Thank you very much for your feedback. At this point, I think that if I could just flip a switch and have comments in a way that would not be that objectionable (for instance, with some of the suggestions you had), I would turn that feature on. The way we're organized right now, though, our few web programmers are also involved in product design, and I would rather spend our time on new products or on more important features for the web site (such as the search system).
In general, it's pretty difficult to change a normal servo to a multi-turn servo; at the very least, you need to change your feedback potentiometer to a multi-turn pot or change the gearing to it somehow.
I do not know what you mean by the "in one direction" part. If it can go more than 360 degrees and keep track of position, it will be able to do that in both directions.
This article is about using one PWM source to get multiple servo control signals. As I said in the post, I think it is not helpful to think of servo control pulses as general PWM signals. You cannot get four arbitrary PWM signals out of one PWM signal.
Your basic math is right, but keep in mind that capacity depends on discharge rate, so depending on the battery and how it's rated, it might not necessarily give you the 4320 mAh if you discharge it at 4.3 A. We do not carry any packs with that high of a capacity, but that's in the range of what you would get with "C" sized NiMH cells. You should be able to find receiver or servo packs with that kind of capacity at a hobby store (a quick search at Tower Hobbies led to http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXVTG1&P=7 ; at first glance, it might be what you're looking for). You could also consider lead-acid batteries; they will be bulkier, but they will probably be cheaper and easier to find in capacities exceeding 4Ah.
I am not suggesting that "qualified and accountable" people should not be involved. However, I think that government should not have a monopoly on safety standards and that the existing government monopoly leads to sub-optimal results (just look at the post above yours for an example). For instance, we could have facilities rated by some private company, and employees could choose whether to work in a place that was not rated or had a lower rating than they were comfortable with. Your insurance example shows yet another way the private market incentivizes safety. (And doesn't your suggestion of going to the insurance company indicate that you think the private company might have been more effective than the government?)
Thanks for that perspective. I am generally in favor of leaving room for discretion, but that leads to more room for abuse because of the government's monopoly. If we instead had private inspections (which the county basically deferred to, anyway), there would be a little more room for alternatives if one particular inspector were being unreasonable.
The discharge rate could be an issue, so that's one reason going with 15Ah is probably better. However, the higher capacity battery could be an issue for the charger, depending on how that works. But 14 is pretty close to 15, so I would just go with the 15Ah. I would be very surprised if the 12Ah didn't work, though, so if that somehow fits better or is much cheaper, it should be fine (don't forget the 15 will give you 25% more run time than the 12).
Most NiMH chemistries will probably tolerate at least a few C discharge rate, so an AA should be able to deliver at least 5A, which is plenty for the motor you're describing.
I have no idea what you're asking with this solar stuff, probably because you have little idea. Among your likely confusions: weight is not at all enough to tell us how much power you need, and getting more current available in your batteries is not going to force more current into your motor.
You should not be putting batteries in parallel unless you really know what you are doing, which in this case you do not.
Maximum, optimal, and safe discharge rates are completely separate. Any maximum rating better still be safe, and there will be a wide range of safe discharge rates. Optimal in terms of energy delivered will probably be around a few mA over a month, maximum could be 20A for a few minutes.