Thursday, July 21, 2016

Checking out the linear actuator

On my way home from work, I paused to pick up another reamer to open a drilled hole to 0.75 inches or the same diameter as my key switch shaft. I had intended to get started on installing it today but that didn't happen.

The relays I'd bought that were supposed to be DPDT were SPDT which was useless. The connectors and spade terminals I have are about 18 gauge and I need 12-14 gauge. Thus, I couldn't do anything today. By the time I'd ascertained all that, I was too tired with the heat to do much.

Looking at the linear actuator, the voltage passing through drops to 0.02V when it reaches the end of its travel. That means there's leakage so it must be isolated when it's turned off. It seemed to work reasonably on a 9V PP3 battery which surprised me. That makes me wonder about running it off a PP3 battery, to be honest.

Meanwhile, I tried one of my new CPU fans and ran it straight off solar without issue. I'll have to out diodes on my latest panels so I bought the biggest I could find, just to be sure. I can see an advantage in adding batteries to the setup. I'm toying with the idea of linking it with 8 AA NiMh batteries. That would surely keep both fans running some of the night. Indeed a quick calculation based one one 10W panel is that two 160ma fans would burn 320ma or 3.84 watt hours per hour. Assuming 6 hours of reasonable sun and 30% generation then the panels would generate less than both motors use.

Assuming two panels then the excess would be 2.16WH. Over 6 hours that'd be 12.96WH. That would power the fans for about 4 more hours. It's not very long nor very much more impressive than direct drive which is cheaper and simpler.

Not having much sleep then dealing with 60+ juveniles all day does not aid concentration on work nor on blog. Still, I do my best.

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