The last session really made me aware of the need to have dew heaters on the optical assembly in order to take care of the dew building up on the gear. The telescope and the rest of my equipment was basicly dripping with dew and that will have an impact on your images when it get’s on your optics.
I ordered a couple a dew bands or heat straps with the most basic dew heater controller, HitecAstro Mini Dew Controller. The controller is equipped with 2 channels that can support 3A in total. In the other end it was equipped with a 12V car power plug, or cigarette power plug or any of the other pupular names you can think of. Since I mostly use the eqipment in close proximity of a power outlet I wanted to have something more useful. With that said I ordered a standard female DC-plug (5.5×2.1 mm) and cut the cable to the car power plug. I soldered the cables on the DC-plug (positive in the center).
Since I’m a big fan of keeping everything nice an tidy I did not keep much of the original cable length on the dew controller. The female DC-plug will be connected to my main power supply that I use for the mount, dew controller and heat straps. That power supply is 12V 10A and that is enough to supply everything plus a dedicated astro photography camera in the future.
I attached the longer heat strap to the main telescope and the shorter one to the guide scope. I made sure the straps was as tight and secure as possible. I then secured the cables with some zip ties, and I do know that there might be fancier solutions, but it works. In the future I might shorten the cables and solder new connections.
The controller will let you regulate the heat coming from the heat straps and the amount of power going to the heat straps will be indicated by the little red light on the controller. Other than that, I mounted the controller to the USB hub with some more zip ties. This will keep the cabeling tidy and strapped to your optical assembly to avoid any snagged cables or damage. I have arranged the cabeling so that I can disconnect the heat straps and the cameras and remove the USB hub from the optical assembly when I want to remove the optical assembly from the mount.
In the picture below the cabeling is not completely finished.
Since there is no temperature indicator you will have to find the optimal setting for your conditions. I personally will try the medium setting and take it from there.
Until next time, clear skies everyone!