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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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HCR32
sage


Reged: 08/27/10

Loc: Australia
Mounts left out in the elements.
      #5755186 - 03/24/13 11:14 PM

How many of us leave our mounts outside cover with tarps or canvas sails with great success. I was interested in knowing how you beat moister and heat that can damage your electronics.

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mdowns
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/12/10

Loc: Englewood,FL
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: HCR32]
      #5755207 - 03/24/13 11:29 PM

I leave both my mount (g11) and scope (c11) outside 24/7 here in sw Florida. I use a astrogizmo 365 to cover it and so far(more than 5 months) its been perfect. Always dry inside the cover and the scope never seems overly warm.Thats saying alot in light of the amount of direct sunlight it bakes under most of the day.I'm a big fan of the astrogizmo. Works great!

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: HCR32]
      #5755695 - 03/25/13 09:04 AM

Not me. If you live, like I do, in an area that's humid, hot, and rainy, your mount would soon be the Hilton Hotel for the 8-legged set. Spiders can squeeze in through the smallest openings and would actually prefer their digs be covered with a nice tarp...

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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: rmollise]
      #5755700 - 03/25/13 09:13 AM

I left my CGEM outside for most of the winter. Of course, snow is easier to protect against and in SD we tend to have very little of it to begin with.

Like everyone else, put a waterproof tarp over it and let it be. No issues. Temps down to -10F or so.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: HCR32]
      #5756040 - 03/25/13 12:05 PM

Not me.

I've thought about it several times. Ultimately I decided that the risk of moisture and or critters eventually borking the electronics and/or corroding the shiny metal bits was too high.

Instead I built a shed and have marked the position points for each mount's tripod's feet on the pavement in front of the shed. I can leave a given mount set up in the shed and deploy it rapidly to its correct orientation with little muss or fuss. Best of all, I know that it remains dry and secure.

Le Shed:



- Jim


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end
sage


Reged: 08/31/11

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5756090 - 03/25/13 12:29 PM

I also use the Astrogizmo 365 and keep my CGE PRO outside nearly all the time. If I'm going to be out of town for an extended period of time it comes in, otherwise it stays out. However, I would not do this without some kind of heater under the cover to drive out the humidity. I use a single 40W light bulb, but you can also buy heating sticks. With this combination even with 98 and 99% humidity nights I have a dry mount and scope. I put a remote humidity / temperature sensor in there and find that the temperature is usually kept about 10 degrees F higher than ambient at night which is plenty to keep everything dry. This is just south of Houston where we have very humid weather all the time. No trouble with bugs yet, but I do keep an eye out for them.

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gastargazer01
super member


Reged: 12/21/12

Loc: Flowery Branch GA
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: end]
      #5756724 - 03/25/13 06:10 PM

I also use and am very happy with the 365 cover for my C11 & CG-5ASGT. I am testing areas on the property where to place a pier. We have had wind advisories, heavy rain, cold, warm but all has been great. I was very worried a month ago but I feel pretty comfortable with the setup until I get the pier installed.

http://bufordexchange.com/members/mikesastro/CameraOBSplacement.html


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: gastargazer01]
      #5757016 - 03/25/13 09:07 PM

If you're on a grass surface, as I am, the Telegizmo is worse than nothing!

I leave the mechanics out, under a garbage bag. The electronics and optics all come in. The telegizmo has not been good in my case. It traps moisture rising from the grass.


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saadabbasi
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: 29N
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5757331 - 03/26/13 01:04 AM

What size would I need for a ATRC8 + Paramount MX? Any idea guys?

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end
sage


Reged: 08/31/11

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5757655 - 03/26/13 08:11 AM

Quote:

If you're on a grass surface, as I am, the Telegizmo is worse than nothing!

I leave the mechanics out, under a garbage bag. The electronics and optics all come in. The telegizmo has not been good in my case. It traps moisture rising from the grass.




My CGE PRO + telegizmo is on a tripod over grass. As long as you add a heat source like a light bulb, or heat stick there is zero moisture. I've tested this under the worst conditions: 99% humidity, fog, rain, etc. However, I agree that if you have no heat source you will still get plenty of dew condensing.


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Aquarist
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/27/12

Loc: Illinois
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5758019 - 03/26/13 11:40 AM

Quote:

Not me.

I've thought about it several times. Ultimately I decided that the risk of moisture and or critters eventually borking the electronics and/or corroding the shiny metal bits was too high.

Instead I built a shed and have marked the position points for each mount's tripod's feet on the pavement in front of the shed. I can leave a given mount set up in the shed and deploy it rapidly to its correct orientation with little muss or fuss. Best of all, I know that it remains dry and secure.

Le Shed:



- Jim




Jim,
How is this different than keeping everything set up in an observatory (from a weather protection perspective)?


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: Aquarist]
      #5758136 - 03/26/13 12:36 PM

Sorry

What is a heat stick?


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end
sage


Reged: 08/31/11

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: HowardK]
      #5758317 - 03/26/13 02:08 PM

Quote:

Sorry

What is a heat stick?




Also called a dehumidifying rod. These are simple rod shaped devices that heat up when plugged in. They are frequently used in safes to keep fire arms from corrosion. You can see one here. Generally this is considered a bit safer (with respect to a fire hazard) than simply putting a light bulb under your tarp or cover because it is supposed to have a lower temperature at the source.

The idea is that if the temperature under the tarp/cover is slightly higher than ambient, you won't have condensation. In my case I find that the temperature is about 10F higher than ambient on most nights which is plenty to keep the water away. On the other hand, I'm in Houston so I almost never have to worry about freezing condition which might be an issue for people in colder climates.


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telescopemullet
professor emeritus
****

Reged: 11/16/09

Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: end]
      #5758338 - 03/26/13 02:19 PM

I leave my mount out under a BBQ cover, when it rains a thick plastic garbage bag goes over that for added moisture protection. Under the cover is a 60watt bulb left on 24/7. Works great.

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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: telescopemullet]
      #5759880 - 03/27/13 09:57 AM

Mine has a couple of remote temp/humidity sending units (Oregon Scientific) under the Telegizmo 365. One on the mount and one inside my open tube OTA (capped and dessecant bag). I can monitor it from inside and run a 100 W bulb when humidity gets to high. If it gets too hot I shade the whole thing with some burlap camo.

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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: mich_al]
      #5760473 - 03/27/13 02:33 PM

If you want to ruin your mount and optics, leave them outside PERIOD!
Nothing protects them properly. I have even seen damage in an improperly sealed/maintained observatory.
I have been on the buying end of equipment that was admittedly kept outside but promised to be mint and properly protected..
Both failed in the first 6 mo.
If you see rusted screws, the elements have worked into everything.
I am guilty of leaving mine out for the viewing night but
completely cleaned the next morning.
I see so much stuff, rusty tripod legs, optic coatings failing, ,Seized screws, If you look at a C14 with the edges of the mirror coating bad, guess what ..
I have tried to use various tarps, covers Plastic bags, tied down, tarps put under first, on motorcycles, even one you drove into and zipped up then blew up with a running air pump. NOTHING is like properly stored equipment.
I have a 24yr old Celestron Compustar 14, that is just like brand new both cosmetically and functionally. I have looked closely at over a dozen big scopes the owners kept out for days/weeks/or months at a time.
ALL showed signs of the elements.. even the paint was dulled.
Take care of your investment... little more work but
LOTS more enjoyment, think of a failure at the worst time!
My worst was a Meade 12" LX200 on a 200 mile one way trip,
wasted time, huge dissapointment, $350.00 + Shipping to fix!
(Sorry, I'm off my high horse now)
Larry


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: orion61]
      #5760590 - 03/27/13 03:17 PM

Sorry Larry

I think u are way off here

I have my cge pro with planewave 12.5" and 80mm apo outside ( not on grass) under a telegizmos 365 cover for 3 years...yes there are 4 rusty screw heads on the mount....but everything else is perfect....and i mean perfect.


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end
sage


Reged: 08/31/11

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: HowardK]
      #5760657 - 03/27/13 03:51 PM

Another thing to consider with respect to the "little more work but LOTS more enjoyment" is that with a telegizmos 365 + heating light I can be using a fully aligned scope in 10 minutes of light work (basically just hooking up all my electronics) in contrast to an hour of heavy work to set up + an hour of tear down every night. What this means is that I use my setup far more frequently than if I kept it inside when not in use. Granted a climate controlled observatory would be much better and may prolong the life of my equipment by some small amount, but I (like many others) don't have the $5-$15K necessary to put that together not to mention the space required.

The less than $200 for a high quality cover and a light bulb is a fantastic compromise.


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: end]
      #5760739 - 03/27/13 04:27 PM

I'm not trying to cut down anyone or anything. That was just my experience and observations,
I dont have an Observatory either. my C14 takes me about 20 minutes to set up, and is still mint after 24 yrs, 3 yrs and only 3 rusty bolts.. ok, and I wish you the best.. Nothing is worse or more embarrasing than a failure in public.
But again if you can see Rust.. the Electronics have been exposed to humidity too.
I wish you all the best,and to NOT have my bad luck.


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: Mounts left out in the elements. new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5761162 - 03/27/13 07:53 PM

Jim, what is that blue stuff above your shed? I seem to recall something like it here in Southern Ontario but it's been a while....

Dave


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