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Weatherproof (no domes or covers) scope and mount?

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#1 Thunderknight

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 06:13 AM

Has anyone ever built, or seen a commercial product, weatherproof scope and (motorized) mount? I mean leave it outside, rain or shine, without a dome/ROR or any soft coverings?

 

It looks like the Harvard-Smithsonian Center's MicroObservatory Robotic Telescopes do that. But they appear to have been custom designed about 20+ years ago. I have not found any really detailed construction information on them...or how much they cost to build. It seems like a cool concept...no need to "baby sit" it all night or automate a weather sensing and closing system. And without a structure, the footprint is much smaller.

 

https://pweb.cfa.har...lescope-network

 

https://mo-www.cfa.h...croObservatory/

 

The most detailed description I found: https://www.research...lication_detail

 

 



#2 Dick Jacobson

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 07:10 AM

I use mostly aluminum and stainless steel for building my scopes. This makes the mechanical structure pretty much immune to the weather.



#3 TOMDEY

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 07:17 AM

Well, closely-related are these. My home-made "Roof-Cam" is completely weather-proof. The robotic cap is just to keep birds off and the sun out. The other one is my Zeiss 10x50 WX Astronomical Binoclar, which is certified to 15 meters submersed underwater for ten minutes. So it indeed can be done, just takes a lota extra effort and $$$.    Tom

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#4 TOMDEY

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 07:18 AM

and the truly waterproof bino.    Tom

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#5 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 07:33 AM

And without a structure, the footprint is much smaller.

 

 

I didn't see any mention of the aperture.  It looks to me like a 4 inch or maybe a 5 inch.  Looks quite massive for such a small scope.

 

I don't know how they deal with rain, snow and dust.  For me, the main reason I cover my scopes is the dust, it gets in everything and it wouldn't be long before the optics would be covered if they were no covered. 

 

Jon



#6 alphatripleplus

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 07:55 AM

There have been occasional stories about this Astro-Physics 3600GTO mount in Antarctica. Looks like it operates under extreme conditions, with no protection (I think).


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#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 08:00 AM

Edit:

 

Looks like Errol beat me to it. Great minds think alike or something.  :)

 

I will say this thread reminded me of a photo:

 

3600-instr-antarctica.jpg

 

"The very first 3600GTO was installed at Dome C at Concordia Station in Antarctica in the Fall of 2007. It was designed to carry a large telescope that will be used for scientific studies by the Laboratoire Universitaire d'Astrophysique de Nice (LUAN). As you can imagine, the Antarctic is the most severe environment on the planet. Maintainance is extremely difficult due to the extreme low temperatures and dangerous wind conditions that prevent technicians from working outdoors. The mount must be a reliable performer and function flawlessly 24 hours per day for the entire polar night lasting 6 months. On July 5, 2010, we received this e-mail: "New record of temperature in Dome C -84.6 degrees C. Big One is still tracking with 150 kg scope on it". That's equivalent to -120.4 degrees F."

 

https://astro-physic...ipph/antarctica

 

Not much dust though.  smile.gif

 

Jon


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#8 alphatripleplus

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 11:02 AM

Yeah, after I saw the 3600GTO in Antarctica, I figured that I really need not worry about keeping my Mach 1 outside. (However, I can't do so under the HOA covenants - no big deal as I roll it out on a ScopeBuggy).


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#9 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 23 June 2021 - 11:31 AM

Yeah, after I saw the 3600GTO in Antarctica, I figured that I really need not worry about keeping my Mach 1 outside. (However, I can't do so under the HOA covenants - no big deal as I roll it out on a ScopeBuggy).

 

That is an impressive photo.  I like the fact that they have to run for at least 6 months unattended because the weather is so bad no one can go outside to work on it.

 

 Imagine a Celestron or Meade mount going 6 months unattended. Image a Celestron or Meade mount going a single day unattended....

 

Jon


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