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Old 02-01-2019, 08:34 PM
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darrellx (Darrell)
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Observatory Issues/Questions

Hi All

I hope everyone has had an enjoyable and pleasant Christmas/New Year break.

I had the opportunity to spend a solid 6 days and 5 nights at my dark site and use all the equipment I purchased in 2018 in my new Observatory. Wonderful time.

Everything went fine, with no problems. However 2 issues did arise. On these 2 issues I would like to seek some input from this forum.

The first issue/question relates to Dew Control. I did read somewhere that on moving into an Observatory Dew becomes much less of an issue. Well ain't that the truth! I have never really had a problem with Dew. I have some Dew straps connected to a controller and on those damp nights everything is kept under control. Over the 5 nights, 3 of them were very damp. All outside surfaces were running with moisture. In the Dome - dry. I did not even turn on my Dew Controller. I am wondering if that is the experience of others. Or was I just very lucky for this time?

The second issue - light inside the Dome. This will probably be more relevant to those who have a Dome, but I would still be interested in comments from Team-ROR. In my Dome I have a Bay that I use to house my laptop. By its very nature it means the laptop screen is directed to the centre of the Dome. Even when I turn down the brightness of the screen there is still some significant light reflected around. If I turn the screen into Night Mode, it makes it too hard to read. So I draped a thickish towel over the laptop, and when I wanted to do anything, I stuck my head under the towel. I have asked my wife to make me a nice curtain to run across the Bay. I would like to know what other solutions anyone has tried that worked. I suppose you might ask what is the impact of the light. Well, not a lot on the imaging side. But it did seem to have an impact on the guider.

Thanks
Darrell
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:50 PM
glend (Glen)
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Well, yes I can acknowledge that dew is less of a problem than being outside, and as I am a ROR owner, that statement applies to ROR obs as well; however it may be impacted by how much you need to roll back the roof. My pier is located towards the Southern end of my obs, and with a partial open roof I can image fine and still have my workstation area under cover.

As far as screen light control goes, I use Backyard Red, which is a free application that gives your screen a red cast and is variable in intensity. I run Backyard Red, and turn the brightness slider down to dim. I also use a dark towel that I can work under, aka the old shroud that old time camera operators used to use to prevent stray light from entering images when they changed film plates. Once I have everything set up and running, I usually drape the towel over the screen and retire to the house, where I run Teamviewer on a small laptop to monitor and control the main laptop systems in the Obs. I run SGP as my imaging app, and it remotes well under Teamviewer. Teamviewer is setup so that only local LAN connections are permitted, and it uses my WiFi network.

Backyard Red is available here:

https://www.otelescope.com/files/cat...5-backyardred/
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:18 PM
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darrellx (Darrell)
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Thanks Glen

I now have a copy of Backyard Red, and my curtain is underway.

Darrell
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:24 PM
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I use a ROR, and have a cord across the obs with a vertical curtain to block light from the PC. When imaging over my head (and the PC) I have a 'roof curtain' I drape over the top of the cord and over the side of the obs - really cocoons me in.....
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:42 PM
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Darrell, I find that a damp night rarely affects the scopes in the dome, unless they are pointing close to the zenith. The dome is a great shelter.

Re light from your laptop screen, you could try red film over the entire screen. It can make it a little difficult to see, but it's better than being blinded by a bright white screen. I forget where I got my red film from but pretty sure its readily available.
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Old 14-01-2019, 09:23 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Darrell,

Not specifically for an observatory but, in my 30yr career as a professional mariner the introduction of computer screens on the bridge of a ship introduced a huge problem in terms of maintaining night vision.

The solution was red perspex, held in place by some self adhesive velcro... & turn down the brightness...

If your eyes are dark adapted you will have no issue using a laptop this way & you will maintain your night vision perfectly...

Cheers
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Old 20-01-2019, 09:52 PM
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darrellx (Darrell)
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Hi All

Just back from a few days at my dark site. Thanks for the suggestions.

I now have a nice curtain across the bay, as well as Backyard Red loaded. All works very well. I couldn't find any suitable plastic or film, and I like the fact I can easily adjust the brightness of Backyard Red.

I am still impressed that I donít need my dew heaters. For two of the nights I started as soon as it was dark, and stopped about 3am. Not a drop of moisture inside the dome. Outside was a different story.

Darrell
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Old 21-01-2019, 07:34 AM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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The problem I have seen with both Backyard Red (Or similar) or red gel over the screen is that the screen colour schemes are not designed for it. Some text or graphics become almost impossible to read. I have noticed that on PC screens and iphone/ipad screens with red gel over them. Applications that have a dedicated night vision mode are OK as they present reasonable contrast even through a red filter but others are not so good.
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Old 21-01-2019, 05:56 PM
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darrellx (Darrell)
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Paul

I agree. I have never been a fan of the Night Mode in Windows. I am running all this on a MSI Laptop. The Night Mode (Red Screen) on that is very poor and annoying. I really could see very little text in that mode and CdC was essentially unusable.

But with Backyard Red I can adjust the intensity with a slider. I have it set so that it is not a very intense red at all, but it is no longer the stark white. It is red enough that my night vision tends to be preserved, and coupled with the curtain the light in the dome is kept to a minimum.

Darrell
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