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Second hand Skypod Shed, maybe! Boss Dependant!

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#1 Magellan

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:14 PM

Someone in my group is selling their Skypod, I think its the XL3. I live in a cold harse environment with lots of snow and hot summers. Will the Skypod be ok to store my telescope with mount in it? covered by tarp of course.

I have an orion 8" astrograph on a CGEM mount on tripod, will this fit inside with enough room for me to do an alignment and store a laptop for imaging?

I have read it leaks sometimes, but can be fixed to not have any issues, what about snow? that I can deal with a simple broom but I am mainly concerned about the following:

1.) Security
2.) Element leakage
3.) Wind
4.) Can it be secured to the ground (Grass for now)
5.) Heat in the summer, Cold in the winter
6.) Room for scope tripod and me.

I want to make sure I can leave my scope with tripod and mount in the POD and have room enough to move around.

#2 Escher

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:32 PM

Jeff,

You re runing a nearly identical setup to mine (although I have the CG5-ASGT). No problem with the size of teh Orion 8", see my site in my sig for pics of the setup...

And here is a panoramic interior view - of my XL3...
http://360.io/kWTcJp

#3 Escher

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:39 PM

To answer some more of your questions - Mine sits on grass with a small deck inside. I used 12" galvanized spikes to hold it in place.

As to leakage - you need to use "Lexel" caulk on the seams. After setting up, caulk all the seams and then you should be all set. YOu will also want to replace the L shaped seal betweent he dome halves if it is torn or in poor condition.

I have very minor leaking issues, and only in heavy driving rain. But I was lazy and used silicone, so I'm nore sure I have the best seals... I plan to reseal in the spring. My leakes are only from small drips that follow the joints in the sections and water gathers in a couple of my bays. Once again - only during heavy rains... dry as a bone 99% of the time.

Heat and cold - I can only speak to heat - my scopes lives in there all summer with no issues.. I do cover them with a large tarp "just in case".

As to cold - no issues yet, but from what I have read, I dont think its a problem. Batteries and the like may drain faster so you will want to run AC to the dome. I have an outlet and lighting in mine.

I plan to get a small space heater for this winter as well.

#4 Magellan

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:37 PM

how did you do the flooring? I must ask.. :) I do mostly astrophotography, scope sits outside and I RDP into my laptop. I only go outside to check my guider.

#5 Startraffic

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:55 PM

Magellen,
I also have the XL3 sitting on the ground. I drove 10" tent spikes through the holes & into the ground. It hasn't moved because of weather. I put a plastic garden ground cover & foam floor padding cut to fit the inside of the dome. My biggest issue I've had is with ants. They infested my computer & tool chest. I put a double set of the ant spikes & they seem to have done the trick. Resealing with Lexel is a no brainer. You're going to have to open the seams to move the pod. This will allow water to come in.

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#6 mclewis1

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:38 PM

1.) Security

The POD door has a key lock that's similar to what you'll find on an RV's door. The dome itself is "locked" from the inside with a couple of 3/8" bolts. Once locked a POD is quite difficult to casually break into but like any out building it can be accessed by a really determined individual with the right tools. Real security takes much more than a single lock.

2.) Element leakage
3.) Wind

As you've read it's good practice to seal the seams with Lexel and once that's done you shouldn't have any issues with regular rain. Wind driven rain and snow can sometimes be an issue in two areas ... a) at the peak of the dome if the grey L seal doesn't fit tight against the secondary side of the dome. This is easily dealt with by adding a little 3/4" weather stripping in the gap behind the seal (gives it something to securely seal against). b) in really windy conditions you can sometimes get a little water/snow blown up under the edge of the dome over the walls. It takes some really serious and sustained wind for this to occur and again it's very easy to deal with. The most common method is to use some of the foam pipe insulation and press it in between the wall and the dome edge from the inside when the forecast is for a big windy storm. Usually two or three pieces on the side facing the wind will be fine. The stuff goes in and comes out in seconds.

If you find that you get a little moisture in the front of the bays and you can't seem to find where it's coming from. Have a look at the top of the wall of each bay, there are a couple of molding holes (about 3/4" diameter and 2-3" deep). These are normally sealed but the bottom doesn't have a lot of material and I've seen a few PODs where someone (and I did this myself :doah: ) has pushed a finger into the hole and opened the bottom up. The result is when there is some wind driven moisture that gets up under the lip of the dome it can accumulate in these holes and if the opening in the bottom is small they can just drip slowly over time. You usually never notice this except for seeing a little moisture in the front of the bay, and you usually think "how the heck did that get there?. The fix for me was a couple of strips of tape over the holes.

#7 Magellan

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:47 PM

I just bought it, I ordered the 6x12 Uhaul trailer, they are taking it apart, hopefully they have the DVD to reassemble it.

Wife won't let me user it until Christmas LOL, now I just need to name it.

#8 gillmj24

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:45 PM

the low quality versions of the assembly video might still be on youtube

#9 Magellan

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:22 PM

I watched those, would rather a PDF, quality is terrible :(

#10 mclewis1

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:40 PM

Wife won't let me user it until Christmas LOL, now I just need to name it.

Jeff,

How about "Anticipation"?

Congrats on the purchase ... we'll of course want pictures.

#11 Raginar

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:16 PM

Congrats!

#12 RogerRZ

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:09 PM

Is it the one that just passed on Astrobuysell?

#13 Peter9

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:20 AM

Congrats on your POD purchase Megellan.

You can view the assembly videos on the SkyShed site if push comes to shove.

Regards. Peter

#14 bogg

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:07 PM

Congrats on your purchase. You will enjoy it for a long time. The Lexel on the seams works wonders. I learned the hard way about the Lexel, dont put it on below about 16C as it really does not want to stick well :foreheadslap: :foreheadslap:. Redid it above 20C and has worked well through the winter and a summer, no leaks. :yay:

#15 Magellan

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:40 PM

For imaging can you just put down weed carpet and come rubberlike flooring or will it effect alignment? trying to avoid a pier for a while.

#16 csa/montana

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:35 AM

I just bought it, I ordered the 6x12 Uhaul trailer, they are taking it apart, hopefully they have the DVD to reassemble it.

Wife won't let me user it until Christmas LOL, now I just need to name it.


Congratulations on your POD! You will really enjoy having an observatory!

:lol: Hey, it's a Christmas present, so no cheating by using it eary! :grin:

A name will come to you that will be a perfect fit. :)

#17 Magellan

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:52 PM

The night of first install we had 70kph winds and torrential rain. Floor was wet from the install. Dome had no visible water but from under the dome where you said was some rain. Nothing serious, going to get some rubber seal to jam in there. It may not be sitting level, might have to put in some shims. Also with lexel, do i seal joints in walls too.

#18 mclewis1

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:07 AM

Jeff,

I never felt the need to seal the wall joints on my POD (a new build), they seem to be very tight.

When I assembled my dome I didn't use the thin foam strip between the sections, just a bead of Lexel on the inside and another on the outside.

#19 Peter9

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

Hi Jeff,

Same applies to me as applies to Mark.

I've had no problems with my unsealed wall sections, and I sealed my dome as Mark sealed his. Not had so much as a single drop of leak water in the two years I have owned, and loved, my second hand POD.

Regards. Peter.

#20 Magellan

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:18 PM

Floor was dry tonight. Tonight and tomorrow more wind and rain. If its dry, guess what moves in on the weekend?






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