Red lights

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OzEclipse
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Red lights

#1

Post by OzEclipse » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:13 am

When running my astrophotography workshops last year, I would ask participants to bring red flashlights. This would include very specific directions how to make one from a $2 flashlight. They invariably turn up with anything but. Super bright headlamps that shine in your eyes when they look at you, handheld camp lanterns casting 360 degree light bright enough to light up a football field. Only a few would do as requested. We go to places so dark that once your eyes adapt, you can see by the light of the Milky Way.

So I have given up. For this years workshops, [ http://joe-cali.com/nightscape/2020-workshops.html ]

I've purchased these led lights [ https://tinyurl.com/vgl7xw3 ] to give out to each participant at a cost of about USD1.00 each.
led1.jpg

led2.jpg

In very dark conditions with fully dark adapted eyes, they work well. They use a CR2032 3V button battery and because the only have a momentary button, last for ages. My mate Greg and I got one each in May 2018. Both are still working on the original batteries. The battery can easily be replaced.




Below is the $2 red filtered white LED torch that is my other preferred astro light.

I cut a slot down the side of two pieces of PVC plastic tube that is just a little smaller that the diameter of the flashlight.
The red filter is ten disks cut from a red/orange plastic transparent file folder. One layer, is cut with 4 wings, these hold the filter in the tube. The 10 disks of red filter are simply stapled together.
IMG_0824.jpg
One split tube is pried open and clamps itself over the end of the flashlight.
IMG_0825.jpg
The second split tube is placed with the split oriented 180 degrees from the first and the red filter inserted.
IMG_0826.jpg
If I need a bright white light at any time, I just pull the filter out by one of the wings and put it in my pocket. I also have other lights.

The PVC tubes are a bit more robust but I have another with the shield tube made from a piece of a black cover from a plastic project binder folder held with multiple elastic bands and I used that for about 3 years before recently making the version with the PVC split tubes.

Joe
Amateur astronomer since 1978
Astronomical interests : astrophotography, visual observing, nightscape photography, solar eclipse chasing
asteroidal occultations, nightscape astrophotography workshops
Bortle 1-2 skies, 149 E, 35 S
web site : http://joe-cali.com/
SCOPES - ATM 18" Dob, Vixen VC200L, ATM 6"f7, ED80
MOUNTS- EM-200, iEQ45, Push dobsonian with Nexus DSC
CAMERAS : Pentax K1, K5, K01 / VIDEO CAMS : TacosBD, Lihmsec
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#2

Post by yobbo89 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:49 pm

Good cheap mod with the pvc pipe!.that way you can still use your white light and just slip on your filter when needed.

Now we'll have star party and call it the red light district!

This is my 5th year I think 😂, I just purchased my very first red light haha, i never thought I needed one as I do astrophotgraphy until I tried to image and track the space station by eye! Pretty invisible after getting a flash of white led..


.
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scopes :gso/bintel f4 12"trust tube, bresser messier ar127s /skywatcher 10'' dob,meade 12'' f10 lx200 sct
cameras : asi 1600mm-c/asi1600mm-c,asi120mc,prostar lp guidecam, nikkon d60, sony a7,asi 290 mm
mounts : eq6 pro/eq8/ (upcoming : mesu 200 v2)
filters : 2'' astronomik lp/badder lrgb h-a,sII,oIII,h-b,Baader Solar Continuum, Thousand Oaks Solar Filter.
extras : skywatcher f4 aplanatic cc, Baader MPCC MKIII Coma Corrector,Orion Field Flattener,zwo 1.25''adc.starlight maxi 2" 9x filter wheel
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OzEclipse
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#3

Post by OzEclipse » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:08 pm

My dark site has no power so portable lighting is very important to me for setting up, pulling down and during operations. Consequently, I always have multiple portable lighting types in my car.

I have one of these red/white head torches you describe. It's very easy to accidentally flick the switch to white and it will back diffuse into your eyes, the red beam is focussed. Although my little flashlight is focussed, the ten layers of orange plastic give a really nice diffuse light.

During summer, insects are drawn to any lights. the headlamps draws them to buzz around or in your eyes. The PVC baffle tube means that the light is only visible from the direction you point the torch and so it doesn't bring the insects in. When the insects are bad, I use magnetic bright white multi-LED lamps attached to things well away from my car and my scope to set up. The insects are attracted to the lights rather than my scope so I can set up in peace.

Joe


yobbo89 wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:49 pm
Good cheap mod with the pvc pipe!.that way you can still use your white light and just slip on your filter when needed.

Now we'll have star party and call it the red light district!

This is my 5th year I think 😂, I just purchased my very first red light haha, i never thought I needed one as I do astrophotgraphy until I tried to image and track the space station by eye! Pretty invisible after getting a flash of white led..


.
Amateur astronomer since 1978
Astronomical interests : astrophotography, visual observing, nightscape photography, solar eclipse chasing
asteroidal occultations, nightscape astrophotography workshops
Bortle 1-2 skies, 149 E, 35 S
web site : http://joe-cali.com/
SCOPES - ATM 18" Dob, Vixen VC200L, ATM 6"f7, ED80
MOUNTS- EM-200, iEQ45, Push dobsonian with Nexus DSC
CAMERAS : Pentax K1, K5, K01 / VIDEO CAMS : TacosBD, Lihmsec
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#4

Post by pakarinen » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:04 pm

I've used ruby red nail polish and / or red tail light repair tape. Polish can be easier to apply, but it's difficult to get an even coat.
If you don't understand your noise, you cannot reliably extract a meaningful signal.
~ES

Orion ST120, Meade AdventureScope ST80
Twilight 1 with Astro Devices encoders and Nexus II currently on a Manfrotto 475B tripod
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#5

Post by helicon » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:31 pm

I use red nail polish on a flashlight - works like a charm. Though I'm thinking of getting a red head-lamp so that I have both hands free to look at my charts. (IDSA or Pocket Sky Atlas).
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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#6

Post by Graeme1858 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:33 pm

I've got an old railwayman's torch with a removable red filter. Good for astronomy and good for stopping trains in the dark in an emergency!!!

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#7

Post by yobbo89 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:54 pm

I had one of these as a little kid, i wonder if my parents still have it hahah. it will make good use for astronomy! .

i believe it did green/red and white light.
Attachments
61wmvn-7nKL (1).jpg
scopes :gso/bintel f4 12"trust tube, bresser messier ar127s /skywatcher 10'' dob,meade 12'' f10 lx200 sct
cameras : asi 1600mm-c/asi1600mm-c,asi120mc,prostar lp guidecam, nikkon d60, sony a7,asi 290 mm
mounts : eq6 pro/eq8/ (upcoming : mesu 200 v2)
filters : 2'' astronomik lp/badder lrgb h-a,sII,oIII,h-b,Baader Solar Continuum, Thousand Oaks Solar Filter.
extras : skywatcher f4 aplanatic cc, Baader MPCC MKIII Coma Corrector,Orion Field Flattener,zwo 1.25''adc.starlight maxi 2" 9x filter wheel
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OzEclipse
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#8

Post by OzEclipse » Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:06 am

Yes lots of torches are available with red filters or red leds. If you're working from a suburban area, there is probably some light pollution so that you need brighter lights and your eyes are probably not fully dark adapted so stray light coming from the torch is less of a problem.

At a very dark site, even red lights are often too bright.
The big advantage of having the PVC baffle or snoot tube is that the light only goes where you want it.
Using 10 layers of red-orange plastic not only dims but also diffuses the light to a nice soft patch.
IMG_0831.jpg
Cheers

Joe
Amateur astronomer since 1978
Astronomical interests : astrophotography, visual observing, nightscape photography, solar eclipse chasing
asteroidal occultations, nightscape astrophotography workshops
Bortle 1-2 skies, 149 E, 35 S
web site : http://joe-cali.com/
SCOPES - ATM 18" Dob, Vixen VC200L, ATM 6"f7, ED80
MOUNTS- EM-200, iEQ45, Push dobsonian with Nexus DSC
CAMERAS : Pentax K1, K5, K01 / VIDEO CAMS : TacosBD, Lihmsec
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#9

Post by pakarinen » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:00 pm

helicon wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:31 pm
Though I'm thinking of getting a red head-lamp so that I have both hands free to look at my charts. (IDSA or Pocket Sky Atlas).

A buddy bought me a Gander Mountain LED headlamp a couple years ago - solid red, flashing SOS red, and white. It's handy, especially since you can angle the beam down, but the solid red is very bright. I use it for camping and home repair, but If I used it for astro, I'd slap some red nail polish on it or add a layer of tail light tape.

Since it has an elastic headband, I sometimes slip it down around my neck - more comfortable but less aiming control.
If you don't understand your noise, you cannot reliably extract a meaningful signal.
~ES

Orion ST120, Meade AdventureScope ST80
Twilight 1 with Astro Devices encoders and Nexus II currently on a Manfrotto 475B tripod
Nikon Aculon 10x50 binos
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#10

Post by helicon » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:41 pm

pakarinen wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:00 pm
helicon wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:31 pm
Though I'm thinking of getting a red head-lamp so that I have both hands free to look at my charts. (IDSA or Pocket Sky Atlas).

A buddy bought me a Gander Mountain LED headlamp a couple years ago - solid red, flashing SOS red, and white. It's handy, especially since you can angle the beam down, but the solid red is very bright. I use it for camping and home repair, but If I used it for astro, I'd slap some red nail polish on it or add a layer of tail light tape.

Since it has an elastic headband, I sometimes slip it down around my neck - more comfortable but less aiming control.
Yeah I would paint it or cover with two layers of red cellophane.
-Michael
Various scopes, 10" Zhumell Dob, ES AR152, AWB 5.1" Onesky newt, Oberwerk 25x100 binos, two eyeballs
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