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Quick and easy backyard light shields

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#1 mkothe

mkothe

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:08 PM

I’ve avoided setting my scope up at home since my neighbor “fixed” his motion-activated driveway lights that are on a hair trigger now and the town installed new streetlights, but I missed those quick sessions with the convenience of observing from home. My solution is a setup using extendable pool poles and a 12x25 foot tarp cut in half. I’m using 2” PVC pipes pounded into the ground, that are a perfect fit for the 1.5” poles. One is in a concrete-filled bucket to allow flexible placement of one side of the barrier. The tarps are attached via carabiner clips and eyelets screwed into the poles. This can be set up and taken down in minutes and takes up very little space for storage. The extendable poles make it easy to adjust the height of the tarps if objects low in the sky are observed.
 

This setup is not good for windy conditions due to the large surface area of the tarps. The pole in the bucket needs to be secured via a rope to a tree or other fixed structure to prevent the bucket from tipping. The tarps can be secured from blowing in the wind in a manner of different ways (bungee cords or weights), and by securing from eyelets further up the force on the setup can be adjusted. This will be less of an issue with smaller tarps, but I needed this coverage to block all the lights. With a little more work it should be possible to improve the look of this, especially by fully burying the pipes so they are hidden when not in use. I was thinking to eliminate the droop in the middle by stringing a rope through the eyelets, but it works well as is, so I decided not to complicate things. 
 

Clear skies,

Michael

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