$17 Cooling Accelerator Fan for Dobsonian and other Large Reflector Telescopes


If you have a large reflector telescope, you probably leave it outside for 20 to 30 minutes before using it, so the mirror can reach ambient temperature. Not doing so will lead to distortion in your view through the eyepiece.

Another option is a fan. You can spend 30 dollars and up for a fan. But I found a way to set myself up with one for 17 dollars. It’s a small fan, but cools down the mirror quickly.

Grab this quiet 5-volt fan on Amazon for 11 dollars.

And get this 6 dollar battery case. It has a built-in on/off switch, and take 4 AA batteries.

I attached the fan and the battery pack to the scope with Velcro-type connector fabric tape (which is a great thing to have anyway. Many uses!) The screw size is exactly right for my scope, but I want to be able to remove the fan and battery pack., and didn’t want to remove the mirror to add the fan, so I used Velcro.

Don’t overcharge the batteries. I charge them less than full, and it works fine. I use these rechargeable batteries and this charger.

I had to add a little bit of aluminum foil to get the last battery to fit, for some reason, the clamps on mine were backwards on that one.

Clip the wires on the end of the charger and of the fan, strip them, and twist them together. Solder them, or wrap electrical tape around them.

Then apply the Velcro, with the paper still on the top side:

Then peel that paper and put in place:

Clear skies!


When working with electricity, be careful, and you are under your own responsibility. I recommend removing the fan and battery for long term storage, or even for short term if you want.

New photos I took of Wyoming in Spring.


Here’s a little photo break from the music making…..

I took most of the pix in the gallery below as a passenger in a moving car, between our home and about 15 miles away. My wife and I go on photo dates now. Yay! Gets me out of the house.

I’m loving having my first DSLR camera. Got it a few months back.

These are taken with a Canon T4i Rebel camera (about $300 to $450 USD depending on condition and accessories). Lens on most of these is a Tamron Auto Focus 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Telephoto / Macro Zoom Lens (about 200 bucks). (Tamron also makes this lens for other camera brands.) I also had a generic UV filter on the lens.

I wrote some more about my process at the bottom of this post.

I took pix a bit as a kid, with film cameras, but only when I could afford it. My family had a Brownie camera (!) from 1959, this model:

and later one of those 1972 compact 110-type film cameras that fit in a shirt pocket:

that used the 4-sided flash cubes.

With these film cameras, we had to buy film, and after shooting it, we had to wait a week to see what we’d shot. You’d drop the exposed film off at the drugstore, then pick it up and pay for the developing and prints on the other end.

There was no instant gratification with film.

My dad did get a Polaroid instant camera in the mid-70s, but the film was about 4 bucks a shot in today’s money.

My uncle had a 35mm SLR film camera and a home darkroom when I was a little kid. I helped him in the darkroom a few times. I dug it. I remember he had to drive 70 miles to Buffalo NY to buy supplies. Couldn’t even mail order.

I also borrowed a super-8 silent film movie camera when I was a teen, and shot a little short movie with some friends, including doing the editing. Was a lot of work and cost hundreds of dollars. And again, we had to wait a week to get the developed film back. That short is lost to history, unfortunately. The guy who had it became a crack head and lost it. Probably traded it for a cigarette.

I borrowed one of my college’s 35mm SLRs for a month and shot a few rolls. I developed the film in the school’s darkroom. I loved it, but was too expensive for film, we had to buy our own and I was broke.

I’ve directed a few films as an adult, but other people mostly ran video camera on those.

I recently got a “real” camera. March 17, 2020 was the date. I’ve been taking probably 50 to 100 pix a day since then. Sometimes a lot more. I discard most of them. But the ones that pop, I work on them a bit in post, using Adobe Lightroom Classic.

I rarely remove anything from a photo and don’t add elements either. I usually just tweak things like color, brightness, contrast, saturation, etc.

On a photography Facebook group I’m on, people sometimes suggest Photoshopping out power lines and things like that. I don’t do that, because those things were there.

I’m not a purist, if someone was photo-bombing an otherwise-good pic, I’d remove them. But I’m not going to try to make a photo taken out in the country look more rustic. People out in the country have electricity, even in Wyoming. lol.

And on that same photography group, some people criticize my over-processing of outdoor pix, but it’s how I remember the world as a kid….extra vibrant, when everything was new to me. It’s still burned into my little blond head.

Here’s a cool comment about one of these pix (the one with the trailer and houses close to each other) from a very good photographer who digs my post-processing, and my reply is below his comment:

Ben O’Loughlin said:

There are a couple of things that strike me about the photo, Michael, that I really like. Firstly, the main elements, buildings and trailer, have a haphazard placement that very nearly works despite breaking the compositional guidelines. The other thing I like about your photo is the tonal palate of muted yellow-green and de-saturated blues. The look and feel of your photo made me think instantly of the work of Justine Kurland. All the best, Ben.

I replied:

Thank you, Ben.

I’m new to all this and still learning, but anything I do outdoors with color and saturation is intentional. I’m trying to capture the way the world looked when I was a child, how I remember it.

I never heard of the amazing Justine Kurland until now (thank you!). I checked out her work and read her bio. She grew up in Warsaw NY (Wyoming County NY). That’s a 90-minute drive from where I grew up, Westfield, NY.

Both towns have a population of about 5000. And I know Westfield was about that population when I was a kid. The countryside & weather are the same. She and I were born around the same time, her in 1969, me in 1964. So we were seeing the same types of things, and and probably even the light…and the attitudes in people were very similar.

Oh, my wife DJ and I may move out where these pix were taken when we retire. That’s probably less than 5 years from now.

Michael W. Dean / Intergalactic Prairie Studio

Kurt Cobain loved my old band, Bomb.


…So do Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl.

Krist talks about it in this YouTube interview. (Or direct link is here.) Start about 7 minutes in for context, and listen to 10 minutes in. But the whole interview is wonderful:

Krist says he loves Bomb and that Kurt Cobain turned him on to Bomb. (Listen to Bomb here.)

Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic came to see Bomb in Seattle at the On Ramp club one time, and Dave was up front singing along with all the words.

If you you prefer a downloadable MP3 of this interview, it’s here.

Here’s my new music, BipTunia.

SynthEdit project file for “LuckyWorm” VST by BipTunia synths.


Download it here: LuckyWorm2Share

It took me two weeks of a few hours a day to make my first two VST synths with SynthEdit. They’re not be best synths ever, but not the worst, and they’re fun. Plus they have some cool sounds.

I’ve posted the SynthEdit project file for my VST mono synth, LuckyWorm above. Download it, unzip it, open it in SynthEdit.

You are free to download it, examine it, output it and expand on it. Don’t just slap a new name and logo on it, but if you do make substantial contributions to it, feel free to use it for the basis of your first synth, if you credit me in your ReadMe file and anywhere you post list it for download online. And it would also be cool if you use the same license I used, the BipCot NoGov License.

You set the ID when you output VST from SynthEdit.

Notice I’ve set the name to “NotLuckyWorm” and put in a bunk ID of “zzzz.” DO make sure you change the VST ID when you output it. Two VSTs having the same ID can cause conflicts in some DAW. I think Steinberg might not have thought it through how popular VSTs would be when they made the IDs only 4 characters long.