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Black Forest Star Party 2013

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#51 _Z_

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:54 AM

OK. Now about the dew heaters. If I show up with a bunch of hand warmers, will someone show me how to use them? While I'm hoping to get some great views of some things, I'm more about learning to use my equipment that I have at this point. I mean, when I get all dewed up at home, I just call it a night.

Thanks


Bring a bunch of large rubber bands in good shape. Open the hand warmers, rubber band them around whatever is getting dewed up like the secondary (if it's too large for a rubber band, velcro straps?), plus eyepieces, finders, and telrads are easy enough to rubber band them on. Just get them on the sides of whatever is dewed up and they'll warm the whole thing up, eventually stopping dew. It's easier to start dew prevention before you get dewed up, then to try and fight dew after it shows up.

#52 tag1260

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 02:07 PM

Thanks guys. Looking forward to getting to meet a few people while I'm up there.
Thanks again

#53 Brett Carlson

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 03:25 PM

I'm trying to hurry and make a dew heater using a fan controller from a computer. I have the control unit complete. I added a resister to my telrad so that should be OK. I have a 12v dryer that I can use if needed too.

I'm going to try to make a few eyepiece heaters out of velcro straps and Nichrome wire....If I can't complete these I'll go with the handwarmer/Rubber band route.

My secondary doesn't dew up too badly (solid tube dob) but at that location it might. The design of the secondary doesn't make adding heating elements very easy.

#54 MessiToM

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 01:28 AM

^
My solid tube newt's primary used to eventually get dew'd even. The secondary would surprisingly quick

I got my confirmation this morning (8-22) I had to "go through" my astro club's president who is also a member of CPO

#55 _Z_

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 07:09 AM

I'm trying to hurry and make a dew heater using a fan controller from a computer. I have the control unit complete. I added a resister to my telrad so that should be OK. I have a 12v dryer that I can use if needed too.

I'm going to try to make a few eyepiece heaters out of velcro straps and Nichrome wire....If I can't complete these I'll go with the handwarmer/Rubber band route.

My secondary doesn't dew up too badly (solid tube dob) but at that location it might. The design of the secondary doesn't make adding heating elements very easy.


Your secondary will dew up, potentially very very quickly on some nights.

I also highly recommend making a dew shield for dobs. It may some a little odd for a dob, but it can really help a dew heater out by having a dew shield. MessiTom is right too, your primary could even get dew on it at the BFSP if you're up long enough. We didn't drive 5+ hours to get dewed out in an hour! I've seen dew forming on things while it's still twilight there...

#56 star drop

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 12:21 PM

Another way to delay the dew is to keep the covers on until astronomical twilight is over and then begin to view the objects you want to see. The views won't suffer that much while your telescope acclimates and you will not dew up during the process.

#57 Brett Carlson

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 07:23 PM

I'm trying to hurry and make a dew heater using a fan controller from a computer. I have the control unit complete. I added a resister to my telrad so that should be OK. I have a 12v dryer that I can use if needed too.

I'm going to try to make a few eyepiece heaters out of velcro straps and Nichrome wire....If I can't complete these I'll go with the handwarmer/Rubber band route.

My secondary doesn't dew up too badly (solid tube dob) but at that location it might. The design of the secondary doesn't make adding heating elements very easy.


Your secondary will dew up, potentially very very quickly on some nights.

I also highly recommend making a dew shield for dobs. It may some a little odd for a dob, but it can really help a dew heater out by having a dew shield. MessiTom is right too, your primary could even get dew on it at the BFSP if you're up long enough. We didn't drive 5+ hours to get dewed out in an hour! I've seen dew forming on things while it's still twilight there...


What material should I make a dew shield from? The tube is 19 inches in diameter. How far should it extend? I've never seen a dob outfitted with a dew shield.

#58 Doc Willie

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 06:06 AM

What material should I make a dew shield from? The tube is 19 inches in diameter. How far should it extend? I've never seen a dob outfitted with a dew shield.

A favorite material is a thin foam camping pad. I believe the rule of thumb for a dew shield is 1-1/2 times the aperture, though the ones I have seen on dobs look closer to 1X.

#59 Brett Carlson

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 10:28 PM

registration looks to be full!

#60 MessiToM

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 10:45 PM

Doc_Willie

I have a Star Trek TNG Phaser to show you at BFSP lol


And Iam already getting paranoid about weather
http://www.accuweath...er-forecast/...

#61 tag1260

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 04:53 AM

What material should I make a dew shield from? The tube is 19 inches in diameter. How far should it extend? I've never seen a dob outfitted with a dew shield.

A favorite material is a thin foam camping pad. I believe the rule of thumb for a dew shield is 1-1/2 times the aperture, though the ones I have seen on dobs look closer to 1X.


Do they paint them? I see all sort of colors but I haven't seen one that's black anywhere.
Thanks

#62 tag1260

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 02:24 PM

A heads up for you. I was just able to pick up a 10 pack (20 handwarmers) for $8.00 at Lowes. I was also able to find a roll of black craft foam (36"*60") at Micheals Crafts for about $5.00.

#63 Brett Carlson

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 02:50 PM

I found black foam too...36 x 60 but it isn't quite long enough! I'm glueing some together. I also have some thin pieces of wood to support the foam.

Tested the dew heater today in the garage. Seems to be working great. I did find out the some of my channels are not working. One I know is blown. The others I think are poor soldering on my part. I'll open it up this week check the connections.

#64 lamplight

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 06:28 PM

I just got my confirmation, I'm signed up!! Very excited. If anyone else is going alone and wants to meet up send me a PM. This will be my second star party, 1st only a few weeks ago. Haven't been to skies this dark yet!!

Instead of a tent I'm thinking ill rent a minivan to sleep in. Warmer and quieter. Do you guys know if there's a place to park it for sleeping away from the field? I just read on the FAQ there is 30 dedicated camping sites but appears to be no way to PRE purchase. It says you can RV in the field so I guess I could do that it I can block all the lights on the thing somehow ... Thoughts from ppl who's been? I'd prefer the campsite but if I can't guarantee ill have it I'd like to be prepared.

To the guy building the dew controller: I've done the same thing with a fan speed controller I bought for about 12$, works great!!! I wired an additional 12Ah battery to my battery tanks existing 7Ah battery and it worked great , could have gone all night (if I could have at is).

I don't have a secondary dew heater though.. Going to try to get/make one before then. And heck I'll bring my refractor as backup (have plenty of dew straps for that)!

#65 tag1260

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 06:47 PM

Go to a craft store and get a sheet of red cellophane and cover you interior lights with that. I'm sitting here making flashlights as we speak!!! LOL
Also covering my Kindle for my push to. I know what you mean about getting excited as this is my first one.

I don't have time between now and then to make a dew heater but I got hand warmers to use. I made a dew shield today and made one for my Telrad as well. It's all set up in the yard right now so I'll see if they help any tonight.

I keep everything sort of organized in milk crates so I made a table top to sit on top of those for a table.

Only thing I'm not sure about is covering at night and do I need a tarp or something as a sort of floor. I've got some huge trash bags that I suppose I could use as a cover if needed plus they don't take up much room for packing. A solid tube dob just takes up so much space in a Jeep Patriot. :ohmy: :ohmy:

#66 Brett Carlson

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:47 AM

I was just at a craft store too. I have a red flashlight already....Would be nice to have a spare or two.

I have a large tarp to cover my scope if necessary. I'll also have a 10x10 shelter just in case.

I drive a Red Chevy Tahoe...I'll be bringing a 16" Solid Tube Dub. Takes up nearly every bit of room! Takes some crafty packing but I should be OK.

#67 star drop

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:54 PM

Instead of a tent I'm thinking ill rent a minivan to sleep in. Warmer and quieter. Do you guys know if there's a place to park it for sleeping away from the field? I just read on the FAQ there is 30 dedicated camping sites but appears to be no way to PRE purchase. It says you can RV in the field so I guess I could do that it I can block all the lights on the thing somehow ... Thoughts from ppl who's been? I'd prefer the campsite but if I can't guarantee ill have it I'd like to be prepared.

Sleep in the van on the field. Tape a cover over the dome light and keep your hand off of the panic alarm/door lock button and you are all set.

#68 Brett Carlson

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 06:53 AM

I'll have a small tent and a 10x10 shelter that I'll setup pretty much right on top of each other. I have a large tarp to go over the scope.

Should have a tarp to under the scope itself? I use a ladder most of the time to get to the eyepiece and the tarp would take quite a beating. I do have a tarp I use under my tent that I could use in a pinch.

#69 _Z_

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 09:02 AM

A ground tarp helps keep where you're walking drier (drier boots and slightly less local moisture for dew), plus if you drop anything it can be easy to find it. However, if you're planning on using a plastic tarp, the crinkling may drive you insane. Canvas or carpet = best option but it's not absolutely needed, just a nice extra when observing.

#70 Brett Carlson

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 09:57 AM

A ground tarp helps keep where you're walking drier (drier boots and slightly less local moisture for dew), plus if you drop anything it can be easy to find it. However, if you're planning on using a plastic tarp, the crinkling may drive you insane. Canvas or carpet = best option but it's not absolutely needed, just a nice extra when observing.


Thanks for the advice. I can see that the plastic tarp would be a bit noisy. I'll try to pick up a canvas one.

#71 Undermidnight

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 11:06 AM

BFSP is fast approaching!! Some of us in the CAS caravan will be arriving sometime Wednesday afternoon to get an early jump on observing. Look for the weirdo with the floppy camo hat, a Rush T-Shirt on, and lounging away smoking my pipe, and that should be me.

I am bringing my 12.5" telescope I made which should be plenty in the dark skies of PA.

Looking forward to seeing other Cloudy Nighters there!

Jason

#72 MessiToM

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:09 PM

Harbor freight sells large squares of canvas cheap. FYI

A ground tarp helps keep where you're walking drier (drier boots and slightly less local moisture for dew), plus if you drop anything it can be easy to find it. However, if you're planning on using a plastic tarp, the crinkling may drive you insane. Canvas or carpet = best option but it's not absolutely needed, just a nice extra when observing.


Thanks for the advice. I can see that the plastic tarp would be a bit noisy. I'll try to pick up a canvas one.



#73 lamplight

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:51 PM

Rush t-shirt?! ?today is Alex's 60th ;) I might wear my tie dye grateful dead shirt with the little aliens on it. Don't ask ;)

I actually have an extra 8x12' canvas tarp when I bought some for light shades at home. Good idea i might bring that. I had my 10" in a green zone and was very happy so I know it will be plenty of aperture for me. I have some of the foam camping pads that are blue.. I might bring a scrap of that as extra dew shield since I don't have a dew heater for the secondary yet. I have everything for finder/telrad EP thpugh. Lately I haven't been able to stay out long enough for it to dew over anyhow. And I ordered a 12v hair dryer finally, just in case .

#74 Skywatchr

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 06:43 PM

Maybe we'll see some Earthshine as The Stars Look Down in our own Peaceable Kingdom as we Stick it Out amongst the Subdivisions on the field looking through our scopes as Second Nature hoping we have Ceiling Unlimited, without Jacob's Ladder as we Fly By Night, with the Clockwork Angels at work. :grin:

BFSP is fast approaching!! Some of us in the CAS caravan will be arriving sometime Wednesday afternoon to get an early jump on observing. Look for the weirdo with the floppy camo hat, a Rush T-Shirt on, and lounging away smoking my pipe, and that should be me.

I am bringing my 12.5" telescope I made which should be plenty in the dark skies of PA.

Looking forward to seeing other Cloudy Nighters there!

Jason



#75 Undermidnight

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 11:03 AM

Maybe we'll see some Earthshine as The Stars Look Down in our own Peaceable Kingdom as we Stick it Out amongst the Subdivisions on the field looking through our scopes as Second Nature hoping we have Ceiling Unlimited, without Jacob's Ladder as we Fly By Night, with the Clockwork Angels at work. :grin:


After the Caravan arrives, when the evening comes, right about the time of the Twilight Zone, we Countdown to the anticipated darkness. Hopefully, we picked a spot where The Trees will not block much of our view. As we gaze upon the remaining Available Light from the The Big Wheel in the sky, we draw in a deep breath and for a moment, Time Stands Still. Soon, our telescopes will be bagging DSOs Hand Over Fist. Those with larger telescopes are Driven to see many faint objects, but the rest of us with smaller scopes have a Ghost of a Chance to see them, but it is hard to Resist trying! Of course, it would be Heresy if we sleep through the night and it is clear!! If you do decide to lay down, make sure you are Face Up to see the stars! Astroimagers will busily collect photons through The Camera Eye attached to their telescopes. I know they use Kid Gloves with those refractors!! :)

In The End, for those of us that have never been under darker skies, the Afterimage will be in our minds indefinitely. When we return home and unpack, hopefully, we won't be saying, uh, Where's My Thing?...you know, questioning where you left your Ethos without Losing It. There will be many Tears if we cannot find it. :grin:






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