Powering Solar Projects

I had mentioned in my Solar Badge post that I had tried to replicate the sun to power a Solar Badge and could not. I improved my method (by placing the HID lamp in a driving light reflector) and achieved full voltage, but not full amperage. You can see in the pictures below, the Solar Badge will put out 5V at 40mA without question. In this quick video you will see an HID light powering a Solar Badge as well as my ATX power supply failing and quickly (and time lapsely) preparing another one. 🙂  Continue reading

Stress Relief..

So I had a long day, and as I was cleaning my office I found some LED’s that were less than optimal. I’m not usually destructive, but it was time to blow them up. I love how the LED’s physically move as they die, so cool. The picture below is the last LED that smoked (click for full size), it was a trooper, lots of smoke. Outtakes at the end of the video.

Solar Temperature Badge

Adafruit now carries Solar Badges! It’s like free outdoor 5V batteries forever! I picked up a few of these and have been toying around what I’m going to do with them. They pump out 5V at 40mA for all of your portable power needs. The other huge plus about these is that the cell is a 2″ round badge that comes with a pin. This makes your power supply wearable to show the world your project!  As described in the video above, this badge measures temperature, displays a color scale from red to blue, and flashes digits, displayed as numbered pulses for the temperature. It also has a RGB ‘rainbow’ mode for bling as well as constant color changing temperature display. It was a fun little project and you can pick up the Solar BadgePerma-Proto Boards, TMP36 Temp Sensor, Tilt Switch, Push Button, RGB LED, and even the ATmega328 at Adafruit. Continue reading