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Summer in Arizona

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#1 Sky King

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 05:20 PM

With heat last summer that hit around 118F, and nights that didn't cool off, I just quit for months trying to image, even though I have ASIAIR Plus and imaged from inside! Setups/bringing in and polar adjustments in the backyard were like going into a blast furnace and then there was concern for my gear melting. (We really can fry an egg on the sidewalk.)

 

But I have withdrawal when I can't look up. I was sure I'd have a soluton figured out before it got hot again but it's over 100F already. A lot of summer nights are very clear and I really hate to waste a clear night. Thanks to my bortle 8/9, without stacking I don't see much. 

 

So far I thought about putting together a cheap imaging package and just leaving it outside, covered during the day. Maybe my Celestron C4, a 6/8 Nexstar mount and a tripod. Then just take out the camera when it's dusk.

 

Or mounting an All Sky camera lens with the ASI244MC or ASI678MC and let it run doing some time lapse images. Been wanting to do this anyway.

 

Another idea was getting an all in one like a Seestar.

 

Leaving for the summer or visiting dark sites are always good until I return. What do you do for the summer to beat the heat?

 

 

rosette_.jpg


Edited by Sky King, 20 May 2024 - 10:46 PM.

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#2 KTAZ

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 05:49 PM

I don't tend to let the heat get to me. After dark the temps are managable with shorts and a t-shirt.

 

I am not afraid to leave my mount outside during summer temps under my 365 cover. Electronics boards are highly resistant to heat and can certainly handle 120 degrees. The scope I take back inside during the day, primarily due to concerns over expansion/contraction of glass and possible effects on lubricants. Sure, the lubricants used on focusers and baffle tubes should be of a high temp variety, but who knows with many high production scopes.

 

I also tend to break down the mount and bring it in during the monsoon months simply to ensure that the cover doesn't get blown off and expose the mount to rain.


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#3 Sky King

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 06:25 PM

I don't tend to let the heat get to me. After dark the temps are managable with shorts and a t-shirt.

 

I am not afraid to leave my mount outside during summer temps under my 365 cover. Electronics boards are highly resistant to heat and can certainly handle 120 degrees. The scope I take back inside during the day, primarily due to concerns over expansion/contraction of glass and possible effects on lubricants. Sure, the lubricants used on focusers and baffle tubes should be of a high temp variety, but who knows with many high production scopes.

 

I also tend to break down the mount and bring it in during the monsoon months simply to ensure that the cover doesn't get blown off and expose the mount to rain.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm sure where there's a will, there's a way. Maybe a reduced three day/week schedule might work.


Edited by Sky King, 20 May 2024 - 06:25 PM.


#4 ngatel

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 11:46 PM

I don't tend to let the heat get to me. After dark the temps are managable with shorts and a t-shirt.

 

I am not afraid to leave my mount outside during summer temps under my 365 cover. Electronics boards are highly resistant to heat and can certainly handle 120 degrees. The scope I take back inside during the day, primarily due to concerns over expansion/contraction of glass and possible effects on lubricants. Sure, the lubricants used on focusers and baffle tubes should be of a high temp variety, but who knows with many high production scopes.

 

I also tend to break down the mount and bring it in during the monsoon months simply to ensure that the cover doesn't get blown off and expose the mount to rain.

Exactly what I do with both my mounts (CGX on a tripod and EQ6-R Pro on a pier). I leave the scopes out too if under 110° F. We don’t generally have monsoons, but I did bring everything when Hillary hit us last summer. Bungee cords keep the covers on in high winds — I learned to do this when a TeleGizmos 365 disappeared — for a couple days, when I found it in the roof of the house wedged under a solar panel.


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#5 PIEJr

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Posted 20 May 2024 - 11:56 PM

Exactly what I do with both my mounts (CGX on a tripod and EQ6-R Pro on a pier). I leave the scopes out too if under 110° F. We don’t generally have monsoons, but I did bring everything when Hillary hit us last summer. Bungee cords keep the covers on in high winds — I learned to do this when a TeleGizmos 365 disappeared — for a couple days, when I found it in the roof of the house wedged under a solar panel.

I bet a spider dragged it under that solar panel trying to beat the heat.


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#6 PIEJr

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Posted 21 May 2024 - 12:23 AM

With heat last summer that hit around 118F, and nights that didn't cool off, I just quit for months trying to image, even though I have ASIAIR Plus and imaged from inside! Setups/bringing in and polar adjustments in the backyard were like going into a blast furnace and then there was concern for my gear melting. (We really can fry an egg on the sidewalk.)

 

But I have withdrawal when I can't look up. I was sure I'd have a soluton figured out before it got hot again but it's over 100F already. A lot of summer nights are very clear and I really hate to waste a clear night. Thanks to my bortle 8/9, without stacking I don't see much. 

 

So far I thought about putting together a cheap imaging package and just leaving it outside, covered during the day. Maybe my Celestron C4, a 6/8 Nexstar mount and a tripod. Then just take out the camera when it's dusk.

 

Or mounting an All Sky camera lens with the ASI244MC or ASI678MC and let it run doing some time lapse images. Been wanting to do this anyway.

 

Another idea was getting an all in one like a Seestar.

 

Leaving for the summer or visiting dark sites are always good until I return. What do you do for the summer to beat the heat?

 

 

attachicon.gif rosette_.jpg

When the weather gets just to miserable it takes all the fun out of it.

I don't suffer such high heat factors but do have some high climbs.

So, I'll usually put a patio umbrella up to shade my covered mount so at least the direct sun isn't beating on it.

 

This Spring I got a wild hair and made a forced ventilator for my mount. I took some shop vac hose and fitted a cooling fan into one end.

I added a power supply to it that simply plugs into my 120-volt AC supply for down time. It hangs high up in the bag and draws the air down and out from inside the cover. So there is not the heat buildup I experienced without the little ventilator. (Nor the moisture from our rains this Spring. We had moss growing a lot of places.)

 

So, between the forced ventilation, and the added patio umbrella, not as worried as I may have been.

But I've had my stuff set up to some degree for years, under my BBQ covers, and the patio umbrella to beat the sun. I used to wonder about the maximum temperatures for the printed circuit boards. Because I do worry about components failing from the higher temperatures, like capacitors leaking their oils out. But the umbrella helped stop the direct Sun on the bag.

When running my smaller telescope, it got bagged, and a black plastic trash can so the plastic can was a separate barrier.

 

The little fan is salvaged from my old G-3 camera. (defunct)

Glued into the 2" hose connector.

 

Vent Fan


Edited by PIEJr, 21 May 2024 - 12:26 AM.

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#7 rj144

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Posted 21 May 2024 - 12:27 AM

I image in South Florida WITHOUT a cooled camera.  I image all summer but it is brutal.  I just bought a thing that goes around your neck to keep you cool.  You freeze it first.  It's really cold and works well for maybe half an hour.  Half an hour is all I need, so we'll see this summer.


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#8 DirtyRod

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Posted 21 May 2024 - 06:43 AM

I’m with KTAZ. OTA and HC come in every day that it’s over 110 but are back out that night. I try to wait until it’s under 100 to image so sometimes my session doesn’t start until 10PM. Thank God for automation because I’m not sitting out in the heat babysitting.


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#9 Sky King

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Posted 21 May 2024 - 10:34 AM

 PIEJr: When the weather gets just too miserable it takes all the fun out of it.

 

Well that's it isn't it. I want to enjoy the sky and end up fighting the heat.

I image in South Florida WITHOUT a cooled camera.  I image all summer but it is brutal.  I just bought a thing that goes around your neck to keep you cool.  You freeze it first.  It's really cold and works well for maybe half an hour.  Half an hour is all I need, so we'll see this summer.

Sounds interesting. What are they called and/or who sells them?

Exactly what I do with both my mounts (CGX on a tripod and EQ6-R Pro on a pier). I leave the scopes out too if under 110° F. We don’t generally have monsoons, but I did bring everything when Hillary hit us last summer. Bungee cords keep the covers on in high winds — I learned to do this when a TeleGizmos 365 disappeared — for a couple days, when I found it in the roof of the house wedged under a solar panel.

My TeleGizmo is actually coming apart from the heat. Little bits of silver rains everywhere when I unfold it. I need a new one I guess.

I’m with KTAZ. OTA and HC come in every day that it’s over 110 but are back out that night. I try to wait until it’s under 100 to image so sometimes my session doesn’t start until 10PM. Thank God for automation because I’m not sitting out in the heat babysitting.

 Yes Asiair and Nina do a lot running those plans all night. 

 

(In the movie, "The Last Starfighter," Grig says "We'll have this all figured out by the time we get to the Frontier." Alex says,"What;s that up ahead?" Grig says, "The Frontier.")

 

Thanks everyone. At least I'm not the only one looking for a summer heat solution.



#10 KTAZ

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Posted 21 May 2024 - 10:49 AM

My TeleGizmo is actually coming apart from the heat. Little bits of silver rains everywhere when I unfold it. I need a new one I guess.

 

Yep...that is usually the first sign that it's time for a new cover in AZ. Mine did the same thing after 3 years; but that is seriously good performance in the AZ sun.


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#11 Knightfolk

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Posted 21 May 2024 - 02:46 PM

With my setup I have it positioned right by the back door.  It takes me about 3 min to take the tube off, move mount outside, and put the tube back on.  (Gaffers tape makes positioning the tripod easy). I do this as soon as direct sun is off the patio so the parts can come up to temp. Once dusk hits I turn the camera cooler on and take my flats.
 

when it comes time to polar align I turn this thing towards the scope. https://www.amazon.c...r/dp/B00MYWQL96


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#12 Sky King

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Posted 21 May 2024 - 04:01 PM

With my setup I have it positioned right by the back door.  It takes me about 3 min to take the tube off, move mount outside, and put the tube back on.  (Gaffers tape makes positioning the tripod easy). I do this as soon as direct sun is off the patio so the parts can come up to temp. Once dusk hits I turn the camera cooler on and take my flats.
 

when it comes time to polar align I turn this thing towards the scope. https://www.amazon.c...r/dp/B00MYWQL96

Thanks, I could see a portable swamp cooler working while you're out there. Could aim it to blow more on me and shut it off when I come inside. I have a misting system but don't run it near the tripod, mount or telescope. In the daytime at full heat the mist evaporates before it hits the ground, and cools the yard a little. Flats and polar alignment are the toughest part.

 

Edit: Thanks again, I ordered one of these. Home Depot has the same model for $284, refurbished. Reconditioned 3100 CFM 3-Speed Portable Evaporative Cooler (Swamp Cooler) for 950 sq. ft. Will run it while getting setup. If I can get setup, Nina or Asiair should handle the rest and the portable swamp cooler may come in handy. Low humidity here so these things work great except during the monsoon season in July when humidity goes up.


Edited by Sky King, 22 May 2024 - 12:37 PM.


#13 Oort Cloud

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Posted 21 May 2024 - 04:37 PM

My temps aren't quite as high as yours, but on the hottest days it can easily go above 100F. I leave my EQ6-r outside all year long, with a folded bath towel on the saddle and a light gray grill cover over that.

It's been like that for 3 years now, and it still sings, so it's not something I ever think about anymore.

The only reason I leave it outside though is because it's so heavy, so I usually bring my optics in. I have the process down well enough that if I don't put any bug spray on, I'll only get about 4-5 bites before I can go back inside.

If I had your heat instead of my mosquitoes, the only thing I'd do differently is that I'd use a telegizmos 365 cover instead. Part of the reason this works well though, is the same reason I started doing it: the EQ6-r is almost 80 pounds fully assembled. Anyone trying to steal it would have as hard a time as I do trying to carry it.

I feel like you really want to be on one side or the other with this; so heavy that you just cover it and hope nobody messes with it, or so light that you just pick the whole thing up and carry it inside (without hurting yourself or the goods).

Edited by Oort Cloud, 21 May 2024 - 04:38 PM.

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#14 Sky King

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Posted 07 June 2024 - 02:13 PM

110F today which is high for June and the clouds are back. I got my new telescope cover. It's not a TeleGizmo but it's a good one and doesn't flake silver bits which was really annoying. I got the Portable Swamp Cooler, 3100 CFM MC37M Evaporative Air Cooler, but haven't tried it yet. I'm back to planning now that it's hot and cloudy.

 

As the night doesn't start till 8:15 PM, I can wait till later to set up. In the meantime it's cloudy. Too soon for the monsoon.


Edited by Sky King, 08 June 2024 - 09:15 AM.



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