Those look great! I would love the print files to test them out.
I know I’ve been pretty quiet recently about progress, mainly due to things picking up with school and other projects. I’ve still been making progress on the unit, and recently received all the parts I needed to start working on the unit pier. Shipping took a lot longer than I was expecting for the extrusions and I wanted to make sure I was marking off of those vs the CAD files as I know some things have changed. The top plate is completed for the most part, and didn’t turn out as great as I hoped. Using my drill press I had trouble getting precision with such large holes and ended up reaming out a good portion of a few in order to make the bolts fit properly. I’m going to wait till next week for the larger plate and use my school’s mill to make things easier. If I find it necessary I’ll redo the top plate in the same manner but for now, it works.
I promised some details on my units weatherproofing a while ago which I haven’t delivered yet. I’ve been making small changes and tweaks this past month and kept deciding to wait on posting progress until I felt it was where I wanted it. I’m happy to say that I think all weatherproofing is done for the most part, with some exceptions where I would like all of your opinions on whether some changes needed to be made. Below is an album of some pictures I’ve taken.
The weatherproofing follows the same idea as the directions given, with thin metal plates covering areas of importance. I used sugru per @james.synge recommendation and found it much easier to use than rubber the tubing. I tried to keep the polar alignment scope from being blocked, which should make polar alignment easier onsight in case it’s needed. The clear plexiglass cover for the electronics housing is also removable for easy access to any cabling as well as the polar scope lens.
A concern I have is with the transition between the RA bearing shielding and the electronics case shield. I had to cut down the sides to prevent clipping, leaving a small gap between the two where rain may fall. It shouldn’t ever hit the actual bearing but may fall down into the area with the azimuth and declination adjustment knobs. Is there any need to weatherproof this section of the mount? I don’t think its likely much water will get through, but I can always add more shielding above the RA cover to account for it.
Another thing I wanted to quickly note is that before cutting sheets and fabricating protection, we should tell builders to make sure that the unit is properly orientated with respect to the RA and Dec locking handles. What I mean by this is that they should be on the opposite side of the mount than the side with weatherproofing. I only realized the significance of this about halfway through making the RA protector shield, and while I was able to change it for Dec pretty easily, I had to choose to either keep my RA lock underneath the shielding or recreate everything. I chose to keep the lock under the RA protector shield and made it so that I can reach it underneath which has worked fine for me, but it’s a good idea to make note of this for convenience for when the unit isnt hooked up to electronics that can easily move the axis.
Please let me know if you have any questions about what I’ve done and your opinions as well! Also, let me know if I missed any areas that you would like to see and I can post more pictures.