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Leaving mounts outside??

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#1 steve-in-kville

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 03:31 PM

So here's my situation: If I would set up my Celestron AVX this evening, align & calibrate it, do some viewing and such, then shut down for the night, can I just take the OTA into the house and let the mount outside? (provided it doesn't rain) Or will the morning dew ruin the electronics somehow?

What about throwing a garbage bag over top?

My ideal situation is if I have a few clear nights in a row. Just keep the mount outside and simply do a quick alignment when it gets dark and be done.

#2 SMigol

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 03:38 PM

It would probably be fine. The big advantage of having it set up for more than one evening is that you don't have to polar align each time.

When I'm using my mount outside at home, I throw a sheet over it to help keep the dew from getting too much. Most of the time, I let it run through until morning.

A garbage bag would probably trap the dew -- that's why I use an old bedsheet to help wick away the moisture.

Same goes with the OTA. If you cap your optics, you could tape a desicant pack onto the lens cap to help keep the dew at bay. Bringing a cold OTA into a warm house would accelerate condensation on the optics. Best to take it into an unheated garage or shed or use dew heaters to keep it warm enough to avoid dew formation.

Good luck and be prepared to be spoiled by setting up for multiple nights!

#3 steve-in-kville

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 04:07 PM

Good point on the OTA and the cold. Didn't think of that.

Maybe the wife has a bedsheet I could "borrow." Need to look into that.

My ultimate arrangement would be a pillar of some type. Just take my mount outside, already calibrated and bolt it fast. Do a simple alignment as night comes in and away we go. Someday...

#4 frito

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 04:26 PM

i've been known to leave my scope and mount out over night in my backyard. just cap the optics, the electronics are not waterproof but anything telescope related must be made to withstand dew and even ice to an extent otherwise it would break with many peoples normal use outdoors in the winter.

now leaving it out for weeks at a time or something like that, not a good idea, that's why people put observatories in so they can do that.

#5 WarrenS

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 06:20 PM

My Atlas mount has been outside for 5 years straight now. It's covered by a large towel under a heavy duty plastic trash bag under a Telegizmo 360 cover. The towel does serve to wick up any moisture, and the bag and Telegizmo cover keep out the snowstorms,rain storms, hurricanes etc. I just take the OTA's out and bring em back inside every night. I have no patience to do alignments each time!

#6 Tom Andrews

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 10:28 PM

I poured a cement pier in the backyard. I leave the CG-5 mount on it, use Hibernate at the end of the night then all I have to do is Wake it up the next night out. I take the OTA in the house each night because I'm concerned about it being stolen and moreso, during the summer, if left out during the day with the heat, it would never cool down. I bought a 3X sized T-shirt which fits nicely over the mount (including the counterweight) that I put on first to absorb any moisture then this COVER.

It's been working great and makes observing so much easier not having to go through the alignment process.

#7 Patrick

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 11:53 PM

Hi Steve,

You can leave your mount outside, but I think you definitely want to cover it. My CGEM has been outside with a Telegizmo 365 cover on it since December. Telegizmos also makes a 'Standard' cover which is more suited for what you want, namely a couple of nights in a row where you don't want to setup and teardown during a clear stretch of weather.

Patrick

#8 aaube

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 04:08 AM

I have a CGEM DX that has been outside for almost 3 years under a telegizmo 365 cover. So far so good. Since i'm lazy, the ota has not come off the mount for the same duration... It may sound reckless but i figure i bought the darn thing to actually use it so, it's always align and ready to go on short notice. I only take the HC inside and insert dummy plugs in all the ports.

Sincerely,

Alain

#9 Lurch

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 08:18 AM

Those Telegizmo 365's look pretty ideal. What about Bugs?

#10 JumboFlex

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:47 AM

Ive never had an issue with bugs and have left my rig outside for months covered with a 365. Just brushed off the occasional spider web and thats it. The 365 is a very good cover and pretty stable especially when you cinch up the cord on the bottom.

#11 mich_al

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 11:45 AM

Mines been out, under a 365 cover, for 3 years. My biggest issues are moisture and heat. I monitor both remotely (Oregon Scientific).

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#12 Per Frejvall

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 12:45 PM

Yep...

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#13 Lurch

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 02:40 PM

I think i'm gonna have to have one of those!

#14 Per Frejvall

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 05:07 PM

Yes, balconies with a meter of snow are nice ;)

/per

#15 scopefreak

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 08:00 PM

You could always just build an OBS??? :question:

#16 Per Frejvall

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:16 AM

Well, I do not have any land available and building an obs ten miles from the center of Stockholm isn't really worth it anyway.

I am, however, building a small (4x4x4') roll-off on an island in the Stockholm Archipelago and a larger four-scope roll-off in the South of France, so I'm getting there ;)

/per

#17 steve-in-kville

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 04:14 PM

Nice pics and great replies. Very helpful! Maybe a piece if masking tape over the ports would keep the bugs out? I'll have to experiment a little.

#18 Waldemar

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 05:13 AM

Nice pics and great replies. Very helpful! Maybe a piece if masking tape over the ports would keep the bugs out? I'll have to experiment a little.


Be very careful with masking tape, it tends to leave a lot of s... behind when you try to remove it... worse than bugs...
Better use electrical tape

BR

Waldemar

#19 Rossmon

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 11:55 PM

i have a number of motorcycle covers laying sround and started using one for the 3-5 days in a row deal. Seems to work fine. I have a g11 with gemini 2, so I usually take the graphic HC in every nite and the computer if it is going to be real warm.

#20 PhilCo126

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 04:53 AM

My mount always slept inside after observing but after reading these stories it might stay outside... Amazing image of over a foot snow and the mount outside :bigshock:

#21 johnnyha

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 03:48 PM

Good point on the OTA and the cold. Didn't think of that.

Best method to avoid condensation is to take the OTA case outside. When finshed put the OTA back in the case and you can bring it inside, as long as you don't open it for an hour or so. The only caveat is if the OTA is already dewed up/wet, then you should let it dry out before putting it in the case.

#22 Per Frejvall

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 04:01 PM

Just a quick comment.

When you cover a mount it is imperative that the mount can breathe some air. If it is too tightly confined moisture will accumulate - even in cold weather - and eventually damage the mount. So, even though see you almost two feet of snow in my balcony picture, the bottom of the black cover is actually open. Th eopening is about one foot below the mount bottom so that snow won't blow up, but it is open nonetheless.

Very important!

/per






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