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"Non-astronomy" equipment adapted for astronomy?

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1060 replies to this topic

#51 reddog15

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 03:48 PM

Flower pot.

Bruce

sun gun

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

#52 izar187

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 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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#53 Ragaisis

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 09:19 AM

Now that is just TOO cool. :bow:

#54 Jim Curry

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 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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#55 MrKrink

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 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.

#56 MrKrink

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 02:39 PM

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??

#57 magic612

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 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.

#58 csa/montana

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 02:16 PM

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

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:08 PM

I'm honoured Carol! :grin: So happy to be a small part of that.
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#60 csa/montana

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:27 PM

I'm honoured Carol! :grin: 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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#61 reddog15

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 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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#62 Booji

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 08:15 PM

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

#63 reddog15

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 08:20 PM

Nice this has been a good thread :bow:

#64 DaemonGPF

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 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.

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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.

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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.

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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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#65 TONGKW

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 08:24 PM

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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  • 3590247-C6 push to.jpg

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#66 reddog15

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 08:25 PM

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

#67 Jack Tripper

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 04:51 AM

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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#68 RogerRZ

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 05:19 AM

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

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 11:02 AM

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


Nice!
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#70 DaemonGPF

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:34 PM

Wow :bow: :bow: 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.

#71 DaemonGPF

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:36 PM

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!

#72 reddog15

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:39 PM

Wow :bow: :bow: 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" :question:

#73 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 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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#74 DaemonGPF

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:58 PM

Wow :bow: :bow: 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" :question:


:grin: 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.

#75 reddog15

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:28 PM

Dang Josh I could be dead by then :p Oh well just have to wait ;)
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