound parabolic collector. I've got all 9 of the parabolic sections fully built, now it's just a matter of connecting it together.
The first batch of the H-Bridge motor drivers arrived today. I soldered one up and it worked fine. Yeah! I'll make the pads a little larger if I'm going to make it a kit so that it's easier to solder. I also learned that manufacturing includes TNames but not TValues in the silk screen, so I had to look at a schematic to know the values for the resistors. No biggie.