• Testing prototype board

    Carl07/09/2016 at 04:11 0 comments

    I have finished soldering together a prototype board.

    Please excuse my messy soldering skills. The small blue wire connected to the top of the Arduino right near the atmega328 is for aref. The arduino pro mini (ebay clone) doesn't break this pin out but there is a 100nf cap there to help keep a stable aref? Using some small gauge wire it wasn't hard to solder a wire onto the back of the capacitor.

    Left to add is a simple 7805 to power the Arduino off the incoming solar power. Hopefully it will still run when the solar panel is charging the battery directly, will need to test this. During the night it will loose power and switch off. Since there isn't any decisions to make about maintaining the battery during the night this is fine.

    I have just successfully tested this board (usb powered). Using a 5w solar panel and a simple sketch to switch between regulated charge or direct charge.


    - add the 7805 for powering the arduino

    - Write some code that will decide how to charge the battery

    - Look into possibly a weekly charge from the solar panel into the 14v's. Will research this a bit more to find out if this is required for long term battery maintenence.

  • Initial testing

    Carl07/06/2016 at 04:16 0 comments

    I have complete some basic testing with a IRF9540 and a old regulator I had bottom left. With the regulator set to 13.5v and the lead acid battery at 12.7 the regulator was feeding in aprox 150ma.

    This has worked well enough I will start working on putting these components on a project board.