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Telescope cover for inside observatory

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18 replies to this topic

#1 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 11:31 AM

Which is best?

1. A water resistant (sprayed with waterproofer) cover that breathes a bit


2. A cloth non-waterproof cover acting as simply a dust cover, like a sheet, or lightweight blanket


3.  A plastic or non breathable cover like the telegizmos cover, or mylar cover


Leave open at the bottom, or seal up with a drawstring to the pier?

Edited by John Fitzgerald, 24 April 2019 - 11:32 AM.

#2 TikiTom


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Posted 24 April 2019 - 11:42 AM

just my opinion: 

no matter what type of cover, place an incandescent light bulb up underneath for a bit of heat to help get rid of any humidity that may develop under the cover....

Edited by TikiTom, 24 April 2019 - 11:43 AM.

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#3 VinceV



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Posted 24 April 2019 - 11:47 AM

John, I use a white sheet. This will protect the scope from any dust or pollen that may stray into the (8' Exploradome) dome. About once a year I'll run it through the washer/dryer to clean. In a few rare occasions (a nor'easter winter storm or a tropical depression), I've draped a large plastic leaf bag over the sheet, just in case water was to penetrate through the main shutter - but it hasn't happened.

Whenever you remove or cover your scope, you'll want to do so slowly so your finder scope (or anything else) doesn't shift.

#4 GraySkies


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Posted 24 April 2019 - 11:57 AM

Why not place a large tarp over the entire observatory?

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#5 fullotto


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Posted 24 April 2019 - 11:58 AM

hi, i have a white heavy duty Astro systems cover for my 12in fork sct in my obs. they also( like i did ) had mine made to order.


tho one they had for a 12in was too long imo so i had it cut shorter. i wanted it to breathe better.


but the whole reason for the cover to begin with was to avoid insects from it.


my obs. is a roll-off roof type which is not sealed

Edited by fullotto, 24 April 2019 - 12:00 PM.

#6 StephenW


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Posted 24 April 2019 - 12:10 PM

I just use an old sheet to prevent dust settling on the equipment. It hangs loosley over everything leaving plenty of room underneeth for air circulation.

Other than having to remove the occasional spider web :), this has worked well for me.

#7 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 12:24 PM

Why not place a large tarp over the entire observatory?

Because my Exploradome has never leaked in nine plus years.  I have  had a little condensation on the inner surface of the dome (not on the scope/mount) a few times.  I keep a 40W bulb going under the cover (Astrosystems fabric, custom sewn, open at bottom) except when it's hot out.


I am getting a feel for what others use.

Edited by John Fitzgerald, 24 April 2019 - 01:12 PM.

#8 Ishtim



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Posted 24 April 2019 - 12:27 PM

No matter what you use to cover your rig (even uncovered), you need to beware of condensation, especially for us in the humid south when we have quick warm-ups. 

#9 Che


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Posted 24 April 2019 - 01:30 PM

I use a high quality bar-be-que cover on mine, in a rolloff roof obs. Not the cheap thin vinyl ones, but a nice cordura(?) nylon type.  It has a drawstring on the bottom(that I dont cinch up) and a mesh window in one area for ventilation to help with condensation, although where I live condensation is not a problem.  It fits my setup very nicely.

Edited by Che, 24 April 2019 - 01:31 PM.

#10 PastorBillV


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Posted 24 April 2019 - 05:57 PM



See that thread (still on the front page of Observatories) and talk to him.  He used a high tech (military, I think) cover and in one of the replies there's information on how to get one.    Sorry, I read it for interest, so not in detail!

Good luck!

#11 Peterson Engineering

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:30 AM

Hello John,


For many years I've been using a very large heavy duty clear plastic bag the drapes down over the vertically parked scope and is open at the bottom.  Protects against dust and wind blown moisture.  Plenty of air circulation.  Actually considered adding these to the product line as they're dirt cheap and last forever.


The plastic bag approach is only good for scopes housed within an observatory, but it excels in this application.



#12 Allan Wade

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 03:13 AM

I use an astrosystems cover for my 32" inside the ROR obs. I treat it as an extra layer of dust prevention. Once I'm at my astro property observing for the week I leave it off each night in case of any moisture on the scope and just roll the roof back. Once I'm finished observing for the week I put the cover back on until next month.

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#13 Special Ed

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 09:34 AM

My ROR observatory is not completely sealed up so to keep dust, wind driven precip, and bird poop off the scopes I have covers on everything. 


I use an all weather motorcycle cover on the C14.  It works well for me because I park my scope in a horizontal position with the tube perpendicular to the counterweight bar.  This approximates a motorcycle's shape with the tube as handlebars and the mount/counterweight bar as the body.  The cover is shaped to fit a motorcycle.


For the 10" Starfinder on a GEM mount I use a Telegizmos cover--just the regular, not the 365.  I also have a Telegizmos cover on the ST 120 and the PST.  I got these covers from Astronomics.


All the covers are open at the bottom.  If I am observing on consecutive days I usually keep the covers off.  I never cover the scopes unless they are completely dry.

#14 kathyastro


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Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:21 PM

I use a simple plastic tarp draped over the parked scope.  I used a couple of cable ties to "stitch" the sides together, so it slips over the rig easily and quickly.  I loosely gather the bottom corners with a bungee, but I do not close off the bottom completely, in order to avoid condensation.


My main in-dome hazard is blowing snow in winter, which can infiltrate through gaps around the shutter and the dome skirt.  The situation improved considerably after I weather-stripped the shutter edges.

#15 mclewis1


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Posted 26 April 2019 - 06:45 PM

Old worn cotton sheet. My POD is very dry so I've had no need for secondary moisture protection, just a dust cover. The sheet has also worked well to keep the small spiders from adding webs to everything (amazing how many little lines show up after only a day or two).

#16 Alex McConahay

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 08:32 AM

My desert observatory has little condensation problem. I just have two trash bags I pull over the tube/camera, and a big soft cotton cloth bag over the whole thing.



#17 Night shift

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 08:45 AM

I bought a large laundry bag works perfect and has a little rope to close it up tightly around pier. 

A 5 $ Walmart special. 

#18 gotak


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Posted 27 April 2019 - 04:34 PM

Like so..






+ This:




+ This:




And a remote temp/humidity sensor inside the bag.


Humidity for a week and a few days now been so low there's no reading for humidity.


I also hang a bug strip that emits a nerve gas to take out all the small critters. Since it's in the bag not worried about off gassing and the optics.

Edited by gotak, 27 April 2019 - 04:35 PM.

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#19 DuncanM



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Posted 29 April 2019 - 01:11 AM

I use "space blanket" sleeping bags inside my RoR. They are huge and will cover my CEM120 and a 10in SCT, all the way down to the base of the pier.



Edited by DuncanM, 29 April 2019 - 01:17 AM.

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