[3April2020] Project Aurora

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End Goal: To have a fully automated solar panel system that maintains the health & welfare of all animals stowed there.

The time has finally come to move all of my animals to a larger, more comfortable space as their current location is becoming crowded. As I’ve grown my collection I’ve known that eventually I’d move to another space & that it’d have to be automated per the usual, which is where project Aurora comes in.

Aurora is a solar panel based project that uses the energy from the sun in order to power all arduino boards. The intent is for this to be a long term location for the animals as not only my collection grows but my programming abilities as well. I’d also like to spruce up the overall facility it’s in with a lighting system, office desk, & move my programming table out there as well. For now, here are the overall requirements for Aurora.


Subsystems Required:

Solar Panel Electrical System (& backup)- Generates electricity via solar panels for storage in batteries connected in parallel & in series. Has a backup battery to provide power to Arduino subsystem to alert owner via low power systems & charging of the backup battery which doubles as a battery for the generator.

Charge Controller Activity Monitor- Independent Arduino subsystem that monitors if the primary system is active or not.

Generator Fuel Delivery System- Activates via generator remote if solar batteries are too low and load disconnected by the charge controller.

AARCS Unit- Automated Animal Residency Control System is used to maintain animals inside their cage. The heat, water & ventilation is all controlled by automation.

Modified Castle Guardian- Actively monitors enclosure for security.

Each subsystem is a gear that makes the overall system work as without a simple subsystem working the overall project can go nowhere. Additionally, each subsystem can be broken down to a simpler form as there are requirements for each subsystem to work appropriately, though things will get too muddled if I began listing each subunit making a subsystem at this point in the text. I will eventually get into how it all works, but for now I will provide the overview.

Implement Phases:

1.      Major Purchases- Buy batteries, solar panels, generator (w/ oil & gasoline), magnets, & wires alongside a large crimper. This isn’t an exhaustive list of materials but only the things I needed to buy. A full breakdown will be provided soon.

2.      Battery Connection- Purchase four 6 volt 235 Ah batteries and connect them in series and in parallel. Connecting them in series boosts the voltage to 12v and connecting them in parallel boosts the available amperage to 470 Ah.

3.      Solar Panel Install- Assemble the panel brackets and install the solar panels on the roof with the wires connecting the panels to the charge controller in parallel to boost amperage.

4.      Generator Assembly- Assemble generator & provide oil & gas to prevent equipment damage. Order a second generator remote starter so it may be taken apart to interface with the arduino when the primary solar battery system is disabled due to low charge.

A.      Install an inverter- relay into generator as generator instructions state to not plug in a load until generator starts. Connect to solar panel section of the charge controller.

B.      Attach a vibration detector to generator so arduino system knows if generator properly started.

C.      Purchase PVC pipes & create a covered stand that has a light dependent resistor. Place it so that pipe covers low oil light so if generator is started but fails the arduino can check if the problem is with low oil or no gas.

D.     Install an exhaust extractor to avoid filling the room with fumes, thereby killing all animals via asphyxiation.

E.      Create a fueling system by purchasing several gas cans and linking them to a pump to provide gas as needed. Create a drainage system via solenoids to test if reservoir is filled. If reservoir isn’t filled & low oil light isn’t detected then fill reservoir with gasoline.

5.      Sensor assembly-  Solder & code all components to needed for sensor & conduct final test.

Administrative Addresses [Updated:12Mar20]

This page is a play-by-play of any events, projects, or posts I’m working on. While the Site Updates page displays individual projects, this page gives a detailed narrative of whatever I’m working on. Know that I’ll be updating the title with the updated day I made a post. Stay tuned & don’t forget to check out my social media links!

Black Falcon Administrative Address

Date Of Post: March 12, 2020


Big big updates for the new year! I’m starting on a lot of projects for this year & will delve deep into using the HC-12 as the primary communication medium for most of my projects. We also have beginner programming kits for sale & will have a video demonstration posted shortly complete with a tutorial video. Stay tuned for the next Administrative Address as well as updates on projects!



Black Falcon Administrative Address

Date Of Post: December 18, 2019


This video describes some of the major updates occurring with my projects and the site itself, which will be going through some major changes over the next few months for you to enjoy. I hope to do an administrative address video every few months to give insight on my projects.


Project: AURA Updates

Date Of Post: October 26, 2019

After days of tinkering with the code, I’ve finally been able to get the communication protocol operating properly! Getting a signal broadcast was easy, but figuring out how the get the receiver to interpret the code & properly implement it was very time consuming & all but maddening. I had to take a break from it all as I stayed up through the night most times to troubleshoot the code until I finally got proper operations and shot a test video .

The next step was a test flight, which sadly didn’t work out. I tested to see if the issue was the battery not having enough power, a motor spec issue, or the weight of the plane, but it seems everything checked out except what I believe was the propeller. My thoughts are that the prop is too small & isn’t grabbing enough air to push over the wings, resulting in it flopping to the ground after about ten or so feet. I ended up finding a spare prop that is slightly larger than the previous version & will conduct another flight by tomorrow depending on the weather. If it passes the flight I’ll have another series of tests to complete such as changing the communication protocol so there isn’t constant signal propagation and testing the gyroscope & altimeter to ensure proper sensory detection. Once that’s complete I need to code the auto-start procedure that starts up the plane to verify all moving & sensory parts before starting up. The last code demo will involve installing a GPS unit similar to the one I reviewed on my channel & integrating it with the SD card unit for data recording. I’d also like to use the SD card for navigation in that I load a GPS coordinate into the SD card & the plane automatically navigates to said location. It’ll take a lot to get to the last testing iteration, but that is the goal nonetheless.