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Topics - ben

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General Discussion / login details for shop store purchase
« on: September 13, 2015, 06:30:21 AM »
Hi Gabriel,

I want to make a purchase, at the store, and need to login.

When I use my login from the forum, it says user unknown.

Do we need to create a unique login just for the store?
Or can we use our forum login as a common login to the forum and store?


Heliostat Projects / mirror not located on rotational axis
« on: September 09, 2015, 09:02:59 AM »
Hi All,

I think it would be very important to have the mirror located centrally at the intersection of both the axis of rotations.

I have seen many designs where the elevation axis is located behind the mirror.
Similarly, and possibly as a consequence, the azimuth axis does not intersect the middle of the mirror.

Can anyone please describe how this affects the ability to accurately point to a target?

My understanding is that unless this "offset" is accounted for in software, then when you control the mirror to a desired location, the reflected beam is not in the desired location.

I have read through a number of designs and seen somewhere where this phenomenon was discussed. I cannot find this discussion now, so thats why I wanted to start this thread and highlight it as an important (or trivial) design consideration.
Anyway, regarding the previous discussion on this topic, I thought that the conclusion was that "its not so critical" or something.
Later I read that people are having drift in the afternoons. I say that probably the drift is related to their mirror not being centrally located at the intersection of the two axis.

Can anyone who has experience with this please comment?

Heliostat Projects / worm-drive vs linear-actuator vs belted-pulley
« on: September 07, 2015, 06:30:57 AM »
    Hi All,

    I understand there are three main types of mechanics used to control the angular position of an axis.
    - worm-drive - fixed shaft rotates which turns a toothed disk
    - linear-actuator - fixed shaft rotates which slides along a nut
    - belted pulley - small wheel on stepper drives a large wheel on the axis using a belt.

    Can we please discuss PROs and CONs of each?

    Of interest to me is the following:
    - holding torque of stepper,
    - strength of components
    - weather proof
    - ease of build and ease of maintenance
    - back lash or slack in interconnections.
    - price

    What have you used, and would you recommend it?

    This discussion will hopefully help me choose an approach for my own design.

Heliostat Projects / functional diagram of Sun Harvester Shield V2
« on: September 06, 2015, 06:33:24 AM »

I am considering to purchase one of your "Sun Harvester Shield V2" boards, and would prefer to know more about it before I purchase.

Do you supply a functional diagram or schematic with the purchase?

I have looked at the "Sun Harvester Shield V2 Source" in particular the PCB layout and before I reverse engineer it, wanted to give you the opportunity to supply this information.

I am not looking for a schematic that I can use to copy the board.
I am wanting to understand what pin of the shield connects to what component on the shield.
For example below is an image suggesting the information I am wanting.

I want to know if the PBs and SWs use pull-up or pull-down, what LED I can control from what pin, and how you have implemented the RTC and I/O expander functionality.

From reading the datasheets of the RTC and I/O Expander ICs, and the PCB layout in Design Spark, I could gain an understanding of the circuit, and produce my own functional diagram...

So, can you please provide a functional diagram or similar?

Heliostat Projects / mechanics, a-frame on lazy-suzan
« on: September 06, 2015, 05:30:18 AM »
Hi All,

Here is my preliminary design.
Thread is locked until I get more of the design up online.
I welcome your comments (when thread is unlocked).
Thanks for your interest.


Introduce Yourself / G'Day fellow enthuisiests
« on: September 01, 2015, 02:35:13 AM »
Hi all,

What a great site, well done to all that have contributed so far!

I recently stumbled upon this site while late-night crawling on the web looking for ideas to meet my needs. I now know what I "heliostat" is, and it is exactly what I want to build.

It gets pretty cold here in Australia during the day, some days max between 10-15 celcuis (50-60 F). I know its colder in other parts of the world, but we like it warm down here!

Going outside on a cold day, I look for a sunny spot to stand. Even a little bit of warmth from the sun is welcomed.
My bedroom gets cold, infact all rooms shaded by the sun are cold and dark.

I want to warm and brighten the rooms up by reflecting the sun inside the house.

I look forward to discussing my ideas, design and progress with you.


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