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I never fail to be amazed at how popular this instructable is. I'm very glad that I posted it. Glad you found it.
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This particular ultra-capacitor has a max voltage of 5.5 volts and capacity of 4 farads. I have often touched both leads (or both sides) of the capacitor and am still alive. I have never felt any shock from them. I also have two ultra-capacitors with a max voltage of 2.7 volts and capacity of 500 farads. Fully charged, those can give a spark if shorted out. Ordinary capacitors discharge about 1000 times faster than ultra-capacitors, so (I'm guessing) that the same size of ordinary capacitor would be far more dangerous than an ultra-capacitor. There is an instructable that discusses the safety of ultra-capacitors. It is here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Lets-learn-about-Super-Capacitors-A-Practical-G/step2/Are-Super-Capacitors-Dangerous/I think that article would be useful for y...see more »This particular ultra-capacitor has a max voltage of 5.5 volts and capacity of 4 farads. I have often touched both leads (or both sides) of the capacitor and am still alive. I have never felt any shock from them. I also have two ultra-capacitors with a max voltage of 2.7 volts and capacity of 500 farads. Fully charged, those can give a spark if shorted out. Ordinary capacitors discharge about 1000 times faster than ultra-capacitors, so (I'm guessing) that the same size of ordinary capacitor would be far more dangerous than an ultra-capacitor. There is an instructable that discusses the safety of ultra-capacitors. It is here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Lets-learn-about-Super-Capacitors-A-Practical-G/step2/Are-Super-Capacitors-Dangerous/I think that article would be useful for you.
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LEDs and Lighting Class
Glad to help. I am just very surprised at how many people even found this Instructable to open the box.
Should be OK with the fixes. Good luck!
It does chew up batteries. If you leave them in the coil, the area will get hot. There goes the power! I just finished another one and used 50 ft of 18 gauge wire, soldered it to a partial coil with about 30 ft and can now make the loop work. My magnets are of the weak persuasion, so I used three of them on each end. The battery can complete the loop more than once. My solder joint isn't the smoothest part of the coil, but most of the time the train keeps tooting right along.
This is useful info.
Thanks for your help. Now, I know what I need to get.
This looks like a fun project! How long does the copper wire have to be to make a "track" of about 3 feet like you show in your video? Do I need 100 feet? From the video it looks like you need about 13 turns of wire for one AA battery length (minus the magnets, about 2"). A 5/8" diameter is roughly 2" circumference. That would be about 26" of wire for one battery length. A wire coil of 50 feet would give me about 23" of track. Does this sound about right? I really am not sure of my math here, it's been awhile. Bottom line, how long is the wire you use for the full loop in your video?
My first joule thief. It must work. It powers a 3 volt LED with a single 1.5 volt AA battery. I used a VN10KM Power FET for the transistor. The designations for Base Collector Emitter in an FET are Gate Drain Source from what I could find on the web. Anyway, it works!
Free Dynamic DNS Server with Esp8266 and OSD FOSCAM Webcam Interface
An afterthought here. To lengthen the life of the LED, you may want to increase the size of the resistor to 110 ohm instead of 82. Also, to avoid overcharging the ultra-capacitor, you may want to connect the solar panels in parallel instead of in series as I have done. I avoid overcharging by simply checking the LED after an hour or so in the sunlight. If it shines brightly, I consider the ultra capacitor fully charged. Of course, you can check the charge with a volt-ohm-milliammeter (VOM), but if you are in woods in survival mode, you are unlikely to carry a VOM with you!
OK, I did it. I made a solar powered flashlight that uses an ultra-capacitor instead of a battery. I decided to publish it as an Instructable and posted it here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Flashlight-for-Survival-Kit/This project could be much more compact using the Dead Bug Style of point-to-point construction--just solder each component directly to the next one. That would save space. The solar cells would be hot-glued to the top or bottom of the altoids tin. You could punch a hole in one end of the tin and have the LED poke out of the hole. The switch could also have a hole so it would be accessible from the outside..
Solar Flashlight for Surviv...View Instructable »
Thanks for your reply. I'm looking into a possible solar/ultra capacitor/LED system that may fit in a small space. The solar cells would cover the lid an possibly the bottom. (I don't eat tic-tacs and do not have any of those handy, but I can prototype a system on a small piece of wood. I'm busy right now, but I have an idea how to do it, and I think I have the electronics that I need. It's a matter of finding time to do it. It would be a neat addition to your idea.
This is definitely a better idea than mine with the jars and all. Thanks for your contribution.
I'm not sure how this would fit in such a small box. BTW, you have done a wonderful job with this project! I'm thinking that light at night is very valuable. Batteries are a bad idea because they go bad before you get a chance to use them. But, how about a small solar cell mounted on the cover to charge a super capacitor with an LED light? Super capacitors can be charged almost infinitely. It's a thought. Anyway, you did a great job. You have my vote. Thanks.
Arduino UNO Professor
The simulator is fantastic. I am trying to teach arduino to a very bright middle schooler. This will be a big help. Thanks for going through all the effort to put this together.
Thanks for this fantastic Instructable. I found one mistake in the code. You defined int ledPin = D3. An "int" requires a number, so "D3" returns an error. Then I tried to use "3", but it didn't do anything. For some strange reason, "int ledPin = 4;" works, and "int ledPin = 5;" works. But, #3, #6, #7 do not. I am very new to the ESP8266 and am not yet familiar with the digital ports that work so well in Arduino products but are a puzzle here. Maybe someone can straighten me out here. In any case, I got the project to work but am using it on my LAN and not from outside and am not using Port Forwarding. This was fun enough. Lots of possibilities. Thanks again.
DIY AUTOMATIC SOLAR CHARGE CONTROLLER
I'm glad you find it useful. I use mine every day. I have a soldering iron holder in the upper right corner, and on top of that is an ATTiny85-baed heat sensor with a flashing light whenever the soldering iron is hot. That way, I don't forget to unplug the soldering iron. That ATTiny85 gadget is plugged into the +5 v power supply. Also, I made fan from a recycled CPU fan to blow away solder fumes. That uses the +12 v supply. The power supply is a very useful item. Besides this, I have a small light bulb inside the top of the case to shed light on my hobby efforts. It is one of the most useful gadgets I have made. A simple LED tells me if the power supply is on or off (as does the white light on top).
One more thing, if I am not mistaken, there are only 3 PWM ports on the chip, meaning you are limited to those ports. Those are the ones you are using. The other two can be used with digitalWrite() to allow for a total of five ports that can use LEDs in one way or the other. I like you precise assignment of voltages to each of the colors. I was not that careful. If you use those assignments, you can maximize the lifespan of the LED and maximize the efficiency as well. Again, thanks for your improvement and contribution.
Absolutely right. Using analogWrite() you can vary the brightness and do some really cool things with that feature. For my original purpose, I wanted to have the brightest light available so it could be seen far away. It seemed to me that digitalWrite() with HIGH and LOW was the brightest. Your code allows for a lot more variation on the theme. Thanks!
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I just found some suggestions on how to handle the -5v problem. You may want to check this out: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=16585.0
I"m afraid your question is beyond my ability to answer. You may want to go to the Instructables Tech Forum or to the Arduino Forum )(https://forum.arduino.cc/) and pose your question there. I am not familiar with using negative voltages with micro-controllers, so maybe one of those forums could help you. It sounds like your project would work fine with an ATTiny85 micro-controller. You are only using one port for input and one for output. The rest of it is in C-program. For input you are using analogRead() and for output you are using digitalWrite() and delay(). You can see many coding examples in the Arduino website Tutorials. (https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/HomePage) and programming refrence page at the Arduino website.
Very good plan and ideas. You must have a very nice workshop. Thanks for your input.
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