Tracker Solar

Xpendable: So if you have GPS, you have the time, right? The clock signal being broadcast by the satellite is atomic-based if I'm not mistaken, and will likely be way more accurate than your RTC. Each satellite has been calibrated to the same time, and all they do is transmit an ID and the time continuously... I think? Then the GPS receiver compares the time it took for each of the clock signals to come in and uses some trigonometry to determine your latitude and longitude. I'm probably oversimplifying, but that's at least how I thought I understood how they work.

I mentioned the RTC as I was just going to use the GPS initially to get the position, enter it by hand and then take the GPS away. Having an onboard GPS is a great addition. The price of GPS modules with antenna have come down below $20 so adding a permanent one would not be a big issue.

With the proper equations and evaluation of the math using the GPS time stamp I doubt very much if the search method will beat it. Also, you need to keep in mind that search/optimization routines can find local mins that many times are not close to the best solution. I have done a lot of optimizations in a former career and was always anxious if I could not see the results.



dave-in-nj: Good Sirs,

A point of decorum.

if a poster says I have "X" and want to make it work. is it proper that we should offer that "Y" is better and not try to help the poster get his "X" to work ?

It's reasonable to discuss alternative approaches. There is a significant proportion of questions where people ask for help making a difficult solution work and ignoring easier solutions, usually IMO because they aren't aware of the easier solutions.

I agree, but it has been 16 posts since the OP posted and the thread is now so far off it has become more of a discussion about technology.

IIHO, if we only concern ourselves about how professionals's work, we should throw out the Arduinos and get PLC's.

end of rant.

I really don't understand why there is discussion of RTCs and GPS.

Every person in the world over the age of 4 knows where the sun is.

Put the solar machine on the ground roughly facing the sun. Give it 4 LDRs to detect the position of the sun in 2 axes and a few lines of code and IT JUST WORKS.