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TEC 200FL #001 Has Arrived

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#351 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 09:01 AM

In the summer, sometimes it's so humid I have to leave my eyepiece cases outside for two hours unopened before I start using them, and it's about 77 F inside.  81 degree dewpoints don't feel so good.  The dome has to cool down also, even with its heavy ventilation. 


Edited by John Fitzgerald, 18 November 2019 - 09:02 AM.


#352 Kent10

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:26 PM

Our 1st storm in a long time is coming tonight.  I will miss the views through my 200.  I could sure use the time to get caught up on work but boy will I miss it for the next 2 or 3 days, perhaps longer.  We are also going away for Thanksgiving so I will have to deal.

 

Today, I debated with leaving the scope out under the cover.  I thought this would be a good chance to see what the covers could do.  The wind is forecast for 20-30 mph winds with higher gusts possible.  I want so badly to see if my setup can withstand this "small" storm.

 

Oh well, I decided I better not take the chance with the scope.  It is irreplaceable not to mention the cost.  But the pier and mount can be replaced if necessary...  I really don't want to, of course.

 

So I took the scope in.  I haven't lifted it for a while and was dreading it but it turned out quite easy.  The harder part is putting it back on.  But I can do it!

 

I think I made the smart move to remove the scope but I sure would like to know what kind of winds it can withstand.  Now I am more seriously considering the permanent pier sooner rather than later.  I have to worry too much about the scope in the wind.  Without the cover it would be fine.  A couple of weeks ago we had very strong gusts and it survived.  But with the cover who knows.  And what if the wind is stronger than forecast.

 

Here is a picture of the mount and pier covered.  I used a cover that I had for my 180 because it is smaller than my custom 200 cover.  I hope it survives.  We could get 8 inches of snow after some good rain.  I will have to do some shoveling, the driveway and my backyard which I always do so I have room to observe.

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#353 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:30 PM

I am glad you did not take a chance.  I think you should go the pier and roll away "doghouse" option, but at least a pier.  That is pretty much a non replaceable scope.


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#354 Kent10

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:32 PM

The last couple of nights, I viewed M36, M37 and M38 for the 1st time this year.  Very nice.  Low still when I was out but they were all beautiful in the 200.

 

And I saw Orion coming up for the 1st time.  Very low but had to have a look.  Very poor seeing but I am excited to see that whole area as it gets higher.  Saw Sigma Orionis and Rigel double too.  Great, despite the seeing.



#355 Kent10

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:36 PM

I am glad you did not take a chance.  I think you should go the pier and roll away "doghouse" option, but at least a pier.  That is pretty much a non replaceable scope.

I am probably being overly cautious but I may never know and that is a good thing.  Thanks again for all your help and warnings about the wind.  I am not sure it would have crossed my mind.  There probably will be times it will get windy when I don't expect it but I will have to be prepared as much as possible.  A lot to worry about.  But it is worth it!  Maybe I can get used to taking the scope down more often.  I have the Christmas tree bag that I haven't used yet.  But I wish I had a case.  I have been busy and haven't explored that any more yet.



#356 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 08:14 PM

Kent,

Years ago I used a Christmas tree bag as a travel case.  I put an egg crate cot mattress in it and bungee tied it around the scope, then zipped it all in.  That was a ten inch Newt.



#357 fate187

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 01:11 AM

When removing the scope from the mount, do you leave the rings/losmandy plate attached to the mount?



#358 Kent10

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 01:27 AM

When removing the scope from the mount, do you leave the rings/losmandy plate attached to the mount?

My scope came with a handle attached to the rings.  So I have been removing and installing with the rings and plate attached to the scope.  It is a little heavier that way.  Once I get the Scope Totes I can leave the rings and plate on the mount.



#359 salico

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 07:03 AM

maybe a silly idea, Kent, but: can't you create a kind of scope dummy to check the wind resistance?



#360 Kent10

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 08:28 AM

maybe a silly idea, Kent, but: can't you create a kind of scope dummy to check the wind resistance?

smile.gif  It did cross my mind.  Some sort of heavy log but would take a lot of thought on how to attach it.  I suppose it could be done.  I haven't put a lot of thought into it and then what would it accomplish.  If it works then I would have more confidence for sure.  If it doesn't then I would know it doesn't but probably my pier and mount would have fallen over with it.



#361 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 08:54 AM

You could simulate the scope with a piece of 6 or8 inch nominal PVC capped at both ends with some rocks inside, but best not to risk the mount, even if it's replaceable.   It's still a significant cost. 


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#362 Kent10

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 04:01 PM

Yes the PVC would probably work if I could find one that fits my rings.  It would be an interesting experiment but I doubt I will do it.  I think I just need to be safe and not take chances.  There will probably be some unpredictable windy days where I will get a taste of what it possible but hopefully I won't make a mistake and leave it up when it gets too windy for the scope.  I also thought about setting it up in wind as I stand there to protect it just to see how it behaves.  I might get a feel for it.  Still risky though.



#363 Kent10

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 04:05 PM

I just got a notice from Yuri that my finder is ready and is shipped.  Yuri had to make a new bracket so the finder would go over the wheel.  I have really missed using a finder.  I have been putting in a 35mm eyepiece instead.  The problem with the finder on the equatorial mount is that it will be changing position a lot and I will have to watch it doesn't hit the pier or my eyepiece trays.  I can rotate the focuser and finder when I want but that is also one more step that takes time away from viewing smile.gif.



#364 fate187

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 01:03 AM

smile.gif  It did cross my mind.  Some sort of heavy log but would take a lot of thought on how to attach it.  I suppose it could be done.  I haven't put a lot of thought into it and then what would it accomplish.  If it works then I would have more confidence for sure.  If it doesn't then I would know it doesn't but probably my pier and mount would have fallen over with it.

Well... You know there are two cool dudes, that I both admire and might have had a similar idea but ended up quite different :D

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#365 Kent10

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 01:06 AM

Those are great pictures.  Thanks.



#366 Kent10

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 06:57 PM

I should be able to do some viewing tonight.  The pier and mount weathered the storm quite well.  The counterweights were the only parts that were dripping wet.  Everything else looked good and dry.  I mounted the scope and I was a little scared which I guess is a good thing... I am being careful.  But it was not bad at all.  It was quite "easy" this time.  I go up and down the ladder very slowly and carefully.  It worked.  Now I need to think about my 1st object tonight.  Probably a double star before it gets dark.  There are still some clouds but I have a strong feeling they will clear.  If not I will find the holes.  I am desperate to see something after a couple of days.


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#367 Odin Exodus

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 12:44 PM

I wonder if it would make sense, with that much snow coming, to place the mount legs on a fixed pedestal? Maybe cinder blocks or sand bags? To prevent it from getting lodged into the mud after the snow begins to melt. Just a thought.



#368 Kent10

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 04:37 PM

Odin, I think you are right.  I noticed the rubber feet already sinking into the ground before the snow fell.  We had some rain a few days before that.  I bought the pucks to keep the feet from sinking into the mud but I took those away last time I set up the mount so I could see if the set up was more stable without the pucks.  I bought some pieces of wood to try.  They are large enough to keep the feet from sinking.  Before I left for Thanksgiving, I took the scope down and had planned on taking the mount down too but I ran short on time and decided to test it in the storm.

 

I came back from Thanksgiving and the 1st thing I did was check to be sure the pier was still standing.  They were forecasting 50 MPH gusts.  I don't know if we had that in my somewhat protected backyard but this is probably as bad as it gets.  Pier still standing.  We got about 2 feet of snow.  When I do have time to take down the pier and mount I will test the wood panels.  This is what I bought.  https://www.michaels...s/10067602.html

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#369 Kent10

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 04:37 PM

I am going out now to shovel my backyard so I have room to view.

 

I started this thread a while ago to show how much snow we once received and how I shoveled the backyard in order to use my scopes.

 

https://www.cloudyni...icated-are-you/


Edited by Kent10, 02 December 2019 - 04:39 PM.


#370 Jeff B

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 10:19 PM

Love it!!

 

We had wind gust over 50 MPH here in SW Ohio as well and everything is still standing and bagged up tight.  

 

Jeff



#371 Kent10

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 05:40 PM

I checked the pier and mount for the 1st time after the storm.  The feet on the pier had sunk into the mud quite significantly.  The pier was no longer balanced.  So I put the round wood pieces I bought under them.  I think these will keep the feet from sinking into the mud to some degree but I could see from pushing on the mount the feet would slide on the wood.  It seemed less stable.  I added the pucks that I had and now it seems better but there is still some instability. 

 

I think as some suggested I might need something else put more firmly into the ground and something that is not slippery for the rubber feet.  When it is less muddy perhaps it will be more stable or maybe larger pieces will do the trick.  Or I can rough up the wood so the feet won't slide so easily.

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#372 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 05:47 PM

Maybe drill some holes in the wood to stick the feet into.



#373 Kent10

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 05:49 PM

Thanks John.  That might work.  The wood is less than an inch thick but I could rough it up and go half way so the feet don't slide.



#374 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 06:50 PM

Kent, I wouldn't rough it up.  Just drill the holes about a half inch deep and put some waterproof finish on it.  Those laminated discs will quickly separate if wet.



#375 Kent10

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 07:28 PM

And they will get wet.  So I will have to look for a better solution.  I also bought the 18" AP plate and will eventually try attaching the scope directly to the mount without the dovetail.  That will help I bet.  I was just out for a bit and the stability was not good with the wood pieces.  Probably no better or worse.  And this is just from lightly focusing so I still wonder if the instability is coming from the mount area.  I'll see if the new plate helps.




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