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Old 02-25-2013, 04:27 PM   #1
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Actuator Mounting - Linear Actuator For Horizontal Axis


So here is my current problem...

I want to mount this actuator onto my solar panel mount to turn it into a solar tracker.

I need the tracker to be able to turn from this position to this position.

It looks like that is about a 150 degree turn. I know how to easily mount it so that it can turn 45 degrees... but based on my calculations, that is not close at all to 150 degrees.



In the picture with the actuator, you can see the mounting bolts and bracket. That is all I have to mount it onto the pole.

I need some suggestions on how to do this. The actuator is meant for linear action but can be used for what I need it for. I just need to find the right mounting position.

All I know now is that I need both mounting points to be on a sort of hinge so that they can move while in action.


Thank you everyone for your help. I really need it.



EDIT:

By the way, I forgot to add that the actuator will be pushing the piece of wood, not the pole. I want it to mount onto the pole and then have it push the wood left and right. I have a tracker controller to attach to the actuator, making it automatic, not manual.


Last edited by jmsheldon; 02-25-2013 at 05:32 PM. Reason: explaining more
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:45 PM   #2
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Actuator Mounting - Linear Actuator For Horizontal Axis


You can readily achieve 90 degrees of motion with a direct mount, if you are careful about your mounting points - i.e. +/- 45 degrees. If you want more than that, you need to put a chain or belt set to increase the range of motion. Of course, if you increase the range of motion by 67%, you will decrease the force by the same amount.

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Old 02-25-2013, 08:29 PM   #3
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Actuator Mounting - Linear Actuator For Horizontal Axis


Force does not really matter as the tracker just has to turn, even if it isn't fast. Please explain more on how to mount the actuator and what I will need to get. Thanks.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:04 PM   #4
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Actuator Mounting - Linear Actuator For Horizontal Axis


See sketch.
You are going to save yourself a lot of trouble if you limit rotation to 90 degrees. You can mount an arm off your post using a split clamp.
To increase the amount of rotation, you need to mount a second rotating post, and have, for example, a 7.5" sprocket on the first post and a 5" sprocket on the second post --- a lot of work for a little more travel.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:49 AM   #5
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Actuator Mounting - Linear Actuator For Horizontal Axis


Thank you for that great post.

I just don't understand how to mount a split clamp onto my piece of wood in order to have it look like your sketch.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:43 AM   #6
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Actuator Mounting - Linear Actuator For Horizontal Axis


OK, I see, you were planning on rotating the sheet of wood only and not the post.

But you need to create a "bearing" for the sheet of wood to rotate on. Not sure what that grey hub is below the sheet of wood -- can it rotate on the post? --- if yes, then clamp onto the grey hub.
Otherwise, you need to create a bearing. If you can find another post just a little bigger in diameter than the post you have now, mount the bigger post stationary and drop the existing post and wood sheet into the bigger post --- and you have a decent bearing system.

Or you can make a wooden frame, with a wooden block near the top, and another the bottom, with a loose hole for the post. But anyways, some type of bearing is required, and a round pipe makes for a pretty good bearing shaft. I would suggest that your round post should rotate.

Last edited by SPS-1; 02-26-2013 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:56 PM   #7
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Actuator Mounting - Linear Actuator For Horizontal Axis


The grey hub with the metal sheet attached to it is the bearing. The pipe attaching to the plate turns VERY smoothly on the main pipe. This surprises me because the wood is very heavy. I think i see what you mean but I think that the best way to mount it would be to attach the top of the actuator to the wood. What do you think I can buy to allow it to turn more? I want to use the actuator because it is setup already with my solar tracker controller. It is just the matter of mounting the actuator.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
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Actuator Mounting - Linear Actuator For Horizontal Axis


This is what I found that I would need two of:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Linear-Actua...item416cef7895

I would use one for mounting the actuator onto the pole and one for connecting it to the wood.

But this is just an example. All I would have to do is take two small portions of an angle iron and put them together, then drill two holder for the bolt and two for mounting onto the pole. That would make something just like the $20 bracket in the link.

What do you think?

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