Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Week 3: WEDNESDAY; the build begins...

Today I began setting up the different optical components that just recently arrived for a mock up as to how we might want to build things. As of right now, I have the lens tube holder and mirror kinematic holder set up in a decent fashion. 

Side view of the lens tube setup with the kinematic mount
for the mirror. The whole setup can be raised or lowered as
 One of the first problems that I ran into with the optomechanical components was with our larger kinematic mount. This larger mount will be used to hold the LED with the collimator attached to it.

The problem that I found was with the screws provided for the kinematic mount. The problem is that the screw size is too small for our optical posts; the stainless steel rods you see in the pictures to the left. To complicate things, it turns out that the large kinematic mount is not threaded, so the optical posts can't be screwed into the kinematic mounts either.
Ideally, this should be enough space for the rest of the
tweezers setup to go above the 45 degree mirror.
Ideally, you could just drill a hole into the kinematic mount to run a screw through it and into the stainless steel post. The thread count for the stainless steel post is unknown however, which will make it difficult to find something to attach it with. I believe that Thorlabs does this with their threading in order to make it so that you have to purchase their products.

It's just like robotics all over again! So many parts and nothing fits right.
View of the kinematic mount. You can see inside the mounting holes that the hole size changes.

Alternative view of the kinematic mount. There is no threading inside of the holes.

Another issue that I ran into today was with the CCD camera. Unfortunately, we didn't order a cable for the camera yet. This needs to be done. The problem is, we might end up needing a CameraLink cable, and a frame grabber control board in order to capture images from the camera. This could be costly.

Finally, I began to look at the high-powered LED that we received from Thorlabs. According to the included specs sheet, we'll need a power supply that can deliver current at a Forward Voltage of 2.2 V. This is quite strange. We also probably don't have anything that can provide that. 

Click to zoom to see the LED itself.
Closeup of the LED

The nifty case that the LED came in with the specs sheet. High-tier.
Thankfully, the strangeness of these problems that I'm dealing with was mitigated by some quality Lab Swag.

That bonus pack on the right just arrived today, because another package from Thorlabs came in. In this case it was nice that not everything was shipped at once.

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