Heliostat questions and finding north with a heliostat?
I play around with solar "research" in my back garden. But it slopes to the north and this means that I have no play in the winter. Sun is gone. Now it is on its way back and starting to visit again. I tried and failed to make a heliostat last year. In the process of researching, I found old heliostats from the late 1800's that were clockwork. Kinda like what I wanted to do. But I was clueless in my understanding of them. I got 2 reports that a heliostat will work if a mirror is on equatorial mount and turning at one revolution every 48 hours and light can be sent almost anywhere(in the southerly direction) from the mirror. So 3 or 4 of these boys could be used to concentrate the light in one area. There was big argument about it last time and it remained unresolved. So I have just started a test of the concept on sunday. I only got 2 hours in but it did seem to work!
My mirror is not powered.
I just set up a little mirror on an equatorial mount with degrees calibrated underneath so I could turn it 7.5 degrees and see if the light still shines in the same spot. If it works, it can probably also be used to accurately set up equatorial mounts! It is hard to point it exactly due north. Wobbles in the reflected light from the mirror over the course of a day might tell us where north is!
I will show my apparatus soon.