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

Light blocking hood/hat

  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 rdjamieson

rdjamieson

    Apollo

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,430
  • Joined: 09 Jun 2004
  • Loc: Wisconsin Northwoods - Bortle 2

Posted 05 February 2024 - 05:00 AM

Goal is to maximize dark adaptation, stay warm as needed, and maybe keep insects at bay.  I’m in Wisconsin, so cold winters and humid summers.  I would appreciate your recommendations on an effective viewing hat/hood for both seasons, along with what you like about it.  If you need additional information to make a recommendation, just ask.  Thanks!

Ray



#2 Redbetter

Redbetter

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 13,726
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Central Valley, CA

Posted 05 February 2024 - 06:07 AM

I use a Farpoint observing hood/vest that my wife bought for me several years ago.  I don't know who will be making them now or in the future.  The hood helps a lot for keeping me warm on cold nights (I observe down to around 8 F but few nights go below 20 F here even at elevation.)  I can really tell the difference when I put the hood up over my head; the reduction in radiant loss to the sky is very noticeable on my head and neck, even when I am already wearing a light balaclava and knit cap and long zip neck shirt in cool (not cold) conditions.  With the vest/hood in cold weather I wear one cap, without it I need two and they don't do as good of a job.

 

The vest holds my flip end mittens and Rigel red light as needed, and sometimes other stuff.  I wear this as the outer layer, even when I have on 4 other layers.



#3 jcj380

jcj380

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,251
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2014
  • Loc: Out in the night, in the whispering breezes

Posted 05 February 2024 - 07:08 AM

Black stretchy t-shirt worn upside down worked for me, but I eventually switched to an oversized yoga hoodie.

 

My hoodie is light enough to wear in summer and I can drape the hood over my eyepiece to block light and keep bugs at bay.  I also get fewer comments about looking like a butt clown who can’t dress himself.  grin.gif


Edited by jcj380, 05 February 2024 - 07:16 AM.

  • RiderRoy likes this

#4 rdjamieson

rdjamieson

    Apollo

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,430
  • Joined: 09 Jun 2004
  • Loc: Wisconsin Northwoods - Bortle 2

Posted 05 February 2024 - 08:12 AM

Just found an old theead recommending R-Sky.


  • Mark SW, havasman, FoxIslandHiker and 1 other like this

#5 DVexile

DVexile

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 17 Mar 2016
  • Loc: Baltimore, MD

Posted 05 February 2024 - 08:42 AM

I recently got the R-Sky and it works quite well.  Certainly one could make something similar themselves or use a variety of ad hoc solutions, but the R-Sky is well designed and doesn’t require sewing skills.

 

I have only used mine in winter and so I can’t comment on summer use.  It definitely blocks my neighbor’s insecurity lighting.  I like that I can flip it back and the neck strap keeps it from falling on the ground.
 

One compromise with a viewing hood is that if your mount isn’t solid and the hood comes into contact with the scope it can cause a shaky view.  With the R-Sky I can usually with a tug in the right spot keep the forward edge off the scope while still blocking lights from the side.


  • therealdmt likes this

#6 therealdmt

therealdmt

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 3,207
  • Joined: 05 Mar 2015
  • Loc: 35° N

Posted 05 February 2024 - 11:33 AM

I usually use my wife’s wide-brimmed gardening-hat-with-side-flaps. With flower motif grin.gif

 

Good thing it’s dark at night…

 

In the heat of summmer, I just go with her oversized gardening sun visor.

 

Otherwise (like if someone might see me), I’ll often use the hood of my hooded sweatshirt. In winter, I wear it under my coat and put the hood up over my knit cap, which always eventually makes the cap come off my head, but… the cap can be repositioned. Alternatively, my main winter jacket has a detachable hood I can attach, though I haven’t done that this winter (worked well enough the last two years though, so maybe I should try it again).

 

In summer the sweatshirt is a total no-go (too sweaty). Besides the above-mentioned sun visor (mainly used in my yard), sometimes in summer I’ll just go with a baseball cap. The caps and visors and such are also good for spraying with Off! to help keep the skeeters away.

 

None of these are ideal. Best part about the hooded sweatshirt is having the front pouch — great for carrying accessories when grabbing and going. All of the above definitely help though


  • sunrag likes this

#7 David Castillo

David Castillo

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,730
  • Joined: 09 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Carmel Valley, Ca

Posted 05 February 2024 - 01:18 PM

When I'm too lazy to shut off the landscaping lights a hood comes in real handy. The only drawback to using them on cold winter nights is I have to be real careful to keep my head down and breathe out my nose to keep my breath from fogging the eyepiece. I also avoid dense materials which tend to trap moist breath under the hood. 



#8 sevenofnine

sevenofnine

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,224
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Santa Rosa, California

Posted 05 February 2024 - 07:39 PM

A fleece lined hooded sweatshirt that is at least one size to large works for me borg.gif  



#9 havasman

havasman

    James Webb Space Telescope

  • *****
  • Posts: 15,787
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2013
  • Loc: Dallas, Texas

Posted 05 February 2024 - 08:04 PM

My black hood is from Dark Sky Apparel and they haven't been available in years but the R-Sky hood is their direct descendant. My white solar observing hood is an R-Sky. It's at least as good.

 

I have and use both an observing vest and a hood. Not at the same time of course but the vest's pockets are really handy for eyepieces. Having them on me minimizes trips from the scope to the gear table. But in the peak of summer's heat even my mesh-back vest is too hot so the hood comes out.

 

I was out in my small front courtyard a couple of weeks ago taking a quick peek around at what was overhead and something just felt off. I had no hood on. I always use them because they work! They're so much better than just a hat because they can be manipulated to obscure so much more light, even at dark sites. Even at Big Bend a hood brings real improvement.

 

An oversize t-shirt/sweatshirt flipped up over your head works much the same way.

 

And yes, breath control is valuable to keep from fogging up an ep. But there are several benefits to breath consciousness when observing. Like unclenching your butt cheeks it promotes relaxation and calm relaxed observing is just better.


  • David Knisely likes this

#10 SporadicGazer

SporadicGazer

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 819
  • Joined: 04 Feb 2023
  • Loc: SF Bay Area, CA, USA

Posted 05 February 2024 - 08:28 PM

For solar I have a floppy sun hat that I can pull down and shade my eyes and face while at the EP.

 

At night I have used sweatshirt hoods with some success, (if it's cool enough my brain doesn't start to cook!)

 

However, I just unwrapped R-Sky Solar (white outside) hood and observing vest.  Both are clearly going to be much better.  Between the black on the inside and how much the hood hangs down and wraps your face, I'm looking forward to trying them.  They're lighter weight than a sweatshirt hood, so hopefully they won't cause overheating, but the jury's still out on that for me.


  • havasman likes this

#11 rdjamieson

rdjamieson

    Apollo

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,430
  • Joined: 09 Jun 2004
  • Loc: Wisconsin Northwoods - Bortle 2

Posted 05 February 2024 - 08:42 PM

Looks like another vote for the R-Sky.


  • SporadicGazer likes this

#12 FoxIslandHiker

FoxIslandHiker

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Oct 2020
  • Loc: Fox Island, Washington

Posted 06 February 2024 - 12:32 AM

My black hood is from Dark Sky Apparel and they haven't been available in years but the R-Sky hood is their direct descendant. My white solar observing hood is an R-Sky. It's at least as good.

 

I have and use both an observing vest and a hood. Not at the same time of course but the vest's pockets are really handy for eyepieces.

My kids gave me an R-Sky hooded vest for Christmas.  I really like it. It is well designed so that the hood easily flips on and off.  Previously I had used a pillowcase that I had cut open and then safety pinned to my flyfishing vest. It worked OK, but not nearly as well as the R-Sky.  The pillowcase did a good job blocking out extraneous light when you got it on correctly, but it would often get twisted around.  I like to switch eyepieces frequently and having them in the vest pockets makes it easy.  Also eyepieces in the vest pockets get warmed by my body heat and less susceptible to dew.


Edited by FoxIslandHiker, 06 February 2024 - 12:34 AM.

  • havasman and Blueox4 like this

#13 Notdarkenough

Notdarkenough

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,490
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2021
  • Loc: 5000' ft @ 41° North

Posted 06 February 2024 - 12:52 AM

Love my R-Sky Hood. However, when working towards dark-adaption, I use laser -safety goggles that block almost all light. When observing I use the Hood and an eye patch, pirate style, on my non-observing eye. The three devices complement each other nicely.



#14 rdjamieson

rdjamieson

    Apollo

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,430
  • Joined: 09 Jun 2004
  • Loc: Wisconsin Northwoods - Bortle 2

Posted 06 February 2024 - 03:26 AM

Love my R-Sky Hood. However, when working towards dark-adaption, I use laser -safety goggles that block almost all light. When observing I use the Hood and an eye patch, pirate style, on my non-observing eye. The three devices complement each other nicely.

Wow, you are all-in, aren’t you?



#15 Notdarkenough

Notdarkenough

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,490
  • Joined: 17 Jan 2021
  • Loc: 5000' ft @ 41° North

Posted 06 February 2024 - 04:33 PM

Wow, you are all-in, aren’t you?

I have great dark skies, so why not use them!



#16 NK351c

NK351c

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: 07 Oct 2020
  • Loc: RI

Posted 06 February 2024 - 07:47 PM

+1 for R-sky

 

Ordered a R-sky Hood/Vest after Christmas, finally got to try it a couple nights ago, works really good. Not going to be the warmest thing, but the straps can be loosened to go over a bulky coat. The hood itself was longer than expected and while looking through an eyepiece it goes all the way to the side the of my telescope, closing off a lot the surrounding light.  Made the Orion neb pop nicely. waytogo.gif


Edited by NK351c, 06 February 2024 - 10:00 PM.

  • FoxIslandHiker likes this

#17 David Knisely

David Knisely

    James Webb Space Telescope

  • *****
  • Posts: 18,661
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2004
  • Loc: southeastern Nebraska

Posted 06 February 2024 - 09:29 PM

I use the older Dark Skies Apparel Hooded Observing vest which is quite similar to the R-sky one.  In addition to the hood, it has lots of pockets for putting things in that are needed at the telescope: 

 

ObservingVestLabeled1.jpg


  • George N, therealdmt, FoxIslandHiker and 2 others like this

#18 rdjamieson

rdjamieson

    Apollo

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,430
  • Joined: 09 Jun 2004
  • Loc: Wisconsin Northwoods - Bortle 2

Posted 07 February 2024 - 12:00 AM

This is a nice setup.  I’d be a little nervous about bending and the like with an EP in a pocket.



#19 David Knisely

David Knisely

    James Webb Space Telescope

  • *****
  • Posts: 18,661
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2004
  • Loc: southeastern Nebraska

Posted 07 February 2024 - 03:12 AM

This is a nice setup.  I’d be a little nervous about bending and the like with an EP in a pocket.

The pockets are fairly deep, and a 2" barrel eyepiece tends to fit in them fairly snugly.  I usually don't fill them with as many eyepieces as I show above, but it is nice to, when at the scope, just be able to instantly switch eyepieces without having to go back and rummage through my eyepiece box.  Clear skies to you.


  • Notdarkenough likes this

#20 Mike Q

Mike Q

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,522
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2021
  • Loc: Monnett Ohio

Posted 19 February 2024 - 05:09 AM

I had read somewhere that R-Sky was made in Russia, can we still order these here in the States? 



#21 Inkswitch

Inkswitch

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 548
  • Joined: 09 Nov 2003
  • Loc: Harmony, NY USA

Posted 19 February 2024 - 08:10 AM

I had read somewhere that R-Sky was made in Russia, can we still order these here in the States? 

I'm pretty sure it is Romania, not Russia.  Also, yes you can order from them if you live in the US.  I have their observing vest/hood and I endorse this product, it is well made and useful.


  • FoxIslandHiker and Mike Q like this

#22 DVexile

DVexile

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 17 Mar 2016
  • Loc: Baltimore, MD

Posted 19 February 2024 - 08:12 AM

I had read somewhere that R-Sky was made in Russia, can we still order these here in the States? 

Everything ships from the US now.  I doubt much if any of it was ever made in Russia, but I believe originally the store itself was based in Russia and sales stopped with the sanctions.  Recently everything started up again, but US based.  I don’t know where the owner actually lives at this point, but the store itself ships product only from the US at this point and uses US based payment processing. 


Edited by DVexile, 19 February 2024 - 08:12 AM.

  • Notdarkenough and Mike Q like this

#23 Mike Q

Mike Q

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,522
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2021
  • Loc: Monnett Ohio

Posted 19 February 2024 - 09:33 AM

Thanks all, i will be ordering one of these later today



#24 Dennis53121

Dennis53121

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 500
  • Joined: 28 Aug 2012
  • Loc: 10 Miles North of Yerkes Observatory

Posted 19 February 2024 - 10:04 AM

Goal is to maximize dark adaptation, stay warm as needed, and maybe keep insects at bay.  I’m in Wisconsin, so cold winters and humid summers.  I would appreciate your recommendations on an effective viewing hat/hood for both seasons, along with what you like about it.  If you need additional information to make a recommendation, just ask.  Thanks!

Ray

A NASA space suit with optical glass in the helmet.grin.gif

 

Dennis



#25 SteveH71

SteveH71

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 26
  • Joined: 06 Jan 2023

Posted 19 February 2024 - 12:42 PM

Oversized wool scarf does the trick for me. Helps keep you warm but your kids will think you look like an old time photographer 😂.


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