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Orion XT10i and COLD COL

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#1 rick-SeMI

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:35 AM

There are times when I use the COL out in the cold and the LCD 'acts' up.
I have built a 'COL' heater with 5 parallel 276 ohm wire-wound resistors.
Works with a 9V battery and should work with a converted battery pack from a metal detector:

http://www.cloudynig...5531844/page...
Uses 8 - NiMH AA Batteries.

But, that would mean re-running the power cable from the fan to the 'COL' heater after the mirror has stabilized.

I have never used the chemical hand warmers, so would these work, if I just used a large rubber band to hold it to the back of the COL?

#2 FirstSight

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:10 AM

I have never used the chemical hand warmers, so would these work, if I just used a large rubber band to hold it to the back of the COL?


Short answer: yes, plenty of fellow CN'ers have taken exactly this approach to keeping their Orion COLs functional during chilly weather. Note: my experience has been that the COL is vulnerable to becoming unreliable well before the temp reaches freezing, so I'd bring some warmers for the COL on any night where you need a coat, just in case.

#3 Achernar

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:28 AM

One feature I like about my SkyCommander digital setting circles is the fact the display has a heating element for those cold winter nights. Since I power it from the same 12-volt battery as my dewheaters, I simply ran a cord from the Dewbuster to the computer and observe all night before the battery requires recharging. Taping a chemical handwarmer to the back of the COL is effective however when it comes to keeping it functional when the temperatures approach freezing at night.

Taras

#4 csrlice12

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:20 AM

ALl I know is that I'm SO glad I live in a dryer climate. Have never had a dew problem. BUT, part of that may be that I can never be away all night, just a few hours. Wife is disabled. That is why my Dark Sky nights are so precious to me...

#5 tnranger

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:32 PM

I wonder if a lithium battery would work better in the cold.

#6 panhard

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:59 PM

Batteries aren't the problem with mine it is the display that is the problem.

#7 tnranger

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:06 AM

I was having similar issues with my COL display and was using a new akaline battery. I remembered the wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer we have did the same thing in cold weather. The thermometer manual strongly recommended using a lithium battery, so I tried one in the XT10i hand piece and the display stopped flickering. Might be worth a try.
YMMV.

#8 tnranger

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:08 AM

I was having similar issues with my COL display and was using a new akaline battery. I remembered the wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer we have did the same thing in cold weather. The thermometer manual strongly recommended using a lithium battery, so I tried one in the XT10i hand piece and the display stopped flickering.
YMMV.

#9 csrlice12

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

So now we not only need premium eyepieces, but premium batteries too???? Will it ever end????

#10 panhard

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:53 PM

Randy we are involved in a premium hobby. :grin:

#11 Starman81

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:49 AM

There are times when I use the COL out in the cold and the LCD 'acts' up.
I have built a 'COL' heater with 5 parallel 276 ohm wire-wound resistors.
Works with a 9V battery and should work with a converted battery pack from a metal detector:

http://www.cloudynig...5531844/page...
Uses 8 - NiMH AA Batteries.

But, that would mean re-running the power cable from the fan to the 'COL' heater after the mirror has stabilized.

I have never used the chemical hand warmers, so would these work, if I just used a large rubber band to hold it to the back of the COL?


Rick, let's try the hand warmer idea next time out...

#12 rick-SeMI

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 04:46 PM

tnranger
My indoor/outdoor thermometer also acts up during the cold.
Thanks for the tip!
I will try a lithium in it.
If that works I'll try it in my COL - THANKS

#13 rick-SeMI

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 04:51 PM

Hey partner, hope you are feeling better.
Went to HJRO to 'help' Greg take images of moon/jupiter last night.
Thanks to your suggestion, on the FAAC yahoo site.
It was nice to see those two in the same FOV and have aldebaran close and Orion closing in at fourth :)

#14 rick-SeMI

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:53 PM

I was having similar issues with my COL display and was using a new akaline battery. I remembered the wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer we have did the same thing in cold weather. The thermometer manual strongly recommended using a lithium battery, so I tried one in the XT10i hand piece and the display stopped flickering.
YMMV.


tnranger
I replaced the 2 AA Alkaline batteries in my outdoor unit with 2 AA Lithium's and all seems well.
It wouldn't work below about 37° before. Tonight it has been as low as 25° and my indoor unit is showing it properly.
I will now get a 9V Lithium and see what that does in the XT10i COL --- THANKS...

#15 rick-SeMI

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:45 AM

I was having similar issues with my COL display and was using a new akaline battery. I remembered the wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer we have did the same thing in cold weather. The thermometer manual strongly recommended using a lithium battery, so I tried one in the XT10i hand piece and the display stopped flickering.
YMMV.


Well, my mileage varied :( I tried the night of January 9th when the temps were around 32F - 35F.
Tried a new 9V Lithium battery and there was a very minor improvement.
What did a better job though was to place the COL in my inner jacket pocket and/or hold it with my gloved hands for awhile.
Next trick will be to use the chemical hand warmer...

#16 donnie3

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:43 PM

i just purchased a lithium battery for my 10" intelliscope. i have not tryed it out because its been TOO COLD for my human battery to function. donnie

#17 jtrevino

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

Pardon my ignorance but what is a "COL" Are you guys refering to the LCD hand controller?

#18 panhard

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

Yes we are.

#19 jtrevino

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:05 PM

what if you used an electric sock. :question:

#20 panhard

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:51 AM

That is different solution. :grin:






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