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About CharlP6

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    Science, Engineering, Making music, Building stuff, Astrophotography/Photography
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    Gauteng, South Africa

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  1. I'm not a sealant expert, but I get the idea that the silicone seals will crumble if you apply too much pressure, from my experience it is quite brittle. Have you thought of getting a gasket kit and cutting it into the required shapes? Maybe you can print a gasket cutter for your required shapes? Another suggestion is to use liquid gasket. I don't know if you can mould it and then use it after it cured (it would be interesting to see results of that) , but you can print/machine a recess in the parts you want sealed and then apply the gasket paste. If you tighten the lids, the gasket
  2. Ah okay, that makes sense. It would have been interesting to see why you would have done FEA, not that it's necessary.. On the CAD topic, you may want to give Autodesk's Fusion 360 a go. It is a quite user friend parametric mechanical design package and its quite easy to get a grasp of. A big plus is, as a personal user, you get full functionality for free, and the whole package is a small download, less than 100MB if I'm right. Anyway, I like your ideas for controlling the lens and would like to see it take form over time.
  3. Thanks. I probably should have mentioned that it's a newt, so I don't think I'll use a diagonal. I guess I can always low-ball the tube length and make some extensions, but that seems redundant.
  4. Are you doing some form of FEA on these parts? The models seem meshed for that purpose. Or is it just the modeling software, perhaps for the printing?
  5. I've mostly finished the bulk of my scope's parts design but I'm stuck on the focuser now; specifically on where it should be along the optical axis and how much travel to allow for. My main concern is, when the focuser is fully racked in, how far outside of the focuser tube should the primary focal point be, and how far inside should it be when fully racked out? Some info that might be useful: I'll be using it for astro observing, no imaging or terrestrial viewing. It's a 150mm f/5 scope and I'll use a range of EPs and Barlow with it. Do you have any guidelines for me on this t
  6. Well, if I can turn over more than that, I'll happily pay for the license as well
  7. I did not know Fusion 3D is free, I'll definitely give that a try! I like Autodesk software, probably because I use it for my job everyday but they keep their UI modern and simple for the most part. Other free software packages I know and use are: - SketchUp by Trimble (taken over from Google). It has a very simple user friendly interface and its easy to make quick sketches and block models in it; I don't like it for more complex models though. Free for non commercial use. - OnShape. It is a fully cloud-based, in-browser CAD package (no monster PC required). It has a similar des
  8. Thanks for all the replies. It's reassuring to know that I am not completely crazy. @ronin, that's a really awesome design in the picture, I have something similar in mind for the truss, but I don't think I'll go for the dobsonian mount. Next is to decide if I want to be able to disassemble it or keep it permanent. Permanent will be less work, but portable is novel. I've seen few wooden "tube" designs in in octagons and squares etc. and to be honest, I don't really like the look of it, but you're absolutely right, a square assembly will make a lot of tasks a walk in the park, like moun
  9. While still waiting for my mirror, I'm looking at materials to build the scope, especially the tube. I'm starting to play around with the idea of an open truss since large enough PVC pipes are rarely available in lengths less than 6m and I'm really not fond of the idea of using a cardboard tube. All of the normal considerations for building a truss is irrelevant at this size and I can think of a lot of cons. I do think it would look cool though, and I don't think I've ever seen such a small open truss scope. Why would you encourage or discourage the construction of such a small
  10. All the comments make a lot of sense, thanks for the insights. Just shows why you are the pros, and me just a pleb. I didn't take the tool shape into account, which is obviously very important. @Astrobits, thanks for referring me to the ASSA, I'll definitely give them a shout. I was wondering if there are any astronomy/atm clubs in SA. This looks looks like quite an appealing and satisfying grinding method, I first had to look up what a sine table is... Well, I'll keep churning out crazy ideas, and maybe somewhere there will be a real diamond between all the grit
  11. I'm slowly indoctrinating myself to one day grind my own mirror, I just don't have the luxury of time and much less the space to do it at the moment. As I read up on how things are done, the gears in my head automatically go into overdrive to think of easier ways to do tedious tasks. I was thinking if moulding my own grinding stones with specific grits and custom shapes and sizes and I don't find any evidence of it on the forums. The idea is to mix some grinding powder with an epoxy resin(much more grit than resin) then add a few drops of the required hardner and cast into desired m
  12. Thanks for all the well wishes. I've already gained lots of tips from casual reading here. I'll definitely post some pics and design ideas as I go along. I'm playing with the idea of using a standard 160mm PVC pipe, I'd like to go as thin as possible without making things difficult for myself. Unfortunately it's an outside diameter, and the thinnest wall thickness I've seen is 3.8mm leaving but 1.2mm either side. If I can find a nice deep end cap, I'll fit the mirror cell in there and fit it over the pipe.
  13. Hi all, During my online astronomy endeavours, I regularly come across this forum hosting answers to my questions, or has experts to answer questions not yet answered; so I decided to join in and one day I'll be able to help as well. I recently ordered ordered a 150mm f/5 mirror at quite a discount and will be building a scope soon, so questions will be plentiful. My first scope (and as of yet only scope) is a cheap rebranded OEM, good for little 60/700 frac. Yet my first view with it was of Jupiter on a cloudy night in KwaZulu-Natal through a lucky hole in the clouds. I saw its
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