Re: Of Mice and Mounts

W Hilmo

I use a TG365.


I’m using a C8 for imaging, but I bought an oversized one, meant for a Dobsonian.  That way, it covers everything, all the way down to the ground.  To keep the humidity under control, I have two Goldenrod heaters (designed for a gun safe) under the cover near the bottom of the mount.  It works very well, but with one caution.  If I leave the OTA mounted, and the OTA makes direct contact with the underside of the TG365 cover, heat from inside the OTA can escape out the top of the cover.  In very cold weather, this can cause extensive moisture inside the scope.  To prevent that, I have a towel folded in many layers over the top of the scope.  That way, the towels insulate the OTA from the under side of the top of the cover.




From: <> On Behalf Of Michael Dolenga via
Sent: Saturday, July 18, 2020 9:20 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Of Mice and Mounts


Hi Wade, what covering did you use? I think I'm a couple of miles as the crow flies from your location. Now that someone is always home due to COVID, I've used a simple nylon tarp for about a week and just left the rig setup. What a pleasure not having to setup from scratch every session, I can only imagine how heavenly it would be to have a permanent setup.


Anyway, the rope fastened nylon tarp doesn't seem ideal for the long run, so any suggestions for a different material would be appreciated.





On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 4:28 PM, W Hilmo

<y.groups@...> wrote:

A couple of years ago, I broke down my AP1100 after it had been set up in the yard for a few months and covered when not in use.  Some enterprising creature had completely filled the inside of the mount with maple seeds.  No harm was done and all I needed to do was to separate the mount halves and lightly blow out the stuff that didn’t just fall out.


There was no evidence of a nest, just a food storehouse.




From: <> On Behalf Of uncarollo2 <chris1011@...> via
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2020 2:57 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Of Mice and Mounts


Lat week during an imaging session in my observatory I happened to see a mouse rappelling down the power cord on my nearby 1600 mount. Rather strange, I thought, that mice would use wires as highways up and down a telescope pier.


Then last night, as I was getting ready to do some imaging with the 17" astrograph on that 1600 mount, I ran into a familiar problem. The Dec axis ran for 1 second and stopped, with the yellow light coming on in the CP4 controller. I looked up the open hole in the back of the RA (yes I forgot to put the plug back in last August) and saw some shredded paper way up in the Dec axis cavity. I knew then I had to get into the Dec axis and check out the damage.


Since I had a large astrograph on the mount, I decided to put the mount counterweight down, scope on top and lock the axes clutch knobs tight. Without removing the scope, I removed all the counterweights, the counterweight shaft and unscrewed the counterweight adapter from the end of the Dec axis. Here's what it looked like:



After cleaning out the mess:



The mice had chewed on all the wires and broke several of them. Fortunately I have lots of practice soldering. I pulled out the Dec connector wire along with the crossover box:



The mice had damage 6 of the 8 wires. With some matching pieces of wire, some heat shrink tubing I spliced in the damaged portions:



Finished cable wrapped with some electrical tape. Did it work? YES, the mount is back in business and the scope is imaging again.


Join to automatically receive all group messages.