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  • Equipment review: Dew-Not Heat Control System

    I just wanted to give an informal review of my new Dew-Not Heat System now that I have had a few chances to use them. Please keep in mind Iím certainly not an expert reviewer, and this is just my $.02.

    I knew when I first purchased my scope (SCT) that dew would be an issue, but I did get the Celestron Dew Shield for my scope which worked great for most of the summer. Late in the summer and now fall time I decided I need to get some heating equipment if I want to have any chance to continue to use my scope, especially in the winter on the nicer days. Living in the Canadian Prairies it gets quite cold.

    What I purchased was the Dew-Not controller unit, heat strap for my OTA, heater strap for my Telrad, and also a heat strap for the goto scopes hand controller. As all these items run at 12 volts, I also purchased a 120v to 12v converter from a local store. I donít think you can buy those from the Dew-Not company.

    As mentioned I have used this equipment several times now but last night was a perfect test because I knew it would be cold, and I would be out there for potentially several hours if all went well. I set up in my backyard at 12 midnight and temps were already below freezing (-5C, 23F), and I stayed out there until 4am (-7C, 19F). Iím really happy with the way it all proformed.

    By about 1am everything such as my yard furniture and vehicles etc had a layer of frost on it. If driving my car I would have had to scrape my windows

    Going back to last winter I used my scope a few times without this heat equipment and I can clearly see itís made all the difference in the world now. One thing I am really happy about is the heater for the hand control unit. I found that at about -8C to -10C was about the lowest temps I could go otherwise the hand control unit would be very slow and frusterating. I should mention my preference is to control the scope with the default hand controller as opposed to remotely with the iPad etc.

    Anyway all my Dew-Not equipment has worked great so far, I have had no issues with dew, was able to run the OTA strap for hours on end along my my scope on just the powertank. Last night I ran all three of my heat straps from my 120V converter plugged into a wall outlet. One thing that was really nice, was that in 4 hours out there my hand controller worked just as quick and smooth as it had on nice summer nights, so the controller heat strap makes huge difference.

    The Dew-Not Controller has 4 outlets that are controlled by 2 knobs to adjust the output. The only negative thing I could nit-pick about is that you canít control each outlet individually, as one knob controls two output lines. Maybe I am overthinking it though, and might not need to do that anyway. For example last night I ran all output lines at about 40% of their maximum output. So even just one knob would have been sufficient for all three.

    I should mention I just have the controller strap attached to the controller with two rubber bands. One thing thatís nice is the heat strap is thin enough to allow my hand controller to still sit nicely in the aftermarket JMI docking bracket. Also there are some nice features with the Dew-Not control unit such as a few LEDís to let you see whatís going on at a quick glance. I think their website explains it all.

    Anyway I better wrap it up. As you can tell Iím very happy with the product. I even emailed the owner of Dew-Not with a question after my purchase, and he emailed me back with an answer just a couple hours later. Very nice!
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