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Dew, and leaving mounts outside

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#76 Lew Chilton

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 12:24 AM

Living where I do in an apartment complex, if I left my scope out all night, it would be gone in the morning.
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#77 highertheflyer

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 10:18 PM

Although I've no observatory but if one would be constructed nearby the house, I would consider a small under ground pipe to transport house airconditioned heat/cooling into the interior of the observatory, or into the underside of the TG360 covering.

A small blower to push house air into the confines of the telescope should do the trick.

Jim



#78 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 10:37 PM

Although I've no observatory but if one would be constructed nearby the house, I would consider a small under ground pipe to transport house airconditioned heat/cooling into the interior of the observatory, or into the underside of the TG360 covering.

A small blower to push house air into the confines of the telescope should do the trick.

Jim

 

It would have to be heavily-insulated, larger diameter and be capable of moving a lot of air to do any good.



#79 hottr6

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 11:56 AM

Thought I would do an 18-month update on my experiment.

 

Contrary to how I started this experiment whereby I left the TG365 cover "open" at the bottom, I started tying the bottom of the cover.  The Eva-Dry unit that I keep with the mount under the cover now lasts a LOT longer before needing to recharge it.  I have recharged the unit only 2x this year.  I have never seen any moisture under the cover, and the hygrometer under the cover always registers lower % humidity than the outside air, day and night.

 

Recall that I do live in the desert, but I live in a pinon-juniper forest so that outdoor humidity is very high (80-90%) prior to sunup.  Under the cover, humidity has never climbed above 55% except one time when the Eva-Dry unit was saturated.  No sign of corrosion anywhere on the G11.


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#80 nxda

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 06:21 PM

Thanks for the update!



#81 AntMan1

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 10:18 PM

Thought I would do an 18-month update on my experiment.

 

Contrary to how I started this experiment whereby I left the TG365 cover "open" at the bottom, I started tying the bottom of the cover.  The Eva-Dry unit that I keep with the mount under the cover now lasts a LOT longer before needing to recharge it.  I have recharged the unit only 2x this year.  I have never seen any moisture under the cover, and the hygrometer under the cover always registers lower % humidity than the outside air, day and night.

 

Recall that I do live in the desert, but I live in a pinon-juniper forest so that outdoor humidity is very high (80-90%) prior to sunup.  Under the cover, humidity has never climbed above 55% except one time when the Eva-Dry unit was saturated.  No sign of corrosion anywhere on the G11.

Lots of good information here...Would love an update over a year later. Also wondering on breathable vs non-breathable waterproof canvas material as a cover. Sealed showed better results for you so i would take it non-breathable would work better. 


Edited by AntMan1, 25 May 2017 - 10:19 PM.


#82 Matt Harmston

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:20 PM

Are there any additional updates? I'm considering this very solution right now.

 

Thanks!



#83 ScottAz

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 12:37 PM

Terrific thread here. Glad I found so much useful information! Thanks!



#84 semiosteve

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 11:35 AM

My plan is to keep my mounts outside during observing season (April to October) and inside through the dreadful winter months - at least until a get with Scott Horstman to build me another Backyard Observatory ROR.

 

Dave Krieg recommended using a low watt light bulb under the mirror box for his Obsession scopes.

 

I wonder if, instead of a dessicant, it might be viable to use a low watt light bulb near the bottom opening of a tarp or telegizmo cover to raise the interior temp just enough to keep mounts dry?



#85 AlanSheppard

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:12 AM

My plan is to keep my mounts outside during observing season (April to October) and inside through the dreadful winter months - at least until a get with Scott Horstman to build me another Backyard Observatory ROR.

 

Dave Krieg recommended using a low watt light bulb under the mirror box for his Obsession scopes.

 

I wonder if, instead of a dessicant, it might be viable to use a low watt light bulb near the bottom opening of a tarp or telegizmo cover to raise the interior temp just enough to keep mounts dry?

I am jumping in late, but I am using a breathable and waterproof fabric "sunbrella - tradename". I leave my mount and scope out and only take it in in sever weather with this material (wrapped securely). There are many sellers of this type of fabric if you do a search. Just get one with a good denier count, not a cheap one.

 

I also have a Motorcycle cover made of the same material and it works.

 

Last year I was using a dew strap under the cover and wraped around the mount head just to be safe, but it is not needed at all. I was just a bit sceptical. This year my cover still has not had one leak with all the rain I get along the coast! The scope and mount remain dry.

 

Alan


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#86 KJL

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:21 AM

I am jumping in late, but I am using a breathable and waterproof fabric "sunbrella - tradename". I leave my mount and scope out and only take it in in sever weather with this material (wrapped securely). There are many sellers of this type of fabric if you do a search. Just get one with a good denier count, not a cheap one.

 

I also have a Motorcycle cover made of the same material and it works.

 

Last year I was using a dew strap under the cover and wraped around the mount head just to be safe, but it is not needed at all. I was just a bit sceptical. This year my cover still has not had one leak with all the rain I get along the coast! The scope and mount remain dry.

Fascinating. But unless I’m greatly mistaken none of Sunbrella’s fabrics are waterproof?

 

Then again based on your experience maybe that level of water repellancy is all you need, maybe with periodic refreshing of the water repellent layer.

 

If I could find a tough cover made from eVent I’d be golden, but even there I wonder if it wouldn’t be breathable enough.



#87 AlanSheppard

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:35 AM

Fascinating. But unless I’m greatly mistaken none of Sunbrella’s fabrics are waterproof?

 

Then again based on your experience maybe that level of water repellancy is all you need, maybe with periodic refreshing of the water repellent layer.

 

If I could find a tough cover made from eVent I’d be golden, but even there I wonder if it wouldn’t be breathable enough.

 

Mine was waterproof or I would not even tried it. I did pour water on it before first use last season while it was laying on my back deck. It performed what it said on the box. It was for an outdoor patio chair.

 

The motorcycle cover works great as well and used both last year, this year, just the Sunbrella.

 

Alan



#88 AlanSheppard

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 10:15 AM

If I could find a tough cover made from eVent I’d be golden, but even there I wonder if it wouldn’t be breathable enough.

Not heard of eVent, but I did contact one of the Astro companies that sell the waterproof and breathable covers. I had asked them if they sell just their material and the answer was yes. It was approximately $8 USD per yard. I will try and find my emails/notes.

 

I will send you a photo of my cover as it sits today, on my scope and coverd if you like.

 

Alan



#89 happylimpet

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 10:36 AM

Hi all

 

Alan - intrigued to hear your mention of a bike cover!

 

I just bought one of these (a 'trike' cover)

 

https://www.ebay.co....NoAAOSw-wJZ-c-u

 

and after 2 days of fine weather no complaints! Of course with winter coming Im a little more concerned, but hopeful.

 

I was wondering what sort of bike cover you had.

 

I also plan on using some kind of low powered heater to keep the mount dry in particular....not sure what yet.



#90 AlanSheppard

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 12:05 PM

Hi all

 

Alan - intrigued to hear your mention of a bike cover!

 

I just bought one of these (a 'trike' cover)

 

https://www.ebay.co....NoAAOSw-wJZ-c-u

 

and after 2 days of fine weather no complaints! Of course with winter coming Im a little more concerned, but hopeful.

 

I was wondering what sort of bike cover you had.

 

I also plan on using some kind of low powered heater to keep the mount dry in particular....not sure what yet.

As I mentioned, last year I left one of my larger dew straps in the mix around the body of my mount and that did well, but I found this year that it was not needed unless you wanted to be extremely cautious. I would be concerned about your MC cover as it does not seem to be breathable. If so you are capturing a lot of moisture that you definitely don’t want.


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#91 happylimpet

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:34 AM

As I mentioned, last year I left one of my larger dew straps in the mix around the body of my mount and that did well, but I found this year that it was not needed unless you wanted to be extremely cautious. I would be concerned about your MC cover as it does not seem to be breathable. If so you are capturing a lot of moisture that you definitely don’t want.

It's not breathable but its also not sealed around the base and has vent-mesh-holes(with covers) on the sides, so PLENTY of air flow.

 

Useful to know about the dew straps. I think some kind of low power heater would be good to keep the mount dry. Its the expensive bit!



#92 AlanSheppard

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:28 PM

It's not breathable but its also not sealed around the base and has vent-mesh-holes(with covers) on the sides, so PLENTY of air flow.

 

Useful to know about the dew straps. I think some kind of low power heater would be good to keep the mount dry. Its the expensive bit!

I wonder how much my dew strap cost using it? I don't even want to try and calculate it.

 

Although I did have an MC up until 3 years ago, I never used a cover as it was parked inside. I had a friend that had a spare cover and gave it to me after I made sure that it was breathable and waterproof. At the early stages of using this one and the Sunbrella at times I had them both covering the scope just to be sure the more I used them with the dew heater the more I relaized that water, even if it pools, does not enter at all. Then I started to use just the short Sunbrella which you can see in my photo attached. If the weather is going to be a little worse I may put on the larger MC cover. Otherwise I just leave it out there and all I have to do is deal with a few spiders that like the dryness I guess.

 

For everyone I found my email with the merchant that sells the proper material that I mentioned above. Here it is;

 

June 20, 2018

Hi Alan,

The material is nominally 60" wide and is $7 a running yard.

Randy Cunningham
Astrosystems

https://www.astrosystems.biz

 

Alan

 

 

Scope & Cover.JPG



#93 AlanSheppard

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:10 PM

Fascinating. But unless I’m greatly mistaken none of Sunbrella’s fabrics are waterproof?

 

Then again based on your experience maybe that level of water repellancy is all you need, maybe with periodic refreshing of the water repellent layer.

 

If I could find a tough cover made from eVent I’d be golden, but even there I

 

 

KJL, my wife just found the box and my cherished cover is not Sunbrella, but a company called BUDGE. 2 year guarantee. UV stable, 100% waterproof and breathable fabric prevents mold an mildew (meaning dry).

 

my apologies! :) 


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#94 AlanSheppard

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:25 PM

It's not breathable but its also not sealed around the base and has vent-mesh-holes(with covers) on the sides, so PLENTY of air flow.

 

Useful to know about the dew straps. I think some kind of low power heater would be good to keep the mount dry. Its the expensive bit!

From 2005 up until 2017 I had a homemade cover for my fork mounted 11” Celestron. It was like half of a cigar tube and made from pieces of reflectix a combination of bubble wrap with aluminum coating and covers the scope in almost any weather, even Wintertime here in Canada.

 

You measured what you needed to cover the scope and the taped it together with 2” aluminum tape. This was approximately two feet in circumference or maybe more, but I never seemed to have a problem with moisture. I did tie it down when finished, but it always had much of the two feet wide gap at the bottom left open.

 

I never thought of a moisture issue. What must have been happening is the air would pass by the bottom  it would create a small vacuum thus interacting with the inside air and not leaving it to stagnate. We always seem to have wind.

 

if anyone wants a photo of that please let me know.

 

Alan



#95 archer1960

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 07:44 PM

I monitor the under cover humidity remotely (Oregon Scientific BAR388HGA and THGR122Nx). If you're gonna cover it then you have to actively monitor what's going on. I also have a good desiccant under there.  If it's gonna be wet I turn on a protected 100w light bulb till the humidity drops.  Allow air to flow thru the 365 cover. I don't cinch the bottom unless its raining/windy.  Remove the cover to air out when appropriate.  I never have yet but for a hurricane/extreme rain I might use a waterproof bag underneath while the storm is raging.  Others have reported leaks under extreme conditions in 3+ years I've never had a leak.

I think a lot of these issues are due to using a pier and closing the bottom of the cover up. Mine has been on a tripod outside for nearly a year in southern New England (dew capital of the world!) and I've never had any on the scope or anything else above the bottom of the cover. However, that may be due to the wide-open bottom allowing air to circulate. I may still put a light bulb under the cover, on top of the eyepiece tray, just to mitigate temperature swings this winter, but had no trouble last winter...



#96 AlanSheppard

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 05:08 AM

I think a lot of these issues are due to using a pier and closing the bottom of the cover up. Mine has been on a tripod outside for nearly a year in southern New England (dew capital of the world!) and I've never had any on the scope or anything else above the bottom of the cover. However, that may be due to the wide-open bottom allowing air to circulate. I may still put a light bulb under the cover, on top of the eyepiece tray, just to mitigate temperature swings this winter, but had no trouble last winter...

I have a pier as in the above photo and wrap bungee chords around the short or longer MC cover and don't get any moisture settling at all.

 

If I take the mount off the pier and store it in the house, as I do whenever sever weather conditions are near, like the recent Dorian hurricane but I still cover the pier with my cover. There is the peg on my adapter plate that sticks up for the North setting and I don't want this peg to tear my cover.

 

I place an old non-breathable carry bag over my exposed pier adapter to protect my cover from the peg and wrap it up with a few bungee chords. Once the weather subsides and I take the cover off and everything is damp under the thick bag on top including the aluminum adapter that it covers and the top part of my steel pier. All other areas, including the outside of the bag are dry.

 

There is the proof that the cover does what it is supposed to do, to keep water out and breathe!

 

In retrospect I don't really need to cover my pier when just about nothing is on it, but this does show me that the cover is doing its job, otherwise I would be more skeptical.

 

Alan


Edited by AlanSheppard, 19 September 2019 - 05:09 AM.



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