Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Mount

I've been thinking a lot about the mirror mount lately. I have the parabolic reflector from Edmund Scientific (the 2-foot diameter dish). But I need to figure out a way to mount the mirror so that I can direct light from the focal point of the dish to the bundle of optical fiber in the center.

Enter: Edmund Optics (who is this Edmund guy, anyway?). I poked around this site for a while to look at optical mounts and I think I found one that I can emulate somewhat easily. It's essentially a ring with three screws (see picture below). You put the lens or mirror in the center and tighten the screws to secure it. I figure that I can take a lid to a jar and drill some holes for the three screws.

Once that's complete, the question still remains: how the hell do I secure the lens+mount to the dish in the right spot? Well, I've been thinking about this problem, and I think I have a decent solution. But let me back up. I have a rubber stopper that I'm putting in the hole in the reflector. I'm going to drill a hole in this stopper, about the size of the fiber, and shove the fiber through it. Okay, so that'll keep the fiber somewhat secure for testing purposes. Then I was thinking that I'd affix some large-gage wires (clothes hanger size or larger) to the stopper, pointing straight up. If I drill three or four more holes in the lens mount, then I can slide it right onto the wires. With this set up, I should be able to adjust the position of the mirror in a number of different axis, which is good, because I think putting this at the focal point and directing light onto the fiber bundle in the most efficient way is going to be a chore.

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