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Lost in the snow - Convoy S2+ to the rescue

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#1 Øivind Tøien

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 06:22

This morning I discovered that one of the levels on the clamp that attaches my red dot sight to the collar of the 300PF was missing after the astrophtography session last night outside my cabin. Although far from essential, I quickly went out to look for it. I soon found the green-yellow level tube itself, but realized that the glass-clear plastic cover keeping it in place was missing. I looked very carefully, but it was not to be found.

That is when I remembered that I had used the Convoy S2+ this winter to look for a package I thought was lost in the snow. A quick test of the other level on the clamp indicated strong fluorescence from the cover. So being impatient I already went outside at dusk with my Convoy, and after some sweeping the area (of course wearing UV eye protection), there it was, firmly embedded in the snow, completely invisible without the UV light:

Posted Image

Sorry for the poor quality, handheld with D500 and 300 f/4 PF VR at 1/25 s, but I was too lazy to bring out the tripod that still had the SkyTracker attached to it. The light reflected from the snow is from the dwindling daylight, not from the Convoy. It took quite some digging around the cover to get it out without damaging it, as it was completely stuck and frozen in place below the surface.
Øivind

#2 nfoto

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 07:08

You never know in advance when a gadget becomes essential :D Good on you the missing item was so quickly located.

#3 Øivind Tøien

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 07:34

Thanks for the comment, Birna. Yes another day and the fragile cover would likely have been damaged from walking on it when snow thawed as it was right in the path. It is probably not the last time I will use a UV-torch to find lost items.
Øivind

#4 Andrea B.

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 01:49

Great story and nice alternate use of the Convoy. :D

What telescope (if any) do you use for astrophotography?
Andrea G. Blum
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#5 Andy Perrin

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 02:19

Heh. So one time my step-mother’s chihuahua pooped on a brown and red (and other colored) oriental rug. The dog then tracked...bits... all over. They blended into the carpet seamlessly. When my mom despaired at finding them all, I got out my FLIR thermal camera and located all of them by the temperature difference.

Edited by Andy Perrin, 04 April 2019 - 02:21.


#6 Øivind Tøien

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 05:03

Thanks, Andrea and Andy. I do not use a telescope, just my Nikon 300mm f/4 PF. This is about as long focal length as the SkyTracker can take for reasonably reliable tracking with 1min exposures. Here is my setup, it all fits in/on my Thinktank 25L Ultralight Duo backpack together with another body for wide shots in case of aurora:

Posted Image
(Intervalometer not connected yet)

Andy, that dog poop must have been reasonably fresh to be detected with a thermal camera. :D

BTW, dog pee shows blue-green fluorescence and can even be detected fairly deep into snow.

Perhaps a good idea to make note of which of ones outdoor items that can potentially be lost that shows fluorescence?
Øivind

#7 Andy Perrin

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 05:55

It was immediately following the incident. (Actually it would have worked for at least a few hours— anything damp will make a temperature difference that is quite visible on a FLIR. It does not have to be warm to show up. Cold works just as well.)

Edited by Andy Perrin, 04 April 2019 - 05:58.