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How to block lights while observing

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#26 csa/montana

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 04:14 PM

If they had a spool of material that could be attached to another spool or pole so I could simply separate the two spools and have the material unroll that would be neat, but I probably won't find anything like that which would be large enough.



George, if that's all you're looking for; why not use heavy duty plastic that comes in rolls. You could attach each end to a "pole" of some sort, & then secure the first pole, & roll out the plastic & secure the 2nd pole.

#27 Classic8

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 04:41 PM

I was thinking of something along those lines. Actually, I just thought of it a little bit ago, so I still have to go see what's out there that might accomplish that, and whether it would actually work well enough. I probably won't get a chance to do that this week, but maybe next week I'll see what can be done.

#28 FlyingAstronomer

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 05:00 PM

Thanks Chris. That's very helpful! I liked the phrase above, "mechanically-declined" and it's an apt description of me. What I like about this project is: a) even I can do it, and b) I think it both looks better and is likely to be more durable than any sort of PVC/tarp/plastic approach.

I'm not too concerned about it traveling. I need this for home, if I'm going to get back into astronomy. It's mostly decorative "spray the light every which way" street lights, not so much neighbor's lights. My neighbor used to leave his lights on but he hasn't done that in many months now. OTOH, I may have to borrow or rent a truck to get the things home. The 6' length, but not 8', would fit in my Mazda Protege 5 with the rear seats folded down, but not the 4' width, no way.

#29 Chris Curran

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 06:11 PM

Wait 'til the first "redneck" comes across your path!! :grin: :grin:Mike


I *am* a redneck so we'd get along just fine! I'd show them my StarStructure 12.5" DOB pained up in Dale Sr. motif and that would be the end of it. What good red blooded redneck is going to give #3 a hard time??? :)

#30 Brian Risley

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 08:35 PM

Chris, I recall being told about one camper at WRP that paid for electricity so he was gonna use it!
Brian :)

#31 meteorite

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 10:40 PM

Looks like I block stray light different from most folks. Get a piece of black cloth, may $3.00 at the most from Wal Mart and throw it over your head at the eyepiece. It is cheap, blocks stray light well, is easily transportale, requies no set up or building, can't be knocked over by gusts of wind wind and ... did it meantion it is cheap.

-Walt

#32 David L

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 11:30 PM

Biggest problem I have with a veil is the moisture from my breath and my eyes fogging up the eyepiece. I am trying to figure out a good way to make panels high enough for a 16" Lightbridge. The standard 6' high privacy fencing is just not high enough. I have been thinking about using 4X8 sheets of corrugated plastic board, which is rather light. Perhaps I could even make a veil that covers and hangs down from a bee helmet enough to block out stray light, but allows moisture from breathing to escape. Dave

#33 FlyingAstronomer

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:21 AM

That also only works hanging on your head, at the eyepiece, not so good for looking up naked eye or with binos or even aiming the scope. Not the same thing at all, IMHO. I cold just use my darkcloth from my 4x5 camera setup for that.

#34 Chris Curran

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 06:56 AM

Not the same thing at all, IMHO. cold just use my darkcloth from my 4x5 camera setup for that.


Plus it has a velcro attachment spot! At least mine does. I use mine for solar viewing, but that's it. Which reminds me, I haven't busted out the 4x5 in years. Many years. I should just give it away 'cause it ain't worth nothing in this digital world... :(

#35 Luigi

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:02 PM

One thing I've used in the past was an eye patch on my observing eye to keep it dark adapted, lifting it up only when observing. Arrrgh

#36 StarStuff1

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:16 PM

This works for me unless the wind is stiff. Only one tarp is shown but I always use two. The red upright poles are clamped to the retaining walls with wood working clamps. Total cost (not including the clamps which actually are used for woodworking). Total cost less than $15 since the red wooden dowels/poles were free from a Christmas display taken down several years ago.

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#37 Chris Curran

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:00 PM

One thing I've used in the past was an eye patch on my observing eye to keep it dark adapted, lifting it up only when observing. Arrrgh


That works, but, you will walk around like a drunk for a few mins when you take it off! :D

#38 izar187

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 01:12 AM

I too have used an eyepatch, Aaarrr.
And a drape over the head.
Strategically run clothes lines with tarps also work, and can be run quite high if needed.
The pannels folks are using are just great!

In the end I just gave up observing from my suburban yard. Too many motion detector lights around now, and more commercial lighting, and dog do, and trees, and skunks. I invest in a 15 minute(or more) drive to more rural sky instead. It does require some field trips during the day(and night) to find some place(s). But the results in darker-ness, open horizons, nocturnal wildlife vocalizations, and general peace-n-quiet, are well worth the investments, to me.

#39 jki

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 05:48 AM

just built me a set of these(the foam panels) and they work great even my wife can carry them if she wants. Thinking of adding "feet" to them for when the wind picks up

#40 Busguy

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 11:36 AM

I posted this solution some time ago. The only do-over is I would have replaced the wheels with rubber ones as in the middle of the night, these make a lot of noise. I use glow in the dark paracord with glow in the dark stakes to secure on windy days.
Works well.

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#41 Mike4242

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 12:30 PM

I use a 10' patio umbrella on it's side.

#42 thesubwaypusher

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 02:22 PM

Observing hood by Dark Skies Apparel.

#43 orion61

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:18 AM

I have used a Black cloth draped over my head, I have purchased some after market eyepiece winged eyecups they block light from the side pretty well. they work with either eye and fit most small eyepieces the flip up wings are about 1.5" tall.

#44 starrancher

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:54 AM

I take a black "T" shirt and put just the collar over my head letting the rest of the shirt just sitting on my shoulders . When needed , just pull the rest of the shirt up over your head and drape it down over everything , effectively having a black tent over your head , eyepiece , focuser . Works great . When taking a break , it just sits on your shoulders again , going wherever you do . (Next scope , coffee break , etc) . No chance of fumbling around Looking for it after misplacement etc .
I can't take credit for this idea though . I read it someplace . I think it was a Phil Harrington idea .
:bow: :bow: :bow:

#45 Michael2

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 06:32 PM

Great tip Dave,thanks. :bow: I keep dropping the piece of cloth/towel etc. Having the little black tent stuck on your shoulders sounds like the go.

Michael

#46 kfiscus

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 06:41 PM

You might not take credit for this cool idea but you're the one that shared it. I'm going to give this a try. It couldn't be any easier or cheaper! Thank you.


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