aluminum tape again
Auto brake light
Back hoe log splitter
Black tape and PVC cement
Broken gas can cap
C-band dish solar furnace
Making a Cheap battery State Of Charge gauge more accurate
Cleaning the corroded buss bars from a Prius battery pack
Fixing small plastic gears
Forever solar desk lamp
How I splice audio cables
IMA motor coil shift in collision
Insight Battery pack turbo cooler
Insight Oil Pan second chance
Lifting the battery safely
making a ducted blower from a computer fan
Making an isolated hall effect current sensor with ring terminals
making a heavy workbench mobile
Making a simple IMA bypass connector from an old pack relay board
Making some custom solar panels
Measuring resistance of less than 1 ohm
Motorizing a snow blower chute
Put your exercize to good use?
Quick way to make a connector for checking the subpacks
Reading the blink codes
Real time external MPG display
Rear view Video cameras
Running a civic with no IMA battery
Solar headlight
Soldering iorn degausser
Some uses of laser pointers
Taking Video of the dash
Those useful Prius subpacks
Using digital caliper to measure hole center to center distance
weed whacker motor converted to bicycle motor
When cleaning the EGR does not fix the hesatation
Where do you find high quality alligator clips?
Handy use for Aluminum tape.

C-band dish solar furnace

C-band dish solar furnace
Canning Tomatoes with the sun

Back in the 60's I was given a nice rugged parabolic dish, and had covered it with mirrors. It works pretty well. I have reached aluminum melting temperatures, and run a steam engine.
Old radar dishes are not readily available but old C band dishes are.
Start with an old C-band satellite dish. Cut Bathroom mirror tile into 2" or 3" inch squares.
Glue tiles to dish with silicone rubber,then glue aluminum foil to the back with a thin coating of silicone to seal out moisture, and protect the mirrors back.The small gap between the mirrors will allow eventual total curing of the silicone, but it takes several months for a full cure. The layer of aluminum foil stops the degradation of the mirrors rear surfaces. My dish has been outdoors for over 30 years and the mirrors are still like new.
The horizontal and vertical drives are run by a sun tracking servo amp that keeps it pointed at the sun.
A schematic of the basic tracker is available on the downloads page:Simple Tracker schematic
This generic servo will operate on 12-24VDC, and will run dc motors over the same voltage range. The power transistors need to be mounted on a good heatsink with electrical isolation between the collectors and the heatsink. The servo gain pot will want to be tuned for best accuracy of tracking without oscillation.
The sensing photo detectors are mounted at + and - 45 degrees to form a half bridge.The + of one detector connecting to the - of the other. This "shorted" connection forms a current bridge where the two photo diode currents cancel when evenly illuminated, and change polarity and amplitude of output when unbalanced. The idea is to have the servo always drive the dish to the null point.
I Canned some tomatoes this morning. The 8 quarts of water and tomatoes reached boiling in 6 minutes, but then it was boiling too fast. I had to drape news papers over the mirrors to turn down the heat. I will need to make an adjustable shade for the thing, so I can adjust the boil to a slow steady one. Tracker worked well.I need a steam engine for the thing, and I could make some electricity or pump water.
More information on this project:
Plugging into the sun blog