- http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/ – NOAA’s Solar Calculator
- http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/calcdetails.html - Astronomical Algorithms
- http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/sollinks.html – Great Solar Information
- http://www.solartopo.com/solar-orbit.htm – Nice graphics of az/el angles
- http://suncalc.net – Solar angles shown on google map
- Solar position calculator - U of Oregon
- Sundial calculator; f(lat/lon, sundial dims, gnomon length) - U of Oregon
- Solar path part production as a function of lat/long - U of Oregon
- Sun Earth Tools – Powerful site
- Sunrise/sunset calculator w/ excel output
- Polar and cartesian solar angle maps w/ solar analemma
- http://www.timepalette.com/ – VERY cool software called EarthDesk for visualizing the sun’s current illumination of the earth
- http://www.morningstarcorp.com/en/home – Charger Controllers
- http://zumbador.com/ – Portable Power Systems
- http://www.outbackpower.com/products/ – Outback Charge Controllers & Inverters
- http://www.trojanbattery.com/Products/t2_technology.aspx Trojan Batteries
- http://www.thunder-sky.com/home_en.asp – Thunder Sky Batteries
- Nissan Leaf – Carwings Site
- Lightening Lithium
Computer & GPS
I have used National Geographic TOPO! software for quite some time. Then along came Google Earth, which is incredible. Both, however, have their limitations and don’t really talk to each other at all. TOPO! is great for easily plotting paths and calculating total distance and elevation gains. Earth is awesome for seeing real terrain and is also great at making its own paths. I use a GARMIN etrex legend C, which interfaces my computer via Garmin Mapsource software. TOPO! will NOT export its paths to a GPS. It will, however, export “routes” which are made up of waypoint, which is not super useful for what I do. So, I often want to go between GPS, Earth, and TOPO! Here is what I have arrived at for doing this:
1) If I am drawings a course in TOPO! and want to pull it into GEarth I do the following:
- Draw path in National Geographic TOPO!, save it in its native .tpo format and open in GPSBabelGUI. The “input” is a .tpo file and the output is a GEarth .kml file. I “filter” transform tracks to routes and then check “Waypoints”, “Routes”, and “Tracks”, then click “let’s go”. You now have a .kml file you can read into GEarth. Once I open it I delete the “points” and keep the “path”.
2) If I have drawn a detailed GEarth path and want to analyze the distance and/or vertical gain I save it as a .kml file and then open it in TopoFusion.
- TopoFusion will perform a “climbing analysis” for useful information and plots. There is a freeware version or you can buy it for $40. It is probably worth buying although I haven’t yet.
3) If I have drawn a detailed GEarth path and want to pull it back into TOPO! I do the following:
- First off, I use the GPS unit as a “clipboard”. By default my GPS has a maximum number of points for a saved path of 500. However, the “active” track can be up to 10,000. FYI, when I save the active path from within the GPS-unit, it does a “smart” simplification to condense it down to at most 500 points.
- As above I bring it into TopoFusion and do a GPS export to the “Active Log”. This will take your high resolution path (of over 500, but less than 10,000 points) and upload it to your GPS unit.
- I then open TOPO! and do a GPS import and tell it to import the “tracks” and make a freehand route for each continuous track
- Now I can use the pretty USGS maps for exporting etc.
- You should clear your track log on the GPS unit after this
4) If I want to take my beautiful GEarth detailed path and upload it to my GPS unit to use when I’m out trying to follow the path I:
- Draw it in GEarth, pull it into TopoFusion, click the “Simplify/Split…” and set the number of points to 500 or less
- Then, I Upload it within TopoFusion to my GPS unit as a “saved track/course”
- http://www.redtrails.com/index.php (great free database of gps data for trails)
- http://topofusion.com/ (useful for brining in GEarth paths and doing calculations)
- http://everytrail.com (awesome app for the iPhone and resource for finding .gpx files of routes from other people)