Archive for the ‘operation sunshine’ Category

Zero Standby Current Timer

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

This is a timer for controlling LED lights powered from a solar-charged battery. It was built to illuminate a passageway between two terraced houses, which is used to move the rubbish and recycling bins from the gardens of both houses to the street on collection days. Power is supplied from a battery charged by a solar panel. To guard against battery wastage due to leaving the lights on, it was desired to have a time switching arrangement where a single push of the switch gives a fixed duration of light before switching off automatically.

The first intention was to use a mechanical time delay switch, but this was found to be a rather costly solution.

The lights themselves were modified from 3-LED, battery powered push lights obtained in packs of two from a pound store (I frequent such places, searching for anything with white LEDs to use in my experiments!) The modification was simple but fiddly; entailing some track cuts to rewire the LEDs from a parallel to a series circuit and bypass the switch, and a resistor change. The timer itself was built inside an MB2 plastic enclosure with a pushbutton switch.


Circuit operation is as follows:

The Proof of the Pudding

Friday, September 5th, 2008

I managed to obtain a suitable donor lamp for my inverter project: £3 from Wilkinsons, plus another £1.99 for the bulb (9W, 14mm. screw base). The hollow china base of the lamp will contain the inverter circuit. When all is finished, you won’t be able to tell that it isn’t an ordinary mains lamp — except for the fact that the power lead will have a 6.3mm. jack plug on the end (this being the connector on which I am standardising for my 12 volt distribution boxes).

Nice hollow base:  Plenty of room for circuit.

Nice hollow base: Plenty of room for circuit.


And another light!

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

This is the LED cluster light I was thinking of building before I went ahead with the inverter lamp, and have now completed:

24-LED cluster with 14mm. screw fit base

24-LED cluster with 14mm. screw fit base


Up from the Ashes of Disaster, grow the Roses of Success!

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

I have a working fluorescent lamp inverter!

Stuff that Doesn’t Work

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Behind every great inventor, goes the saying, is a pile of failed experiments. Here I’m going to document some of my cases of finding out the hard way what doesn’t work.

Maplin Solar Lighting Kit N63FU

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

I purchased this item on promo at my local Maplin store Electronics for £49.99 (reduced from £79.99). The kit contains a 13 watt solar panel, a charging regulator, a 12V sealed lead-acid battery and two LED lamps.