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Thread: Leaving my scope outside permanently

  1. #1
    Cameron326's Avatar
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    Default Leaving my scope outside permanently



    Hi everyone. I have an Xt8 which I haven’t used a lot recently due to various reasons including time constraints (often finish work pretty late and only would have time for an hour session) and lack of energy to lug it outside then back in again.

    I just wonder if anyone has tried leaving their telescope outside permanently?

    I think I would be able to use it a lot more if I didn’t have to worry about transporting it outside then back in again one hour later, and also having to factor in cool down time. By “outside” I just mean with plastic covers, possible shower caps on the ends, and some kind of all over waterproof covering. I don’t have a useable outdoor shed. I live in Ireland, so we get a fair bit of overnight rain, wind and cold, though at this time of year it’s rarely below 5c overnight.
    Can a dobsonian telescope take being left outdoors longterm? Thanks.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Leaving my scope outside permanently

    Hi Cameron326,
    Yes, I used to leave my C11 on its NEQ6 Pro mount in the garden with some tarp over it. Then I found B&Q were selling BBQ covers in a sale at £10. It lasted a year, so the next sale,a year later, I purchased another one to replace it

    The only issue I had was moisture every now and then. When it got too bad, I would bring the scope in doors during the daytime to dry out properly. Remove the eyepiece to allow dry air to circulate.

    Try to stand the scope on a patio/concrete etc, avoid grass or soil if possible as moisture comes up from the grass/soil. Patios are much dryer.
    Also, if possible, remove the covers during the daytime when its dry to keep down moisture.

    My scope was in the garden this way for at least two years. Now its in a ror shed observatory and still performing admirably.
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    Default Re: Leaving my scope outside permanently

    I leave scopes outside all the time... sometimes for years.

    The key is to put a properly fitting Telegizmo 365 cover in place. They are totally waterproof and impervious to weathering from exposure to the sun. (I have one that has been outside for eight years and still looks like "new".)

    Telegizmo makes 'em to fit everything. The one for my Dob covers all the way to the ground, which lets me pull the drawstring taunt around the very bottom of the base just above the three adjustable legs.

    I often leave two fracs on a T-mount for months. To cover both scopes and the mount, I had Telegizmo make a custom one... Just check their website.

    Clear, Dark Skies
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    Default Re: Leaving my scope outside permanently

    The main concern with a Dob is the particle board. Make sure no boards are exposed directly to water. For that I recommend putting the Dob on a stand of some sort so it stays off the ground. If you look in my threads, there is one on a foldable Dob stand with leveling feet, very easy to make (except it's also particle board but it's DIY/cheap and can be sealed with varnish).
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    Default Re: Leaving my scope outside permanently

    I leave my scope outside pretty much 365 days a year with tropical storms being the exception. It is however a 'steel' tripod etc.

    In fact here is a thread on the methods I use.

    How I cover / Store my mount...

    However as Henk says I would be concearned about the particle board base of a Dob attracting moisture.

    I suppose it could be done if raised above the grade some with plenty of circulation and a dry climate. I had a sort of surprise the first time I left the dob out covered overnight.

    Scope cloak and a unplesant supprise!

    Then there was the time the ants made a nest under it!

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    Default Re: Leaving my scope outside permanently

    I leave my frac out on occasion for several days with a blue tarp thrown over it. I have only tried this in the summer when it is sunny during the day but usually foggy overnight with some condensation, but so far has worked well. It makes it much easier to get motivated to observe if a scope is already set-up. I have never tried this either with the Z10 or Obsession though. The Z10 has a solid tube and the Obsession is the ultra compact truss design. I also agree about getting a base so that the particle board of a Dob isn't exposed to ground moisture.
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    Default Re: Leaving my scope outside permanently

    Moisture and mold will be your two concerns, being in a humid climate.
    As other people have indicated the base being made of particle board will suck up moisture. So a good coat of varnish or paint to seal it. Be sure and take it apart so you can seal all the edges.
    You would want something like a 60 or 100 watt incandescent light under the cover so you can turn it on and heat it up to drive out the moisture. Otherwise you will eventually get mold and it will eat the coatings off the mirrors.
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    Default Re: Leaving my scope outside permanently

    My 8 inch dobs sits outside under a semi enclosed thatch roof and has a cover on it to keep the creepy crawly out , it works ok but the base is the problem had to seal it , if you can make a new base out of solid hard wood then it will be fine , but it still has to be covered to keep those bugs out
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    Default Re: Leaving my scope outside permanently

    Just had a tile job done in one of my bathrooms and they lined the walls with what they called "green board". Supposed to be very water resistant. perhaps a base made of that, or even marine grade plywood coated with fiberglass rosin. Pauls72 light bulb idea is a good one. Or perhaps even a small heating pad. Just a thought. Regards, Bill

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    Default Re: Leaving my scope outside permanently

    It all depends on your weather conditions. I would never dream of doing this in the UK as we range from dry summer conditions to absolute downpours. I do check the forecasts and will occasionally leave the kit out for a few days if the forecasts tell me it will be dry
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