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Has anyone had any experience with solar trackers. There is mucho to find on the web using analog designs.

After an extensive search, I found this. After I built it and burnt my fingers a couple times, it seemed like the control could easily be made using the uC instead with PWM motor control.

 

post-1413-13513550941_thumb.jpg

 

I like the sensor idea here, reverse some clear green LEDs. cheap and practical, guess its time to work on some good adc code for the LP....

 

Lots of info here:http://www.redrok.com/main.htm

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I'm sorry zeke but the simulator wasn't my idea. True credit to the author on the pic. The simulator result was, of course, why i picked this design from all the others out there. It is the most stable of the bunch, and it will not waste valuable energy oscillating around the light source. It is my hope this strategy can be implemented within the msp code using timing and the WDT.

 

if anyone is interested in the simulator, please see: http://www.linear.com/designtools/software/#LTspice

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I decided to try out the sample Maxim development board that just arrived.

 

In the application I am pondering here, I wanted to evaluate the signals that the LED sensors will generate.

Using a LED to provide the signal is not a new idea, but is so to me :shock:

Maybe one of you can help me interpret the results, and the implications for importing this sensor modality into the MSP430???

The MAXIM scope is a little confusing to me......

 

I hooked up the ADC and a basic breadboard circuit to the MAXIM board, and loaded their software...post-1413-13513551032_thumb.jpg

 

I then captured some scans neutral, and then with flashlight applied.post-1413-135135510335_thumb.jpg

post-1413-135135510344_thumb.jpg

 

I then reversed the polarity of the LED to see it's effect. WIthout, and then with light applied.post-1413-135135510351_thumb.jpg

post-1413-135135510357_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Peter. Good to see you here, lots of good peeps who chip in...

 

I did enjoy those documents you linked. I am interested in using fig 7 on the sharp circuits. My inexperience leaves me doubting i could guess the values of the components, can you help me calculate the values needed?

 

KB

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Thanks Blue,

 

Using a DirectTV antennae azimuth mount as a base, i was able to dissect it and add some bearings. The horizontal mount uses some aluminum disks which i had to cut in 1/2" milling stock with a 6" hole saw (scary!) on a drill press. Using lazy susan bearing there. The gears and belt were commercially available. Cost so far (less solar panel) about $75. Struggling now with the code for the sensor using MSP w/ PWM output to control TI motor drivers.

 

KB

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