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Dew, and leaving mounts outside

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#51 schmeah

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:55 PM

 

 

 

Reading instructions helps, sometimes.

 

 

So does subtlety when it comes to sarcasm. The cover is wide open just beneath the EvaDry unit. But yeah, I get your point professor.

 

Derek


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#52 hottr6

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 08:19 AM

 

 

 

 

Reading instructions helps, sometimes.

 

 

So does subtlety when it comes to sarcasm.

 

 

Which one don't I have enough of?   :lol:



#53 schmeah

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 08:31 AM

:lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

 

 

 

 

Reading instructions helps, sometimes.

 

 

So does subtlety when it comes to sarcasm.

 

 

Which one don't I have enough of?   :lol:

 

 

The one that truly talented and successful people know how to use well.



#54 hottr6

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 09:52 AM

:lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

 

 

 

 

Reading instructions helps, sometimes.

 

 

So does subtlety when it comes to sarcasm.

 

 

Which one don't I have enough of?   :lol:

 

 

The one that truly talented and successful people know how to use well.

Well, I guess you will have to deal instead with brutal honesty.  



#55 schmeah

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 10:26 AM

 

:lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

 

 

 

 

Reading instructions helps, sometimes.

 

 

So does subtlety when it comes to sarcasm.

 

 

Which one don't I have enough of?   :lol:

 

 

The one that truly talented and successful people know how to use well.

Well, I guess you will have to deal instead with brutal honesty.  

 

 

Alas, if I must. I know there are those that are incapable of civility ...those that rely on emoticons to compensate for their inability to abstract and use subtle forms of expression. But seriously, all kidding aside, this is a very useful and helpful thread, and I would hate for it to be moderated because of my idiotic intrusion (self deprecation is a form of humility). So carry on while I clean the pixie dust off of my OTA.


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#56 StarWolf57

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 12:25 PM

Great thread. Thanks hottr6 :waytogo: I've been reluctant to leave my mount outside which makes using the C14 a rare experience. That's silly, it's not like a CGEM DX is such a valuable piece of equipment anyway, but it is a beast to setup and break down every night.  That's been the biggest issue, so I'm going to seriously consider leaving it setup in the yard. The OTA is a bit awkward, but still only a 5 minute job to get mounted and balanced, so not a big deal. Your experiences have been very helpful to read. I'll probably get at least 3-4x more use out of the scope because of it.



#57 hottr6

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 08:06 AM

Great thread. Thanks hottr6 :waytogo: I've been reluctant to leave my mount outside which makes using the C14 a rare experience. That's silly, it's not like a CGEM DX is such a valuable piece of equipment anyway, but it is a beast to setup and break down every night.  That's been the biggest issue, so I'm going to seriously consider leaving it setup in the yard. The OTA is a bit awkward, but still only a 5 minute job to get mounted and balanced, so not a big deal. Your experiences have been very helpful to read. I'll probably get at least 3-4x more use out of the scope because of it.

Are you thinking about leaving the C14 outside as well?  I don't have any experience with that, but some people do leave their OTA and mount outside under cover, so it can be done.

 

I tend to over-engineer and over-think things, so if I was thinking of leaving an OTA outside, I would first experiment with a smaller and, uh, more disposable OTA.  I would consider using desiccant inside the visual back, and if there is room, under the corrector cap.  I would also experiment with a fan under the cover.  And because the C14 is so big, I would also experiment with a couple of EvaDry (or equivalent) units at different elevations under the cover.  With experience, I would gradually remove some of these extra items to eventually settle on a minimalist configuration that keeps the rig dry.  After all, we don't want to spend all our setup/takedown time fiddling with drying do-dads!



#58 StarWolf57

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 09:36 AM

 

Great thread. Thanks hottr6 :waytogo: I've been reluctant to leave my mount outside which makes using the C14 a rare experience. That's silly, it's not like a CGEM DX is such a valuable piece of equipment anyway, but it is a beast to setup and break down every night.  That's been the biggest issue, so I'm going to seriously consider leaving it setup in the yard. The OTA is a bit awkward, but still only a 5 minute job to get mounted and balanced, so not a big deal. Your experiences have been very helpful to read. I'll probably get at least 3-4x more use out of the scope because of it.

Are you thinking about leaving the C14 outside as well?  I don't have any experience with that, but some people do leave their OTA and mount outside under cover, so it can be done.

 

I tend to over-engineer and over-think things, so if I was thinking of leaving an OTA outside, I would first experiment with a smaller and, uh, more disposable OTA.  I would consider using desiccant inside the visual back, and if there is room, under the corrector cap.  I would also experiment with a fan under the cover.  And because the C14 is so big, I would also experiment with a couple of EvaDry (or equivalent) units at different elevations under the cover.  With experience, I would gradually remove some of these extra items to eventually settle on a minimalist configuration that keeps the rig dry.  After all, we don't want to spend all our setup/takedown time fiddling with drying do-dads!

 

 

No, I won't. I was trying to say that in my post, I don't think I could bring myself to leave the OTA outside. Mounting the OTA, even a C14, isn't really the problem and actually works much better in the warmer months anyway. Sitting in an air-conditioned house and waiting until dusk allows it to reach thermal equilibrium much faster (often within 30 minutes which is fantastic for a C14).



#59 nitegeezer

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 05:08 PM

I have an LX200 under a cover which means the OTA stays there.  I do take everything down if I know it won't be used for a while, but I will leave it out for weeks at a time and have never had a problem.  That was a big concern, but so far I have seen no issues.  I do bring my cameras in, but that is just because they are easy and I would rather have a plug in their place.



#60 RobertNash

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 04:36 PM

Great thread. Thanks hottr6 :waytogo: I've been reluctant to leave my mount outside which makes using the C14 a rare experience. That's silly, it's not like a CGEM DX is such a valuable piece of equipment anyway, but it is a beast to setup and break down every night.  That's been the biggest issue, so I'm going to seriously consider leaving it setup in the yard. The OTA is a bit awkward, but still only a 5 minute job to get mounted and balanced, so not a big deal. Your experiences have been very helpful to read. I'll probably get at least 3-4x more use out of the scope because of it.

I've been experimenting a bit myself; I have the same mount CGEM DX and an EdgeHD 11. I too don't think I could leave the OTA outside even under my telegizmo covers but, while I like the DX mount a lot I consider it to be much more "replaceable"! Even so, I probably wouldn't leave the mount outside 24/7365 and will probably continue to bring it in when I know I won't be using it for a while (out of town, weather predicted to be bad, etc).
 

 

I've been using a "small" EveDry and haven't had any real issues but I just ordered two larger units to keep under the cover...Savannah can get pretty darn humid! :)

 



#61 lphilpot

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 12:31 PM

Alas, I use covers only at star parties... I'd LOVE to leave my scope(s) out at home, but it's not worth it: 1) My yard just isn't good for observing in terms of light and horizon, and 2) it would be difficult to find a level enough spot to set up either my GEM or TeleKit. My observing would definitely take an upturn if it were possible to just uncover and go, but it ain't so.

 

At star parties, I use a long, low "coffin cover" made of fabric-backed upholstery vinyl to cover my Dob. I made one myself for my 10" Dob, but the 14.5" TK was a little larger than I cared to sew for. I learned once (the hard way) not to store anything wet, even accidentally. So, I make darn sure the fabric backing is absolutely dry before putting it away.

 

At a moist location like the Deep South Regional Star Gaze (south Louisiana / Mississippi), virtually anything not force-dessicated and hermetically sealed will often end up covered in as much moisture as had it had been left out in the rain, cover or not. But I cover it nonetheless and let it dry out the next day. Such is life.  ;)



#62 William Mc

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 01:20 PM

Living in Florida I'd have to classify this topic as "crazy talk".   Seriously, it isn't going to happen around here unless in a "large" observatory. A small observatory with the wrong materials act not much different than a nylon bag. IE not to good!  My first observatory had a tin roof and every mooring, even without a cloud in the sky, it would rain for a hour in the OB, and all over my Meade starfinder scope.. I learned from this and on the next OB I built I first put a layer of thin plywood, and tar paper over the trusses and under the metal roof. No more ceiling rain!

 

I HATE moisture on my scopes, but also hate dry dust on my optics.  I don't know were to live!


Edited by Wmacky, 23 December 2015 - 01:22 PM.

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#63 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 02:06 PM

NEVER use heaters.  Pics of a scope that was recently brought to me for (hopeful) repair.

 

I was able to salvage the OTA but not much else.

 

 

 

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#64 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 02:22 PM

Up in Alaska I used a waterproof rafting bag and desiccant packs.  OTA's kept in the house.  Worked fine.

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#65 dugpatrick

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 02:35 PM

I tried a 60W bulb under a 365 telegizmos . Not enough for my humidity by far. Tried 100W. Still not enough. Now I cover it up, humidity-tight, and add dehumidifier packages and a humidity measurement device with remote rf display to see if and when the packages need an oven or microwave refreshing. I do this 4 years now. Humidity-tight here meant I had to add a sturdy plastic cover underneath the 365 telegizmos as its seams are not water (let alone vapor) proof. It's an excellent outside cover nonetheless. I'm happy with it.

attachicon.gif20101009-TelescopeCover.jpg

 

I also use the two-layer method, with a dehumidifier next to the mount.  Eva-dry E-500 works for me.  I think having the air sealed is essential, otherwise the dehumidifier can't keep up with the incoming air moisture.

 

Doug



#66 Guest_djhanson_*

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 02:45 PM

NEVER use heaters.  Pics of a scope that was recently brought to me for (hopeful) repair.

 

I was able to salvage the OTA but not much else.

holy crapola!!!  

 

Was this an internal scope heater or an external space heater that caused such damage?  DJ



#67 lphilpot

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 03:00 PM

I HATE moisture on my scopes, but also hate dry dust on my optics.  I don't know were to live!

 

Well, given all the other advantages of low humidity, I'd recommend somewhere in the (south)western US!  :)  Living in Louisiana, my climate isn't all that different from yours and I'd love to "go west, young man"... maybe one of these days...

 

Besides, dry dust can sometimes be blown off optics... dew residue is harder to remove (I know - I have a dew-nasty mirror that needs cleaning right now).



#68 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 04:03 PM

It was a 50w aquarium heater.  It ignited the bag over the scope.

 

 

 

NEVER use heaters.  Pics of a scope that was recently brought to me for (hopeful) repair.

 

I was able to salvage the OTA but not much else.

holy crapola!!!  

 

Was this an internal scope heater or an external space heater that caused such damage?  DJ

 



#69 orion61

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 08:35 PM

I bought a Meade Go-To mount that was advertised as mint condition, When I got it, I had intermittent problems with shut downs, erratic tracking etc. Upon close investigation I saw the contacts had tarnished, and the metal had corroded. I ended up replacing the contacts. Once inside I saw a spider nest and other deterioration. I guess what I am saying is, even tho you can partially protect mounts, If you look at one that is 6 years old having never been left outside and one that has, there is a difference.

I just DON'T do it. Period. I cannot affors to buy new equipment, or send something to anther person that may have issues.

I guess that is why my 1988 Compustar 14 looks like it was rolled out yesterday factory Fresh.


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#70 dmilone

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 12:20 AM

I can't understand how all you people can get away with this. Everything I leave outside, even covered, slowly gets destroyed; BBQ, lawn equipment, lawn furniture. It's very humid down here in Miami. But there are also lots of critters who like to get into everything and make it their home. Spiders, bugs, lizards, geckos would all love to live in, build webs, and poop on my G11. It seems like it would be real convenient to leave it outside, but I'm just afraid it wouldn't last too long out there. The most I'm able to do is leave it in my garage set up on my Jim's Mobile scope buggy. 



#71 Lew Chilton

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 08:55 PM

This is my telescope:
 
http://i.imgur.com/HKRxYGu.jpg
 
The OTA has a mass of 22 kg and the mount a mass of 150 kg.  Obviously, moving it outside and inside again every night would not be possible.  I looked at the various covers on the market for telescopes that are left outside permanently and was not satisfied with any of them.  My wife made a cover out of water-proof canvas that fits over the entire telescope all the way to the concrete base.
 
I never get any moisture on my mount or OTA and my setup shows no ill effects from being outside for several years now.  It could be that my wife made a superior cover that renders the telescope impervious to the elements or it could be because I live in California where the humidity is low and dew is rarely seen.  Even after it rains, if I take the cover off the mount and OTA are bone dry.
 
I was going to purchase an $8,000 Pro-Dome observatory to protect my telescope.  However, it occurred to me that spending a lot of money to build an observatory in a light polluted area did not make much sense and the telescope was just as well protected from moisture under the cover my wife made as it would be in a backyard observatory.


Stephen, is that bird poop on the legs?

#72 Lew Chilton

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 09:04 PM

Up in Alaska I used a waterproof rafting bag and desiccant packs.  OTA's kept in the house.  Worked fine.


Christopher,

When I saw that you're located in Hawaii and then looked at the angle of your polar axis housing, I thought, hmmm, something's fishy in Denmark! I'm glad you mentioned Alaska, but it could as well be Denmark. :>)

Edited by Lew Chilton, 25 December 2015 - 09:05 PM.


#73 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 11:30 PM

 

Up in Alaska I used a waterproof rafting bag and desiccant packs.  OTA's kept in the house.  Worked fine.


Christopher,

When I saw that you're located in Hawaii and then looked at the angle of your polar axis housing, I thought, hmmm, something's fishy in Denmark! I'm glad you mentioned Alaska, but it could as well be Denmark. :>)

 

 

Yes, I lived for 25 years in Alaska before moving to Hawaii.



#74 hottr6

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 05:30 PM

I can't understand how all you people can get away with this. Everything I leave outside, even covered, slowly gets destroyed; BBQ, lawn equipment, lawn furniture. It's very humid down here in Miami. But there are also lots of critters who like to get into everything and make it their home. Spiders, bugs, lizards, geckos would all love to live in, build webs, and poop on my G11. It seems like it would be real convenient to leave it outside, but I'm just afraid it wouldn't last too long out there. The most I'm able to do is leave it in my garage set up on my Jim's Mobile scope buggy. 

My G11 has been outside for 18 months now, and I cannot see or feel any degradation.  Rot happens, but with attentive care, I am sure I will get many more years use out of this arrangement. 

 

I have noticed that if I do not use it for a few weeks, a few strands of arachnid web appear under the cover.  With more regular use, no visible critters care to make a home under the cover.

 

This photo was taken 4 days after a 3' snowfall.  I am still too busy digging out the rest of the property to make this area useful.  :p

IMG_6870.JPG



#75 Stephen Kennedy

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 11:22 PM

IMG_1180.JPG

This is my telescope:
 
http://i.imgur.com/HKRxYGu.jpg
 
The OTA has a mass of 22 kg and the mount a mass of 150 kg.  Obviously, moving it outside and inside again every night would not be possible.  I looked at the various covers on the market for telescopes that are left outside permanently and was not satisfied with any of them.  My wife made a cover out of water-proof canvas that fits over the entire telescope all the way to the concrete base.
 
I never get any moisture on my mount or OTA and my setup shows no ill effects from being outside for several years now.  It could be that my wife made a superior cover that renders the telescope impervious to the elements or it could be because I live in California where the humidity is low and dew is rarely seen.  Even after it rains, if I take the cover off the mount and OTA are bone dry.
 
I was going to purchase an $8,000 Pro-Dome observatory to protect my telescope.  However, it occurred to me that spending a lot of money to build an observatory in a light polluted area did not make much sense and the telescope was just as well protected from moisture under the cover my wife made as it would be in a backyard observatory.


Stephen, is that bird poop on the legs?


No, I just went and looked carefully at the legs and there is nothing at all on them. The cover my wife made completely covers the legs of the mount during the day. I only uncover it at night and except for possibly an owl we have no nocturnal birds around here.

IMG_1180.JPG

I have had it outside continuously for about five years without any sign of damage from the elements now but here in the Sacramento area we have had no snow, almost no rain and practically no dew for the past five years. Plus, it sits on a concrete patio rather than on grass or dirt. In fact it has caused a long but thin crack in the patio which my wife is not very happy about.

I have had two cases of vermin infestations. The first was when every ant in town suddenly decided to crawl into my hand controller. I had to take it apart, spray it with insecticide, clean out all the corpses and put the HC back together again. The other was when a family of black widow spider took up residence in my OTA and when I reached in to see what was on my spider and secondary one bit me which was very painful. Out came the insecticide again, followed by the cleaning out of the dead arachnids.

These problems have really been minor though when compared to the ability to just go outside and observe or image on every clear night.


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