Author Topic: Not a student but definitely a beginner  (Read 1052 times)


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Not a student but definitely a beginner
« on: April 14, 2015, 12:01:59 AM »
I'm not a student, that is to say I'm not enrolled at any school, but I am a beginner; much more of a beginner than anyone else here so sorry for stupid questions.

I got an arduino starter kit, and I'm programming it using the IDE without many problems, I usually just copy and paste relevant parts of code I find online! So I don't need help with that kind of thing, but...

I have some servos that I've attached a small mirror to, I can get it to rotate through 360 degrees, I haven't seen anything here about using servos, only steppers, is there a reason for that?

I'm only making a few small, shoebox sized heliostats, I only have a sliver of light that moves across my small backyard in my small apartment, so I was looking to do something simpler, something that isn't necessarily automated, and something I can pick up and move away from shadow without trouble. This is because there isn't any spot in my small yard that gets more than an hour of sun in a day; that's actually why it's so cold indoors and why I started propping a mirror outside to get a bit of light into my office.

Is there anything on the site that is on the simpler, non-automated side of things? Maybe a radio-controlled unit that you just manually aim? Or something similar? The UAE project mentions something with photosensors but doesn't get into any more detail.

And why doesn't anyone use servos?


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Re: Not a student but definitely a beginner
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 05:46:16 AM »
Hi Maxiewawa,

Sounds like you have gotten a good start with the IDE. I think the main reason nobody has really tried to use servos is because the program doesn't support them. And the program doesn't support them because I haven't had any reason (or time) to write code and make a circuit for them. I did try to write the program so that it would be easy for people to add their own code for whatever motors they want though.

I think if you need to move the mirror around the yard then you would definitely be better off using something that isn't automated. Every time you moved the mirror you would have to re align it and change the heliostat target.

I did run across this a while back which might work in your case.
It seems like it would be fairly easy to make.