Computer Numerical Control (CNC)
Computer numerical control (CNC) offers a wealth of creativity possibilities from woodworking to fabricating microstrip filters and couplers to 3-D printing. I assembled this CNC machine from scratch about 2 years ago and have thus far only scratched the surface of what is possible with this machine. Most recently, I have used the machine to drill double-sided circuit board through-holes and to cut front-panels for my electronic projects.
I have had a fascination with numerical calculation for as long as I can remember. In junior high, for instance, I recall stumbling onto the use of a Taylor series expansion for computing sines and cosines and was totally intrigued. This pursuit shows up in much of my work, whether it may be my calculation of elliptic integrals (associated with elliptic filters), orbital mechanics and extremely accurate integration methods like the Burlirsh-Stoer method, or digital signal processing. To me, almost every project I’m involved with has some degree of mathematics involved that make the journey worthwhile.
Telescope design and fabrication has been an interest of mine since high school. I built my own 6″ reflecting telescope as a freshman in high school, grinding the mirror myself, using the Foucault knife-edge test in the basement of my parent’s home, but always wanting to build something bigger and better. Many telescope builders are intrigued with simply building larger and larger aperture scopes, but my interests have a more academic flavor to them addressing Seidel distortion theory and building multi-surface optical systems which address them. More information about the spherometer is available here with additional information about some of the telescopes I am interested in constructing here.
My interest in digital photography is both for general pleasure as well as a direct tie-in to my astrophotography interests. I have chosen to use my DSLR’s for my astrophotography adventures thus far, but depending upon hours in the day and some geographical constraints on my viewing, I may at some point graduate to using a dedicated CCD camera.
I always have a number of electronic projects on the drawing board and in the process of being built. Feel free to look at the present projects page to see what I’m working on right now.
Some of the projects turn into products for sale, or prototypes for customers (which I generally cannot talk about), but other projects (like the time-gate project for assessing the performance of my potato cannon) are just for fun.