Intro: Homemade Telescope Smart Phone Adapter
Hi all! This is my very first instructable even though I've been browsing the website for quite some time. I saw the space contest and knew I just had to make something, so I've created this adapter to go on my telescope. Its not fancy or very flashy but gets the job done and I can say I've made it myself.
Thanks for checking this instructable out and hopefully taking the time to read it, I will answer comments as often as I can and will do my best to be helpful.
Step 1: A Very Brief AutoCAD Step
This will be my first step but also a step you can skip if you (like most people) don't have autoCAD or something like it. I took a screenshot of my cad file so most everyone can briefly see it but I will also include a cad link so the people with access can tweak and change my design to fit their criteria.
side note: I am very very new to cad only using it for a few months so please don't judge my poor setup too bad haha.
Step 2: List of Materials
What you will need
- A small aluminum block roughly 4" x 3/4" x 1/2"
- A cell phone tripod mount commonly used for the selfie stick, make completely sure it has the back side screw mount otherwise it wont work. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RFZTUWC/ref=...
- A heavy duty stainless steel pipe clamp https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007VY84SS/ref=o...
- A small screw to attach the clamp to your aluminum block
- A 1/4 20 wing nut and a 1/4" 20 piece of threaded rod.
Step 3: Cutting the Block
For the first part you will want to create an aluminum block to the 4" x 3/4" x 1/2" size. My aluminum was quite large so I used the large metal saw to cut the block out so I could turn on the saw and leave it.
Step 4: Milling Time
So now that you have cut out your block of aluminum its time to mill it. Luckily for you its aluminum so its a very soft metal, easy to cut and work with. This will be fun. Starting with a clean machining table gather all your needed materials now so when you are in the cutting process you aren't trying to find something. For my instance I got my 1'4" endmill and the right size sleeve to attach the endmill, I got out my clamp for my aluminum and I got the small clamps to hold my main clamp to the table.... A lot of clamps I know. I also got a small wax candle to coat the endmill so the shavings don't bind the bit and break parts.
Time to mill, for my mill and the metal i'm cutting its ok to use a decently high speed, 1100 rpm. To start milling its as simple as touch down on the metal and move either left or right and take a pass of about 3 inches or just as long as you need, then go deeper and head back the way you came. After a few passes you will see a groove forming and its just a process of repeating this until you cut all the way through.
Step 5: Solder My Wingnut
So. We need a way to attach the phone adapter to my aluminum block. This is my solution and I know its probably not the best but it will work. I got a 1/4" 20 piece of threaded rod and a 1/4" 20 wingnut. My plan is to solder them together. I could have found something to work at the hardware store (I did work there for a year haha) but my hardheadedness and need to practice soldering told me no. Anyway I'm rambling, the theory here is to clean your pieces to solder with mineral spirits (paint thinner is mineral spirits) and then apply flux. After that you get your oxy acetylene torch and get a nice flame going, the key is to heat the metal up to the point of being red hot but you don't want to actually get red hot. The metal now very hot is ready to apply the solder stick to, you let it melt into the threads while also heating the bottom of the threads so it draws the solder in. As you can see in my final two pictures of this step the gold (the solder) has melted too far down, so this solder job was very poor but I'm still practicing and it will hold enough for my job.
Step 6: Cut My Block to Reduce Weight
This step isn't entirely necessary but I wanted to be as light as possible. Again the good thing about aluminum is that its easy to cut, so I chopped it on the trusty bandsaw.
Step 7: Attaching the Block to the Clamp
I know I know..... I didn't get any good pictures of this step and even if I had I think some got lost in my memory card so we don't have pictures of this. I will supplement with words as best I can. The goal here is to attach the pipe clamp to the aluminum block, the easiest way is to drill through the clamp and put threads on the aluminum. Then take the small screws and thread them into the part and bam its together.
Step 8: Final Step
This is it! You are done! Go take pictures of the moon and other things! The picture of the moon I took was the first time using this adapter so its really not the greatest picture but the potential is there just need to correct for operator error.
thanks for taking the time to read my first instructable, I plan to become much more active and any questions please comment and I can do my best to answer.