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LightBlockPanels Completed/Thanks for all the help

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#1 LindaS

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 06:34 PM

My husband and I finished the panels. They are very similar to ones that you can purchase, so here is an approximate comparison.

Panels purchased already assembled or kits (1 inch 40 schedule PVC & 10oz. fabric)
5 panels, with risers similar in size to what we made:
approx. $500 = panel kits + riser kits + (4) weights + shipping to CA ($70?)
approx. $750 = panels + risers + (4) weights + shipping to CA (150?)

5 Homemade panels
(2) 84in. X 52in. & (3) 76 in. X 52in., using 1-in./40 schedule PVC & 16 oz. Duvetyne fabric
PVC, Joints, Cutter, Glue, Screws, Washers, etc. - $120
Portable weights and Irwin clamps purchased retailer - $100
Material (16 oz Duvetyne) - $100
Total = approx. $320

You could easily shave another $65 off of that by not buying the portable weights and making them yourself. (We really needed something because we live in a windy area,) Also, you could buy less expensive material.

However with all that said, I am very pleased with the results. The dimensions of the panels are customized, specifically, to fit our needs. The panels fit together perfectly. The clamps work great. The panels are extremely stable in windy conditions. The weights work wonderfully, and the light blocking is incredible.

A hint about using duvetyne – It is made to block light, so it functions beautifully. However, it is difficult to find locally, so you would have to order it which significantly adds to the cost. Also, it frays at the edges, so I had to put fabric glue around the cut edges to stop the fraying.

The biggest problem associated with the project was purchasing the materials. It was difficult finding black nylon washers and the clamps, and we couldn’t buy the fabric, locally, etc.

This project was a lot of work, but well worth it. Thank you, for all of your posts! We definitely could not have done it without all of your help.

Pictures are included.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1606657-panels.JPG


#2 LindaS

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 06:35 PM

View from the back.

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  • 1606660-panels2.JPG


#3 csa/montana

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 06:57 PM

Linda: An exceptional job! Congratulations, on a beautiful job with your custom panels! This shows others what can be done to make their viewing more enjoyable.

I thank you for sharing these with our members; I'm sure this will inspire others to make them as well.

With your permission, I would like to add this link to "Carol's Picks" /Dark Sky Panels!

:bow:

Carol

#4 oldsalt

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:19 AM

Very nicely done Linda. Great ATN project for many members. You might consider doing a short article on how to construct the light blocking panels and submitting it for inclusion on CN.

#5 ngc6475

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:28 AM

You did a great job on those panels, Linda! They look great!

Jim makes a good point: many people would find an article on how you made your panels very useful!

Again, good job! :waytogo:

#6 Tim in GA

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 08:24 AM

Awesome job! I am getting ready to build the same thing. I picked up a bunch of black cotton duck cloth at a good price and will be going to a fabric warehouse sale Saturday to see if I can get more. Thanks for sharing that!

#7 Sky Captain

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 10:13 AM

:bow:Great Job Linda! :bow:

I started a similar project last year but haven't got around to it yet(I have all the parts). Your great post has inspired me to get it finished, Thanks. :)

#8 lynntx

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 12:20 PM

Impressive results from your project. I'm sure it will be an inspiration to others.

Lynn

#9 Chris Schroeder

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 12:49 PM

Looks great Linda:waytogo:

#10 tog

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 01:08 PM

Wow! fantastic job.
tog

#11 paul hart

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 04:49 PM

I'll go along with everyone else, and agree it looks great. First class job - you done good. :whee:

#12 rick rian

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 08:43 PM

Wow ... very nice job! You have inspired me to try the same. :waytogo:

Thanks for posting. :ubetcha:

#13 CarolG

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 09:38 PM

Linda, That's a real professional looking job! They look great!! How do you have the weights attached? The reason I ask is because I made similar looking weights and used a plumbing pipe strap to hook over the bottom PVC. I had one weight per panel ( I have 8 panels) and thought I was set. The first gust of wind and my panels went scooting across the driveway :(. The plumbing straps have a hole on the end just big enough for a small tent stake to fit through. When set up on grass, I can put the stake in and hold it more firmly. For added security, I put an eye bolt in the top PVC piece so I can tie it down securely. Maybe you don't have the high winds we have in Oklahoma, so all this may be more than you need. Where did you get your duvetyne? Someday I may replace the duck canvas I used with it. I know you will enjoy your panels. They really make adifference.

#14 LindaS

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 12:54 AM

How do you have the weights attached?

We bought them directly from dark sky. Here is a link to a picture of them on the dark sky website portable weights
In the picture you can see a hook attached to the plastic container. The hook (It might be made of aluminum.) is attached with a bolt and nut to the bottom of the container. The weights cost us $40 for (4) + $15 shipping. We had originally only planned to build 4 panels, so we bought 4 weights, but we actually built 5 panels. So, far, we have had no problems with the panels blowing down or sliding, but eventaully we'll, probably try to make or buy another weight for the 5th panel. It is very windy here on the Central Coast. They weights are pricey, but the seem to work well.

Where did you get your duvetyne?

We bought from a couple of different places. Here is the least expensive of the two. Showbiz Expendables

#15 ned_l

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:47 AM

Awesome job! The panels look great. I have been considering doing something similar. Do they really help? I have problems with street lights and neighbor lights causing glare on my eyepice, so I have been considering some panels.

#16 LindaS

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 11:57 AM

Do they really help? I have problems with street lights and neighbor lights causing glare on my eyepice, so I have been considering some panels.

They definitely help with the glare. You can, also, try observing with a towel over your head. It looks a little silly, but it works. Another good thing about the panels is that it allows your eyes to get adapted to the dark. My eyes were never dark adapted, because there was a streetlight blaring down on me from almost every direction. The panels do add more time and hassle to your set up. It is probably only about 5 minutes, but they are arkward to move. That is the only downside that I see.


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