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MimasDeathStar

Looking after eyepieces

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Hello all

Now I've got a telescope and a whopping mix of 6 eyepieces (and a barlow!) I've been wondering how everyone else stores theirs? It should be noted that the combined value of these eyepieces is about 75p but at least I've got quantity in lieu of quality! 

They are in danger of bouncing around the house at the moment - do people put them in a bag or a case or something? How much protection do they need - would I get away with putting them all in a soft bag or should I really be thinking about a padded / protected type affair?

I've done some browsing on one or two astro shops but haven't seen much, with the exception of the very very expensive flight cases!

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Flight cases using pick and pluck foam are very popular,  there is a small thread here: 

 

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Well, I keep mine in their original boxes with the end caps on and carry them about in those inexpensive plastic toolboxes you can get at B&Q.  This is a rather primitive approach when compared with bespoke cut out cases, etc, but it does keep them totally safe. Some of them are quite expensive; some have vulnerable eye and field lenses - the last thing you want is damage to these. You also don't want dust and damp getting in on the act and you do want to minimise knocks, scratches and the need for frequent cleaning. When I’m observing, I’ll sit them back in their boxes with the end caps on but leave the boxes open. So, you’re safe buying a used eyepiece from me 😑; it won’t have been dropped, kicked around or left to fend for itself in some dusty cupboard somewhere. That said, if yours are worth 75p, sling them in an old sock with some gravel and give them a good shake 🤪. But I bet they’re. worth much more than that  and as others have pointed out, some inexpensive eyepieces perform well and are worth taking care of. 

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I keep mine capped and in foam lined flight cases. My cases are the plucked foam ones from Maplins but they have gone out of business now. I'm sure something similar is availabale elsewhere.

eps062019.JPG.23f9073720084c8fda8124860dde522c.JPG

 

epstwo0119.JPG

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59 minutes ago, John said:

I keep mine capped and in foam lined flight cases. My cases are the plucked foam ones from Maplins but they have gone out of business now. I'm sure something similar is availabale elsewhere.

eps062019.JPG.23f9073720084c8fda8124860dde522c.JPG

 

epstwo0119.JPG

 

 

OK John , Nice eyepieces. That's just showing off😀

 

 

I got a cheap DIY flight alloy case (for tools from B+Q) and it had foam inserts, does the job great.

 

 

 

Edited by Timebandit
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you can also get some of the plastic cases in various smaller sizes if you don't need the expense of a larger flight case right now. Foam isn't too expensive and you can buy that already pre-cut in various size cutouts to you can select appropriate ones to suit the size of the EPs, worth a search on the bay and amazon and see what suits what you're looking for. For sure keep the dust covers on and also add some silica gel packs to keep moisture in check.

Having said the above tho, you may find you want to also have somewhere safe for the finder, hand control (if any) and any other small bits you want to be transporting, in which case a larger case might be worthwhile. I got an ally flight case reasonably priced (was for a game system or something) and bought foam to fit it out to suit. Carries the EP's, diagonal, barlows + filters, finder and RDF, hand controller + cables as well as blower and cleaning bits. Buying one pitched for astro would likely be more expensive for much the same thing...

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1 hour ago, John said:

I keep mine capped and in foam lined flight cases. My cases are the plucked foam ones from Maplins but they have gone out of business now. I'm sure something similar is availabale elsewhere.

 

John, that has to be about the ultimate set of eyepieces! Very nice. If you ever come across the Leica asph ww zoom see what you reckon. I have a couple of Ethos (Ethoi?) but have been wanting to try the Pentax XW's. 

I was given two flight cases which I didn't use for years, but as soon as the astronomy bug bit me, they've seen frequent action. 

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3 minutes ago, Ships and Stars said:

John, that has to be about the ultimate set of eyepieces! Very nice. If you ever come across the Leica asph ww zoom see what you reckon. I have a couple of Ethos (Ethoi?) but have been wanting to try the Pentax XW's. 

I was given two flight cases which I didn't use for years, but as soon as the astronomy bug bit me, they've seen frequent action. 

Thanks :smiley:

I have owned the Leica ASPH zoom for a while and it was very nice but I decided in the end that it was not for me. I know other folk who feel that its a "must have" eyepiece so it must be my odd tastes :rolleyes2:

 

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4 minutes ago, John said:

Thanks :smiley:

I have owned the Leica ASPH zoom for a while and it was very nice but I decided in the end that it was not for me. I know other folk who feel that its a "must have" eyepiece so it must be my odd tastes :rolleyes2:

 

Ah I'm just too lazy sometimes to change eyepieces. I was thinking if someone made a widefield zoom from say 18-36mm that would be interesting, but on the other hand would probably weight more than the scope and cost 5k. I'll have to try a Pentax if I ever get over to my astronomy soc meeting this year! 

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At completely the other end of the scale from John's, mine is just a very cheap padded and insulated lunch box. I keep the eyepieces in their containers and it works really well.

20190810_110049.thumb.jpg.100f047e0a526dc423e079b2ba2d331d.jpg

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12 hours ago, MimasDeathStar said:

Hello all

Now I've got a telescope and a whopping mix of 6 eyepieces (and a barlow!) I've been wondering how everyone else stores theirs? It should be noted that the combined value of these eyepieces is about 75p but at least I've got quantity in lieu of quality! 

They are in danger of bouncing around the house at the moment - do people put them in a bag or a case or something? How much protection do they need - would I get away with putting them all in a soft bag or should I really be thinking about a padded / protected type affair?

I've done some browsing on one or two astro shops but haven't seen much, with the exception of the very very expensive flight cases!

I was wondering the same thing, and the answers here have given me food for thought.

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not bad, bargain price even, tho I'd think an extra layer of foam might be needed to stop them moving about , but that's not expensive to do :) 

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I use flight cases similar to john from Maplins, they maybe expensive but they are worth every penny...very secure and keep your ep's very stable and safe, I have two and store everything in them, filters, etc. I think FLO sell them now

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As John does, I also keep mine in flight cases, but for individual protection I use plastic bolt cases like these, they come in a number of different sizes:

20190928_161325.jpg.7476e36acc9e655929e98ce306b6753c.jpg

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4 hours ago, Jiggy 67 said:

I use flight cases similar to john from Maplins, they maybe expensive but they are worth every penny...very secure and keep your ep's very stable and safe, I have two and store everything in them, filters, etc. I think FLO sell them now

My cases were quite cheap - I got them in Maplins sale a few years back. About £15 each I think. The contents cost a fair bit more though ....... :rolleyes2:

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On 27/09/2019 at 19:57, MimasDeathStar said:

Hello all

Now I've got a telescope and a whopping mix of 6 eyepieces (and a barlow!) I've been wondering how everyone else stores theirs? It should be noted that the combined value of these eyepieces is about 75p but at least I've got quantity in lieu of quality! 

They are in danger of bouncing around the house at the moment - do people put them in a bag or a case or something? How much protection do they need - would I get away with putting them all in a soft bag or should I really be thinking about a padded / protected type affair?

I've done some browsing on one or two astro shops but haven't seen much, with the exception of the very very expensive flight cases!

There's another level of thought needed when considering ways to store eyepieces (and indeed, diagonals, filters etc..)

I'm a sucker for neatness, and there's a couple of pictures of my cases on the "show me your eyepiece...." thread already mentioned on here.

Once a collection builds up above a certain number of items though, (as it always will ! 🤓), it becomes more awkward and perhaps risky to carry it to a dark and possibly dewy outdoor observing site.   If one is lucky enough to have a permanent home observatory (lucky devils), then no problem, they can all be kept to hand, nicely cooled down, with less chance of dropping or losing anything.

If though, the observing is done in the open air, in a back garden or a remote dark site, then carrying these fragile and often very expensive ancillaries needs careful consideration. The old adage "all your eggs in one basket" comes to mind when an eyepiece collection  amassed over time could be worth well over 4 figures.  When I tried various cases I was wary of potential mishaps, such as could the contents fall out if the case came open at an angle or fell off a table etc., or is there even any possibility of it being stolen...  😱

My much evolved system is therefore two-stage. 

Permanent storage is in foam lined flight cases and drawers indoors, and selected items for a predicted clear sky session are temporarily stored in individual eyepiece bottle cases in an oversize photographer's multiple pocket gilet.  (It's oversize so that it can easily fit over other bulky Winter clothing). I use bottle cases so that the eyepieces are all ready to use, with the top and bottom caps already removed, as they are so easy to lose in the dark.

The "loaded" Gilet is then left in my unheated conservatory late afternoon to keep it close to outside temperatures.

 

Edited by Astro-Geek
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Plucked foam is available at reasonable cost from ebay and you can get it in several depths, then any case can be re-purposed.  Check out things like sturdy shoe boxes, lunch boxes, cake storage boxes, and charity shops where all sort of things can be found inc. things like cheap old picnic boxes, even flight box replicas with other contents etc.  don't discount buying something really cheap from charity shops or thrift shops filled with something you don't want, then ditching the contents and adding new plucked foam - I've got three nice boxes (mine are in the thread linked to above) and I've got all of them from charity shops or begged from other people who weren't using them.

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I have a cheap laptop bag into which I inserted two layers of foam, one thick and the other thin. The thin layer provides protection at the 'bottom' of the case while I cut pockets in the thick layer to fit my eyepieces, finders, etc. I also have a couple of BST Starguiders in their boxes, Bahtinov masks, etc. stored in the various outer pockets.

 

20191001_094612.jpg

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Thanks all, really interesting to see the different ways people look after their stuff! It definitely looks like some people have put some serious thought into this.

I've gone for one of these in the end:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/233065648967

Looked like the cheapest one I could find that already had the pluck foam in it - thanks very much to those that shared the small hard case - that definitely got me on the right track.

Thanks again all!

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