Greetings all, First, I'm of course, new. While I've been playing a lot with the Arduino (and rPi and others), I really don't have a lot (read: any) experience. I've spent a great deal of time trying to learn and have just about every book. So here's my project: I'd like to take a ESP8266 module (I really would like to keep this wifi), an Uno (if need be, I understand the 8266 might be able to handle it all), and a solar panel/li-po battery combo to control a simple hose bib solenoid. Where I live in NorCal, you get fined for overwatering and I simply keep forgetting to shut off the water to my veggie boxes. I've got the modules, the Uno, the solenoid (12v), and I'm getting (if I'm pointed that way) the SparkFun Sunny Buddy and one of their large solar panels. I've also got a couple 2000ma batteries. What I DON'T have is any clue how this all goes together. Trust me, I've read what I can but so much of what is out there makes assumptions about the readers level of knowledge. Even the Sunny Buddy hook up tutorial glosses over how to hook up "the load" and whether the battery will power 'the load' when there's no sun. (This last part seems obvious to me, yes, it would. But the device is listed as a battery charger, so there's some question. Several commenters to the site have asked the same question, with no answers for months!) My questions (right now) aren't around the programming, I think I can get through that. How to hook it all up. I'm imagining the Sunny Buddy (SB from now on) is going to have the solar panel coming in, the battery going out and the "load" being the Uno. I've seen the wiring there, so I think I can do that. (Never soldered, either. I learn fast.) But what about the solenoid? A motor controller board? How does that get powered? If my suggestions for the power controller (the SB) is incorrect, I'm open to all suggestions.
Like I said, I'd really like to keep three aspects of the project - wifi cause I have other ideas I'd like to do with 8266, uno (or the wifi module itself, I'm not picky) and solar. BTW, I know there's simpler solutions - like a sprinkler controller, but I'll not learn anything there.
Thanks so much in advance.