Thursday, May 26, 2016

Start of my Solar Energy Adventure Part 3

Here are some pictures of how I am distributing the battery voltage. I gutted a old router for the case and mounted a Voltage/Current meter, current shunt and a terminal block.

Here is a view of the inside:

Here is the back view:

Here is the front view:

Here is how I power my Raspberry Pi's:

I took an adjustable buck converter and set it for 5.1 Volts and connected the output to the power wires of a 4 port USB plug I salvaged from an old PC I recycled some time ago.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Start of my Solar Energy Adventure Part 2

Here is the panel I mounted on the wall to hold my breaker box, MPPT solar charge controller and a small 300 Watt inverter.

Here are the 2 - 12Volt 55AH AGM batteries that I am currently using to run some of the gear on my workbench and various Raspberry Pi's.

In my next post I will show how I am getting access to the battery power for my Raspberry Pi's and other NON AC bench devices.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Start of my Solar Energy Adventure Part 1

Here is my homemade rack for my 2 80 Watt Sharp panels I got from my brother. The picture below is the rack on it's back before I mounted the 2 panels (laying to the left in picture).

Here is a picture of the panels attached to the rack.

Here is a close up of the panel to rack mounting.

Here is the rack setup against the south facing side of the back yard fence.

In the above picture you can see the pvc pipe that I placed to route the PV cables plus a cat 5 cable that I currently have a DS18B20 temperature sensor attached so that I can monitor the temperature just behind the panels. The pvc pipe goes along the lower side of the fence and then is buried underground as it gets closer to the house as there is a slope to the back yard.

In my next post I will have some pictures of the Solar Charger and battery setup in the basement above my workspace.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

rlgNode - Temperature Monitor

Here is my first remote Moteino node, based on Felix Rusu 's Moteino wireless transceiver. I have soldered on a DS18B20 1-wire temperature sensor and am powering it with a 6v AA 4 cell battery pack.

I have programmed the Moteino to send the current temperature to a Raspberry Pi the I will be using as the Gateway for my Home monitoring system. I am using Felix's USB Moteino connected to the raspberry pi. I have created a GitHub repo for my ongoing development of the my Sensor Monitoring network. Felix has a wonderful Gateway program for the raspberry pi, but I wish to learn Python programming on the Pi.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

More Awesome Adafruit Hardware

I keep purchasing Adafruit hardware and am amazed by the quality. I purchased an Adafruit PowerBoost 1000C and a Lithium Ion Battery Pack - 3.7V 6600mAh. I am looking at using this as a power source for my robot project.


In the above picture I have hooked up the PowerBoost 1000C to the 6600mAh Li-Po and to the voltage display (displays battery voltage).

In the above picture I am running a test to time how long the PowerBoost 1000C and 6600mAh Li-Po can run a static Model B Raspberry Pi. It lasted just over 4 hours.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Latest Kickstarter project received

I backed the Sensorian Shield for Raspberry Pi (

In the above picture you can see a Raspberry Pi Model B connected to the Sensorian sheild running the Sensorian Raspian Image. By default when booting the Sensorian Image it displays the active ethernet port and the IP address assigned. The shield has multiple sensors (motion, light, touch, compass, temperature, altitude) The shield can keep track of the time with a battery backed-up real time clock. I was able to test some of the example Python programs, but still have not received the manual that was supposed to come with the shield.