After my return from the land of walter, the field coil cartridge moved to the top of the heap and this thing showed up to empower me. Life has kept me from actually using it but yesterday I woke up with a purpose... i wanted to make a stylus!
OK I made a scale model of a stylus and unlike cars or planes, this model went in the other direction.
It seems a lot of people have the notion that the new way to set SRA is by using a USB microscope. Well I have seen some sincere abuse of this and came up with the observation that if you do not have the lens perfectly centered perpendicular to the contact facets, your measurements will be off.
Before going public with this I needed to actually prove it to myself and hence the split "slagle" contour above. The split was key so I could see through the contact edges and make sure the camera allignment was correct for my test.
I placed my contact line at 90 degrees and measured the angles on either side. Guess what... I really need to pay more attention to my day job. Beyond that, I also realized how difficult preciison measuring is and I am actually content with the results of both my machining and measurement errors.
Here is the rub. What happens if you are even a bit off center? I shifted the camera to the left a bit to see what happens to the "slagle" profile. You can see the degree that I am off center by viewing into the side of the model.
Now the total shift may seem extreme and it was an inch or so but remember that we are dealing with a total dimension of only a few thousandths of an inch any shift of the camera is extreme.
I did my best to keep the SRA at a perfect 90 degrees but now notice that due to the camera being off center, the SRA line is now appears to be 87 degrees even though it is still actually 90 degrees.
I chose the symmetrical "slagle" stylus profile for this to make it easy but even with asymmetrical designs the point remains. Unless you have both the left and right contact points of the stylus in in a straight line to the center point of the lens, any measurements made from the image will be incorrect. Furthermore, the image capture plane must be at exactly 90 degrees to the center line or things can get wonky again.
Personally, I am happy setting the VTA by ear so I enjoy the music and believe introducing a flawed measurement system puts us back into the dark ages of audio.