I put these videos in a comment reply to one of my previous posts, but I'll give them their full due in case it was easy to miss.


Well, I hoped to do a better video, but it is out in the yard and I don't want to tear it apart while it is working well .  One comment I would like to make is that in the video I said that I was generating 5V for the LM3914, I am actually running that off of 15V as well.  So both converters put out 15V, it is just that one has better current output.  I am still working on a schematic, but as you can see in the video, it isn't too complicated.  There is 2 lights per bulb for the first 4, and 3 lights for the top bulb.  When you add it all up, you get ~30W, and that was about what I was measuring when I had some meters hooked up to it (it was actually closer to 25W at "full speed").


I had planned on putting some nice analog meters on the box to show people how much voltage and current they were producing, but I also wanted to show the wattage.  So I bought a self powered back-lit panel meter that show current, voltage, wattage, and Ahr rating (which is pretty useless for this app).  It worked pretty well, but took about 2s to fire up before you would start to get readings.  After I built the enclosure (which was PVC trim board left over from my deck install, you can see some scraps in the back), I couldn't come up with a slick way to mount the panel meter and make it waterproof.  My wife talked me out of stressing over it so I could get it into the yard and come back to it later, good advice from her as usual.  I am glad that I didn't attach it to the enclosure because when people are cranking, there is a lot of wiggle to the whole thing, this would make it very hard to read.  In a video I am going to post later of the first run of it in the yard, you can see A LOT of wiggling.  I ended up adding two 5ft poles banged into the ground behind it and mounted them to the enclosure, it is a lot better now.  I think if I do end up putting one/all/some of the meters out, it would be better to mount them separate on something that won't be wiggling.


And the first try: