Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Catching up..I suck at blogs!

Yes indeed it has been a while! I've been busy and putting spare time into projects when I can. I decided a while back to set up a seperate blog just for the stuff relating to my cubesat/picosatellite obsessions...however I have been useless at getting any further than an opening post so I am making the decision to knock it on the head and my cubesat stuff with have to go in amongst all my other stuff here!

So on the cubesat I have been reading and reading and getting to grips with many considerations in cubesat design. I've also been using my cubesat obsession to develop some skills in sketchup and am trying to get a chassis design together that I could fabricate to the required tolerances using tools I have....more on the tools later!..

Here is the chassis design so far for "Dogsat" (click to make large)

So I have gone for a modular bolt together design as I can probably fabricate these...a lot of cubesat projects however use a monobloc design where a chassis is CNC milled out of a large single cube of aluminium...this approach is great for rigidity but obviously is expensive for revisions/iterations. My more modular approach will allow for lots of experiments and then I could consider a monobloc solution for a flightmodel (although a flightmodel is far from my mind!)

Also related to my satellite obsession I have joined my local amateur radio group to try for my foundation license as I am keen to listen to and possibly work some satellites by putting together a small groundstation...lots of satellites are about that you can do uplink and downlink to/from and its an interesting challenge. A by product of the amateur radio skills is it would give me some insight into antenna design and other related comms module stuff for dogsat!

Aside from the designing I've been tinkering with my tiny clisby lathe which is great fun and I've learnt a lot...

But I also have picked up this beauty of an old lathe with loads of chucks and tooling and a vertical slide (meaning I can perform milling operations on it) which is very cool...I can't wait to actually get my hands on it as I have had to put it in storage whilst I build another shed (the current one is full of bloomin motorbike projects!)
anyway when the snow thaws a new shed will go up to house the lathe!

Finally in amongst all this I have done a revision and redesign of the matrix mixer layout making them slightly easier to fabricate so more of these will be done soon and I have a couple of people interested/waiting.

I also have a new mixer related idea/design which I'll post about soon.

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