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Mounting a Pier in the backyard - weather issues

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#1 lrlinnell

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 08:20 PM

I have been wanting to make it a bit easier and less time consuming to set up my equipment in the backyard. My wife nixed the SkyShed Pod since it would take up most of the back yard (city life) so I am considering mounting a pier and mount and just carrying out the scope and electronics. My concern is not wanting to damage my mount in the rain/heat/snow/etc. Does any one have any experience with these issues? I can cover the pier/mount with plastic and canvas, etc but dont know about humidity/moisture getting in, bugs, and the heat of the sun beating down on it all day.

 

Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks, Lloyd Linnell



#2 OldManSky

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 08:38 PM

I've had my CEM25P mount outside on a pier (no shed or anything) under a Telegizmos cover for about 7 months now.  Weather has ranged from pouring rain for days to humid foggy nights to 105F dry days and everything in between.

I keep a de-humidifier under the cover with it, and have the bottom cinched tightly to the concrete-block pier.

No ill effects of any kind.  Other than having to brush away the occasional spider web, it's clean and shows no rust and operates the same every night.

 

It's a big time-saver.  I just bring out the scope and slip it into the dovetail.  It's already polar-aligned really well, and has held that all this time.  

 

This is the de-humidifier I used:

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

It shows when it's soaked up all it can by changing color, and you can bring it into the house and plug it in to recharge. :)


Edited by OldManSky, 24 August 2019 - 08:42 PM.

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#3 MalVeauX

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 08:41 PM

Hi Lloyd,

 

Telegizmos 365 (TG365) covers will handle this. Setup your pier. Setup your mount. Throw a TG365 over it and you're done. TG365 handles the nasty UV/IR from the sun no problem and is essentially weather proof. They're used in rain/snow alike. They're basically observatory-bags. If you live in a particularly nasty environment full of bats, bugs, etc, you can cinch it shut and if you do that, I suggest you put a heater in there (such as a Golden Rod) that heats just above ambient temp. If you do not need to cinch it shut, then you don't need the heater.

 

Go for it! Pier + Cover is the 2nd best thing I ever did for this hobby. I did that for a while, went through hurricanes even. I later build an observatory around it, just to have storage space for lots of scopes, but the pier + cover is still what's inside the observatory.

 

29613407144_1644c9fc83_c.jpg

 

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32615865562_27c8a96d39_c.jpg

 

32999055114_c76596064d_c.jpg

 

33158276005_63795837e7_c.jpg

 

Very best,


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#4 lrlinnell

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 08:57 PM

Thank you both! That was very helpful. I start digging at first light smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif


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#5 dandra

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:00 PM

My CEM-60 has been outside, under a Telegizmo 365, for several months with no ill effects. I sometimes leave the scope mounted for a few weeks if the weather is not too extreme (by Oklahoma standards). The Telegizmo cover has been one of my better investments!


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#6 bridgman

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:36 PM

The most important thing in my limited experience is to make sure the cover does not come anywhere near the ground. You get a surprising amount of moisture coming up from anything except concrete/asphalt.

 

I don't have enough experience with humidity control to comment intelligently, but the recommendations above (some kind of heater/bulb/dehumidifier if you close up the cover) sounds right.



#7 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 12:18 AM

Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

 
My insight is that you'll get better answers in an imaging forum (versus the "Beginners Forum (No astrophotography here - please read the forum description)" Forum. So, moving it to B&II.
 
More seriously: Lloyd, you're always welcome to swing by and check out my setup. The pier made a huge improvement to my AP life. Not only is it more solid, it is so much faster to setup - even when I have to attach the mount. Seriously - bolt it on, balance and go. With my current 4-bolt attachment system on the MyT, there's no alignment; no nothing. Imaging in minutes.
 
I also use a Telegizmos cover and have found that no moisture control is necessary here on the edge of "The Great American Desert". I do bring the gear in when I'm out of town or the weather promises to be bad for a while, but it often stays out for extended periods summer & winter with no trouble. It even rode out this week's "sideways hail" storm (If I had planned better, I wouldn't have left the gear outside, but it did fine). Like Jetsfan122 (below), I also use a light plastic bag between the scope and the 365 cover to protect the cover's metallic interior against sharp edges. Another thing: Bob Pitney at Telegizmos can make you a custom cover that will be the exact length, height, width and top angle that you want for your rig. It costs a little more than off-the-shelf, but isn't too bad for precisely what you want.

 

Below are some pictures during various times over the past few years. Payloads and backyard clutter may come & go but the pier remains. So, get diggin! But be careful, it's hot out there. Of course, it's a "dry heat"....

 

 
7266.T365.JPG ks_MyT.jpg
DSC_3515.JPG DSC_1388.JPG


Edited by Ken Sturrock, 25 August 2019 - 12:35 PM.
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#8 OrionSword

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:34 AM

Hi Lloyd, 

 

I kept my mount outside for a couple years, covered over with a tarp in Aurora CO.  Later built a Explora Dome observatory to house it all,  especially like shooting though the slit to keep out stray light.  Operate it all from inside the walk out basement.



#9 jetsfan122

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 08:20 AM

I’ve kept my CPC 800 set up  outside for 10 years under my Telegizmos 365 cover with no issues. I use extra protection as well: I first place one of those large plastic contractor bags directly on the scope, then goes a large smoker cover and then my Telegizmos 365 cover and secure it with bungee cords. I then wrap my tripod with a tarp and secure that with bungee cords as well. It’s been exposed to extreme heat and cold here on Long Island with no issues. I recommend not placing any Telegizmos cover directly on any scope as any sharp edges, ie a diagonal can scratch or tear the interior lining.


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#10 MalVeauX

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 08:21 AM

Pro tip: do not put a towel or fabric that absorbs moisture on the gear under the TG365. Only use materials that do not absorb moisture. waytogo.gif

 

Very best,


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#11 sbradley07

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:47 AM

I'm kind of a "belt and suspenders" guy, so I use a Telegizmo cover AND put it all under a 6'x6' ShelterLogic shed.  My wife wouldn't go for a permanent structure either, so I built it all to be removable.  This set up allows me to keep everything set up, including the imaging computers and all the wiring.  I also have a temp/humidity sensor on the scope and some smart plugs to remotely control a 100-watt bulb and small fan.  To image, I unclip two corners of the shed, flip it back on it's side, remove the Telegizmo, and I'm off and running.  

 

Obs-closed.jpg

 

ObsOpen.jpg


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#12 APshooter

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 12:12 PM

 

Pro tip: do not put a towel or fabric that absorbs moisture on the gear under the TG365. Only use materials that do not absorb moisture.

Interesting.  My first Telegizmos 365 became damaged with holes in it after 2 seasons.  After getting under it in the daylight and looking upwards, I found that the sharp edges of the MYT mount had 'cut' holes where the Versaplate rubbed on the very top inside of the cover.  Also, with the winter storms we had here, the inside silver lining became abraded where it rubbed against a small wooden folding table on the side of the pier.  Placing a folded soft bath towel atop the mount stopped the wear damage.  I also removed the table from the side of the pier and made it slip on/slip off.  That stopped the damage to the inner foil liner.  Two years into the second cover and no holes!


Edited by APshooter, 26 August 2019 - 12:13 PM.


#13 kisstek

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 10:48 AM

I'm kind of a "belt and suspenders" guy, so I use a Telegizmo cover AND put it all under a 6'x6' ShelterLogic shed.  My wife wouldn't go for a permanent structure either, so I built it all to be removable.  This set up allows me to keep everything set up, including the imaging computers and all the wiring.  I also have a temp/humidity sensor on the scope and some smart plugs to remotely control a 100-watt bulb and small fan.  To image, I unclip two corners of the shed, flip it back on it's side, remove the Telegizmo, and I'm off and running.  

 

I was thinking of something similar. Which model of shed did you use? What did you use for a "hinge" to attach it to the ground? Seems like a metal shed would make a lot of noise when you tilt it back. Probably only a concern for us city dwellers.



#14 sbradley07

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 11:09 AM

I was thinking of something similar. Which model of shed did you use? What did you use for a "hinge" to attach it to the ground? Seems like a metal shed would make a lot of noise when you tilt it back. Probably only a concern for us city dwellers.

The material is heavy duty polyethylene, not metal, though the frame is metal.  It's the ShelterLogic 6x6 model.  Pretty inexpensive, and very light weight, so it's easy to tilt it back.  It comes with ground augers, and the back two corners of the shed are strapped to the augers, which act as a "hinge" when tipping it back; I have quick-release clips on the two front corners.

 

Edit:  sorry, that link just takes you to the cover.  Here it is on amazon: https://www.amazon.c...x/dp/B07JC7JGL3


Edited by sbradley07, 27 August 2019 - 11:11 AM.



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