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Monday, January 21, 2008

A Map Pocket For Your Telescope

Have you ever wanted a nice way to hold your various star maps and astronomical books at the telescope? I thought of getting a little table for this, but the problem there is that as you slew your telescope around on its base, you might hit this table, or the table will become out of reach. I have a large table near where I observe, but sometimes its a pain to need to go over to the table to get a map, especially if you're using high magnification. After going over to the table, you'll need to find your target again. My solution was to make a map pocket for my telescope.

I made this map pocket using a "wall pocket" from Office Max. I got the metal mesh type so that it would be a little more durable than plastic. I figured the mesh would be better to keep dew off of my maps than smooth plastic. Here you can see a copy of Turn Left at Orion, a logbook, and a folder full of Telrad maps. I had to use shorter self-tapping screws than the ones the pocket came with, because the provided screws were longer than the base's wood is wide. So I just got some self-tapping screws of the same size, but shorter. I then drilled a small pilot hole and screwed it all together. Notice that on the Zhumell 10" Dob, the map pocket fits nicely under the eyepieces. On smaller models, it may be necessary to relocate the eyepiece rack. Should be pretty handy when using the scope!

Clear skies!