Solar Powered Speed Sign in a Shady Spot


Last time we picked on Burton upon Trent for this leaf-shrouded parking ticket machine. Now, we turn our attention to Herriman, Utah, where Jon Titus snapped a shot of this inconveniently-located solar-powered street sign. Wonder how tall those trees get?   



  1. Jon
    I have a suggestion about your recent article on ratiometric measurements.
    You can easily use 10 volt strain gage power and provide a 2.5 ( or any other voltage ) reference.
    All it takes is one opamp and 4 resistors.

  2. It may be a radical idea, but where I live there are guys who work for the local highways dept who go round in a truck with this thing called a “saw”.
    They use it to chop branches off trees which are obstructing road signs and lamps.
    They should try it in Utah, and Nottinghamshire also from the sound of it!
    Also, if you read the original “leaf-shrouded parking ticket machine” blog you will see that these solar panels are good enough to work under trees anyway.

  3. It’s the LEAVES that will block the solar panel and as the crown of the tree gets bigger, the sign will end up blocked by the branches and leaves. Any doubters can visit Herriman, UT for a first-hand look. Visit in the Spring when there are LEAVES on the trees.

  4. In a few years, when the trees have grown, the sign will probably have stopped working anyway.
    This is though not as daft as a speed sign by Nottinghamshire county council placed in Ollerton. It lights up and tells you to slow when you exceed 30mph in a 40mph zone!
    Only a mile away from this sign the council have planted new lamp posts inside the canopy of mature trees! Perhaps this is a ‘green’ policy that I don’t understand.

  5. Jon,
    looking at the photo those look like 60cm slabs to me (or 2 feet, for those still using ancient measurements).
    The tree is approx 2 slabs = 1.2 Metres (4 feet) away from the sign pole.
    I’d like to see the tree that can grow to 2.4 Metres (8 feet) in diameter in “a few years”.
    It would probably destroy the foot path (sidewalk) before it gets to the sign.
    I think they’ve got time to move the sign, if it becomes a problem. LOL.

  6. The point is that in a few years, the tree will completely shade the solar panel. A few years after that, the sign and solar panel will be IN the tree.

  7. The sign is most needed during the school year, during which time the tree will mostly have lost it’s leaves. The sign does have a chance being somewhat useful for many years to come.

  8. Wouldn’t think a speed radar would use as much power as a ticket machine anyway – no moving parts like a ticket machine has.
    I expect Utah is just a tad sunnier than rainy old Burton anyway !
    Can’t see a problem here myself.

  9. Wasn’t the leaf-shrouded one de-mystified, as in it worked fine even with the surrounding trees? Given that the trees haven’t even grown on this picture yet…

  10. Not sure why that is a problem. Am I missing something in the translation ??

  11. Brilliant. Long straight road. Speed measuring device. A Mecca for Hot Rodders or Boy Racers. (Have you seen the Australian web site where drivers send in their speed camera photos to show how quick they went?)

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