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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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Jack Tripper
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/10/09

"Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy?
      #3567181 - 01/17/10 08:53 PM

I am curious to hear if someone has adapted a "non-astronomy" purchase into something useful for this hobby.

I intend to use magnets as counterweights. They cost much less than a counterweight set, and they require practically no installation. I got the idea somewhere on CN, and would like to thank whoever the originator was!

Any other unusual purchases out there that has made your astronomy life easier?


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sailor70623
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/12/08

Loc: Ok.
Re: Non-astronomy equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3567225 - 01/17/10 09:13 PM

Nice used wood TV tables. They had gotten wet and were stained so only like $5 for 4, at a yard sale. They hold lap tops, eyepieces, sky charts, and fold up nice to store in the shed.

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helpwanted
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/04/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Non-astronomy equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: sailor70623]
      #3567393 - 01/17/10 10:29 PM

pvc pipe and tarps as light shields...

around halloween, i bought these red flashlights for kids to put on the fingers with velcro, to help them see as they trick-or-treated... work great for reading charts!

a sears mechanics stool for use with a refractor

foam from a craft store as a dew shield


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TimD
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/16/05

Loc: CA USA
Re: Non-astronomy equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: helpwanted]
      #3567640 - 01/18/10 01:22 AM

speaking of PVC pipe....I used some to make one of those "copyscopes" out of a 6 element 3 inch copy machine lens when I was back in high school and the article had come out in Astronomy magazine. It performed pretty darn well, with very little color for it's short FL.

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BajaPaco
sage


Reged: 10/30/09

Loc: Baja California, Mexico
Re: Non-astronomy equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: TimD]
      #3568344 - 01/18/10 12:45 PM

An extra secretarial chair from my home office with the back removed makes a great observing chair. The castors roll nicely and the lever raises or lowers the seat hydraulically and smoothly.

Works for me and it was free! (at least I already owned it, so I didn't have to spend extra money on astronomical gear)


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Takman
sage


Reged: 02/25/09

Loc: Maple, ON - Canada
Re: Non-astronomy equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: BajaPaco]
      #3568388 - 01/18/10 01:07 PM

I've adapted deep cycle batteries for power, flashlights for reading, foam tape to protect gear, a hockey bag to carry my tripod, a tool bag to carry weights and even a barbecue cover for protecting my telescope.

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JayKSC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/01/05

Loc: Florida
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3568418 - 01/18/10 01:17 PM

I have an inexpensive Walmart stool I use for observing, and an ex-Army tilted head flashlight with a plastic red lens insert for chart reading and sketching. For one of my refractors long ago, it'd get dewed up quite often so I made a dewshield for it out of dark blue poster board and aluminum flashing.

- Jay
South Florida


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dan777
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/16/07

Loc: Indiana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3568552 - 01/18/10 02:15 PM

I almost hate to admit this...
I was looking to get an eyepiece case. I had one picked out and had put it on my birthday/Christmas list (they are close together).
When one of our girls was home for Thanksgiving, she wanted to donate some stuff to the Salvation Army. So we filled up my car with her stuff and drove to the local S.A. store.
As we were walking out of the rear of the store, a van had parked next to us and two guys were carrying things into the store. One guy had a sewing box. I turned around and started walking with the guy towards the store but all the while I'm eying the sewing box. Just before he entered the store I asked him if I could have it. He handed it to me and I put it in my car and went home.
This turned out to be a perfect case for my eyepieces and other miscellaneous stuff. But my daughter was sooo embarrassed and also thought that what I did was steeling or at least immoral.
...yea, maybe it was, but...I have donated lots of stuff to that same Salvation Army store, so I don't feel too bad.
Dan


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zjc26138Moderator
Loved By All
*****

Reged: 02/24/05

Loc: Mingo Junction, Ohio
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: dan777]
      #3568577 - 01/18/10 02:28 PM

Lowe's has aluminum tool cases. I bought one and it is my main eyepiece case.

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JayKSC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/01/05

Loc: Florida
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: zjc26138]
      #3568612 - 01/18/10 02:51 PM

Quote:

Lowe's has aluminum tool cases. I bought one and it is my main eyepiece case.




I forgot all about this! Yes, I use one of these, too. It's been a fantastic performer and the various dents and scratches on it (with no damaged gear inside) tells how sturdy it is.

- Jay
South Florida


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Scott2526
sage
*****

Reged: 04/16/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: JayKSC]
      #3568680 - 01/18/10 03:33 PM Attachment (744 downloads)

I just love my 'Tinker Toy' micro focuser.

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Eddgie
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/01/06

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Scott2526]
      #3568710 - 01/18/10 03:41 PM

Now THAT sir, is a SUPERB example.

Some black paint and a little wooden knob on the end, and who would know!

VERY clever.


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Luigi
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/03/07

Loc: MA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Eddgie]
      #3568725 - 01/18/10 03:46 PM Attachment (607 downloads)

I always look for non-astro specific solutions. It usually saves a bunch of money. Check out the strong nylon padded mount bags below that are $25 new. Buy two and get free shipping (they are sold as speaker stands).

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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3568755 - 01/18/10 03:56 PM

Dew shield from a camp pad,heard about it here but took it a little further flocked the inside with black felt wrap the out side with black duct tape and made a thermal blanket from a windshield heat shield really helps with tube currents and of course the well known "Skippy focus"

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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: reddog15]
      #3568781 - 01/18/10 04:11 PM Attachment (622 downloads)

Here's a half price alternative to the Celestron or Orion Power Tank . They are 39 bucks at Pep Boys . I have two of these & have been running my LXD75 mounts with them for almost 3 years . I can pull all nighters with these & not just tracking but slewing across the sky from one object to the next to the tune of better than 50 objects with power to spare . They would probably go two nights in a row before needing a recharge . They come with a wall plug & a 12 volt cigarette lighter plug for both home or auto charging . They even have a built in compressor to blow up your air mattress or a flat tire if you become so unfortunate .

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Rob E
Village......clown
*****

Reged: 05/20/09

Loc: Where Independence Was Won
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: starrancher]
      #3568888 - 01/18/10 05:08 PM

Several examples..
-Drum Cases and Equipment cases for scopes and tripods.
-Double pistol cases as EP cases and A friend has even used a rifle case to house his EP collection..(Coolest EP case I've ever seen BTW.)
-Automotive LED strips for case lighting.
-Lumbar support for scope cradle.
-Rack rail as EP holder (The holes are the perfect size)
-Computer cable harness as 12v/5V power bus..
-Elastic trash can band as a holder for my shroud
- home made shroud made out of a black bed sheet and plastic Halloween table cloth
-Embroidery hoop as a scope LTA cover
-metal spring hoops from a laundry bag as stiffeners in the shroud to keep the material out of the light path.
-LED flasher out of an old Logitech mouse box for my degree circle window illumination
-Desk Cable Pass through and old close up lens make up the window itself


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Joe Lalumia
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/24/07

Loc: Quinlan, Texas, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Rob E]
      #3568922 - 01/18/10 05:22 PM

A white light maglite with red taillight tape; an aluminum eyepiece case picked up at the local Thrift Store for $4 dollars; and a Northern Tool rolling tool chest that carries my LX90 for $59 dollars.

Also found a nice former computer bag with padded foam inserts for a SECOND eyepiece bag for $5 dollars at the same Thrift store, along with a small two step step ladder plastic, so kids can reach the eyepiece at our public observing events.

I would say your local Thrift store (Goodwill) might have several things you can use for VERY low cost.

Edited by Joe Lalumia (01/18/10 05:25 PM)


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Rob E]
      #3568929 - 01/18/10 05:25 PM

Quote:

Several examples..
-Drum Cases and Equipment cases for scopes and tripods.
-Double pistol cases as EP cases and A friend has even used a rifle case to house his EP collection..(Coolest EP case I've ever seen BTW.)
-Automotive LED strips for case lighting.
-Lumbar support for scope cradle.
-Rack rail as EP holder (The holes are the perfect size)
-Computer cable harness as 12v/5V power bus..
-Elastic trash can band as a holder for my shroud
- home made shroud made out of a black bed sheet and plastic Halloween table cloth
-Embroidery hoop as a scope LTA cover
-metal spring hoops from a laundry bag as stiffeners in the shroud to keep the material out of the light path.
-LED flasher out of an old Logitech mouse box for my degree circle window illumination
-Desk Cable Pass through and old close up lens make up the window itself




It's all worth nothing without the pictures !


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Rob E
Village......clown
*****

Reged: 05/20/09

Loc: Where Independence Was Won
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: starrancher]
      #3569082 - 01/18/10 06:49 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Several examples..
-Drum Cases and Equipment cases for scopes and tripods.
-Double pistol cases as EP cases and A friend has even used a rifle case to house his EP collection..(Coolest EP case I've ever seen BTW.)
-Automotive LED strips for case lighting.
-Lumbar support for scope cradle.
-Rack rail as EP holder (The holes are the perfect size)
-Computer cable harness as 12v/5V power bus..
-Elastic trash can band as a holder for my shroud
- home made shroud made out of a black bed sheet and plastic Halloween table cloth
-Embroidery hoop as a scope LTA cover
-metal spring hoops from a laundry bag as stiffeners in the shroud to keep the material out of the light path.
-LED flasher out of an old Logitech mouse box for my degree circle window illumination
-Desk Cable Pass through and old close up lens make up the window itself




It's all worth nothing without the pictures !




I'll see what I can do...Probably will be its own thread though..


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yowser
member
*****

Reged: 09/14/08

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3569267 - 01/18/10 08:27 PM

I use a pizza pan for a tripod tray, attached to a Vixen tripod with velcro. It also stores nicely in a Pelican 1600 case with the mount.

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