April 21, 2011

Pylon – fixing the focussing array

The focussing array is them six "whiskers". I have tried a number of methods for fixing them.

For the first pylon I built, I went with magnets (two per). Unfortunately, they were not that strong and I ended up with some droopy whiskers. So at the last moment I added a pin (that's the whisker to the left below). For the second pylon, I went with two pins and no magnets (right, below). This one makes for a sturdy link, however each time I put the whiskers on I'm a bit concerned that I'll damage the holes.

First try (left) vs. second try (right)
 First try (bottom) vs. second try (top)
 First try - 2 magnets and a hole
Second try - 2 holes

For the third pylon, I decided to go back to magnets – because if I can't magnetise something, I get that very annoying feeling that I've failed somehow. This time around however, I went with rod magnets (1/8" x 1/4"), so I get the benefits of pins as well. So far, so good…

Rod magnet, half-sunk into the whisker
 There are magnets inside the holes - these ones are 1/8" x 1/16".


  1. Rod magnets! Another great idea!

    I'll see what my ebay 'magnetguy' has : )

    Thanks again!

  2. Glad that you like it. Note that if I had to do it again I'd go with larger magnets (because the only thing better than a magnet is a bigger magnet). As it is these work fine but you definitely do not want to bang on the table.