Author Topic: Another version of a heliostat...  (Read 1967 times)

Paul L

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 99
    • View Profile
Another version of a heliostat...
« on: March 22, 2013, 03:26:10 PM »
Hey All,

   Thought I'd post this since it's been so quiet around here lately.  I've been busy building my army of heliostats, which are slowly taking over the deck in my father-in-laws backyard.  If I have enough scrap wood lying around, I might just build one more...These pictures aren't the completed heliostats - obviously they're missing their mirrors, and am going to enclose the entire machine in a nice pine box, so none of the motors or leadscrews are visible, also making it fairly waterproof.  A 18'' pine shelf will give me two inches to spare without hitting the ground, so the final heliostat will have a nice floating box effect.  I'll post more pics once I get them totally finished!

Cheers,

Paul

Update 04/11/13:  Here's the final projects in a short timelapse....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMr5bNNyhKs   
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 07:18:04 PM by Paul L »


Gabriel

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 651
    • View Profile
Re: Another version of a heliostat...
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 07:23:52 PM »
OK, somehow I completely missed this thread even though it's been about three weeks since it was posted. It was even marked as "new" so I don't know how I missed it.

Anyway, it's looking really good Paul. You're currently the only person that I know of that is testing the program with multiple machines right now. I'm trying to hurry up and catch up though. I just finished a linear actuator based heliostat today. I had started it a long time ago actually, but it seemed fragile so I stopped working on it for awhile because I couldn't think of a way to redesign it. It seems to be working pretty good now though. Even though I have a fairly large/heavy mirror mounted on it, it still moves nice and smooth. More on that later though I guess.



Paul L

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 99
    • View Profile
Re: Another version of a heliostat...
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2014, 02:51:38 PM »
Hiya,

  Well, its been roughly a year and an update is in order.  I had my army of three heliostats running in unison and I was fairly happy with them.  One downside was that they didn't have quite the range of movement that I wanted.  To get better range, I had to switch over to the wormgear setup.  After checking a few places in town I managed to get two salvaged gearboxes from a broken electric wheelchair. 

I disassembled one of my older heliostats since I needed the motors, which then had to have their shafts ground down to fit the slotted drive shaft of the gearboxes.  Then all that needed to be done was drill and tap a few holes to physically attach the motors to the gearboxes and then bolt the gearboxes together with a 6" peice of 3/8 aluminum angle.  A little epoxy to set the limit switches and tada!!  The ElectricWheeliosat!

I did have a larger (2'x3') mirror attached, but it couldn't hold the weight in position when power was cut to the motor, so for testing, I've used a cheap vanity mirror from the dollar store (which is promptly broke...). 

Gabriel

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 651
    • View Profile
Re: Another version of a heliostat...
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 06:47:50 AM »
Looking good! It will be neat to see how well it tracks.

You could probably use the larger mirror just so long as you balance out the weight somehow.

I wonder if there is a good supplier on the net for those gear boxes.

Good Job!