Light Blocking Panels

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Light Blocking Panels

#1

Post by KingNothing13 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:49 pm

Does anyone on the forum use light blocking panels?

If so, do you have plans/photos you'd be willing to share?

I am thinking I would like to put something up when I am observing - I have a couple of new LED Street lights that are annoying. And neighbors. (which are and are not annoying :lol: )
-- Brett

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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#2

Post by JayTee » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:25 pm

Hi Brett,

There's not been a lot of traffic that I've seen on this topic. But to me it seems to be as simple as PVC pipes from Home Depot and tarps from harbor freight and you should be able to erect something fairly quickly. Don't forget to cut u-shaped slits in the tarp to allow wind to pass through but no light.

Cheers,
JT
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#3

Post by yobbo89 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:38 pm

yeah i do!, i use cardboard on my windows so can sleep during the day and astronomy at night! :lol:
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#4

Post by KingNothing13 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:33 pm

JayTee wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:25 pm
Hi Brett,

There's not been a lot of traffic that I've seen on this topic. But to me it seems to be as simple as PVC pipes from Home Depot and tarps from harbor freight and you should be able to erect something fairly quickly. Don't forget to cut u-shaped slits in the tarp to allow wind to pass through but no light.

Cheers,
JT
Yeah, I've seen a few of those floating around from people who have built them.

I am thinking that this is a long term thing for me - going to go with a towel for now. :lol:
-- Brett

Scopes: Apertura AD10||Orion GoScope II 70mm "Travel Scope"
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#5

Post by pakarinen » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:44 pm

I do. I constructed a rectangular frame of 3/4-in PVC pipe and I hang black grommet-top cloth shower curtains from the top crossbar with cable ties. I didn't glue any of the PVC together, so it's quite easy and fast to put up / take down and very light weight and portable. And I can use the PVC for other projects if needed.

Since I usually observe on my deck, I'm probably going to just hang the curtain / bars on deck rail plant hangers. Even faster to put up / take down.

I'll see if I can post some pics.
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#6

Post by KingNothing13 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:46 pm

pakarinen wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:44 pm
I do. I constructed a rectangular frame of 3/4-in PVC pipe and I hang black grommet-top cloth shower curtains from the top crossbar with cable ties. I didn't glue any of the PVC together, so it's quite easy and fast to put up / take down and very light weight and portable. And I can use the PVC for other projects if needed.

Since I usually observe on my deck, I'm probably going to just hang the curtain / bars on deck rail plant hangers. Even faster to put up / take down.

I'll see if I can post some pics.
Sure - I'd be interested in seeing pics, if you are able to post them.

Thanks!
-- Brett

Scopes: Apertura AD10||Orion GoScope II 70mm "Travel Scope"
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#7

Post by OBXgirl » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:03 pm

Our Club is looking into different configurations. Since we are at a State Park it will have to be something that can be broken down at the end of the night, but it also has to be fairly long. The main turn around for the island is right next to where we set up. So every car hits us with high beams as they circle around. The Park is working with us to try and come up with a semi-permanent solution. Nova-1 has more info on this....hopefully he will see this post and give you more information.
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#8

Post by Nova 1 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:12 pm

I believe Sky & Telescope had a DIY article on this subject last year. You might still be able to find the article online. If I can find my issue, I will post it. They used PVC pipe and a specific light blocking fabric. Easy to put up and takedown. I am looking for a spring-loaded roller that will hold a 6' wide fabric to pull across a few support post. I have not been very diligent in my search.

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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#9

Post by KingNothing13 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:43 pm

Nova 1 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:12 pm
I believe Sky & Telescope had a DIY article on this subject last year. You might still be able to find the article online. If I can find my issue, I will post it. They used PVC pipe and a specific light blocking fabric. Easy to put up and takedown. I am looking for a spring-loaded roller that will hold a 6' wide fabric to pull across a few support post. I have not been very diligent in my search.

David
I am not finding the S&T article on the web - I've tried searches with variants on the terms, but nothing has come up.

This is also more of a long-term thing for me, if it happens at all. I think I am going to go with the old stand by towel over the head at the EP for now.
-- Brett

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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#10

Post by JimMinCT » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:34 pm

What you're looking for, is a used projection screen mechanism.. Search Fleabay and you might get lucky...
Spray paint the screen black and you'd be in business...

Yup...

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... n&_sacat=0
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#11

Post by mcolbert » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:39 pm

and yet with all of the screen ideas, what is the stability like when the weather changes and it is windy? Time to pack up for the night I suppose.
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#12

Post by JimMinCT » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:45 pm

mcolbert wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:39 pm
and yet with all of the screen ideas, what is the stability like when the weather changes and it is windy? Time to pack up for the night I suppose.
As JT mentioned above... Some judicious u shaped slices can allow wind to pass without destroying the screen...
If it's gusting enough to knock the screen about, it's probably too gusty to observe anyway.
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#13

Post by pakarinen » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:47 pm

I don't use Imgur or anything like that, so I uploaded some pix to my TSS gallery. I think they're visible now.

https://theskysearchers.com/app.php/gallery/album/144

Addendum: I should probably paint the PVC a dark color so they don't stand out so much at night and possibly draw curious neighbors, but I haven't gotten around to it.
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#14

Post by KingNothing13 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:11 pm

pakarinen wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:47 pm
I don't use Imgur or anything like that, so I uploaded some pix to my TSS gallery. I think they're visible now.

https://theskysearchers.com/app.php/gallery/album/144

Addendum: I should probably paint the PVC a dark color so they don't stand out so much at night and possibly draw curious neighbors, but I haven't gotten around to it.
Cool - thanks - I will use for inspiration. :)
-- Brett

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Eyepieces: GSO 30mm (42x), ES 82* 18mm (69x), 11mm (114x||36x), & 6.7mm (187x||60x)||Orion 25mm Kellner (16x), Orion 10mm Kellner (40x)
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#15

Post by pakarinen » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:14 pm

Not sure the comments are readable in my gallery - very dark on my screen - but I should add that I usually set the top pipe about 2 feet higher by using 2 2-ft pipe lengths and couplings. The configuration in the pic is being used as a laundry drying rack right now. LOL.
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#16

Post by pakarinen » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:30 am

I finally painted the PVC with Rustoleum black spray paint. Looks much better IMO and should be less visible to curious passersby. (I’m not antisocial, but my scope time is MY time. I paid my dues working at Adler Planetarium years ago. 😉)
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#17

Post by Lady Fraktor » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:18 pm

pakarinen wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:47 pm
I don't use Imgur or anything like that, so I uploaded some pix to my TSS gallery. I think they're visible now.

app.php/gallery/album/144

Addendum: I should probably paint the PVC a dark color so they don't stand out so much at night and possibly draw curious neighbors, but I haven't gotten around to it.
I have made the same style using 2" ABS plastic pipe, 2 elbows and 4 tees and a 10'x8' black tarp.
I set the poles so the tarp has a 1' overlap on the four sides and hold it in place with bungee cords.
I sand the pipe going into the uprights so I can turn them if placing two together at a angle.
The pipe used for the feet I have drilled 1/4" holes in the end to put a 14" long tent spike through and the lower bar is only about 6" off of the ground.

They are handy as you can take them apart fully, roll the pipe up in the tarp and wrap the bungee cords around so everything is together for next time.
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#18

Post by pakarinen » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:29 pm

I've switched to using 18-in or so tall plant hangars that are held to my deck railing with set screws. I hang the horizontal PVC in the crooks of the hangars with the curtains hanging down. So far, I've used 3 hangars to block 2 sides, but I'm going to pick up another once they're back in stock (probably next spring).
_
I'm using 45-degree connectors, so the pipes will look like this: / \ from above.

I'm keeping the legs in case I need them away from home.
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#19

Post by pakarinen » Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:42 pm

And yet another improvement (?):

I put new cable ties in the shower curtain grommets and left the cable tie loops on the long side. I now hang the curtains via the ties on the plant hangers with no pipes. Even simpler and no 4-ft lengths of PVC to drag / store. Plus the curtains fold up compactly so I can store them in a drawer in the living room.

Amazon has some adjustable height plant hangers that I might try. That might be easier than folding the curtains and using binder clips like I do now if they're too long.

I will keep the PVC frame just in case I need it when camping or something. Easy enough to slip the curtains back on the pipes.
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Re: Light Blocking Panels

#20

Post by EAGLE 5 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:08 am

I noticed on the local want ads somebody was selling trade show display walls. They were $150 Canadian for a 8x8 and $200 for a 10x10. Borderline expensive, but it all comes apart nice and packs into a duffel bag. Might be useful for someone in certain circumstances.
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