December 26, 2010

Progress... Sort Of

Wow, so we suck at this blogging thing lately, ValHallen and I. And I use "lately" loosely. So time for an update on "The Beast". I'll add pictures tomorrow.

We tried to clean the badly-tarnished silver on the primary mirror, but soap flakes don't do much to turn tarnished silver back into regular silver - who knew? Somewhere my fellow blogger has pictures of this epic fail, but safe to say it became clear a strip and recoat was in order. I called ValHallen, he put me onto Andrew at Astronz in Auckland, who put me onto a girl in Napier, who put me in touch with a guy in Palmy who could help me out. So Valhallen dropped the mirror off in Palmerston North, and a week later it came back, looking MUCH improved, and much more aluminiumy.

I'd included the secondary too as that was in a similar state. That did not come back (cue "Last Post"), having been inspected and declared a waste of space. Literally - it was too big, and too square. Should be elliptical, and smaller. So back to Andrew at Astronz, and a new secondary quickly arrived, much prettier and more suitable looking.

So I was all set to finally start trying to put it all together this morning. Christmas out of the way, on holiday, got all the bits, weather looking good, let's go! Said excitement lasted about as long as it took me to hold the mounting bracket near the new secondary. The bracket was just the right size... for the previous, oversized, square mirror. It also has 4 support bolt holes, should have three to ensure an undeformed mirror when adjusting.

Bugger. So now I need to find someone to cut it down, 4mm steel being b%^&dy tough and beyond my meager tool kit.

They say adversity builds character. I'm gonna be a heck of a guy when this is over.