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AR-5 Dew Shade

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#1 Stacy

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 07:08 PM

Hi,

I made this longer dew guard for my AR-5 refractor to replace the short wimpy one it came with.

I got a 24” length of 6” drain riser from Home Depot for about $13. It’s about 1/8” thick plastic of some kind. I cut it in half so my dew shield would be 12” long. It needed a little sanding on the inside to make it fit on the scope, but it now fits nice and snug.

I applied to the outside:

1 coat of plastic primer.
3 coats of high gloss white (not an exact match, but close enough).
1 coat of clear enamel.

On the inside:

1 coat of “stone texture” spray paint.
1 coat of ultra flat black.

I light sanded the exterior prior to painting, and used steel wool between coats. I sanded the interior with a med. grade sandpaper so the texture would stick well. I left a 1.5” area on the inside scope end un-textured or painted so it would fit on the holder nicely.

This shot is during the exterior painting.

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  • 20848-DewCap1.jpg


#2 Stacy

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 07:09 PM

This is the finished dew shade.

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  • 20849-DewCap2.jpg


#3 Stacy

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 07:11 PM

This is the dew shade on the scope. The shade weighs about 1 2/3 lbs. I had to move the scope about 2" in it's rings to compensate for the extra weight.

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  • 20850-DewCap3.jpg


#4 Stacy

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 07:13 PM

I also found these little 2" couplers in the plumbing section. They fit perfectly on a Meade standard finder to extend the dew shade. 48 cents.

Regards,
Stacy

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  • 20851-DewCap4.jpg


#5 Trever

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 07:53 PM

Looks very nice and professional. I may need to do this with My Celestron...

I was also actually thinking of painting it white but I am afraid of ruining it.

#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 07:54 PM

Gotta love those standard sizes Meade uses. PVC, Sonotube, just about anything off the rack will fit with very minor sanding.

I did the same thing with Sonotube on my 6", but it didn't look real pretty so I did one out of sheet plastic at 15".
That one took a little more work, but it's much lighter and looks much, much better.

Yours looks great and you can't tell it from factory. Good job! I took some photos of mine. When I use up this roll I'll have them put on a CD and upload a few.

Stacey, the next time you use your finder scope, let me know if you can see the dew shield as kind of a blur. I believe that Meade used these short dewshields on the 5" and 6" because the finder scope is not mounted high enough off the OTA to visually clear a longer one.

#7 777Guy

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 08:36 PM

Stacy,
I personally never liked the short dew sheild that comes with the AR5 and AR6. Your fix looks really nice and is clever engineering. I have seen the AR5 and 6 at Anacortes Telescope and Wild Bird and have been intrigued with the possiblity of obtaining one without the GoTo feature. How do you like your scope? Do you recommend it? Do you know how it compares with the AR6 and Celestron 150?
I am leaving town tonight for an overseas trip and be back in 10 days in case you don't get a response from me.

Jim

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 08:40 PM

Stacy, does it reduce your FOV at all? That is a first rate job you did on the dew shield, BTW...nice job.

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 09:32 PM

777Guy, if you have a a Jepp #3/4 Europe Low Altitude that is out of date, I'd like to buy it from you.

I don't have a subscription and use it on MSFS2002. Mine is pretty beat up. Send me an e-mail or PM if you have one you can spare. My last one is dated 21MAR02.

I can't get ahold of my American Airlines friend.

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 09:40 PM

Tom, my eleven incher that I made reduced the FOV slightly on my 6" over the stock shield. As I've said before, I think that's why they made these shields so short because of the finder height over the OTA.

I haven't had a look yet as to the effect of the 15"'er I made for mine. Might be another week or more before I see if the FOV is further reduced over the 11"'er I had on it.

It never intruded to the center on the field, but you could see that it was there.

Let us know Stacey. I'm really interested in proving my theory.

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 10:32 PM

I made one too for my 5" but its made of rolled black posterboard paper, then I taped its outside with clear packing tape and lined the inside with blk velvet. Mine is 12" long and the lens finally dosent dew up anymore, made quite a difference on reflections near bright objects I noticed using the velvet inside. Best part was it cost me under $5. Im not using the stock finder mine is on a taller stalk from a 8X50 TAL so the finder FOV wasnt interupted luckly. Dave

#12 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 10:38 PM

How did you keep the seam of the cardboard tube at a constant radius? I'd really like to know.

I thought about doing that, but the thought of the cardstock trying to straighten itelf at the seam made me abandon that idea.

That's why I used Plexiglass.

#13 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 10:53 PM

Schultz,
Im pretty good with my hands doing that kind of work for a living so it was pretty easy for me to do. What I did was first wrap the end of the OTA with 1-pc. of the heavy paper cutting it so it didnt overlap but just butt itself. Then I taped it tightly, next I rolled the posterboard tightly over it making sure it sat on and followed the ridge of the dewshield. That kept it the same on the scope end, then I taped it at that end to hold it. While I rolled it I watched the outer end to be sure it followed suit which it did. I then removed the paper dewshield and gently reversed it so that I could use the scope as a template for the other end. I pulled it tight again and taped that end. I slightly readjusted the tape at the first end and it was now ready to be tape rolled. Afterwards, It was stiff as heck and very lightweight and waterproof. I used waterproof mastic to glue the velvet on as its extremely tacky, ( will even hold 4" tiles in place on a vertical wall!) And of course its waterproof too. The blk shows thru the clear tape so I didnt paint it as it would eventually chip or crack im sure anyway. I sorta like the homemade look of it myself anyway.The first pc. of posterboard set the tolerance so the dewshield wouldnt be too tight it slides on gently but snug. Dave

#14 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 11:01 PM

Neccesity is indeed the Mother of invention! Sounds like a good built.

I never thought about using mastic for the felt in the inside of the tube. Good idea. I used Elmer's spray adhesive on the inside of the tube and the back of the felt.

I hope it doesn't give any future problems.


#15 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 11:18 PM

Yea,
The mastic drys hard as a rock making it very solid.Its still flexable tho and wont crack.
Mostly reason I used it really. Dave

#16 777Guy

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 11:34 PM

I will see if the latest revision has a lo 3/4. But you may have to wait till I get another revision. Some Euro charts are updated less frequently than domestic charts. I will try to remember but if you are just using it for msfs then I don't think it is that critical as the changes are usaully not noticeable anyway.
Jim

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 11:35 PM

If I ever have to replace the felt in mine that's going to be my first choice of adhesive. :waytogo:

#18 Stacy

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Posted 15 November 2003 - 11:52 PM

Stacey, the next time you use your finder scope, let me know if you can see the dew shield as kind of a blur. I believe that Meade used these short dewshields on the 5" and 6" because the finder scope is not mounted high enough off the OTA to visually clear a longer one.


I remember your post about that from before so I checked it early and didn’t notice any darkness from the shield in the finder FOV, but that was inside the house. I’ll have to wait to get it outside but I think with the 5” , the shield will not get in the way. (hope) :)

Regards,
Stacy

#19 Stacy

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 12:19 AM

Stacy,
I personally never liked the short dew sheild that comes with the AR5 and AR6. Your fix looks really nice and is clever engineering. I have seen the AR5 and 6 at Anacortes Telescope and Wild Bird and have been intrigued with the possiblity of obtaining one without the GoTo feature. How do you like your scope? Do you recommend it? Do you know how it compares with the AR6 and Celestron 150?
I am leaving town tonight for an overseas trip and be back in 10 days in case you don't get a response from me.

Jim


Hi Jim,

I have heard that the AR-5 is a little more consistent in its quality of optics than the AR-6, however the AR-6 has an adjustable cell where the 5’s do not. The Celestron 150 is a big unit and has a shorter FL, but many people around here own one (or have owned one) and could probably give you a little better idea than I could about it’s optics. Generally speaking the faster the achro, the more “color”. I love the views out of the AR-5 and it’s a fun scope to use. I have heard there are some “issues” with the LXD55 mounts (especially the GOTO and the aluminum tripod).

I bought it as an OTA on Astromart and have seen them there since for $250 - $300 for the OTA, rings, finder, diagonal etc. It’s very happy sitting on the CG-5 (Advanced Series, non GoTo). The tripod extends enough to get it up in the air very nicely. I know there are people, who frown on the GC-5 series mounts, but it holds my 8” newt just fine and I have not upgraded it or even changed the grease (yet). At $339 it’s a lot of mount for the money IMHO.

In answer to your question, I do recommend the scope, but not the mount or tripod. However I believe some (Dave) for instance have had good results with the mount. The Guy I bought the scope from (Gig Harbor) has his mount on a pier and holds his Borg 80mm. He bought the whole scope just to get the mount, so obviously some are happy with them.

I can’t wait to get out with the new dew shield. It’s a bit heavier than I would have liked, but it’s quite solid. :grin:

Regards,
Stacy

#20 Stacy

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 12:23 AM

Stacy, does it reduce your FOV at all? That is a first rate job you did on the dew shield, BTW...nice job.


Hey thanks Tom! No it does not reduce the FOV at all. I was really happy with the way the inside “texture” turned out. It’s nice and bumpy and very black. Felt probably would help with the dew a little more though. :question:

Regards,
Stacy

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 12:30 AM

Thanks for checking for me. No it's not the revisions I need it for. Mine is literally falling apart at the folds. and I can't see some of the navaid, airway, or airport info.

The canned flight plans are almost never accurate anyway and intersections are frequently out of place or absent all together. I have to redo most that the program spits out, as many routes are going in the wrong direction, though I know at certain times and FL's you can take one in the other direction.

Jeppesen was in on the planning for this program which really surprises me for the number of errors I've found in routing. It is supposed to be identical to the charts for Hi or Lo depending on how you file. I can't believe there have that many intersection moves/adds/del. and navaid changes especially since the latest chart I'm using is from MAR02.

"Cleared as filed" doesn't mean much at Microsoft. Thanks 777Guy. Have a good flight.



#22 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 12:35 AM

I can't wait to get mine out and see how it does. You really did a fine job on that. It looks a lot better than factory.

#23 Stelios

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 02:26 AM

In answer to your question, I do recommend the scope, but not the mount or tripod.


Let me second this. I have had recently over a friend's AR-5 for "evaluation". Basically the mount is going back to Meade -- it is simply unworkable, every so often it just slews off and from that moment it's so much off on every subsequent slew.

But the AR-5 scope now -- that's another story. Very nice little refractor. Yesterday (mounted on my CG-5 goto -- a perfect fit) it gave us a nice teaser split of the double-double with clean black between, then went on to Saturn and presented us with the Cassini division, an equatorial belt, and 4 moons (this in fairly light-polluted skies). It showed five stars in the Trapezium (the fifth barely glimpsed but confirmed by the map afterwards). Easy split of Castor followed. Mars showed a little detail at 200X but it's getting to be too small. But overall fabulous performance, color was not at all noticeable on Saturn and very slightly on Mars, a non-issue on other targets. The moon had no appreciable color, but was so bright that we had to use a filter even at 120X.

It is completely unbelievable to me (dating back to the early 60's as observer) that you can get a refractor like this for around $250 today. Please note that I am talking about the AR-5, the AR-6 has much more color (from my observing with one at a star party) and (subjective) is not quite as sharp.

#24 Stacy

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 12:29 PM

Hey Stelios!

Is that the CG-5 Advanced GoTo you are talking about? I have been curious about the accuracy of the GoTo on that mount but I haven't seen a review yet. Have you documented the performance/accuracy/use of the GoTo version? :)

Regards,
Stacy

#25 777Guy

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 05:03 PM

Schultze,
Just got back from a 10 day military charter and had some new revisions. I have a 3/4 LO Europe chart dated June 13th. If you still want it let me know and I'll mail it to you. My email is 777arkangel@comcast.net. or you can respond on this forum.
Jim Baird


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