Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

What are essential winter accessories for AP?

  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#1 Boven

Boven

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 117
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2021
  • Loc: Bulgaria

Posted 05 December 2021 - 02:17 PM

I'm going to spend 3 weeks in a Bortle 4 area with nights going down to -10 Celsius (14 Farenheit).

I removed batteries from my setup and I'm using only cables (USB, Dummy Battery, etc).

I also have 1 dew heater that in the summer I strapped in front of the lens.

 

What other things do I need for my gear to survive/work in cold conditions?

Is the LCD on my camera going to freeze? Do I need more dew heaters like for the other elements in my lens?


  • AstroVagabond likes this

#2 Stellar1

Stellar1

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2,116
  • Joined: 08 Dec 2018
  • Loc: Juuuust outside Toronto

Posted 05 December 2021 - 02:31 PM

Trust me on this, all the AP gear on earth will mean nothing if your feet are frozen and you want to go inside.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Screen Shot 2021-12-05 at 2.30.28 PM.png

Edited by Stellar1, 05 December 2021 - 02:39 PM.

  • Sheridan, CharLakeAstro, cmooney91 and 4 others like this

#3 danny1976

danny1976

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 351
  • Joined: 02 Nov 2021
  • Loc: Belgium

Posted 05 December 2021 - 02:51 PM

Get yourself electric heated socks and gloves. And a dew protection for your laptop like a laptop tent.


  • Boven likes this

#4 Boven

Boven

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 117
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2021
  • Loc: Bulgaria

Posted 05 December 2021 - 03:25 PM

Get yourself electric heated socks and gloves. And a dew protection for your laptop like a laptop tent.

Fortunately I keep it light and don't use laptop.

By the way, is there any way the worms in the star tracker could freeze?

Many people are imaging in the cold, but is it possible?



#5 DivisionByZero

DivisionByZero

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 733
  • Joined: 23 Jul 2015
  • Loc: New Mexico

Posted 05 December 2021 - 04:36 PM

Most greases used in mounts are designed for pretty wide temperature ranges and -10C probably won't stress it.
  • Boven likes this

#6 radon199

radon199

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 209
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2021
  • Loc: Vancouver, Canada

Posted 05 December 2021 - 06:19 PM

The Star Adventurer manual page 28 does list a range of 0-40C, so it might be good to just keep an eye on it.

 

I think most of that would be due to the battery performance. The SA can detect binding of the gears and will stop the motor. If you see the buttons flashing you know it has stopped the motor to prevent internal damage.

 

I had it out last night and we hit 1C and it worked fine.


  • Boven likes this

#7 matt_astro_tx

matt_astro_tx

    Gemini

  • -----
  • Posts: 3,252
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2021
  • Loc: Dallas, Texas

Posted 05 December 2021 - 07:07 PM

I just requested some thin “glove liner” gloves for Christmas. They’re actually running gloves and they work on touchscreens. I’ve found my hands getting chapped in the cold weather, even though I’m only out there for 30 minutes usually. I hope these will help, and they’re only $14 on Amazon.
  • Boven likes this

#8 drd715

drd715

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,300
  • Joined: 07 Jan 2015
  • Loc: Fort Lauderdale

Posted 06 December 2021 - 01:25 AM

A heated vest.  They run off of tool batteries. Most brands have them. I have Makita,  but I'm sure Milwaukee and Bosch have tem. Get the largest batteries and have spares. I bouhht a Makita weed Wacker that uses two batteries and came with two spares - 4 batteries total. 


  • Boven likes this

#9 nyx

nyx

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 503
  • Joined: 11 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 06 December 2021 - 03:39 AM

For the feet/toes: https://lenzproducts...insole-rcb-1200

For the hands: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013HLGU02/

 

Dress in layers. Astronomy is no fun when freezing your *** :)


  • Boven likes this

#10 Oort Cloud

Oort Cloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,946
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2020
  • Loc: New Jersey, USA

Posted 06 December 2021 - 06:23 AM

EAA. Stay inside where it's warm :)

#11 nyx

nyx

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 503
  • Joined: 11 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 06 December 2021 - 06:28 AM

EAA. Stay inside where it's warm smile.gif

Yes, so people who can only do mobile astronomy should quit the hobby. Awesome :)


  • Oort Cloud likes this

#12 aneeg

aneeg

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,493
  • Joined: 24 Jan 2016
  • Loc: Nesodden, Norway

Posted 06 December 2021 - 06:49 AM

At present I am enyoying -15C, or 5F here in Norway and that is the temp I have to live with the rest of the winter. I am doing EAA mostly and have built the first part of my RR obsy: the warm room.

But attaching the Mewlon on my AZMP was a tough job, the combined Finder/ handle got really cold.

 

Arne



#13 Oort Cloud

Oort Cloud

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,946
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2020
  • Loc: New Jersey, USA

Posted 06 December 2021 - 10:54 AM

Yes, so people who can only do mobile astronomy should quit the hobby. Awesome :)


That's what I did. I started back up once I got a camera and computer control for the mount :)

I know it's not for everyone, but for me, it saved the hobby.
  • DRK73 likes this

#14 nyx

nyx

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 503
  • Joined: 11 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 06 December 2021 - 11:04 AM

That's what I did. I started back up once I got a camera and computer control for the mount smile.gif

I know it's not for everyone, but for me, it saved the hobby.

Having a camera and a computer isn't the solution though. I have both :)

 

What I don't have is a place where I can setup and go inside. I live in rent, 2nd floor apartment. No suitable balcony or roof for astronomy. At the very least, I have to setup somewhere outside. Leaving everything outside unattended and going back inside, well....no. That's a good way to lose everything :)



#15 Boven

Boven

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 117
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2021
  • Loc: Bulgaria

Posted 06 December 2021 - 02:56 PM

For the feet/toes: https://lenzproducts...insole-rcb-1200

For the hands: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013HLGU02/

 

Dress in layers. Astronomy is no fun when freezing your *** smile.gif

**** those toe warmers are quite expensive. I think I'll DIY 'em.



#16 nyx

nyx

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 503
  • Joined: 11 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 06 December 2021 - 03:06 PM

**** those toe warmers are quite expensive. I think I'll DIY 'em.

Yes :(

 

The worst part is, they aren't as effective as one might think. They work OK, don't get me wrong BUT, only a small area at the front is actually heated. When it's really cold or if I plan on staying longer (2+ hours) outside, then I also use toe warmer stickers on top of my toes.



#17 Pingu

Pingu

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 170
  • Joined: 06 Nov 2011
  • Loc: FL

Posted 06 December 2021 - 03:08 PM

Don't forget Swiss Miss cocoa with mini marshmallows.
  • Ibuprofen200mg likes this

#18 KungFood

KungFood

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 879
  • Joined: 18 Jul 2014
  • Loc: Dallas, Tx

Posted 06 December 2021 - 04:16 PM

Last winter, due to the pandemic, all of the facilities including the bunkhouse at our club dark site were closed. There was no way to get inside and escape the cold, and for two nights I was there it was between 2 and 6F, which in C is I believe "freakin cold". Stuck out in it all night both nights. These things saved me.

 

Because screw taking gloves off to hit a button

https://www.rei.com/...tible-mittens  

 

Under the chair for warm legs and tootsies

https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B002G51BZU

 

Warm ears, happy ears

https://www.rei.com/...-wool-balaclava

 

And don't forget thermal undies (tops and bottoms), two pairs of socks, and multiple wooly layers on the torso.

 

 


  • Ibuprofen200mg likes this

#19 ngatel

ngatel

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 578
  • Joined: 10 Dec 2006
  • Loc: Palm Springs, CA

Posted 06 December 2021 - 06:15 PM

No one mentioned the most important thing — you have to keep your brain warm!

 

I don’t image in this kind of weather, but I do backpack in it. I have a goose down balaclava to keep my brain warm. Also a down jacket with hood, down pants, and even down booties as environmental conditions dictate.



#20 astrohound24

astrohound24

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,354
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Western Kentucky

Posted 06 December 2021 - 09:57 PM

Last winter, due to the pandemic, all of the facilities including the bunkhouse at our club dark site were closed. There was no way to get inside and escape the cold, and for two nights I was there it was between 2 and 6F, which in C is I believe "freakin cold". Stuck out in it all night both nights. These things saved me.

Because screw taking gloves off to hit a button
https://www.rei.com/...tible-mittens

Under the chair for warm legs and tootsies
https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/B002G51BZU

Warm ears, happy ears
https://www.rei.com/...-wool-balaclava

And don't forget thermal undies (tops and bottoms), two pairs of socks, and multiple wooly layers on the torso.


I have one of those propane heaters and they are awesome.

GM

#21 Wildetelescope

Wildetelescope

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 2,996
  • Joined: 12 Feb 2015
  • Loc: Maryland

Posted 06 December 2021 - 10:13 PM

I'm going to spend 3 weeks in a Bortle 4 area with nights going down to -10 Celsius (14 Farenheit).

I removed batteries from my setup and I'm using only cables (USB, Dummy Battery, etc).

I also have 1 dew heater that in the summer I strapped in front of the lens.

 

What other things do I need for my gear to survive/work in cold conditions?

Is the LCD on my camera going to freeze? Do I need more dew heaters like for the other elements in my lens?

Carhart subzero overalls and a good pair of boots!  Can’t say enough about Carhart!

 

JMD



#22 KungFood

KungFood

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 879
  • Joined: 18 Jul 2014
  • Loc: Dallas, Tx

Posted 06 December 2021 - 11:42 PM

I realized that most of our answers here have been about keeping ourselves warm in the cold, when the OP's question was more about gear surviving in the cold. It just goes to show what gets important as the temps drop. Many of us have gone out in that first cold night under-prepared, and then put significant effort into making sure the next cold night trip wasn't so miserable. It's really hard to care much about elongated stars and guide graphs when you can't feel your extremities :)

But to your original question, most astro specific gear will be just fine in cold weather. Not relying on batteries is a good call, batteries run out quicker as it gets colder. Dew heaters on your lenses/mirrors are nearly a must if the cold also has moisture involved. I run one on my objective and one on my guide scope. If you had a laptop, an enclosure of some sort is helpful, to keep it from getting too cold. Other than that, the cold isn't that much of concern gear wise.


  • DRK73 likes this

#23 nyx

nyx

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 503
  • Joined: 11 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 07 December 2021 - 12:43 AM

As far as gear is concerned, I use the following item to keep my DSLR "warm":

https://www.peakdesi.../products/shell

#24 TelescopeGreg

TelescopeGreg

    Skylab

  • -----
  • Posts: 4,255
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Auburn, California, USA

Posted 07 December 2021 - 02:57 AM

 

I realized that most of our answers here have been about keeping ourselves warm in the cold, when the OP's question was more about gear surviving in the cold. It just goes to show what gets important as the temps drop.

Shivering is hard on the autoguider...

 

To the gear, +1 to what KungFood said.  The biggest issue is likely the diminished capacity of the batteries.  Oversize them, keep them warm, or use mains power if you can.  The only advantage of imaging when it's cold is that the TEC cooler on the imaging camera doesn't have to work so hard.

 

Oh, and on that note, do be sure your camera's temperature setpoint is lower than ambient, otherwise you won't have any control over the actual sensor temp.


Edited by TelescopeGreg, 07 December 2021 - 03:01 AM.

  • Ibuprofen200mg and danny1976 like this

#25 matt_astro_tx

matt_astro_tx

    Gemini

  • -----
  • Posts: 3,252
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2021
  • Loc: Dallas, Texas

Posted 07 December 2021 - 09:44 AM

No one mentioned the most important thing — you have to keep your brain warm!

For this I prefer a nice bourbon, or perhaps a hot toddy.


  • Sheridan, lookoutmtn17, aneeg and 1 other like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics