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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
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

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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zjc26138
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 (786 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 (650 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 (664 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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Darenwh
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/11/06

Loc: Covington, GA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: yowser]
      #3569306 - 01/18/10 08:48 PM

From a cereal box when the latest Star Trek film was released I got myself a great little red flashlight in the shape of a Klingon insignia. Works great, cost nothing extra, and I would have bought the cereal anyways.

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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Scott2526]
      #3569449 - 01/18/10 10:04 PM

Quote:

I just love my 'Tinker Toy' micro focuser.


Never would have guessed those were still being made

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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3569462 - 01/18/10 10:11 PM

I wanted a red light flashlight, checked the prices and almost passed out. A couple of weeks ago I went to target and they had maglights on sale for $5.66. I purchased 1 (should have gotten 2) and got some red light tape from the automotive light. I could have paid $20 for a red light flashlight or $7.65 for a maglight and red tape, the maglight is better and cheaper. BTW I still have ALOT of red light tape.

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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #3570002 - 01/19/10 08:47 AM

Music stand to hold atlases, star charts etc. It's height adjustable and the head rotates from horizontal to vertical. Very handy, got the idea here.

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caheaton
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/26/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: mich_al]
      #3570341 - 01/19/10 12:17 PM

I've found that the world is full of stuff that can be diverted to astronomical use. Some that I've used so far:

A red light wand (meant for trick or treaters use) with neck lanyard. Makes a handy flashlight and (now that I've received a red/white/green laser combo for Christmas) a handy marker for hanging from the scope to keep it getting bumped in to.

A children's sleeping bag as a scope case and extra padding for the scope now that I have the Orion case (also from Christmas ). I also will spread this on the ground to protect the scope while setting up and tearing down. Works great as long as you don't mind characters from Disney's "Cars" smiling at you! (My other bag option was Barbie...)

A genric fanny pack, coupled with foam that is meant for sealing a window air conditioner makes a handy ep and filter case when at the scope.

A pair of harbor freight tool boxes (nearly identical to Orion's accessory cases) and some foam from Hobby Lobby make for fine EP & accesory cases. I've also used a Plano real case (it came with foam) to hold my 2" EP's.

A pillow case serves as a dust cover for the ETX-80. A carry on luggage back pack serves as the ETX's travel case. (With beach towels used to provide extra padding...they also then do double duty for wiping off dew prior to transporting home).

A folding padded bar stool serves as a comfortable scope chair. A Black & Decker jump starter provides portable electrical power for powering the ETX (and soon a travel hair dryer).


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AlienFirstClass
Vendor


Reged: 02/13/09

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: caheaton]
      #3570546 - 01/19/10 02:02 PM

Thanks for starting this discussion...it should prove to be an interesting one.

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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: AlienFirstClass]
      #3570557 - 01/19/10 02:07 PM

Yes it is and I forgot one,a heating pad to keep EPs warm

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omahaastro
sage


Reged: 08/30/06

Loc: Omaha, NE
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3570594 - 01/19/10 02:27 PM

DC powered 'camping' hair dryer... I question how well these things work for drying hair, but they make short work of dew.

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

Reged: 05/20/09

Loc: Where Independence Was Won
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: omahaastro]
      #3570767 - 01/19/10 03:41 PM

I nominate this thread for a sticky11

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Rob E]
      #3570792 - 01/19/10 03:55 PM

We try to keep the "Sticky" threads to a minimum; so they don't push the actual threads down on the page in the forums.

It may, at a later time; be posted under "Carol's Picks".


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

Reged: 05/20/09

Loc: Where Independence Was Won
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3570805 - 01/19/10 04:01 PM



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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3570816 - 01/19/10 04:06 PM

You go girl

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Jack Tripper
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/10/09

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3570903 - 01/19/10 04:57 PM

Rubbermade type containers as telescope cases.

The JMI hard cases are amazingly beautiful, but expensive. The Rubbermades have proven themselves to be a practical and economical alternative.

I had no idea this thread would be so popular. But it seems that I'm not the only one looking to go the less expensive route!


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3570910 - 01/19/10 05:03 PM

Let's see:

- Lowe's aluminum case (mentioned earlier)
- Once made an SCT counterweight assembly from crochet hoop rings
- PVC pipe; at least three scopes now
- PVC pipe as finderscope rings
- PVC pipe fittings as altitude bearings on at least two scopes
- Lazy Susan bearing: Azimuth bearing for two different scopes (the 12" ones work best)
- Counter-top laminate for Dob bearing surface (wasn't Ebony Star)
- UHMW tape die cuts I got at work (these have come in handy for a variety of things)
- PTFE tape from work (handy for focusers, other sliding parts on scopes)
- LED bulbs from Radio shack that, when placed in a short length of PVC pipe and a battery pack and a few switches, works well as a multi-purpose light (white, bright red, dim red)
- NiMh battery packs from radio-control airplane hobby work well as counterweights / Dob fan power source
- Found some felt-like paper at Hobby Lobby that worked wonders as a flocking paper for several scopes
- Used carpet tape to adhere the above-mentioned paper

That's about all I can think of off the top of my head at the moment. I might be able to come up with more.


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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: magic612]
      #3571122 - 01/19/10 06:52 PM

Definitely a construction worker,my guess a plumber with all the PVC No, I,m a carpenter

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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3571686 - 01/19/10 11:27 PM

Actually I'm in sales and do CAD design as part of my job too.

But I have fixed a lot of plumbing in my house. Does that count?


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Radiostar
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/16/08

Loc: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: magic612]
      #3571920 - 01/20/10 03:43 AM

I use a Plano case for eyepieces and odds and ends, a foam mat for a dew shield, a computer power supply to run my mount, plastic buckets that cat litter comes in to store and carry power cables and stuff, and a red LED truck marker light mounted on the end of a old clip on lamp. I love to "recycle".

Eddy B


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Arbacia
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/18/07

Loc: Madrid, Spain
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Radiostar]
      #3571943 - 01/20/10 04:04 AM

Plastic tarps to place the telescopes in field

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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: magic612]
      #3571975 - 01/20/10 04:54 AM

Quote:

Actually I'm in sales and do CAD design as part of my job too.

But I have fixed a lot of plumbing in my house. Does that count?


Honorary,you do have versatility though

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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3572193 - 01/20/10 09:19 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Actually I'm in sales and do CAD design as part of my job too.

But I have fixed a lot of plumbing in my house. Does that count?


Honorary,you do have versatility though




Credit goes to my dad - he taught me how to both build and fix a lot of different things when I was a kid. That knowledge and creativity carries forward.


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: magic612]
      #3572258 - 01/20/10 09:54 AM

Quote:

[Credit goes to my dad - he taught me how to both build and fix a lot of different things when I was a kid. That knowledge and creativity carries forward.




Yea, mine too, probably the most valuable skill I have, and that includes college degrees.


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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: magic612]
      #3572498 - 01/20/10 11:46 AM

Good deal

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Darren Drake
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/09/02

Loc: Chicagoland
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3572518 - 01/20/10 11:52 AM

I recently was given a 12V heated car seat and it occured to me that maybe this could be used to somehow rap around eyepieces not in use and keep them from dewing up. Or maybe just put it out flat on a table and the heat alone should keep the eyepieces warm. Hmmm what do ya think??

Edited by Darren Drake (01/20/10 11:54 AM)


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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Darren Drake]
      #3572551 - 01/20/10 12:05 PM

I use a heating pad in a case for my EPs so you'll be just fine

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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3577096 - 01/22/10 02:15 PM

Keeping it alive

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dandabson
super member


Reged: 10/15/08

Loc: Dover, DE
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3577402 - 01/22/10 05:01 PM

One word "VELCRO"

I use it to secure hand controlers, dew buster cables, etc.


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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: dandabson]
      #3577932 - 01/22/10 10:24 PM

Quote:

One word "VELCRO"

I use it to secure hand controlers, dew buster cables, etc.


Yea and works good for controlling the youngins too

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magic612
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3577944 - 01/22/10 10:32 PM

Oh, almost forgot - I used a drum stool for the longest time as my adjustable-height observing chair, before I built myself a new one out of wood that has a more comfortable seat and allows me to lean back (helpful for binocular observing).

And milk crates make great 'tripods' for smaller-sized Dobs - place the scope on the milk crate, and the eyepiece is at a much more comfortable level for those smaller 4.5" and 5" scopes.


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Jack Tripper
scholastic sledgehammer


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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: magic612]
      #3577981 - 01/22/10 10:57 PM

Quote:

And milk crates make great 'tripods' for smaller-sized Dobs - place the scope on the milk crate, and the eyepiece is at a much more comfortable level for those smaller 4.5" and 5" scopes.




Speaking of milk-crates. I personally use somthing similar to carry little things (power cord, polarizer, etc...), and then, when I feel like it, I flip it side-ways and use it as an observing chair! Not exactly top of the line, but it's functional, light, and cheap!


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Hegerberg
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3579113 - 01/23/10 03:32 PM

Flower pot.

Bruce

sun gun


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reddog15
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Hegerberg]
      #3579142 - 01/23/10 03:48 PM

Quote:

Flower pot.

Bruce

sun gun


I think I saw here on DIY that someone made a pier out of a flower pot

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izar187
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/02/06

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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3579780 - 01/23/10 09:22 PM

Prescription bottles for 1.25" ep's. Free for the asking at local drug stores.
Galvanized pipe and elbows for tripods and mounts. Nothing new there.
Old baseball or knit hats for Telrads.
Another vote for thrift/second hand stores have really inexpensive ep, gear and atlas cases.


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Ragaisis
sage
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Hegerberg]
      #3580527 - 01/24/10 09:19 AM

Now that is just TOO cool.

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Jim Curry
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Darren Drake]
      #3581575 - 01/24/10 05:49 PM

Darren said:I recently was given a 12V heated car seat

Forget the ep's, how about sitting on it?! :>)

Jim


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MrKrink
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #3582696 - 01/25/10 10:09 AM

1. Rubbermaid box for incidentals, i.e. power cord, books, vib pads.

2. 8"x 3/4" bolts and flat steel for weight carrier.

3. Double pistol case for eyepieces.


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MrKrink
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Luigi]
      #3583166 - 01/25/10 02:39 PM

Quote:

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).




Where did you get these bags??


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magic612
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: MrKrink]
      #3587388 - 01/27/10 02:57 PM

One more I remembered: Piano felt.

The stuff can be had in various thicknesses and densities, and many of them are sold in nice long rolls of the stuff. Makes great tube ring liners. The difficulty is finding a place that will sell it to you - since I happen to do some piano repair work (and tuning), I know of a couple places that will sell it to me.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: magic612]
      #3589556 - 01/28/10 02:16 PM

Just bumping this, before it's made a sticky under "Links of Value".

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Jack Tripper
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/10/09

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3589664 - 01/28/10 03:08 PM

I'm honoured Carol! So happy to be a small part of that.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3589706 - 01/28/10 03:27 PM

Quote:

I'm honoured Carol! So happy to be a small part of that.




Thank you! You've given us a thread with many great tips!


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reddog15
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3590173 - 01/28/10 07:42 PM

Dont know if this has happened to anyone But I have had my visual back "Stuck" where I could not get it off the back of the scope or out of the crayford focuser I had to go and buy Rubber wrenchs to get them loose and even that took some yanking,well if this has happened I have the cure PVC tape on the threads since I put that on I have never had that nightmare again

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Booji
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3590231 - 01/28/10 08:15 PM

Don't know if it has already been mentioned, but I use Tyvek house wrap as a scope cover.

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reddog15
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Booji]
      #3590239 - 01/28/10 08:20 PM

Nice this has been a good thread

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DaemonGPF
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3590242 - 01/28/10 08:22 PM

Out of necessity to be able to travel to distant locations for remote star parties I had to improvise some important items:

1) Power supply to handle 2 CCDs, 1 mount, 1 laptop, 1 powered USB hub for several nights in a row without recharge. Those "Power Tanks" don't provide enough juice to run my rig for maybe 2 hours stable. So I got a 125AH deep cycle marine battery from Walmart, some terminal rings, an inline fuse holder, a float charger, some fuses, and a cigarette lighter DC plug adapter, all for under $70 new, and assembled a power supply that would hold stable for 3 nights easily.



2) A transport box that allowed me to move a coupled pair of imaging newtonians without having to break down the whole setup. Ended up using some leftover MDF from one of the Arcades I built, bought a few bucks of hinges and metal brackets and built a shaped trunk to hold everything in it, mount included.





3) I wanted a way to pilot my mount in a more simplistic and precise fashion while talking to both children and adult viewers rather than standing within 2ft of my mount hunched over at the controller at all times. So I wrote a new .ini file in NexRemote, hooked up my spare Sidewinder joystick that was collecting dust in the closet, and set up slew speed, menu actions, axis control, and every function possible form the hand controller could be manipulated through the Sidewinder.





4) Not really formulated from the same needs as above, but my LPI is the only planetary cam I have right now. I could never get good contrast on solar or lunar imaging. Then I discovered by accident one morning that the casing is translucent as the contrast on the live view changed as I stood over and shadowed the LPI. So I covered it and concluded that was the problem through a little trial and error. Solution: Black electrical tape. Wrap the casing. Problem solved. Sorry I don't have a pic of it right now.


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TONGKW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/16/07

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3590247 - 01/28/10 08:24 PM Attachment (350 downloads)

I have installed a simple "push-to" system to my C6 on a home made AltAz mount. A digital level (use by builders, the one shown is from Smartool)is used to indicate the altitude angle and a protractor (plastic, use by school children) for the horizontal angle. In use, the angles (both altitude and horizontal) of the sky object are obtained from a software stored in a laptop or Palm. The OTA is then hand pushed to the required coordinates.

K W TONG
C8+CG5 GT, TSA102+HEQ5 PRO, MK67+Voyager, NexStar 6SE, C5+Mizar K, WO ZS80FD+Kenko NES, Megrez 72FD+Kenko KDS, Mini Borg 50, PST


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reddog15
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: DaemonGPF]
      #3590249 - 01/28/10 08:25 PM

Wow way to go Dude you have a nice set up there and I totally like the joy stick How does that work for you?

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Jack Tripper
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/10/09

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: TONGKW]
      #3590821 - 01/29/10 04:51 AM

Quote:

I have installed a simple "push-to" system to my C6 on a home made AltAz mount. A digital level (use by builders, the one shown is from Smartool)is used to indicate the altitude angle and a protractor (plastic, use by school children) for the horizontal angle. In use, the angles (both altitude and horizontal) of the sky object are obtained from a software stored in a laptop or Palm. The OTA is then hand pushed to the required coordinates.

K W TONG
C8+CG5 GT, TSA102+HEQ5 PRO, MK67+Voyager, NexStar 6SE, C5+Mizar K, WO ZS80FD+Kenko NES, Megrez 72FD+Kenko KDS, Mini Borg 50, PST



WOW! Now I've seen it all. A home-made Push-To would never have occurred to me in a million years. And it's so amazingly simple. But then again, the best ideas are often the simplest. I could have used that idea a long time ago, when I couldn't find M31 because I couldn't afford Push-To. (Back then it was called Digital Setting Circles - and they cost a fortune!)


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RogerRZ
Whatta you lookin' at?
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Reged: 01/09/06

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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3590840 - 01/29/10 05:19 AM

I used a fiberglass water treatment plant tank for the dome on my observatory.

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rinalmj
sage
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Reged: 11/23/09

Loc: Saxonburg, PA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: RogerRZ]
      #3591224 - 01/29/10 11:02 AM

Quote:

I used a fiberglass water treatment plant tank for the dome on my observatory.




Nice!


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DaemonGPF
Redonkulous
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3591704 - 01/29/10 02:34 PM

Quote:

Wow way to go Dude you have a nice set up there and I totally like the joy stick How does that work for you?




Thanks. I've since sold all of the scope/mount gear shown above to make room for a new rig. But I still use my sidewinder with Nexstar 4SE I have. It will again be used with my new setup once purchased. It's not much benefit when sitting there imaging, but it's very slick when talking to groups and doing visual work due to the simplicity and extended reach.


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DaemonGPF
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: TONGKW]
      #3591707 - 01/29/10 02:36 PM

Quote:

I have installed a simple "push-to" system to my C6 on a home made AltAz mount. A digital level (use by builders, the one shown is from Smartool)is used to indicate the altitude angle and a protractor (plastic, use by school children) for the horizontal angle. In use, the angles (both altitude and horizontal) of the sky object are obtained from a software stored in a laptop or Palm. The OTA is then hand pushed to the required coordinates.

K W TONG
C8+CG5 GT, TSA102+HEQ5 PRO, MK67+Voyager, NexStar 6SE, C5+Mizar K, WO ZS80FD+Kenko NES, Megrez 72FD+Kenko KDS, Mini Borg 50, PST




This is brilliant! It's so straight forward and effective. Great example of improv. Well done!


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reddog15
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: DaemonGPF]
      #3591717 - 01/29/10 02:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Wow way to go Dude you have a nice set up there and I totally like the joy stick How does that work for you?




Thanks. I've since sold all of the scope/mount gear shown above to make room for a new rig. But I still use my sidewinder with Nexstar 4SE I have. It will again be used with my new setup once purchased. It's not much benefit when sitting there imaging, but it's very slick when talking to groups and doing visual work due to the simplicity and extended reach.


So dont keep us in suspense What is this "Big Rig"

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Doug Culbertson
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Reged: 01/06/05

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3591745 - 01/29/10 02:51 PM

I made a Telrad dew shield out of a Pringle's can and some duct tape. Used ankle weights to counterbalance a truss dob, in addition to the aforementioned Lowe's aluminum tool cases for accessories.

I'm kind of surprised that nobody has mentioned ladders at all. Most big dob guys use them, and I doubt that any of them were actually manufactured with astronomy in mind. Tom Clark's giant ladder excepted, of course.


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DaemonGPF
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3591766 - 01/29/10 02:58 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Wow way to go Dude you have a nice set up there and I totally like the joy stick How does that work for you?




Thanks. I've since sold all of the scope/mount gear shown above to make room for a new rig. But I still use my sidewinder with Nexstar 4SE I have. It will again be used with my new setup once purchased. It's not much benefit when sitting there imaging, but it's very slick when talking to groups and doing visual work due to the simplicity and extended reach.


So dont keep us in suspense What is this "Big Rig"




Not telling until first light. Sometime in June, I just had my shoulder reconstructed so I can't do much anyway until then. But, rest assured, I'll find something to customize/fabricate for it to add to this thread LOL.


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reddog15
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: DaemonGPF]
      #3591828 - 01/29/10 03:28 PM

Dang Josh I could be dead by then Oh well just have to wait

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Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/14/09

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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3592404 - 01/29/10 09:10 PM

I have used surplus synchonous motors and strips of ABS pipe with a theaded rod as a telescope drive. I heated to rod on the stove until it was very hot and then pressed it into a strip of ABS pipe that I had softened in hot water so I could apply it to prebuilt wooden sector. The hot rod melted in a perfect set of teeth in the ABS wheel sector and I was able to use the rod as the worm. I simply attached
the sychronous motor to the end of the rod using a shampoo bottle top as an adapter and had a tracking drive with 75 minutes duration.I used this method to build a cheap Poncet mounting. Another cheap item is nichrome wire from an old toaster or hair dryer, a dimmer switch, and sew the wire between two layers of material and presto - a poor mans dew remover or eyepiece warmer. Just remember to use 12 volts as the power supply and trim down the output with the dimmer switch.


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starsoup
sage


Reged: 06/21/08

Loc: AR
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: yowser]
      #3592966 - 01/30/10 09:24 AM

I once used drumheads that are on acoustic drums as dust covers for reflectors. They come in many different sizes and colors.....Oh and they rock to!

Edited by starsoup (01/30/10 09:31 AM)


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Dwight J]
      #3593409 - 01/30/10 01:02 PM

I use the Huggies wet wipe containers for filters, misc. adapters, etc. They come in all colors to please you! I have several in my observatory. I mark the front or top with a felt tip pen as to what the contents are. They can be stacked, also.

Very, very handy for in the field, also!


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AlienFirstClass
Vendor


Reged: 02/13/09

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: RogerRZ]
      #3593981 - 01/30/10 05:37 PM

Quote:

I used a fiberglass water treatment plant tank for the dome on my observatory.




Do you have any pictures of it?

Thanks


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3594895 - 01/31/10 04:00 AM

I also use a hunter's vest while observing. They are very handy to put red lights, filters, even eyepieces in. They now have them in mesh, so they wouldn't be too warm in the Summer.
This is like the one I have.

Vest


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John Fitzgerald
In Focus
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3595235 - 01/31/10 10:43 AM

Anyone mentioned hook and loop tape (velcro), sticky back or otherwise?

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Hegerberg
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Reged: 10/24/08

Loc: Atlanta Ga
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: John Fitzgerald]
      #3595296 - 01/31/10 11:25 AM

Calipers.

Regards

Bruce

Indicator


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reddog15
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: John Fitzgerald]
      #3595324 - 01/31/10 11:40 AM

Oh yes we use that for a lot

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magic612
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3595405 - 01/31/10 12:21 PM

Want a super-lightweight dew shield/light block extension for your scope?

Take a sheet (or two, depending on aperture) of the blue (or pink) fan fold foam that can be bought at any home improvement store, and carefully roll it into a tube that's just slightly larger than the end of your scope. Hot glue or epoxy the seam or overlap. Flock the inside with flocking paper, and "Voila!" - a light shield extension that cause minimal balancing issues.

Go slowly while bending it into a tube - it can crack if you go too fast. But I've rolled this stuff into tube as tight as a 3" diameter, so it will work for most scopes out there if you take your time. Plus, it comes in bundles of 24, so you'll have plenty of extra even if you break a few learning how. The upside is you can make one for every scope you own for not a lot of $$ - the bundles run about $30. Or split the cost with some other astronomers in a club.


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DaemonGPF
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: magic612]
      #3595515 - 01/31/10 01:29 PM

Quote:

Want a super-lightweight dew shield/light block extension for your scope?

Take a sheet (or two, depending on aperture) of the blue (or pink) fan fold foam that can be bought at any home improvement store, and carefully roll it into a tube that's just slightly larger than the end of your scope. Hot glue or epoxy the seam or overlap. Flock the inside with flocking paper, and "Voila!" - a light shield extension that cause minimal balancing issues.

Go slowly while bending it into a tube - it can crack if you go too fast. But I've rolled this stuff into tube as tight as a 3" diameter, so it will work for most scopes out there if you take your time. Plus, it comes in bundles of 24, so you'll have plenty of extra even if you break a few learning how. The upside is you can make one for every scope you own for not a lot of $$ - the bundles run about $30. Or split the cost with some other astronomers in a club.




Or you could take the surplus to a star party and give a hands-on DIY workshop on making lightweight dew shields.


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DaemonGPF
Redonkulous
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: DaemonGPF]
      #3595524 - 01/31/10 01:35 PM

Ok I have another one...

Snuggies. Enough said. No laughing either, it's effective.

https://www.getsnuggie.com/flare/next?tag=os|sm|go|tm

Great thing about this is that you can slide a space heater under your observation chair, and the heat rises and builds inside. Great if you don't have an Obs with a "warm room" or remote piloting from in your house.


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magic612
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: DaemonGPF]
      #3595894 - 01/31/10 04:23 PM

Quote:

Or you could take the surplus to a star party and give a hands-on DIY workshop on making lightweight dew shields.




That'd work too!


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Hegerberg
super member
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Reged: 10/24/08

Loc: Atlanta Ga
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3597129 - 02/01/10 08:20 AM

Out-house hunting blind.

Blind

Regards

Bruce


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reddog15
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Hegerberg]
      #3597298 - 02/01/10 10:10 AM

Thats pretty cool there Bruce

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DaemonGPF
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3597493 - 02/01/10 11:38 AM

That is very slick Bruce. I have such a hard time under a blanket trying to do solar observation. I'm gonna have to look into one of those.

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Bob Myler
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: St Louis, MO
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: DaemonGPF]
      #3598776 - 02/01/10 08:43 PM

Bruce, you have really found something here. These style of ground blinds are inexpensive (often on sale for less than 40 bucks), are tall enough to stand in, and have interiors lined in BLACK to help hide a hunter's profile. With large shooting ports on all four sides, any GEM mount can likely remain fixed thruout the day. They're also very durable. I've had the exact same model standing continuously in our woods for four years now! While it has faded a bit, when the zippers fully wear out, I'll replace it with another. A clever adaptation for solar astronomy. I think you have come up with the best idea so far.

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reddog15
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Bob Myler]
      #3599626 - 02/02/10 10:10 AM

All the ideas here are great,each one covers a different aspect of our hobby

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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3599984 - 02/02/10 01:05 PM

Cool beans this has become a sticky

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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: reddog15]
      #3600051 - 02/02/10 01:37 PM

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php/Number/3589556/

Decided it would get more exposure as a stand alone sticky, rather than under one of the other "links of value" stickys.


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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3600146 - 02/02/10 02:12 PM

Sweet, good call

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Aaron Turner
sage


Reged: 03/18/08

Loc: Southbury, CT
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: reddog15]
      #3601102 - 02/02/10 09:35 PM

Pool ladder from one of many inflatable pools we've owned. The 10" Newtonian, used for an outreach course for kids as young as 7, makes this an ideal solution to seeing targets near zenith. And to think I used to lift those kids before I remembered we had an extra pool ladder!

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mathteacher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/13/07

Loc: Oakland, CA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Aaron Turner]
      #3601179 - 02/02/10 10:19 PM



Tennis ball VSPs
Pie Tin accessory tray
Extra Fancy construction paper sliding dew shield.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: mathteacher]
      #3606280 - 02/05/10 10:12 AM

I bought one of those fold-up camp chairs. I use it in the observatory. It takes up little room when folded up; and it's so comfortable to just take a break & sit & gaze at the night sky. The cover from the chair is very well built; so I slit the bottom of it, & it fits over my Vixen 80mm perfectly, while on the tripod!

Two for one deal; for a total of $5.99


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GizmoDave
sage


Reged: 12/06/09

Loc: California USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3607648 - 02/05/10 10:44 PM

1/8th thick transparent red polycarbonate material from TAP plastics to cover laptop computer monitor.
It works much better than the night vision themes offered in some astronomy/AP programs


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: GizmoDave]
      #3608254 - 02/06/10 10:35 AM

The foam "knee pad" things you can pick up at gardening places or home improvement stores. They're usually about 16-18" long and about 8-10" wide, with a handle cut-out. They're great for quickly placing on the ground to save your knees while looking through the finderscope - and also so it doesn't get wet when the ground is soaked (spring is on the way, in the Northern Hemisphere anyway).

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ebusinesstutor
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Nanaimo, BC, Canada
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: magic612]
      #3608725 - 02/06/10 02:34 PM

Quote:

The foam "knee pad" things you can pick up at gardening places or home improvement stores. They're usually about 16-18" long and about 8-10" wide, with a handle cut-out. They're great for quickly placing on the ground to save your knees while looking through the finderscope - and also so it doesn't get wet when the ground is soaked (spring is on the way, in the Northern Hemisphere anyway).




Yes, I use mine for the same thing! Great minds think alike.


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charles genovese
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 02/04/06

Loc: Madisonville Louisiana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: ebusinesstutor]
      #3609386 - 02/06/10 08:39 PM

Thermocare heat packs from the pharmacy. Put one under your shirt and stay warm reguardless of how cold it is and it lasts 8 hrs! (Even in Louisiana it gets cold occosionally)

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faltered
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/01/05

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: charles genovese]
      #3620897 - 02/12/10 02:10 PM

I have used a riflescope red-dot sight as a finderscope -

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m. allan noah
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/14/09

Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: faltered]
      #3621695 - 02/12/10 09:10 PM

The colored rubber 'ring' around the neck of medicine bottles from Target Pharmacy is perfect for parfocalizing 1.25 inch EPs. Also helps with identification!

allan


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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: m. allan noah]
      #3621721 - 02/12/10 09:28 PM

Not sure if this has been mentioned before, but I just found a "Four Pistol/Accessory Case by Plano Outdoor Equipment" that is the perfect size for either storing/carrying two binoculars (what I'm using it for), or would make a great eyepiece case. I found it at Farm and Fleet for $11.57 on sale, but it's regularly priced at $15 (as seen here.)

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Darenwh
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/11/06

Loc: Covington, GA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: magic612]
      #3625942 - 02/15/10 11:19 AM

If you go on Woot.com today (2/15) they have a headband flashlight that has a red mode for cheap. Don't forget to watch the video about how durable it is. It's a good video. I think you will find it mildly entertaining.

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biggles
sage


Reged: 10/12/06

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: magic612]
      #3625947 - 02/15/10 11:21 AM Attachment (211 downloads)

Hello, I managed to save this old bathroom cabinare from the dump. I gave it a good clean, removed the wheels and hay presto! it holds observing bits and bobs!

clear skies!

Edited by biggles (02/15/10 04:27 PM)


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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Darenwh]
      #3625998 - 02/15/10 11:44 AM

Quote:

If you go on Woot.com today (2/15) they have a headband flashlight that has a red mode for cheap. Don't forget to watch the video about how durable it is. It's a good video. I think you will find it mildly entertaining.


Now thats a beauty

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Dennis
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/30/03

Loc: Westford, Mass
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3626802 - 02/15/10 05:55 PM Attachment (189 downloads)

I pushed a spare tire, from my radio controlled airplane, over my focus knob to make it a micro-focuser.

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AlienFirstClass
Vendor


Reged: 02/13/09

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Dennis]
      #3629535 - 02/17/10 02:28 AM

Off the top of my head...more when I get some time.

Long narrow boxes and plastic bags from exercise equipment/ski stores...perfect for storing scopes and tripods.

Shipping cardboard tubes..many uses..I find them from 1/4" to over 8" in diameter.

Rubber corks for tripod feet.

Various plastic lids from grocery products for lens caps.

Glow in the dark frisbees for glow in the dark eyepiece trays for tripods.

Glow in the dark cones/jump ropes for tripods.

Glow in the dark pens.

Sheets of glow in the dark material..one can lay anything on the sheet and see its outline in the dark.

Rifle/shotgun red dot finders.

Lighted pens that allow you to write in the dark.

Suitcases, footlockers, toolboxes, backpacks for cheap cases for scopes, binoculars, tripods and mounts.

Prescription bottles for eyepiece containers.

A spiral dog chain anchor to tie a tripod down firmly..less vibration.

Quilts, blankets, sleeping bags for padding for scopes.

Metal/tupperware containers for large filters.

Ice coolers for holding equipment, making homemade battery boxes, seating, keeping equipment warm with a hand warmer in cold weather.

Clear plastic flexible blanket containers that work great as laptop containers in dewy/cold weather.

Remote control toys for components (switches,motors,gears,cases) for remote focusers

Toasters have nichrome wire for do it yourself heating elements.

Telephone 4 conductor wire for wiring a scope.

Various lawn chairs or portable recliners that are perfect for binocular astronomy.

Lightweight picture frame/poster board that makes for a sun projection screen.

Windshield solar shields that can be used for insulation for solar scopes.

Knitting rings for homemade filters for scopes and finders.

Camera filters for eyepieces.

Camera lenses for wide field imaging.

Round pie pans for tube covers, eyepiece trays for tripods.

Snap apart round bake pans for rotating rings.

Golf bag shipping containers for scopes and tripods.

Tupperware for eyepieces, barlows, filters.

Christmas paper plastic storage containers for scopes and tripods.

Round plastic waste paper baskets for dew shields.

Yoga pads for dew shields and storage padding.

Golf bag hand carts to transport scopes (especially large Newts), tripods and equipment on site.

Angle exercise weights for balancing a scope.

Barbell weights for GEMs.

Belts to tie tripods legs together for transport.

Red LED clocks so you will know when it time to go home.

Clip boards with the storage space within them to keep notes and charts dew free.

Box fans to keep mosquitoes away.

Retactable key rings for flashlights.

Blinking LED tie tacks for tripod legs.

CD/cassette cases for filters.

Baby car seats for transporting SCTs.

Golf umbrellas that mount on solar scopes.

Velcro...the gifts of the gods.

Defective computer printers...lots of parts for ATM projects.

Large garbage cans...outside covers for SCTs and mounts.

Pet carriers..place a small/medium SCT in them and leave them outside for temperature equalization.

Heat lamp fitted with a 12v red bulb..a great spot light for large areas that protects your night sight.

Ziplock bags..many uses.

Very lightweight cotton hoodie...apply the mosquitoe repellent to the jacket instead of yourself.

Battery operated PIR sensor that turns on a LED light when you approach it...very convenient when loading/unloading equipment.

RF alarm transmitter and receiver...for when you are away from your equipment.

Briefcase fitted with a laptop and a transparent dew shield for LCD and flip up for the keyboard...when you need to transport it, you just shut the case and go.

Waterproof keyboards..keep the computer safe and dry.

Keyboards with embedded mouse pad...plug into the computer and use instead of the normal keyboard.

Hand warmers...to keep optics and electronics warm in cold weather.

Old socks...work great to protect eyepieces/barlows/finders from scratches

Lead weight tape used by golfers...make all your eyepieces weigh the same and balance your scope once.

Small/large magnets..many uses.

LCD projector...project a live video feed of the Moon/planets on a the side of a white building.

Popcorn...enjoy during the video feed. ;<)


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Bob Myler
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: St Louis, MO
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: AlienFirstClass]
      #3631516 - 02/17/10 10:47 PM

Well that just about ends it - 64 suggestions in a single post. Someone needs to alphabetize all this stuff!

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magic612
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: S. of Chicago's light dome
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Bob Myler]
      #3632065 - 02/18/10 09:05 AM

Given that you counted that there are 64 (I read through them and merely thought, "Wow, that's a lot"), I nominate you, Bob.

Do I hear any seconds?



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neo
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/12/08

Loc: Iasi, Romania
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: magic612]
      #3632376 - 02/18/10 11:51 AM

Well, I can't possibly compete with AlienFirstClass's list but here's mine

Toolbox for eyepieces and refractor,
PVC water pipe for OTA,
Stepper motors from printers for my EQ mount,
Radio control knobs used for focusers and different thumbscrews,
Plastic sheets from advertising signs used to build the square OTA of my Newt,
CD-Roms and other computer parts also for ATMing,
Metal discs from dumbbells as counterweights,
Aluminum table leg used to build a 50x7 finder,
Shafts with ballbearings used for circular saws or lathes, as axis in my home made mount...

and another few things I can't recall.


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Vondragonnoggin
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/21/10

Loc: Southern CA, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: neo]
      #3640072 - 02/22/10 09:12 AM

Waterproof soft lunchbox (with all the zippered extra storage places)used for dob tools like laser collimator, cheshire, allen wrenches, wrench, screwdriver. It holds my plossl's, filters, and grocery store bought black eyepatches which I use for relax viewed seeing, some cotton square and microfiber wipes, speaker for the skyscout.

Magic Sliders and blank cd's used on my dob bearing

Maglight with red lens and rubber roll guard/colored lens holder for my astro flashlight

Stick on 1 lb magnets with eyehooks from Ace hardware have a Time Warner Cable piece of coaxial threaded through the eyehooks in a loop secured by cable junction multi terminator for my counterweights. I can position the two magnets a little ways apart and the piece of coaxial going through the eyehooks can be used to hang the end caps to my dumbbells to add extra weight. I can add 1-4 extra steel endcaps (about 3/4 lb each) between my magnets hanging by threading the coaxial through the holes in the dumbbell endcaps. Adjustable, removable counterweights for cheap. Use a piece of t-shirt under the magnets so I don't ever scratch the OTA.

I'm sure I'll find other useful things the longer I stay with the hobby.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Vondragonnoggin]
      #3640170 - 02/22/10 10:13 AM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights! Glad you joined us on the forums!

Thanks for your great suggestions!


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Vondragonnoggin
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/21/10

Loc: Southern CA, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3641430 - 02/22/10 08:09 PM

Thanks for the welcome! This place has been a wealth of information. I have been reading for months already before making my purchases. One of the greatest forums on the net.

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Tom Andrews
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/25/07

Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: MrKrink]
      #3641709 - 02/22/10 10:35 PM Attachment (143 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

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).




Where did you get these bags??




Here's a link for the speaker stand bags which work so well for tripods: LINK

(By the way, there's a microphone storage bag on the same link page from above that might work really well for eyepieces/misc. equipment.)

I bought mine locally at a music store for the same $19.99. If you don't have one where you live, the above place is a good place to do business.

Here's a picture of my CG-5 mount in the bag:


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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Tom Andrews]
      #3642493 - 02/23/10 11:06 AM

No one mentioned using chemical hand warmers on the back of hand controllers to keep them functional in very cold weather.

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rnabholz
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/25/04

Loc: Iowa
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #3643051 - 02/23/10 03:08 PM

The Best Way to Keep Track of your Red Light while Observing

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rnabholz
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/25/04

Loc: Iowa
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: rnabholz]
      #3643066 - 02/23/10 03:12 PM

Great Eyepiece Shield for Your Coronado PST or Night Time Observing with Stray Light

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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: rnabholz]
      #3643271 - 02/23/10 04:36 PM

Cool deal Bro you got some neat things going on there

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DavyJones
member
*****

Reged: 02/12/10

Loc: Cleveland, OH
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: reddog15]
      #3647196 - 02/25/10 04:02 PM

Although not much of an alteration, I bought a cheap flashlight at a drug store, and some .79 cent red nail polish. Painted the lens with 3-4 coats of nail polish and wahlah! Red light flashlight. I'm also altering an old camcorder case with some pillow foam and a sleeping bag pad to make an EP case.

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highfnum
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/06/06

Loc: NE USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: DavyJones]
      #3647360 - 02/25/10 05:36 PM

I used video eyewear to observe with video camera
I did a review a while back
http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1716


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SanDiegoPaul
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/22/05

Loc: San Diego
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3650886 - 02/27/10 01:51 PM Attachment (272 downloads)

I have a standard, Home Depot garden box outside for my computer equipment. You will see a Network Cat5 cable and a power cable going to the house, on the right side of the box.

It is about 30" wide, 20" deep and probably 24" tall. The plastic owl on top keeps birds away, and I filled it with gravel to make it heavier. It keeps the lid down on stormy days like today since I have yet to put a hasp on the box to keep it shut.

Inside I have a desktop PC that I built to run my astro apps, a 19" flat panel monitor, a backlit red keyboard, and mouse. In addition all my cables are wrapped up and put into the box when I am done observing.

I notched the bottom side of the lid on each side for cables to exit, and screwed to the inside is a metal 7-outlet power strip.. I ran a network socket outside, right next to the power outlet out on the back patio. So when the computer is on, it's on my local LAN and I can operate the telescope by remote access if it's cold out.

Also, I can transfer my nightly images inside to this main computer, via the LAN without having to lug the other desktop inside and hook it up.

FWIW that computer outside is my last custom build for here in my office. I went with an Intel i7 920 processor and Windows7 here inside, and when I did that I moved the 'old' quad core unit to the garden box.

I love having a full computer out there, rather than my laptop. Costco sold me a folding 6' table that I set up in front of the garden box for the 19" monitor & keyboard. It is a great table for me to set up my cameras and/or eyepieces on.

When I go out to the desert with the club on New Moon weekends, all this stuff comes with me of course, except the garden box. I'm the only one out there using a full sized computer!


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Vondragonnoggin
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/21/10

Loc: Southern CA, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: SanDiegoPaul]
      #3651774 - 02/27/10 09:36 PM Attachment (258 downloads)

A pic of my magnet counterweights. Cheap setup and totally adjustable.

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harbinjer
sage


Reged: 12/17/08

Loc: Southeastern Minnesota
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: AlienFirstClass]
      #3660541 - 03/04/10 02:44 PM

Here is the list, categorized. If someone wants to add more to each, go for it.

Computer
Briefcase fitted with a laptop and a transparent dew shield for LCD and flip up for the keyboard...when you need to transport it, you just shut the case and go.
Waterproof keyboards..keep the computer safe and dry.
Keyboards with embedded mouse pad...plug into the computer and use instead of the normal keyboard.


Lighting
Battery operated PIR sensor that turns on a LED light when you approach it...very convenient when loading/unloading equipment.
Glow in the dark frisbees for glow in the dark eyepiece trays for tripods.
Glow in the dark cones/jump ropes for tripods.
Sheets of glow in the dark material..one can lay anything on the sheet and see its outline in the dark.
Retactable key rings for flashlights.
Blinking LED tie tacks for tripod legs.
Heat lamp fitted with a 12v red bulb..a great spot light for large areas that protects your night sight.

Paper, Journals, Charts
Glow in the dark pens.
Lighted pens that allow you to write in the dark.
Clip boards with the storage space within them to keep notes and charts dew free.


Observing Aids
Rifle/shotgun red dot finders.
Red LED clocks so you will know when it time to go home.
Various lawn chairs or portable recliners that are perfect for binocular astronomy.
Very lightweight cotton hoodie...apply the mosquitoe repellent to the jacket instead of yourself.
Box fans to keep mosquitoes away.


Heat and Dew
Round plastic waste paper baskets for dew shields.
Yoga pads for dew shields and storage padding.
Hand warmers...to keep optics and electronics warm in cold weather.
Toasters have nichrome wire for do it yourself heating elements.

Storage and protection
Suitcases, footlockers, toolboxes, backpacks for cheap cases for scopes, binoculars, tripods and mounts.
Prescription bottles for eyepiece containers.
Long narrow boxes and plastic bags from exercise equipment/ski stores...perfect for storing scopes and tripods.
CD/cassette cases for filters.
Metal/tupperware containers for large filters.
Tupperware for eyepieces, barlows, filters.
Christmas paper plastic storage containers for scopes and tripods.
Golf bag shipping containers for scopes and tripods.
Large garbage cans...outside covers for SCTs and mounts.
Clear plastic flexible blanket containers that work great as laptop containers in dewy/cold weather.
Pet carriers..place a small/medium SCT in them and leave them outside for temperature equalization.
Various plastic lids from grocery products for lens caps.
Old socks...work great to protect eyepieces/barlows/finders from scratches
RF alarm transmitter and receiver...for when you are away from your equipment.

Transport
Quilts, blankets, sleeping bags for padding for scopes.
Baby car seats for transporting SCTs.
Golf bag hand carts to transport scopes (especially large Newts), tripods and equipment on site.
Belts to tie tripods legs together for transport.

Tripods, mounting and balance

A spiral dog chain anchor to tie a tripod down firmly..less vibration.
Round pie pans for tube covers, eyepiece trays for tripods.
Barbell weights for GEMs.
Rubber corks for tripod feet.
Angle exercise weights for balancing a scope.
Lead weight tape used by golfers...make all your eyepieces weigh the same and balance your scope once.
Small/large magnets..many uses.
Snap apart round bake pans for rotating rings.


ATAM parts (Amateur Telescope Accessory Making)
Remote control toys for components (switches,motors,gears,cases) for remote focusers
Defective computer printers...lots of parts for ATM projects.
Telephone 4 conductor wire for wiring a scope.

Solar
Golf umbrellas that mount on solar scopes.
Lightweight picture frame/poster board that makes for a sun projection screen.
Windshield solar shields that can be used for insulation for solar scopes.

Misc
Velcro...the gifts of the gods.
Ziplock bags..many uses.
Ice coolers for holding equipment, making homemade battery boxes, seating, keeping equipment warm with a hand warmer in cold weather.
Shipping cardboard tubes..many uses..I find them from 1/4" to over 8" in diameter.
LCD projector...project a live video feed of the Moon/planets on a the side of a white building.
Knitting rings for homemade filters for scopes and finders.
Camera filters for eyepieces.
Camera lenses for wide field imaging.


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ibase
Vendor Affiliate
*****

Reged: 03/20/08

Loc: Manila, Philippines 121*E 14*N
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: harbinjer]
      #3664694 - 03/06/10 11:40 PM

As counterweight from the sporting goods store, a chrome plated 10-lb dumbbell weight, drilled with a slanted hole through it, had it threaded and placed an allen-socketed screw inside to serve as a lock:



It works great!



Best,


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Mystic Hill
member


Reged: 10/29/06

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: harbinjer]
      #3666984 - 03/08/10 03:21 AM Attachment (245 downloads)

Here is a handy tool chest that we picked up at Home Depot: the Stanley FatMax® 4-in-1 Mobile Work Station. It is much cheaper and much lighter than some metal wheeled tool chests. Still it is big enough to greatly help in moving things around. See the Stanley flash demo here.

"Say, Roy: Is that the poly foam case to the Televue Ethos 21mm in one of the middle slots?"

"Why yes it is! Fits snugly without interfering with the opening of the tool chest. There is also an 13mm Ethos and a Panoptic without the case"

"Could you turn that bottom compartment into a homemade PowerTank with a 50 Ah AGM battery and some through the wall outlets."

"Go for it! I don't know how heavy a battery this can hold; probably limited to what you can lift."

I especially like slots that can hold an Ethos eyepiece, the fact that it can be locked and it does most of what a wheeled metal chest can do without starting out at 100 pounds.

The hinge on the upper latches catch on the holes intended for a lock, making an obnoxious albeit unintended self locking nuisance for which you may need a small screwdriver to pop open. That is my only peeve; a redesign is called for here.

Roy


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Mystic Hill]
      #3669975 - 03/09/10 02:04 PM Attachment (261 downloads)

O.K. , ....Here's a conversion that I am real pleased with . Having 5 1.25" filters that needed to be housed & not wanting to spend 15 bucks for the available 3 buck each plastic filter cases , I found this watercolor set at Wal-Mart for 98 cents .

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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: starrancher]
      #3669988 - 03/09/10 02:07 PM Attachment (208 downloads)

After removing the original contents , filing off the hang tab & the feet from the bottom , I cut out a piece of thin closed cell foam to line the bottom & it provides just enough pressure to hold the filters in place when the lid is closed . It would hold 6 filters if needed .
Pretty cool huh ?
My Grand Daughter will have fun making a mess with the paints !


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: starrancher]
      #3670122 - 03/09/10 03:00 PM

Great idea!

Keep them coming, folks; great thread with all your contributions!


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: starrancher]
      #3671652 - 03/10/10 08:32 AM

I did a similar thing with an old plastic casette case.
It holds six 1.25" filters. I put a layer of bubble wrap (very small bubbles) to separate the rows of 3. The case snaps tight and the filters don't move. Sorry no camera for a pic.


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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Mystic Hill]
      #3671889 - 03/10/10 10:32 AM

That is a pretty kewl idea, may have to look into that.

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1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: highfnum]
      #3673773 - 03/11/10 02:12 AM

Quote:

I used video eyewear to observe with video camera
I did a review a while back
http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=1716




Uh oh, I have a pair of those, now all I need is a MallinCam.


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rnabholz
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 07/25/04

Loc: Iowa
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: 1965healy]
      #3676567 - 03/12/10 11:45 AM

Telrad Dew Shield for about $3 and 30 Minutes time.

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djeber2
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/02/04

Loc: Cloudy Midwest
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: rnabholz]
      #3676646 - 03/12/10 12:28 PM

thanks Rod, I just bookmarked your site for future reference.

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MrKrink
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/20/09

Loc: Lawndale NC, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: djeber2]
      #3681357 - 03/14/10 10:09 PM

Here's one to save you mucho dinero......................

Replacement knobs for CGEM......

Grainger Ind. Supply

Mount Knobs....PN# 3GJL9 (Star Knob, M8, Ext, 2.36, 3.15, SS Insert)

>>>>>>>Also work for Alt/Azm Knobs!!




Tripod Replacement Knobs: PN# 3GJN1 (Star Knob, M10, Ext, 0.99, 2.24, SS Insert)




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Lord Beowulf
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/13/08

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3703161 - 03/24/10 07:41 PM

Here's a few of mine:

- Three 50 gallon Stanley tool chests for OTAs, mounts, EPs, accessories, etc. Lots of scrap packing foam glued up to make the inserts.


This one's too big to embed, but includes a cheap golf club carrying case from Wal-Mart as a tripod case. This one's my original setup showing the nice trays in the case, etc.

Scrapped product case and more foam gluing and cutting equals great EP case!


Microsoft LifeCam modded with a copper coupling and some plastic pipe from Home Depot!


Also, the round plastic containers that Crystal Light JUST discontinued are the perfect size for holding large 2" EPs in a hermetically sealed cannister. They also do nicely for holding rechargeable dessicant. Luckily looks like Wylers uses the same type of cannister.

Old office chair with back removed and doctor's stool used for viewing chairs.

Beo


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NeoZavier
sage


Reged: 03/22/10

Loc: Puerto Rico
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Lord Beowulf]
      #3710398 - 03/28/10 01:26 PM

I found at my garage an old travel bag and I used it for my telescope case, I used cardboard for my dew shield and a WiFi power supply for my telescope power.

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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Lord Beowulf]
      #3710501 - 03/28/10 02:12 PM

Quote:

Here's a few of mine:

- Three 50 gallon Stanley tool chests for OTAs, mounts, EPs, accessories, etc. Lots of scrap packing foam glued up to make the inserts.


This one's too big to embed, but includes a cheap golf club carrying case from Wal-Mart as a tripod case. This one's my original setup showing the nice trays in the case, etc.

Scrapped product case and more foam gluing and cutting equals great EP case!


Microsoft LifeCam modded with a copper coupling and some plastic pipe from Home Depot!


Also, the round plastic containers that Crystal Light JUST discontinued are the perfect size for holding large 2" EPs in a hermetically sealed cannister. They also do nicely for holding rechargeable dessicant. Luckily looks like Wylers uses the same type of cannister.

Old office chair with back removed and doctor's stool used for viewing chairs.

Beo


Dude that rocks,bow to Lord Beowolf

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TexomaAU.Obs.
Member


Reged: 03/17/10

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: yowser]
      #3713956 - 03/30/10 01:18 AM

I had an old Tasco 13T . I took an old parking meter and gutted out the clock and adapted it to run my scope , before I was able to afford a good commercial unit. also used a 5" metal duct and made a dew/light shield.

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TexomaAU.Obs.
Member


Reged: 03/17/10

Loc: Texas, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: yowser]
      #3713959 - 03/30/10 01:21 AM

Those cheap stove top burner covers you see a the Doller Stores work great for tube covers, just get a small cabinet pull, drill the cover and screw the pull/knob on it and you got a cover for a 4.5"

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JoeR
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Columbus, OH
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: TexomaAU.Obs.]
      #3719836 - 04/01/10 10:21 PM

This drum throne is now my observing chair

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ottovonrotton
super member
*****

Reged: 01/01/09

Loc: Where is Port Perry?
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: JoeR]
      #3721085 - 04/02/10 03:35 PM

I too use a drum stool, very nice padding, adjustable height, folds up, and contour padding to keep you centered (after a wobbliepop). and fairly inexpensive.

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Dave Grosvold
member
*****

Reged: 07/08/08

Loc: Somewhere in the Dark, NWAR
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: ottovonrotton]
      #3741162 - 04/12/10 07:01 PM

I haven't seen this one yet in this thread:

I use a black mesh scuba weight belt and cheap ankle weights from Walmart to balance my Discovery 12.5" Dob. I lined the inside of the belt portion of the weight belt with Velcro and stuck the other side to the scope around the bottom. Now I can adjust the belt by moving the weight side-to-side to balance EPs, My 9 x 50 finder and my Telrad.

Works great!


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Starnek
member


Reged: 11/29/07

Loc: New Hampshire, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Dave Grosvold]
      #3764398 - 04/23/10 07:11 PM

Plastic split hose meant for automobile use (to hold wires together), used to hold all the dew heater wires together and keep them organized.

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hurler23
sage


Reged: 02/18/10

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3767385 - 04/25/10 01:57 PM

Quote:

I also use a hunter's vest while observing.






Just be sure not to load the TV's in to your shotgun! I use a fly fishing vest. I like having stuff close at hand and provides a place for me to put my glasses.
Small bits of reflective tape on tripod legs.


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Greg Keys
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/21/09

Loc: Deltona, FL
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: hurler23]
      #3771105 - 04/27/10 08:51 AM

I would be more worried about the other way around
Just think..... Man I can't see anytrhing in this EP.... whats wrong with this thing????
Tap Tap Tap.........


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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Greg Keys]
      #3771673 - 04/27/10 01:34 PM

Quote:

Tap Tap Tap.........






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Vesper818
Astronomess
*****

Reged: 11/21/05

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #3772036 - 04/27/10 04:13 PM

A small- scope apartment balcony observatory for less than 50.00



An Ameriistep one chair hunting blind....

Keeps the neighbors floods and pool security lights from ruining a nice dark evening under the stars.
Nice and roomy inside.Barely visible , a dust plug made from a rolling eyeball glued to a plastic film canister- easier to keep track of than those bitty caps.


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WillCarney
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/08/09

Loc: Bloomington, ILL
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Vesper818]
      #3781469 - 05/02/10 01:43 PM

The leg-arm weights were mentioned earlier as being used as counter weights. Here's what I use them for. It keeps the tripod sturdier. Especially when a lot of weight is on the mount. Helps a lot with my Atlas mount down to camera tripods.



William


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Littlegreenman
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/09/05

Loc: Southern California
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: WillCarney]
      #3784608 - 05/03/10 09:38 PM

I was looking for a case to store and transport (in the car) a Vixen Great Polaris mount with all the removable parts. Requirements: low relative cost and low weight.

I found a "Vaultz" brand "LOCKING PERSONAL FILE TOTE, LEGAL (VZ01189)" for about $40 compared to Vixen's case for $300.
Just add a little packing foam here and there.

Now I have a GP-DX which is a little too big for it, so I'm, back to a milk crate with some cardboard walls...

Littlegreenman

case for GP mount

Edited by Littlegreenman (05/03/10 09:54 PM)


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SpacedOut31416
journeyman


Reged: 04/15/10

Loc: Baton Rouge, LA
Re: "Non-astronomy" eq for astronomy - fine focus new [Re: Dennis]
      #3788526 - 05/05/10 07:30 PM

I did the same (i.e., made an SCT fine focus knob for my C6) with a cheap brown rubber furniture grip, by simply drilling about a 3/4" hole in the pad.

However, I think your wheel looks better than the furniture grip.


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Kchula-Rrit
super member


Reged: 10/17/07

Loc: The Matriarchy of Kzin
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3796611 - 05/10/10 02:44 AM Attachment (133 downloads)


Hartmann mask to fit my 2-inch Stellarvue F50 made from a Nordic Natural 369 Omega Fish-Oil capsules bottle.

K-R.


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Kchula-Rrit
super member


Reged: 10/17/07

Loc: The Matriarchy of Kzin
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3796619 - 05/10/10 02:59 AM Attachment (161 downloads)

I cannot take credit for this one. Astro-partner wrapped some duct tape around a 4-inch pipe cap, into which I had drilled a Hartmann mask. It fits quite nicely over my 3.5-inch refractor's dew-shield and stays there.

K-R.


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Kchula-Rrit
super member


Reged: 10/17/07

Loc: The Matriarchy of Kzin
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3832931 - 05/28/10 02:10 AM Attachment (153 downloads)

Scrunchy (sp?) hair clips make great cable-clamps. I find them in the grocery store near the make-up section. In the attached picture I'm using a TINY one to keep heat-shrink tubing away from connections while I'm soldering them.

K-R.


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reddog15
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/09/09

Loc: Wyoming
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Kchula-Rrit]
      #3833949 - 05/28/10 03:51 PM

Quote:

Scrunchy (sp?) hair clips make great cable-clamps. I find them in the grocery store near the make-up section. In the attached picture I'm using a TINY one to keep heat-shrink tubing away from connections while I'm soldering them.

K-R.


Ah, an ingenious idea

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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: reddog15]
      #3834234 - 05/28/10 06:36 PM Attachment (130 downloads)

Many of the adaptations listed in this thread I have used. I will try to list some that I don't think were mentioned-or mayby mentioned once and I may have missed it.

EQ and Alt-Az mounts made out of steel pipe fittings.

Fiberglass water softener tank made into a sliding dewshield.

Plastic lunch meat containers used as various parts containers.

PVC pipe end caps used as eyepiece caps-very sturdy and when you write the ep fl on the top of the white PVC with a green Magic Marker it is EZ to see at night.

Small plastic fishing lure box from K-Mart as an ep filter case.

LED trailer clearance light from auto parts store converted into a chart reading lamp.


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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: StarStuff1]
      #3834241 - 05/28/10 06:41 PM Attachment (198 downloads)

A couple of Summers ago my grandkids trashed my old hammock. It was old and worn and the wooden ends were warped. However, before I threw it all away I saw the possibility of a very inexpensive observing chair by using a couple of wood dowels and a scrap piece of plywood. "Missy" is my sometimes observing partner.

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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #3834260 - 05/28/10 06:51 PM

Quote:

A couple of Summers ago my grandkids trashed my old hammock. It was old and worn and the wooden ends were warped. However, before I threw it all away I saw the possibility of a very inexpensive observing chair by using a couple of wood dowels and a scrap piece of plywood. "Missy" is my sometimes observing partner.




Great second life for the hammock !


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Larry F
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/24/04

Loc: Westchester, NY
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: starrancher]
      #3863568 - 06/14/10 06:50 AM

Rigid netbook tray for CPC telescope with 2" tripod legs made from C-clamps (from a theatrical lighting source), angle brackets and a polypropylene cutting board. See link to thread on CPC forum.

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10000rpm
super member


Reged: 07/18/09

Loc: Equatorial Singapore
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Larry F]
      #3870164 - 06/17/10 10:05 AM Attachment (172 downloads)

I used an aftermarket audio/hifi aluminium knob which cost about $5.00 from a local audio DIY shop and drilled a hole in the centre to attach it to my Synta focuser. It replaces the original ugly black plastic knob.

Here's a picture of the original knob -

Edited by 10000rpm (06/17/10 10:06 AM)


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10000rpm
super member


Reged: 07/18/09

Loc: Equatorial Singapore
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: 10000rpm]
      #3870167 - 06/17/10 10:07 AM Attachment (222 downloads)

Here's the new bling job -

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luukieboy2
sage


Reged: 05/01/10

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: 10000rpm]
      #3871641 - 06/18/10 01:55 AM

Fancy

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Tom McDonald
sage
*****

Reged: 12/19/06

Loc: No where man!
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: 10000rpm]
      #3875946 - 06/20/10 04:33 PM

All these posts are inspiring!
I've got nothing to contribute here except my enthusiasm for reading about these great ideas! Folks, keep them coming!


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Tom McDonald]
      #3875960 - 06/20/10 04:36 PM

Tom, enthusiasm inspires others to keep on posting their ideas!

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kw6562
Authoritative Ignoramus
*****

Reged: 06/25/08

Loc: MA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3876557 - 06/20/10 11:20 PM Attachment (151 downloads)

I found some old-fashioned steel disc 2.5 lb barbell weights at a junkyard, drilled two holes in them and tapped two mating holes in the bottom of a Meade counterweight and painted them white. Total cost $0 (I had the paint and bolts). A lot cheaper than buying another Meade (~$50). --Keith

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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: kw6562]
      #3880326 - 06/22/10 06:45 PM

An old fashioned HOT WATER BOTTLE, about $4 at Wallmart. Why buy heating pads when observing at home? Boil some water for the bottle when you make coffee or soup. If you are at a remote site, I presume you've probably taken a small camp stove with you for hot refreshments; I do.

.

Edited by Mike E. (06/24/10 02:03 AM)


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shoeleprich
sage
*****

Reged: 02/14/10

Loc: Maine: Land of the frozen
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #3881616 - 06/23/10 12:40 PM

Duct tape...yeah.

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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3890262 - 06/28/10 05:50 AM Attachment (202 downloads)

Construction tripod, a bit modified to suit me, and a home-made mount from scrap plywood.

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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3890264 - 06/28/10 05:51 AM Attachment (198 downloads)

Here's a pic of the mount.

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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #3890265 - 06/28/10 05:55 AM Attachment (156 downloads)

A pic of the other side of the mount.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Ed D]
      #3890351 - 06/28/10 08:14 AM

Wow; that's a nice looking mount!

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Ed D
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 04/30/10

Loc: Sunny South Florida
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3891010 - 06/28/10 02:15 PM

Thank you for the compliment. It is especially appreciated because I think my wood-working skills are somewhat lacking. The mount works similar to a DOB, just push it to target, and is rock solid.

Thank you again,
Ed D


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Ed D]
      #3891060 - 06/28/10 02:46 PM

Quote:

my wood-working skills are somewhat lacking




Not from the looks of that mount!


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gax63
member


Reged: 05/01/10

Loc: Ellenwood,ga
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3894086 - 06/29/10 10:25 PM Attachment (216 downloads)

LOL does this count?

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Reverie
sage


Reged: 03/27/08

Loc: Somewhere far far away
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: gax63]
      #3896861 - 07/01/10 11:02 AM

Turning a desk lamp into a binocular mount
http://homepage3.nifty.com/yamaca/touko2/bnm2/bnmnt2.html


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Bob Myler
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: St Louis, MO
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Reverie]
      #3897948 - 07/01/10 08:56 PM

A desk lamp turned into a bino-mount. What a clever idea!

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old_dog_zero_one
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/30/07

Loc: Schenectady, NY, USA, Earth,So...
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: gax63]
      #3904926 - 07/05/10 10:43 PM

Quote:

LOL does this count?




As long as the box doesn't say "Celestron" on it, it should!


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old_dog_zero_one
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/30/07

Loc: Schenectady, NY, USA, Earth,So...
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: old_dog_zero_one]
      #3905194 - 07/06/10 02:22 AM Attachment (150 downloads)

Here are a few of mine:

Left over "case" from a dead folding camp chair. Works great for holding the truss poles for my LightBridge.

1" foam pipe insulation makes great covers for the truss poles. (You don't have to grab freezing metal to move the dob! It's also a nice dark gray instead of bright aluminum, better than painting!)

Use the ankle weights from Wally World's sporting goods dept. Take the weighted packs of shot out and stick them directly to the scope with Velcro. (2-4 lbs each depending on size) See the picture below.

Get a sample book of theatrical lighting "gels" from your local theatrical supply house "Lee" brand is good.(Usually for FREE! Free is good!) You have various reds for light covers. A small piece of Green works to cover the light source on your "Red Dot" unit power finder. It dims it down so that you can actually see dimmer stars instead of just the RED DOT!!!

Altitude guide to use with your Steel tube scope as a "push to" Harbor Freight angle finder gets you to within a degree for only $3.99! and it sticks to the tube with it's own magnet!

Old soft camcorder case works great for carrying my 80mm Stellarvue Finderscope with the mounting rings.

My "Drum Throne" which my friend likes better than his TeleVue Air-Chair was a lot cheaper! ($10.00 at the Salvation Army)

Salvation Army, Big Lots, Ocean State Job Lots, Dollar Tree, Yankee 1$, Harbor Freight stores are great places to find things to reuse/repurpose! And of course Garage/Yard/Tag sales!

(REPURPOSE THE STORES AS ASTRONOMY SUPPLY STORES!!!


The Homer Bucket from Home Depot with lid, filled with sand makes a good stable stand (Stack 2 high) for your Tabletop scope (Like a Starblast or an Astroscan).

Plasticpost level cheap way to get that pedestal/pier/pipe plumb every time!

Of course, I think everybody knows about using a 35mm film canister as an 1-1/4" focuser cap. cut the bottom out and drill a small round hole in the center of the cap and Voila!
instant collimation tool! (Now everybody asks, "What's Film?"

Oh, Yeah, Wal-Mart sells a roll up Aluminum Camping table compact but big enough to put eyepiece cases, charts, Computers, or what-have-you on.

Vinyl cover for round kettle-type bbq grill makes a great dust/weather cover for lower half of a dob scope up to about 24" diameter!

That's about all I can come up with for now.


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lunar
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/03/10

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: yowser]
      #3906544 - 07/06/10 06:51 PM

I went to a Michaels and got a cheap $2.00 wood plank, and used a piece of ply wood to make a projector so I didn't have to go buy a solar filter. I'll tell you that I've had some pretty good observing sessions, and record every sunspot I get in my log.

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AlienDNA
newbie


Reged: 12/26/09

Loc: Iceland
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: lunar]
      #3913526 - 07/10/10 01:53 PM

Yoga pads, tent pads, mouse pads as kneepads or whole body while laying in the dirt. Cut down as needed.

The all plastic Velcro to temporarily, but very rigidly fasten things.

Slide two thin (acrylic) plates between the front car seats so they are elevated above and on each side of the gear shift and you have an in car stand for your mobile computer.
I should get a patent for this.

Edited by AlienDNA (07/10/10 01:55 PM)


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hurler23
sage


Reged: 02/18/10

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: AlienDNA]
      #3926253 - 07/16/10 08:17 PM

How about an entry for Astronomy equipment adapted for Non-Astronomy? My lovely bride recently begged me to put up a fence for her planned flower garden. While pondering how to put this thing up straight and level over not so level ground, I realized I had the perfect tools! My well leveled C-8, telrad and green laser pointer taped to the tube. Worked like a charm and saved me countless hours and endless frustration. Even my engineer father-in-law was impressed with this bit of adaptive behaviour.

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crosseyedcricket
sage


Reged: 12/23/08

Loc: Dallas, TX
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: hurler23]
      #3949731 - 07/28/10 03:01 PM

Tripod/eyepiece tray
---------------------
I use a tortilla warmer as a tripod/eyepiece tray. It has high sides and very soft plastic so it wont mar any eyepieces.

Like this one http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=11401465.

Just drill a mounting hole or holes and use a plastic bolt and wingnut to attach.

'Astronomy' turf
-------------------
This one I got from several other club members...I use a 6'x9' roll of astroturf under my scope/mount from a home improvement store to keep a 'clean' area around my scope at star parties. Little nicer to kneel on as well. In the sad event that it rains, water drains through instead of pooling like a tarp does.


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Bob Myler
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: St Louis, MO
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: crosseyedcricket]
      #3950504 - 07/28/10 10:06 PM

Great idea! - And the lid would help minimize dewing.

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Reverie
sage


Reged: 03/27/08

Loc: Somewhere far far away
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Bob Myler]
      #3962926 - 08/04/10 02:29 AM

As filters are very expensive and unavailable in my country, I simply use a piece of ND filter as Moon filter. It works well, it is inconvenient in terms of using.

I also use a pair of 3D eyeglass (red and blue) as planetary filters. It works for the Moon, I haven't test it with Jupiter however.


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Alwaysusa
super member


Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Reverie]
      #3962957 - 08/04/10 03:32 AM

This thread owns. Great ideas all round for those cloudy night projects!

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s800
member


Reged: 03/19/08

Loc: Wisconsin
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Alwaysusa]
      #3975967 - 08/10/10 11:51 PM

I've used an oil filter wrench to disassemble stuck adapters from each other (think camera->focuser, etc.) Works great. Does misusing a tool count? :-)

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: s800]
      #3975972 - 08/10/10 11:54 PM

Good suggestion!

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NateJackson
Siriusly, Dude


Reged: 08/05/10

Loc: Wasatch Front, Utah
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #3979228 - 08/12/10 04:36 PM Attachment (137 downloads)

Just thought I would share this little swith that goes on the bag of a mini-maglite. It has 100% power 50% power and 25% power or two different settings for pulse. I don't know if anyone uses a maglite with a red lense but thought this might be handy! I found it at Harbor Freight for $6.99.

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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
*****

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: NateJackson]
      #3979577 - 08/12/10 08:00 PM

Jar opener to take the cover off my new field flattener. Whoever screwed that on was a gorilla!

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Scott
super member
*****

Reged: 01/14/04

Loc: CT
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: starrancher]
      #3979844 - 08/12/10 10:18 PM

I use a vacuum formed golf club shipping case for my V1xen 102. It has wheels at one end, handles on top and side, hinged with three snap locks, lightweight and strong... $89.00 I stripped the interior straps and replaced it with gray waffel foam, which I contact cemented to the case. There was enough room for a plywood bulkhead and custom fitted storage for finders and diagonal.I bought it from Sports Authority.

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Reverie
sage


Reged: 03/27/08

Loc: Somewhere far far away
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: NateJackson]
      #3980107 - 08/13/10 02:01 AM

Quote:

Just thought I would share this little swith that goes on the bag of a mini-maglite. It has 100% power 50% power and 25% power or two different settings for pulse. I don't know if anyone uses a maglite with a red lense but thought this might be handy! I found it at Harbor Freight for $6.99.




I had been using MINI-MAGLITE for more than 7 years, I turned it into a red flashlight by covering it with an empty red envelope.

It was far better than any commercial red flashlight, according to some collectors.


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Reverie]
      #3980224 - 08/13/10 06:40 AM

I have modified several flashlights by covering the lenses with red plastic that was cut to size from a plastic notebook binder purchased at the Dollar Store ( Pound Shop in the UK ).

Favorite lights:
1.) The rechargable 9V Makita, it has a focus adjuster to give a soft wide field; works great for walking around on unfamiliar ground while other's are observing near by.
2.) The AAA two cell version of the Maglight for charts.

The "IQ Switch" Nate posted looks interesting.


.


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ZeroID
sage


Reged: 04/21/10

Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #3983849 - 08/15/10 06:16 AM

Two or three coats of cheap red nail polish on a cheap led torch lens works excellently.

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Lightning
sage


Reged: 07/04/10

Loc: Canberra, Australia
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: ZeroID]
      #3996585 - 08/21/10 02:54 AM

Binocular microscope heads make nice binoviewers for longer focal ratio scopes. I got mine for ~$45 and it's big enough to work at F/5. Even really cheap ones will work nicely with F/8 or longer scopes and make observing a lot more comfortable.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Lightning]
      #3996824 - 08/21/10 09:17 AM

Thanks for the tip, and Welcome to Cloudy Nights! Glad to have you onboard, looking forward to more of your posts.

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roc.ls1864
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/16/10

Loc: Blue Ridge Mtns. of Virginia.
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #4003445 - 08/24/10 03:37 PM Attachment (135 downloads)

I use the Lowe's aluminum tool box too.
Here is my totally free dewshield (with purchase of maple sapling from local nursery). These plastic pots come in several sizes and I used electrical tape to cover the drain holes after I cleaned it good. I turned the scope up on it and traced around it with a red pencil, took my drill and made a pilot hole and then used a keyhole saw to cut out the circle. I thought I would have to add some padded tape to the inside to get it to fit snug, but it slips right on and stays as is.
Granted it is not as nice as the expensive factory made ones and it does block the finder scope a little but does not obstruct it's cross hairs center point.
I am new to this but it didn't take long to figure out that dew is an issue in the summer around here


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KidOrion
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/07/07

Loc: Carbondale, IL
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #4003596 - 08/24/10 04:44 PM

Quote:

I have modified several flashlights by covering the lenses with red plastic that was cut to size from a plastic notebook binder purchased at the Dollar Store ( Pound Shop in the UK ).

Favorite lights:
1.) The rechargable 9V Makita, it has a focus adjuster to give a soft wide field; works great for walking around on unfamiliar ground while other's are observing near by.
2.) The AAA two cell version of the Maglight for charts.

The "IQ Switch" Nate posted looks interesting.


.




I'm sure someone's already mentioned this, but I've used red tape sold for covering cracked reverse-lights on vehicles to make red flashlights. Works like a charm, if a bit diffuse.


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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: KidOrion]
      #4005431 - 08/25/10 01:45 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I have modified several flashlights by covering the lenses with red plastic that was cut to size from a plastic notebook binder purchased at the Dollar Store ( Pound Shop in the UK ).

Favorite lights:
1.) The rechargable 9V Makita, it has a focus adjuster to give a soft wide field; works great for walking around on unfamiliar ground while other's are observing near by.
2.) The AAA two cell version of the Maglight for charts.

The "IQ Switch" Nate posted looks interesting.


.




I'm sure someone's already mentioned this, but I've used red tape sold for covering cracked reverse-lights on vehicles to make red flashlights. Works like a charm, if a bit diffuse.






What's nice is that the plastic sheeting is removable if need be. I've modified quite a few different flashlights, those that I didn't favor for one reason or other were returned to their original working order with no fuss.

.


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erick
sage


Reged: 11/21/07

Loc: Bacchus Marsh, Australia
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: lunar]
      #4014136 - 08/29/10 09:45 PM Attachment (166 downloads)

Paint scrapper becomes blink tool for planetary nebulae when fitted with an OIII filter. Slips between eye and eyepiece and easily handled when wearing gloves.

Edited by erick (08/29/10 09:49 PM)


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erick
sage


Reged: 11/21/07

Loc: Bacchus Marsh, Australia
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: erick]
      #4014145 - 08/29/10 09:50 PM Attachment (156 downloads)

Another view

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old_dog_zero_one
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/30/07

Loc: Schenectady, NY, USA, Earth,So...
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: erick]
      #4014390 - 08/30/10 12:08 AM

Quote:

Paint scrapper becomes blink tool for planetary nebulae when fitted with an OIII filter. Slips between eye and eyepiece and easily handled when wearing gloves.




Great Idea! and the scraper end can be used to scrape the frost off the objective of your APO! (Really folks, JUST KIDDING!!! AHHHHHH!!!)


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erick
sage


Reged: 11/21/07

Loc: Bacchus Marsh, Australia
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: old_dog_zero_one]
      #4014467 - 08/30/10 12:46 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Paint scrapper becomes blink tool for planetary nebulae when fitted with an OIII filter. Slips between eye and eyepiece and easily handled when wearing gloves.




Great Idea! and the scraper end can be used to scrape the frost off the objective of your APO! (Really folks, JUST KIDDING!!! AHHHHHH!!!)




Yep, no need to waste money on heating!

Edited by erick (08/30/10 12:48 AM)


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j schmo
member
*****

Reged: 12/08/09

Loc: ON, Canada
Removable Red Flashlight Cover new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #4016317 - 08/30/10 09:05 PM

1" rubber chair leg tip (cut in half) and two circles cut from a red polypropylene folder over a $3.99 LED flashlight. Fits like a glove and dims the glow...



Edited by j schmo (08/31/10 01:58 PM)


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Tele
sage


Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: Eastern Oklahoma
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: gax63]
      #4019470 - 09/01/10 10:30 AM

hahahahahahaha That is great...the guy who has blocked the street light using the heavy equipment

Edited by Tele (09/01/10 10:32 AM)


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James Cunningham
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/07/10

Loc: Maryland
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #4025093 - 09/03/10 10:04 PM

Did you get the magnets and if so, where and how much were they?

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Jack Tripper
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/10/09

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #4025609 - 09/04/10 07:22 AM

Lol! Ironically enough, I didn't end up needing the magnets. I ended up buying one of those aluminum dew shields, and it was just heavy enough to act as the perfect counter-weight.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #4025835 - 09/04/10 10:22 AM

That worked out great!

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4025972 - 09/04/10 11:34 AM

I've seen several chair suggestion, but not this one. "Posing Stools" are similar to a drum throne, but they have a lever for instant height adjustment using a pneumatic cylinder. They work like an office chair for up/down adjustment, but have a much greater range of travel. The one I purchased has 8.5" of adjustment and cost $79:


If I were buying today, I'd get this one with 10" of travel for $59:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/253081-REG/Impact_RST001_Posing_Stool_20_30_.html

-Dan


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Bob Myler
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: St Louis, MO
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #4027052 - 09/04/10 11:14 PM

Interesting. Where would one buy a posing stool?

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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: yowser]
      #4028334 - 09/05/10 05:24 PM

"FletchTite" adhesive, used for attaching feathers and vanes to arrow shafts. It has a multitude of uses where a strong, non brittle bond is required. comes in a squeeze tube.

I rate it five stars.

.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mike E.]
      #4029221 - 09/06/10 09:23 AM Attachment (108 downloads)

For my 80mm Refractor; I cut lengthwise across the bottom of a folding campchair bag. The bag then just slips over the entire scope, giving a "free" waterproof, dustproof cover!

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jgrantpop
member


Reged: 08/04/10

Loc: Poplarville, Mississippi
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: yowser]
      #4029406 - 09/06/10 11:15 AM

Plastic tool boxes for eyepieces, etc.

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Tomal
sage


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Norway
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: jgrantpop]
      #4042626 - 09/12/10 01:42 PM Attachment (128 downloads)

I made a guide scope holder with a pipe, some screws and some elastic bands (yes the elastic bands holds the scope stable if i keep them tight).
This lets me change the position of the scope with only 2 screws, in stead of three

Also, there is some anti-glide (for furniture) on the end of each screw that keeps the scope from sliding. Works!

Edited by Tomal (09/12/10 01:51 PM)


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Tomal
sage


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Norway
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Tomal]
      #4042632 - 09/12/10 01:44 PM Attachment (106 downloads)

Another view of it:

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NewAstronomer
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/03/04

Loc: Northeast, PA U.S.A
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Tomal]
      #4047253 - 09/14/10 12:57 PM Attachment (119 downloads)

You may be able to buy these very cheap on eBay/elsewhere soon. Xbox 360 Live Vision camera's. About the be replaced by the Kinect Xbox 360 camera in November 2010. Anyone with the old camera will ditch them very cheaply I imagine.

I pried the plastic cover off the front, you can simple unscrew and pop out the lens, but the plastic cover will prevent the webcam to 1.25" adapter from attaching. I haven't fully field tested it yet, but you should be able to use for live view/broadcast on NSN of Jupiter/Saturn/Moon and brighter DSO's, planetary imaging (works with AmCap) or PHD autoguider, which recognizes it as windows webcam. Just add the adapter! Haven't look at removing IR filter yet, usure if its glued on or pops off, but it looks like its held in placeso I'm hoping. Another nice feature, its lightweight, and has a long, good quality, USB cable.


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NewAstronomer
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/03/04

Loc: Northeast, PA U.S.A
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: NewAstronomer]
      #4047258 - 09/14/10 12:59 PM Attachment (91 downloads)

Close up minus the adapter showing housing of CCD chip (might be CMOS unknown, specs on the web). There are green LEDs that light up on the PCB board, used to light up the plastic housing (detached in above picture), now just provide nice green glow on back of adapter.

You will slightly mar the plastic housing when you pry it off at least I did.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: NewAstronomer]
      #4050642 - 09/15/10 08:56 PM

Does anyone use a musician's music stand to hold star atlases and charts near the scope?

- Jim


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seryddwr
Innocent Bystander
*****

Reged: 02/19/10

Loc: La-la land.
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4050781 - 09/15/10 10:13 PM

No, but that's a darn fine idea!

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DoctorNoodle
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/14/07

Loc: Lawn Guyland, NY
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4051335 - 09/16/10 06:21 AM

Quote:

Does anyone use a musician's music stand to hold star atlases and charts near the scope?

- Jim



I tried one of those foldable cheapie music stands once but it was top-heavy and the slightest breeze would knock it over. Now I use a roll-up camping table.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: seryddwr]
      #4051718 - 09/16/10 10:49 AM

I would like to find a lighted musician's stand and either red-filter the light or better still replace white LEDs with red LEDs. I'm on the hunt for one, and will let folks know what I end up with.

Regards,

Jim


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4051821 - 09/16/10 11:37 AM

Quote:

Does anyone use a musician's music stand to hold star atlases and charts near the scope?

- Jim




I do. Works great. I bought a mid priced one (about $40 from memory). Holds a lot, tilts, swivels, moves up & down and is stable. Don't have the name with me but I can get it for you tonight.


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JoeR
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Columbus, OH
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: mich_al]
      #4059423 - 09/19/10 07:35 PM

A 16x16 padded drum case for accessories


Inside:
11" aluminum dew shield
Starizona eyepiece tray
Powertank
Nightwatch chart book
canvas pouch for hand controller, Telrad, tripod bolts, leveler


all safely tucked in. I carry it upright so they don't slide around too much.


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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: JoeR]
      #4059685 - 09/19/10 09:34 PM

Music Cases used for Asto

There are a lot of musical equipment items that are VERY adaptable for Astro use. Cases, Drum Hardware, Drum Heads as tube covers, Cases, stands, drum thrones... the list there is nearly endless..


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James Cunningham
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/07/10

Loc: Maryland
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: erick]
      #4066919 - 09/22/10 09:53 PM

How do you keep the filter from falling out of the scraper?

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erick
sage


Reged: 11/21/07

Loc: Bacchus Marsh, Australia
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #4066986 - 09/22/10 10:31 PM

I made the hole a little smaller (didn't have the right size hole cutter, so I cut it out with a fret saw then filed away the excess to round it up), then forced the filter to cut a thread into the plastic. I don't anticipate having to unscrew it again - it's in firmly.

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Radiostar
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/16/08

Loc: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: erick]
      #4067020 - 09/22/10 10:43 PM

I like the padded drum case idea. I do much the same with used kitty litter buckets. They have tight fitting lids that keep the snow out and nice handles. Great for cords, power supplies, batteries, books etc.

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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Hegerberg]
      #4080435 - 09/29/10 11:31 AM

I used an embroidery hoop as the support for a Baader film-style solar filter.

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Kchula-Rrit
super member


Reged: 10/17/07

Loc: The Matriarchy of Kzin
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #4092947 - 10/04/10 07:48 PM

Here's what I used recently to cover the extension on my Atlas tripod when I "beheaded" it.

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Kchula-Rrit
super member


Reged: 10/17/07

Loc: The Matriarchy of Kzin
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #4092959 - 10/04/10 07:54 PM Attachment (152 downloads)

Here's what I used recently to cover the extension on my Atlas tripod when I "beheaded" it. I figure the cap can be removed to vent.

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kw6562
Authoritative Ignoramus
*****

Reged: 06/25/08

Loc: MA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Kchula-Rrit]
      #4093516 - 10/05/10 12:09 AM

And you can always do the Mentos and Diet Coke trick when killing time between clouds!

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JJB
super member
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Reged: 07/17/06

Loc: South Florida
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #4103837 - 10/09/10 04:47 PM

I use snowboard bags for OTA padded carry bags, they work great!

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artao
super member


Reged: 10/06/10

Loc: SW Wisconsin
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: JJB]
      #4116286 - 10/14/10 08:19 PM

I just finished this one, and am pretty proud of my hack.
My scope had only a .965" visual back, so I very much needed to change this to 1.25".
Well, turns out this old, empty bottle of generic aceteminephin (sp?) is about exactly the size of the inner diameter of the focuser tube, and the neck of the bottle is just about exactly 1.25". I cut off the bottom of the bottle, sprayed the inside matte black, added a "shim" of a couple layers of masking tape, and now that sucker ain't comin outta the focus tube unless I REALLY REALLY want it too. To maintain tight eyepiece retention, I bought a small hose clamp at the local hardware store and fitted it around the neck. Holds my eyepieces solid and on center. I still need to hack together a decently useable knob to tighten the pipe clamp, but for now a flat-head screwdriver works.

A 2-axis stick on bubble level attached to my mount to level it, again from the local h-store.

Still trying to figure out what I can do with all the pieces from the cameras I've disassembled ....


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old_dog_zero_one
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/30/07

Loc: Schenectady, NY, USA, Earth,So...
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: artao]
      #4120371 - 10/16/10 07:01 PM

Sounds cool, artao, can you take & post a pic?

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AtomicPlatypus
member


Reged: 12/12/08

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: old_dog_zero_one]
      #4120491 - 10/16/10 08:03 PM

I've found any hardware store laser level set to "dot mode" is a great day time star simulator for aligning a polar alignment scope on a GEM mount. This would also work well for aligning a finder scope.

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Reverie
sage


Reged: 03/27/08

Loc: Somewhere far far away
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: AtomicPlatypus]
      #4129279 - 10/20/10 11:27 AM

I saw some stargazers using rifle scopes as optical finder. Rifle scopes are being sold everywhere.

A guy said to me that his 6x30 finder was confiscated by the police for security reasons, so he simply purchased a rifle scope...


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artao
super member


Reged: 10/06/10

Loc: SW Wisconsin
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Reverie]
      #4130447 - 10/20/10 07:16 PM

Hey, just noticed the request for picture of my hack ... I'll work on that today. Not much to see, I'm just happy I don't have to adapt anymore from .965 to 1.25 ... and no more off-axis nastiness either

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Grava T
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Quebec, Canada
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: artao]
      #4130944 - 10/20/10 10:48 PM Attachment (139 downloads)

Nice idea artao, would definitely like to see pics.

I took the tires off a toy Porsche car and put them on the focuser knob of my C8 for better grip.

Here's the car...


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Grava T
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Quebec, Canada
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Grava T]
      #4130947 - 10/20/10 10:49 PM Attachment (148 downloads)

...and the C8 with the tires.

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old_dog_zero_one
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/30/07

Loc: Schenectady, NY, USA, Earth,So...
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Grava T]
      #4131258 - 10/21/10 02:00 AM

Interesting... Celestron accessorized by Goodyear.

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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: old_dog_zero_one]
      #4132523 - 10/21/10 03:51 PM

I just purchased a couple of All Weather Bicycle Covers, for Telescope covers.

They are currently in stock at the "99 Pence Stores" here in the United Kingdom.

Yes, for less than a British Pound ! ( about $1.50 )

.


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BGeoghegan
super member


Reged: 03/22/10

Loc: Eastern CT
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: old_dog_zero_one]
      #4138805 - 10/24/10 01:47 PM

That Harbour Freight angle guage is up to $4.99. CN link markup????? (Just kidding) Still a good buy though.

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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
*****

Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #4154442 - 10/31/10 01:56 PM

I keep a roll of aluminum foil tape in my equipment kit to use for shimming purposes. I use it to shim the poles on my Obsession scopes where they attach to the upper cage assembly, and you can use it to shim eyepieces if they fit in your focuser a bit sloppy. Be very careful with aluminum foil tape because it is only one or two thousandths of an inch thick, so it can cut you like a razor blade. Also, be careful how you handle and store the roll, because if the edges of the roll get nicked, the tape will always want to tear off in that spot when you pull it off. Aluminum foil tape isn't cheap, but a roll should last you quite a long time. You can get it at plumbing and heating and air supply companies, and McMaster Carr also carries it.

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lunar
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/03/10

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #4158955 - 11/02/10 04:14 PM

Thank you for this bit of information, I have a large roll of this stuff since I make hobby rockets (just low to G-power rockets) and this stuff is excellent for some things involved with this. I'll throw a little bit in my observng box.

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Hypnotist
sage


Reged: 08/29/10

Loc: San Diego, CA, US
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: lunar]
      #4184554 - 11/14/10 08:39 AM

I'm looking for a cheap carring case for my Tak TOA 130S and for the Losmandy G11 mount. I found the Scopeguard stuff to be too expensive. Does anyone have an idea what I might want to use?

Thanks
Bart


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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
*****

Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Hypnotist]
      #4185269 - 11/14/10 02:43 PM

Quote:

I'm looking for a cheap carring case for my Tak TOA 130S and for the Losmandy G11 mount. I found the Scopeguard stuff to be too expensive. Does anyone have an idea what I might want to use?






I have the same storage and transport issue with my Losmandy G11. I came up with the idea of getting an ice chest for it. I'm going to line it with closed-cell foam cut-to-fit so that the mount will fit the chest snug and secure.


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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
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Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Hypnotist]
      #4206284 - 11/24/10 12:01 AM

I bought a speaker stand case from Amazon for my 80mm and tripod. I think there's a picture of it somewhere in this thread. It's longer than your Tak, I think, but there is an amazing array of cases for musical equipment.

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ch2co
sage
*****

Reged: 07/28/09

Loc: Rocky Mountain High USA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #4218018 - 11/29/10 10:53 PM

Have you investigated a golf club carrying case? The kind you use for airplane travel. They are hard sided cases with wheels,carrying handles etc. I've seen them used on several occasions and was quite impressed. I'm considering one myself if the dimensions are right. About $100. See, golf is good for something.

Dark,still,clear skies
Chuck aka the grumpy gator


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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
*****

Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: ch2co]
      #4218106 - 11/29/10 11:50 PM

Quote:

Have you investigated a golf club carrying case? The kind you use for airplane travel. They are hard sided cases with wheels,carrying handles etc. I've seen them used on several occasions and was quite impressed. I'm considering one myself if the dimensions are right. About $100. See, golf is good for something .

Dark,still,clear skies
Chuck aka the grumpy gator




Yes it is. If it weren't for golf, I wouldn't be nearly as good at cussing as I am now.


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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
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Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #4218116 - 11/29/10 11:59 PM

My pick and pluck foam from FoamByMAil came today and the bag it was compressed in was perfect as a scope cover on my Z10.

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FlashJohnson
member
*****

Reged: 10/14/10

Loc: Southern tip of Lake Michigan
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Mary B]
      #4229760 - 12/05/10 11:22 AM Attachment (134 downloads)

I was FREQUENTLY left with aching finger & hand joints when using the small diameter (3/4") focus shaft on my Meade LX 90... and I saw a number of fixes online for the dilemna I had... I ended up ordering a 2 1/2" (two point five inch) diameter "sheave" from Grainger (their part number 3X902) which costs (in 2010) $5.49 plus shipping. Its a "white metal" pulley wheel with one groove and a 3/4" inner diameter hole and set screw, which can be topped off with a ribbed plastic lid (e.g. from an instant coffee jar) so you are grasping a smoother, non-metallic larger diameter "wheel" which allows far more easier, more comfortable fine focusing then Meade's cold metal shaft. It works GREAT for me, and is very low-tech, which is my favorite kind of R. Goldberg solution!

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StarStuff1
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: FlashJohnson]
      #4249023 - 12/14/10 07:33 PM

Several people have mentioned using tarps or indoor/outdoor carpeting for kneepads and protection from dampness. A dozen or more times a year I do outreach from a roll off roof observatory. The concrete floor is hard and cold. An old boat cushion works great if I have to kneel down. It also serves as a very short stool for young astronomers to be.

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glennnnnnn
sage


Reged: 10/20/09

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #4249872 - 12/15/10 08:47 AM

If you have anything inflatable, like a boat or air-mattress you probably have a foot-pump that either came with it or you bought to blow up your inflatable product.

This foot-pump works great to blow away all of that dust and stuff that attaches itself to your lenses and mirrors!


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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: glennnnnnn]
      #4250325 - 12/15/10 01:06 PM

Quote:


This foot-pump works great to blow away all of that dust and stuff that attaches itself to your lenses and mirrors!




Are you sure you're only blowing air, and not oils and other sealants from the pump?


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glennnnnnn
sage


Reged: 10/20/09

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #4251437 - 12/15/10 10:42 PM

Well, that would be what I would be checking first. The kind of pump that comes to mind is the plastic one with the flexible bulb that's sort of all in one unit, valves included. There really isn't anything to lubricate in these things because they are really simple things- like an upgraded bellows.
What I would really watch out for is trying to pump air in a place that could pick up dust. Unfortunately this means outdoors. Trying to clean your Super APO at the beach would probably not be a good idea.
But its foot-powered, and provides a terrific whoosh of air that removes all that troublesome stuff that collects on lenses and mirrors by static charge. If you start out by just working it and allowing any trapped materials to exit the system then you can pretty much assume that there's nothing but air coming out. Then you're ready to clean optics.
The Oils and Sealants and Moisture are what come from mechanical pumps with motors and compression tanks and so on. Essentially the foot-pump is a super-duper version of those squeeze-bulb things you can find in camera shops, that puff away nasty things on your lens but the foot-pump produces such a massive stream of high-velocity that it works about a hundred times better.


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michael hester
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/28/08

Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: yowser]
      #4260369 - 12/20/10 12:52 PM

Back during all those back to school sales i got a plastic folder for 99c and put $5 worth of velcro tape on it. It became a dew shield for my ETX-80 and in some of the wettest places on earth (the mountain institute in WV) it kept the ETX bone dry.

Instructions for the 5.99 dew shield: works on up to 5 inch refractors/scts:
1. Get a plastic folder at CVS. Any color will do, but it has to be plastic, not that cardboard stuff cause the cardboard soaks up the water and only has one night worth of use before it disintegrates.
2. Get a roll of velcro tape at home depot. Price varies from 5 to 10 dollars.
3. Open up the folder wide and place it horizontal so that the long top and bottom edges are in front of you. The folder flaps should be up.
4. Separate the plastic side and cloth side of the velcro tape. Cut 2 pieces of the cloth velcro the length of the folder's long edge. Put one strip on the bottom of the folder, the other strip on the top. Keep them as level with the edge of the folder as possible.
5. Flip the folder over. Cut a 10 inch piece of the plastic side of the velcro tape. Cut that piece in half Put each piece on right side of the folder, one on the top, the other on the bottom, paralell with the cloth velcro on the other side of the folder.
6. The dew shield is done, fit it to your scope by holding the folder open under it, then wrap the right side of the folder around so that the plastic velcro is showing, and wrap the left side around it. It should fit snug. Adjust the other end of the aperture so that none of the folder blocks the light path inside.


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DarkSkys
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/11/10

Loc: In the dark desert of Eastern ...
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: michael hester]
      #4265558 - 12/22/10 06:06 PM

My scope probably has a few of the most unique parts in it,
M mirror cell springs are valvesprings from a Ford fflathead 4cyl.

Edited by DarkSkys (12/22/10 06:11 PM)


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MarioCannistra
member


Reged: 11/23/07

Loc: Pinerolo (TO), ITALY
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #4274455 - 12/27/10 01:30 PM

Glow in the dark tripod pads!
Made with some rubber squares just painted along the borders with phosphorescent acrylic paint.

Will test vibration suppression time. Meantime I will avoid kicking the tripod by accident...

in daylight:




in the dark:



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glennnnnnn
sage


Reged: 10/20/09

Loc: San Diego, CA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: MarioCannistra]
      #4275742 - 12/28/10 06:23 AM

Many plastic spray paint caps have an inner cap that goes over the center ferrule of the can.
By some strange coincidence this inner cap is an effortless slip-fit on the standard 1.25" eyepiece barrel (the end that goes in the focuser.) All you have to do is cut the rest of the cap away with a pair of scissors and you have another lens dust-cap to replace the one you lost in the dark.


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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
*****

Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: Jack Tripper]
      #4276326 - 12/28/10 01:22 PM

I have a large magnet taken from an old speaker that I keep in the back of my pickup truck. It's come in handy more than once for finding setscrews dropped in the grass around the telescope, as well as for finding small metal parts from my RC planes after the occasional "hard landing".

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sonny.barile
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: In the middle of the glow.
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: okieav8r]
      #4277255 - 12/28/10 10:05 PM

I have an idea I havent tried yet...but plan on!
My Nexstar 8se came with packing foam that fits the scope perfect. The box however is just cardboard. I believe it would end up getting damp in my auto hatch area. I am going to purchase some vinyl and laminate the box inside and out. Some velcro on the tabs will keep it shut. Some strong tape can be used to reinforce the corners and edges before laminating.
I will post my results...............

Edited by sonny.barile (12/28/10 10:06 PM)


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StarStuff1
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: sonny.barile]
      #4283592 - 12/31/10 08:56 PM

That should work fine, depending on how much transport of your scope you do. A couple of years ago my wife received a gift of two Toy Soldiers. They were about 5 1/2 ft tall. The cardboard boxes they came were tremendously thick. I turned one into a case for an 80mm refractor. It has worked out well.

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DarkSkys
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/11/10

Loc: In the dark desert of Eastern ...
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #4283966 - 01/01/11 01:00 AM

I use chunks of Bicycle innertube as eye guards on my EP's.

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shawnhar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #4285859 - 01/01/11 10:29 PM Attachment (129 downloads)

Gutted BB Scope as a "1x" finder scope, Drawer pull for a knob, 12" lazy suzan for azimuth bearing, drawer handle for a handle, sock with nuts/bolts tied to said handle for counter weight. Hand truck from Lowe's, film can and shiny washer make a cheap cheshire.

Edited by shawnhar (01/01/11 10:34 PM)


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shawnhar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #4285871 - 01/01/11 10:36 PM Attachment (150 downloads)

The "sock"

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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: shawnhar]
      #4291482 - 01/04/11 02:51 PM

Items like Fan Size adapters and Speed controllers for the computer industry come in very handy to maximize airflow and minimize vibrations

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ZeroID
sage


Reged: 04/21/10

Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy? new [Re: DarkSkys]
      #4301860 - 01/09/11 04:19 AM

Quote:

My scope probably has a few of the most unique parts in it,
M mirror cell springs are valvesprings from a Ford fflathead 4cyl.




Mine are 3 neoprene rollers off a Xerox Copier paper feed set. No sideways shift at all !! Haven't collimated since I built the scope and it's been moved around a lot. Handcart, back of the car, dragged and nearly dropped.


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johnnyha
Postmaster
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Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: shawnhar]
      #4302783 - 01/09/11 03:22 PM

"The sock" also makes a nice secondary cover...

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Jim T
member


Reged: 12/15/10

Loc: MO
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: johnnyha]
      #4307425 - 01/11/11 03:12 PM

-12" lazy susan azimuth bearing with furniture slider outriggers on my 16" dob.
-plastic orange juice container, with end cut out and flat black spray paint applied, to use as a deeper dew shield for my 8x50 finder. Works great.
-ankle weights for counterbalance on my dob
-bleacher seat cushions stay in car for both football games as well as for use as knee pads when pointing my 8" SCT.
-Canvas tool bags for carrying accessories (flexible!)
-hiking tripod seat for note-taking (very portable)
-2 step ladder works nicely as a chair also
-elastic head light with 2 red lights from sporting goods department at Wally World
-Tosti-Toes chemical foot warmers!


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: dandabson]
      #4307595 - 01/11/11 04:18 PM

Quote:

One word "VELCRO"

I use it to secure hand controlers, dew buster cables, etc.


My 12.5" mirror kept sliding out of its sling, so I used Velcro to keep it in place. Never had the problem again.

- Roy


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: Jim T]
      #4308449 - 01/11/11 11:16 PM

Jim, Welcome to the forums! Glad you joined us here.

Thanks for the great suggestions!


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: RogerRZ]
      #4309346 - 01/12/11 12:08 PM Attachment (142 downloads)

Quote:

I used a fiberglass water treatment plant tank for the dome on my observatory.


Our club used a silo top for our observatory.

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Scopyfrank
999 Forever
*****

Reged: 08/29/08

Loc: Luxembourg
Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: ]
      #4309367 - 01/12/11 12:19 PM

Wow, very nice. Looks good.

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Anonymous
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #4309564 - 01/12/11 02:12 PM

Quote:

No one mentioned using chemical hand warmers on the back of hand controllers to keep them functional in very cold weather.



As a matter of fact, you can use chemical hand warmers to keep dew off your secondary mirror. There will be a slight loss in aperture, but it's better than not being able to observe at all, on those dewy summer nights.

- Roy


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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: ]
      #4309579 - 01/12/11 02:21 PM

I bought an eye-patch at a local drug store for about a dollar. I place the patch over my right eye while I observe so that I don't need to squint. I shift it to the left eye after a half-hour. This helps with eye-strain and also preserves dark adaption.

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James Cunningham
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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: ]
      #4314565 - 01/14/11 04:51 PM

Where do you place the handwarmers?

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Re: "Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronom new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #4315088 - 01/14/11 09:27 PM

Quote:

Where do you place the handwarmers?



If you have a Newtonian, fold the handwarmer around the metal top part of the secondary mirror holder. (Obsession scopes use this kind of secondary.) Then, wrap part of a sock around the hand warmer and use a thick rubber band to hold this in place. Do this with your reflector tilted almost parallel to the ground, since you don't want the warmer to fall onto the mirror.

I notice you have an SCT.