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Old 09-05-2019, 07:35 AM
Glencoe (Ian)
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Join Date: Mar 2019
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Convenient tray for Lens Caps

For me, most of my viewing depends on one thing - convenience. A couple of months ago, I bought a neat little 120mm f5 refractor which sits in a spot handy to my back deck - so its literally a one-minute job to be 'out under the stars'. One thing that did bother me was that, since it was a simple Alt Az mount, the instrument tended to 'sag' when looking at anything high overhead, especially since I use 2" eyepieces. I solved this nicely by adding an armature with a small counterweight (see 'Balanced Alt Az mount for refractor' 29-3-2019). Once again, it all came down to 'convenience'.

After having used this new setup for a few weeks, it occurred to me that the front lens cap just happened to fit neatly over the round 1.25kg weight that I'd used to balance the scope. This got me thinking about all the other lens caps that seemed to accumulate on the triangular eyepiece tray inside the tripod's legs during the course of a night's viewing. Once again, I'd found something that was 'inconvenient'; so, where could I put them?

My friends suggested "In your pockets"; but hey, its coming on for winter, and that's where I want to put my hands...

That's when I noticed the now-unused bracket that (before I'd balanced the scope) had housed my azimuth slow-motion control. It would be a simple procedure to adapt this, so as to attach a small Lens Cap Tray - one that would turn with the telescope, so as to always be 'in the same place' when I was looking for a lens cap in the dark.

I unscrewed the bottom of the little 'dial' that's attached to the grubscrew, flipped it upside-down, and used it to attach a plywood tray - having drilled a hole in the appropriate part of the tray. This, with a washer just larger than the drilled hole, now holds my tray in place. A strip of aluminium prevents the lens caps from falling off the tray.

Now all those pesky lens caps have their own home, and I no longer need to fumble about on my eyepiece tray, sorting through lens caps to find what I want.
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Old 14-05-2019, 12:02 PM
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sil (Steve)
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Have you looked at lens cap tethers? dirt cheap on ebay they are usually an elastic band you put around your lens end with a short string to a small plastic anchor with a sticky back to attach to the cap. So it dangles from the end of the lens and is short enough to keep the string out of the way. I've seen types with just an anchor at each end so you can secure one to cap and one elsewhere convenient for gear. Could save you having a tray getting in the way. Or just a small drawstring bag attached to tripod to easily drop a cap into and retrieve in the dark.
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