Unwanted AP1600 Mount Passenger


Patrick Sparkman
 

A couple of weeks ago, I dismantled my AP1600 that is normally on my back patio.  I use a cover, but we were supposed to get some tropical storm force winds (they never got that high) so I dismantled the scope to bring it inside.  When I unscrewed the counterweight cover it was holding a small mouse nest made of mulch from the yard.  Then when I took off the top Dec plate, the passenger was still in the mount!  The only place where it could have entered the mount was where the through-mount power/usb cables enter the back of the mount.

So, I designed and 3D printed a couple of plates to better seal against the cables.  Thankfully I found this before it started chewing wires or worse!


Howard Ritter
 

Hi, Patrick—

Sounds like a mighty close squeak! That could have turned into a real tail of woe. Someone needs to check a couple months from now whether one of the Mice Galaxies has escaped...

I keep my 1600 on my back patio too. I imagine there might be a few more of us, and of course even those with backyard observatories can’t be sure of being rodent-free.

Have you considered turning your 3D printer into a cottage industry?

—howard

On Sep 24, 2022, at 9:19 PM, Patrick Sparkman via groups.io <psparkman@...> wrote:

A couple of weeks ago, I dismantled my AP1600 that is normally on my back patio.  I use a cover, but we were supposed to get some tropical storm force winds (they never got that high) so I dismantled the scope to bring it inside.  When I unscrewed the counterweight cover it was holding a small mouse nest made of mulch from the yard.  Then when I took off the top Dec plate, the passenger was still in the mount!  The only place where it could have entered the mount was where the through-mount power/usb cables enter the back of the mount.

So, I designed and 3D printed a couple of plates to better seal against the cables.  Thankfully I found this before it started chewing wires or worse!

<image.jpeg><IMG_1280.jpg><IMG_1284.jpg>


M Hambrick
 

None of us are immune to unwanted visitors. I remember Roland posting a couple of pictures a year or two ago showing where the mice got to the wires.

Mike


fernandorivera3
 

Wouldn't hurt having some furry felines in close proximity to the mount 🤔

Fernando


W Hilmo
 

When I lived in the Seattle area, I kept my AP1600 set up in the back yard with a TG365 cover.  One day, I uncovered the mount after a significant period of no clear nights.  Some enterprising critter had completely filled the inside of the mount with maple seeds.  And I mean completely.  It was packed solid, from the counterweight shaft adapter, to the underside of the declination top plate.

I got lucky in that the critter didn't move in.  It actually took just a few minutes to clean it out, since the seeds were dry and mostly just fell out when I removed the counterweight shaft adapter and separated the halves of the mount.

On 9/24/22 18:19, Patrick Sparkman via groups.io wrote:

A couple of weeks ago, I dismantled my AP1600 that is normally on my back patio.  I use a cover, but we were supposed to get some tropical storm force winds (they never got that high) so I dismantled the scope to bring it inside.  When I unscrewed the counterweight cover it was holding a small mouse nest made of mulch from the yard.  Then when I took off the top Dec plate, the passenger was still in the mount!  The only place where it could have entered the mount was where the through-mount power/usb cables enter the back of the mount.

So, I designed and 3D printed a couple of plates to better seal against the cables.  Thankfully I found this before it started chewing wires or worse!

Attachments:



Roland Christen
 


The only place where it could have entered the mount was where the through-mount power/usb cables enter the back of the mount.
Actually, the place they can get in is on the top of the Dec axis where the cables come out. There are two holes which are used for thru-mount cables. That is where a mouse entered my 1600 mount. I have since taped them shut.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Sparkman via groups.io <psparkman@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 24, 2022 8:19 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Unwanted AP1600 Mount Passenger

A couple of weeks ago, I dismantled my AP1600 that is normally on my back patio.  I use a cover, but we were supposed to get some tropical storm force winds (they never got that high) so I dismantled the scope to bring it inside.  When I unscrewed the counterweight cover it was holding a small mouse nest made of mulch from the yard.  Then when I took off the top Dec plate, the passenger was still in the mount!  The only place where it could have entered the mount was where the through-mount power/usb cables enter the back of the mount.

So, I designed and 3D printed a couple of plates to better seal against the cables.  Thankfully I found this before it started chewing wires or worse!


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Jeff B
 

About 6-7 years ago, while swapping out my 1100 mount for a nice 1200, when I went to separate the Dec from the RA, hundreds of dead Asian Lady and Stink bugs poured out of the two assemblies.  The mount had been outside under a Telegizmos 365 cover for a couple of years and they managed to crawl up under the apron of the cover and get inside through several of the cable holes.  But the mount worked just fine.  The exterior was just fine.  Fortunately the 1200 does not have such openings but they still populated the exterior machined pockets, especially the azimuth adjustment block.  Blue tape took care of that.

Oh well...

Jeff

On Mon, Sep 26, 2022 at 12:53 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

The only place where it could have entered the mount was where the through-mount power/usb cables enter the back of the mount.
Actually, the place they can get in is on the top of the Dec axis where the cables come out. There are two holes which are used for thru-mount cables. That is where a mouse entered my 1600 mount. I have since taped them shut.

Roland

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Sparkman via groups.io <psparkman=me.com@groups.io>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Sep 24, 2022 8:19 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Unwanted AP1600 Mount Passenger

A couple of weeks ago, I dismantled my AP1600 that is normally on my back patio.  I use a cover, but we were supposed to get some tropical storm force winds (they never got that high) so I dismantled the scope to bring it inside.  When I unscrewed the counterweight cover it was holding a small mouse nest made of mulch from the yard.  Then when I took off the top Dec plate, the passenger was still in the mount!  The only place where it could have entered the mount was where the through-mount power/usb cables enter the back of the mount.

So, I designed and 3D printed a couple of plates to better seal against the cables.  Thankfully I found this before it started chewing wires or worse!


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Patrick Sparkman
 

Thanks for that hint Roland.  Sure enough, those holes are probably large enough for the little critters to squeeze through.  I will tape them, then 3D print a plug.  Now I am worried about them making a home in my iDK!


M Hambrick
 

In addition to plugging holes and such, has anyone ever tried one of the ultrasonic pest repellent devices ? The one below is rated #1 by Consumer Reports. It sells for $39.95.

Mike