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Darren Kitchen

Solar Pineapple

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I figured I'd give a sneak preview at a new WiFi Pineapple project. We're still in testing phases but so far have the makings of a solar powered pineapple. The goal is to build a full on fruit farm using only power from the sun. These will be great for large scale unmanned covert roof-top deployments.

7395666610_3f15d24fb5_c.jpg

Today is a great day for testing. After a week of non-stop usage we've had our first major foggy / cloudy day. I have high hopes for this setup, which is actually our second attempt. Now with a 3x larger panel, if the math works out this should go on for the foreseeable future (nuclear winter non-withstanding).

7395722582_9f2d1d751d_c.jpg

Should have a proper rig, much slimmer and robust than the above photo, ready by end of summer in the form of an inexpensive add-on or kit along with some power saving firmware additions. Feedback and questions absolutely welcome.

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Might be interesting to have the pineapple be able to monitor the battery and solar health. Maybe send/tweet an SOS if the battery reaches a threshold.

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Might be interesting to have the pineapple be able to monitor the battery and solar health. Maybe send/tweet an SOS if the battery reaches a threshold.

*nod*

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Might be interesting to have the pineapple be able to monitor the battery and solar health. Maybe send/tweet an SOS if the battery reaches a threshold.

*Paging Whistle Master, line one please...Whistle Master, line one.*

:)

Great stuff Darren! Love your visionary hackage! :)

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That looks sick, i was going to buy a usb battery back with a solar panel build it but this is a whole new level, is that a car battery? lol

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lead acid is the way to go when it comes to solar. I too have looked into these USB solar packs and come to the same conclusion with each offering I see -- either lame gimick that could maybe trickle charge an iphone, or hella expensive aimed at adventurer backpackers and the like. I prefer a more simple off the shelf inexpensive tried and true approach. So far so good.

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*Paging Whistle Master, line one please...Whistle Master, line one.*

:)

Great stuff Darren! Love your visionary hackage! :)

:P Would be a great challenge, but that requires sensors to have access to battery and solar health information.

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I've been working on something similar to this, using hacked products from these guys:

http://www.goalzero.com.au/

Using a pineapple, and a raspberry pi. Also to extend things further been using openwrt modified TL-MR3020's.

I'll give details once I'm happy with the setup.

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Those goal zero kits look nice. Like I said, adventurer stuff is hella pricey.

Also the MR3020s are a lot of fun, aren't they?

Sensor info might be possible on the MK4 actually -- there's a serial port on there that (afaik) has yet to have been hacked :)

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Posted · Hidden by Ted Summers, June 19, 2012 - Outdated

I figured I'd give a sneak preview at a new WiFi Pineapple project. We're still in testing phases but so far have the makings of a solar powered pineapple. The goal is to build a full on fruit farm using only power from the sun. These will be great for large scale unmanned covert roof-top deployments.

Today is a great day for testing. After a week of non-stop usage we've had our first major foggy / cloudy day. I have high hopes for this setup, which is actually our second attempt. Now with a 3x larger panel, if the math works out this should go on for the foreseeable future (nuclear winter non-withstanding).

Should have a proper rig, much slimmer and robust than the above photo, ready by end of summer in the form of an inexpensive add-on or kit along with some power saving firmware additions. Feedback and questions absolutely welcome.

Hey Darren, Looks very interesting. You might find this old short article a good read as it relates to your project on the solar end. It's titled:

"Boy Genius: 13-Year-Old's Solar Tree Produces 50% More Power"

http://www.wired.com...-50-more-power/

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Have you looked into Voltaic Systems? I have never used them but they seem like they have nice products and then you would not need to deal with over charging the battery. It might mean monitoring might be a bit harder though.

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I have been wanting to do this for some time. My goal was to put it all inside a discrete water tight package that would be field deployed and left for a week or two. I'm sure the battery level could be easily monitored with an arduino. And of your code told it to sleep it wouldn't be much drain on the battery.

Going to do some research on that approach. Will post my results here.

-Hackipedia

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Found this link that covers the steps necessary to read voltages higher than 5 volts using an arduino.

Only thing left to do would be to modify the code to send data to the pineapple and to write a module for the pineapple to read said data.

http://www.clarenceho.net:8123/blog/articles/2009/05/17/arduino-test-voltmeter

-Hackipedia

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might be overkill to use an arduino. should be possible to do it with a teency.

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That's true. Really if a person has the programmer you can do this using a pic processor. Are the serial pins on the pineapple 3.3v or 5v?

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That's true. Really if a person has the programmer you can do this using a pic processor. Are the serial pins on the pineapple 3.3v or 5v?

3.3volt

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3.3volt

Well that may add a touch of complexity then. Will need to have a way of converting between 3.3v and 5v levels. Of course a person could do this through USB also. It's too bad the chipset on the pineapple doesn't have a spare analog to digital converter input just sitting around. :)

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Well that may add a touch of complexity then. Will need to have a way of converting between 3.3v and 5v levels. Of course a person could do this through USB also. It's too bad the chipset on the pineapple doesn't have a spare analog to digital converter input just sitting around. :)

does the fact that the serial power pin is 3.3 volt mean that the rx and tx pins also max at 3.3?

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that makes a case for the teensy using a 3.3 volt conversion.

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does the fact that the serial power pin is 3.3 volt mean that the rx and tx pins also max at 3.3?

Well I was assuming so just to be on the safe side but it is worth looking into. Will look for some datasheets on the chipset to be sure.

jdogherman: Your right, the teensy would probably be preferable in that case.

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don't forget us UK dwellers, we need hydra powered pineapples, rainfall here could power it for months. ;)

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Oh man! That is totally doable! Just need a small impeller attached to a motor, a 3-phase model aircraft motor would be most efficient I think. Then find a way to pipe into the downspout from the gutters. A small filtering and regulating circuit and then BAM! Hydro powered pineapple. :)

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Why not wind, ;) we have plenty of this in scotland, HENCE ALL THE ENGLISH STICKING WIND TURBINE ON OUR LAND AND STEALING OUR POOOOWR lol will need to look into this, psun watter and wind, the element pineapple?

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