Showing posts from January, 2022

Mounting plug and securing nut for the feed.

 Mounting plug for feedhorn. The idea is to have multiple of these, so the dish can be used with different feeds for the different bands.  The thread was a joy to cut ... 60mm by 2.5mm pitch.   A lump of 80mm dia brass bar was bought and a nut made on the lathe, nicely knurled and finally given a bit more "finger grip" in the mill. It's all coming together now.

Clip-on dish mount

 Here you go, a bit more progress.  I added some stainless bosses to engage with the keyhole slots I had cut in the mounting plate.  Need to trim off the excess material and work on the locking plates to engage with the quick release mechanism on the pan/tilt unit. If I was to do this again, I would do it differently, probably just two studs and a support pad ... and I'd make the keyholes smaller with an obround machined into the front face to help guide the pins and make the head of the pin smaller, so the whole pin can't push through.  This will do for now though  Onward buttercup!    

A bit of metalwork for the 3cm dish ...

I've been trying to get a good, portable 3cm system set up for some time.  Some time last year I obtained an absolutely lovely pair of pan-and-tilt heads designed for miltary use with very long focal length spotting scopes. Mounted on a surveying tripod, these will be ideal for microwave dishes for portable use.   I also picked up a very nice 600mm dish, brand new and in 3mm aluminium, this is a precision spun communications dish; from a now defunct company in Leominster. I also had a very nice "shepherds crook" feed that had originally come with another dish many years ago. A bit of measurement suggested the focal length would be spot on.  A bit of work on the lathe would be needed to produce a suitable mounting boss for the feed, so a lump of aluminium was purchased and I set to. I think it came out OK; turning the curve into the mating surface was the hard part. 6 holes were drilled and countersunk and the feed now fits very nicely in the dish centre. Lathe work Comple

Feeders for my surface mount machine

 I have a pick and place machine for placing SMD parts, at some point last year I ordered the parts for a new project and it used quite a lot of "oddball" components.  I didn't really notice how many until the reels turned up. Unfortunately, it was more reels than I had reel holders (feeders) ...    I had a few more in a box somewhere, but those were mostly my rejects so I managed to order a few from the USA at a good price.  Unfortunately what turned up from the USA was mostly marked "faulty" or "occasionally jams", "misses steps" and other encouraging words. I was at best dubious about getting them going and the few I tested did indeed appear to be faulty. These things are notoriously tricky, they use compressed air and a small cylinder to actuate levers and ratchets and if any part doesn't perform perfectly, it will not correctly advance the components. Gloom set in.  Christmas came and went and amongst the festivities I found a chap i