Re: AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory

Joe Zeglinski

Hi Jim,

I think we are on the same wavelength ...

I have also been thinking of how to protect my AP900, without actually
building an observatory. You see, I AM my own aesthetics committee, and as
much as I would love to have a dome, the best place is in the middle of my
landscaped yard - and it would look like a white elephant, blocking the view
of my garden. The best spot, in the far corner of the yard, is surrounded by a
few small trees, and one of them is the neighbour's.

Anyway, as an example of a "boxed enclosure for an 8" Meade SCT, used by a
university, have a look at:

or yet another boxed enclosure at:

Meanwhile, I am considering installing a wide pier in the middle of my
yard (the best open sky spot). The pier will look like the bottom half of an
aluminum Greek column (e.g. Home Depot, hollow decorative porch posts), on top
of which will be my AP900. When not in use, a similar, very slightly wider,
Greek column upper half will be dropped down over the mount, mated to the
lower column. I might even put a sundial on top, for daytime aesthetics. As
far as security is concerned, except for the neighbours, intruders will think
it is just "yard sculpture".

Inside, a hygrometer might be used to turn on a blackened light bulb for
heat and condensation control. The lower and upper column sections will be key
locked at the join, for security.

Still working on the nitty-gritty details, for next spring. Any comments?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim S." <blues_rule_solomon_1999@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 5:46 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory

Thanks Ian. And thanks much Rick for your help here and off-line as well!

Ok, you both have me seriously wanting to install a permanent pier for
my new AP1200. But an observatory is out of the question with the
Aesthetics Committee. So, I worry about protecting the mount from the
elements, even with something like the Telegizmo 356/24/7 cover.

Isn't condensation an issue with any cover like this? In my climate,
we can easily have >30deg swings between day and night, with the
relative humidity going from nearly nonexistent to dripping wet,
respectively. It doesn't get terribly cold here though. It's VERY
rare for the low to dip below 30degF on the coldest nights.

Anyone else have their AP1200 mounted permanently, sans observatory?
How do you protect it (and the pier), and how do you mitigate
condensation if at all?


--- In ap-gto@..., "Ian Underhill" <astro1ds@...> wrote:

But I would have to say in the long run you should
consider what Rick said. Having your setup ready and aligned every
night just makes life sooo much easier and more enjoyable. I still
can't believe I went for a year before learning that lesson. Hope
this helps.


--- In ap-gto@..., Rick Thurmond <yahoogroups@> wrote:

I'm also observatory-less at present, at least compared to my last
place where I had an Astro-Haven dome. But I would never go pier-
less. I have a Astro-Pier from LeSeur bolted to a few hundred
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole

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