Now that I have the scope in the observatory on a wedge it’s time to start doing a little more astrophotography. And one issue I immediately ran into, especially with the field flattener in place, was the need for decent flat field images. I needed to make a flat box…

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I needed to get some new surdo beaters for the SRFC Ultras. Unfortunately these are about €15 to buy. So I decided to try and make some rather than buy them.

After a couple of iterations I came up with a beater that seems to work well. The challenge is to come up with a beater that sounds right when hit hard. I had a proper beater to compare to and also a nice big surdo to hit. The neighbours probably didn’t appreciate the testing.

So heres the optimal way I found.
Materials needed:
sweeping brush handle.
old (clean!) thick socks
duck tape

1. Cut the top 10cm or so off the toe of the sock. This will be the covering on the beater.
2. Cut the rest of the sock into strips.
3. wrap a strip around the head of the beater and tape in place. repeat until you have no more sock, or until is about the right size and shape.
4. Cut the bottom off the baloon. Then stretch the baloon over the the material. Do this three times. This compresses the material the right amount.
5. Lastly fit the sock over the baloons and duck tape it in place.

Hat tip to Cardinal Fang over at instructables for the idea.