Leaving as GTO mount outdoors


Morgan Spangle <msfainc@...>
 

I'm considering leaving my APO 1200 GTO outdoors over the winter, so that setup/knockdown time is lessened, and since I use it by remote control to image anyway. I'm in the Northeast, so we do get rain, cold, and snow; I'd have a pretty good over bungeed to the mount to protect it, and could even keep a lightbulb going all the time to keep moisture from accumulating under the cover. What's the group's opinion?


Morgan Spangle


Klein, Adam <atk@...>
 

I've had my AP 1200 and RCOS 12.5 in a portable shelter for a few years. I haven't had an issue - other then heavy winds banging the shelter around. The system is fairly bombproof from the humidity (ask the folks in Florida).

Adam

----- Original Message -----
From: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thu Apr 03 12:55:20 2008
Subject: [ap-gto] Leaving as GTO mount outdoors

I'm considering leaving my APO 1200 GTO outdoors over the winter, so
that setup/knockdown time is lessened, and since I use it by remote
control to image anyway. I'm in the Northeast, so we do get rain,
cold, and snow; I'd have a pretty good over bungeed to the mount to
protect it, and could even keep a lightbulb going all the time to
keep moisture from accumulating under the cover. What's the group's
opinion?

Morgan Spangle


Christopher Go
 

I have left my AP900 98% of the year outside just covered in
Tarpoline. I only bring it in when a typhoon is coming! Never had a
problem with my mount. Although I don't have snow, I do get a lot of
rain. If AP mounts can survive in Antartica, it should survive
anywhere in the world!

Regards,
Chris

At 04:55 PM 4/3/2008, you wrote:

I'm considering leaving my APO 1200 GTO outdoors over the winter, so
that setup/knockdown time is lessened, and since I use it by remote
control to image anyway. I'm in the Northeast, so we do get rain,
cold, and snow; I'd have a pretty good over bungeed to the mount to
protect it, and could even keep a lightbulb going all the time to
keep moisture from accumulating under the cover. What's the group's
opinion?

Morgan Spangle

Christopher and Vicky Go
Christone Industries
Manufacturer and Exporter of Quality Fossil Stone and Wrought Iron Furniture
Cebu, Philippines
http://www.christone.net
Astronomy: http://astro.christone.net
Red Spot Jr: http://www.redspotjr.com


Richard Crisp
 

you can easily remove the control electronics box and I recommend that if you go through a long wet period

my ap1200gto has been in the outdoors for over four years now....

just covered up with a nice bag...

----- Original Message -----
From: Morgan Spangle
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 9:55 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Leaving as GTO mount outdoors


I'm considering leaving my APO 1200 GTO outdoors over the winter, so
that setup/knockdown time is lessened, and since I use it by remote
control to image anyway. I'm in the Northeast, so we do get rain,
cold, and snow; I'd have a pretty good over bungeed to the mount to
protect it, and could even keep a lightbulb going all the time to
keep moisture from accumulating under the cover. What's the group's
opinion?

Morgan Spangle


Morgan Spangle <msfainc@...>
 

Thank you all for your informative replies - gives me the confidence
to go ahead with my plan to build a nice viewing deck surrounded by
hedges to block the neighborhood light...now on to mounting my Questar
7 OTA on my new (for me) 600EGTO...
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Crisp" <rdcrisp@...> wrote:

you can easily remove the control electronics box and I recommend
that if you go through a long wet period

my ap1200gto has been in the outdoors for over four years now....

just covered up with a nice bag...


----- Original Message -----
From: Morgan Spangle
To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 9:55 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Leaving as GTO mount outdoors


I'm considering leaving my APO 1200 GTO outdoors over the winter, so
that setup/knockdown time is lessened, and since I use it by remote
control to image anyway. I'm in the Northeast, so we do get rain,
cold, and snow; I'd have a pretty good over bungeed to the mount to
protect it, and could even keep a lightbulb going all the time to
keep moisture from accumulating under the cover. What's the group's
opinion?

Morgan Spangle





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Steve... <astropix@...>
 

Morgan,

For a time, I kept my AP1200 with OTA in a bag. We had some high winds
and something flying in the air hit the OTA putting a dent into it.

So I recommend a hard shell rather than a bag. I believe that even
these newer padded bags would still sustain damage from a flying object.

Steve...

www.CCDNavigator.com


Morgan Spangle <msfainc@...>
 

Hmmm...that's an interesting thought. What kind of hard shell did you
come up with? I have a C14 on mine so it would take a pretty good
sized barrel or drum...
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Steve..." <astropix@...> wrote:

Morgan,

For a time, I kept my AP1200 with OTA in a bag. We had some high winds
and something flying in the air hit the OTA putting a dent into it.

So I recommend a hard shell rather than a bag. I believe that even
these newer padded bags would still sustain damage from a flying object.

Steve...

www.CCDNavigator.com


Steve... <astropix@...>
 

I should have said "structure" rather than "shell".

You can see mine here....

http://www.starrynights.us/Equipment/Equipment.htm

Steve...

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@...> wrote:

Hmmm...that's an interesting thought. What kind of hard shell did
you
come up with? I have a C14 on mine so it would take a pretty good
sized barrel or drum...
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Steve..." <astropix@> wrote:

Morgan,

For a time, I kept my AP1200 with OTA in a bag. We had some high
winds
and something flying in the air hit the OTA putting a dent into
it.

So I recommend a hard shell rather than a bag. I believe that
even
these newer padded bags would still sustain damage from a flying
object.

Steve...

www.CCDNavigator.com


Morgan Spangle <msfainc@...>
 

Hi Steve,
Would if I could but can't so...the best area is in the front of my
house, and the town won't allow any kind of shed in a front area. So
my choice is to leave the mount out in an area of the garden next to
the driveway that I will wall off from view with a dense hedge. I'll
drop some footings in for the tripod feet (I use a Meade giant field
tripod, very solid) and plant some kind of ground cover I can walk on
or grass. Run electric to it from the garage, make a path for a dolly
to bring the computer and other equipment out (maybe even the OTA, not
sure whether I'll load it each time or leave it mounted and covered
too), and I can be set up, polar aligned and ready to go in 5
minutes...at least, thats the plan so far. I've got all spring and
summer to work it out. Its really to avoid the winter setup/breakdown,
like you've done the the Out Haus.

Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Steve..." <astropix@...> wrote:

I should have said "structure" rather than "shell".

You can see mine here....

http://www.starrynights.us/Equipment/Equipment.htm

Steve...

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@> wrote:

Hmmm...that's an interesting thought. What kind of hard shell did
you
come up with? I have a C14 on mine so it would take a pretty good
sized barrel or drum...
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Steve..." <astropix@> wrote:

Morgan,

For a time, I kept my AP1200 with OTA in a bag. We had some high
winds
and something flying in the air hit the OTA putting a dent into
it.

So I recommend a hard shell rather than a bag. I believe that
even
these newer padded bags would still sustain damage from a flying
object.

Steve...

www.CCDNavigator.com


tucstargzr
 

Hi Morgan,

How are your town ordinances in regards to "art"? You might be
able to make a stable pier which "transforms" into a Telescope Mount
at night while looking like (IE) Miniature Lighthouse by day.
Amazing what a box made from plywood can be painted to resemble or
how easy Stucco sticks to Styrofoam and chicken wire.

At night, you unbuckle/remove the top that protects your "Thermo-
Nuclear Concentrator".

I'm NOT advocating you try to hoodwink or defraud. Some city
halls/HOA are notorious for denying projects that have unfamiliar
names in them. While a small shed in the front yard is unattractive,
a small garage isn't.

Tom


--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@...> wrote:

Hi Steve,
Would if I could but can't so...the best area is in the front of my
house, and the town won't allow any kind of shed in a front area.
So
my choice is to leave the mount out in an area of the garden next
to
the driveway that I will wall off from view with a dense hedge.
I'll
drop some footings in for the tripod feet (I use a Meade giant
field
tripod, very solid) and plant some kind of ground cover I can walk
on
or grass. Run electric to it from the garage, make a path for a
dolly
to bring the computer and other equipment out (maybe even the OTA,
not
sure whether I'll load it each time or leave it mounted and covered
too), and I can be set up, polar aligned and ready to go in 5
minutes...at least, thats the plan so far. I've got all spring and
summer to work it out. Its really to avoid the winter
setup/breakdown,
like you've done the the Out Haus.

Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Steve..." <astropix@> wrote:

I should have said "structure" rather than "shell".

You can see mine here....

http://www.starrynights.us/Equipment/Equipment.htm

Steve...

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@> wrote:

Hmmm...that's an interesting thought. What kind of hard shell
did
you
come up with? I have a C14 on mine so it would take a pretty
good
sized barrel or drum...
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Steve..." <astropix@> wrote:

Morgan,

For a time, I kept my AP1200 with OTA in a bag. We had some
high
winds
and something flying in the air hit the OTA putting a dent
into
it.

So I recommend a hard shell rather than a bag. I believe
that
even
these newer padded bags would still sustain damage from a
flying
object.

Steve...

www.CCDNavigator.com


Mark Clegg
 

Morgan,

I have had a AP1200GTO for 7 years now, kept in a observatory here at
my home since day one. The observatory has no heating or cooling,
just
a small exhaust fan to pull hot air out when the space reaches >100
degrees in the summer. The scope and mount are always near ambient
temperature, this seems to work well and means quick set-up times.

The only issues I have experienced during the past 5 years is a few
keypad resetting problems and several intermittent power problems.
All
of the problems I have seen were due to oxidation on the pin
connectors
on the electronics.

I would think twice about bringing the electronics (keypad and
control
box) into a heated space after an observing session during cold
weather, this will eventually create problems with the electronics
due
to condensation. These left in a out building or garage at near
ambient
would be best.

Most important.. I have found that reseating the pin connections on a
regular basis, every 3-4 months works best for me... is essential for
maintaining continunity at all electrical connections if the mount
remains in the elements (event if it is in a observatory). I also
check and clean all electrical connections at least once a year to
prevent intermittent problems.

Mark Clegg
Pittsboro, N.C.






--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, Morgan Spangle <msfainc@...> wrote:

I'm considering leaving my APO 1200 GTO outdoors over the winter,
so
that setup/knockdown time is lessened, and since I use it by
remote
control to image anyway. I'm in the Northeast, so we do get rain,
cold, and snow; I'd have a pretty good over bungeed to the mount
to
protect it, and could even keep a lightbulb going all the time to
keep moisture from accumulating under the cover. What's the
group's
opinion?


Morgan Spangle


Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Morgan,
Have you seen the little boxes that some people have made? I wish I
had a link to them, but will attempt a brief description.

Imagine the closed position of a wooden box around just the top of
the pier and just big enough to cover the mount. The box comes in
two pieces that fit together with overlapping weather seals. It has
a round cutout in the bottom to fit around the pier and spring
loaded closer hasps to seal it tight when closed.

Another version has two flat pieces that fit together just below the
mount and around the pier to form the bottom of a box and then a top
hat box that fits over the mount and clamps to the bottom.

Top off the design with a 15 watt light bulb and some bottom vent
holes to allow minimum air flow and I think you have a winner. Even
better, cover the mount first in a nice warm, breathable, non-
hygroscopic blanket (i.e. Gore-tex fabric) first, then cover it.

Just another idea.
Thanks, Rick



--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@...> wrote:

Hi Steve,
Would if I could but can't so...the best area is in the front of my
house, and the town won't allow any kind of shed in a front area.
So
my choice is to leave the mount out in an area of the garden next
to
the driveway that I will wall off from view with a dense hedge.
I'll
drop some footings in for the tripod feet (I use a Meade giant
field
tripod, very solid) and plant some kind of ground cover I can walk
on
or grass. Run electric to it from the garage, make a path for a
dolly
to bring the computer and other equipment out (maybe even the OTA,
not
sure whether I'll load it each time or leave it mounted and covered
too), and I can be set up, polar aligned and ready to go in 5
minutes...at least, thats the plan so far. I've got all spring and
summer to work it out. Its really to avoid the winter
setup/breakdown,
like you've done the the Out Haus.

Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Steve..." <astropix@> wrote:

I should have said "structure" rather than "shell".

You can see mine here....

http://www.starrynights.us/Equipment/Equipment.htm

Steve...

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@> wrote:

Hmmm...that's an interesting thought. What kind of hard shell
did
you
come up with? I have a C14 on mine so it would take a pretty
good
sized barrel or drum...
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Steve..." <astropix@> wrote:

Morgan,

For a time, I kept my AP1200 with OTA in a bag. We had some
high
winds
and something flying in the air hit the OTA putting a dent
into
it.

So I recommend a hard shell rather than a bag. I believe
that
even
these newer padded bags would still sustain damage from a
flying
object.

Steve...

www.CCDNavigator.com


Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi Rick,

Here is a link to the Hanna City Remote Robotic Observatory, pics and plans:
I think that is what you were referring to as a BOX observatory.

http://www.mtco.com/~jgunn/

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Wiggins" <rickwiggins@earthlink.net>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 4:34 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors


Hi Morgan,
Have you seen the little boxes that some people have made? I wish I
had a link to them, but will attempt a brief description.

Imagine the closed position of a wooden box around just the top of
the pier and just big enough to cover the mount. The box comes in
two pieces that fit together with overlapping weather seals. It has
a round cutout in the bottom to fit around the pier and spring
loaded closer hasps to seal it tight when closed.

Another version has two flat pieces that fit together just below the
mount and around the pier to form the bottom of a box and then a top
hat box that fits over the mount and clamps to the bottom.

Top off the design with a 15 watt light bulb and some bottom vent
holes to allow minimum air flow and I think you have a winner. Even
better, cover the mount first in a nice warm, breathable, non-
hygroscopic blanket (i.e. Gore-tex fabric) first, then cover it.

Just another idea.
Thanks, Rick


Morgan Spangle <msfainc@...>
 

Hi Mark,

I like the suggestion about removing the electronics to a garage or
unheated building - I could do that easily. Thanks for all the tips...
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Clegg" <Mark63clegg@...> wrote:

Morgan,

I have had a AP1200GTO for 7 years now, kept in a observatory here at
my home since day one. The observatory has no heating or cooling,
just
a small exhaust fan to pull hot air out when the space reaches >100
degrees in the summer. The scope and mount are always near ambient
temperature, this seems to work well and means quick set-up times.

The only issues I have experienced during the past 5 years is a few
keypad resetting problems and several intermittent power problems.
All
of the problems I have seen were due to oxidation on the pin
connectors
on the electronics.

I would think twice about bringing the electronics (keypad and
control
box) into a heated space after an observing session during cold
weather, this will eventually create problems with the electronics
due
to condensation. These left in a out building or garage at near
ambient
would be best.

Most important.. I have found that reseating the pin connections on a
regular basis, every 3-4 months works best for me... is essential for
maintaining continunity at all electrical connections if the mount
remains in the elements (event if it is in a observatory). I also
check and clean all electrical connections at least once a year to
prevent intermittent problems.

Mark Clegg
Pittsboro, N.C.






--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, Morgan Spangle <msfainc@> wrote:

I'm considering leaving my APO 1200 GTO outdoors over the winter,
so
that setup/knockdown time is lessened, and since I use it by
remote
control to image anyway. I'm in the Northeast, so we do get rain,
cold, and snow; I'd have a pretty good over bungeed to the mount
to
protect it, and could even keep a lightbulb going all the time to
keep moisture from accumulating under the cover. What's the
group's
opinion?


Morgan Spangle


Morgan Spangle <msfainc@...>
 

I had thought about this. But since I also need to screen the local
house and street lights, I'm thinking about a "secret garden" - a
space enclosed by a hedge of 6' tall arborvitae, accessed by a gate in
one of the hedge walls. This would provide shelter from wind and
light; security; temperature equilibrium for scope and mount; and
allow me to place it on the best spot on my property - without the
neighborhood watch group getting upset! Even the wife has given the
thumbs up...so I'll keep you all posted as I go ahead.
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "tucstargzr" <tucstargzr@...> wrote:

Hi Morgan,

How are your town ordinances in regards to "art"? You might be
able to make a stable pier which "transforms" into a Telescope Mount
at night while looking like (IE) Miniature Lighthouse by day.
Amazing what a box made from plywood can be painted to resemble or
how easy Stucco sticks to Styrofoam and chicken wire.

At night, you unbuckle/remove the top that protects your "Thermo-
Nuclear Concentrator".

I'm NOT advocating you try to hoodwink or defraud. Some city
halls/HOA are notorious for denying projects that have unfamiliar
names in them. While a small shed in the front yard is unattractive,
a small garage isn't.

Tom


--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@> wrote:

Hi Steve,
Would if I could but can't so...the best area is in the front of my
house, and the town won't allow any kind of shed in a front area.
So
my choice is to leave the mount out in an area of the garden next
to
the driveway that I will wall off from view with a dense hedge.
I'll
drop some footings in for the tripod feet (I use a Meade giant
field
tripod, very solid) and plant some kind of ground cover I can walk
on
or grass. Run electric to it from the garage, make a path for a
dolly
to bring the computer and other equipment out (maybe even the OTA,
not
sure whether I'll load it each time or leave it mounted and covered
too), and I can be set up, polar aligned and ready to go in 5
minutes...at least, thats the plan so far. I've got all spring and
summer to work it out. Its really to avoid the winter
setup/breakdown,
like you've done the the Out Haus.

Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Steve..." <astropix@> wrote:

I should have said "structure" rather than "shell".

You can see mine here....

http://www.starrynights.us/Equipment/Equipment.htm

Steve...

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@> wrote:

Hmmm...that's an interesting thought. What kind of hard shell
did
you
come up with? I have a C14 on mine so it would take a pretty
good
sized barrel or drum...
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Steve..." <astropix@> wrote:

Morgan,

For a time, I kept my AP1200 with OTA in a bag. We had some
high
winds
and something flying in the air hit the OTA putting a dent
into
it.

So I recommend a hard shell rather than a bag. I believe
that
even
these newer padded bags would still sustain damage from a
flying
object.

Steve...

www.CCDNavigator.com


Joe Zeglinski
 

Sounds great,

What kind of hedge are you selecting - that will not harbour mosquitoes, etc.?
Do cedar trees discourage mosquitoes?

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@optonline.net>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 9:36 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors


I had thought about this. But since I also need to screen the local
house and street lights, I'm thinking about a "secret garden" - a
space enclosed by a hedge of 6' tall arborvitae, accessed by a gate in
one of the hedge walls. This would provide shelter from wind and
light; security; temperature equilibrium for scope and mount; and
allow me to place it on the best spot on my property - without the
neighborhood watch group getting upset! Even the wife has given the
thumbs up...so I'll keep you all posted as I go ahead.
Morgan


Dale Ghent
 

On Apr 7, 2008, at 9:45 PM, Joseph Zeglinski wrote:
Sounds great,

What kind of hedge are you selecting - that will not harbour mosquitoes,
etc.?
Do cedar trees discourage mosquitoes?
Having lived in Tiger Mosquito-infested (which is in turn West Nile Virus-infested) Baltimore, MD... the big thing to do with mosquitoes is to eliminate any areas of standing water - from bird baths to catch basins under potted plants and clogged rain gutters - and inform the neighbors of the benefits of them doing the same. If you have a garden pond, stock it with Koi fish as the find mosquito larvae quite the snack.

As for natural repellant, lemon grass does the job well and smells good, to boot. Grows much faster than a cedar tree and is a good landscaping grass in most north american climes... well, the ones where mosquitoes tend to be a real nuisance anyway.

I'm trying to figure out how to work something AP-GTO into here to keep it at least semi-on topic but I'm failing ;)

/dale


Roland Christen
 

In a message dated 4/8/2008 1:07:41 PM Central Daylight Time,
msfainc@optonline.net writes:


Money saved from building a remote observatory should buy me a Prius...
Save for a Chevy Volt ;^)

Rolando


**************
Planning your summer road trip? Check out AOL Travel
Guides.

(http://travel.aol.com/travel-guide/united-states?ncid=aoltrv00030000000016)


Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Joe,
Thanks. That is similar, but the design that I was describing only
covers the mount and is much smaller...just big enough to surround
the mount.
Thanks, Rick

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

Hi Rick,

Here is a link to the Hanna City Remote Robotic Observatory,
pics and
plans:
I think that is what you were referring to as a BOX observatory.

http://www.mtco.com/~jgunn/

Joe

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Wiggins" <rickwiggins@...>
To: <ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 4:34 PM
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Leaving as GTO mount outdoors


Hi Morgan,
Have you seen the little boxes that some people have made? I
wish I
had a link to them, but will attempt a brief description.

Imagine the closed position of a wooden box around just the top
of
the pier and just big enough to cover the mount. The box comes in
two pieces that fit together with overlapping weather seals. It
has
a round cutout in the bottom to fit around the pier and spring
loaded closer hasps to seal it tight when closed.

Another version has two flat pieces that fit together just below
the
mount and around the pier to form the bottom of a box and then a
top
hat box that fits over the mount and clamps to the bottom.

Top off the design with a 15 watt light bulb and some bottom vent
holes to allow minimum air flow and I think you have a winner.
Even
better, cover the mount first in a nice warm, breathable, non-
hygroscopic blanket (i.e. Gore-tex fabric) first, then cover it.

Just another idea.
Thanks, Rick


Wiggins, Rick
 

Hi Morgan,
Be carefule with that. Many times "unheated buildings" are much
warmer than outdoor ambient and also differ in humidity. My garage
will lbe at least 20 degrees warmer than outside on a cold day and
the humidity will be 20% or more less than outside.
Thanks, Rick

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Morgan Spangle" <msfainc@...> wrote:

Hi Mark,

I like the suggestion about removing the electronics to a garage or
unheated building - I could do that easily. Thanks for all the
tips...
Morgan

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Clegg" <Mark63clegg@> wrote:

Morgan,

I have had a AP1200GTO for 7 years now, kept in a observatory
here at
my home since day one. The observatory has no heating or
cooling,
just
a small exhaust fan to pull hot air out when the space reaches
100
degrees in the summer. The scope and mount are always near
ambient
temperature, this seems to work well and means quick set-up
times.

The only issues I have experienced during the past 5 years is a
few
keypad resetting problems and several intermittent power
problems.
All
of the problems I have seen were due to oxidation on the pin
connectors
on the electronics.

I would think twice about bringing the electronics (keypad and
control
box) into a heated space after an observing session during cold
weather, this will eventually create problems with the
electronics
due
to condensation. These left in a out building or garage at near
ambient
would be best.

Most important.. I have found that reseating the pin connections
on a
regular basis, every 3-4 months works best for me... is
essential for
maintaining continunity at all electrical connections if the
mount
remains in the elements (event if it is in a observatory). I
also
check and clean all electrical connections at least once a year
to
prevent intermittent problems.

Mark Clegg
Pittsboro, N.C.






--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, Morgan Spangle <msfainc@> wrote:

I'm considering leaving my APO 1200 GTO outdoors over the
winter,
so
that setup/knockdown time is lessened, and since I use it by
remote
control to image anyway. I'm in the Northeast, so we do get
rain,
cold, and snow; I'd have a pretty good over bungeed to the
mount
to
protect it, and could even keep a lightbulb going all the time
to
keep moisture from accumulating under the cover. What's the
group's
opinion?


Morgan Spangle