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Where to put a reminder to turn off the red dot finder

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#1 MAT_Blue

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 02:38 PM

Ok, I'm an old guy who's memory is not what it used to be.  I can't seem to remember to turn off the red dot finder on my NexStar, so I'm constantly buying batteries for it (CR2032 if you're interested - I did THAT from memory!!) .  So, what's the best place to put a little note to remind me.  On the inside of the objective lens cover?  Put there, the finder will remain on until I'm done observing but the note won't be in a "public" place.  Or on the back of the scope, where it will remind me to turn it off each time I'm done using it but everybody who sees the scope will know I can't remember things?  Somewhere else?

 


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#2 RalphMeisterTigerMan

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 02:45 PM

Other than relying on "good old memory", perhaps take a page out of the Pilot's page book and try using a check list which you physically have to check off with a pen so that you can confirm what you actually did.

 

It may sound silly but if it works for commercial and military pilots, why not for civilians?

 

Clear skies and good luck!

RalphMeisterTigerMan


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#3 StarBurger

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 02:58 PM

I am sure some enterprising DIY'er could come up with an electronic time delay off circuit.

Would probably double the cost of the red dot but it would save on batteries!

Any takers?


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#4 happylimpet

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 02:59 PM

Ok, I'm an old guy who's memory is not what it used to be.  I can't seem to remember to turn off the red dot finder on my NexStar, so I'm constantly buying batteries for it (CR2032 if you're interested - I did THAT from memory!!) .  So, what's the best place to put a little note to remind me.  On the inside of the objective lens cover?  Put there, the finder will remain on until I'm done observing but the note won't be in a "public" place.  Or on the back of the scope, where it will remind me to turn it off each time I'm done using it but everybody who sees the scope will know I can't remember things?  Somewhere else?

I do the same thing!

 

If youre handy with a soldering iron you could run a cable in parallel with the finder LED to a second one by the eyepiece so you can see when it's on?!!! Probably not practical....



#5 petert913

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 03:00 PM

I can't tell you how many of those flat disk batteries I have gone through because I forgot to turn off my red dot finder.

Actually, a good check list would help me avoid a lot of my recurring faux pas  :)


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#6 B 26354

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 03:10 PM

I have the same problem with my finder-scope's illuminated reticle. I printed this on letter-sized paper:

 

Turn Off.jpg

 

I keep it in my eyepiece case, and put it on my scope-side table whenever I'm observing or doing AP. So far, it's working perfectly.  grin.gif


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#7 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 03:14 PM

second the eyepiece case  note



#8 Ericco79

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 03:37 PM

HI matheissen,

 

     I had that problem for a while, but then I remembered the controller actually tells you to turn it off too after you do an alignment. :) Of course, if you don't do an alignment and you're just manually controlling, that won't be much help. I printed a label with my little label maker and stuck it on the finder itself. That way even if I forget to turn it off, since I'm constantly looking through the finder I'll eventually see it!

 

Eric



#9 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 03:37 PM

Replace the on/off switch with a push-button or micro-switch.


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#10 TOMDEY

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 04:03 PM

Put a note under your pillow. My telescope is in the observatory, 1000 feet back and 150 feet up, thru the snow, from my pillow. Forget to power-down and find that note once is all it takes... to never again forget.

 

[Here Tom starts wondering if he left the car running in the garage, an hour ago, three hundred feet from the house...]    Tom


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#11 rkinnett

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 04:50 PM

Ok, I'm an old guy who's memory is not what it used to be.  I can't seem to remember to turn off the red dot finder 

It's not just old guys, everybody does this.

 

I replaced my red dot finder with a green laser and never looked back.  The laser is more convenient (less bending over), more accurate in my experience, and besides, it looks super cool.  cool.gif  Additionally, the relative scale of pointing adjustments becomes more intuitive when you can see how far in the sky the laser "point" moves for each nudge with the hand controller.

 

Before I switched to the laser I was considering wiring the red dot finder to my mount's (zeq25) polar scope power, or to the unused aux port.  No need for a time delay auto-off circuit, or automated reminder, or anything fancy like that.. the power draw from your mount is negligible and it won't hurt the LED to keep it on the whole time your mount is powered on.


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#12 MAT_Blue

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 05:18 PM

I have the same problem with my finder-scope's illuminated reticle. I printed this on letter-sized paper:

 

attachicon.gif Turn Off.jpg

 

I keep it in my eyepiece case, and put it on my scope-side table whenever I'm observing or doing AP. So far, it's working perfectly.  grin.gif

I like it.  Kind of half-way between my objective lens cover and the back of the scope.  At least I'll remember to turn it off when I change eyepieces!


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#13 roelb

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 05:28 PM

make a knot in your handkerchief


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#14 StarBurger

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 10:55 AM

I second rkinnet with the green laser pointer. I tried a RACI finder, then the Telrad and put them both in the sock draw.

They were killing my neck!

Lasers should have only the one biased button so no problem forgetting to turn them off.



#15 carver2011

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 11:19 AM

I also agree with the green laser pointer. The red dot finder and Telrad are difficult to use for locating high elevation objects. I use an Orion SkyLine Deluxe Green Laser Pointer & Telescope Bracket. Best money I ever spent. It has a screw to turn the laser on and off. I scan quick to make certain there's no airplanes in the area. Also good for outreach sessions, as it shows viewers where you are looking in the sky. I too went through many red dot finder batteries before I dumped it. 

regards

Ed



#16 TOMDEY

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 01:52 PM

Actually, I use a big telescope in a big dome. When I'm done for the night, I take my time closing up, mainly because I don't want to forget anything:

 

>make sure Night Vision Eyepiece is turned off!
>bring up the main lights
>ground the pneumatic telescope elevator
>depressurize the pneumatics
>compressor off and depressurized
>turn off the Telrads
>cap the front of the mirror box
>cap the back of the mirror box (all three panels)
>cover the folding flat (secondary mirror)
>put all the eyepieces away
>and the ParaCorr
>turn on eyepiece locker heater
>cover the focuser
>Turn off the ServoCat
>and the wireless controller
>Turn off the Argo
>disengage the ServoCat Clutches (toggles)
>slew the scope to parked position
>plastic bags over the big finders
>move the warehouse ladder to parked position
>ground and lock the ladder
>turn on the trickle-charger
>power up the PM 12W heater
>rotate the dome
>winch closed the shutters (all three)
>batten down the shutters
>rotate dome to parked position
>turn off the dome rotation breakers
>stow the dome rotation paddle
>logbook final entries
>books and atlases away
>assure breakers to lights, heaters and charger are on, others off
>look around; assure everything is ready to close up
>lights of
>arm security system
>grab stuff to return to house
>close and lock door
>down to house (1000 ft down the hill)
>confirm electric fence is on (5000 ft of buried cable!)
>check hounds’ collars
>pet, congratulate, and release hounds

>in, relax and to bed!    Tom

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#17 CharlesC

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 02:10 PM

Follow the Nexstar alignment instructions.  The last thing it says is "Turn off red dot finder" on your hand controller.


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#18 aeajr

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 05:16 PM

Ok, I'm an old guy who's memory is not what it used to be.  I can't seem to remember to turn off the red dot finder on my NexStar, so I'm constantly buying batteries for it (CR2032 if you're interested - I did THAT from memory!!) .  So, what's the best place to put a little note to remind me.  On the inside of the objective lens cover?  Put there, the finder will remain on until I'm done observing but the note won't be in a "public" place.  Or on the back of the scope, where it will remind me to turn it off each time I'm done using it but everybody who sees the scope will know I can't remember things?  Somewhere else?

After leaving it on and having a dead battery I have done two things.

 

I have a 5 pack of spare batteries in my kit.

 

My habit is to turn it on, use it and immediately turn it off.  Double check it is off at the end of the night. 


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#19 MAT_Blue

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 07:41 PM

Follow the Nexstar alignment instructions.  The last thing it says is "Turn off red dot finder" on your hand controller.

 

Not that I'm doubting you.  I can't remember ever seeing it.  It shows up on the hand controller?  I've probably done between 50 and 100 alignments to date.  As far as I recall, it just says alignment succeed or failed and goes back to the top level prompt.  Sometimes stuff scrolls across on the 2nd line so fast I can't even read it (not after alignment, but at other times).



#20 CharlesC

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:34 PM

Not that I'm doubting you.  I can't remember ever seeing it.  It shows up on the hand controller?  I've probably done between 50 and 100 alignments to date.  As far as I recall, it just says alignment succeed or failed and goes back to the top level prompt.  Sometimes stuff scrolls across on the 2nd line so fast I can't even read it (not after alignment, but at other times).

 

After alignment it says "Starpointer Off".   Not clear to lots of folks, but once your know it helps to remind you.

https://www.cloudyni...pointer-is-off/


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#21 Digital Don

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:57 PM

Ok, I'm an old guy who's memory is not what it used to be...

 

They say 'The SECOND thing to go is the memory...I can't remember the first!

 

The idea of a checklist is great and I use checklists for several things.  Of course you have to remember to use the checklist...

 

For your particular question, what is the last piece of equipment you handle when ending your observing session?  Eyepiece case?  Tripod?  Telescope tube?  Attach a reminder to that piece of equipment in a place where you'll be sure to see it.  You could even put a note on your door that you'll see when you go inside your house.

 

Don :usa:


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#22 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 09:18 PM

The problem with notes is, even though they are right in front of you, after a while they become invisible :-)

 

I wonder if a tiny hole drilled in the top of the LED cover would allow some of its light to shine out where we can see it at a casual glance while still shining onto the glass window at the front of the finder?  Of course this is not something to try on your one and only red dot finder but I think I have an extra laying around somewhere.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com


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#23 MAT_Blue

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 10:06 PM

After alignment it says "Starpointer Off".   Not clear to lots of folks, but once your know it helps to remind you.

https://www.cloudyni...pointer-is-off/

So that's what that means.  I thought it was some kind of error message. Maybe it should say "TURN THE RED DOT OFF, DUMMY".  smile.gif

Now that I know, it WILL remind me.


Edited by MAT_Blue, 12 February 2019 - 10:08 PM.

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#24 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 10:54 PM

Personally, I just got in the habit of checking all the battery powered things as I put them away.  Multiple times.  That goes for the Telrad and the illuminated reticule eyepiece.  They've both been turned on and immediately off more times than I've turned them on to use them.  It's like patting your pockets before leaving home.  Keys?  Wallet? 

 

Lacking a serviceable habit, I would suggest you use something like a small storage bag as a cover over the Finder.  Take it off when you use the finder, and put it somewhere where it will be in the way, e.g. in the case with the eyepieces or over the on/off switch for some piece of equipment that you're using.  That way you'll run into the bag as part of the shutdown process, and be reminded to cover the finder after turning it off.


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#25 Noah4x4

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 04:19 AM

+1 For the note in EP box. 

 

However, in the UK, 'Poundland' and 'Poundshop' etc sell cards holding various sizes of these batteries. For £1 you can pick up 10 batteries of the size you require (plus about 40 of a size you don't need!).

 

I bought a dozen of these cards three years ago, often forget to turn my RDF off, and still have plenty left. Yes, it is true, they probably "won't last as long as branded models" costing £3 each, but at £0.10 each in a situation where the absent minded means longevity isn't a worry as you don't ever expect to get a second day of use because you forget to switch off your RDF they are a sound investment!

 

Also when Maplin went into liquidation it was selling its 4 x AA for a mere £1. If you look for "closing down sales - all must go" on the High Street, batteries and expensive energy saving light bulbs are often the 'star buys'. 


Edited by Noah4x4, 13 February 2019 - 04:25 AM.

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