The Light Sharpener

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Beyond the bolts in the center of the dish, the only surface irregularities were the 18 ribs. If a mirror was on the rib, or not on a rib, it was OK, only when it was half-on and half-off was it skewed.

As I progressed outward, the ribs became spaced more widely.

A photo from the focal point. You might think that a photo from this angle would reveal the same image in each of these 50 mirrors, but it does not.

Just like an insect brain, your brain can put all these pieces together. Your brain has determined that I look like a buffoon in this photo.


Later, with 125 mirrors mounted. This is about the same number of mirrors that were used in the Solar Death Ray.

A lot of the mirrors were imperfectly aligned, which was apparent in the fragmented image they reflect.


With the dish pointed tilted down, as in this photo, a pretty big patch of dish surface area was accessible from the front. I had to lean in to reach.

At one point while I worked, looking down at the mirrors, I caught the reflected image of a dozen airplanes flying in formation above.

When I looked up, it was only one airplane! The damn thing tricked me!


In this photo, you can see the small gaps between the mirrors. I anticipated these gaps would get larger as the mirrors approached the outside edge of the dish.

I was sure that the pattern of squares would start to get skewed because I was working on a curved surface.


Within a couple of hours, I was able to attach 150 mirrors.

I kept masking tape on them while the adhesive dried.


The view from below. Wow, you can't even see the mesh panels in this view.

I tried to use my thickest, heaviest mirror tiles towards the center of the dish, to keep the dish balanced. The brown squiggles are adhesive.


I had to try it before quitting for the day. A shadow had already crept across 1/3rd of the dish

I quickly aligned the dish towards the sun and poked a flap of cardboard out into the focal point. By moving the cardboard around, I could see that the reflected spot of bright light was fairly small, not 4" small, but maybe the size of a dinner plate.

The cardboard began to smoke almost immediately, but did not catch fire.

I needed full sun, and I needed more more mirrors.

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Other incredible stuff  | Home | Contact Rob | Making fire with two sticks | My first solar parabola | Fire with Coke can and toothpaste

July 10th, 2007.  

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