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Skyshed POD Still Leaks

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#1 Jmax

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:41 PM

I finally had a good weekend to take the dome off my used POD that I've had since November, leaking all the time. I resealed the dome seams and put on new L-rubber just like in the videos. Today it rained and there is still a leak at one of the pivot points. I have now done everything I know to do and I still have a leak. The good news is that instead of the three leaks I had before, I now only have the one. Do you think that I could just keep a bucket under the one leak and empty it after each rain? I worry most about mildew forming on my scopes if I leave them in there. If I collect and empty the water, though, shouldn't that keep the ambient moisture down enough that things will be alright? I'm really upset and have yet to use my POD. It is actually causing problems with my wife who keeps questioning why I spent so much on a leaky observatory I am afraid to use. I told her I could buy a cover and she got really angry about me having to spend more money on it. She already thinks it is an eyesore in her back yard. She would accept it if I could just use the blasted thing.

#2 Escher

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:47 PM

The pivot joints need a bit of extra attention.

Check out the Skyshed POD mailing list and folks will get you sorted out rapidly... but I'll get you going.

I picked up the thickest stickyback weather seal I could find at Home Depot. I then attached that so that it filled up the entire gap between the halves.... the stock foam didnt fill the gap.

Then, take a bit of the rubber seal and overlap the joint (like a 3 inch section) so that water is directed away from the joint. THis smaller piece will need to be pulled out of the joint each time you close the dome... I need to take pics to show you, but its raining / sleeting today.

If I remember to pull the seal out when I close up, I'm water tight...

I'm sure Wayne from Skyshed will chime in as well...

#3 Jmax

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:11 PM

I did all that, overlapping the l-rubber and everything. It appears to me that on my unit the secondary dome is molded with a natural low point just at that pivot so that water pools around the l-rubber gasket. It then seeps under the gasket. I honestly don't know if anything will work except a cover. Do you think my bucket solution will work if all else fails?

#4 Escher

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:24 PM

Try rotating the dome to a different position?

The bucket thing will likely work... But its not my first choice...

I'd probably try a few more layers of foam in the space and see if you can get it tight...

#5 t.r.

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:38 PM

People are anal enough to put desiccant silica gel packs in their dry equipment cases kept indoors...but you are going to allow dripping rain water into your obs?!?! :tonofbricks:

#6 SkyShed

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:38 PM

Hi Jmax,

Yes I'm sure we can get you fixed up. Email us some photos so we can see what's going on. 1000-1400 pixels wide is a good size for emailing.

Email to info@skyshedpod.com

Let me know who you bought it from so we can look up the unit's history.

CS!
Wayne

#7 Jmax

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:22 PM

You obviously don't know my wife. I'd rather risk damage to my astronomy equipment than to my neck if I don't use the thing soon.

#8 Jmax

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:20 PM

Wayne,

I just emailed you six pictures that I took while the POD is still wet. I hope you can help. I appreciate the quick response here, and I will keep everyone at CN posted on getting the leak stopped.

John

#9 1965healy

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:38 PM

You obviously don't know my wife. I'd rather risk damage to my astronomy equipment than to my neck if I don't use the thing soon.

You might just want to go sit in it and read a book with the opening pointed away from the house! If she comes out to check on you tell her you're reviewing a star atlas to prepare your viewing schedule. Look busy and happy. Tell her she's the best.

#10 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:02 PM

uh.. why not just use the dome cover.. that's what I do.. as an astronomer, hopefully we are all aspiring meteorologists.. I find my skills much better than any weather person in Los Angeles.. They would do a better job of predicting the weather if they just went outside and looked "up"

#11 Jmax

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:44 PM

As I said, my wife will kill me if I spend anymore money on it.

#12 Midnight Dan

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 05:57 AM

Wayne,

I just emailed you six pictures that I took while the POD is still wet. I hope you can help. I appreciate the quick response here, and I will keep everyone at CN posted on getting the leak stopped.

John


You may want to post the pictures here too. You could get ideas from people here who might have had similar experiences.

-Dan

#13 mattw

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:08 AM

I agree with posting the pics here, especially from
the outside, with the dome completely closed, to confirm
that there is no downward sag at the pivot point axis.
Any downward sag here is a recipe for a leak.

#14 BSJ

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:31 AM

A bucket with a drain hose...?

#15 zawijava

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:42 AM

IMHO I would find that extremely frustrating to have spent that much money on a Observatory only to have to spend more on a cover because it leaks.....not to mention the added step of covering/uncovering whenever it looked like rain :shrug:

-Tim

uh.. why not just use the dome cover.. that's what I do..



#16 Jmax

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:02 AM

Here is the picture of the outside showing the half where the leak is. It is hard to tell from any of the pictures, but water definitely pools in a low spot on the secondary dome overhang, right at the pivot point on this side.

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#17 Jmax

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:03 AM

Here is the leak from the inside, notice the drip...

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#18 Jmax

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:05 AM

Here is a picture of the overlapping l-rubber at the pivot point. You can kind of see the pooling of the water, but a lot had already dried up.

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#19 Jmax

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:06 AM

And here is the 'gutter' over the pivot joint.

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#20 YetAnotherHobby

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:43 AM

Pic3 looks as if there is a depression running underneath the bit of weathstripping screwed onto the horizontal. Unless you can adjust that side of the dome to tilt down a bit farther, water is going to keep collecting there. My Pod doesn't show that depression, but I am thinking a tube of Lexel and some leftover weatherstrip might allow you to create a "dam" right there so the water will run off the pod rather than in. Glue the weather strip under that horizontal bit...the Lexel will fill the depression, and the weather strip will keep other bits from sticking to the Lexel.

Any chance the pivot bolts are too tight, overly squeezing the quadrant and distorting its shape?

(hard to tell from the pics, but just a thought)

#21 gillmj24

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:26 PM

This is the problem. Think of your roof gutter, it wouldn't do any good if the roof shingles didn't overhang the gutter.

We can't make an overhang here but you can remove this bit of rubber gasket and redo it without tightening the screws so much that they misshape the lip of the "gutter" that is peeling away from the dome.

Correction: You want to Lexel the thick rubber foam to each dome half, under this weatherstripping. Chances are the foam is soaked so you should remove and reinstall new foam. Try Ace hardware or a big box store, no need to wait for shipping from canada.

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#22 mclewis1

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:28 PM

Geoff's got some great suggestions. I would certainly remove that horizontal piece of L stripping and seal underneath it and reattach the strip. That will keep any water pooling beside it from travelling back under the grey seal

John, What I don't see is any black weather stripping between the two dome halves where they come together at the pivot joint. The vertical surfaces get some 3/4" stripping with staples that carries around under the actual pivot joint. As the dome closes the stripping gets squeezed and closes any opening between the dome halves at the pivot joint.

I don't remember if this was on the official POD installation video or something suggested on the Yahoo Group but either way it and the extra L gasket work that you've already done certainly makes my POD weather tight at those joints.

#23 gillmj24

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:30 PM

Post deleted by gillmj24

#24 gillmj24

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:35 PM

I think I misunderstood, this weather strip piece is on the secondary dome and you can't lexel the two dome halves together :o

See here for a picture of my dome, sorry it is not a better complete picture, but my dome halves did not seem to line up, but this weather stripping prevented any leaks at this joint.

You do need the thick stick-on black 3/4" thick foam in between the dome halves as well.

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#25 gillmj24

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:36 PM

pic 2

I donated the dome a while back so i can't take more pictures. My only leak was due to a poor job of lexeling the quadrants together in the rain along the top of the dome, so my leaks were 90 degrees away from the pivot joints. My pivot joints were good though.

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