Re: Recommendation for Observatory PC

Joe Zeglinski

    I have used a laptop “nylon, zippered,doghouse” (LapDome) - at my backyard scope for many winters, in fact decades, down to –20C or colder,  in Canadian winters.
    This product – LapDome -  is used by  Pro photographers and movie people who need to operate their laptop in simulated downpours, and winds, special effects, or just in terrible weather on remote photo shoots, etc.
    The nice thing is that your laptop’s own fan exhaust is enough to keep the LCD screen and hard drive from freezing up entirely,  not to mention keeping blowing snow-dust, or mist,  off the keyboard, and letting you use everything without gloves , operating the keyboard/mouse inside the warm pup tent. Any excess heat just meanders out the front flap, if you keep it slightly unzipped.
    Very inexpensive ($US49.95 at LapDome) – extremely useful, very portable.
    I keep its four corner “hold down rings” permanently Velcro’d to the wood slats of my garden  carry-out folding beverage table, and simply take it out to the scope when I set up. I can also  grab the tent , (secured to the table) and carry the enclosed  laptop, , by the LapDome’s “nylon carry handle” on top. even while it is running and attached to my small LapDome-sized table.  It is completely sealed, even has a sewn-on nylon floor, and front zipper flap,  if you really want to protect it, when you are away from the screen, with feed-thru holes in back for cables. It is also “double-walled “ with gray nylon on the outside, and a black nylon second layer, inside, to keep the laptop’s stray light from affecting the photo-shoot.  The entire  LapDome  pup-tent and its two spring “tent-stays”,  fold up into its included  “tennis racket” sized nylon bag, if you like.
Here’s the company website, evidently for an even lower direct sale price.
    Of course, many astronomers have just used a plastic bucket or cardboard box, but this product is way cool, looks a lot better, easier to handle, and much more manageable.
Hope this helps.
Joe Z.

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