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Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

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EyeSage
super member


Reged: 06/08/12

Loc: Canukistan
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5329778 - 07/22/12 01:14 PM

There was a post way back where someone asked if anyone used astronomy gear for non-astronomy purposes. Anyone else ever use an ep as a magnifier? I've used them for, among other things, checking my computer screen for dead pixels (it was just a stubborn speck), inspecting electronics and reading extremely small print.

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slack
sage
*****

Reged: 05/02/12

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #5335789 - 07/25/12 11:33 PM

Quote:

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




Many things!

Because I own a lot of film/TV production gear, probably the most obvious thing for me to utilize is one of my tripods. In comparison, I've not been impressed by most (if not all) astro tripods. Though if I didn't already own the tripods, I'm not sure purchasing one just for this use would make sense.

This is an AT Voyager mounted on a German made Sachtler heavy-duty 2-stage (3-section) carbon fiber tripod with mid-level spreader. The tripod weighs 8.8 lbs and supports 209 lbs, with a height range from 21.7" to 63.4". Dual SS spikes on each leg and removable feet/pads for surfaces that the spikes might damage. The Voyager head can be removed in seconds, attached with a tie-down knob.




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Scott in NCAdministrator
80mm Refractor Fanatic
*****

Reged: 03/05/05

Loc: NC
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: slack]
      #5335808 - 07/25/12 11:43 PM

Nice tripod!

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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5335930 - 07/26/12 02:17 AM

I used the large 24" dia(?) lid from a water softener salt tank as a tough, flexible equipment tray for JMI scope dolley. Has 2.5" high lip to keep cords, power supply, etc. where they belong. Drilled 3 holes for bolts and washers to go in pre-existing holes in dolley. (Sorry no pix.)
Also, my school gives away the nice padded cases that come with LCD projectors that get permanently mounted to the ceiling. They make very good EP cases when foam is added.


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Greyhaven
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5343703 - 07/30/12 03:57 PM Attachment (181 downloads)

I know that versions of this type of vest are regularly used by us. This one was found in a discount/off price store as a gardening apron for $5.99. Some of the pockets a large enough to carry my Hyperions , any of my Possels including my 32mm 2" and T adapters. The material is dark and heavy enough to use as a light block hood also. I try to save where I can.
Be Well
Grey


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Greyhaven
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5343713 - 07/30/12 04:01 PM Attachment (182 downloads)

2 back

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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #5343722 - 07/30/12 04:04 PM

Quote:

2 back




And that shell on the door is for when someone asks him if his dob is a cannon....


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Greyhaven
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5343790 - 07/30/12 04:43 PM

Let's put it this way I wouldn't be surprised if Homeland Security would check it out if the 12" dob and that were set up on the deck.
Be Well
Grey
They'll have to pry the 79mm shell from my cold, dead hand.


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Chris H.
newbie


Reged: 08/07/12

Loc: Manitoba, Canada
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5357514 - 08/08/12 02:57 AM

Quote:

I found an "Ironing Board Chair" while searching for books at a thrift shop. It works very well as an observing chair, and only cost £3 pounds British, or about $4.50 cents in US funds.
Never seen one in the States, but they are common here in the UK. This one was made in Italy, is height adjustable and very sturdy.




Now THAT is a really great idea. Looks like it'd be pretty comfortable to sit on, too.

Sadly I don't have anything cool to contribute. The extent of my homebrewing, so far, is using a Stanley FatMax tool box with a slide-out bottom drawer to put my EPs and Telrad, and the top "chest" part for things such as flashlight, iPad, books, etc.

The more things I can carry in one case means less trips in and out of the house.

Just want to say that this is a great thread, read all 21 pages in one sitting and will probably do so again because there are so many great ideas in here.


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Chris H.]
      #5357644 - 08/08/12 08:21 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I found an "Ironing Board Chair" while searching for books at a thrift shop. It works very well as an observing chair, and only cost £3 pounds British, or about $4.50 cents in US funds.
Never seen one in the States, but they are common here in the UK. This one was made in Italy, is height adjustable and very sturdy.




Now THAT is a really great idea. Looks like it'd be pretty comfortable to sit on, too.




Its comfortable enough. A nice feature is that it folds flat for transport; its lightweight also.


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rlkstars
newbie


Reged: 07/04/06

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: yowser]
      #5365532 - 08/12/12 10:09 PM

The red caps from Coke two liter bottles fit right over mini-maglights very snug.

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StarStuff1
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5390151 - 08/27/12 05:36 PM Attachment (140 downloads)

Recently I scored a very nice old binocular, a Bushnell Custom 10x50. Very nice optically and mechanically. But there were no eyecups. I checked around and rubber eyecups to fit these rather large eyepieces were priced too high IMHO. What could I use to make some with?

After scrounging around in my basement shop I found a box of rubber band type thingies. These were placed on the hinges of new doors to protect them during shipment. When we built the house 9 years ago the workmen merely tossed these in the trash pile. Of course I saved them. You never know, right?

They were just the right size, neither too tight or too loose. A quick snip of the scissors and a cleaning and voila! Rubber eyecups for free.


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kfiscus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5398323 - 09/01/12 03:33 PM Attachment (149 downloads)

Here's an unusual item. It started out as a setting machine for my high school's volleyball team. They wore out the ball mechanism and the custodians thought of me and my predilection for astrotinkering when told to dispose of it. I removed the 152 pounds of steel plate counterweight and added 2x10 planking and half-bungees to hold down the GEM's tripod. An old snow shovel handle steers it like a dream.

Edited by kfiscus (09/02/12 09:25 PM)


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ssandusky
member
***

Reged: 07/20/12

Loc: Halls Lake
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: kfiscus]
      #5399667 - 09/02/12 01:49 PM

I don't know if this still holds true, but the large round containers that Baskin & Robbins use are the perfect size and fit for using them as robust dew shields on C-8 and Meade 8" Schmidt -Cassegrains. You can even get them in unused condition so you don't have to eat all of the ice cream before using them. :-)

Sarah


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ssandusky
member
***

Reged: 07/20/12

Loc: Halls Lake
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: ssandusky]
      #5399681 - 09/02/12 01:56 PM

There are music sheet holders one can buy that are designed to attach to a wide variety of tripod legs and are designed to hold books open and sheets of music in place. I have found they are also great for holding and displaying large star charts on my telescope tripod while I observe. The one I have is adjustable can handle material of varying thickness and could easily handle a tablet computer too.

These music holders can be found online cheap or in most music stores.

Sarah


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mmclure
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 12/30/10

Loc: Sacramento, CA USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5410397 - 09/08/12 04:47 PM

Wal-Mart sells some camping mats under the "Ozark Trails" brand for under $8. They make great foam for custom eyepiece cases. There is almost no smell, so outgassing should be kept to a minimum, the foam is nice and firm for good support, and several layers are easily glued together with hot glue.

Here's a grab and go eyepiece case I just completed. The case is a MTM Case-Gard pistol case I bought for under $10. The bottom eggcrate was replaced with four layers of foam cut from one of the WM camping pads. The top three layers were glued together with a bead of hot glue along the edge and a bead down the center. The openings were cut with an X-Acto knife. It takes some effort to close the case, so the top eggcrate is in compression and should hold the eyepieces tightly in place.



In case anyone is interested, these are the eyepieces I use with my Astroscan. Top row from left to right: 25mm Orion Sirius Plossl, 28mm Edmund RKE, 20mm Astro-Tech Value Line Plossl, 6mm Agen EWA (Expanse clone). Bottom row from left to right: 15mm Astro-Tech Value Line Plossl, 10mm Orion Sirius Plossl.


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Matthew Ota
Hmmm


Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Los Angeles, California
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5420603 - 09/14/12 09:12 AM

We used an extra large shower cap on the 24 inch at MWO.

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Eclipse
member


Reged: 03/24/09

Loc: Solada EspaƱa
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #5421707 - 09/14/12 10:45 PM

I do not observe in winter without the wife“s hairdryer, on a longish extension cable. Waft a bit of warm air over a dewed up objective and it clears as if by magic. Similarly it keeps the business end of my laser pointer warm and functioning. And I use it to warm my hands.

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James Cunningham
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/07/10

Loc: Maryland
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Eclipse]
      #5421926 - 09/15/12 06:28 AM

good idea.

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ed_turco
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/29/09

Loc: Lincoln, RI
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5471422 - 10/15/12 12:13 PM Attachment (78 downloads)

Crutches make dandy tripod legs

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