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Clear Canopy issues and possible solutions

CDBEAM777

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Well...the topic is ...Why consider a clear Acrylic Canopy vs. the typical Aluminum Tube/shroud cover.

The Plus's and Minus's of a " Skeletal Display "....a clear canopy / shroud cover for Combiner/corrective optics in a Hand Held Build. Yikes.....Fascinating topic eh ???

So....for those that care...(few).....The Conundrum is This.....How to display the beauty of the optics in combiner's or Cylinder Lens correction system's....and Not have light shine out during nite operations ????

SO...If the canopy/cover is a clear Acrylic.... in a Hand Held unit which uses optic to combine beams.....or....cylindrical lenses .....during nite operation....a far amount of lite spills out !!! Not desirable !

And....if the canopy...is solid...then one cannot see and appreciate the beauty of the Optics.

What ta DO ???

How to have it all...but simply !!! Well...we have some options....

1) LCD active panel which defaults to dark gray with no power applied....and clear ( fairly ) when power is applied.

2) A Photochromatic cover added...to the Acrylc OD or ID....same principle as used in eyeglases...as in it automatically limits the light output.

3) A mechanical cover over the Optical section... maybe magnetically attached...to the Acrylic OD. ...Wanna see...pop the cover off...Don't wanna see ...put the cover on.

4) Same as above...just position the cover inside the Acrylic cover...and have the cover magnetically coupled to the Acrylic OD..

OK....yea....I know..." The more you Automate the Plumbing.....The easier it is to Stop up the Drain " I continue to ponder this issue !!

Anyone have any thoughts/suggestions ??? Does anyone care ?? HAHAHA.

As we evolve into the use of more and more optics...this will be more of an issue.

Thanx, CDBeam
 
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BowtieGuy

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It looks to me as if option #3 would be the easiest to accomplish, as you say, you could simply attach it magnetically, or use a solid colored piece that would be a slip fit over the acrylic, maybe aluminum, pvc, or go fancy with a carbon fiber look.
One thing you would want to avoid with using this cover method, is to scratch your beautiful acrylic "window" to your optics.
Speaking of magnetically attached, there is that very thin flexible magnetic material that could probably wrap right around the acrylic tube.
 
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paul1598419

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I personally loved the open look of that host with the clear canopy to the cylindrical optics. I guess others, not so much. I will wait to see what you come up with.
 

RedCowboy

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I prefer to cover it for 2 reasons.
#1 The extra aluminum adds to the heat sink.
#2 If the unit were to take a hard knock while in operation you could have a component move resulting in a dangerous specular reflection.
 

BowtieGuy

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Another cover type option would be a permanently attached sort of half round solid on one side and open on the opposite side, so that you could just rotate it 180° to cover, and rotate back to show the optics, if that makes any sense.

Edit: I really like the open look also, heck, that's the point of using the clear acrylic cover, but I do see a desire to block the escaping light in certain instances.
 
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BobMc

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I'm in favor of the clear acrylic window. With a cover that can be removed. Really like Bowtie's idea of a half cover that rotates to open and close the window. But it would have to be done so it wouldn't scratch to acrylic window. Sound like some precision work but sounds like it would be functional and beautiful. My thoughts anyways. :thinking: :)

Edit, I wonder if it could 3D printed? Think that's a question for EP. EP phones ringing! :)
 
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CDBEAM777

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Wow...I thought no one would respond to such a " Out There " topic !!! Thanx !!!

HMMMM...I really like BowTie's idea....A radially rotating sleeve....with a round cornered slot....Hmmmm...Rotate to take show off....errrr....I mean....check the optical alignment !! hahaha........and rotate closed to block the stray photons !!!

Many options on how to do this !!! Hmmmm....SO....maybe go with the Aluminum tube....and just machine a longitudinal slot....maybe 1/3 the total circumference.

Now...machine a groove in the head....back and front...and slip a nylon O-ring in this groove....and have a corresponding groove machined on the ID of the Aluminum Tube.

Now...rotation of this cut-out Aluminum tube would be easy....yet have some friction to prevent unwanted movement.

Hmmm....I would also use an internal Acrylic canopy...at 1/3 the circumference
But....the OD of this internal Acrylic canopy....should match the head OD....so the internal canopy is an inlay.

Twist to expose the Acrylic window.....which will not be scratched due the nylon O-rings....twist again to close....like....when Gort's visor opened up...That meant trouble !!! hahaha

Anyway...thanx again for joining in this discussion...you will likely see something...on a future build....

Later,
CDBEAM
 

Alaskan

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I think a half canopy on top with an outer tube which has a wide slot cut out of it you can twist around to show the goodies inside would be cool, as long as it didn't rub against and scratch the plastic.

Edit: My Opinion Why For:

I like to see the beam in the darkness. Without a cover, I wouldn't like the way it would light up the whole area and detract from the beauty of the beam, as well as ruin my night vision (Although I suppose, the beam itself would partially do that too), but I also like the idea of being able to see inside too.

Maybe sliding tube with a cut-out like the cat in the hat/BowtieGuy mentioned is the way to go, turn it and you can see inside, twist the other way closed. However, you may need a thin layer of felt glued inside to keep it a light tight seal.

Only problem I can potentially see, aside from the difficulty engineering and building it, is if the felt rubs against the plastic cover, in time, dirt will get into the felt and scratch the acrylic, unless you use glass instead. If a half canopy made out of glass is a problem to fix into the assembly a solid glass tube might be the way to go.



The bottom half of the optical assembly could be solid metal tube, the glass slid over the entire assembly, the bottom half of the glass resting against the inside aluminium tube, the upper half unblocked. That way, the outer sliding cover tube could have a tight fit onto the laser and when turned down, still block the light, except for the light which will travel around through the glass.

Unfortunately, I think it would still conduct some light when the tube with the cut-out is turned down to close the opening, it won't be perfect, but would reduce much of the light and that light pointing down instead of in your face (if the on-button were on the opposite side pointing up).

If you could find a half-canopy of glass and found a way to keep it from chipping on the edges where it meets the aluminium and solidly fixed into the assembly, that would work. I just thought a solid tube of glass would be much easier to deal with.
 
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CDBEAM777

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Alaskan...Very in depth answer....and got me thinking more !

Glass is surly great for scratch resistance....but....what a PITA to work with !!!

Hmmmm....And Glass in a full 360 geometry....a Tube within a Tube....well...that could be done...yes...but...then...Glass is a great insulator...not desirable also !

OK...why do we not " borrow from the cell phone area of products for screen protection !!! Cover the Acrylic in-lay with a screen protector !!!

About the right size....and because it is mass produced...inexpensive !

And...if the protector got some scratches...just change it out !! Eazy'n'cheap !

:thanks::thanks: We will figure this out....and I will build it :eg::eg:

Later,
CDBEAM
 

Alaskan

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Yeap, that would work well :) Good idea on that, I had not considered inserting a flat piece of glass.
 

CDBEAM777

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Yeap, that would work well :) Good idea on that, I had not considered inserting a flat piece of glass.
No... was considering the flexible thin plastic application for attachment to the Acrylic....But....you have given me an idea...how to use a flat section of glass....inlayed into the rotating Aluminum tube/shroud !!! Many minds...working together...works great in solving a problem.

I will make a drawing in the next day or so. Thanx !!

CDBEAM:p
 

Alaskan

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Going to need to hide where the little holes for the camera and microphones are on the glass :)
 

BobMc

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Like the shroud idea, think that just might work quite well? Curious about the "screen saver" idea. Was wondering if the heat from the diodes would cause the plactic to get baked to the glass over time and possibility turn the plactic yellow? Guess since their inexpensive it would still work as protection from scratches? Which is their propose. :thinking: really like the idea of the best of both worlds, being able to view or not view as the desire is. ??

All in all sounds real promising. :)

Edit, @ Alaskan, haaa "hide the mic and camera holes". To funny. :crackup:
 
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CDBEAM777

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OK...we can have it all !!! See the attached drawing....a rotating window...1/8" thick....about 1 1/4" wide....by however long...(4~6")

SO....One machines a slot in 1/4" thick in Aluminum tube. Then a ledge is machined on the long sides....maybe 1/16" wide to support a 1/8" thick glass window.

The window is positioned up toward the Ally tube OD. This means that the bottom of the flat glass...just clears 2 1/4" Ally tube ID.

So...again....we use two (2)nylon o-ring's....to secure the tube at ether end... and allow smooth...yet secure radial tube movement/rotation.

Twist to open...Twist to close.....easy !!

SO....we keep the Aluminum tube...as to dump heat to the atmosphere.....and we have a sight port....for...inspection of the optics @@@....HAHA...Twist and shout !!!

Thanx for the idea's !!!...As you know...Everything needs a name !!
SOooooo........After Gort the Robot....This concept will be called...the Gort Shroud !!! :san::san:


CDBEAM
 

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BobMc

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I see, looks like it might work out just fine. :)

The Gort Shroud! :crackup:
 
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