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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Achernar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: Dave Lee]
      #6072987 - 09/10/13 11:04 AM

I have made poles from 1 1/4" EMT conduit, welding eye and U-bolts to them to run lines through. In the ground, I set pieces of 1 1/2" PVC electrical conduit in concrete in the ground. The EMT poles fit snugly into the PVC conduit, and they can be inserted and removed at any time. My neighbors are nice people but sometimes their flood lights shine right into my eyes, so I made these poles and hand black Riptstop on them to block their lights. I had tried PVC pipe and Ripstop portable light screens but the wind blew them over even when I braces them with tent stakes and ropes. I am planning to make some from EMT electrical conduit that will be much stronger and higher to block the biggest problem, a street light across the street. You could certainly use this method to block out nearby lights on your land from the neighbors, and put them away when you're not observing to avoid any HOA or other busy bodies.

Taras


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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: Achernar]
      #6073035 - 09/10/13 11:23 AM

I did panels, but that got old after 4 sessions, so I build a obsevatory with tall walls. That worked, but you know, I still get extremely mad as I get blinded by my neighbors electric lawn suns, so I want more! I want to install a row of those cone shaped evergreen trees all along my property line. You know, the ones that look like soilders in formation....

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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6073154 - 09/10/13 12:33 PM

Quote:

I did panels, but that got old after 4 sessions, so I build a obsevatory with tall walls. That worked, but you know, I still get extremely mad as I get blinded by my neighbors electric lawn suns, so I want more! I want to install a row of those cone shaped evergreen trees all along my property line. You know, the ones that look like soilders in formation....




You'll need multiple rows, those lights tend to bore right thru.


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Dave Lee
sage


Reged: 02/14/13

Loc: Pinehurst, NC USA
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: Dave Lee]
      #6082287 - 09/15/13 03:32 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

I did a quick and dirty build of a light blocker. It was quick and dirty primarily because I have a bunch of deferred yard landscaping to do in this area (some of which might help the problem), and I wasn't ready to spend a bunch of money or effort. I attached some pics here.

Note that ...

1) This is built from PVC just 'stuck together' (so it is easy to take apart)

2) The fabric is 'light blocking panels' from the local dollar store. They are adequate for my problem (much of which is already reduced by other plantings)

3) Yes, I have basically built a sail. So operation in winds much above 10 mph will probably be unworkable. I can live with that on an interim basis (and in our area overnight winds are typically mild).

4)All the PVC pipe is 3/4 inch. But the corner posts are put into 1" PVC pipe that is buried maybe 18 inches into the ground. It makes the whole structure simple to dis-assemble.

5) I've got trees or roofs blocking my view of the horizon in all directions. The height of the blocking fabric is as low as it can be but still block offending light. The front was a problem, however. High enough to block the lights across the street also blocked 10 to 15 degrees of my ssouthern view. So the two front corner posts can be raised (or lowered) by inserting/removing a spacer into the 1 inch PVC that holds the corner posts.

6) At this point the rear of the light blocker is open. The myrtle hedge behind me is quite thick/dense and the house on the other side has few windows facing me.

Good enough for now (based on one short, early morning viewing session earlier today).

dave


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Dave Lee
sage


Reged: 02/14/13

Loc: Pinehurst, NC USA
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: Dave Lee]
      #6082290 - 09/15/13 03:34 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

Guess I can only do one pic at a time. Here is the look inside from the rear (right now the rear is open).

dave

Edited by Dave Lee (09/15/13 07:49 PM)


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tecmageModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/13/10

Loc: Glenview, IL
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: Dave Lee]
      #6082698 - 09/15/13 07:45 PM

Thanks for the description and pics Dave

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Dave Lee
sage


Reged: 02/14/13

Loc: Pinehurst, NC USA
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: Dave Lee]
      #6082714 - 09/15/13 07:53 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

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

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

dave


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AlBoning
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/06/11

Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights [Re: Dave Lee]
      #6083022 - 09/15/13 11:19 PM

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

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

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


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: Dave Lee]
      #6087743 - 09/18/13 11:02 AM Attachment (21 downloads)

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


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #6087882 - 09/18/13 12:10 PM

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

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faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6094132 - 09/21/13 09:27 PM

Quote:

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




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


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faackanders2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/28/11

Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: faackanders2]
      #6094155 - 09/21/13 09:47 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Feidb
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/09/09

Loc: Nevada
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: faackanders2]
      #6094269 - 09/21/13 11:23 PM

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

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

Oh well...


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Startraffic
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Lat. 39.143345, Long. -77.1748...
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6098037 - 09/24/13 09:18 AM

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

Clear Dark Skies
Startraffic
39.138274 -77.168898


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: Startraffic]
      #6098099 - 09/24/13 09:53 AM

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

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Startraffic
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Lat. 39.143345, Long. -77.1748...
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: csrlice12]
      #6099839 - 09/25/13 07:13 AM

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

Clear Dark Skies
Startraffic
39.138274 -77.168898


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: On Blocking Neighborhood Lights new [Re: Startraffic]
      #6100345 - 09/25/13 01:07 PM

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


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