View Full Version here: : Observatory Lighting.
26-03-2011, 01:04 AM
I'm wondering what others are doing for lighting in their obs? I was thinking about installing some red leds at floor level before I seal the internal walls. The lesve dome driver has a dimmer control built in which drives a PWM open collector device and it can sink 100mA @ 40V, so it should handle 4-6 leds @ 12V easily but I'm not sure if this will be enough for when something goes wrong. It seems really dark in there now I've painted the inside of the dome black.
26-03-2011, 09:37 AM
I use a series of solar powered shed lights that are about $20 each from Bunnings . You can easily remove the front panel and insert red gel behind them if need be but I keep them as white lights as I'm mainly doing astrophotography not visual.
26-03-2011, 11:51 AM
Allan, I guess these would be LED lamps. Do you know how many LEDs are in each lamp and how many lamps you use?
26-03-2011, 03:29 PM
There are 6 LEDs in each lamp and all come on at once. I have three of these as well as small touch LEDs around the observatory to illuminate in other areas. About $15 from Supercheap auto for a set of three or four.
26-03-2011, 11:54 PM
Cheers guys. You both seem to have a lot of light available and after tonights effort here I'm tempted to wack in a couple of fluro tubes. Trying to sort out hubs cables powersupplies etc etc etc with a red torch is hopeless :sadeyes: I'll see what I can come up with this week.
27-03-2011, 07:47 AM
For what it's worth, the inside of my dome is black as well, but until now I've survived in just a red LED headlamp and a red/white switchable torch, however, I have just bought an Arlec rechargable camping lantern (fluoro and LED) which I plan to use in the obs when we aren't camping. Should provide oodles of white light plus the fluoro gives me another calibration source for the spectroscope!;)
27-03-2011, 11:26 AM
I have a normal light on the wall and a desktop lamp near my computer which is in a side room of the observatory but no door.
I use a torch to get to my observatory and with the roof open I can see well enough not to trip on things.
I keep the area where I walk free of stuff.
Red LED lights would have to affect your imaging. Its bad enough all the gear seems to have red and green power lights.
The Paramount has a super bright blue power light. But then I have the little USB cover off and should fit it. I have tape over that as I was seeing it in images ( a gradient).
If you use red light and you use red filters for taking red subexposures surely some of it will get picked up.
27-03-2011, 01:51 PM
The electronics stores now sell reels of surface mounted LEDs on continuous flexible circuit board thin strip (about 10mm) which is sticky backed, you can buy it by the metre.
Simply cut it to length, bare back the two 12v power rails at one end and solder some wires or use dedicated terminal blocks and add power one end and stick the stuff to whatever you want.
I am not sure how reliable the glue is through an Aussie summer, but fixing it down is easy enough.
Each LED section has its own independent power regulator.
There are some that are "outdoor proofed" - these have a clear flexible plastic coating along the whole strip and can be used under verendah rails etc for concealed architectural lighting.
Some of them are also dimmable - just be sure to get the right version (as some are not)
You can get all colours inc Red and White.
Havent seen a colour selectable version - that would be handy !
27-03-2011, 10:18 PM
I have installed a variety of lighting in my dome to suit various requirements.
1. I use a halogen desk light when I need lots of light for working.
2. I have a white and a red luxeon LED at the top of the dome that I can use to help visitors assimilate to their surroundings. I use these (white first, then red second) to point out basic stuff like where the EP and focuser are, and of course, what not to bump.
3. I bought three 12V wall-mounting white LED lights from Bunnings, and modified them by adding four red LEDs (alongside the existing four white LEDs) and a separate switch wire. The three of them are spaced around the observing floor walls about 600 mm above the floor. The three fittings are wired in parallel, and the red and white lights are separately dimmable. I typically start observing with just the red, and dim them further as my eyes adjust and I search for fainter objects.
4. Like Rally, I have also used a few short lengths of the surface-mount self adhesive red LED strips. One is under my wedge which throws some light on whatever is in the 'cubbyhole'. The other strips are under the handrail on the balustrade. These strips are also dimmable.
I also follow Greg's practice of keeping the floor clear so I can move around confidently. Occasionally I bump into the observing chair since it doesn't stay put.
27-03-2011, 11:01 PM
Cheers guys, I found red led strip lights on ebay for about a dollar a foot delivered from konkers. I figure a few of those for getting it focused/synced etc and a bright white light for situations like last night when it seemed everything was broken. There's hardly any room in there for me let alone tables or guests and there is nothing on the floor to trip over, all cables are under the rubber floor matting and power supplies, pc's etc are in the wall cavities. I'm even using the on screen keyboard when I have to type to save space. Tonight I'm watching what it's doing from the laptop inside the house, it seems to be behaving itself tonight :D
28-03-2011, 09:47 AM
I picked up at 1.2m strip for 1c + $3.49 shipping..
Look around ALOT, also the 5050 SMD leds are brighter and bigger
30-03-2011, 12:19 AM
Yep, got 4 x 1.2meter lengths coming for under $20 all up.
31-03-2011, 10:18 AM
I am using the new digital tail light that are on the back of trucks and trailers .The red tail light has a low light and a bright light (brake light)and for a white light I am using the revising light all are 12volts .They are not cheap to buy but, you may find some that fell off the back of truck :lol::lol:.
I was lucky when I got mind I was in wrecking yard when they were wrecking a trailer so I was able to get them cheap :D look around scrape yards it is amazing what you can find.
01-04-2011, 04:59 AM
That's not a bad idea Ian. I don't have any white light yet. I do some work for yellow cabs and I remember them saying they where changing all tail lights on the prius fleet to LED. I might be able to score a couple of reversing lights there ;)
Last time I went looking around that workshop I scored half a dozen iridium spark plugs for the kids car.
Those things cost da bomb and last forever. Pity he wrote off the car :sadeyes:
26-04-2011, 12:09 PM
how did you get power to them in top of the dome. presuming your dome rotates
28-04-2011, 08:03 PM
Steve, I use a small rechargeable 12 V battery which sits on the dome ring. I originally intended to install a small solar panel with the express purpose of charging the battery, but have found that about one battery charge per year is about enough for the useage that I make of the LEDs, so have not bothered to use a solar panel.
29-04-2011, 09:46 AM
Yea i had that idea.. just dont really want to cause i want it all powered by the main battery.. i guess I could
01-05-2011, 11:58 AM
Steve, looks like you'll need some slip rings then......(!)
01-05-2011, 12:12 PM
I nailed about 5 meters of red LED rope lights around the lower ring. Works well.
02-05-2011, 11:46 AM
i was considering using this.. I have 66m of the stuff, I was thinking of sticking it to the outside to form a ring and soldering power etc to it.
I doubt it will have enough current capacity for the door motors (motors to open and close the roof doors) and the adhesive could fall off over time
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