Lighting For Astronomy
Everyone seems to be making LED illuminators. Here's my contribution!!
|My version of an astronomer's
red desklight. It stands about 12" tall and has been running on the
original two C batteries that I put in it when I first assembled it in
October of 2001.
10"-14" copper tubing either 3/16" or 1/4" diameter
Copper pipe cap, 3/8" for 3/16" tubing and 1/2" for 1/4" tubing
Strap or solder lug for base of neck attachment
Battery holder, two C cell (recommended) or 2 AA cell with batteries.
Potentiometer with built in shut of switch. Should be 5K to 10K ohms. It can be tuned with added resistors.
|The interior holds a 10K ohm
linear taper potentiometer and the two C cells in a holder.
I higly recommend the Ray-O-Vac renewal Alkaline batteries. They function much better than NiCads or NiMhd cells. See the information on the Information Page Look at the bottom of the page.
|The base of the neck has a two hole strap soldered to it. This strap is bolted to the inside of the project box and is very sturdy. The wires from the LEDs run inside the 1/4" copper tubing that functions as the flexible neck of the light.|
|An alternative mounting. The neck is the ground for the lamp, so only one wire is run through the tubing.|
|Overall view of the completed
If you are going to flex the neck a lot, I suggest leaving it un painted as the paint will likely flake off or crack.
|Close up of the completed and
well used lamp.
I used four Sloan LED # SL905RCU available from Sloan LED Corp
These LEDs are very bright and have a quite diffused beam without any hot spots or sharp lines.
|A close up of the single LED head. Note the ground led of the LED is soldered to the inside of the pipe cap.|
|A small copper pipe cap is drilled to fit the copper tubing used and slodered into place.|
© Copyright 1997-2012by Bill VanOrden