Author Topic: Leave Scope Outside for the Night or Bring it In?  (Read 338 times)

Bill Pham

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Re: Leave Scope Outside for the Night or Bring it In?
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2018, 05:16:51 AM »
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Last night, while it was still light out, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I wanted to view M31 and other objects towards the north and northeast which are not visible from my driveway, so I rolled the scope (I’ve added 10” pneumatic wheels and wheelbarrow handles to my 12 ½” since my icon pic was taken) to the backyard where I would have a clear view. Since I don’t have a ramp to get the wheels over the curbing bordering my driveway, I couldn’t go the 100’ directly to the backyard so I rolled the scope about 240 extra feet up the front walkway, where there is a break in the curbing, and around the house in the other direction to the back. (I should add, it’s a bumpier trip going in that direction but collimation seemed to hold.) I set everything up and then went inside to watch the Olympics on TV. At 11, I went out and wouldn’t you know it, solid clouds had rolled in! Naturally, I was totally PO’ed but not wanting to leave the scope out for the night, and try again tonight when it’s supposedly going to be clear, I reversed the procedure but I was wondering, do you folks ever leave your stuff out in your yard, assuming the weather for the next 24 hours or so will be good, or do you bring it all in after each observing session?

The issues I’m wondering about are the effects of overnight dew or whatever on the optics, painted cardboard tube, wood base and mount; and anything else I’m not thinking of. I also have a plastic lid that seals the top of the cardboard tube, a satin bag for the diagonal and a giant plastic garbage bag covering the whole assembly as well. (A Telegizmos cover is in the plans for the future, I think.)

And no, I’m not in an urban jungle; this is a nice safe suburban bedroom community and the scope in the backyard is not even visible from the street. (And besides, 95% of the people who have seen it have no idea what it is.)

What would you do?

If you went to one of these big national star parties that last 7 days, you'd leave it outside for the entire time.
But, you'd cover it.
Telescope covers:
http://www.telegizmos.com
I wouldn't leave it outside 365 days a year due to the obvious weathering that would occur in the scope, but I certainly don't see a problem for a few days.
And if you go in at 3am and are back out to look at the scope by 6-7am, I'd just tie down the front end so the scope can't blow over or hit something if it swings around and worry about it in the morning.
If you observed all night, it would be out all night and open, after all.

Chris Smale

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Re: Leave Scope Outside for the Night or Bring it In?
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2018, 11:14:23 AM »
I used to leave my C11 outside at our club's dark site. When it was time to sleep I'd put the front cover on, remove the eye piece and diagonal to the safety of my case, plug the focuser and call it a night. I only got surprised by rain twice in five years. But, I did get sick of having to dry the dew off my gear when packing up and waiting for everything to be completely dry before putting it away when I got home. So I bought a TeleGizmos cover to solve that problem.

If I had a scope with wood or cardboard parts, I'd be fanatical about keeping those parts sealed against moisture.

Charlie Collins

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Re: Leave Scope Outside for the Night or Bring it In?
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2018, 05:18:07 AM »
Before it's dewed up, lens covers go on, or clean garbage bag on. If I'm done for a while due to changing weather, it goes in the building. If I plan to do more, the sun dries it during the day, and it's there for the evening.

Agreed that cardboard and particle board parts suffer with the humidity extremes.

Michael Litvack

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Re: Leave Scope Outside for the Night or Bring it In?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2018, 04:06:49 AM »
That's one of the main reasons I have this specific fast 10" dob, for the convenience. Mine goes out an hour or 2 before and comes in when I'm done.

John Wilson

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Re: Leave Scope Outside for the Night or Bring it In?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2018, 11:32:33 AM »
Would you leave a Cat outside all night? Then why a Dob?

Mike