Makelog

Filter Cartridge Adjustments

The focuser has been moved up to accommodate the filter cartridges (seen here in gray). They have been increased in height to 13.5 mm, a little over half an inch. The filter will sit entirely within the cartridge. This means cartridges with inserted filters can be kept safely in a foam-filled accessory case without any…

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First 3d-Printed parts ordered!

Big day, the first round of focuser parts have been sent to a printer. They are being printed in Onyx–nylon combined with chopped carbon fiber–for 1.4x the strength and stiffness of ABS. There is no real unit testing yet, since the focuser is itself a unit test of the tertiary housing. No doubt a lot…

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The Russ Rule

I’ve already mentioned the Russ Rule in one post, so I thought I’d better explain that. Russ was my neighbor for several years. At the time of writing, he’s 100 years old. Russ has lived alone for decades, but lives a full life with minimal help of family and friends. Up until last year, he…

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Filter Cartridge Prototype Progress

Prototype 1 of the filter cartridge is nearing completion. Here you can see its place just above the tertiary mirror and below the focuser. It will slide quickly into and out of the tertiary housing. The triangular tab seen in the bottom corner will be textured for two reasons. One is for better grip. The…

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Retaining the Focus Shaft

There is now a retainer on the other side of the shaft. Hopefully it will provide enough balance to the heavier knob side. Since the knob assembly is held in place mostly by the press fit on the other side, this retainer merely serves to prevent it from pulling out. An M2 set screw will…

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Making Room for the Focus Knob

The Drifter will use GSO’s dual-speed Crayford focus knob upgrade kit as its focus knob.  It’s a complicated assembly and worth using an off-the-shelf product that’s already battle tested. This is one of the few off-the-shelf components in the Drifter. The first half of making a custom slot in the drive block for this knob…

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Secondary Mirror Vanes

While work continues on the cartridges, I’ve added the secondary spider vanes. At this juncture, the plan is to use a single piece of bent aluminum. It will attach to the secondary mirror in the manner of Gary Seronik’s curved vane secondary. It will attach to the rotating cage on mounts that are still being…

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Filter Cartridges

Have been working lately on the filter cartridge design, since it affects the position and design of the focusers. Filters are a pain to use on a dark night. They are delicate, fragile, and easy to smudge, scrape, or drop. So you keep them in cases that snap or screw tightly, which are difficult to…

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New mirror size, Augment electronics

I’ve been working a lot on the Drifter, but have not been posting updates. Goodbye 6″, Hello 8″ After a lot of deliberation, I’ve bumped up the mirror size to 8″ (200mm). 6″ mirrors + 2″ optics would have presented a stunningly wide true field of view (TFOV), but at the cost of too much…

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34mm Siebert Optics Eyepieces

Today, the 34mm Siebert Optics eyepieces arrived in the mail. These are handmade by Harry Siebert in North Carolina. They are incredibly light, have a small diameter, and will display 3 degrees of sky in the Drifter. They are also produced and calibrated as a pair to ensure collimation. Beautiful! Tonight there was about one…

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