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Observing hood?

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#1 TiSaph

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 09:13 AM

Good morning, all.  I find that when I'm observing, even in a darker location I like a hood to cut down the light, make my non-used eye less distracting, and help me focus on the view.  I've used various things like towels and T-shirts, but I don't particularly like them - they are the wrong dimensions to easily drape over without adjusting, and the material can get hot, or not block enough light, depending.

 

What observing hoods have you used that you recommend?  Thanks!



#2 OleCuss

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 09:31 AM

I got the R-Sky vest with hood a few days ago:  http://r-sky.org/en/.../observing-hood  Of course, ever since I've been clouded/rained out so I've not gotten to try it out under the stars.

 

But it seems really well-made and thought out.

 

I got the one with the white exterior since I like better visibility of my gear in the dark.  The interior is black and that's where I want the black.  It also means I got the one which is good for both daytime solar observing and night-time stargazing.



#3 jeremiah2229

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 09:34 AM

A square yard of the densest but breathable black material from Walmart sewing section. Cut to preference. Enjoy.  :)

 

 

Peace...


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#4 B 26354

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 10:43 AM

I've had a black R-Sky hood for four months. What I like best about it, is that it extends much farther forward than a hooded T-shirt or sweatshirt does... so it's far more effective at blocking surrounding lights. The snaps on it make it very easy to adjust it to fit. It's also quite comfortable to wear, and large enough that it easily slips on an off your head, while staying in place on your shoulders... unlike a large towel or piece of cloth.


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#5 spencerj

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 10:44 AM

I have used a Dark Sky Apparel Observing Vest for a long time.  The vest has a nice attached hood and the a number of very useful pockets.  I got a size large enough that it fits over my warmest jacket.  One of my most used astronomy accessories, but I don't  know if they are available anymore from that company. 



#6 Allanbarth1

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 12:21 PM

I noticed you mention your eye not used distracting you. "my non-used eye less distracting," I'm just curious if you ever thought about using an eye patch to help you with this. I have a similar issue finding my eye not in use causing me to sometimes break my focus of the object in the eye piece. Also I find with long secessions at the eye piece my non-used eye get more difficult to keep closed. Also when I would look at something not in the ep, then go back to the eye piece it would take me 3 or 4 seconds to get settled back to that comfortable spot and position again. 

 

They run between $3 and $6 depending where you pick one up from. I like the one I get at the drugstore best as they are softer, but it's a comfort and personal preference thing. I realized immediately upon wearing it at the eye piece I was much more relaxed (my face and eyes were).  I found during my first use with one that it became much easier to see detail that took my longer to see. This is due to not having to close one eye and move my head back and forth to get that happy spot. With the eye patch on I just look into the ep with both eyes open. It feels much more natural, don't know why I didn't try it sooner.

 

I set up my equipment with my observing eye covered by the eye patch. This way by the time I'm set up I just slide the eye patch over to my other eye. My observing eye is pretty well dark adapted. It's a little bit of a head start for the night. 

 

As far as a hood goes, I just use a towel. Sorry I cant give you any advise on one or what type to look into. I would seriously give the eye patch a try. Once you find a hood or similar that works well for you, combined with an eye patch your time at the telescope each night will become longer and more relaxed.


Edited by Allanbarth1, 21 March 2018 - 12:26 PM.

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#7 David P

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 12:55 PM

I'm lucky to have a wife handy with a sewing machine.  She made me one in like 10 minutes.  Picked the fabric out from Joann's.  I think it was about $12 total with coupons.  White side out when doing solar observing so I don't bake.  Finished size is about 45" square.

 

IMG_0907.jpg

 

 


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#8 rowdy388

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 01:36 PM

I have used a Dark Sky Apparel Observing Vest for a long time.  The vest has a nice attached hood and the a number of very useful pockets.  I got a size large enough that it fits over my warmest jacket.  One of my most used astronomy accessories, but I don't  know if they are available anymore from that company. 

I've got one of these observing vests too. Sadly, Dark Sky Apparel is no longer around.

The hood is nice and deep.


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#9 Adun

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 02:14 PM

I'm lucky to have a wife handy with a sewing machine.  She made me one in like 10 minutes.  Picked the fabric out from Joann's.

 

My wife is not handy with a sewing machine (nor owns one), but one of her friends is, so she had one made for me (I sent her pictures of comercial ones).


Edited by Adun, 21 March 2018 - 02:15 PM.


#10 Old Rookie

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 07:44 AM

This is what I did.  My wife even put a hem on it for me.  Works great.

 

A square yard of the densest but breathable black material from Walmart sewing section. Cut to preference. Enjoy.  smile.gif

 

 

Peace...


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#11 DarkSkyKen

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 01:17 AM

A couple of years ago I decided I wanted an observing hood, then found out that Dark Sky Apparel had gone out of business. I discovered R-Sky had virtually the same hood. I was initially a bit skeptical ordering something from Russia, but was amazed with the communication I received with several pre-order questions. Over a period of a few days, no matter what time of day I emailed, I got a response within an hour. I was also pleasantly surprised how quick it came from Russia to the west coast, less than ten days and at that time shipping was only $5.00! I was provided with a tracking number so I followed its progress across Europe to New York (it sat there for a couple of days clearing customs) then onto my final destination.

 

Excellent quality, absolute excellent quality and first rate customer service.



#12 Asbytec

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 01:43 AM

I think being able to vent your breath is important. Need to keep the O2 flowing and the sweat down. I let my nose and mouth outside the hood and just cover my head and eyes. I can mold a Tshirt to do just that and completely surround the visual back. Wanna try a hood, and the vest looks nice (except long sleeves to keep the skeeters off), but just cannot find a design that appears to address the breath freely problem. 

 

Under a hood, you can keep your non observing eye open and use it like a patch to cover your eye. I normally rest my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands. This allows me to hold the hood material over my open and relaxed non observing eye cutting down distractions. Maybe it's kind of like bino viewing in that the brain is still processing noise from our inactive eye, but no image because there is none in that eye. I like to think so, anyway...

 

Just throwing that out there. Hoods are very nice, especially when you can breathe freely. 


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#13 havasman

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 02:12 AM

I use and enjoy both the Dark Sky Apparel observing hood and hooded vest. I think the R-Sky updated versions are the way to go these days. As above, DSA is not available and R-Sky has developed the concept further.

I too use them in all situations and find the purpose-built solutions superior.


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#14 aeajr

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 06:29 PM

bringing back this old topic because I want to hear what you guys think about the R-sky hooded vest.

https://r-sky.org/en.../observing-hood

 

 

Is this thing hot in the summer time?



#15 jeffmac

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 07:19 PM

I use and enjoy both the Dark Sky Apparel observing hood and hooded vest. I think the R-Sky updated versions are the way to go these days. As above, DSA is not available and R-Sky has developed the concept further.

I too use them in all situations and find the purpose-built solutions superior.

Dick, which one do you find yourself using more, the hood or the vest?



#16 havasman

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 09:00 AM

Dick, which one do you find yourself using more, the hood or the vest?

Sorry for the slow reply, just now seeing this for some reason.

 

I use the vest more because the pockets are so handy for eyepieces when I'm up in the catsperch chair with the Starmaster. I got the mesh back "summer" model DSA used to make and I'm glad I did. The hood mostly is used in driveway sessions from home with smaller scopes.



#17 coopman

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 10:37 AM

Yes, the DSA vest gets hot in the summertime. 



#18 davidmcgo

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 01:55 PM

I got a hood back when Dark Skies Apparel was operating and in hindsight would have preferred the vest.  The main reason being if you wear the vest, you can flip the hood down when not needed and it is still right there.  Trying that with just the hood is awkward as it attaches more closely around the neck which is a bit of an annoyance and can affect fit depending on whether I am wearing a sweatshirt or something else that has a bulky collar.

Dave


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#19 rowdy388

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 02:05 PM

The hood can be somewhat hot if the evening is sticky, however it has the advantage of keeping the skeeters off my bald head and neck.

My home site has no direct lights to require the hood, but the hood and vest sure come in handy when doing outreach.



#20 B 26354

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Posted 05 July 2020 - 04:38 PM

I got a hood back when Dark Skies Apparel was operating and in hindsight would have preferred the vest.  The main reason being if you wear the vest, you can flip the hood down when not needed and it is still right there.  Trying that with just the hood is awkward as it attaches more closely around the neck which is a bit of an annoyance and can affect fit depending on whether I am wearing a sweatshirt or something else that has a bulky collar.

The adjustment snaps on the R-Sky hood's neck-straps allow a max circumference of 23". I've never found it to be either awkward or annoying to use.



#21 Andrekp

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 07:57 AM

I invite any of you to wear a hood while observing in south Florida.  90 degrees with near 100 percent humidity.  Trust me, that idea doesn’t last long here... lol. Try an eyepatch.




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