Sun Tracker or Irrigation Timer to drive motors

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This is using two LEDs to sense the sun and send +- or -+ logic signals to a full bridge motor driver like L298 or LED3X schematic. I bought his. I recommend it.

I changed the front end logic to 4060 and 4011 ICs here, because I want to put the sun sensor separate from the controller board so it does not weather and die again, after 8 years of use. The circuit turns on a motor for 3 seconds once every 47 seconds to move the solar panels. You could use this circuit to turn on an irrigation motor for a very short time every several hours (just omit the sun sensor and select appropriate timing pins and much lower oscillation frequency for the 4060, since 3 seconds every 47 seconds is not long enough for irrigation). [Update: Aug 31, 2017. This has been in use for a year and it is reliable. I had another car battery go weak after five years, so I returned the ten year-old battery and kept the "new" dead car battery. It parks the solar rotator back to sunrise position reliably every night. Dec 2018: I plugged in the wall adaptor because the battery died, but the solar is providing current during daylight and the wall adaptor, which is buck-controller, and not a transformer, typical of these modern day adaptors so it doesn't seem to care as long as it's voltage is the same.] Zener D3 went open circuit, malfunctioned and raised all the voltages from 5v to 15v. So I am going to replace that with a 270 ohm resistor. I guess my zener could not handle 30mA. I pulled a random one out of an old VCR.

Irrigation Timer Sun Tracker photo of.png

This needs upgrading but I get an error trying to replace the file: File:Irrigation Timer Sun Tracker motor driver.sch

File:Irrigation Timer Sun Tracker motor driver.kicad pcb

Irrigation Timer Sun Tracker motor driver.png


I also made a simple trickle charger (below) and voltage-reduction circuit to power my motors and above circuit directly from the solar panels instead of plugging them into a wall outlet DC power supply. I am using an almost dead car battery.

DC Solar to 15vdc+trickle charge.png

File:DC Solar to 15vdc+trickle charge.kicad pcb File:DC Solar to 15vdc+trickle charge.sch