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Make your own simple sight (aiming) device for telescopes: illustrated instructions

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Old Wednesday 17th October 2007, 07:04   #1
kabsetz
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Make your own simple sight (aiming) device for telescopes: illustrated instructions

Here are instructions and illustrations for making an effective, simple, quick and cheap aiming device suitable for any angled-view telescope.

The instructions consist of an article which I originally wrote for Alula and which were later also published in Birding, and a series of illustrations drawn by KorHaan. This material was recently presented on a thread on the Nikon sub-forum, but since the aiming device works just as well with scopes from any other brands, we thought it may be good to present it in the general forum.

The article is attached to this post, and KorHaan will post the illustrations in 2-3 subsequent postings. We therefore kindly request that no replies or comments to this post will be posted until he has posted all his illustrations.

Try it and enter a new era in your birding!

Kimmo
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2007, 20:42   #2
KorHaan
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Illustrated instructions how to put cable tie on

Illustrations below show how to fix cable tie to angled scope with regular eyepiece, and angled scope with offset eyepiece.
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2007, 20:51   #3
KorHaan
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Viewing position

For adjusting and calibrating the sighting device the right viewing position is shown below.
Once the sighting device is finished this is also the right viewing position to effectively use it.
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2007, 20:57   #4
KorHaan
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Calibrating the sighting device

This shows how the sighting device must be prepared
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Old Tuesday 23rd October 2007, 22:35   #5
KorHaan
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Just received a new eyepiece for my 65 Zeiss Diascope today, 23x WA.
I used the zoom eyepiece so far, so I had to calibrate the sight on my scope again.
That was simple; just had to top it off about a centimeter with scissors ( according to the last 2 of my drawings above ). The 23x eyepiece is 11 mm shorter than the zoom.
It works extremely well, now with a WA eyepiece and before with the zoom; can't believe it would make such a difference.

Are there any BF members using the cable tie sighting?
Please feel free to post your comments here; any comment will be welcome.

Greetings, Ronald
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Old Wednesday 24th October 2007, 08:35   #6
Peewee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KorHaan View Post

Are there any BF members using the cable tie sighting?
Please feel free to post your comments here; any comment will be welcome.

Greetings, Ronald
Ronald/Kimmo

Since I have a Nikon ED82A and love to read about optics I noticed your instructions on the Nikon forum. As of last Monday I also have a cable-tie aiming device. I use it over my stay-on-case. When I put the scope with SOC in a bag for transportation the cable-tie moves a little. That is not really a problem (so far) because re-calibration only takes 10 seconds. So far it works OK for me.

It is simple and very effective. I just love these kind of things. Thanks for sharing the brilliant instructions/drawings.

Cheers Peter
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Old Wednesday 24th October 2007, 18:04   #7
kabsetz
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Peter,

I have mine placed between the slide-out lens hood and the scope body, with a small slit in the SOC to let the end of the cable tie come through. It also moves a little when transporting the scope, but only in the rotational direction, and is very easy to realign if necessary.

We use scopes a lot for identifying birds in flight, and this is where I find the aiming device most indispensable. That kind of use does require a good fluid head under the scope though.

Kimmo
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Old Thursday 25th October 2007, 09:53   #8
iporali
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KorHaan View Post
Are there any BF members using the cable tie sighting?
Ronald,

I have used cable ties on my two earlier Kowas. Now I am using a Swaro AT80HD with its lowered & angled eyepiece and a slit on the lens hood, which seems to be the only functional aiming system designed by scope manufacturers.

Ilkka


ps. Can't resist...
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=17136
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Old Friday 26th October 2007, 03:11   #9
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ALL,

THE NEW ERA HAS DAWNED, I AM NOW OFFICIALLY ADDICTED TO THE CABLE-TIE SIGHT AND CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IT !!!

ALL SPOTTING SCOPE USERS SHOULD USE IT !!!

VERY SPECIAL THANKS (IS THERE A BIGGER FONT) TO KIMMO THE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER, AND KORHAAN THE ILLUSTRATOR !!! THE SCOPE BECOMES EVEN MORE ESSENTIAL AND USABLE WITH THIS SIGHT !!!

There, I've said it !!! Thanks Again !!!

EE

Last edited by EagleEyed : Friday 26th October 2007 at 03:15.
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Old Friday 26th October 2007, 03:14   #10
KorHaan
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Originally Posted by iporali View Post
Ronald,

I have used cable ties on my two earlier Kowas. Now I am using a Swaro AT80HD with its lowered & angled eyepiece and a slit on the lens hood, which seems to be the only functional aiming system designed by scope manufacturers.

Ilkka


ps. Can't resist...
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=17136
Ooooh Ilkka,

Missed that thread completely! Thanks for the link!

The cable tie sighting has a history, I see... I sure wished I had been a BF member by the time this came out; I struggled a lot with my angled Leica Televid for years, and reading this stuff brought it all back to me.
I had honestly no idea it was already popular 3 years ago. Still, I'm proud to have been able to make a contribution with my drawings to the Forum.
It's just so much fun to do.

I'll keep a sharp eye on my fellow birders who are not aware yet of this splendid little plastic instrument. And when they're not looking I'll sneak behind their backs and tie, adjust, calibrate and clip a sighting device on their scopes! That'll teach them!

greetings, Ronald
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Old Friday 26th October 2007, 03:17   #11
KorHaan
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Originally Posted by EagleEyed View Post
ALL,

THE NEW ERA HAS DAWNED, I AM NOW OFFICIALLY ADDICTED TO THE CABLE-TIE SIGHT AND CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IT !!!



EE

ME TOO!!!!!
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Old Friday 26th October 2007, 06:53   #12
richardwp
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These are good and easy to readjust if they get moved. I've tied mine over the soc of my Opticron ES80 and, instead of cutting it off like a rifle sight I've taped it round with insulating tape to make a ring sight (having seen someone with a similar device on their Swaro, though theirs was a loop of wire rather than cable tie). I needed to link 2 x 1ft cable ties together to make mine.

Last edited by richardwp : Friday 26th October 2007 at 14:30. Reason: typo
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Old Friday 26th October 2007, 06:55   #13
kabsetz
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Ronald,

The cable tie sight does indeed have a history, but it has not yet been popular. Your drawings are hopefully removing the last true obstacles to popularity, and from now on people can only blame their own inertia for not being able to aim accurately with their scopes.

I don't know how far back the use of a cable tie goes, but I saw it for the first time in the mid-nineties and fashioned one on my own scope the very same day. At those days it was very rare, but I have since seen a photo where a cable tie sight was on an old Kowa TS-1 scope being used by a very well-known Finnish naturalist/birder, taken by his brother who is one of our most esteemed old-guard birders. From the scope used, I would guess that the photo was taken in the eighties, but I have never asked the persons involved what they know about the early history of the device.

The general principle, of course, is basically the same as has been used in shotgun and rifle sights for centuries.

Kimmo
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Old Friday 26th October 2007, 06:58   #14
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Richard,

Did you try the sight with a straight tip first? I doubt that the loop can be as precise or quick in use, since for the best performance the dimensioning and positioning of the tip is rather critical.

Kimmo
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Old Friday 26th October 2007, 14:30   #15
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Thumbs up

Kimmo. I must admit, no, but still experimenting and it's a pretty small circle I've made, but thanks for the tip anyway.
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Old Saturday 27th October 2007, 03:06   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KorHaan View Post
Ooooh Ilkka,

Missed that thread completely! Thanks for the link!

The cable tie sighting has a history, I see... I sure wished I had been a BF member by the time this came out; I struggled a lot with my angled Leica Televid for years, and reading this stuff brought it all back to me.
I had honestly no idea it was already popular 3 years ago. Still, I'm proud to have been able to make a contribution with my drawings to the Forum.
It's just so much fun to do.

I'll keep a sharp eye on my fellow birders who are not aware yet of this splendid little plastic instrument. And when they're not looking I'll sneak behind their backs and tie, adjust, calibrate and clip a sighting device on their scopes! That'll teach them!

greetings, Ronald
yehahaha after all this years missing many chances of seeing fast moving and inflight birds, now im back on the track and carrying scope while birding in the rainforest would be much easier for me now hehehe thanks again for the advices on the cable tie kimmo and ronald
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Old Saturday 27th October 2007, 14:26   #17
Peewee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kabsetz View Post
Peter,

I have mine placed between the slide-out lens hood and the scope body, with a small slit in the SOC to let the end of the cable tie come through. It also moves a little when transporting the scope, but only in the rotational direction, and is very easy to realign if necessary.

We use scopes a lot for identifying birds in flight, and this is where I find the aiming device most indispensable. That kind of use does require a good fluid head under the scope though.

Kimmo
Kimmo

Thanks for the tip.

Since this is my first go at aiming devices I thought it would be wise to try the tie over the SOC and see if it works. Up till now it works very well but I will try some more before I "damage" my SOC. So if I am still pleased in a few weeks/months I might consider making a hole in the SOC.

I have a Manfrotto 128RC head under the scope which I think works OK. So with my new aiming-device it seems that I am all set for using my scope for ID-ing birds in flight. A new dimension for me.

Thanks again.

Cheers Peter
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Old Sunday 25th November 2007, 20:15   #18
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I was a bit sceptical that it would work, but I invested 1 on a pack of 100 cable ties (295mm x 4.8mm) and tried it out. My scope is the Leica 62mm (angled) and I wrapped the cable-tie over the stay-on case. After calibrating it as described I just had 15mm to cut off. I've since found that bending the excess rather than cutting it off allows for easier sighting. I always carry my scope in a rucksack and thought this might affect the cable-tie. It doesn't really move that much and can be very quickly moved back into position.

Anyway, it really does work and makes locating birds almost guaranteed.

I now have 98 cable ties for sale if anyone is interested.
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Old Sunday 25th November 2007, 23:25   #19
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I now have 98 cable ties for sale if anyone is interested.

I keep a bunch of them in my rucksack in case I meet interested birders on a twitch, or on my local patch. Wouldn't know what else to do with these things than to give them away. I too have 98 left

Greetings, Ronald
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Old Monday 26th November 2007, 06:31   #20
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Those cable ties are the best invention...i must try this,..although, i just bought a used scope,and it came with a red dot finder installed...to have accurate and fast aiming has also changed things for my birding...i can Zero in flying seagulls in a second,..that only ,makes worth the ugly paramilitary look of my set-up...now i will try the more funky (and colorful)approach of the cable tie,and ,if it matches the performance of my SWAT looking instrument,i will adopt this practice..thanks

Last edited by mayoayo : Monday 26th November 2007 at 06:37.
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Old Monday 26th November 2007, 09:13   #21
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Kimmo. Experiment over and the rifle sight straight tip is, indeed, much more accurate than the small circle. Very effective. Thanks.
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Old Friday 7th March 2008, 04:11   #22
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I use a similar device for digiscoping and find it indispencable. A wire with a screw at one end and bead at the other end. When I get in an area I intend to work I screw the sight into a retainer held to the scopes shade with a rubber band. I wear trifocals and sight over the extend-a-view to locate then move my eye down to focus. A great time saver to allow more time for focusing.
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Old Tuesday 11th November 2008, 21:03   #23
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Brilliant tip Kimmo and Ronald.... I'm particularly taken with Ronalds artwork. :)
Will install tomorrow!

Glynn
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Old Wednesday 12th November 2008, 01:09   #24
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[quote=glynnsmith;1331855]Brilliant tip Kimmo and Ronald.... I'm particularly taken with Ronalds artwork. :)
Will install tomorrow!

Glynn[/QUOTE


Hi,

Thanks for your kind words; I really appreciate it.

All the best,

Ronald
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2009, 17:34   #25
Kevin Conville
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I'm a little late to the party, but I have to comment about the usefulness of this thread. Just great, thank you.

Ronald, your art work is terrific. Concise, descriptive, and entertaining.
It very much reminds me of the artwork in
"How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive", by John Muir which is a drop dead classic (at least here in the US) and a must have manual for any owner of an air cooled VW.

Thank you for your efforts here Ron and Kimmo, it's much appreciated!

Last edited by Kevin Conville : Wednesday 8th July 2009 at 20:05.
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