Jump to content


Photo

"Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy?

  • Please log in to reply
560 replies to this topic

#451 StarStuff1

StarStuff1

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3875
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2007
  • Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line

Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:20 PM

Orion61 reminds me of an incident that happened about 20 years ago. We were having an "at large" public outreach event on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone, NC in October. A guy showed up just before dark, set up next to me and began assembling a very nice Astro Physics refractor on a GEM. Just before he put in an eyepiece he attached a layer of bubble wrap around the dew shield with a rubber band. What? An expensive scope with tacky inexpensive bubble wrap? Thinking that maybe he was trying to protect the paint on the dew cap I asked him about this. To my surprise he said that the air in the bubble wrap would keep the lens dew free for more than an hour (this was a high dew site). I asked what about later in the evening when the bubble wrap cooled off. He said there was another section of bubble wrap in the car where it was warmer.

Dang! Cheap and no wires or batteries! :foreheadslap:

#452 kfiscus

kfiscus

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2175
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2012
  • Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA

Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:37 PM

Brilliant! Thank you for sharing the bubble wrap idea. Truly follows the KISS principle.

#453 Bob Myler

Bob Myler

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1981
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: St Louis, MO

Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:46 PM

Soooo - if warmed bubble wrap keeps dew at bay - might an overlay of FOILED bubble wrap "dew" it a little longer? :question:

#454 Qwickdraw

Qwickdraw

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1725
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Ann Arbor, MI

Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:00 PM

Best thread ever on CN

#455 snowcrow

snowcrow

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 246
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2012
  • Loc: Vermont

Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:05 PM

Here is one for you. Home made scope, 112mm @ f/5.5! Made from a projector lens' a piece of PVC sewer pipe, and two PVC caps. Smaller one inside the tube as baffle. :grin:

Attached Files



#456 Greyhaven

Greyhaven

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 1866
  • Joined: 11 May 2004
  • Loc: 16 miles south of the Buckfield Mall

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:22 AM

Nice work, How is the performance ? Have you tested it for visual and AP ? This thread is the greatest for getting the creative juices going!
Be Well
Grey

#457 snowcrow

snowcrow

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 246
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2012
  • Loc: Vermont

Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:02 AM

I pointed at Orion's sword last night with 20mm EP and could see the nebulae, super bright too!! Even without coated lenses I bet it would work great for AP. Need to put it on a mount first. :crazy: A cheap mount!

#458 bouffetout

bouffetout

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 975
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2012
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:45 PM

I just love my 'Tinker Toy' micro focuser.

HO ! DUDE ! That brings back memories...I use to play with those when I was young ! Cool idea :D

#459 Rob55

Rob55

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Fort Polk, LA USA

Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:06 PM

Tinker Toy fine focus. I love this. :bow:

#460 barbarosa

barbarosa

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 863
  • Joined: 11 Apr 2010
  • Loc: "lamorinda", CA

Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:26 PM

Soooo - if warmed bubble wrap keeps dew at bay - might an overlay of FOILED bubble wrap "dew" it a little longer? :question:


Reflectix (aluminized mylar) made for insulation but works great on scopes. I use it with my SCTs and finder scope both as a dew shield and by wrapping the OTA dew preventer. On very bad nights a second layer on the dorsal side helps. I used spray adeasive and black paint for the shield, but as it is Mylar an acrylic paint might stick without the adheasive layer.

Wrapping the the OTA can increase the cool down time; simply remove the wrap before the cool down period.

#461 StarStuff1

StarStuff1

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3875
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2007
  • Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line

Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:15 PM

For longer than I care to admit I have had a UO MPT (Multi Purpose Telescope). Basically an 80mm f/3.7 refractor with what was probably a binocular objective. Anyway I finally figured out that it was being vignetted by the 1 1/4-in focuser so I re-tubed it with some PVC pipe and a 2-in focuser. The PVC tube and the lens cell were exactly the same OD. So, I wrapped some duct tape (what else!) around the connection and it worked for a couple of years. Then, a few months ago, I picked up the scope and it just fell apart.

A trip to a specialty plumbing store turned up a "PVC Connector". They are sold in various sizes and not expensive. I paid around $4 for this one which made my little scope much more robust in construction. Not shown is the rubber connection tube which was not needed for astro use. :cool:

Attached Files



#462 ckk

ckk

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 5
  • Joined: 26 Aug 2010
  • Loc: Woodlands, Singapore

Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

Thanks for sharing. It looks nice and we won't know if you don't say it is pvc pipe connector :)

#463 SteveMushynsky

SteveMushynsky

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 68
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2013
  • Loc: Syracuse, NY area (Central NY)

Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:33 AM

This is a great thread for the McGuyver-minded among us! :bow:

#464 faackanders2

faackanders2

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2255
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2011

Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:48 AM

Total Trolley - 3 step ladder, push/pull trolly, fold up flat doly, thand up truck - all in one. Great for moving my dob to set up location am then acts as ladder. Works great for all ecept very small kids which would need a 4th step (3-5% on public observing nights - for these young ones, dad has to hold them up and 10-25% of those are tired and refuse to look)

#465 Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 317
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Posted 14 April 2013 - 06:43 PM

Just picked up a flexible plastic (kydex?) yard 'For sale's sign at Lowe's. Plan to spray-paint one side flat black (the printed side), cut it in half length-wise and use Velcro or two-sided tape to put together the two pieces and use as a dew / light shield for my home-made 127mm refractor.

I'll post a picture when completed.

Mike Lynch
Frankfort. KY USA

#466 Bob Myler

Bob Myler

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1981
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: St Louis, MO

Posted 14 April 2013 - 08:15 PM

Mike - what brand name of spray paint will you be using?

#467 Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 317
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:10 AM

Bob,

I already have a can of flat black spray paint I bought at Lowe's too for the interior of some 80mm scopes I built. One tube was PVC, the other was metal. Seemed to work out fine. Don't recall the paint brand, but I'll take a look. I liked how flat an unreflective it was, as I recall.

Mike Lynch
Frankfort KY USA

#468 Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 317
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Posted 15 April 2013 - 05:01 PM

The paint I plan to use on this dew / light shield is Krylon Indoor / Outdoor Flat Black. The can calls it good for wood, metal, wicker, glass, ceramic, masonry, paper and fabric.

Doesn't specifcally mention plastic or similar, but I've used it on PVC with no issues. 'Course, that was inside a homemade refractor tube. Not much wear and tear there!

Mike Lynch
Frankfort KY USA

#469 skullpin

skullpin

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 316
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:31 PM

I mentioned to my spouse that I could really use some sort of small zipper pouch to hold various hex keys. She gave me this!

Keith

Attached Files



#470 skullpin

skullpin

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 316
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:33 PM

Now I need to take up solar astronomy so everybody can see how I rock astronomy style. :)

Attached Files



#471 Chich

Chich

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 04 Oct 2011
  • Loc: NWT

Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:15 AM

I have been using larger pill bottles for EP cases. The longer ones allow some padding and a silica bag to be included.

Also:
-dew shield from a black snow slider and some stick on velcro
-a $8 three legged folding stool from CT that is just the right size for sitting at my 8SE
-$1 camera bags from yard sales for carrying EPs, batteries, filters etc
- $10 cooler from a yard sale that perfectly fits the box my OTA came in and also has a separate compartment at one end for solar filter, notebooks etc
-gear keepers (http://www.gearkeeper.com/) for keeping things close to hand
-dollar store red vinyl table cloth and rubber bands for enough flashlight covers to outfit several scout troops

#472 PaulN

PaulN

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 16
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 03 May 2013 - 01:18 PM

Has anyone tried adapting the batteries used in garden tools (e.g. hedge clippers)as a power source for some astronomical devices? I know the Ah might be low, but it might be useful for small devices.

#473 ZeusB

ZeusB

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 163
  • Joined: 25 Jan 2013
  • Loc: Chicago

Posted 27 June 2013 - 03:59 PM

I'm an unskilled newbie. I usually have to have someone load batteries into a flashlight for me.

Having said that, if I ever survive a nuclear holocaust, I will want to hang around with you people.

#474 Wford

Wford

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 75
  • Joined: 03 May 2011
  • Loc: South Africa

Posted 09 July 2013 - 12:19 AM

I uses these fingerless gloves.When I do not need to operate anything I can just pull the mitten over.Works great
http://eu.blackdiamo...01072_cfg.ht...

#475 Sagitta

Sagitta

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 156
  • Joined: 09 May 2010

Posted 14 July 2013 - 09:16 AM

I have used a guitar amplifier stand as a stand for the bag of my Televue TV85. It serves well as an eyepiece and accessories stand next to my telescope during observations.

Attached Files








Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics