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Found 12 results

  1. Hi all, just a quick question: saturday night I was out observing, and towards the end of my session it got so humid, my primary mirror had dew droplets on it... (150/750 Newton) Should I be looking at buying a dew heater strip, or should I follow what others write: "if your newton primary fogs up, it's time to go home"? Thanks! Gerhard. ps. btw the dew produced some interesting haloes around bright stars! :-DD
  2. Hi all. I'm hoping for some advice on a subject which I know has had a lot of air time, but which I'm still wrestling with. Firsty, I know I get dew on my secondary mirror and it has wrecked many a DSO photgraphy session. I've fitted a home made heater, and this seems to fix it. It's insulated with neoprene, and runs at a very low wattage (about 0.4W) , so hopefully not too much turbulence. Next step is to do the same to the guide scope, which also mists up after about an hour, and then maybe the primary with a very low wattage. The main puzzle for me is this: Some folk say the mirrors are huge heat reserves, and take ages to cool down, during which time they cause turbulence. But other folk say the mirrors drop in temperature rapidly and go below the dew point, and then suffer condensation. I suspect theres some truth in both statements, but this doesnt simplify how to deal with it. Probably the main consideration is that the primary is much less ikely to suffer dew than the secondary, and so they have different problems and solutions. It would be easy to say that turbulence is in the eye of the beholder, but for sure when I'm focussing - using the camera and Live View with high screen mag - there appears to be turbulence aplenty even after an hour of cooling and before putting the secondary heater on. Of course this could be atmospheric, rather than tube currents. Rather than go through all my (muddy) thinking, can I just ask some direct questions please which relate to all this. 1. Is the small amount of heat on my secondary likely to cause any significant turbulence? 2. Is the turbulence that I see on the screen likely to be caused by the OTA? 3. I havent actually seen dew on the primary - but I've read that low grade condensation can affect the reflection. Is heating of the primary maybe just unneccesary? 4. If I heat the guidescope with a belt at about 2.5W, might this adversely affect the guiding property? 5. If I use an exhaust fan to cool the primary, is there any prospect that the air current will: a. increase dew on the primary and/or secondary by drawing in more damp air? b. reduce dew on the primary and/or secondary by evaporation? I'd be really grateful for any help with this. My next step is to wire up some kind of controller, and it would be useful to know what I'm likely to need to run before doing this. Many thanks
  3. Hi, After having spent the last 2 evenings in the back garden in amazement I have realised that I need to invest in some sort of dew control equipment. I notice that there a 2 main sorts out there, those that run with controllers and those that say a controller is not required. HHEELLLPPPPPP !!!!!!!! My budget is busted but I know that if I just go for the cheapest option it will be wrong so a little advice would be gratefully appreciated. Graham
  4. Hi, I have moved from a Newt to a refractor (SW ED80 DS-Pro) so I have also bought a Hitech dew controller and a couple of tapes for the ota and finder/guider. I am wondering how high to set the dials? How hot can these tapes get, if wound up to full are they capable of damaging the kit? And on the ED80 where should I position the belt, should it go around the shield adjacent to the objective or further forward? Thanks, Neil.
  5. I'm looking for a dew heater/controller. I would preferably like more than one channel. Let me know what you've got and how much you want. It's to fit a 8" Newtonian, 2 x 50mm finderscopes so may just need to buy some more strips or make up one. Curious what people have for sale. Not looking to break the bank but would like it to run off of a 12v car/adapter plug. Can pay via paypal and need it before next friday.
  6. After having success with my heated seat I decided the next thing that I wanted to heat was my iPad. I like to use sky safari to decide what to view and to assist with locating faint fuzzies, however iPads don't like the cold and they will either shut down because the battery isn't producing enough juice or if kept on charge they get a temperature alarm and stop working. So I got some Nichrome wire and adjusted the length so that it can run off 12V without a controller then laminated two lots of it in an A5 laminating pouch wired up in parallel to a 12V socket. The laminated heater then slips behind my iPad in its case providing gentle heat from behind. Two and a half hours out in -12°C and working fine so I'll call that a success
  7. Hello! I have been looking through the forums sections of this site and found that nichrome wire is a very popular material for dew heaters. I was using my DSLR a several weeks back, and the dew was horrible and it encouraged me to build a nichrome heater. My first heater prototype consisted of 22" of wire with a resistance of 4.08 ohm per foot connected directly into a 12V power supply (consisting of 8 AA batteries in parallel). It was wrapped in duck tape. It worked for a while, but then the batteries began to overheat and I had to pull the heater out to let them cool. When I used the same prototype heater on 6V (4 AA batteries) it didn't have this same overheating issue, but it produced less heat then when it was on 12V. I'm not using a pulse width modulator, but would that solve this issue? I'm worried as the heater is only really around 8 ohm, it may be short circuiting with such little resistance. The wire can't be terribly long as this is just to heat a DSLR lens. Any input on a solution would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  8. Dew strap controller (PWM) done at last (waited ages for some kit from China). 4 x 10W channels, individually fused, switched & controlled, channel switch LED brightness indicates power output. 12V 5A DC input switched & fused. Compared to the cost of a 'bought' one, I'd need to value my time at less than youth minimum wage, but you can't put a price on smug self-satisfaction :-) Circuit idea shamelessly nicked from http://www.blackwaterskies.co.uk/2013/05/a-cheap-multi-channel-dew-heater.html
  9. I think I may have a solution to stop the qhy8 from fogging up, what I didnt want was to remove the camera after each session, I was advised to keep the camera in a sealed box with a dessicant, ok thats easy, but the beauty of having an obs is that you can keep the kit together.. So I am testing this solution, over the last two days its worked a treat, roll on winter :/ Easy, just pop the box off every session, I have a spare lid for the tub to keep the dessicant dry... Time will tell
  10. I visited the International Astronomy Show in Warwick the other week. Just inside the door there was a young chap selling dew control products. The gear was lightweight and relatively inexpensive, so I thought I'd give it a try. I picked up one heater band (for my Esprit 120) and one 4 channel controller. The controllers he had at the show all had a 2m power cable. I said I would have preferred another metre. Tim (the young chap) said it was not a problem. He would make one with a 3m cable and send it out to me. He obviously posted it first thing Monday morning because it arrived on the Tuesday. What I liked about the unit was how lightweight it was. It also had a belt-loop sort of thing attached to the back. This allowed the elasticated part of the heater tape to pass through, so that the controller could be fixed to the scope itself. Here is how I have done mine: The controller works off one button (the small red button just under the printed text 'Quad Channel Dew Controller' on the case). When you power up, Output 1 is illuminated. Press and release (less than 1 second) to cycle between 0, 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 percent output. There are 4 lights: 0% power = no lights, then each light comes on singly for 20, 40, 60 and 80 percent. All four lights are illuminated at 100% power. To switch channels, hold the button down for a bit longer (more than a second) and release. It is remarkably simple to use. With my other dew controller there seems to be a bit of 'uncertainty' as to whether or not the phono plug is properly seated. With the Dewcontrol unit the seating is extremely positive. One possible downside (or upside depending on your point of view) is that, when you power down, the unit does not 'remember' your settings. You start from zero power in each channel at each power up. This has caught me out once, unfortunately, but I will soon get used to the new way of doing things. I am very pleased with the unit. It is lightweight, inexpensive and works well. It is good to have a range of alternatives and this one is from a UK manufacturer. The heater tape worked just fine too. It was made by the lady who co-worked the stall with Tim (her name was Barbara). It seemed to be high quality. It is hand sewn. It worked straight away (unlike a top-end brand I bought a couple of years back that I had to pick apart and fiddle with). I am not sure if these are the same tapes that Tim sells on his website. My wife recalls that the brand of heater tape was W&W Astro - and Barbara's website is here http://www.dewheater.com/. I have no connection with Tim whatsoever. When looking up some info (his name for example) for this review, I found that his website was a little difficult to locate - if you are interested it is http://www.dewcontrol.com/. I may get one of his two channel units for my more portable setup. Steve M
  11. Hello I have been enjoying my binocular mirror mount for a while now, the ScopeTeknix Binoflex ST50, on which I've mounted my 15x70 binoculars. I had already fashioned a mirror heater pad that gently warms the mirror from underneath, preventing dew. I had also mounted a laser pointer, nestled between the two barrels. It's great for aiming the mirror: just turn the laser on and see where the beam goes as you move the mirror. But one thing had been bugging me: the laser quickly gets cold and the beam becomes very faint. So today I made a little heater "jacket" for the laser. I used 6 330 Ohm resistors soldered together in a "ladder", sewn them onto some curtain tape, wrapped everything in electrical insulating tape, stuck some Velcro strips on, added a cable and a phono lead. Now both the laser and the mirror heater can be fed from my PWM regulator, the same one I use to heat my guider and camera optics. The jacket just needs to cover the front inch or so of the laser pointer as that is where the laser diode module is. It's working very well and that means I can continue finding things for as long as I have power.
  12. I was wondering if there is a need for a dew heater controller if you run with a 12v supply rather than a battery? Is there any downside of running the dew bands at 100% all the time? Lifespan? To much heat on the scope? /Daniel
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