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  1. #1
    TambourineMan's Avatar
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    Default Eyepiece care after viewing



    In my first post in the "Tips, Do's and Don'ts for Beginners" thread in the Beginner's Forum:

    Tips, Do's and Don'ts for Beginners

    I speculated about a possible problem with interior condensation if eyepieces were capped immediately after a viewing session, as moisture may seep into the interior of the eyepiece as capping may prevent moisture from evaporating.

    My question is, if eyepieces should not be capped after viewing, how should they be transported from the viewing site to home?

    I know people have foam lined cases, but I should think it is not a good idea to put an uncapped eyepiece in the foam in the case as the foam could touch the lens. My goal is for nothing to touch the eyepiece lenses other than my eye lashes which I guess cannot be avoided.

    I suppose they could be temporarily capped and then uncapped upon arrival home, but I am the lazy and forgetful sort, so I am wondering if there is a better method.

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  3. #2
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    Default

    Hi tamboman , I have read about people using small battery powerd hair dryers to warm there eyepieces before putting them back in the bolt cases .
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  5. #3
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    Default

    Tambo, that's a very good question, and I'm afraid I don't have a good answer. Tell ya the truth, I'm probably the laziest astronomer there is, so in that light, I actually don't worry too much about it. I'm hardly ever down the road with a scope anyway, but when I have been I usually just pack up normally and head out. I will check my equipment later when I get home to see if there's been any moisture, but there usually isn't. Besides, it's not hard to clean eyepieces. I'm more concerned about my scope primary.

    Thing is, if you've been out in the cold for long, your vehicle is probably as cold inside as the outside air. I'm always careful not to put any equipment near the heater, and I will not turn the heater up very high. The best bet would be to not turn the heater on at all. That way no dew will form. Things will warm up very slowly. (Anyone riding with you might not appreciate that). Then, when you get home you can open everything back up to let the dew that forms when you take your stuff insde the warm house dissipate--unless you can put it in the garage where it's still cold.

    Just thinking out loud. Hope someone has a better answer. (Well, the hair dryer idea was a good solution).

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    Default

    The hair dryer idea is off another forum .Someone asked someone else what to do whene your breath fogged up an eyepiece when it was REALLY cold ... I found them at camping supply places .
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    Default

    ... man I been mulling this one over since you posted it ... when I'm viewing at home it's no big deal, I just pop inside and lay everything out under a towel to keep the dust off ...

    ... but several times I have come home from a remote site and just left everything packed up and never had a problem ... now you got me worried ... lol ...

    ... btw ... you also got me worried about my EPs touching foam ... in one case I use the EP covers that same with everything ... in the other Ep case many of my EPs don't have caps ... which on the larger Plossl EPs really isn't a problem since the glass is far enough inside that the foam can't get to them ... but on the higher power EPs the glass is awfully close ... hmm ... maybe time to buy some caps ... so thank you ... you may have saved me from a hard lesson ...
    Last edited by FatherGuse; 02-18-2009 at 04:22 AM.

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    I havent botherd with the hair dryer thing , if something happens with my gear like condensation that i cant remove , we just have to go shopping again . LOL.
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    Default

    The last couple of times I went out it was 30 degrees (F) and at first it seemed like a summer heat wave compared to my first light which was a sub-zero temperatures. However by the end of the night I was cold enough that I wanted to turn my car's heater on and to H with the eyepieces. In fact even in the car I left my clava and ski hat on and didn't care if anyone thought I was a weirdo.

    So anyway do you put the caps on and puts them in their boxes or bolts, or put them in pockets in a foam carrying case (with or without the caps)?

    I have been using a Black & Decker tool box for my finder, collimator and eyepieces, etc. I was thinking of making further compartments in the tray in the top with plastic dividers to separate the EP's and to keep them from banging together but loose enough that moisture could evaporate.

    I have some gray foam left from making the end caps for my tube. I could make foam pockets instead. Would it be bad to put them in the pockets without the end caps?

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    Default

    I use a pelican case with foam and bolt cases . When i get home , i open everything up and let it air out inside the house . The case seems to insulate everything until i get home . Havent had a problem yet . I have seen custom eyepiece cases on astromart that have wood boards with holes drilled in them , so everything just sits there in holders . I guess the holes in the boards fit the barrels of the eyepieces . Those custom cases are going for 200 dollars plus , so i aint buying one .
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    I just made a eyepiece holder out of wood. I just couldn't bring myself to spend $30 for a piece of L-shaped metal that someone had drilled holes in. it cost me almost as much since most of my hole saws are up at my cottage and I couldn't find a 2" one down here so I had to buy a hole saw set, but it's the principle of the thing, right?

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    Default

    I rarely have more than one eyepiece out of storage at a time to reduce the chances of dewing or frosting occuring. When I am done observing I put my eyepieces back into a sturdy plastic tool box with foam inside. I used to open the tool box the next day but never found any moisture trapped inside so I discontinued that practice. Most of my eyepieces never came equipped with end caps and still don't have them. This procedure has worked for me for over thirty years.
    When I observe at a remote site I just place my eyepieces in the tool box and keep it shut. If it is cold or if I feel cold I CRANK UP the heater in the car once the engine gets warm enough to not be blowing cold air about. Don't leave anything uncovered as a car can be a dusty place and the heater will blow that dust all around.

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