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Garage telescope storage


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Hi

I am waiting on the arrival of my Skyliner dob. It will probably be a couple of weeks so I thought I had better think about storage.

I was thinking of keeping it in the garage and reading a few posts it may be a good idea to store it in a protective container rather than free standing.

My worry is low temperatures in the winter. Will this be a problem? and is it better to store vertical or horizontaly?

Thanks

Adrian

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I keep my 12" Lx in an unheated tin shed observatory, covered with an old sheet, then a large plastic sheet and final a 12V Doggie Blanket heater pad.

Been using it like that for a few years now. No issues.

For the dobbie in the garage, store horizontal if you can; a dust sheet and plastic sheet as a minimum.

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If/when I get a 150PL I shall most probably have to store it in the garage. This may prove slightly beneficial. As the garage is unheated/uninsulated it can get a bit nippy. However, wouldn't this mean less "cool down" time at the start of an observing session, as the temperature difference would be less than if I were to bring the scope out from a warm, cosy indoors? I would imagine the greatest enemy would be dust rather than temperature

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When I was using the dobbies the temptation was to leave them sitting vertical with a shower cap end cover....then I found flies could get in an S*&^ on the mirrors and the occasional mouse would try to do the same!

With the tube horizontal at least you have a fighting chance.

(This was in rural Australia wher mice were in plague proportions)

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Temperature is not really a problem - dust certainly is, especially if you move the car in and out of the garage. Most dust is abrasive and much of it is also corrosive. My solution (I keep my 200P in the garage) was to build a box out of conti-board (the white melamine covered chipboard) and seal the door with draftproofing foam tape - works a treat!

It even managed to keep the scope clean when some work was done on the garage roof tiles recently - you should have seen the dust and muck that fell all over it!!!

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Thanks bizibilder

I didn't think about the car kicking up dust. I will most likely buy or make up a storage box and then cover the telescope with a dust sheet aswell.

One last question: Any thoughts on outside storage boxes? We have quite busy garage and this would be easier than moving the car out every time I want to use the scope. If low temperatures aren't a problem, outside could be an option.

Adrian

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I keep my scopes in a garage, have done for 3 years...I'm fortunate in having a double garage, but only 1 car lives in there..;)

Just a couple of points which might help?

-For storage benefits, always make sure all optics including focuser mount are covered over with dewshield or similar. As already said, dust is the big enemy, and most garages have a fair sized gap at the bottom of the door, through which dust can and does blow in. In the recent good weather a lot of Saharan dust landed on my car while on the drive (not in the garage, but some particles could blow in).

-Ventilation is important, as humidity and temperature vary more than you might think, between the outside drive/garden and the inside of the garage. If I plan to observe I always open the garage door fully for an hour or two...but I am lucky in having 6 foot high gates on my drive, which keep gear out of sight of opportunistic burglars:eek:..if you can't do that, do get the scope out an hour before you commence observing if at all possible.

-lastly, I use a duster regularly to wipe dust off the mounts, and lubricate the exposed moving parts on the mounts, eg worm wheels, now and again with a little 3-in-1 oil. Once in a while I also wipe down the mounts, tripods and ota tubes (but NOT the optics!) with a j cloth which has been rinsed in clean warm water until almost touch dry..then leave the garage door open for 15 minutes for the scopes to dry naturally.

hope this helps;)

Dave

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I keep my SW 150PL in the garage all the time. I store it in a very large box which I had left over from when I moved house. It's big enough to store the scope and the mount (with legs folded). Both are covered with a dust sheet inside the box. I've had no problems with dust etc getting into the scope.

Pete

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Being too lazy to do any woodwork I would suggest recycle an old wardrobe, or even a metal office cabinet. A bit of draught excluder will keep the dust out. this affords physical protection from running the lawnmower (or car?) into the scope. The extra space can be used to store everything else that a scope seems to attract.

David.

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I would strongly recommend you completely cover the scope in a waterprook material, plastic sheet will do. I had to have a mirror recoated after keeping it in the garage, uncovered for a couple of years. I think the problem was that after prolonged very cold spells the garage floor is very cold and when warmer damper weather arrives you can get condensation on the mirror, especially if the tube is standing vertically on the garage floor (as mine was). As mine was uncovered I think the damp air got in through the tube vents. Now I keep all my tubes in covers.

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I had read somewhere that glass settles over a very long time as it's technically still liquid.

Given the tollerances in our scopes, is it wise to store them horizontally (ie with the mirror edge on)?

I understand the fly/mouse cr@p problem for a Dob.

I store my C8 with the mirror horizontal.

Edited by Mr Bond
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Just so long as it's under a dust cover then garage storeage is fine. Plus it will be nearer ambient when you take it outside and more useable quicker. I bring mine indoors and stowe in the dining room - drives her indoors nuts lol ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Glad I stumbled across this thread as I keep my ST120 in the garage and was wondering if that was ok. I do remove it from the mount though and put it back in its box as I was worried about dust.

Dale

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Glass is a liquid, Wikipedia is not a valid resource for anything, it is a highly vicous liquid which does deform over time, it will drip once in 1000 years.

Remember your mirror is not like the one in your bathroom, it has aluminium adhered to it to make it strong and highly reflective.

I have two scope to keep, both quite large, a 8" f6 newt on EQ5 and a 10" Meade sct on an LX50. I'm looking at something like a packing crate with profiled inserts for the newt and a wooden box for the Meade that I can put their foam insert into. This will hide them both from sneaky burglars (who would have to be super strong too to carry the 40kg Meade and the 25kg Newt. This will live in my garage.

When I come up with something I'll post pictures.

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Glass is a liquid, Wikipedia is not a valid resource for anything, it is a highly vicous liquid which does deform over time, it will drip once in 1000 years.

Wow - not for *anything*? We're all aware of the pitfalls of wikipedia, but to ignore it altogether because sometimes it's nonsense? You just have to apply a sceptical eye and check other sources.

Glass is not a liquid, it is an amorphous solid. On my last visit to the British Museum I don't recall seeing an array of deformed 5000 year old glass antiquities. The reason that a lot of medaeval glass is thicker at the bottom is simply because the manufacturing process resulted in a sheet of glass which was thicker at one end than at the other, and it is patently easier for the builders to place the thicker end downwards while grouting, so that is what they did. Glass does not flow in any measurable way in human timescales.

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Fair comment.

My experience is from having a Plumber as a best mate (plumbers fit glass), who told me this is his own first hand experience, and he was also told so at college too.

I tend to believe hands on folk first is all, given the alternative.

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Aah, plumbers - a trustworthy lot when it comes to materials science :D;):p

Don't sweat it, I believed the same thing myself until a couple of years ago, when a chance conversation led me to do some checking. It's one of those widespread urban myths, like NASA spending millions on a space pen while the Russians used pencils.

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