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Heated/cooled home piping to the observatory

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#1 highertheflyer


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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:49 PM

Over the years, I've wished to keep moisture and its rust's from a nearby observatory.
I am thinking of laying underground, a large PVC pipe with insulating foam of 1/2inch or 3/4 inch inside diameter into the space of the piping's.
This so as to afford a means to flow conditioned air.
Now with a small fan pumping drier air from the home heating/air conditioning system to the telescope assemblies housing, would this be enough?
Could a conditioned moisturized/air, a tempered airflow protect the telescopes optics and assemblies?
I'd sleep a lot better knowing that others have taken this challenge.
What do you think?

#2 WilRobinson


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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:17 PM

How long of a run and what size air duct?

#3 Mirzam



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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:43 AM

There are building air exchangers that do exactly this sort of thing. I have a relatively simple one that cost about $350 new:


I think your idea would work for short distances. Long distances would cool the heated air too much and require more fan pressure than could easily be supplied. Also, you will have a hard time using small diameter piping due to frictional losses in air flow.

If the distance is not too long an above ground protective box or other structure over the air transfer pipes might be an option.


#4 StarStuff1



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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

It might be easier (depending on distance) to simply install a small heat pump in the wall.

#5 Norm Meyer

Norm Meyer

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:27 AM

How tight is the observatory? Mine is not all that tight
and I have no problems. Maybe if you put a fan in the observatory to keep air flowing would help to keep moisture
from condensing on equipment. The only time I would think
there would be a problem is frigid temperatures followed by
warm moist air. I would think wiping any bare metal, that
might be prone to rust, with WD40 sprayed on a cloth. I
have one GEM mount on which I used ground shafting and
I sprayed them with clear lacquer. I would consider covering the scope in a plastic bag with a can of desiccant
placed inside the bag. If there are small items that you store in the observatory build a small box with low wattage incandesant bulb inside to keep moisture away.

Regards Norm

#6 piaras


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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

Golden Rod Dehumidifier

Assuming you have AC power, for your smaller items, you could use a small cabinet, chest or broken bar fridge and install a Golden Rod Gun Saver like in the link. I have used one in my gun safe for over 14 yrs and no rust. If the cabinet is too open and leaky, just use weatherstrip to seal it up.

#7 highertheflyer


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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:05 PM

Thanks everyone for your help.
I have a need to enclose the mount and its scope, all tucked away in a very small volume protecting the mount/scope from the humidity's.
Yet easily removable for observing.
Perhaps just 24 cubic feet would be needed for climate control and with not a great requirement for an A/C unit.
So just 30 feet of run to the scope, then back to the conditioned house.
Now that's the thought of a small parcel of home airflow traveling through underground insulated tubing to and from the housing....
Here in Texas, we have days when cold chilled structures are quickly enveloped with warm/moist air, coating structures with wet wet condensates.
I was thinking of a means to move conditioned air from the house to the telescope/mount with little need for monitoring.
The Golden Rod Dehumidifier sounds like a promising idea and thanks everyone for the suggestions.
Regards, Jim

#8 PhilHerring


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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:48 PM

Since you only need a very small enclosure, it sounds to me like you could just make it as airtight as possible (to keep out the humid air in the first place) and use a generous amount of silica gel dessicant to keep the air inside dry.

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