Telescope Accessories

I use a briefcase (treated with water-repellent) for my observing books and charts. I set the briefcase on a Coleman camping stand and use it as an observing table. The books and charts are kept inside, and I open and close the briefcase as needed to keep dew out. A booklight with a red bulb/filter is attached to the inside of the lid and provides most of the light I need to read by.

My usual eyepieces are stored in a nylon camera bag. The bag has waist straps that I wrap around the tripod legs when using the Traveler. Eyepieces are placed back in the bag when not in use to keep dew off. Orthoscopic eyepieces, which are used only for planetary viewing and eyepiece projection photography, are kept in a small eyepiece case.

All the camera stuff, including the ST4 autoguider, are stored in a canvas shoulder bag I got at a garage sale. A 12-volt dry-cell battery is used to power the Kendrick heaters (below) and the GM-8 mount.

At home I often keep the Traveler on the Gibraltar mount in a corner of the dinning room. I simply carry the whole thing out to my backyard. Another trip is required to carry the adjustable, wooden observing chair and the briefcase (if needed).

The GM-8 mount is stored leaning up in a corner of a closet, all assembled but with the tripod legs unspread. It is carried to the backyard as one unit (about 50 lbs). The OTA is then brought out and attached to the GM-8 dovetail. This usually requires a total of 3 trips to the backyard. Occasionally I keep the OTA attached to the GM-8 and move the whole thing as a single unit, but its a heavy 62 lbs.

When going to a dark site, the Traveler OTA, telrad, diagonal, barlow, and Kendrick system are transported in the bag that came with the Traveler. The GM-8 equatorial head, including counterweight and cables, are transported in a small hard-shell suitcase that I lined with foam padding. I don't have a case for the GM-8 tripod or the Gibraltar mount.

Dealing with Dew

Here in the midwest, dew is a major problem at most times of the year. The dew shield on the Traveler is adequate for at least 1.5 hours. For longer viewing sessions I use a Kendrick heating system to keep the objective lens slightly warmer than ambient. I also have a heater for the telrad but only use it when necessary. Most of the time the telrad dewshield (from AstroSystems) is all that is needed. I put the eyepieces away when they are not in use. If one ever fogs up I simply put it in my pocket for awhile.

Old Accessories Page

Look here for a description of the accessories I used with my previous LX-200 SCT.


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