AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory


Jim S.
 

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?

Thanks,
JS

--- 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.

Ian


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

Jim,
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
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole
sky.


Dean S
 

Hi Jim,

Have you thought about a light bulb on a timer? If you can keep the cover held out away from the mount a bit, and of course away from the light bulb, that should keep the humidity under control.

I have also seen some really neat removable 'boxes' that protect the mount and allow circulation.

Dean

----- 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?

Thanks,
JS


--- 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.

Ian


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

Jim,
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
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole
sky.



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links





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davidjmcdonald
 

Jim - not sure how much help this will be to you... I have a C14 mounted on an
AP1200/portable pier. Its been here in my back yard (in Ireland) for close to
18 months now and not been broken down and removed to indoors at all.

The pier sits on three flagstones and to be honest, I thought shifts in the soil
etc would be a nightmare but I can’t even remember the last time I needed to
polar align. I get minimum 90 sec exposure with no trailing whatsoever - in all
areas of the sky. I guess the soil is very heavy clay and with the weight of
the mount/OTA and imager etc, its settled in quite nicely. It really hasn't
budged since I put it there back in 2006.

As for weather protection, I throw a basic tarp (nothing special) over the whole
lot (though the base of the 42" pier is not covered). So far, no sign of any
corrosion on the mount or any of the stainless steel bits (counterweights etc).
The stainless steel tension rods are showing a little discolouration but I don’t
sweat that.

Covering the whole lot, I have a rolling shed. At first this was a 6 month
temporary affair during the summer/autumn. But its actually turned out to be
absolutely fine and in good nick 18 months later. The shed has one open end, is
totally waterproof and held down with bungee cords when the wind picks up a
little. It moves very easily and I can be up and running in less than 10
minutes and packed away again in 10 minutes.

We don't get the varying conditions you see (temp swings) though we get plenty
of rain and humidity does creep into the high 90's quite often. All I really
have to do is wipe down the mount every few months with a damp cloth, turf out
all the bugs who have squatted there and then give the main surfaces a very
light rub-down with a cloth sprayed very lightly with WD40.

On a night with lots of dew, if rain isn’t forecast, I leave the whole rig
outside in the early morning sun to dry out au naturel. Otherwise, I roll back
the shed but leave off the tarp. By the next day, any condensation has
evaporated. I've not come back to the rig the next day with it still dripping.
On the other hand, I did have the whole rig exposed to a flash shower a year or
so ago. I just mopped up with a dry towel, let it air dry for the next few
hours and all was well.

That's really all I can offer you. It works well for me and the mount, OTA,
imager et al all look great - bar the tension rods on the pier.

Dave

----- 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


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?

Thanks,
JS


Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi JS,
Yes, condensation is a issue. There are many approaches. I suggest
that you make the cover completely air tight on all sides and the
top. On the bottom, have it so that air can enter and exit, but
screened/filtered to keep out tiny insects, etc. Then, install any
small heat source (i.e. 25 light bulb). It works even better if you
install a small fan blowing the heated air over the device to be
protected and limit the amount of air that can enter the system. You
could also insulate the housing to get even more protection.

Also, you might try to negotiate an asthetic approach to a modest
observatory. Check out the Observatories Group
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Observatories/
for some great ideas.

A 1200 on a permanent pier is a dream come true!
Thanks, Rick

--- In ap-gto@..., "Jim S."
<blues_rule_solomon_1999@...> wrote:

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?

Thanks,
JS


--- 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.

Ian


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

Jim,
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
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the
whole
sky.


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:
http://home.moravian.edu/users/phys/mejjg01/interests/apparatus_pages/telescope_enclosure.htm

or yet another boxed enclosure at:
http://www.mtco.com/~jgunn/

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?

Joe

----- 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?

Thanks,
JS


--- 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.

Ian


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

Jim,
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
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole
sky.



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links




Rick Thurmond
 

I haven't seen condensation inside yet, but a bag of dessicant sitting
on the base of the mount might be a good idea. I think hardware
stores sell them to dry musty closets. Some of them might be
rechargeable in the oven.

Rick

On Oct 29, 2007, at 2:46 20PM, Jim S. wrote:

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?

Thanks,
JS

--- 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.

Ian


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

Jim,
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
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole
sky.


Dean S
 

I still like the one that looks like an outhouse, including the half moon on
the door. Just open the door and it rolls away from the scope. Should fit
right in behind any modern home :)))

http://www.noomoon.com/noomainastroOH.htm

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 11:52 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory


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:
http://home.moravian.edu/users/phys/mejjg01/interests/apparatus_pages/telescope_enclosure.htm

or yet another boxed enclosure at:
http://www.mtco.com/~jgunn/

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?

Joe

----- 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?

Thanks,
JS


--- 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.

Ian


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

Jim,
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
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole
sky.



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links







To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links




Joe Zeglinski
 

... somehow, I wouldn't feel right about doing that indignity to an AP mount.
:-)

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dean S" <dean@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:25 AM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Re: AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory


I still like the one that looks like an outhouse, including the half moon on
the door. Just open the door and it rolls away from the scope. Should fit
right in behind any modern home :)))

http://www.noomoon.com/noomainastroOH.htm





----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 11:52 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory


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:
http://home.moravian.edu/users/phys/mejjg01/interests/apparatus_pages/telescope_enclosure.htm

or yet another boxed enclosure at:
http://www.mtco.com/~jgunn/

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?

Joe

----- 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?

Thanks,
JS


--- 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.

Ian


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

Jim,
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
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole
sky.



To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links







To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links





To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list
see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto
Yahoo! Groups Links




Woodwind
 

There is a often bit of misunderstanding about condensation etc. and equipment. The military has this sort of problem and uses environmental covers and spray treatments for a wide range of equipment that is left outside for long periods with few problems.

If you have a good seal around the cover (such as a velcro and neoprene collar around the pier) the mount can heat and cool all it likes - but there will be little change in the amount of water inside the cover per-se. What is in the bag to start with is what you tend to end up with. You might move it around by allowing the equipment to get very hot and then cold - thermal stability will help reduce ingress of water into the equipment itself.

If you want to help reduce humidity levels simply remove the cover for an hour or two on sunny or breezy and dry day and replace whilst everything is still relatively warm/dry and no condensation has formed. There are also a lot of good water repellent compounds around these days and many are tuned for specifics such as cabling, seals, electronics etc. Many of these would in any case be good for a mount in the normal course of events - if you are going to get moisture into a joint etc - unless you treat it, its going to start getting in there during a dingle night's viewing let alone a season outside.

All the other methods mentioned such as silica-gel etc are going to assist. But the best thing is to wipe off any moisture you can after use (or even blow it down with a hair dryer to warm the surfaces and remove water in those tiny cracks etc), make a good seal around the pier and give it a good airing when you can between use.

Murray



Rick Thurmond <yahoogroups@...> wrote: I haven't seen condensation inside yet, but a bag of dessicant sitting
on the base of the mount might be a good idea. I think hardware
stores sell them to dry musty closets. Some of them might be
rechargeable in the oven.

Rick

On Oct 29, 2007, at 2:46 20PM, Jim S. wrote:

> 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?
>
> Thanks,
> JS
>
> --- 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.
> >
> > Ian
> >
> >
> > --- In ap-gto@..., Rick Thurmond <yahoogroups@> wrote:
> > >
> > > Jim,
> > > 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
> > pounds
> > > of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole
> > sky.
>
>
>


Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi,

One thing that Marj once recommended to me was to at least remove the CP3
controller, and bring it inside. The concern was for condensation getting into
the electronics, causing corrosion. Air pollution and dew make a good battery
acid solution.

It's quite easy to do if you have replaced the set screws holding it to
the mount, with the optional thumb screws that came with the mount, in a small
envelope (unless it got pitched with the packing peanuts).

It would have been nice if the CP3 controller were designed to be mounted
using "ball bearing spring latches". That way, a simple press of a lever - or
just a tug on the CP3, if it is held in place by additional "ball bearings in
spring sockets" - would release the unit to slide off the mount, without the
hassles of possibly losing the small thumb screws. I mean, you ARE going to
take the Hand Pad indoors for the same reason, so why not the controller as
well.
I say "additional", in case there should be a problem with the springs
approach, and you need to use the old screw retainer method.

Still, I wonder if condensation affects the servo motors as well - the
rest is just stainless steel and aluminum. At least protecting the CP and hand
pad is easy.

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Murray Hammick" <mphammick@...>
To: <ap-gto@...>
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 12:21 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP1200 on Permanent Pier sans Observatory


There is a often bit of misunderstanding about condensation etc. and
equipment. The military has this sort of problem and uses environmental
covers and spray treatments for a wide range of equipment that is left
outside for long periods with few problems.

If you have a good seal around the cover (such as a velcro and neoprene
collar around the pier) the mount can heat and cool all it likes - but there
will be little change in the amount of water inside the cover per-se. What
is in the bag to start with is what you tend to end up with. You might move
it around by allowing the equipment to get very hot and then cold - thermal
stability will help reduce ingress of water into the equipment itself.

If you want to help reduce humidity levels simply remove the cover for an
hour or two on sunny or breezy and dry day and replace whilst everything is
still relatively warm/dry and no condensation has formed. There are also a
lot of good water repellent compounds around these days and many are tuned
for specifics such as cabling, seals, electronics etc. Many of these would
in any case be good for a mount in the normal course of events - if you are
going to get moisture into a joint etc - unless you treat it, its going to
start getting in there during a dingle night's viewing let alone a season
outside.

All the other methods mentioned such as silica-gel etc are going to assist.
But the best thing is to wipe off any moisture you can after use (or even
blow it down with a hair dryer to warm the surfaces and remove water in
those tiny cracks etc), make a good seal around the pier and give it a good
airing when you can between use.

Murray



Rick Thurmond <yahoogroups@...> wrote:
I haven't seen condensation inside yet, but a bag of dessicant sitting
on the base of the mount might be a good idea. I think hardware
stores sell them to dry musty closets. Some of them might be
rechargeable in the oven.

Rick

On Oct 29, 2007, at 2:46 20PM, Jim S. wrote:

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?

Thanks,
JS

--- 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.

Ian


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

Jim,
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
pounds
of concrete in the one spot in my yard where I can see the whole
sky.












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Jim S.
 

Hi Joseph,

Definitely the Hand Paddle comes in, and I was given the same advice
by someone at AP with respect to the CP3.

I guess there are two approaches. One school seems to argue that a
tight seal with a moisture-removing agent is the way to go, and the
other seems to argue the more air flow the better. Though perhaps I'm
misreading/misrepresenting one or both of those camps.

A quick web search revealed these convenient, rechargeable,
"indicating", desiccant containers:

http://www.multisorb.com/products/desiccants/cartridges/drican_html

A bunch of those underneath that TeleGizmos cover might work well.

Alternatively, a friend of mine recommended a low temperature
electronic-rod heater that he uses for due prevention on his 35ft
boat, available at most marine stores.

I appreciate everyone's help on this. I think the "dry it out, and
seal it tight with desiccant/heater inside" method is how I'm going to
proceed. And, of course, I'll bring the CP3 and the HP inside. I
imagine the same advice ("bring 'em in") holds for power supplies and
cables, although redoing all of the cables each time I set up is about
the least fun part of this hobby for me. Definitely need an
observatory. Or an apprentice. Darth Sumthin'-or-nuther. :)

JS

--- In ap-gto@..., "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...> wrote:

Hi,

One thing that Marj once recommended to me was to at least
remove the CP3
controller, and bring it inside. The concern was for condensation
getting into
the electronics, causing corrosion.


Joe Zeglinski
 

Jim,

When you get all set up, you will end up with a harness of bundled cables,
wrapped up in split coil sleeves, or something. If you do remove the CP3, I
would put a small plastic bag (or Saranwrap), to seal the AP cable connector
ends (if they re part of a harness bundle) - otherwise, you could bring the AP
cables in as well. That just adds time at both ends, which defeats the purpose
of an observatory. Later, all you will need is to plug everything back in, if
it was unplugged. Anyway, you might have a "semi heated "observatory, (when
not in use), so moisture shouldn't be a problem. When you close down at dawn,
just "turn on the furnace". That will keep your "OTA optics" dry as well. Only
if you keep the observatory unheated, will you to take need moisture counter
measures.

As for the temperature rod heater ... it doesn't matter if a boat burns
down, there are lots of replacements.
OTA's are also plentiful. But, an AP mount takes time to remake ... like a
fine wine ... years in fact if you are on ..... THE LIST.

Just be careful.

Joe