Accessories

Denver Observers Chair

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Sit while you look!

People will tell you that being comfortable while observing is worth an inch in aperture! I made this Observing Chair while waiting for my telescope to arrive.

It can be folded up and carried easily, doesn't weigh too much and the height is adjustable from around 1 metre down to about 15cm, so no matter whether you're looking at the horizon or the zenith, you can still be seated and comfortable.

The plans, and my experiences making it, can be found on the projects page.

Transporting Trolley

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Don't carry that sucker!

If you're like me, then the thought of carrying the OTA + base in 2 trips every time you need to move the scope, doesn't give warm and fuzzies.

There's the fear of dropping it while walking up and down stairs, the fear of banging it against a door frame as you go inside and out, and simply the extra trips needed to get the scope setup under the stars.

So I decided to use a hand-truck (trolley) as the 'scopes transportation system, meaning I could leave the OTA connected onto the base, and safely pull/push the setup from the garage to around the back. It can (with care) also go up and down stairs without trouble.

The parts, and my experiences with the trolley, can be found on the projects page.

Headlamp with Red and White LEDs

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Don't ruin that dark vision!

This great headlamp was bought from Coles for $30. There might be cheaper versions around, but this is a good quality Energiser brand with a tilt-adjustable LED housing, and a switch to change from a Red LED to 2 bright white LED's.

A red light doesn't ruin your dark vision, and as such is an essential accessory to have with you when you're out observing; for reading your star charts, books or even just to make sure you don't drop the eyepiece or knock your chair into the OTA. This headlamp is a also a great tool when setting up or packing away your gear at a dark location, leaving your hands free to carry the important stuff!

Tripod

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Optex T-660

The Optex T-660 tripod was originally bought for use with my binoculars before I owned a telescope. An additional requirement was this binocular tripod adapter, which screwed into the binoculars and allowed you to mount your binoculars on the tripod. The tripod functioned well, but with heavy binoculars tilted at a high angle when trying to look near the zenith, the tilt lock just wasn't strong enough and the tilt would slip.

It now serves as a camera tripod for holding the camera steady at the eyepiece while trying some astrophotography.

More details can be found on the imaging equipment page.

Eclipse Shades

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Groovy shades

These eclipse shades were bought for AU$6.00 from Bintel in the city, a few days before Venus transitted the Sun on the 8th June 2004.

They haven't seen a lot of action since then, since Sunspot activity has been quiet lately.

Compass

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Compass

This compass was bought from the Australian Geographic shop for a few dollars. It helps when trying to work out which way is north etc when looking at your star charts.

It has an inbuilt magnifying glass (for reading maps) and both the compass and magnifying glass fold away nicely into its little pouch.

Lens Cleaning Kit

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Lens cleaner

This lens cleaning kit is useful to clean up eyepiece and camera lenses when they accidentally get a few fingerprint smudges on them, or when they just get oily residue from your skin.

The kit contains some cleaning solution, a few cloths and wipes, some ear buds (q-tips), and an air blower with brush. It was bought for about AU$10 at Big W.

Eye Piece Case

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Safety first!

My son's lunchbox was only going to work for so long holding my eye pieces and filters.. Hearing them rattling around in there wasn't the best sound I've heard, so I finally purchased this aluminium case from Big W for AU$20.

It had some dividers which I took out, but the pen holding flap is still there and will come in handy. I bought some 5" foam from Clarke's Rubber for AU$10 (an offcut), and used a cerrated knife to cut it into shape, and to cut holes for the eyepieces and filters. There's plenty of room for the additional eyepieces and filters I hope to buy one day, and it keeps them nice and safe, snug in their little home until they are needed.

Eye Patches

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aaaarrrrr! ahoy! My wife as hand model demonstrates the eye patches!

On the advice of IceInSpace Forum member Starkler, these eye patches were purchased for a couple of dollars each from the local pharmacy. One is a soft material patch, and the other is a hard plastic patch. I use whichever feels more comfortable at the time. The

Eye patches like these are very useful for preserving your dark adaption in your viewing eye if you have to go inside for a pitstop, to get some gear you forgot, etc.

Not only useful for astronomy, but they're invaluable for International Talk Like A Pirate Day, and if you ever poke yourself in the eye with a blunt stick, you'll need one too :)

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