Charging the TrackerONE with a solar panel

Here’s a video on charging the Tracker ONE with a solar panel:

Keep in mind the voltage and power of the solar panel. Since VIN on the M8 connector has a 6 to 30V range, you want to use a 12V panel (or put two 6V panels in series to get the 12V).

The PMIC’s default is 900mA at the internal regulated 5V. So if your panel is providing less than 5W, the charge current will be too much for your panel.

I used a 1W panel, so to account for some conversion loss down to 5V, plus so that it’ll charge even if it’s not in full sun, I set the PMIC to a max current of 128mA (0.64W), with this setup:

void setup()
{
    SystemPowerConfiguration conf;
    conf.powerSourceMaxCurrent(128);
    System.setPowerConfiguration(conf); 

    Tracker::instance().init();
    Particle.connect();

You can adjust as needed for your solar panel size.

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Is the PMIC the same as on the Boron?

Yes, the PMIC is the same. But VIN on the Tracker ONE goes through a DC-DC converter to feed 5V to the PMIC, so that you can use the higher voltage on the M8 connector.

OK, I’m just thinking about the efficiency regarding solar charging.

Post the DC to DC converter model # if you can. I’m wondering if it has DMP (Dynamic Power Management) which can be used to maximize solar harvest similar to what we are doing with the Electron.

It’s an LTC7103 step-down converter.

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