After some advice on this forum a special espionage team gathered information and acquired foreign technology to secretly examine and adapt to own purposes. All for the sake of the nation of course.
Now that was a more interesting intro than just saying I started an experimental solar powered model rail vehicle.
And it is partly true. After some not too successful searching on the internet for information on similar projects (see this topic) and not being skilled in electronics I decided to buy on Conrad a “Solarhouse” and a motor with gearbox. Both kits are from Sol Expert (#40212 “Solarhaus” kit and #90015 “Universal getriebe”). I bought the house kit because it has some electronic unit in it that charges the battery. With a switch you can turn the LED on and off.
This electronic unit is certainly also present in most cheap LED gardenlights of course, but mostly the electronic components in these have no visible codes or markings on it. As I want to examine what components can be used for making a similar charger myself, I wanted something with these codes still visible. I noticed this was the case on the Sol Expert kit. So… a bit of foreign technology was acquired to examine and copy!
Also, the electronics in the kit are easily assembled with nice little connectors which is understandable for me (the KISS principle; Keep I Simple Stupid!) and save me time (and time is harder to buy…).
The plan is to replace the LED for the motor unit that is especially designed to run on the solar cell; 0,6 – 6 volts motor and a 1,2 volts battery. If I keep the model as light as possible, it will work (I hope).
Anyway. Here are some secret pictures of the acquired technology (ssht! Don’t show these to anyone!):
Solar House electronics
Gearbox and motor
And the first fase of the experiment: getting it to work. Until now not much success… There is no live (or better; light) in the LED. Hopefully at the end of the day it will come awake. So I patiently wait and see what will come… otherwise I have to report to state railway authorities…
The other component on the board is an inductor. The data sheet for the chip can be found here: https://www.mikrocontroller.net/attachm ... QX5252.pdf
You don't really need any circuitry provided the solar cell is not so big it will fry the cell although a diode to prevent discharge in the dark might be a good idea. Read about that here: https://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/di ... iodes.html
I have some old diodes I once used for a DC 12 volts H0 railway (for safety stops at end of tracks). Could these be used for this?
https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... r+lighting.
Works well and even in the winter in England it powers 8 LED's overnight ( 12 hours) and has been running for 18months without a break. The key is to use a nominally too high voltage PV cell (5v) charging a 1.2v NiMh battery.
The little black component on your circuit board is, I think, a variation on the QX5252F LED driver which is available from ebay and which I used.
As Philipy said, don't worry about using a 5V solar panel with a 1.2V cell. Unless very big, the solar cell will not provide enough current to do any harm.
I will experiment some more the next week. The strange thing is the LED does not give light but the battery seems charged after one day in the (cloudy) daylight. I coupled the motor to the battery and it spins normally. So... I think the LED is defect?
Perhaps something for a next project. For now I think I'll go on with this setup and make a small draisine or something.
Like these small Billard draisines:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billard#/ ... ard_RB.jpg
https://philippenoisette.photoshelter.c ... vs31dFK4z0
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/49/30/e3 ... 541a69.jpg
The axle that came with the kit was a bit to thin for the LGB wheels I wanted to use so I made a spacer from a piece of styrene tube. It works but I am not totally satisfied because one wheel has still a bit slack. Perhaps I will replace it in the future with a brass spacer. But for now it is good enough.
And the end result; motor, axle and wheels all in place and looking just fine. Now I really need to figure out how to make a simple chassis...
Some progress on the chassis. I used an other plywood part leftover and and a sheet of balsa on top.
Also made an axle mount out of styrene sheets. Again all very basic and light.
Temporary set up without the solar panel:
Can a LED also be used for blocking diode to prevent discharge? It is a Light Emitting Diode so I suggest it could?Best to use a schottky diode as they have less voltage drop. Any normal diode will work though provided the solar cell voltage is high enough.
That would be practical as I can use it as light
Or would that LED only be working when charging?
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