Well, the first 1 chip P-vore was recently brought into captivity :-) (to be read in the mental voice of Steve Irwin "Crocodile Hunter").

Now in captivity, an elusive 1 chip P-vore. This rare specimen is of the CD4066 family. It looks to be a modern ancestor of the FRED photo-popper. With minimal struggle, I wrestled this critter into existence, from the wilds of my imagination. Once I had him pinned down to the exam table (breadboard), I noticed a minimal number of organs (parts). This little fellow only uses nine parts for all its thinking and digestion, impressive (way to go Wilf)!

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While I had him on the exam table, I played with his organs a bit. Swapping one resistor value for another (a little higher, a little lower) to see, basically, what would happen (have to learn somehow). I increased the 100k resistor to 147k (100k + 47k in series). The 'bot responded most interestingly. He seemed to eat less before becoming active, but tired faster. According to my test results, he now only needed to eat 2.7v before he was full. Using 100k, he liked 3.15v before he would run from the table.

I first noticed this 'bot must be of the cave-dwelling type (cave-dwelling photovore?) I only say this because when I brought him out into the light of day, he would lock-up until I covered his eyes (FLED's). Once his vision returned to the total darkness of the cave he would begin digestion and eventually motion. Now that I had masked his only form of vision, I realized this poor fellow needed a way to "see" the world around him. Grabbing a couple of my normal replacement eyes (phototransistors) I quickly tried to give this 'bot vision. Only one operation seemed to work. But in the end, it was a failure.

Only allowing the critter to charge up if it was dark, only brought it partially out of its cave habitat. Going with the only option available to me, I used a couple of LDR's in series with its resistors. The varmint's vision range is not all that wide, only 500 ohm to 20k. But in addition to the 100k already present, it should be enough to tell which side is brighter.  The side in the dark will trigger first as it should have more resistance and thus a lower trigger voltage. With careful selection of the LDR's, say 75k in the light and 200k in the dark, the poor 'bot should function fine after a radical resistorectomy.

After being released from the exam table, the varmint stormed around in a circle. Now I personally think he did this just to piss me off. I took the time to select two LDR's from the grab-bag I recently got. Measured each, made sure they were real close. Now it has two matched LDR's. Then it hit me. I did not do this for the FLED's (Doh! as Homer Simpson would say) Well all in all I must say this creature grazes nicely under a 75w bulb. Having only two calculator solar cells (series) to feed with, this 'bot can find a meal in ambient light! It just takes a while to eat, >2 mins for each meal (recharge) I am proud to bring this rare 1 chip P-vore as the first addition to my reserve.


In parallel your solar cells should produce only 2.5~3 volts, at almost double the regular current. In series they should produce 5~6 volts, at about the same current output of just one cell (1/2 the current of the above combination). I hooked them in series (higher voltage/ less current) as the bot can require >3 volts to trigger depending on the light it sees.

Wait, I hear something ratting around in there, I think P-vore4066 might have a little brother. I hear the varmint crawling around in my mind. I think this one is split-brained. With a capacitor for each limb (SE/motor) charged through a diode. How would they charge in "isolated parallel"(?) Got to remember to power the IC.

Example: 1 solar cell with 2 caps isolated by diodes -- both caps are charging evenly as this is their first charge. One side triggers, its cap loses voltage, but not the other because of the diode. Now, does the cap with the lowest voltage charge first, or both keep charging?

If both keep charging evenly then separate SE's could be interesting to watch. If only the cap with the lower voltage gets the charge (until equal?) then it would best be used for nocturnal or seldom triggered loads. I felt that, those two left over switches should be put to use. I know Wilf posted a head circuit right along with this one, but gearmotors are rare for me. So I'm considering a FLED that is switched on at a low light level, for one switch (simple pull-up resistor, PT to gnd, at the switch control).  And for the other switch, how about a sound triggered SE tied to a vibe motor. Photo Popper that blinks a light in the dark, and jumps at loud noises (any circuits, Ori? sound triggered SE using 1 bilateral gate?) Mental note: Use this auxiliary cap (vibe/blink) to power the chip. Releasing the first capture into the reserve, my heart fills with joy. Blowing the smoke from his iron, he knows that a (new?) 1 chip P-vore is free to roam safely. The 1 chip P-vore Hunter calls it a day.

Drew Brown, 3/29/2003