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Night Vision Tips and Tricks

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35 replies to this topic

#1 GOLGO13

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 10:32 AM

Thought I would start a thread describing some NV tips and tricks. 

 

My first one is: try using your glasses when observing through NV. With eyepieces I take my glasses off and it's no different. However, I found a significant improvement keeping my glasses on with NV. 

 

What are some of your tips?


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#2 Mazerski

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 11:24 AM

Use filter wheel (if possible) for immediate comparison between filters. My setup in slot position is 685, 642 (IR), 12, 6, 3.5 (Ha).


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#3 Mazerski

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 01:54 PM

In the case of focal reducer (won't focus with reducer in filter wheel), I use white Sharpie and add label on yellow caps (i.e., 642nm IR  / 0.7x, 6nm Ha / 0.5x).

The white shows up well under red flashlight and this avoids lots of field assembly. 

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#4 ButterFly

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 03:24 PM

Look at your dob's shroud with the NV device.  If it's translucent in NV, fix that.  They are designed to shield against glare in the visual band, not the IR band.  Great contrast enhancement.

 

For Paracorr users, put a towel (or something else IR opaque) around the barrel to block scatter through the slot left open when in the H position.


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#5 bobhen

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 03:35 PM

I also use glasses when I use my intensifier. The long eye relief makes using glasses easy and the glasses sharpen up astigmatism.

 

For those using prime focus, repurposing a 50mm guide scope is a simple way to get ultra-wide fields. The guide scope/intensifier combination can be handheld and takes the less expensive 1.25” filters that can be easily exchanged. Great for 15-minute sessions late at night or in the cold.

 

I keep everything in a bag at the front door and at the ready.

 

Bob

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#6 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 03:57 PM

Infinity focus is required for good results with afocal NV.

 

Yet I am frequently switching from Afocal between various Prime modes. I use blue painters tape to "lock" the objective at infinity, so there is no focus shift when attaching to the TNVC adapter.

 

In the unusual event I want to do close-in terrestrial work, the tape is easily (and quickly) removed and leaves no residue.

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Edited by Jeff Morgan, 02 December 2020 - 03:58 PM.

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#7 gatorengineer

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 04:02 PM

Taking the quick out the door a step further, Stellarvue has an 80mm F3.75 finder with a 2" helical focuser.


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#8 a__l

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Posted 02 December 2020 - 09:30 PM

For Paracorr users, put a towel (or something else IR opaque) around the barrel to block scatter through the slot left open when in the H position.

Yes, I saw. But this is not the best solution. Do not use paracorr in position H, only in position A.
If you need to lengthen the distance, use M48 rings. 2" eyepieces have this thread.

An added bonus, you won't have the paracorr head sag from the heavy NV set.


Edited by a__l, 02 December 2020 - 09:34 PM.


#9 GeezerGazer

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 02:18 AM

I can't claim this as it came to me from Longbond in IL, and it's not NV specific, but...

 

This time of year, if you plan to be out more than 15 minutes, take a rechargeable hand warmer with you.  There are a lot of them available on Amazon and many of them double as a phone charger and some have a flashlight built in.  The one I bought works REALLY well!  $15-$20 and worth every penny! 

 

An alternate is rechargeable, heated gloves.  I'm always fiddling with stuff, so gloves are not my favorite. 


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#10 GOLGO13

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 01:06 PM

I'll add another one. Consider getting a long focal length scope for observing smaller DSOs such as Globular Clusters and Planetary Nebulas. I got a significant increase in capability when I tried out my 8 inch SCT. It would be good to have a long focal length scope paired with a low F-ratio scope. My best combo would be my 10 inch F4.7 and my 8 inch F10. 

 

So glad I didn't sell the SCT when I was trying to make up for the NV purchase.


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#11 bobhen

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 02:47 PM

I'll add another one. Consider getting a long focal length scope for observing smaller DSOs such as Globular Clusters and Planetary Nebulas. I got a significant increase in capability when I tried out my 8 inch SCT. It would be good to have a long focal length scope paired with a low F-ratio scope. My best combo would be my 10 inch F4.7 and my 8 inch F10. 

 

So glad I didn't sell the SCT when I was trying to make up for the NV purchase.

Yes.

 

I often use my C8 and 102mm F5 refractor (both can be reduced) mounted side-by-side on a DSV-3 twin alt/az mount.

 

Bob



#12 Mazerski

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 03:52 PM

I'll second this... I use the Boren-Simon 8" at f/2.8 and the Meade ACF 8" at f/5, f/7 and f/10 (face value using Antares focal reducers) on the AYO Digi II mount.

I have it set that all I have to do is move scope in AZ and the DSO is in view in both scopes. For globs, galaxies, PN and even some small bright Ha, this is a great way to observe.



#13 cnoct

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Posted 03 December 2020 - 11:49 PM

I use blue painters tape to "lock" the objective at infinity


J, 
 
Is the infinity focus lock ring seized or is the tape just more convenient.

 

The plastic lock rings are more prone so seizing than the Ai ones, if you've found that to be an issue, these Ai options are gtg, Ai option and Ai option or of course there a  Ti version.

 

Disregard if tape is just preferred. 

🖖🏻



#14 nimitz69

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Posted 04 December 2020 - 01:10 PM

I'll second this... I use the Boren-Simon 8" at f/2.8 and the Meade ACF 8" at f/5, f/7 and f/10 (face value using Antares focal reducers) on the AYO Digi II mount.
I have it set that all I have to do is move scope in AZ and the DSO is in view in both scopes. For globs, galaxies, PN and even some small bright Ha, this is a great way to observe.


If you want to be impressed, check out objects with NV and something like 14” Dob ....

Edited by nimitz69, 04 December 2020 - 01:12 PM.


#15 GOLGO13

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 08:16 PM

If you want to be impressed, check out objects with NV and something like 14” Dob ....

I do find aperture helps even though NV can make a small scope act like it's a much larger aperture. My 10 inch dob does the best of my scopes.

 

For the first time ever I have considered getting a larger scope for a light polluted home lol.gif

 

But I probably will just stick with the 10 inch dob.



#16 GOLGO13

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 11:10 AM

Adding to this post the suggestion of not using dielectric diagonals when observing Globulars. See other posts on this situation.

 

Another one is this adapter from Scopestuff: http://scopestuff.com/ss_c2bf.htm

 

For a Mod3, It allows you use 1.25 filters and screw on a .7 Antares reducer. Helpful if you already have 1.25 inch filters, or you need to take a lower cost route.

 

The .7 Antares reducer works pretty well in prime focus.



#17 GOLGO13

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 03:51 PM

Thought of another tip. I take the battery out every time I put the monocular away. Ensuring I don't accidentally leave it on. 

 

Sometimes you can turn it on the IR setting on accident instead of turning it off. It's worth checking that it's off when you bring it inside where it's bright.


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#18 GOLGO13

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 04:23 PM

Don't forget to try unfiltered in addition to filtered on objects. With my C8 I have found unfiltered works best. I use it for Globulars and small planetary nebulas.

 

I have not tried it on much else, but I should see what it can do with the Milky Way. Thinking a few dark nebula areas might do well.



#19 alexvh

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 05:32 AM

Do filters matter if you are in a dark sky site?



#20 GOLGO13

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 07:38 AM

Do filters matter if you are in a dark sky site?


I think HA filters would still be needed. But using long pass filters probably would not be necessary. Assuming a very dark sky.
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#21 alexvh

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 07:46 AM

is there a summary of what filter to use and when?



#22 AllStarez

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 07:49 AM

is there a summary of what filter to use and when?

Yes, here : https://www.cloudyni...842-best-of-nv/



#23 GOLGO13

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Posted 05 May 2021 - 07:58 AM

is there a summary of what filter to use and when?


We’ll have to check through some old posts. But in general from my perspective, any HA filter 12nm and below does well on nebulas. I feel like a 6nm is fine as an only one. For everything else either no filter or a long pass filter. And some of that depends on the telescope. When I use my C8, no filter seems best. But in a faster scope the long pass filters do well to cut some light pollution. Which long pass depends on the amount of light pollution. My skies are fairly light polluted and I find the 685 does best at 1X. I have 610 and an equivalent 642 to cover all bases on that. The 610 doesn’t seem as useful in my skies, but if I go to a darker sky it could be useful.

So I guess it’s a bit complex since the scope and sky play a role.
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#24 ButterFly

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 10:02 PM

I think HA filters would still be needed. But using long pass filters probably would not be necessary. Assuming a very dark sky.

I got some Oh-WOW-ga Centauri last night with the 15" at a Bortle 3 site (though it's straight in Phoenix' light dome).  It was just a blob in the eyepiece due to horrible seeing that low in the sky.  The device fixed that right up.  The 642 cut through the seeing even better.  That's the harshest IR pass I have, but I would have tried higher if I could.  With the 642, I could see about 3 bands of seeing passing over the core like a flag waving.  The three giant voids also showed up better.  The shimmer of the stars was prettier without the filter, probably because of the seeing.  I haven't tried the device when the seeing is actually good because the eyepiece views are literally stunning.  I'll try to tear myself away sometime.

 

Some dark nebulae also respond differently at the edges.  The 642 also lets in the h-alpha, so it allows some better contrast in reflection/emission regions like the Swan or Lagoon.  The effect is usually subtle, but not always.  Same for Bortle 2 skies, but even more subtle.  For galaxies and globs, they tend to hurt, but may help darken the dusty regions sometimes.  I have a 610 as well, but rarely use it.  Special cases like in the zodiacal light or what not clearly help.  That's not really light pollution, but it's not target either.


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#25 GOLGO13

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Posted 06 May 2021 - 10:16 PM

I got some Oh-WOW-ga Centauri last night with the 15" at a Bortle 3 site (though it's straight in Phoenix' light dome).  It was just a blob in the eyepiece due to horrible seeing that low in the sky.  The device fixed that right up.  The 642 cut through the seeing even better.  That's the harshest IR pass I have, but I would have tried higher if I could.  With the 642, I could see about 3 bands of seeing passing over the core like a flag waving.  The three giant voids also showed up better.  The shimmer of the stars was prettier without the filter, probably because of the seeing.  I haven't tried the device when the seeing is actually good because the eyepiece views are literally stunning.  I'll try to tear myself away sometime.

 

Some dark nebulae also respond differently at the edges.  The 642 also lets in the h-alpha, so it allows some better contrast in reflection/emission regions like the Swan or Lagoon.  The effect is usually subtle, but not always.  Same for Bortle 2 skies, but even more subtle.  For galaxies and globs, they tend to hurt, but may help darken the dusty regions sometimes.  I have a 610 as well, but rarely use it.  Special cases like in the zodiacal light or what not clearly help.  That's not really light pollution, but it's not target either.

NIce...I figure it's always good to have filters on hand just in case...and try a few out and see what works. 




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