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Coastal Viewing

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#1 Sluggosalinas


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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:55 AM

A bit about my viewing sight:
I live in a small 2-story house on stilts on the intercoastal waterway about 3 blocks from the beach on the west coast of Florida. When I got my scope (8se) last month my plan was to set it up on my small balcony (3rd floor) which would give me unobstructed views and would allow me to easily carry the scope and tripod through the glass door for inside storage.

This turned out to be a disaster. Who knew that a house could shake so much !? Wind was the culprit. I knew the house had some shimmy in high winds (we get alot of that down here), but I had no idea the gentle sea-breezes would produce so much vibration. Jupiter would literally jump out of view with a 9mm eyepiece.

I have since been hauling the scope/tripod/stool/power-pak/eyepiece case down three flights of stairs (2 trips) to the stability of my back yard where the house provides some wind break but also obscures 1/3 of the southern sky. But hey, the vibration is pretty much gone so it's worth it! The trips up and down however are getting old.

I have a garage where I could store the equipment and eliminates the stairs but my question is this: Is the warm, humid, salty air dangerous for the optics and/or electronics of the scope? As I type that it seems like a stupid question, but I know there must be others out there that have had storage issues. Does anyone keep their scopes in similar situations. Any advice on how to ameliorate the effects? Or is this just inviting disaster?

Muchas Gracias,

#2 SteveG



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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:53 PM

I can't speak to the moisture but I too experience house-shake when I view from my back deck. It's a very tall but shallow deck, barely enough room, and if the washer is running there is no hope of a steady view!

#3 StarStuff1



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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:50 PM

We have viisited a rental house in Charleston many times. The houses sits literally at the ocean's edge at high tide. Of course it is up on stilts so the balcony there is "two stories" up. I soon learned that anything over 50x had problems. These days when we vacation I only take binoculars and a 60mm ed spotting scope that goes up to only 45x. It is used more often at 30-35x.

I would not store my equipment in such a place you describe unless it was moisture controlled. Maybe box off a tiny storage room and install a very small wall A/C unit?

#4 Achernar



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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:40 PM

You definitely do not want to store the telescope wet with dew where you live. The dew there is laced with salt and sulfuric acid that can cause corrosion of metal parts and could also attack the aluminum coatings on the mirrors. I live close to the Gulf of Mexico myself, and that is why I store my telescopes indoors so condensation will not form inside and they will dry out after use. Dew that forms when the telescope is being used is not nearly the danger condensation that forms during storage is. That can damage your telescope if allowed to go on for weeks or months. Hence the need to keep it in a climate controlled area when not in use. Wipe off the metal parts and let it dry before storing it. As long as condensation cannot form while in storage, your telescope should be safe from harm due to the salt air, but do look out for salt spray. Simply storing it in a climate controlled location should do the job. A good case for the OTA and the base will protect it from dust, impacts and salt air when not in use. Personally, I would store the telescope in a closet or some other location that is climate conctolled and not dusty.


#5 Sluggosalinas


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Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:40 AM

Thank you all for the advice. I do have a small part of the garage enclosed ( I think it was a washer/dryer room at one point), but it's not climate controlled and no window to throw an a/c unit in. Would a dehumidifier work?

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