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CG-5ASGT & Cold New England Winters...

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#1 A. Viegas

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:43 PM

:question: Reading the review of the Telegizmo 365 cover got me to thinking about winter... I currently keep my CG5 and C8 outside and simply covered with the normal Telegizmo cover and I happy to report it works great through rain, wind and heat... But I never really thought about keeping it outside during winters here... Specifically, I have read elsewhere and here on CN that the CG-5 can be stubborn during the winter when its especially cold. So if the mount-head remained outside it could offer substandard performance...

Does anyone have a CG-5 braving the New England elements over winter? I am thinking now, that I could keep the tripod outside and just bring the mount head out... but then I would have to go through polar alignment and what not... Hmmmmm


#2 oldwolf


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Posted 10 August 2012 - 12:27 PM

It would bother me to store my C8 and a CG5 outside, even covered like yours is. But you have no problems doing this, so I guess my worries are unjustified.

#3 A. Viegas

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 12:48 PM

I have very few opportunities to observe, usually just on weekends and only if clear... so there is not that much time and the last thing I want to deal with is carrying stuff outside, setting up and then waiting for it to reach thermal equilibrium, as I can usually only get started 1-3 hrs after dinner. Hence, why keeping the gear out there and ready to go is important to me.

Well, come fall/winter we will see how it goes... But I will probably upgrade to a 365-cover...


#4 Al Canarelli

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:43 PM

I live in NJ where, as you probably know, it's hot and humid in the summer and can get very cold and snowy in the winter. I left my CI700 mount outside for about 5 months (well covered of course). I had the same brainstorm you had and decided to give it a try...after all, why not skip all those unneccessary set up steps if you can get away with it. Good thinking but I proved it doesn't work!..and it cost me plenty to prove it.

Every time I would take the cover off to use the mount, I would hear stuff dropping out and hitting the ground. Couldn't see what it was but I noticed a bunch of broken seed shells on the ground the next morning. Finally the mount stopped working and required a lot of cleaning and replaced parts to get it working again. BTW, the little cracked seeds (as I thought they were) were actually cracked wild cherry pits from some cherry trees I have on the property. The field mice pick them up and take them to their shelter to sustain themselves over the winter. They actually lived in the tripod leg tubes (good thing I didn't have a telescope in there).

#5 mclewis1


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Posted 10 August 2012 - 01:52 PM


Have you had your mount out for prolonged periods in cold weather yet? I'm curious how it has performed. 3-4 hours at low temps will ensure that it's well cold soaked and experience at this level will tell you a lot about how the mount will perform.

Some CG-5s are ok with the colder temps (so far mine is one of those), others seem to exhibit quite a bit of binding at the colder temps (likely a lubrication issue).

One way to ensure better consistent cold weather performance is to re lube the mount (sort of a light weight tune up) using a good wide temp range lubricant like SuperLube. Along with the better lube some folks also open up the worm gear spacing a bit. This leads to more backlash but less binding at lower temperatures.

As for actual damage under the cover, I would personally take steps to reduce the humidity. Such as a small low wattage incandescent bulb (Christmas tree light for example) or the use of larger desiccant units (larger than just the bags that you might find electronics gear packaged with). The electronics themselves aren't likely to be damaged by the cold.

One of the biggest areas of concern with a CG-5 are the RJ connectors on the DEC and HC cables. These connectors were never designed for any kind of weather exposure and they are notorious for getting debris or moisture in them which causes intermittent connections. One good preventative step is to use a contact cleaner. These are usually hydrophobic to some degree so they keep moisture away from the small contacts. It may also help to cover the connectors with electrical tape to keep as much moisture out of them as possible.

My CG-5 gets occasional use in the winter time. I keep it stored in a plastic bin in an unheated garage. Aside from the well known HC issues in the cold it has worked very well.

#6 A. Viegas

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 07:40 PM

Mark & Al (From NJ) Thanks for the advice... certainly gives me some pause here... right now I have only had it out since June and its out there right now in the rain and wind (and so is the OTA too!)... But the basic Telegizmo cover so far seems to work just fine. I think in 2 more weeks I will bring it in and maybe just leave the tripod out there... I was thinking about maybe buying a small shed/storage box and sticking the mount inside with the OTA similarly left there, but not on the mount, something like this could maybe work --> Shed


#7 Don Trinko

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:43 AM

I have my CG5GT in my observatory. It has been there for several years. It still works fine. I do not get out much below 30 degrees. Don t.

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