Hi everyone, just thought I would introduce myself as one of the lucky few that was selected to road test and become a competitor in the Energy Harvesting Challenge.
I was going to create a little video giving my first impressions of the design kit though seems as though Gelmi has saved me the trouble! So I'll just add my two pence on the subject.
The design kit comes in a very well presented and secure case giving a nice wow factor on first impressions. The only downside to the case I have found is the fact that the USB cable can't be inserted into the Energy Micro Giant Gecko whilst safely housed in the box, so apart from storage the box will become redundant during use which is a shame.
As mentioned by Gelmi it is nice to see a product that works straight out of the box with minimal fuss. Saying that, I must admit (having given the instructions a stiff ignoring!) I tried diving straight in; pressing buttons and placing my hand against the Thermo Electric Generator (TEG) as seen in the videos but I was stumped to why the system didn't turn on! I realised perhaps I should maybe take a step back and actually read the instructions/learn how to use the kit first!
After literally 10 seconds of reading the included leaflet I found I just needed to move a jumper to select the TEG as the kit came configured for solar energy. Since it had been packaged up during delivery and with the lack of light available in the room at the time of opening it explained why it wouldn't initially turn on (saying that it is amazing just how little light is required to power the Gecko via the Solar Cell!). So maybe I should take the time to read the instructions! After learning how the jumpers are used within the design kit it is very easy to see how both the Solar harvester and TEG harvester can be used to power the Giant Gecko without any external power source!
As for the project that I would like to incorporate this technology into I was initially considering automated manufacturing in the form of 3D printers as this technology is one of my big hobbies at the moment, though instead believe it would be better suited to the automation of a controlled environment which I will cover in greater detail once I've got my head around the basics of this design kit!
For me the next stage is to not only learn what this kit is capable of but also how to use it to the best of it's ability within my project. So I'm going to dive into the Giant Gecko and see what it can do.