Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Better Dew Control with DewBuster

I could never completely get rid of my dew problem (I often had some condensation in the morning). Which over time led to a buildup of gook on my front lens:

First, I wanted to make sure that I won't get dew anymore. I decided to go with the DewBuster. First, I considered the Kendrick DigiFire controller. But then I felt that it was overkill to control the dew controller through the computer (plus the dewbuster is significantly cheaper). It took me a little to configure the dewbuster, I finally decided to go with:

  • two dew controllers (one for the main scope, one for the guider scope)
  • 4 12V outlets (this would allow me to get rid of my small Anderson distributor)
Unfortunately, the dewbuster does not come with Anderson connectors but only with RCA connectors.

After a little over a month, the dewbuster was delivered. Installation was easy. I only needed to order RCA connectors for the cables. I put them on the power cables on my scope:

On the lens, you just clip the temperature sensor under the dew strip and let the other sensor dangling in the air:

Over the next nights, I played with the temperature - the best results were with 5 degrees (as recommended by Ron Keating :-)

This should do the trick - and no more dew buildup!!!

... which means, I can finally clean my front lens!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A looooooooong hiatus

For several months, I had to put my beloved hobby on hold. First, winter season means snowboard season!!! Second, we got our wish and El Nino gave us lots of rain in California. Third, it's hard to carry my scope outside with a broken leg (again: Snowboarding :-(

I spent the time to upgrade my equipment and fix a number of things:
  • I switched from 50mm round filters to 50mm square filters to reduce vignetting when using the super reducer
  • With that, I needed new filter wheels - I decided to get two filter wheels:
    • a 7 position wheel for backyard photography (narrowband and mid-band filters)
    • a 5 position wheel for dark skies (LRGB filters)
  • A couple of times, I had some issues with my USB hub. I bought a new one from Kendrick - specifically design for Astrophotography (led's, heated, outdoors)

  • (too bad that it doesn't come with only 4 outputs)
  • I still had problems with dew and decided to get a Dewbuster
  • I sent in my 16070 camera to fix the vertical stripes - received it back
  • Once I could try the dewbuster and make sure that it works, I could finally clean my front lens
Of course, the first time I tried everything together several things failed or had to be adjusted :-S