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RE: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly

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  • Craig Maynard
    Very cool, and unconventional modification ( this is a great list for the unconventional ) It looks like you plan to ground the two motor driver transistors
    Message 1 of 19 , Sep 6, 2007

      Very cool, and unconventional modification ( this is a great list for the "unconventional" )

       

      It looks like you plan to ground the two motor driver transistors bases through isolation diodes while the voltage monitor is off, clamping any signal from the op-amp brain.  When the voltage monitor floats ON ( its open collector ), it allows the op amps to turn on the appropriate motor driver transistor! 

       

      This could work well if the forward bias voltage on the 1n4148's is less than the B-E forward bias voltage of the two motor driving transistors.  If not, a third diode in series with the two emitters to ground would fix that problem. ( but re-add the voltage drop on the motors. )

       

      Cewl...  I look forward to trying that!  It looks like an easy mod without having to adjust or cut traces.

       

      Thanks, Wilf...

       

      Craig

       

      -----Original Message-----
      From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of wrigter@...
      Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:48 PM
      To: beam@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly

       

      Hi Craig and Harold,

       

      Perhaps I'm jumping the gun a little but, based on the

      schematic, I can already make one comment.

       

      To slightly reduce complexity and cost and increase motor

      power and efficiency by more than 75%, I suggest replacing

      Q3 and R4 with two 1N4148 diodes wired with common cathode

      to the 34164 output and with each anode connected to the

      base or Q1 and Q2 respectively. In addition the emitters of

      Q1/2 are directly connected to ground.

       

      The cost savings may be small but the increased power that

      results from removing the forward voltage drop of Q3 is not

      negligible.

       

      That amounts to about 1V more available across the motor

      windings which increases motor voltage and current each by

      30% and increases the motor power by 90% which should result

      in more powerful pops and faster action.

       

      Can't wait to prove out the theory.

        

      Wilf

       

      ----- Original Message -----

      From: Craig Maynard <craig@...>

      To: beam@yahoogroups.com

      Subject: RE: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly

      Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 08:36:23 -0600

       

      > Thanks, Harold!     The schematic for the New Solarfly is

      > at http://www.jcminventures.com/images/sf_schem.gif  , if

      > you'd like a peek.  ( very much like the original

      > SolarFly.

      >

      > Craig

      >

      > -----Original Message-----

      > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]

      > On Behalf Of Harold Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007

      > 10:33 PM To: beam@yahoogroups.com

      > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly

      >

      > Wow! Hurray to Wilf! Nice prize! Man, I should have

      > replied first,  hehe! Anyways, yes...we all want to see

      > the schematic of the new  cybug solarfly. Very

      > nice-looking robotic creature and a cool  behavior, Craig!

      > 'Hope to see it in action. Keep up the good work.  And

      > thanks for sharing it. ;)

      >

      >    ...Harold.

      >

      > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@...>

      > wrote: >

      >

      > Thanks very much, Wilf....

      >

      >

      >

      > I'd be pleased to gift you one so you can give an

      > objective opinion  to the

      >

      > list. ( schematic included. ) 
      Consider it a prize for

      > being the  first to

      >

      > reply!

      >

      >

      >

      > Email me ( privately ) with your postal address and I'll

      > fly over  to you.

      >

      >

      >

      > craig@...

      >

      >

      >

      > -----Original Message-----

      >

      > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]

      > On Behalf  Of

      >

      > wilf_nv

      >

      > Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 4:12 PM

      >

      > To: beam@yahoogroups.com

      >

      > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly

      >

      >

      >

      > Good news Craig!

      >

      >

      >

      > Great aesthetics and I like the changing behaviour

      >

      > depending on  the
      "feeding" method.  I would very much

      >

      > like to see the schematic  for
      this and would be happy

      >

      > to provide some feedback.

      >

      > Wilf

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>

      >

      > wrote: >

      >

      > > It's been a busy ( but short ) summer.
      style='mso-spacerun:yes'>   I had a

      >

      > chance to  completely

      >

      > > re-design the chloroplast based Cybug SolarFly to

      >

      > create ( what  else ) the

      >

      > > SolarFly 2!  I thought
      this list might be interested

      >

      > > in seeing it. It's still based on the chloroplast, but

      >

      > uses the newer flexible  solar
      cells

      >

      > > and has a very cool looky-feel. 
      My favourite part of

      >

      > the kit is  that it's a

      >

      > > BEAM Hybrid ( that's like a HYBRID car, mixing gas and

      >

      > electric  power ).
      style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  At

      >

      > > the flick of a switch the robot goes from a very

      > active solar  robot

      >

      > to a

      >

      > > run-around-the-floor-chasing-light-spots battery

      >

      > powered robot.   It's also

      >

      > > less expensive than the previous version.

      >

      > > You can also replace the 4700uF cap on it's abdomen

      >

      > with a 1F  supercap (get

      >

      > > your own cap ) and turn it into a phototropic speeder!

      >

      > > The wings are made of transparent plastic and there

      > are a few  styles

      >

      > > included in the kit.  My
      favourite are the dragonfly.

      >

      > > I've made a video of it in action if you'd like to

      >

      > have a peek.   I'll also

      >

      > > send you the schematics if you're interested.

      >

      > > Check it out at

      >

      > > http://www.jcminventures.com/solarfly_2.htm . How does

      >

      > > it look?? Craig M

      >

      > >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      > 

      >

      > Yahoo! Groups Links

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      > 

      > Yahoo! Groups Links

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

      >

       

       

       

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    • Harold
      Thanks Wilf for the nice mod! This adds to my documentation for this type of bot. And thanks to you Craig for the new cybug solarfly schematic. I appreciate it
      Message 2 of 19 , Sep 6, 2007
        Thanks Wilf for the nice mod! This adds to my documentation for this
        type of bot. And thanks to you Craig for the new cybug solarfly
        schematic. I appreciate it guys! Take care and more power! :)

        ...Harold.

        --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "wrigter@..." <wrigter@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Craig and Harold,
        >
        > Perhaps I'm jumping the gun a little but, based on the
        > schematic, I can already make one comment.
        >
        > To slightly reduce complexity and cost and increase motor
        > power and efficiency by more than 75%, I suggest replacing
        > Q3 and R4 with two 1N4148 diodes wired with common cathode
        > to the 34164 output and with each anode connected to the
        > base or Q1 and Q2 respectively. In addition the emitters of
        > Q1/2 are directly connected to ground.
        >
        > The cost savings may be small but the increased power that
        > results from removing the forward voltage drop of Q3 is not
        > negligible.
        >
        > That amounts to about 1V more available across the motor
        > windings which increases motor voltage and current each by
        > 30% and increases the motor power by 90% which should result
        > in more powerful pops and faster action.
        >
        > Can't wait to prove out the theory.
        >
        > Wilf
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: Craig Maynard <craig@...>
        > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: RE: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
        > Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 08:36:23 -0600
        >
        > > Thanks, Harold! The schematic for the New Solarfly is
        > > at http://www.jcminventures.com/images/sf_schem.gif , if
        > > you'd like a peek. ( very much like the original
        > > SolarFly.
        > >
        > > Craig
        > >
        > > -----Original Message-----
        > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
        > > On Behalf Of Harold Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007
        > > 10:33 PM To: beam@yahoogroups.com
        > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
        > >
        > > Wow! Hurray to Wilf! Nice prize! Man, I should have
        > > replied first, hehe! Anyways, yes...we all want to see
        > > the schematic of the new cybug solarfly. Very
        > > nice-looking robotic creature and a cool behavior, Craig!
        > > 'Hope to see it in action. Keep up the good work. And
        > > thanks for sharing it. ;)
        > >
        > > ...Harold.
        > >
        > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
        > > wrote: >
        > > > Thanks very much, Wilf....
        > > >
        > > > I'd be pleased to gift you one so you can give an
        > > objective opinion to the
        > > > list. ( schematic included. ) Consider it a prize for
        > > being the first to
        > > > reply!
        > > >
        > > > Email me ( privately ) with your postal address and I'll
        > > fly over to you.
        > > >
        > > > craig@
        > > >
        > > > -----Original Message-----
        > > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
        > > On Behalf Of
        > > > wilf_nv
        > > > Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 4:12 PM
        > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
        > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
        > > >
        > > > Good news Craig!
        > > >
        > > > Great aesthetics and I like the changing behaviour
        > > > depending on the "feeding" method. I would very much
        > > > like to see the schematic for this and would be happy
        > > > to provide some feedback.
        > > > Wilf
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
        > > > wrote: >
        > > > > It's been a busy ( but short ) summer. I had a
        > > > chance to completely
        > > > > re-design the chloroplast based Cybug SolarFly to
        > > > create ( what else ) the
        > > > > SolarFly 2! I thought this list might be interested
        > > > > in seeing it. It's still based on the chloroplast, but
        > > > uses the newer flexible solar cells
        > > > > and has a very cool looky-feel. My favourite part of
        > > > the kit is that it's a
        > > > > BEAM Hybrid ( that's like a HYBRID car, mixing gas and
        > > > electric power ). At
        > > > > the flick of a switch the robot goes from a very
        > > active solar robot
        > > > to a
        > > > > run-around-the-floor-chasing-light-spots battery
        > > > powered robot. It's also
        > > > > less expensive than the previous version.
        > > > > You can also replace the 4700uF cap on it's abdomen
        > > > with a 1F supercap (get
        > > > > your own cap ) and turn it into a phototropic speeder!
        > > > > The wings are made of transparent plastic and there
        > > are a few styles
        > > > > included in the kit. My favourite are the dragonfly.
        > > > > I've made a video of it in action if you'd like to
        > > > have a peek. I'll also
        > > > > send you the schematics if you're interested.
        > > > > Check it out at
        > > > > http://www.jcminventures.com/solarfly_2.htm . How does
        > > > > it look?? Craig M
        > > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
      • wilf_nv
        Hi Craig, Just one diode drop is required to clamp the base of a Darlington transitor since it has an inherent Vbe turn on of two diode drops. Also note that
        Message 3 of 19 , Sep 6, 2007
          Hi Craig,

          Just one diode drop is required to clamp the base of a Darlington
          transitor since it has an inherent Vbe turn on of two diode drops.

          Also note that the leakage current through the 100K base resistors
          during solar charging is the same as the leakage current through R4
          in the original circuit.

          wilf

          --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@...> wrote:
          >
          > Very cool, and unconventional modification ( this is a great list
          for the
          > "unconventional" )
          >
          > It looks like you plan to ground the two motor driver transistors
          bases
          > through isolation diodes while the voltage monitor is off, clamping
          any
          > signal from the op-amp brain. When the voltage monitor floats ON (
          its open
          > collector ), it allows the op amps to turn on the appropriate motor
          driver
          > transistor!
          >
          > This could work well if the forward bias voltage on the 1n4148's is
          less
          > than the B-E forward bias voltage of the two motor driving
          transistors. If
          > not, a third diode in series with the two emitters to ground would
          fix that
          > problem. ( but re-add the voltage drop on the motors. )
          >
          > Cewl... I look forward to trying that! It looks like an easy mod
          without
          > having to adjust or cut traces.
          >
          > Thanks, Wilf...
          >
          > Craig
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
          Of
          > wrigter@...
          > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:48 PM
          > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
          >
          > Hi Craig and Harold,
          >
          > Perhaps I'm jumping the gun a little but, based on the
          > schematic, I can already make one comment.
          >
          > To slightly reduce complexity and cost and increase motor
          > power and efficiency by more than 75%, I suggest replacing
          > Q3 and R4 with two 1N4148 diodes wired with common cathode
          > to the 34164 output and with each anode connected to the
          > base or Q1 and Q2 respectively. In addition the emitters of
          > Q1/2 are directly connected to ground.
          >
          > The cost savings may be small but the increased power that
          > results from removing the forward voltage drop of Q3 is not
          > negligible.
          >
          > That amounts to about 1V more available across the motor
          > windings which increases motor voltage and current each by
          > 30% and increases the motor power by 90% which should result
          > in more powerful pops and faster action.
          >
          > Can't wait to prove out the theory.
          >
          > Wilf
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: Craig Maynard <craig@...>
          > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: RE: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
          > Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 08:36:23 -0600
          >
          > > Thanks, Harold! The schematic for the New Solarfly is
          > > at http://www.jcminventures.com/images/sf_schem.gif , if
          > > you'd like a peek. ( very much like the original
          > > SolarFly.
          > >
          > > Craig
          > >
          > > -----Original Message-----
          > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
          > > On Behalf Of Harold Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007
          > > 10:33 PM To: beam@yahoogroups.com
          > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
          > >
          > > Wow! Hurray to Wilf! Nice prize! Man, I should have
          > > replied first, hehe! Anyways, yes...we all want to see
          > > the schematic of the new cybug solarfly. Very
          > > nice-looking robotic creature and a cool behavior, Craig!
          > > 'Hope to see it in action. Keep up the good work. And
          > > thanks for sharing it. ;)
          > >
          > > ...Harold.
          > >
          > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
          > > wrote: >
          > > > Thanks very much, Wilf....
          > > >
          > > > I'd be pleased to gift you one so you can give an
          > > objective opinion to the
          > > > list. ( schematic included. ) Consider it a prize for
          > > being the first to
          > > > reply!
          > > >
          > > > Email me ( privately ) with your postal address and I'll
          > > fly over to you.
          > > >
          > > > craig@
          > > >
          > > > -----Original Message-----
          > > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
          > > On Behalf Of
          > > > wilf_nv
          > > > Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 4:12 PM
          > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
          > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
          > > >
          > > > Good news Craig!
          > > >
          > > > Great aesthetics and I like the changing behaviour
          > > > depending on the "feeding" method. I would very much
          > > > like to see the schematic for this and would be happy
          > > > to provide some feedback.
          > > > Wilf
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
          > > > wrote: >
          > > > > It's been a busy ( but short ) summer. I had a
          > > > chance to completely
          > > > > re-design the chloroplast based Cybug SolarFly to
          > > > create ( what else ) the
          > > > > SolarFly 2! I thought this list might be interested
          > > > > in seeing it. It's still based on the chloroplast, but
          > > > uses the newer flexible solar cells
          > > > > and has a very cool looky-feel. My favourite part of
          > > > the kit is that it's a
          > > > > BEAM Hybrid ( that's like a HYBRID car, mixing gas and
          > > > electric power ). At
          > > > > the flick of a switch the robot goes from a very
          > > active solar robot
          > > > to a
          > > > > run-around-the-floor-chasing-light-spots battery
          > > > powered robot. It's also
          > > > > less expensive than the previous version.
          > > > > You can also replace the 4700uF cap on it's abdomen
          > > > with a 1F supercap (get
          > > > > your own cap ) and turn it into a phototropic speeder!
          > > > > The wings are made of transparent plastic and there
          > > are a few styles
          > > > > included in the kit. My favourite are the dragonfly.
          > > > > I've made a video of it in action if you'd like to
          > > > have a peek. I'll also
          > > > > send you the schematics if you're interested.
          > > > > Check it out at
          > > > > http://www.jcminventures.com/solarfly_2.htm . How does
          > > > > it look?? Craig M
          > > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
        • wilf_nv
          Hi Craig, I have modified your schematic to show the proposed changes http://www.user.dccnet.com/wrigter/Solar%20Fly/sf2_schem.gif Next some minimal reversing
          Message 4 of 19 , Sep 6, 2007
            Hi Craig,

            I have modified your schematic to show the proposed changes

            http://www.user.dccnet.com/wrigter/Solar%20Fly/sf2_schem.gif

            Next some minimal reversing circuit.

            best

            wilf


            --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "wilf_nv" <wrigter@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Craig,
            >
            > Just one diode drop is required to clamp the base of a Darlington
            > transitor since it has an inherent Vbe turn on of two diode drops.
            >
            > Also note that the leakage current through the 100K base resistors
            > during solar charging is the same as the leakage current through R4
            > in the original circuit.
            >
            > wilf
            >
            > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Very cool, and unconventional modification ( this is a great list
            > for the
            > > "unconventional" )
            > >
            > > It looks like you plan to ground the two motor driver transistors
            > bases
            > > through isolation diodes while the voltage monitor is off,
            clamping
            > any
            > > signal from the op-amp brain. When the voltage monitor floats ON
            (
            > its open
            > > collector ), it allows the op amps to turn on the appropriate
            motor
            > driver
            > > transistor!
            > >
            > > This could work well if the forward bias voltage on the 1n4148's
            is
            > less
            > > than the B-E forward bias voltage of the two motor driving
            > transistors. If
            > > not, a third diode in series with the two emitters to ground
            would
            > fix that
            > > problem. ( but re-add the voltage drop on the motors. )
            > >
            > > Cewl... I look forward to trying that! It looks like an easy
            mod
            > without
            > > having to adjust or cut traces.
            > >
            > > Thanks, Wilf...
            > >
            > > Craig
            > >
            > > -----Original Message-----
            > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On
            Behalf
            > Of
            > > wrigter@
            > > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:48 PM
            > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
            > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
            > >
            > > Hi Craig and Harold,
            > >
            > > Perhaps I'm jumping the gun a little but, based on the
            > > schematic, I can already make one comment.
            > >
            > > To slightly reduce complexity and cost and increase motor
            > > power and efficiency by more than 75%, I suggest replacing
            > > Q3 and R4 with two 1N4148 diodes wired with common cathode
            > > to the 34164 output and with each anode connected to the
            > > base or Q1 and Q2 respectively. In addition the emitters of
            > > Q1/2 are directly connected to ground.
            > >
            > > The cost savings may be small but the increased power that
            > > results from removing the forward voltage drop of Q3 is not
            > > negligible.
            > >
            > > That amounts to about 1V more available across the motor
            > > windings which increases motor voltage and current each by
            > > 30% and increases the motor power by 90% which should result
            > > in more powerful pops and faster action.
            > >
            > > Can't wait to prove out the theory.
            > >
            > > Wilf
            > >
            > > ----- Original Message -----
            > > From: Craig Maynard <craig@>
            > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
            > > Subject: RE: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
            > > Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 08:36:23 -0600
            > >
            > > > Thanks, Harold! The schematic for the New Solarfly is
            > > > at http://www.jcminventures.com/images/sf_schem.gif , if
            > > > you'd like a peek. ( very much like the original
            > > > SolarFly.
            > > >
            > > > Craig
            > > >
            > > > -----Original Message-----
            > > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
            > > > On Behalf Of Harold Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007
            > > > 10:33 PM To: beam@yahoogroups.com
            > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
            > > >
            > > > Wow! Hurray to Wilf! Nice prize! Man, I should have
            > > > replied first, hehe! Anyways, yes...we all want to see
            > > > the schematic of the new cybug solarfly. Very
            > > > nice-looking robotic creature and a cool behavior, Craig!
            > > > 'Hope to see it in action. Keep up the good work. And
            > > > thanks for sharing it. ;)
            > > >
            > > > ...Harold.
            > > >
            > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
            > > > wrote: >
            > > > > Thanks very much, Wilf....
            > > > >
            > > > > I'd be pleased to gift you one so you can give an
            > > > objective opinion to the
            > > > > list. ( schematic included. ) Consider it a prize for
            > > > being the first to
            > > > > reply!
            > > > >
            > > > > Email me ( privately ) with your postal address and I'll
            > > > fly over to you.
            > > > >
            > > > > craig@
            > > > >
            > > > > -----Original Message-----
            > > > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
            > > > On Behalf Of
            > > > > wilf_nv
            > > > > Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 4:12 PM
            > > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
            > > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
            > > > >
            > > > > Good news Craig!
            > > > >
            > > > > Great aesthetics and I like the changing behaviour
            > > > > depending on the "feeding" method. I would very much
            > > > > like to see the schematic for this and would be happy
            > > > > to provide some feedback.
            > > > > Wilf
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
            > > > > wrote: >
            > > > > > It's been a busy ( but short ) summer. I had a
            > > > > chance to completely
            > > > > > re-design the chloroplast based Cybug SolarFly to
            > > > > create ( what else ) the
            > > > > > SolarFly 2! I thought this list might be interested
            > > > > > in seeing it. It's still based on the chloroplast, but
            > > > > uses the newer flexible solar cells
            > > > > > and has a very cool looky-feel. My favourite part of
            > > > > the kit is that it's a
            > > > > > BEAM Hybrid ( that's like a HYBRID car, mixing gas and
            > > > > electric power ). At
            > > > > > the flick of a switch the robot goes from a very
            > > > active solar robot
            > > > > to a
            > > > > > run-around-the-floor-chasing-light-spots battery
            > > > > powered robot. It's also
            > > > > > less expensive than the previous version.
            > > > > > You can also replace the 4700uF cap on it's abdomen
            > > > > with a 1F supercap (get
            > > > > > your own cap ) and turn it into a phototropic speeder!
            > > > > > The wings are made of transparent plastic and there
            > > > are a few styles
            > > > > > included in the kit. My favourite are the dragonfly.
            > > > > > I've made a video of it in action if you'd like to
            > > > > have a peek. I'll also
            > > > > > send you the schematics if you're interested.
            > > > > > Check it out at
            > > > > > http://www.jcminventures.com/solarfly_2.htm . How does
            > > > > > it look?? Craig M
            > > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            >
          • Craig Maynard
            Oh, right! I used darlingtons ( in spite of the schematic symbol I show )! 2 transistors = 2 Vbe ! ( brilliant ) Thanks, Wilf ... From: beam@yahoogroups.com
            Message 5 of 19 , Sep 6, 2007
              Oh, right! I used darlingtons ( in spite of the schematic symbol I show )!
              2 transistors = 2 Vbe ! ( brilliant )

              Thanks, Wilf

              -----Original Message-----
              From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
              wilf_nv
              Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 5:17 PM
              To: beam@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly

              Hi Craig,

              Just one diode drop is required to clamp the base of a Darlington
              transitor since it has an inherent Vbe turn on of two diode drops.

              Also note that the leakage current through the 100K base resistors
              during solar charging is the same as the leakage current through R4
              in the original circuit.

              wilf

              --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@...> wrote:
              >
              > Very cool, and unconventional modification ( this is a great list
              for the
              > "unconventional" )
              >
              > It looks like you plan to ground the two motor driver transistors
              bases
              > through isolation diodes while the voltage monitor is off, clamping
              any
              > signal from the op-amp brain. When the voltage monitor floats ON (
              its open
              > collector ), it allows the op amps to turn on the appropriate motor
              driver
              > transistor!
              >
              > This could work well if the forward bias voltage on the 1n4148's is
              less
              > than the B-E forward bias voltage of the two motor driving
              transistors. If
              > not, a third diode in series with the two emitters to ground would
              fix that
              > problem. ( but re-add the voltage drop on the motors. )
              >
              > Cewl... I look forward to trying that! It looks like an easy mod
              without
              > having to adjust or cut traces.
              >
              > Thanks, Wilf...
              >
              > Craig
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
              Of
              > wrigter@...
              > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:48 PM
              > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
              >
              > Hi Craig and Harold,
              >
              > Perhaps I'm jumping the gun a little but, based on the
              > schematic, I can already make one comment.
              >
              > To slightly reduce complexity and cost and increase motor
              > power and efficiency by more than 75%, I suggest replacing
              > Q3 and R4 with two 1N4148 diodes wired with common cathode
              > to the 34164 output and with each anode connected to the
              > base or Q1 and Q2 respectively. In addition the emitters of
              > Q1/2 are directly connected to ground.
              >
              > The cost savings may be small but the increased power that
              > results from removing the forward voltage drop of Q3 is not
              > negligible.
              >
              > That amounts to about 1V more available across the motor
              > windings which increases motor voltage and current each by
              > 30% and increases the motor power by 90% which should result
              > in more powerful pops and faster action.
              >
              > Can't wait to prove out the theory.
              >
              > Wilf
              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: Craig Maynard <craig@...>
              > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: RE: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
              > Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 08:36:23 -0600
              >
              > > Thanks, Harold! The schematic for the New Solarfly is
              > > at http://www.jcminventures.com/images/sf_schem.gif , if
              > > you'd like a peek. ( very much like the original
              > > SolarFly.
              > >
              > > Craig
              > >
              > > -----Original Message-----
              > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
              > > On Behalf Of Harold Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007
              > > 10:33 PM To: beam@yahoogroups.com
              > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
              > >
              > > Wow! Hurray to Wilf! Nice prize! Man, I should have
              > > replied first, hehe! Anyways, yes...we all want to see
              > > the schematic of the new cybug solarfly. Very
              > > nice-looking robotic creature and a cool behavior, Craig!
              > > 'Hope to see it in action. Keep up the good work. And
              > > thanks for sharing it. ;)
              > >
              > > ...Harold.
              > >
              > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
              > > wrote: >
              > > > Thanks very much, Wilf....
              > > >
              > > > I'd be pleased to gift you one so you can give an
              > > objective opinion to the
              > > > list. ( schematic included. ) Consider it a prize for
              > > being the first to
              > > > reply!
              > > >
              > > > Email me ( privately ) with your postal address and I'll
              > > fly over to you.
              > > >
              > > > craig@
              > > >
              > > > -----Original Message-----
              > > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
              > > On Behalf Of
              > > > wilf_nv
              > > > Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 4:12 PM
              > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
              > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
              > > >
              > > > Good news Craig!
              > > >
              > > > Great aesthetics and I like the changing behaviour
              > > > depending on the "feeding" method. I would very much
              > > > like to see the schematic for this and would be happy
              > > > to provide some feedback.
              > > > Wilf
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
              > > > wrote: >
              > > > > It's been a busy ( but short ) summer. I had a
              > > > chance to completely
              > > > > re-design the chloroplast based Cybug SolarFly to
              > > > create ( what else ) the
              > > > > SolarFly 2! I thought this list might be interested
              > > > > in seeing it. It's still based on the chloroplast, but
              > > > uses the newer flexible solar cells
              > > > > and has a very cool looky-feel. My favourite part of
              > > > the kit is that it's a
              > > > > BEAM Hybrid ( that's like a HYBRID car, mixing gas and
              > > > electric power ). At
              > > > > the flick of a switch the robot goes from a very
              > > active solar robot
              > > > to a
              > > > > run-around-the-floor-chasing-light-spots battery
              > > > powered robot. It's also
              > > > > less expensive than the previous version.
              > > > > You can also replace the 4700uF cap on it's abdomen
              > > > with a 1F supercap (get
              > > > > your own cap ) and turn it into a phototropic speeder!
              > > > > The wings are made of transparent plastic and there
              > > are a few styles
              > > > > included in the kit. My favourite are the dragonfly.
              > > > > I've made a video of it in action if you'd like to
              > > > have a peek. I'll also
              > > > > send you the schematics if you're interested.
              > > > > Check it out at
              > > > > http://www.jcminventures.com/solarfly_2.htm . How does
              > > > > it look?? Craig M
              > > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >





              Yahoo! Groups Links
            • wilf_nv
              Hello everyone, I received my SolarFly2 earlier this week from Craig at JCM InVentures. The kit came in a sturdy box, the parts nicely organized, the
              Message 6 of 19 , Sep 23, 2007
                Hello everyone,

                I received my SolarFly2 earlier this week from Craig at JCM
                InVentures. The kit came in a sturdy box, the parts nicely
                organized, the documentation is good but with had some minor errors
                and omissions.
                This weekend I found some free time and it took me a few hours to
                complet the project. The kit assembly and soldering went without a
                hitch due to the quality PCB , solder mask and parts silkscreening
                and I am happy to report it works very well.

                For novices, the 14pin IC outline shown in the documentation
                (instead of 8 pin) could be confusing. Describing the soldering and
                support of the solar cell in more detail could save some grief. The
                simple but interesting tactile feelers are also not shown in the
                schematic. One pet peeve are hot glue disc wheels that are supplied
                without a mounting hole. A production jig to predrill the discs with
                a properly sized and centered mounting holes would avoid
                the "wobblies" caused by users having to freehand punch the mounting
                hole themselves using a soldering iron or hot needle.

                The good news is that the SolarFly worked well without wheel on the
                smooth table top just using the motor shafts. I found that without
                the battery clips installed, I could bend the C1 storage cap to the
                rear to provide the needed third sliding support point.

                The motor mounting for the SolarFly2 is clever and worked
                flawlessly. Resist temptation and leave the motor terminal PCBs
                attached to the body PCB to keep everything in alignment during
                soldering. I laid down two narrow sorder ridges with a groove between
                on each solder pad to center the pretinned the ends of the 3/8"
                mounting wires. Applying heat from the soldering iron tip to the wire
                to reflow the solder and bonds the wire to the pad. Make sure that
                the solder completely wicks over the entire solder pad and around
                the heavy copper wire since these wires will be twisted later to
                adjust the motor angle.

                This is really step one of a number of experiments to learn how well
                this design works and try to add some improvements. So I opted to
                test the solar power mode first, leaving off the battery clips and
                battery and installed the C2/C3 photo sensor memory caps. I also left
                off the wings off for now which would get in the way of testing over
                the next few days.

                The FireFly solar circuit works well even in weak Sept sunshine here
                on the 49th parallel, popping at a rate of several times per second,
                sending the SolarFly on its mission to find the edge of its world (
                the table top) and the great white light beyond. The circuit design
                is of particular interest to the likes of me.

                The two LED sensors act as log photovoltaic cells that top out at
                about 2V with an output current of less than 1 uA. This high
                internal resistance of the sensors together with C2/C3 filter caps
                slows the sesnsor response and acts as a memory cap for the feelers.
                This high internal resistance requires a FET opamp which has
                virtually zero input leakage current and which, in the case of the
                27L2C supplied, also uses less supply current compared to a LM358
                opamp. To make light sensing more directional, I found it necesary
                for the LEDs to be shielded from incident light on the sides and
                rear. The Chloroplast Solar Engine is facinating and versatile. The
                three pin voltage trigger chip has a nominal 2.7v switching level but
                adding R3 -100K resistor, changes the threshold for the Solar Engine
                to switch on to 4.3V and to turn off at 2.8V. This large hysteresis
                (difference) voltage between trigger and reset is just right for this
                circuit using the 6V solar cell and a 4700uF storage cap. The reason
                fhe threshold are changed is the drop in the MC34164 powersupply
                current from 160uA to 10uA. The voltage drop across R3 caused by
                this supply current plus the nominal threhold level sets the SE
                switching points. The formula for determining these levels is:

                Fire at (160uAx100k) + 2.7V = 4.3V
                Reset at (10uA x100k)+2.7V = 2.8V

                You can play with other R3 resistor values to optimize SE performance.

                After evaluating the SolarFly2 with the existing circuit, I will be
                testing several circuit variations:

                1)The diode enable method to replace Q1 avoiding the extra voltage
                drop.

                2)A mod to operate two motors at the same time when the light is
                balanced.

                3)A mod to automatically switch between solar and battery mode in low
                light to bridge shadows.

                4)A battery powered popping mode to conserve battery power.

                5)A switch to unconditionally disable the FireFly circuit to avoid it
                exploring the wild blue yonder in a moment of unsupervised solar
                feeding.

                6)Can a reversing circuit be far behind?

                The story continues

                wilf

                --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@...> wrote:
                >
                > Oh, right! I used darlingtons ( in spite of the schematic symbol I
                show )!
                > 2 transistors = 2 Vbe ! ( brilliant )
                >
                > Thanks, Wilf
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                Of
                > wilf_nv
                > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 5:17 PM
                > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                >
                > Hi Craig,
                >
                > Just one diode drop is required to clamp the base of a Darlington
                > transitor since it has an inherent Vbe turn on of two diode drops.
                >
                > Also note that the leakage current through the 100K base resistors
                > during solar charging is the same as the leakage current through R4
                > in the original circuit.
                >
                > wilf
                >
                > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Very cool, and unconventional modification ( this is a great list
                > for the
                > > "unconventional" )
                > >
                > > It looks like you plan to ground the two motor driver transistors
                > bases
                > > through isolation diodes while the voltage monitor is off,
                clamping
                > any
                > > signal from the op-amp brain. When the voltage monitor floats ON
                (
                > its open
                > > collector ), it allows the op amps to turn on the appropriate
                motor
                > driver
                > > transistor!
                > >
                > > This could work well if the forward bias voltage on the 1n4148's
                is
                > less
                > > than the B-E forward bias voltage of the two motor driving
                > transistors. If
                > > not, a third diode in series with the two emitters to ground
                would
                > fix that
                > > problem. ( but re-add the voltage drop on the motors. )
                > >
                > > Cewl... I look forward to trying that! It looks like an easy
                mod
                > without
                > > having to adjust or cut traces.
                > >
                > > Thanks, Wilf...
                > >
                > > Craig
                > >
                > > -----Original Message-----
                > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On
                Behalf
                > Of
                > > wrigter@
                > > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:48 PM
                > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                > >
                > > Hi Craig and Harold,
                > >
                > > Perhaps I'm jumping the gun a little but, based on the
                > > schematic, I can already make one comment.
                > >
                > > To slightly reduce complexity and cost and increase motor
                > > power and efficiency by more than 75%, I suggest replacing
                > > Q3 and R4 with two 1N4148 diodes wired with common cathode
                > > to the 34164 output and with each anode connected to the
                > > base or Q1 and Q2 respectively. In addition the emitters of
                > > Q1/2 are directly connected to ground.
                > >
                > > The cost savings may be small but the increased power that
                > > results from removing the forward voltage drop of Q3 is not
                > > negligible.
                > >
                > > That amounts to about 1V more available across the motor
                > > windings which increases motor voltage and current each by
                > > 30% and increases the motor power by 90% which should result
                > > in more powerful pops and faster action.
                > >
                > > Can't wait to prove out the theory.
                > >
                > > Wilf
                > >
                > > ----- Original Message -----
                > > From: Craig Maynard <craig@>
                > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                > > Subject: RE: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                > > Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 08:36:23 -0600
                > >
                > > > Thanks, Harold! The schematic for the New Solarfly is
                > > > at http://www.jcminventures.com/images/sf_schem.gif , if
                > > > you'd like a peek. ( very much like the original
                > > > SolarFly.
                > > >
                > > > Craig
                > > >
                > > > -----Original Message-----
                > > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
                > > > On Behalf Of Harold Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007
                > > > 10:33 PM To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                > > >
                > > > Wow! Hurray to Wilf! Nice prize! Man, I should have
                > > > replied first, hehe! Anyways, yes...we all want to see
                > > > the schematic of the new cybug solarfly. Very
                > > > nice-looking robotic creature and a cool behavior, Craig!
                > > > 'Hope to see it in action. Keep up the good work. And
                > > > thanks for sharing it. ;)
                > > >
                > > > ...Harold.
                > > >
                > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
                > > > wrote: >
                > > > > Thanks very much, Wilf....
                > > > >
                > > > > I'd be pleased to gift you one so you can give an
                > > > objective opinion to the
                > > > > list. ( schematic included. ) Consider it a prize for
                > > > being the first to
                > > > > reply!
                > > > >
                > > > > Email me ( privately ) with your postal address and I'll
                > > > fly over to you.
                > > > >
                > > > > craig@
                > > > >
                > > > > -----Original Message-----
                > > > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
                > > > On Behalf Of
                > > > > wilf_nv
                > > > > Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 4:12 PM
                > > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                > > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                > > > >
                > > > > Good news Craig!
                > > > >
                > > > > Great aesthetics and I like the changing behaviour
                > > > > depending on the "feeding" method. I would very much
                > > > > like to see the schematic for this and would be happy
                > > > > to provide some feedback.
                > > > > Wilf
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
                > > > > wrote: >
                > > > > > It's been a busy ( but short ) summer. I had a
                > > > > chance to completely
                > > > > > re-design the chloroplast based Cybug SolarFly to
                > > > > create ( what else ) the
                > > > > > SolarFly 2! I thought this list might be interested
                > > > > > in seeing it. It's still based on the chloroplast, but
                > > > > uses the newer flexible solar cells
                > > > > > and has a very cool looky-feel. My favourite part of
                > > > > the kit is that it's a
                > > > > > BEAM Hybrid ( that's like a HYBRID car, mixing gas and
                > > > > electric power ). At
                > > > > > the flick of a switch the robot goes from a very
                > > > active solar robot
                > > > > to a
                > > > > > run-around-the-floor-chasing-light-spots battery
                > > > > powered robot. It's also
                > > > > > less expensive than the previous version.
                > > > > > You can also replace the 4700uF cap on it's abdomen
                > > > > with a 1F supercap (get
                > > > > > your own cap ) and turn it into a phototropic speeder!
                > > > > > The wings are made of transparent plastic and there
                > > > are a few styles
                > > > > > included in the kit. My favourite are the dragonfly.
                > > > > > I've made a video of it in action if you'd like to
                > > > > have a peek. I'll also
                > > > > > send you the schematics if you're interested.
                > > > > > Check it out at
                > > > > > http://www.jcminventures.com/solarfly_2.htm . How does
                > > > > > it look?? Craig M
                > > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
              • Craig Maynard
                Thanks for the evaluation, Wilf... You know, it s strange because I ve taken a break from my studies of industrial robot arms ( I ve moved from teaching
                Message 7 of 19 , Sep 23, 2007
                  Thanks for the evaluation, Wilf... You know, it's strange because I've
                  taken a break from my studies of industrial robot arms ( I've moved from
                  teaching computer engineering to a robotics and automation instructor at
                  SAIT and am riding the learning curve ) today to try out your diode
                  modification from a previous thread. Just as I completed my tests, there
                  was your posting!

                  The good news is that the diode mod worked very well! The typical V-on
                  trigger was reduced from 4.45V down to 4.25V making the pops faster and
                  better in grey skys.

                  The down side is that the V-off voltage stayed the same as the unmodified
                  circuit ( of course ) at about 3.46 volts.

                  The net effect of your mod, Wilf, is to reduce the amount of light required
                  for a pop, but reduce the size of said pop from about 1V hysterisis to about
                  .8V. Still, you get more pops/sec. A great trade-off.

                  Further, the modification is very easy to do on the existing circuit board
                  by removing transistor Q3 and resistor R4 and adding the 2 signal diodes to
                  the base hole of Q3 to the bases of Q1 and Q2. Also, jumper the collector
                  to emitter of Q3 to complete the motors ground path. It still maintains the
                  symmetry of the solarfly which is important for the A (aesthetic) part of
                  BEAM.

                  I agree completely about the hot-glue stick wheels. I use them on too many
                  of my kits ( that's how I keep the prices down ) but you have to have a
                  steady hand to get the shafts centered. Does anyone know of a large source
                  of rubber wheels with center punched holes which are reasonable?

                  I look forward to hearing about your experiments Wilf.

                  I also hope to see some BEAM'ers from Calgary to come to our weekly robot
                  society meetings at the Aerospace musem on Saturday mornings ( 10am -12 ).

                  Craig M
                  JCM InVentures Inc


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                  wilf_nv
                  Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2007 3:53 PM
                  To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly

                  Hello everyone,

                  I received my SolarFly2 earlier this week from Craig at JCM
                  InVentures. The kit came in a sturdy box, the parts nicely
                  organized, the documentation is good but with had some minor errors
                  and omissions.
                  This weekend I found some free time and it took me a few hours to
                  complet the project. The kit assembly and soldering went without a
                  hitch due to the quality PCB , solder mask and parts silkscreening
                  and I am happy to report it works very well.

                  For novices, the 14pin IC outline shown in the documentation
                  (instead of 8 pin) could be confusing. Describing the soldering and
                  support of the solar cell in more detail could save some grief. The
                  simple but interesting tactile feelers are also not shown in the
                  schematic. One pet peeve are hot glue disc wheels that are supplied
                  without a mounting hole. A production jig to predrill the discs with
                  a properly sized and centered mounting holes would avoid
                  the "wobblies" caused by users having to freehand punch the mounting
                  hole themselves using a soldering iron or hot needle.

                  The good news is that the SolarFly worked well without wheel on the
                  smooth table top just using the motor shafts. I found that without
                  the battery clips installed, I could bend the C1 storage cap to the
                  rear to provide the needed third sliding support point.

                  The motor mounting for the SolarFly2 is clever and worked
                  flawlessly. Resist temptation and leave the motor terminal PCBs
                  attached to the body PCB to keep everything in alignment during
                  soldering. I laid down two narrow sorder ridges with a groove between
                  on each solder pad to center the pretinned the ends of the 3/8"
                  mounting wires. Applying heat from the soldering iron tip to the wire
                  to reflow the solder and bonds the wire to the pad. Make sure that
                  the solder completely wicks over the entire solder pad and around
                  the heavy copper wire since these wires will be twisted later to
                  adjust the motor angle.

                  This is really step one of a number of experiments to learn how well
                  this design works and try to add some improvements. So I opted to
                  test the solar power mode first, leaving off the battery clips and
                  battery and installed the C2/C3 photo sensor memory caps. I also left
                  off the wings off for now which would get in the way of testing over
                  the next few days.

                  The FireFly solar circuit works well even in weak Sept sunshine here
                  on the 49th parallel, popping at a rate of several times per second,
                  sending the SolarFly on its mission to find the edge of its world (
                  the table top) and the great white light beyond. The circuit design
                  is of particular interest to the likes of me.

                  The two LED sensors act as log photovoltaic cells that top out at
                  about 2V with an output current of less than 1 uA. This high
                  internal resistance of the sensors together with C2/C3 filter caps
                  slows the sesnsor response and acts as a memory cap for the feelers.
                  This high internal resistance requires a FET opamp which has
                  virtually zero input leakage current and which, in the case of the
                  27L2C supplied, also uses less supply current compared to a LM358
                  opamp. To make light sensing more directional, I found it necesary
                  for the LEDs to be shielded from incident light on the sides and
                  rear. The Chloroplast Solar Engine is facinating and versatile. The
                  three pin voltage trigger chip has a nominal 2.7v switching level but
                  adding R3 -100K resistor, changes the threshold for the Solar Engine
                  to switch on to 4.3V and to turn off at 2.8V. This large hysteresis
                  (difference) voltage between trigger and reset is just right for this
                  circuit using the 6V solar cell and a 4700uF storage cap. The reason
                  fhe threshold are changed is the drop in the MC34164 powersupply
                  current from 160uA to 10uA. The voltage drop across R3 caused by
                  this supply current plus the nominal threhold level sets the SE
                  switching points. The formula for determining these levels is:

                  Fire at (160uAx100k) + 2.7V = 4.3V
                  Reset at (10uA x100k)+2.7V = 2.8V

                  You can play with other R3 resistor values to optimize SE performance.

                  After evaluating the SolarFly2 with the existing circuit, I will be
                  testing several circuit variations:

                  1)The diode enable method to replace Q1 avoiding the extra voltage
                  drop.

                  2)A mod to operate two motors at the same time when the light is
                  balanced.

                  3)A mod to automatically switch between solar and battery mode in low
                  light to bridge shadows.

                  4)A battery powered popping mode to conserve battery power.

                  5)A switch to unconditionally disable the FireFly circuit to avoid it
                  exploring the wild blue yonder in a moment of unsupervised solar
                  feeding.

                  6)Can a reversing circuit be far behind?

                  The story continues

                  wilf

                  --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Oh, right! I used darlingtons ( in spite of the schematic symbol I
                  show )!
                  > 2 transistors = 2 Vbe ! ( brilliant )
                  >
                  > Thanks, Wilf
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                  Of
                  > wilf_nv
                  > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 5:17 PM
                  > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                  >
                  > Hi Craig,
                  >
                  > Just one diode drop is required to clamp the base of a Darlington
                  > transitor since it has an inherent Vbe turn on of two diode drops.
                  >
                  > Also note that the leakage current through the 100K base resistors
                  > during solar charging is the same as the leakage current through R4
                  > in the original circuit.
                  >
                  > wilf
                  >
                  > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Very cool, and unconventional modification ( this is a great list
                  > for the
                  > > "unconventional" )
                  > >
                  > > It looks like you plan to ground the two motor driver transistors
                  > bases
                  > > through isolation diodes while the voltage monitor is off,
                  clamping
                  > any
                  > > signal from the op-amp brain. When the voltage monitor floats ON
                  (
                  > its open
                  > > collector ), it allows the op amps to turn on the appropriate
                  motor
                  > driver
                  > > transistor!
                  > >
                  > > This could work well if the forward bias voltage on the 1n4148's
                  is
                  > less
                  > > than the B-E forward bias voltage of the two motor driving
                  > transistors. If
                  > > not, a third diode in series with the two emitters to ground
                  would
                  > fix that
                  > > problem. ( but re-add the voltage drop on the motors. )
                  > >
                  > > Cewl... I look forward to trying that! It looks like an easy
                  mod
                  > without
                  > > having to adjust or cut traces.
                  > >
                  > > Thanks, Wilf...
                  > >
                  > > Craig
                  > >
                  > > -----Original Message-----
                  > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On
                  Behalf
                  > Of
                  > > wrigter@
                  > > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:48 PM
                  > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                  > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                  > >
                  > > Hi Craig and Harold,
                  > >
                  > > Perhaps I'm jumping the gun a little but, based on the
                  > > schematic, I can already make one comment.
                  > >
                  > > To slightly reduce complexity and cost and increase motor
                  > > power and efficiency by more than 75%, I suggest replacing
                  > > Q3 and R4 with two 1N4148 diodes wired with common cathode
                  > > to the 34164 output and with each anode connected to the
                  > > base or Q1 and Q2 respectively. In addition the emitters of
                  > > Q1/2 are directly connected to ground.
                  > >
                  > > The cost savings may be small but the increased power that
                  > > results from removing the forward voltage drop of Q3 is not
                  > > negligible.
                  > >
                  > > That amounts to about 1V more available across the motor
                  > > windings which increases motor voltage and current each by
                  > > 30% and increases the motor power by 90% which should result
                  > > in more powerful pops and faster action.
                  > >
                  > > Can't wait to prove out the theory.
                  > >
                  > > Wilf
                  > >
                  > > ----- Original Message -----
                  > > From: Craig Maynard <craig@>
                  > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                  > > Subject: RE: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                  > > Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 08:36:23 -0600
                  > >
                  > > > Thanks, Harold! The schematic for the New Solarfly is
                  > > > at http://www.jcminventures.com/images/sf_schem.gif , if
                  > > > you'd like a peek. ( very much like the original
                  > > > SolarFly.
                  > > >
                  > > > Craig
                  > > >
                  > > > -----Original Message-----
                  > > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
                  > > > On Behalf Of Harold Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007
                  > > > 10:33 PM To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                  > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                  > > >
                  > > > Wow! Hurray to Wilf! Nice prize! Man, I should have
                  > > > replied first, hehe! Anyways, yes...we all want to see
                  > > > the schematic of the new cybug solarfly. Very
                  > > > nice-looking robotic creature and a cool behavior, Craig!
                  > > > 'Hope to see it in action. Keep up the good work. And
                  > > > thanks for sharing it. ;)
                  > > >
                  > > > ...Harold.
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
                  > > > wrote: >
                  > > > > Thanks very much, Wilf....
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I'd be pleased to gift you one so you can give an
                  > > > objective opinion to the
                  > > > > list. ( schematic included. ) Consider it a prize for
                  > > > being the first to
                  > > > > reply!
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Email me ( privately ) with your postal address and I'll
                  > > > fly over to you.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > craig@
                  > > > >
                  > > > > -----Original Message-----
                  > > > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
                  > > > On Behalf Of
                  > > > > wilf_nv
                  > > > > Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 4:12 PM
                  > > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                  > > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Good news Craig!
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Great aesthetics and I like the changing behaviour
                  > > > > depending on the "feeding" method. I would very much
                  > > > > like to see the schematic for this and would be happy
                  > > > > to provide some feedback.
                  > > > > Wilf
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
                  > > > > wrote: >
                  > > > > > It's been a busy ( but short ) summer. I had a
                  > > > > chance to completely
                  > > > > > re-design the chloroplast based Cybug SolarFly to
                  > > > > create ( what else ) the
                  > > > > > SolarFly 2! I thought this list might be interested
                  > > > > > in seeing it. It's still based on the chloroplast, but
                  > > > > uses the newer flexible solar cells
                  > > > > > and has a very cool looky-feel. My favourite part of
                  > > > > the kit is that it's a
                  > > > > > BEAM Hybrid ( that's like a HYBRID car, mixing gas and
                  > > > > electric power ). At
                  > > > > > the flick of a switch the robot goes from a very
                  > > > active solar robot
                  > > > > to a
                  > > > > > run-around-the-floor-chasing-light-spots battery
                  > > > > powered robot. It's also
                  > > > > > less expensive than the previous version.
                  > > > > > You can also replace the 4700uF cap on it's abdomen
                  > > > > with a 1F supercap (get
                  > > > > > your own cap ) and turn it into a phototropic speeder!
                  > > > > > The wings are made of transparent plastic and there
                  > > > are a few styles
                  > > > > > included in the kit. My favourite are the dragonfly.
                  > > > > > I've made a video of it in action if you'd like to
                  > > > > have a peek. I'll also
                  > > > > > send you the schematics if you're interested.
                  > > > > > Check it out at
                  > > > > > http://www.jcminventures.com/solarfly_2.htm . How does
                  > > > > > it look?? Craig M
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >





                  Yahoo! Groups Links
                • wilf_nv
                  Hi Craig, I confirmed with my scope that the upper and lower thresholds for the solar engine are 4.44V and 3.44V. The diode enable mod and bypass of Q1 which I
                  Message 8 of 19 , Sep 24, 2007
                    Hi Craig,

                    I confirmed with my scope that the upper and lower thresholds for the
                    solar engine are 4.44V and 3.44V.

                    The diode enable mod and bypass of Q1 which I proposed for the motor
                    driver circuit should not significantly affect the thresholds. This
                    mod will make the motor driver more efficient and increase the
                    voltage across to the motor windings during each pop from a lowly
                    2.8V to a healthier 3.6V. So the popping frequency should remain the
                    same but each pop will be more powerful. I will confirm those
                    asumptions next time the sun comes out.

                    wilf

                    --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks for the evaluation, Wilf...

                    > The good news is that the diode mod worked very well! The typical
                    V-on
                    > trigger was reduced from 4.45V down to 4.25V making the pops faster
                    and
                    > better in grey skys.
                    >
                    > The down side is that the V-off voltage stayed the same as the
                    unmodified
                    > circuit ( of course ) at about 3.46 volts.
                    >
                    > The net effect of your mod, Wilf, is to reduce the amount of light
                    required
                    > for a pop, but reduce the size of said pop from about 1V hysterisis
                    to about
                    > .8V. Still, you get more pops/sec. A great trade-off.
                    >
                    > Further, the modification is very easy to do on the existing
                    circuit board
                    > by removing transistor Q3 and resistor R4 and adding the 2 signal
                    diodes to
                    > the base hole of Q3 to the bases of Q1 and Q2. Also, jumper the
                    collector
                    > to emitter of Q3 to complete the motors ground path. It still
                    maintains the
                    > symmetry of the solarfly which is important for the A (aesthetic)
                    part of
                    > BEAM.
                    >
                    > I agree completely about the hot-glue stick wheels. I use them on
                    too many
                    > of my kits ( that's how I keep the prices down ) but you have to
                    have a
                    > steady hand to get the shafts centered. Does anyone know of a
                    large source
                    > of rubber wheels with center punched holes which are reasonable?
                    >
                    > I look forward to hearing about your experiments Wilf.
                    >
                    > I also hope to see some BEAM'ers from Calgary to come to our weekly
                    robot
                    > society meetings at the Aerospace musem on Saturday mornings (
                    10am -12 ).
                    >
                    > Craig M
                    > JCM InVentures Inc
                    >
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                    Of
                    > wilf_nv
                    > Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2007 3:53 PM
                    > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                    >
                    > Hello everyone,
                    >
                    > I received my SolarFly2 earlier this week from Craig at JCM
                    > InVentures. The kit came in a sturdy box, the parts nicely
                    > organized, the documentation is good but with had some minor errors
                    > and omissions.
                    > This weekend I found some free time and it took me a few hours to
                    > complet the project. The kit assembly and soldering went without a
                    > hitch due to the quality PCB , solder mask and parts silkscreening
                    > and I am happy to report it works very well.
                    >
                    > For novices, the 14pin IC outline shown in the documentation
                    > (instead of 8 pin) could be confusing. Describing the soldering
                    and
                    > support of the solar cell in more detail could save some grief. The
                    > simple but interesting tactile feelers are also not shown in the
                    > schematic. One pet peeve are hot glue disc wheels that are supplied
                    > without a mounting hole. A production jig to predrill the discs
                    with
                    > a properly sized and centered mounting holes would avoid
                    > the "wobblies" caused by users having to freehand punch the
                    mounting
                    > hole themselves using a soldering iron or hot needle.
                    >
                    > The good news is that the SolarFly worked well without wheel on the
                    > smooth table top just using the motor shafts. I found that without
                    > the battery clips installed, I could bend the C1 storage cap to the
                    > rear to provide the needed third sliding support point.
                    >
                    > The motor mounting for the SolarFly2 is clever and worked
                    > flawlessly. Resist temptation and leave the motor terminal PCBs
                    > attached to the body PCB to keep everything in alignment during
                    > soldering. I laid down two narrow sorder ridges with a groove
                    between
                    > on each solder pad to center the pretinned the ends of the 3/8"
                    > mounting wires. Applying heat from the soldering iron tip to the
                    wire
                    > to reflow the solder and bonds the wire to the pad. Make sure that
                    > the solder completely wicks over the entire solder pad and around
                    > the heavy copper wire since these wires will be twisted later to
                    > adjust the motor angle.
                    >
                    > This is really step one of a number of experiments to learn how
                    well
                    > this design works and try to add some improvements. So I opted to
                    > test the solar power mode first, leaving off the battery clips and
                    > battery and installed the C2/C3 photo sensor memory caps. I also
                    left
                    > off the wings off for now which would get in the way of testing
                    over
                    > the next few days.
                    >
                    > The FireFly solar circuit works well even in weak Sept sunshine
                    here
                    > on the 49th parallel, popping at a rate of several times per
                    second,
                    > sending the SolarFly on its mission to find the edge of its world (
                    > the table top) and the great white light beyond. The circuit design
                    > is of particular interest to the likes of me.
                    >
                    > The two LED sensors act as log photovoltaic cells that top out at
                    > about 2V with an output current of less than 1 uA. This high
                    > internal resistance of the sensors together with C2/C3 filter caps
                    > slows the sesnsor response and acts as a memory cap for the
                    feelers.
                    > This high internal resistance requires a FET opamp which has
                    > virtually zero input leakage current and which, in the case of the
                    > 27L2C supplied, also uses less supply current compared to a LM358
                    > opamp. To make light sensing more directional, I found it necesary
                    > for the LEDs to be shielded from incident light on the sides and
                    > rear. The Chloroplast Solar Engine is facinating and versatile.
                    The
                    > three pin voltage trigger chip has a nominal 2.7v switching level
                    but
                    > adding R3 -100K resistor, changes the threshold for the Solar
                    Engine
                    > to switch on to 4.3V and to turn off at 2.8V. This large
                    hysteresis
                    > (difference) voltage between trigger and reset is just right for
                    this
                    > circuit using the 6V solar cell and a 4700uF storage cap. The
                    reason
                    > fhe threshold are changed is the drop in the MC34164 powersupply
                    > current from 160uA to 10uA. The voltage drop across R3 caused by
                    > this supply current plus the nominal threhold level sets the SE
                    > switching points. The formula for determining these levels is:
                    >
                    > Fire at (160uAx100k) + 2.7V = 4.3V
                    > Reset at (10uA x100k)+2.7V = 2.8V
                    >
                    > You can play with other R3 resistor values to optimize SE
                    performance.
                    >
                    > After evaluating the SolarFly2 with the existing circuit, I will
                    be
                    > testing several circuit variations:
                    >
                    > 1)The diode enable method to replace Q1 avoiding the extra voltage
                    > drop.
                    >
                    > 2)A mod to operate two motors at the same time when the light is
                    > balanced.
                    >
                    > 3)A mod to automatically switch between solar and battery mode in
                    low
                    > light to bridge shadows.
                    >
                    > 4)A battery powered popping mode to conserve battery power.
                    >
                    > 5)A switch to unconditionally disable the FireFly circuit to avoid
                    it
                    > exploring the wild blue yonder in a moment of unsupervised solar
                    > feeding.
                    >
                    > 6)Can a reversing circuit be far behind?
                    >
                    > The story continues
                    >
                    > wilf
                    >
                    > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Oh, right! I used darlingtons ( in spite of the schematic symbol
                    I
                    > show )!
                    > > 2 transistors = 2 Vbe ! ( brilliant )
                    > >
                    > > Thanks, Wilf
                    > >
                    > > -----Original Message-----
                    > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On
                    Behalf
                    > Of
                    > > wilf_nv
                    > > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 5:17 PM
                    > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                    > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                    > >
                    > > Hi Craig,
                    > >
                    > > Just one diode drop is required to clamp the base of a Darlington
                    > > transitor since it has an inherent Vbe turn on of two diode
                    drops.
                    > >
                    > > Also note that the leakage current through the 100K base
                    resistors
                    > > during solar charging is the same as the leakage current through
                    R4
                    > > in the original circuit.
                    > >
                    > > wilf
                    > >
                    > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Very cool, and unconventional modification ( this is a great
                    list
                    > > for the
                    > > > "unconventional" )
                    > > >
                    > > > It looks like you plan to ground the two motor driver
                    transistors
                    > > bases
                    > > > through isolation diodes while the voltage monitor is off,
                    > clamping
                    > > any
                    > > > signal from the op-amp brain. When the voltage monitor floats
                    ON
                    > (
                    > > its open
                    > > > collector ), it allows the op amps to turn on the appropriate
                    > motor
                    > > driver
                    > > > transistor!
                    > > >
                    > > > This could work well if the forward bias voltage on the
                    1n4148's
                    > is
                    > > less
                    > > > than the B-E forward bias voltage of the two motor driving
                    > > transistors. If
                    > > > not, a third diode in series with the two emitters to ground
                    > would
                    > > fix that
                    > > > problem. ( but re-add the voltage drop on the motors. )
                    > > >
                    > > > Cewl... I look forward to trying that! It looks like an easy
                    > mod
                    > > without
                    > > > having to adjust or cut traces.
                    > > >
                    > > > Thanks, Wilf...
                    > > >
                    > > > Craig
                    > > >
                    > > > -----Original Message-----
                    > > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com] On
                    > Behalf
                    > > Of
                    > > > wrigter@
                    > > > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:48 PM
                    > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                    > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                    > > >
                    > > > Hi Craig and Harold,
                    > > >
                    > > > Perhaps I'm jumping the gun a little but, based on the
                    > > > schematic, I can already make one comment.
                    > > >
                    > > > To slightly reduce complexity and cost and increase motor
                    > > > power and efficiency by more than 75%, I suggest replacing
                    > > > Q3 and R4 with two 1N4148 diodes wired with common cathode
                    > > > to the 34164 output and with each anode connected to the
                    > > > base or Q1 and Q2 respectively. In addition the emitters of
                    > > > Q1/2 are directly connected to ground.
                    > > >
                    > > > The cost savings may be small but the increased power that
                    > > > results from removing the forward voltage drop of Q3 is not
                    > > > negligible.
                    > > >
                    > > > That amounts to about 1V more available across the motor
                    > > > windings which increases motor voltage and current each by
                    > > > 30% and increases the motor power by 90% which should result
                    > > > in more powerful pops and faster action.
                    > > >
                    > > > Can't wait to prove out the theory.
                    > > >
                    > > > Wilf
                    > > >
                    > > > ----- Original Message -----
                    > > > From: Craig Maynard <craig@>
                    > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                    > > > Subject: RE: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                    > > > Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 08:36:23 -0600
                    > > >
                    > > > > Thanks, Harold! The schematic for the New Solarfly is
                    > > > > at http://www.jcminventures.com/images/sf_schem.gif , if
                    > > > > you'd like a peek. ( very much like the original
                    > > > > SolarFly.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Craig
                    > > > >
                    > > > > -----Original Message-----
                    > > > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
                    > > > > On Behalf Of Harold Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007
                    > > > > 10:33 PM To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                    > > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Wow! Hurray to Wilf! Nice prize! Man, I should have
                    > > > > replied first, hehe! Anyways, yes...we all want to see
                    > > > > the schematic of the new cybug solarfly. Very
                    > > > > nice-looking robotic creature and a cool behavior, Craig!
                    > > > > 'Hope to see it in action. Keep up the good work. And
                    > > > > thanks for sharing it. ;)
                    > > > >
                    > > > > ...Harold.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
                    > > > > wrote: >
                    > > > > > Thanks very much, Wilf....
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > I'd be pleased to gift you one so you can give an
                    > > > > objective opinion to the
                    > > > > > list. ( schematic included. ) Consider it a prize for
                    > > > > being the first to
                    > > > > > reply!
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Email me ( privately ) with your postal address and I'll
                    > > > > fly over to you.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > craig@
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > -----Original Message-----
                    > > > > > From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]
                    > > > > On Behalf Of
                    > > > > > wilf_nv
                    > > > > > Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 4:12 PM
                    > > > > > To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                    > > > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Good news Craig!
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Great aesthetics and I like the changing behaviour
                    > > > > > depending on the "feeding" method. I would very much
                    > > > > > like to see the schematic for this and would be happy
                    > > > > > to provide some feedback.
                    > > > > > Wilf
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
                    > > > > > wrote: >
                    > > > > > > It's been a busy ( but short ) summer. I had a
                    > > > > > chance to completely
                    > > > > > > re-design the chloroplast based Cybug SolarFly to
                    > > > > > create ( what else ) the
                    > > > > > > SolarFly 2! I thought this list might be interested
                    > > > > > > in seeing it. It's still based on the chloroplast, but
                    > > > > > uses the newer flexible solar cells
                    > > > > > > and has a very cool looky-feel. My favourite part of
                    > > > > > the kit is that it's a
                    > > > > > > BEAM Hybrid ( that's like a HYBRID car, mixing gas and
                    > > > > > electric power ). At
                    > > > > > > the flick of a switch the robot goes from a very
                    > > > > active solar robot
                    > > > > > to a
                    > > > > > > run-around-the-floor-chasing-light-spots battery
                    > > > > > powered robot. It's also
                    > > > > > > less expensive than the previous version.
                    > > > > > > You can also replace the 4700uF cap on it's abdomen
                    > > > > > with a 1F supercap (get
                    > > > > > > your own cap ) and turn it into a phototropic speeder!
                    > > > > > > The wings are made of transparent plastic and there
                    > > > > are a few styles
                    > > > > > > included in the kit. My favourite are the dragonfly.
                    > > > > > > I've made a video of it in action if you'd like to
                    > > > > > have a peek. I'll also
                    > > > > > > send you the schematics if you're interested.
                    > > > > > > Check it out at
                    > > > > > > http://www.jcminventures.com/solarfly_2.htm . How does
                    > > > > > > it look?? Craig M
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    > > > > >
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                    > > > >
                    > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    > > > >
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                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    > >
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                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                  • wilf
                    Hi Craig, I was intrigued by the difference in our measurements of the trigger and reset voltages I measured mine with the min/max function on a DVM. The
                    Message 9 of 19 , Oct 26 9:24 PM
                      Hi Craig,
                       
                      I was intrigued by the difference in our measurements of the trigger and reset voltages I measured mine with the min/max function on a  DVM.  The numbers seemed to corelate with the voltage drops accross R3 caused by the MC34164 supply current variations given in the datasheet. After putting it on the scope I see now that the lower reset reading I got was caused by a voltage transient caused by the turnoff of the motor.  
                       
                      The new readings I got from my scope for the minimum (reset) and maximum (trigger) voltage on the storage cap were 3.44V and 4.44V respectively. It appears that the actual supply currents for the MC34164-3 when triggered,  is about 80uA which is significantly higher than the 10uA indicated by the datasheet and this accounts for the higher measured reset voltage.  
                       
                      The mod I suggested using two diodes to enable Q2 and Q3 should not significantly affect the SE trigger and reset voltages.  These diodes will reduce voltage losses in the motor driver stage.
                       
                      I measured the voltage across the motor when the SE fired and found it was  2.68V maximum . That means 1.76V  is dropped across the two series connected darlington driver transistors. If Q1 can be replaced with a direct connection to gnd the voltage we can reduce this drop by half or some 0.88V . That means the voltage  across the motor should rise to 3.56V which translates into more mechanical kick per unit solar energy.
                       
                      Wilf.          
                         
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: beam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Craig Maynard
                      Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2007 3:32 PM
                      To: beam@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly

                      Thanks for the evaluation, Wilf... You know, it's strange because I've
                      taken a break from my studies of industrial robot arms ( I've moved from
                      teaching computer engineering to a robotics and automation instructor at
                      SAIT and am riding the learning curve ) today to try out your diode
                      modification from a previous thread. Just as I completed my tests, there
                      was your posting!

                      The good news is that the diode mod worked very well! The typical V-on
                      trigger was reduced from 4.45V down to 4.25V making the pops faster and
                      better in grey skys.

                      The down side is that the V-off voltage stayed the same as the unmodified
                      circuit ( of course ) at about 3.46 volts.

                      The net effect of your mod, Wilf, is to reduce the amount of light required
                      for a pop, but reduce the size of said pop from about 1V hysterisis to about
                      .8V. Still, you get more pops/sec. A great trade-off.

                      Further, the modification is very easy to do on the existing circuit board
                      by removing transistor Q3 and resistor R4 and adding the 2 signal diodes to
                      the base hole of Q3 to the bases of Q1 and Q2. Also, jumper the collector
                      to emitter of Q3 to complete the motors ground path. It still maintains the
                      symmetry of the solarfly which is important for the A (aesthetic) part of
                      BEAM.

                      I agree completely about the hot-glue stick wheels. I use them on too many
                      of my kits ( that's how I keep the prices down ) but you have to have a
                      steady hand to get the shafts centered. Does anyone know of a large source
                      of rubber wheels with center punched holes which are reasonable?

                      I look forward to hearing about your experiments Wilf.

                      I also hope to see some BEAM'ers from Calgary to come to our weekly robot
                      society meetings at the Aerospace musem on Saturday mornings ( 10am -12 ).

                      Craig M
                      JCM InVentures Inc

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: beam@yahoogroups. com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of
                      wilf_nv
                      Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2007 3:53 PM
                      To: beam@yahoogroups. com
                      Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly

                      Hello everyone,

                      I received my SolarFly2 earlier this week from Craig at JCM
                      InVentures. The kit came in a sturdy box, the parts nicely
                      organized, the documentation is good but with had some minor errors
                      and omissions.
                      This weekend I found some free time and it took me a few hours to
                      complet the project. The kit assembly and soldering went without a
                      hitch due to the quality PCB , solder mask and parts silkscreening
                      and I am happy to report it works very well.

                      For novices, the 14pin IC outline shown in the documentation
                      (instead of 8 pin) could be confusing. Describing the soldering and
                      support of the solar cell in more detail could save some grief. The
                      simple but interesting tactile feelers are also not shown in the
                      schematic. One pet peeve are hot glue disc wheels that are supplied
                      without a mounting hole. A production jig to predrill the discs with
                      a properly sized and centered mounting holes would avoid
                      the "wobblies" caused by users having to freehand punch the mounting
                      hole themselves using a soldering iron or hot needle.

                      The good news is that the SolarFly worked well without wheel on the
                      smooth table top just using the motor shafts. I found that without
                      the battery clips installed, I could bend the C1 storage cap to the
                      rear to provide the needed third sliding support point.

                      The motor mounting for the SolarFly2 is clever and worked
                      flawlessly. Resist temptation and leave the motor terminal PCBs
                      attached to the body PCB to keep everything in alignment during
                      soldering. I laid down two narrow sorder ridges with a groove between
                      on each solder pad to center the pretinned the ends of the 3/8"
                      mounting wires. Applying heat from the soldering iron tip to the wire
                      to reflow the solder and bonds the wire to the pad. Make sure that
                      the solder completely wicks over the entire solder pad and around
                      the heavy copper wire since these wires will be twisted later to
                      adjust the motor angle.

                      This is really step one of a number of experiments to learn how well
                      this design works and try to add some improvements. So I opted to
                      test the solar power mode first, leaving off the battery clips and
                      battery and installed the C2/C3 photo sensor memory caps. I also left
                      off the wings off for now which would get in the way of testing over
                      the next few days.

                      The FireFly solar circuit works well even in weak Sept sunshine here
                      on the 49th parallel, popping at a rate of several times per second,
                      sending the SolarFly on its mission to find the edge of its world (
                      the table top) and the great white light beyond. The circuit design
                      is of particular interest to the likes of me.

                      The two LED sensors act as log photovoltaic cells that top out at
                      about 2V with an output current of less than 1 uA. This high
                      internal resistance of the sensors together with C2/C3 filter caps
                      slows the sesnsor response and acts as a memory cap for the feelers.
                      This high internal resistance requires a FET opamp which has
                      virtually zero input leakage current and which, in the case of the
                      27L2C supplied, also uses less supply current compared to a LM358
                      opamp. To make light sensing more directional, I found it necesary
                      for the LEDs to be shielded from incident light on the sides and
                      rear. The Chloroplast Solar Engine is facinating and versatile. The
                      three pin voltage trigger chip has a nominal 2.7v switching level but
                      adding R3 -100K resistor, changes the threshold for the Solar Engine
                      to switch on to 4.3V and to turn off at 2.8V. This large hysteresis
                      (difference) voltage between trigger and reset is just right for this
                      circuit using the 6V solar cell and a 4700uF storage cap. The reason
                      fhe threshold are changed is the drop in the MC34164 powersupply
                      current from 160uA to 10uA. The voltage drop across R3 caused by
                      this supply current plus the nominal threhold level sets the SE
                      switching points. The formula for determining these levels is:

                      Fire at (160uAx100k) + 2.7V = 4.3V
                      Reset at (10uA x100k)+2.7V = 2.8V

                      You can play with other R3 resistor values to optimize SE performance.

                      After evaluating the SolarFly2 with the existing circuit, I will be
                      testing several circuit variations:

                      1)The diode enable method to replace Q1 avoiding the extra voltage
                      drop.

                      2)A mod to operate two motors at the same time when the light is
                      balanced.

                      3)A mod to automatically switch between solar and battery mode in low
                      light to bridge shadows.

                      4)A battery powered popping mode to conserve battery power.

                      5)A switch to unconditionally disable the FireFly circuit to avoid it
                      exploring the wild blue yonder in a moment of unsupervised solar
                      feeding.

                      6)Can a reversing circuit be far behind?

                      The story continues

                      wilf

                      --- In beam@yahoogroups. com, Craig Maynard <craig@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Oh, right! I used darlingtons ( in spite of the schematic symbol I
                      show )!
                      > 2 transistors = 2 Vbe ! ( brilliant )
                      >
                      > Thanks, Wilf
                      >
                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: beam@yahoogroups. com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf
                      Of
                      > wilf_nv
                      > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 5:17 PM
                      > To: beam@yahoogroups. com
                      > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                      >
                      > Hi Craig,
                      >
                      > Just one diode drop is required to clamp the base of a Darlington
                      > transitor since it has an inherent Vbe turn on of two diode drops.
                      >
                      > Also note that the leakage current through the 100K base resistors
                      > during solar charging is the same as the leakage current through R4
                      > in the original circuit.
                      >
                      > wilf
                      >
                      > --- In beam@yahoogroups. com, Craig Maynard <craig@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Very cool, and unconventional modification ( this is a great list
                      > for the
                      > > "unconventional" )
                      > >
                      > > It looks like you plan to ground the two motor driver transistors
                      > bases
                      > > through isolation diodes while the voltage monitor is off,
                      clamping
                      > any
                      > > signal from the op-amp brain. When the voltage monitor floats ON
                      (
                      > its open
                      > > collector ), it allows the op amps to turn on the appropriate
                      motor
                      > driver
                      > > transistor!
                      > >
                      > > This could work well if the forward bias voltage on the 1n4148's
                      is
                      > less
                      > > than the B-E forward bias voltage of the two motor driving
                      > transistors. If
                      > > not, a third diode in series with the two emitters to ground
                      would
                      > fix that
                      > > problem. ( but re-add the voltage drop on the motors. )
                      > >
                      > > Cewl... I look forward to trying that! It looks like an easy
                      mod
                      > without
                      > > having to adjust or cut traces.
                      > >
                      > > Thanks, Wilf...
                      > >
                      > > Craig
                      > >
                      > > -----Original Message-----
                      > > From: beam@yahoogroups. com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups. com] On
                      Behalf
                      > Of
                      > > wrigter@
                      > > Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 12:48 PM
                      > > To: beam@yahoogroups. com
                      > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                      > >
                      > > Hi Craig and Harold,
                      > >
                      > > Perhaps I'm jumping the gun a little but, based on the
                      > > schematic, I can already make one comment.
                      > >
                      > > To slightly reduce complexity and cost and increase motor
                      > > power and efficiency by more than 75%, I suggest replacing
                      > > Q3 and R4 with two 1N4148 diodes wired with common cathode
                      > > to the 34164 output and with each anode connected to the
                      > > base or Q1 and Q2 respectively. In addition the emitters of
                      > > Q1/2 are directly connected to ground.
                      > >
                      > > The cost savings may be small but the increased power that
                      > > results from removing the forward voltage drop of Q3 is not
                      > > negligible.
                      > >
                      > > That amounts to about 1V more available across the motor
                      > > windings which increases motor voltage and current each by
                      > > 30% and increases the motor power by 90% which should result
                      > > in more powerful pops and faster action.
                      > >
                      > > Can't wait to prove out the theory.
                      > >
                      > > Wilf
                      > >
                      > > ----- Original Message -----
                      > > From: Craig Maynard <craig@>
                      > > To: beam@yahoogroups. com
                      > > Subject: RE: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                      > > Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 08:36:23 -0600
                      > >
                      > > > Thanks, Harold! The schematic for the New Solarfly is
                      > > > at http://www.jcminven tures.com/ images/sf_ schem.gif , if
                      > > > you'd like a peek. ( very much like the original
                      > > > SolarFly.
                      > > >
                      > > > Craig
                      > > >
                      > > > -----Original Message-----
                      > > > From: beam@yahoogroups. com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups. com]
                      > > > On Behalf Of Harold Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007
                      > > > 10:33 PM To: beam@yahoogroups. com
                      > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                      > > >
                      > > > Wow! Hurray to Wilf! Nice prize! Man, I should have
                      > > > replied first, hehe! Anyways, yes...we all want to see
                      > > > the schematic of the new cybug solarfly. Very
                      > > > nice-looking robotic creature and a cool behavior, Craig!
                      > > > 'Hope to see it in action. Keep up the good work. And
                      > > > thanks for sharing it. ;)
                      > > >
                      > > > ...Harold.
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups. com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
                      > > > wrote: >
                      > > > > Thanks very much, Wilf....
                      > > > >
                      > > > > I'd be pleased to gift you one so you can give an
                      > > > objective opinion to the
                      > > > > list. ( schematic included. ) Consider it a prize for
                      > > > being the first to
                      > > > > reply!
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Email me ( privately ) with your postal address and I'll
                      > > > fly over to you.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > craig@
                      > > > >
                      > > > > -----Original Message-----
                      > > > > From: beam@yahoogroups. com [mailto:beam@yahoogroups. com]
                      > > > On Behalf Of
                      > > > > wilf_nv
                      > > > > Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 4:12 PM
                      > > > > To: beam@yahoogroups. com
                      > > > > Subject: [personal] [beam] Re: New Cybug SolarFly
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Good news Craig!
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Great aesthetics and I like the changing behaviour
                      > > > > depending on the "feeding" method. I would very much
                      > > > > like to see the schematic for this and would be happy
                      > > > > to provide some feedback.
                      > > > > Wilf
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > --- In beam@yahoogroups. com, Craig Maynard <craig@>
                      > > > > wrote: >
                      > > > > > It's been a busy ( but short ) summer. I had a
                      > > > > chance to completely
                      > > > > > re-design the chloroplast based Cybug SolarFly to
                      > > > > create ( what else ) the
                      > > > > > SolarFly 2! I thought this list might be interested
                      > > > > > in seeing it. It's still based on the chloroplast, but
                      > > > > uses the newer flexible solar cells
                      > > > > > and has a very cool looky-feel. My favourite part of
                      > > > > the kit is that it's a
                      > > > > > BEAM Hybrid ( that's like a HYBRID car, mixing gas and
                      > > > > electric power ). At
                      > > > > > the flick of a switch the robot goes from a very
                      > > > active solar robot
                      > > > > to a
                      > > > > > run-around-the- floor-chasing- light-spots battery
                      > > > > powered robot. It's also
                      > > > > > less expensive than the previous version.
                      > > > > > You can also replace the 4700uF cap on it's abdomen
                      > > > > with a 1F supercap (get
                      > > > > > your own cap ) and turn it into a phototropic speeder!
                      > > > > > The wings are made of transparent plastic and there
                      > > > are a few styles
                      > > > > > included in the kit. My favourite are the dragonfly.
                      > > > > > I've made a video of it in action if you'd like to
                      > > > > have a peek. I'll also
                      > > > > > send you the schematics if you're interested.
                      > > > > > Check it out at
                      > > > > > http://www.jcminven tures.com/ solarfly_ 2.htm . How does
                      > > > > > it look?? Craig M
                      > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      > >
                      >
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                      >
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                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >

                      Yahoo! Groups Links

                    • dbhnewton
                      Does anyone know of a large source of rubber wheels with center punched holes which are reasonable? For small wheels have you ever tried rubber (tap/faucet)
                      Message 10 of 19 , Oct 27 8:38 AM
                        "Does anyone know of a large source
                        of rubber wheels with center punched holes which are reasonable?"
                         
                        For small wheels have you ever tried rubber (tap/faucet) washers? Certainly here in the UK we have lots of diff sizes from 3/8" up to just over 1" some with holes some without but even the ones without have a 'pip' in the centre thereby making axle insertion a much less 'approximate' affair. Cost is literally pennies too.
                         
                        David
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