Heliostat Design Version 2.0: Page 2

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This parts list represents the major items that I used to build my heliostat. Not everything is on it since a few of the items are just little odds and ends that I had lying around.

General Parts List

3 1/2″ or 3″ Exterior Screws

A Mirror
I have found that mirrors can generally be found for cheap if you look for them in the right places. Yard sales, flee markets, and thrift stores for example. I’ve bought mirrors which would probably cost around $75 new for just $5.

This heliostat is designed so that many different mirror sizes can be used, but, if you find an especially large mirror, you will probably have to make some changes.

2″x3″ Lumber
I used 2″x3″ lumber because it was what I had readily available, but 2″x4″ lumber should be fine as well. I didn’t use treated wood and instead decided to just paint it. It is my idea that the paint will keep the wood from warping due to the absorption and evaporation of water. I’m certainly no expert on wood though, so don’t take my word for it.

Two eight foot pieces should be just enough for this.

Two Door Hinges
They have to be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the mirror, and something that holds up in the weather would be ideal.

Exterior Paint
For weather proofing and making it look good.

4″x4″ Treated Wood
The heliostat is set on top of this post. I made mine 3′ long. It isn’t set permanently in the ground with concrete because I might move it at some point. For now, it is just braced with stakes pounded into the ground with a sledge hammer.

If you decide to set your post in concrete, you will need a longer one to get below the frost line.

Threaded Rod (For Azimuth Rotation)

Nuts for Threaded Rod


Thinner Threaded Rod (For Linear Motion Supplied by Stepper Motors)

Coupler Nuts

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