CyckelLjudet – Attaching electronics and solar panels

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All pimped out and ready for the west pride parade Regnbågsparaden!

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To be able to drive the amplifier for the speaker we use an UPS. On top of the UPS you can see the solar regulator Solar80.
The solar regulator is charging a 6S 8Ah LiPo battery pack. The solar panels will generate maximum of 600W of power, and the PA-system will draw about 65W of power, so the battery will be more of a buffer.

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After some spec-readings we realized that the Solar80 wouldn’t handle the maximum of 70V that the solar panels could generate, it only supported 48V. So we switched it out for Flexmax 80.
Both the controllers were designed for lead-acid battery’s and not for LiPo battery’s. I was missing a parameter to set the charge voltage, also there was software limitations that you couldn’t go around, like the charging current for example, you could only go as low as 5A.
We’re trying out the solar panels and solar regulator in the sun charging the LiPo. The stop-charing-limit was set to 25.2V which is the voltage of a maximum charged LiPo, but the solar regulator was still inputing voltage well above 25.2V because the solar regulator is designed for lead acid battery’s. We then set the maximum-charging-voltage to 24.8V that seemed to help, the voltage over the battery didn’t reached over 25.2V.

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Cables from the solar panels.

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Amplifier/mixer in place, and so is the LED-bars.

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Festivalljus – Lighting

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Regarding the lighting, the last few months I’ve been researching different kind of LEDs and optics.
Our goal is to get really narrow spotlight, maybe 6-10 degrees, and it’s really hard to get a narrow beam like that.

There exists a few models of 5/10mm hole mounted LEDs with build in focusing-optics right into the housing (http://www.ebay.com/itm/310181790384). Those LEDs makes a narrow ~13degree beam which is nice, but the RGB-colors are separated.
When you build an array of small LEDs like this it’s working quite well, but it’s not a perfect spotlight as it casts RGB-shadows (like this http://www.lungstruck.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IMG_1965.jpg).
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Another bad thing with smaller LEDs are that it’s hard to get bright enough. If I were to but in 192 5mm LEDs it would only give me 15W of LED power.

Another LED-type that I’ve looked into is big 50W LED-arrays (http://www.ebay.com/itm/380676009599) with complementing 78mm lenses.
These types of LED-arrays give out it’s own LED-pattern when focused narrow enough. You can solve this by adding a diffuser close to the LED-array.
But you would have to add two 78mm lenses to focus down the beam. The narrow beam is the best so far, really crisp and around 6 degrees.
The bad thing is that it weights to much for my small construction, and also it brings upp the cost per unit really much.
Another bad thing is that you’ll need active cooling, which also adds to the weight. I used an ordinary CPU-cooler for desktop-computers.

The latest LED-type I’ve tried is 3W Star High Power RGB (http://www.ebay.com/itm/160582419768).
Ontop of that I’ve placed a special lens called a Collimating lens. Collimating lenses are directing beams from different angles straight into a column of light, it’s best described by this picture (http://www.laserfocusworld.com/content/dam/lfw/print-articles/2012/06/1206LFWnews05web.gif).
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The lens I tried also have a built in reflector (http://www.ebay.com/itm/390625279166).
This is the best solution for my project so far. I weighs almost nothing, gives me 50W of power in an array of 16 LEDs.
A negative thing about the collimating lens is the beam is much more fuzzy than the two above LED-types. It gives out a narrow beam, but there is a lot of light leaking through around the beam.

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go:toTrash – Live testing


Our control-input to steer the motors was through a Python-terminal


We placed a temporary emergency-stop on top of the trashcan to cut the power. In the future we will use a piezo-element to detect and trigger emergency-stop when someone is hitting the trashcan.


We did test go:toTrash inside at first to get ea feel about how the platform worked.
It worked great, so we tried to force it and learn its limits.


We also did some testing outside. go:toTrash also met a collegue on it’s way, a compression-trashcan.

We also did some testing on the paving stone, we discovered that go:toTrash were more stable on the pavement than we first thought.