Leaving a mount outside
Posted 17 April 2009 - 09:31 AM
One of the ideas we have discussed is having eight permanent piers outside. On each pier would be a permanently aligned German Equatorial Mount onto which would go any of several scopes. (I have been leaning towards Losmandy G8s)
My question is, what are people's experiences with leaving mounts outside, under some sort of cover (and what do you use) and how have your mounts fared in various weather?
Posted 17 April 2009 - 10:11 AM
Regarding covers, check these out: http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_t365.htm
I have used these covers for piers and fully setup image/observing systems with great luck and I am currently having a custom cover made. Jim at ScopeStuff can answer all of your questions regarding the covers and I have had one outside 24-7 for about two years with no sign of weathering with the exception that I had to replace the bungie pull cord which doesn't handle the weather well and after about a year needs to be replaced. I replaced it with weed-eater line and that has worked well. I probably gave you more information than you asked for and at the same time not enough information so let me know if you have any questions. I'm sure you'll get additional responses.
Posted 17 April 2009 - 12:42 PM
Posted 17 April 2009 - 02:28 PM
I found that when I tied the cover around the bottom of the concrete pier humidity gets trapped in the cover when it gets cold and tends to hang around until you take the cover to air out. The cold metal is like a cold finger and draws moisture into the cover which gets trapped.
Recently, I have been putting the cover on loosely with better results. Although, the coldest part of winter is over.
Posted 17 April 2009 - 02:55 PM
One thing you could do is put a fixture in the dovetail of the mount to support the can above the mount.
Posted 17 April 2009 - 03:13 PM
Posted 17 April 2009 - 08:32 PM
Posted 17 April 2009 - 10:52 PM
Posted 18 April 2009 - 06:33 PM
Posted 18 April 2009 - 07:09 PM
Posted 19 April 2009 - 01:33 PM
I hate to be the voice of doom, but I'd be pretty cautious about leaving good mounts outdoors in a public place like a college......... I don't know the details, but at Greenfield Community College, the Astronomy Professor put up a nice dome out at the edge of the field out front, and it didn't take long till it got ravaged. Very distressing!
They're going to be on a roof, 4 stories up with limited access.
Our current observatory was setup in 1976 on what was the very edge of Campus then and to an extent still is now. Its seen its share of exterior vandalism (including a .22 hole in the dome door)
Maybe you could have some piers with indexed hubs on them, with holes that pins on numbered mounts could plug into, or something like that........ Russ
I have been in favor of getting fork mounted alt-az C8s, since 4 of the piers we intend will (probably) not have a view of the North star. However my department head wanted me to find out what we can do.
Thanks for the ideas.