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3/04/2011

Intelliscope Display and the Cold Winter Freeze Up

Are you the owner of an Orion Intelliscope? Have you tried using it under 30 degrees and had the display freeze up so you can't use it? Want a cheap fix for that? Well here is one that I've been using and it seems to work quite well. The only thing is my Velcro. I need to get the larger and longer piece to match the Velcro I have the base which will hold this up even nicer (done, see the edit below!). I haven't purchased the Holster yet but this concept should still work even with that, you just have to try putting an over mit over the holster.

So here are the items I used.

One, I took an old oven mit glove out of the kitchen and gave it a new home, in my equipment bag. You can also see the intelliscope and the Velcro circles I used. Again, a strip will work better on this.
































Next, simply attach the Velcro so that it matches up to the Velcro on the base that usually holds the Intelliscope on there (I never bought the holder for the Intelliscope, other priorities for me). Next, put the intelliscope into the glove and then attach it to your base.























Here are the circles attached. You can see why a strip will be better, but these have worked now for about a month.
























Here it is on the base, ready to keep the Intelliscope warm and snug on a long winter's observing night. There is enough space in the oven mit that you can keep a hand warmer packet in there once it is warm and that adds additional warmth to it, but I haven't found it necessary and I've used this down to about 15-20 degrees F at night.



















There you have it. It allows the Intelliscope display to be used until it starts to freeze up when you have it outside its warm blanket for too long. Then put it back inside and its nice and warm. I may get out tonight where I am at but weather is again heading in. What a waste of a beautiful winter sky this year and it is beginning to look like the Pineapple Express (that stream of moisture coming in from the Hawaii area) is starting to come into the spring which means a very wet pattern for the Western United States. That means more clouds. Anyway, if you want to try out that oven mit idea go ahead and see how it works for you. I'd like to hear how it does!


Edit: Well I didn't get out last night. There was a sucker hole from about 9:00p.m. until 10:45p.m. last night and then the clouds came right back in. Today it is cloudy over northern Utah and Great Basin Natl Park so I won't be getting out this new moon. This is getting frustrating.

I bought a new oven mit today and Velcro that is in strips. The Velcro in strips works much better. Here are some images:


















The Velcro in strips.



















The new oven mit. Yep, it's black as I could have chosen between this and a hot pink one. The black will work just fine as the interior is white.


















Here it is attached and ready to go. I'll take an image with the intelliscope pad in there but it will work better than the old red holiday one. I have to admit, I like the white poka dots. That and the whitish/cream interior should help one to see this pretty rapidly. One last thought I had was to attach a small strip of Velcro over the top of the mit so it can Velcro shut as a further way to keep the pad warmer than the outside air.