Just a heads up. The Cerebral Meltdown site is currently undergoing a massive redesign to make it more accessible to a larger range of devices (i.e. smartphone, tablets, etc). The site will most likely be unusable for a brief period of time. (Or perhaps a not so brief period of time if the transition doesn’t go smoothly.)
I’m not sure when exactly I will make the transition since I have decided to basically rebuild the whole site from scratch to ensure that any obsolete code is officially gone. Rest assured though that things will eventually be back up and running even if the site appears to be down for awhile.
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I was going through my YouTube Videos, and just noticed that the Hobby CNC Machine Video has now surpassed one million views! I’m not sure why it became so popular since it was just a quick video I threw together to show off the machine. I guess it was just in the right place at the right time. Here’s to a million more views!
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Here are a few pics and stl file of a 3D printed enclosure for the Sun Harvester Shield made by Sebastian Gonzalez. This is part of a larger heliostat project he is working on at his university. Hopefully he will have more to send as he gets further along!
Version 2.0 of the Shield is largely the same as version 1.0. The biggest improvement is the addition of a quick connector in the upper right hand corner which allows you to connect the breakout board or driver board (using an adapter) to the shield without having to do any soldering.
Additionally, the Wind Protection Mode switch Target Changer Potentiometer, and SDA, SCL connections have been changed to screw terminals to further minimize soldering.
I also added an LED which will allow the program to give feedback from the program. For example, I plan to make it flash twice when joystick control mode is activated. More on this later when I finish updating the program.
Additionally, the Sun Harvester Driver Board has been updated to Version 1.1. The only notable difference in this version is a slight change in the hole layout and the removal of copper around these holes to help prevent unintentional shorts through a metal enclosure.
The Breakout Board has also been updated to Version 1.1. This version is basically the same as the last. I just swapped out some parts to make it easier for me to put together.
I have also added a Shield to Driver Board Adapter to make it possible to connect the Driver Board to the Shield without having to do any soldering. This item is optional since you can still just solder your own wires from the shield to the driver, but it does make life easier to use the adapter.
Finally, all of the old versions of these boards are being clearanced out at discounted prices. There is nothing wrong with them, but it is kind of confusing to have to almost identical versions of the same board in the store.
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Each time I try building one of these things I get a little bit closer to achieving a solid heliostat design. This one still needs some improvements, but it does at least work well enough to try it out in the sun. I will post more on it in the near future, but, for now, here are some pictures to get the ball rolling.
Each of the 6 1ft^2 mirrors is adjustable. This way, the light can be focused on a smaller target. I originally planned on adding 12 mirrors total, but I decided to keep it at 6 for now while I try things out.
For now, I’m only shining the light through a medium sized window.
This picture doesn’t really show it, but the reflected light does a good job of lighting up the room. Standing in front of the light beam feels just like standing in front of the light from the sun.
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This 12V, 2.5A power supply is used for powering the Sun Harvester Driver Board. More specifically, it is sized to work with the NEMA 17 Stepper Motors also sold in the store.
Since the majority of this store’s customers are outside the U.S., it makes sense to provide an international power supply. This is why multiple types of plugs are provided with the power supply. Simply choose the one that matches your outlet and you’re good to go.
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After a LOT scheming, plotting, designing, assembling, testing, and documenting, two new circuit boards have finally been added to the ranks of the Sun Harvesting circuitry and are now available for purchase at the Cerebral Meltdown Store!
First up is the Sun Harvester Driver Board. There are of course many other driver boards to pick from, but this one is designed specifically for use with the Arduino Sun Harvesting System. You now have the option to make all of the connections to the driver board with an Ethernet input and screw terminals. This marks the first step in making the Arduino Sun Harvesting Circuit “soldering iron free”. (This is just for the driver board. For now at least, there is still some soldering required in other parts of the circuit.)
Next we have the Sun Harvester Shield Driver Board Breakout Board (Yes I know, I’m bad at naming things). This breakout board connects to the Sun Harvester Shield and makes it easy to attach multiple Sun Harvester Driver Boards to the circuit.
More information for both of the circuit boards can be found at their respective links. Keep in mind that I still have a bit of documenting left to do along with some proof reading. It will be a few days before I’ll be able to do much work on it again though, so hang tight!
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