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too cold for equipment ?

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#1 dogeddie

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:04 AM

I read through this post on cold weather observing - http://www.cloudynig...5623318/page...

I got my scope two weeks ago and had it out one night, all I could catch were moon and Jupiter glimpses as the clouds passed. Every night since I got it it has either been below zero, cloudy, or snowing - or a combination of all. Is below zero observing hard on a scope? I have an 8" LX90. I am also trying to run it through its paces to see how the pointing accuracy is as I switched out the handboxes, but have been unable to do so due to weather. I only wonder if my accuracy will be affected by the sub zero weather, and a true reading would be better in more favorable weather?

PS - Apologies to all Wis observers for cursing your observing sessions for the last couple weeks due to my purchase :p

#2 spencerj

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:09 AM

If it is not too cold for you, the equipment will be fine. The only real issue I have with my CG-5 mount in the cold is that the display on the hand controller slows down. I put a hand warmer in a mitten and then put the hand controller in there when not in use. That keeps it warm enough to use.

#3 dogeddie

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:12 PM

Thanks - I wasn't sure if the motor grease would get stiff and cause inaccuracies. Good idea for a hand warmer in a mitten for the handset!

#4 neotesla

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:36 PM

I nearly did some severe damage to an LX200 by going out when it was -15°C.

#5 dogeddie

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:52 PM

I nearly did some severe damage to an LX200 by going out when it was -15°C.


Uh oh - what happened? (besides the fact you were cold as hell)

#6 neotesla

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:25 PM

There are different types of metal in the base where the bolt that secures the base to the tripod. At that temp, the metals contract at different rates, and the socket on the base started to rotate, this nearly pulled out all the electronics in the base when I tried to remove the fork and OTA. The wires are run though the centre of this assembly, and all of the electronics are attached to this wiring harness.

#7 magnus

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:41 PM

If I can stand observing in -15 C. for many h. I expect my equipment to do the same, at least!!
Warm clothings are just as important as a good and exact collimated scope is, when observing in cold climate.
/Magnus 57N.

#8 microstar

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:00 AM

I keep my equipment in a observatory and have imaged in temps down to -30C (-22F). My main concern at those temps is cable insulation cracking. Generally the lower limit is what I can tolerate, not the equipment.
...Keith

#9 Raginar

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:06 AM

I've imaged around 0F. Cables being frozen was the biggest concern with my CGEM (along with the screen slowing down). If you can work from inside it's much easier :).

#10 coutleef

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

with a 8se, i go out down to -30c without problem. i bougth a heated smartastronomy case for my hand controller. tried once at -40 but could not stay out longer than 30 minutes. the scope did fine

#11 J. Barnes

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

I cracked the plastic secondary holder on my C11 while giving the Bob's knobs a hand wrenching at 18* F. :foreheadslap: An expensive Hyperstar conversion solved that problem though. :grin:

#12 orion61

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:55 PM

Hey that was a pretty good way to get that under the Wifes Radar!!
Love the Homer Icon..

#13 J. Barnes

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:19 PM

It's almost embarrassing how many astro-things have "suddenly appeared."






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