Jump to content


Photo

Storing Scope in Garage

  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 dgmoses

dgmoses

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 20
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2012

Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:18 AM

I'm thinking of storing my SkyWatcher Quantum 120ED APO on CGEM DX in my garage, fully assembled, ready to go. Certainly, the easier it is to get to the more I will use it. Right now temperature is not a problem as daytime highs are in the mid 70s, but that will not last long. I live in deep south Texas near the coast. Summer temps reach mid 90s, and my guess is the garage is a bit hotter than that. Will these high temps harm the scope?

I've been keeping this scope in the garage for about a week, and it sure is easy to observe at the drop of a hat. If I get an itch to see what the Sun is up to I can walk out with my Herschel wedge and eyepiece in hand and be viewing within a few minutes. If Jupiter calls, I'm there in an eye blink. There's no doubt having the scope ready encourages viewing, but if the summer heat harms the scope then storing it in the garage is not an option.

#2 EdTheEdge

EdTheEdge

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1575
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2009
  • Loc: Lomita, CA

Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:49 AM

My take on this..... I used to keep my 127ED setup in my garage but I always worried about the heat. My garage door is a dark brown color and the afternoon sun hits it straight on, as a result the garage can easily get 10-25 degrees warmer than outside temps. I did this for almost a year and a half and did not see any adverse effects. But the heat in the garage would always be at the back of my mind, to ease my worries I put the scope back in its case and stored it inside the house. I feel better about it and setting it up it much less stressful than worrying about it in the garage.

#3 csrlice12

csrlice12

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11510
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:22 AM

I imagine heat and humidity can be even more damaging than cold. Could definitely create mold on the lenses. There's also the possibility that, over time, car exhaust fumes would damage the coatings. I'd probably keep the scope indoors and just take it out about an hour before viewing. The mount should be fine in the garage.

#4 aolo

aolo

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 70
  • Joined: 20 Jan 2012
  • Loc: Panhandle Florida

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

I stored my LOMO Mak in the garage to help cool down times. Left it there for a few years without use. I live in a humid environment. It grew a fungus on the lens. I was able to clean the lens to what seems no ill effect, but I will not leave it out more than a few months without use anymore. My scopes get put in the house for extended storage or summer time.

#5 mgwhittle

mgwhittle

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
  • Joined: 24 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Chattanooga, TN

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

The temperatures you are asking about, in your garage, will not harm the scope. Think about everybody who builds a backyard observatory. The will have a much higher temperature in those than your garage unless they do some active cooling.

However, in your location you do have a serious threat of fungus growth. You can get a dessicant holder for your focuser but you have to be diligent in keeping the dessicant fresh. If I were you I would not store it outside like that for long periods, not because of any heat issues, but because of the potential for fungus.

#6 terraclarke

terraclarke

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5356
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: The Bluegrass State

Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:04 PM

What about fumes and vapors associated with many garages- things like paint, paint remover, cleaners, gasoline, etc. as well as car exhaust when the vehicle drives in or is started and may sit running for a minute on the way out or in?

#7 csrlice12

csrlice12

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11510
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:47 PM

It'll definitley mess up a mirror over time, I imaging lens coatings are subject to corrosive materials too.....

#8 rushintuit

rushintuit

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 395
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2006
  • Loc: Farpoint Observatory

Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:31 PM

With lens caps in place you should be okay.

#9 dgmoses

dgmoses

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 20
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2012

Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

I would have never imagined storing it without lens caps in place. What about keeping it covered with a Telegizmos cover, and then hanging a dri-rod safe dehumidifier under the cover? Wouldn't that cut down on humidity problems?

I guess I'll report back in a year as to whether or not I am buying a new scope. :foreheadslap:

Don

#10 Rossmon

Rossmon

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 404
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Marin County, CA

Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:27 AM

I think Storing it in the garage in its case is a safe way to go here in Northern California. Not sure about florida though. I think it is worth waiting for someone with long experience to chime in. I just read the instruction manual for my new AP Starfire and it says to keep closed case outside near mount and when done, retract or for AP's reverse the dew shield
, put on cover and immediately put in case and bring into garage to prevent dew formation. Obviously for colder climates. But , the manual also says that the case will protect the ota from too rapid a temp change or if kept closed and dry, from dew or moisture.

#11 SMigol

SMigol

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 318
  • Joined: 30 Jul 2010
  • Loc: California, USA

Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:09 AM

Get some packets of silica gel to put into the scope body and under the lens caps. This will keep the humidity away from the lens while it's not in use. You can pick up the silica gel in bulk at a craft store by seeking materials used to dry flowers.

#12 Aquarist

Aquarist

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1041
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Illinois

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:11 AM

Desiccant caps are available from Farpoint and Starlight Instruments. Recommended for storage in any case.

#13 dgmoses

dgmoses

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 20
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2012

Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:19 AM

Desiccant caps are available from Farpoint and Starlight Instruments. Recommended for storage in any case.


Thanks for the tip on desiccant dust caps. One has been ordered. It is interesting that Starlight says something to the effect that while on one should be without one, you should never use it because you put your scope away when not using it.

#14 mogur

mogur

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1180
  • Joined: 29 Jul 2011
  • Loc: WI

Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

What about fumes and vapors associated with many garages- things like paint, paint remover, cleaners, gasoline, etc. as well as car exhaust when the vehicle drives in or is started and may sit running for a minute on the way out or in?


Exhaust fumes can be a problem, but unless you're running an engine with the door closed ( :shocked:) or it smokes excessively it shouldn't be a problem. Modern cars don't smoke too much and the little bit you get just starting and pulling out or in won't have much effect since the door is open then. Of course, always keep a scope covered or in a case.

#15 Bongo123

Bongo123

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 205
  • Joined: 19 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Telescope Purgatory

Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:57 PM

The humidity is the real problem. The solution is very easy for scopes with cases, just add desiccant bags inside the case. If you keep your mount electronics in a travel case do the same thing.

One other thing, reactivate the desiccant bags every 6 to 12 months or if the bags diss-color. The instructions will vary so read the label. In general, bake the desiccant bags at 245F for six to eight hours.

#16 JIMZ7

JIMZ7

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1450
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2005
  • Loc: S.E.Michigan near DTW

Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:15 PM

Ever since I had a garage built in 1990 I had my refractors & reflectors stored in the garage with no ill effects. I keep them covered completely or at the worse with ends caps on.

Jim :dob:

#17 Bongo123

Bongo123

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 205
  • Joined: 19 Jun 2010
  • Loc: Telescope Purgatory

Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

Optical tubes are very durable but electronics and water don't mix very well. There is no harm in adding desiccant bags to your scope case, but it really helps extend the life of any electronics exposed to the night air.

By the time heat without humidity becomes a real problem, you should call the local fire department. :grin:

#18 John Jarosz

John Jarosz

    Astro Gearhead

  • *****
  • Posts: 3228
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2004
  • Loc: Fairfax, Iowa

Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:41 PM

I've always stored all my scopes and eyepieces in a detached garage. Always in at least 1 case with lenscaps. I've never seen any evidence of mold, fungus, etc or any damage. Fumes from gas, solvents etc are not a factor because thy are only present for a short amount of time before they are dissipated (open garage door). Car fumes? there hasn't been a car in my garage for 37 years now. Garages are not for cars. They are workshops and storage sheds.

Cooldown is rarely an issue.

john

#19 jrbarnett

jrbarnett

    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 20634
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Petaluma, CA

Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:20 PM

I store my stuff in a shed.

Posted Image

Posted Image

No problem. But I did a few things to mitigate heat. First, I have a ridge vent on the roof as well as vents front and back centered under the eves. Second, I went with a reflective treatment on the interior walls. I talked to a guy in El Paso that has two sheds, one with this treatment and one with bare wood walls. He told me that the treated shed ran about 10 degrees cooler than the untreated one. Lastly, I went tall to create extra air-space at the top with the vents. Heat rises and I wanted the hottest air above well above all the gear.

I'm very happy with the solution, and it isn't all that different than a garage. We get some heat in summer, but humidity is low. I'd worry more about moisture than heat with optics and electronics, to be honest.

Regards,

Jim

#20 GeneT

GeneT

    Ely Kid

  • *****
  • Posts: 12841
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2008
  • Loc: South Texas

Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:44 PM

My take on this..... I used to keep my 127ED setup in my garage but I always worried about the heat.


Most people store their telescopes in the garage. I live in San Antonio, and the temperatures get quite high--especially in the garage. I store my 12.5 inch Portaball on my side of the closet in the house. I also keep all my eyepieces and related equipment in the house. In my opinion, one avoids a host of problems keeping the telescope and important accessories in the house.

Many spouses aren't keen on this idea, or would 'veto' such an idea. Mine does not mind since everything is on my side of the closet. I bought an 18 inch Ultra Compact. My wife agreed to let me build a three sided faux cabinets. It would have a top and three sides, and rest on rollers. I would put the telescope in the family room, with the false cabinet rolled over and around the telescope. When company arrived, all they saw was the cabinet. (I don't know what is wrong with a telescope sitting in a family or living room--but most of us won't win that one. :grin:) Just before I had the cabinets made, I sold the 18 UC and now only view with my 12.5 inch Portaball, which is on my side of the closet.

Your telescope should hold up OK in the garage. However, if you could, I would recommend inside the house.

#21 okieav8r

okieav8r

    I'd rather be flying!

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 4692
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Oklahoma!

Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

I have two Obsessions I that I store in the garage year round, one is six yeras old, the other is 8-years old. both scopes, mirrors and structures, are in great condition. Such telescopes are really pretty robust. I suppose it depends on the telescope. If it has a lot of particle board in it, you'd sure want to make sure that your garage is well sealed against moisture, and maybe has decent ventilation. Really isn't much different than storing it in an observatory.

#22 beatlejuice

beatlejuice

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1664
  • Joined: 05 Apr 2011
  • Loc: Hamilton, ON,Canada

Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

I store my stuff in a shed.



Jim,
That is a wonderful looking storage facility but I assumed you might have had a 2nd shed just for your eyepieces. :grin:

Eric

#23 JJK

JJK

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2085
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2008

Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:38 PM

My take on this..... I used to keep my 127ED setup in my garage but I always worried about the heat.


Most people store their telescopes in the garage. I live in San Antonio, and the temperatures get quite high--especially in the garage. I store my 12.5 inch Portaball on my side of the closet in the house. I also keep all my eyepieces and related equipment in the house. In my opinion, one avoids a host of problems keeping the telescope and important accessories in the house.

Many spouses aren't keen on this idea, or would 'veto' such an idea. Mine does not mind since everything is on my side of the closet. I bought an 18 inch Ultra Compact. My wife agreed to let me build a three sided faux cabinets. It would have a top and three sides, and rest on rollers. I would put the telescope in the family room, with the false cabinet rolled over and around the telescope. When company arrived, all they saw was the cabinet. (I don't know what is wrong with a telescope sitting in a family or living room--but most of us won't win that one. :grin:) Just before I had the cabinets made, I sold the 18 UC and now only view with my 12.5 inch Portaball, which is on my side of the closet.

Your telescope should hold up OK in the garage. However, if you could, I would recommend inside the house.


You're lucky. My side of the closet is the door knob.

#24 Eddgie

Eddgie

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 13209
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2006

Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:36 PM

Most chemicals are not going to be an issue because they are generally not corrosive to metals.

There is one though, and while not commonly found in garages, I know that some people do indeed use it. It is muriatic Acid. Some people use it to clean concrete garage floors.

Nasty stuff, and it will indeed corrode many metals (and of course lens coatings are metal).

And even if it is capped, the changes in air pressure can cause fumes to esacpe.

I know this from experience. Lots of badly rusted and leaking cans after being around a bottle of Muriatic Acid for a couple of years.

So, it you keep it in your garage, I would find a better (more ventilated) space to keep the stuff whether you keep the telescope in there ir not.

I has various cans leeking various products on to the floor becuase the acid fumes apparently had eaten though the metal.

Bad stuff. Ok I love to clean concrete with it, but I don't keep it in my shed anymore....






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics