The update to the Sun Tracking / Heliostat Electronics Circuit is one step closer to being completed. I have swapped out the shift registers for an i2c 16 input/output port expander because it is a little easier to wire together and doesn’t use up any of the Arduino’s pins since it shares the SDA and SCL pins with the RTC.
I have also added a joystick into the mix. This makes it a lot easier to program in heliostat targets. Basically, you can now manually move the heliostat’s reflection to where you want it just by using the joystick. Two push buttons were also added so that you can select which machine you want to control when you have a multi machine setup.
Note that you both activate and deactivate manual control via joystick by holding down both push buttons simultaneously. The target(s) are automatically saved to EEPROM when manual control via joystick is turned deactivated.
I also added a 5K linear potentiometer which is used to switch between different sets of saved targets.
My intention with these new components is to make it so that you don’t have to rely on a computer quite so much when you need to change something.
You can view the full pdf of the schematic at this link. I think it’s getting pretty close to being finished, but I won’t guarantee that it won’t change at some point. Also, watch out for mistakes on my part.
Note that at the time of this writing (7/16/12) I haven’t uploaded the update to the Sun Tracking / Heliostat Program which utilizes the new components described in this circuit. I should have it available sometime within the next few days. I’ll also try and give a better explanation for how all of this stuff works when I do.
Note: Keep an eye on this forum thread for updates on this topic.