Jump to content


Photo

On Blocking Neighborhood Lights

  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#26 tecmage

tecmage

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 2523
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2010
  • Loc: Glenview, IL

Posted 15 September 2013 - 06:45 PM

Thanks for the description and pics Dave

#27 Dave Lee

Dave Lee

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 442
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2013
  • Loc: Pinehurst, NC USA

Posted 15 September 2013 - 06:53 PM

And one last tidbit just for grins. When I built the pier I had a reasonably open southern sky (east of the meridian). What I hadn't really realized (had done pretty much no observing in my back yard) was how washed out the sky is to the southeast (two local towns in that direction). Really bad. But there isn't much that could have been done about this.

HOWEVER, I have this interesting "slot" just west of the meridian which is reasonably dark. But it isn't very wide. Per my calculations and measurements, if I want to view M7 from my back yard I've got a roughly 30 minute window to find/observe it. See the attached pic and you'll get the picture (pun intended).

dave

Attached Files



#28 AlBoning

AlBoning

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 592
  • Joined: 06 Mar 2011

Posted 15 September 2013 - 10:19 PM

I just completed a three sided 12' x 10' enclosure since it seems everyone (except me) in this neighborhood leaves a light on and there are street lights every 200', one of which is a mere 40' away. I live on the west side of a N/S street, in an oak grove, on the outskirts east of town. There is tree canopy everywhere except the front yard and over the street, the trees limit my field of view to NNE to SSE, but on the plus side the trees screen me from the town's light dome to the west. For a suburban location it's fairly good sky and some times I can even get a hint of the Milky Way directly overhead. Last summer I think I found M33 in 10x50 binos. This started out as a single 4x6 tarp on a clothesline to block the house light directly across the street and evolved over the course of two years. Since this is in the front yard I wanted something that could, without too much difficulty, be easily setup, taken down, and removed without leaving a trace.

The short story is that it is six flag poles (three pairs) that support three tarps.

The twelve foot side is two 8' fence posts lashed to the top rail of my chain link fence. Each ten foot side is a pair of 10' 1" PVC pipes supported by (i.e sleeved into) a five feet tall, ten feet long free standing 1.25" PVC grid (picture a 5' x 10' rectangle with a tee at each corner). Each of the six "flag" poles is rigged just like a flag pole with an awning pulley at the top. The "flags" are a 12' x 10' tarp and a pair of 10' x 8' tarps. The fence posts I leave setup most of the time. The support grids I keep around back and move them into position and insert the "flag" poles on site. I've got a good view to the southeast but there is also a streetlight about 40' away in that direction. To keep light from shining down the OTA I needed something rather tall. I left the vertical joints unglued, but either glued or pinned with a screw (I gave up trying to get the tee at each end of the horizontal 10' sections to line up as the working time for the PVC cement was too short) all the horizontal joints, this allows the PVC "flag" pole holders to be broken down into a few component parts for storage or transport. On a ten foot pole there are three attachment points (aka cup hooks) at one foot intervals for the awning pulley. I can move the "flag" pole holders into position, insert the vertical poles, and have the "flags" up in something less than fifteen minutes. This turns out to be relatively easy as I was able to pull it off the first time without turning on a flashlight. Each of the two PVC assemblies is made from two 10' sections of 1" pipe, four 10' sections (2 x 10' horizontal, 2 x 5' vertical, 4 x 2' feet) of 1.25" pipe, six 1.25" tees, and four 1.25" caps (at the end of each foot). Each of the tarps has a small carabiner at the top corners, so they can be quickly clipped to a small loop at then end of the 0.25" hoist line and run up the pole. A couple of small bungee cords keep the tarp under control in a light breeze. My first try at a PVC set up was all 1" pipe, but 10 vertical feet of this pipe was just too flexible. Then I remembered or noticed that 1" pipe fits neatly inside 1.25" pipe and 1.25" tees, and hit on the idea of supporting half the length of a 1" pipe with a free standing 1.25" grid. I keep meaning to take pics and post to the ATM Forum but haven't yet. I suppose tomorrow I'll do so, now that I've written this post.

#29 spongebob@55

spongebob@55

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 933
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey

Posted 18 September 2013 - 10:02 AM

my first prototype.....what I did was use one of those pull out laundry lines and attached to the house. Then I screwed in a hook on my shed. Both at about 9'-10' high. I pull a cord I attached to the line, (since 9' is too high) to just pull out the little end piece, pull across the yard and attach using a small step stool. I attach the tarp using clothes pins and secure it to the ground using 2 tent spikes in the ground at opposite directions. Then since the line sags in the middle, I use a pole to prop up the line in the middle with just a very small V grove cut into the top of the pole. I've had it up for 1 whole day when it was windy, and it held. But I'm sure I can improve on this somehow. I was using it one night, and the neighbor put on his 200w bulb, and I noticed that the tarp is a bit translucent. Perhaps a brown one would be better? I would appreciate any other suggestions to improve it.
BTW, that's me EQ-G mount in the foreground, covered from the night before....
Thanks
Sbob

Attached Files



#30 csrlice12

csrlice12

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11176
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 18 September 2013 - 11:10 AM

As the city just graciously provided me with FOUR, count'em FOUR new Street Lights (corner lot), the nice bright orangish-white light kind, I no longer have to worry about blocking lights....I just don't view from home now. Luckily, theres a state park just a 5min drive away with better views......but it has skeeters sometimes.

#31 faackanders2

faackanders2

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2330
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2011

Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:27 PM

As the city just graciously provided me with FOUR, count'em FOUR new Street Lights (corner lot), the nice bright orangish-white light kind, I no longer have to worry about blocking lights....I just don't view from home now. Luckily, theres a state park just a 5min drive away with better views......but it has skeeters sometimes.


wouldn't it be nice if the city town asked the house they were going to add the light if they would like it or not first. Some house might like them,some might not, and it may just be a little move to make the majority happy.

#32 faackanders2

faackanders2

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2330
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2011

Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:47 PM

Fortunate my sub doesn't have street lights, but sun lawn lights are becoming popular, as well as front door lights.
The lawn ones are not really that bright but the holiday decoration ones are.

when we go on vacation I have observed on balconies with towels on all the rails my balcony light turned or screwed off or a bag over it. I observe from a lay down beach chair below the towels.

I have gone places where they had low street lights and I put paper bags on the close ones while I was observing.

I often use trees, bushes, my car to block out all or the brightest lights and pick my telescope seup site where the most lights are blocked out (and move my car appropriately for the final touch).

I have thought about mounting small signs/placards to bock out direct line of sight.

P.S. I am just glad I am able to convince my wife to not put up perminent lights in our yard. I do invite the neighbors to look, and they see the difference though the scope, and remember a few times later. If I plan to do alot of observing that night, I may ask my neighbors that sometimes observe with me to turn off their lights.

#33 Feidb

Feidb

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1759
  • Joined: 09 Oct 2009
  • Loc: Nevada

Posted 21 September 2013 - 10:23 PM

When I lived in Eurovillas, near Madrid, Spain, back in the 80's, I used to go around the neighborhood and pop the circuit breakers on all the street lights. All the neighbors knew what I was doing and why. After all, I had that "cannon" so I could shoot rockets at Argentina (even though the Brits and settled their Falklands dispute with Argentina and I wasn't a Brit, anyway). At least, that was the running joke that just wouldn't die. I'd always go around and put the breakers back in place after I was done for the evening, so no harm, no foul. It was nice that they conveniently had the breakers mounted at the base of each streetlight and all it took was a slot-end screwdriver to release the access plate. The altitude was about 3,500 feet so I had some pretty decent skies with my home-built 16-inch f/6.4.

Looking at recent satellite maps of the area, there is a freeway running next to Eurovillas now and the area has expanded into the fields that used to be grape orchards across the road. It's probably so light-polluted that even if I popped the lights for six blocks in each direction, it wouldn't make any difference.

Oh well...

#34 Startraffic

Startraffic

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 790
  • Joined: 12 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Lat. 39.143345, Long. -77.174802

Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:18 AM

csrlice12,
I'll trade you anytime. There are 19 new streetlights (those pretty coachlight style) and 5 older cobrahead style with 500 ft of my obs. I sicced the county streetlight guy on the developer, who of course is going to court. He won't win, the coachlights aren't on the approved list, & the County lighting ordinance doesn't allow any new streetlight within 500 ft opf an existing observatory. I been there of 15 yrs, he really should punt on 1st & goal.

Clear Dark Skies
Startraffic
39.138274 -77.168898

#35 csrlice12

csrlice12

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11176
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:53 AM

Don't think you'd want to trade, I'm in the heart of the Denver Tech Center (White White White Zone) with skyscrapers I could spit on across the street. The street lights (and new stop lights) replaced the older ones that had two of the street lights burned out. The community I live in has a high Jewish population that walks to synagog (sp?)and for most of the weekend, so I understand the need for street lights at the intersection (they also wear mostly black). Unfortunately, here, if you took a screwdriver and approached the streetlight, you'd get arrested.....

#36 Startraffic

Startraffic

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 790
  • Joined: 12 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Lat. 39.143345, Long. -77.174802

Posted 25 September 2013 - 06:13 AM

csrlice12,
I hear ya, I'm 15 miles outside of DC. The sky glows orange on the darkest winter nights. In the summer you can just about read the paper outside at midnight. I only need lights in my POD until I open the lid. The traffic signals & new streetlight are going to be a problem for all of us if they're LEDs. The HPSV, LPSV, & Mercury Vapor lights are filterable, LEDs aren't. LEDs are putting out a broadband spectrum that only eliminates the IR & UV ranges, the rest is emitted, & is right where we need to see. Wonderful news ain't it. :bigshock:

Clear Dark Skies
Startraffic
39.138274 -77.168898

#37 BigC

BigC

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3268
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2010
  • Loc: SE Indiana

Posted 25 September 2013 - 12:07 PM

More light! MORE light!
It is a social issue;people today feel that anyone objecting to full daytime light 24/7 are "strange".
Odd that in time of energy conservation "they" continue pushing ever more lights!
You really should be able to demand other people keep their light off your property.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics