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Re: Another Noob-ish question, Smartcap nocturnal SE.

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  • wilf_nv
    I don t remember why I would have submitted that smartcap circuit but the post suggests I simply converted a functional description of the circuit into a
    Message 1 of 10 , May 31, 2008
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      I don't remember why I would have submitted that smartcap circuit but
      the post suggests I simply converted a functional description of the
      circuit into a schematic. Does it not make more sense to use a
      battery or a larger primary cap? In any case a picaxe has enough
      build-in features to efficiently handle the task of solar power
      management.

      wilf

      --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "kmcderm133" <kmcderm133@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi, it's me again. :) I've been trying to build the Smartcap solar
      > engine, which I found here:
      > http://library.solarbotics.net/circuits/se_noct_smartcap.html
      > It's the second circuit on the page. I like it because it's very
      low
      > on parts, but I'm not crazy about the photodiode/phototransistor.
      But,
      > it has it's up side: If the day's cloudy or somesuch, a charge-
      voltage
      > detecting SE might switch on, as the current from the solar cell
      isn't
      > enough, but I think a light detecting component would do a better
      job
      > of actually determing when it's dark.
      > The meat of my problem is that I've built the circuit on a
      > breadboard, and it doesn't work. I don't know if this is because I
      > didn't use a germanium diode (couldn't find one on Digikey), or if
      I'm
      > using the phototransistor incorrectly. I tried a photodiode from
      > Radioshack, in the configuration shown on this page, the diagram on
      > the left:
      > http://encyclobeamia.solarbotics.net/articles/phototransistor.html
      > Still no go. Can anyone shed any light on this for me? I'm going to
      > use this to power a PICAXE 08M, should I be using a different SE
      > altogether?
      > I hope I didn't try to cram too much into one post. :)
      >
      > Thanks,
      > Kevin
      >
    • Joseph Charles
      If you can t get a germanium diode, any small signal silicon diode will do, e.g. 1N4148 etc., but you will have a voltage drop of around 0.6V instead of the
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 1, 2008
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        If you can't get a germanium diode, any small signal
        silicon diode will do, e.g. 1N4148 etc., but you will
        have a voltage drop of around 0.6V instead of the 0.2V
        drop of the germanium. A Schottky diode will also
        give a low forward voltage, but are usually somewhat more
        expensive than regular diodes (well, when I last looked,
        anyway.)

        Depending on what you are doing with the picaxe, you might
        be interested in Wilf's SIMD1 Solar Regulator:
        http://library.solarbotics.net/circuits/se_noct_SIMD1SR.html

        Ummm, what *are* you doing with the picaxe? :)

        Jo


        --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "kmcderm133" <kmcderm133@...> wrote:
        I couldn't find the germanium 1N34a,
        > so I used the filters on Digikey and ordered what looked like a
        > suitable replacement... They sent this big thing (Not TOO big) with
        > leads that don't fit in the breadboard! The manufacturer part number
        > for this is MR854 and Digikey's part number is MR854OS-ND. After I get
        > everything else sorted out, is there a better diode I could be using?
      • kmcderm133
        Wilf, I m actually using a 4.7F cap. I did a little research and it seems like caps would be the better way to go. They have a longer life, deal with
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 1, 2008
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          Wilf,
          I'm actually using a 4.7F cap. I did a little research and it
          seems like caps would be the better way to go. They have a longer
          life, deal with temperatures better, and the batteries might take too
          long to charge. What do you mean by solar power management via the
          Picaxe? I'm building a project I found on instructables.com, it's a
          Firefly Jar. The one on the site is powered by a button battery and
          switched on manually. I wanted it to be more BEAM-ish. :) I would have
          gone analog with the cricuit, but it seems like it would be too many
          parts to fit under the cap of a mason jar. :D Here's a link:
          http://www.instructables.com/id/Jar-of-Fireflies/ Again, it's not my
          design, (don't want to take credit for it) I just want to make it
          solar. :)

          --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "wilf_nv" <wrigter@...> wrote:
          >
          > I don't remember why I would have submitted that smartcap circuit but
          > the post suggests I simply converted a functional description of the
          > circuit into a schematic. Does it not make more sense to use a
          > battery or a larger primary cap? In any case a picaxe has enough
          > build-in features to efficiently handle the task of solar power
          > management.
          >
          > wilf
        • kmcderm133
          Jo, I just posted back to Wilf in this same thread, and I ll put it here too. Instructables is a GREAT site! (Careful, it s addictive!!!!!) I m building Keso s
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 1, 2008
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            Jo,
            I just posted back to Wilf in this same thread, and I'll put it here
            too. Instructables is a GREAT site! (Careful, it's addictive!!!!!) I'm
            building Keso's Jar of Fireflies. Here's the link:
            http://www.instructables.com/id/Jar-of-Fireflies/ I'll see if rat
            shack has one of those diodes. Also, the voltage drop was 2V, not 0.2V. :(

            --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "Joseph Charles" <jodicalhon@...> wrote:
            >
            > If you can't get a germanium diode, any small signal
            > silicon diode will do, e.g. 1N4148 etc., but you will
            > have a voltage drop of around 0.6V instead of the 0.2V
            > drop of the germanium. A Schottky diode will also
            > give a low forward voltage, but are usually somewhat more
            > expensive than regular diodes (well, when I last looked,
            > anyway.)
            >
            > Depending on what you are doing with the picaxe, you might
            > be interested in Wilf's SIMD1 Solar Regulator:
            > http://library.solarbotics.net/circuits/se_noct_SIMD1SR.html
            >
            > Ummm, what *are* you doing with the picaxe? :)
            >
            > Jo
            >
            >
            > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "kmcderm133" <kmcderm133@> wrote:
            > I couldn't find the germanium 1N34a,
            > > so I used the filters on Digikey and ordered what looked like a
            > > suitable replacement... They sent this big thing (Not TOO big) with
            > > leads that don't fit in the breadboard! The manufacturer part number
            > > for this is MR854 and Digikey's part number is MR854OS-ND. After I get
            > > everything else sorted out, is there a better diode I could be using?
            >
          • Myc Holmes
            The jar of fireflies: is a very impressive project.t s like candy, you can just do one! I ve probably made a half dozen so far, they are great as gifts. For
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 1, 2008
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              The "jar of fireflies: is a very impressive project.t's like candy, you can just do one!
               
              I've probably made a half dozen so far, they are great as gifts.
               
              For those of you who have followed the SMARTBEAM thread, the PICAXE micro is a lot easier to use. down in the comments, there is a link to a Botorincs site with the circuit and software.
               
              Myc

              On Sun, Jun 1, 2008 at 1:03 PM, kmcderm133 <kmcderm133@...> wrote:

              Jo,
              I just posted back to Wilf in this same thread, and I'll put it here
              too. Instructables is a GREAT site! (Careful, it's addictive!!!!!) I'm
              building Keso's Jar of Fireflies. Here's the link:
              http://www.instructables.com/id/Jar-of-Fireflies/ I'll see if rat
              shack has one of those diodes. Also, the voltage drop was 2V, not 0.2V. :(

              --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "Joseph Charles" <jodicalhon@...> wrote:
              >
              > If you can't get a germanium diode, any small signal
              > silicon diode will do, e.g. 1N4148 etc., but you will
              > have a voltage drop of around 0.6V instead of the 0.2V
              > drop of the germanium. A Schottky diode will also
              > give a low forward voltage, but are usually somewhat more
              > expensive than regular diodes (well, when I last looked,
              > anyway.)
              >
              > Depending on what you are doing with the picaxe, you might
              > be interested in Wilf's SIMD1 Solar Regulator:
              > http://library.solarbotics.net/circuits/se_noct_SIMD1SR.html
              >
              > Ummm, what *are* you doing with the picaxe? :)
              >
              > Jo
              >
              >
              > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "kmcderm133" <kmcderm133@> wrote:
              > I couldn't find the germanium 1N34a,
              > > so I used the filters on Digikey and ordered what looked like a
              > > suitable replacement... They sent this big thing (Not TOO big) with
              > > leads that don't fit in the breadboard! The manufacturer part number
              > > for this is MR854 and Digikey's part number is MR854OS-ND. After I get
              > > everything else sorted out, is there a better diode I could be using?
              >


            • wilf_nv
              For an analog solution do a search for QLF. Especially look at the QLF11 circuit which includes a voltage regulating, dark turn-on SE. Four LEDs flash
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 1, 2008
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                For an analog solution do a search for QLF. Especially look at the
                QLF11 circuit which includes a voltage regulating, dark turn-on SE.
                Four LEDs flash independently while the brightness of each LED
                varies with a linear fade in and fade out effect.


                --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "kmcderm133" <kmcderm133@...> wrote:
                >
                > Wilf,
                > I'm actually using a 4.7F cap. I did a little research and it
                > seems like caps would be the better way to go. They have a longer
                > life, deal with temperatures better, and the batteries might take
                too
                > long to charge. What do you mean by solar power management via the
                > Picaxe? I'm building a project I found on instructables.com, it's a
                > Firefly Jar. The one on the site is powered by a button battery and
                > switched on manually. I wanted it to be more BEAM-ish. :) I would
                have
                > gone analog with the cricuit, but it seems like it would be too many
                > parts to fit under the cap of a mason jar. :D Here's a link:
                > http://www.instructables.com/id/Jar-of-Fireflies/ Again, it's not my
                > design, (don't want to take credit for it) I just want to make it
                > solar. :)
                >
                > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "wilf_nv" <wrigter@> wrote:
                > >
                > > I don't remember why I would have submitted that smartcap circuit
                but
                > > the post suggests I simply converted a functional description of
                the
                > > circuit into a schematic. Does it not make more sense to use a
                > > battery or a larger primary cap? In any case a picaxe has enough
                > > build-in features to efficiently handle the task of solar power
                > > management.
                > >
                > > wilf
                >
              • kmcderm133
                Thanks for the suggestion! :) Do you know of any good, free schematic/simulation programs? I ve had the parts for the Smartcap for a few weeks now, and I d
                Message 7 of 10 , Jun 9, 2008
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                  Thanks for the suggestion! :) Do you know of any good, free
                  schematic/simulation programs? I've had the parts for the Smartcap for
                  a few weeks now, and I'd like to try to render that and the QLF,
                  hopefully in a program that has some test equipment.

                  --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "wilf_nv" <wrigter@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > For an analog solution do a search for QLF. Especially look at the
                  > QLF11 circuit which includes a voltage regulating, dark turn-on SE.
                  > Four LEDs flash independently while the brightness of each LED
                  > varies with a linear fade in and fade out effect.
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In beam@yahoogroups.com, "kmcderm133" <kmcderm133@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Wilf,
                  > > I'm actually using a 4.7F cap. I did a little research and it
                  > > seems like caps would be the better way to go. They have a longer
                  > > life, deal with temperatures better, and the batteries might take
                  > too
                  > > long to charge. What do you mean by solar power management via the
                  > > Picaxe? I'm building a project I found on instructables.com, it's a
                  > > Firefly Jar. The one on the site is powered by a button battery and
                  > > switched on manually. I wanted it to be more BEAM-ish. :) I would
                  > have
                  > > gone analog with the cricuit, but it seems like it would be too many
                  > > parts to fit under the cap of a mason jar. :D Here's a link:
                  > > http://www.instructables.com/id/Jar-of-Fireflies/ Again, it's not my
                  > > design, (don't want to take credit for it) I just want to make it
                  > > solar. :)
                  > >
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