Monday, July 4, 2016

Power to my Peeps - Update

Well, getting the frame constructed was a huge amount of progress over the years of 'stuff sitting around' but I have actually moved this project even closer to the finish line.

A couple coats of 'close to John Deere' green paint and the frame was looking good!  I started to assemble the electronics package for this.  The main goal was to provide a light to wake the girls up during winter and keep the egg production going.  On the side of the frame in the pic above is a 12v LED flood light which lights up their coop without being too obnoxious to the house or neighbors.

I have permanently mounted the solar panel and the battery box can be seen in the pallet shelf on the back of the frame.  The down spout with a wire extending from it is from the windmill generator.  This may end up attached to the charge controller later but since the windmill is not really tall enough to catch the full breeze it is not running enough to be much help.  I still like the look of the windmill so it gets to stay.

A clear front, wall mounted project box was a must for the electronics package.  It's hard to admire your geeky work if you can't see the lights.

And here it is:  Charge controller on the left.  Light timer on the top right and temperature controller lower right.  There is still some hookups that need to be finished at the time of this posting but I should have that done by tonight.  With summer heating up more, the girls will appreciate the fan coming on when it gets over 85 degrees.

As for the project box and mounting the devices inside of it.  There were already standoffs built into the box but nothing actually usable.  My first inclination was to try to fab something with the 3D printer or to make mold so I could produce the standoffs I needed out of epoxy resin.  Eventually, I realized I was over thinking this and ended up using blobs of JB Weld putty, drilling holes and using small wood screws to hold everything in place.  Smarter not harder.

So here it is in the finished look.  I have room for more panels and batteries if the need comes up.  Now there's a source of electricity available in the backyard and this may lead to additional backyard projects.  At least my chickens are off the grid.  I can't get myself off the grid quite yet but if anything the practice is a good thing.

Thanks for reading.

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