Well, it’s about time that I update this blog.
The shed / workshop is up and running in the back garden. I got a very solid 3m x 5m building on a solid concrete footing. It cost about 2.5 x what the telescope will cost, but what the hell….
I have managed to get a Sieg Mini Mill (SX2) to make it easier to manufacture all the little bits and pieces. I will still get a Mini Lathe as well. I love my toys..
On the issue of the glass mirror blank. After getting a lot of quotes from all over the world, I decided to do something different. Why buy the glass if you can make it. This project is growing in scope by the minute. I saw a product from Starstone (Look at http://otfdesignsllc.com/). This is a light weight mirror, it floats on water! After getting a quote for a 18″ Starstone mirror I started looking at ways to use the same principle to make my own 16″ mirror blank. Basically I will use some sort of light weight ceramic foam for the 16″ blank shape. The ceramic glass will be CNC machined to f/4.5 and then a float glass plate will be slumped on top in a kiln. Simple. Yes….. If this all works out ok I will then start the finishing and polishing process.
I have also started working with the Arduino microprocessors. I will use the Arduino for temperature control on my CCD camera, telescope motor control and the digital setting circles. (http://arduino.cc/en/)