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3D printed dew shields for Apollo 22x85 observational binoculars


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Last year I purchased a pair of 22x85 observational binoculars from FLO to ride on my Orion Monster Parallelogram Mount. The combination is superb for all sky observation right through the zenith, but during unfavourable conditions the objectives can quickly mist over due to dew formation. The binoculars don't have integrated dew shield and despite looking around, I haven't been able to find an inexpesive solution. Hence I asked a few of my astro 3D printing friends if a solution could be achieved that way. @Silent Running (thanks John) came to the rescue, designing a pair of long, slightly tapered dew shields, sending me a test print to check that the internal diameter would easily fit over the objectives, before printing the final items, which arrived in the post today. Here are a few images of what they look like...

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The internal diameter was deliberaly slightly oversized to all me to fit a couple of patches of sticky-backed felt, which holds them perfectly in position whilst allowing them to be easlier slid on/off the binoculars.

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I now can't wait to try them out under a dark, clear sky to see how well they protect the objective lenses from dew formation.

Edited by geoflewis
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8 hours ago, Ships and Stars said:

Nice! I have to get a 3D printer, there are so many things I want to make. 

Nothing like a layer of dew to cut short an astro session, these look like they will definitely do the job.

54 minutes ago, Stormbringer said:

Very nice and very practical those should keep the dew at bay 🍻

I've just come in from a brief 1 hour session with the binoculars and the dew shields worked a treat. I had issues with my specs misting over, then when I gave up wearing those I had a similar problem with the bino eyepieces misting due to my watering eyes, but there wasn't a hint of dew forming on the binocular's objective lenses, so they were a great success 👌

 

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I’ve made pairs for my 50mm bins, even an adapter ring so one set of shields can be used with two slightly different sized binoculars.... printing tall shields is time consuming. Mine are lined in Wilko flock to keep out the streetlights! Made some winged eyecups too for the other end. Just need imagination of what you want/need to make!

 

peter

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2 hours ago, PeterW said:

I’ve made pairs for my 50mm bins, even an adapter ring so one set of shields can be used with two slightly different sized binoculars.... printing tall shields is time consuming. Mine are lined in Wilko flock to keep out the streetlights! Made some winged eyecups too for the other end. Just need imagination of what you want/need to make!

 

peter

@silentrunning who printed them for me, told me that each dew shield took 4.5 hours to print....!! I was wondering about lining them with flock, but even with the bright Moon last night I wasn’t getting much if any internal reflections. For me not having to clean the objectives every few seconds, as had been the case previously, is a huge improvement. Eye cups is a great idea, I might try to bodge something up. My biggest challenge now though is how to stop the eyepieces misting over from my watering eyes when it’s really cold outside..... 🤔

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Eye lens misting is a pain, I did try to mock up a small fan to blow air across the eyepieces, hard to do and dries your eyes up.... so no real solution apart from avoiding breathing in their direction.

Peter

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12 minutes ago, PeterW said:

Eye lens misting is a pain, I did try to mock up a small fan to blow air across the eyepieces, hard to do and dries your eyes up.... so no real solution apart from avoiding breathing in their direction.

Peter

I've been considering having a small hand held fan to blast the eyepieces every once in a while to help de-mist them.....

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2 hours ago, PeterW said:

Eye lens misting is a pain, I did try to mock up a small fan to blow air across the eyepieces, hard to do and dries your eyes up.... so no real solution apart from avoiding breathing in their direction.

Peter

 

2 hours ago, geoflewis said:

I've been considering having a small hand held fan to blast the eyepieces every once in a while to help de-mist them.....

 I use a Giotto rocket blower one of the squeeze blowers for camera lenses. The Giotto is larger than most at 60mm/dia and really pumps the air out. It's a bit pricey at £15-£20 but I haven't shopped for lowest price.

I've had mine for probably 10 years now, I can even blow light dust off my 20" primary and I've successfully used it to quickly demist my secondary - it's saved me on a few occasions without a dew heater. 

It clears eyepieces or binocular oculars easily in my experience and they tend not to fog so quickly after that. 

Edited by Ships and Stars
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11 minutes ago, Ships and Stars said:

 

 I use a Giotto rocket blower one of the squeeze blowers for camera lenses. The Giotto is larger than most at 60mm/dia and really pumps the air out. It's a bit pricey at £15-£20 but I haven't shopped for lowest price.

I've had mine for probably 10 years now, I can even blow light dust off my 20" primary and I've successfully used it to quickly demist my secondary - it's saved me on a few occasions without a dew heater. 

It clears eyepieces or binocular oculars easily in my experience and they tend not to fog so quickly after that. 

Thanks for that @Ships and Stars, I have just order one 👌:thumbright:

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59 minutes ago, Ships and Stars said:

 

 I use a Giotto rocket blower one of the squeeze blowers for camera lenses. The Giotto is larger than most at 60mm/dia and really pumps the air out. It's a bit pricey at £15-£20 but I haven't shopped for lowest price.

I've had mine for probably 10 years now, I can even blow light dust off my 20" primary and I've successfully used it to quickly demist my secondary - it's saved me on a few occasions without a dew heater. 

It clears eyepieces or binocular oculars easily in my experience and they tend not to fog so quickly after that. 

Good grief, I never even thought of using my rocket blower for that 🙂  thanks !

I'll add it to my low budget mak warming strategy of reuseable gel handwarmer and elastic strap borrowed off a foam mat ...

Heather

Edited by Tiny Clanger
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I got some powered dew strips for the front elements, but not the eyepieces. I had a generic squeeze dust blower but I used it to blow dust from some holes I was filling in the wall and it sucked up (and then blew out) some dust.... not much use!  I probably ought to get another one for both uses!

Peter

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4 minutes ago, PeterW said:

I got some powered dew strips for the front elements, but not the eyepieces. I had a generic squeeze dust blower but I used it to blow dust from some holes I was filling in the wall and it sucked up (and then blew out) some dust.... not much use!  I probably ought to get another one for both uses!

Peter

Hi Peter,

I considered powered dew straps, but that would mean including a power source and capbles which would be a bit of a pain with the binos on a parallelogram mount. I like the idea of the dust blower and for ~£15 it's got to be worth a try.... 🤞

Edited by geoflewis
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1 minute ago, PeterW said:

I got some powered dew strips for the front elements, but not the eyepieces. I had a generic squeeze dust blower but I used it to blow dust from some holes I was filling in the wall and it sucked up (and then blew out) some dust.... not much use!  I probably ought to get another one for both uses!

Peter

The Giottos blower is really good, has a valve to prevent dust getting sucked in and you can wash the inside by popping out the spout, plus the bulb is made of real rubber, so it works in all temps and doesn't split. 

I use mine on all sorts of stuff, bought it back when I did photography daily, but it stays on my desk, very handy.

The front dew strip elements would be good for my obsy bins!

 

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1 minute ago, geoflewis said:

Hi Peter,

I considered powered straps, but that would mean including a power source and capbles which would be a bit of a pain with the binos on a parallelogram mount. I like the idea of the dust blower and for ~£15 it's got to be worth a try.... 🤞

I have a ton of 18650 batteries, one of those would power a DIY mini-dew heater with some resistors wired in-line for the 20/40x100 bins, there's plenty of room to strap stuff to the top or side ;)

That's a rainy day project though after I've sorted the 50 other rainy day projects... 

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I got the lower/power shorter dew strips and a usb to phono adapter, so I can power mine from a dual 2.4A USB power bank. Dewheater.com With a cheap usb to 12v adapter I can similarly drive an AZ-Gti for in field operation.

Peter

PS if I can clean the inside of my blower I mig save me a few pennies! (Where have I put it?!)

 

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