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3/07/2011

Illuminated Magnifying Glass

Okay. I have to apologize for all these posts that have nothing to do with observing. I know now that last Saturday I missed a wonderful opportunity to go out to Great Basin National Park where Ranger Kelly Carroll and his fellow rangers does an OUTSTANDING job of hosting those who want to observe (if you go there, call him ahead of time and he'll set you up, and probably observe with you; email me if you can't find his info and I'll share it with you). So this is the situation tonight with a thin crescent in the sky (behind the clouds and no, that is not ash from the Machine Gun Fire in Herriman, its snow): Snow falling (that is my front yard and why when I observe at home now I don't go to the front; back is much better if a LP zone can be better).








































Just a little more than an inch. Weather is suppose to be great Thursday so I am intending of getting out Thursday night at a local dark spot.

Now another confession. I got new glasses just over a year ago and man, I hate getting older. Just seems more and more on the body starts getting ticked off at me. Guess its the hard years I've put on it. Anyway, just over a year ago I got new glasses and didn't need the bifocals on them quite yet. When I observe I sometimes wear my glasses (more and more) and sometimes I let them fall to my chest since I use a neck strap cord lanyard like this one. Works great but if I leave the glasses on and I go to look at a star map I find I am having trouble seeing my star chart. You may say go get bifocals. Nope, I'm too cheap. Next year when I get new glasses again I will. Until then I have a new toy I found for under $8.00 that will work! It is an illuminated magnifying glass. Here are the images. Note, the light is still too bright for me and I'll work it down until it works for a dark site. I promise, as soon as I can observe I will and I will report it, even it is double or lunar observing.




















There it is. The light is a very bright white light that has to be dimmed down. Good old red fingernail polish for me to do this. If you do this, keep some with you in the field so if the paint chips off, you can do a quick fix.



















This is the back of the unit with the switch that pushes up to turn it on. So I can use it without the light.



















Here it is with the light on. Yes it is bright as I mentioned above. I will deaden it some more with more red finger nail polish up and perhaps some extra rubylith.




















I next went into a very dark bedroom with no other lights, turned the flash off on the camera and used this light on the Orion Belt page of the Sky Pocket Atlas. You can see that the magnification here really helps as does the light. I will be wearing an eye patch on my left eye (my observing eye because my left is dominant) so I don't lose too much dark adaptation. The next image blurred a little but it is of Ursa Major from the Sky Pocket Atlas so you can see the light and magnification. I can't wait to take it into the field and use it! Hope this mod helps someone else like me.

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