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Olli

Ok to leave a dobsonian outside?

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Hello,

after deciding  on getting a dobsonian either a 150p or 200p I was wondering if anyone leaves their dobsonian outside?. Obviously I won’t be leaving it uncovered, I was hoping if there are any special all weather covers? So I can just leave it all assembled.I do have some room left in my garage but might be a tight fit :). I was also thinking of getting a bag like this ( something  a bit bigger) http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/textiles-rugs/outdoor-textiles/tosterö-storage-bag-for-cushions-black-art-20292328/?cid=gb|ps|pla||||. I’d wrap it up in dust sheets or something as well. I really want to get one of those dobs but I’m struggling on where I can store it. And please would someone confirm the weights for me Ive seen the 150p dob is about 7kg is and the 200p is about 9kg and the base being around 10kg for both is this correct?

Edited by Dinoco

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6 minutes ago, Dinoco said:

That'll work for occasional use (as it says on the FLO page...) any longer than a week to 2 weeks and they recommend the 365 version... Although, having one of the 365 series to protect my 14", I still wouldn't want to leave mine out under it for that long...

But maybe I'm over cautious. But it does the job well for a few nights... 

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Telegizmos are amongst the better scope covers certainly. They're great if you're at a star party or some other temporary dark site for a few days. I personally wouldn't leave a dob out permanently though. The metal and mirrors would be fine so long as you don't get any insects all over them. But my concern would be the wood, wide temperature changes, condensation, and damp. The smaller dob bases tend to be chipboard which can warp if any moisture gets in. Keeping them indoors or garage/shed would be far preferable imho. :)

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I do leave my Dob and EQ mounted Newtonian outside overnight - sometimes for several days but not permanently. I suspect that unless you regularly (i.e. daily) uncover the scope to let any collected condensation to evaporate your mirror coatings are going to suffer. Thanks to air pollution the dew that will collect on your mirror is mildly acidic so unless you keep the scope angled to ensure run off your mirror is going to suffer.

If you are set on keeping it outdoors I would recommend a cover from Cygnus Astro http://neilross758.wixsite.com/cygnus-astro-covers. I purchased one at the Kelling Heath Star Party a few years ago and have never regretted it.

 

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Probably OK for a short amount of time but not long term. Exposure to insects, inclement weather, etc.

If you would like to store your telescope outside have you considered saving up a few extra quid on top of that £58 you are willing to spend and get something more substantial?

https://www.gardenbuildingsdirect.co.uk/garden-storage-units/bike-storage/mower-storage/tool-storage/wheelie-bin-storage

https://www.wickes.co.uk/Keter-Store-It-Out-Max-Plastic-Garden-and-Bin-Storage-Beige+Brown---3-x-5-ft/p/119796?awc=1563_1518628105_de40605536292b8372bfcad941769d61&utm_source=affiliate_window&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_term=73985&utm_content=deeplink&utm_campaign=Reevoo&CA_6C15C=120135120001184264

I stored my 16" flextube (retractable tube making it smaller) in the Keter above for a few years - it was completely waterproof but you need weights/straps to keep the lid down as it warps in direct sun.

It does make setting up so much easier and the scope is already cooled.

People have stored telescopes in sheds/observatories for years without scopes coming to much harm. I would advise though that some of the fixings/ spider and scratches on the OTA will actually rust after a time so ensure regular servicing to prevent this.

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8 minutes ago, Hobbes said:

I do leave my Dob and EQ mounted Newtonian outside overnight - sometimes for several days but not permanently. I suspect that unless you regularly (i.e. daily) uncover the scope to let any collected condensation to evaporate your mirror coatings are going to suffer. Thanks to air pollution the dew that will collect on your mirror is mildly acidic so unless you keep the scope angled to ensure run off your mirror is going to suffer.

If you are set on keeping it outdoors I would recommend a cover from Cygnus Astro http://neilross758.wixsite.com/cygnus-astro-covers. I purchased one at the Kelling Heath Star Party a few years ago and have never regretted it.

 

Thanks, I’ll try and keep it in when the weather gets really bad. But maybe for something to have after to winter. Though that cover looks good. I’ll have another re think

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16 minutes ago, Stargazer McCabe said:

That'll work for occasional use (as it says on the FLO page...) any longer than a week to 2 weeks and they recommend the 365 version... Although, having one of the 365 series to protect my 14", I still wouldn't want to leave mine out under it for that long...

But maybe I'm over cautious. But it does the job well for a few nights... 

Didn’t see that part :) guess I’ll have to keep looking, I’m probably only going to keep it outside when it’s not the winter.

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23 minutes ago, Beulah said:

Probably OK for a short amount of time but not long term. Exposure to insects, inclement weather, etc.

If you would like to store your telescope outside have you considered saving up a few extra quid on top of that £58 you are willing to spend and get something more substantial?

https://www.gardenbuildingsdirect.co.uk/garden-storage-units/bike-storage/mower-storage/tool-storage/wheelie-bin-storage

https://www.wickes.co.uk/Keter-Store-It-Out-Max-Plastic-Garden-and-Bin-Storage-Beige+Brown---3-x-5-ft/p/119796?awc=1563_1518628105_de40605536292b8372bfcad941769d61&utm_source=affiliate_window&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_term=73985&utm_content=deeplink&utm_campaign=Reevoo&CA_6C15C=120135120001184264

I stored my 16" flextube (retractable tube making it smaller) in the Keter above for a few years - it was completely waterproof but you need weights/straps to keep the lid down as it warps in direct sun.

It does make setting up so much easier and the scope is already cooled.

People have stored telescopes in sheds/observatories for years without scopes coming to much harm. I would advise though that some of the fixings/ spider and scratches on the OTA will actually rust after a time so ensure regular servicing to prevent this.

Thanks, the keter looks quite good a little bit pricey but if it does the job then I guess it’s worth it 

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I think it is a case of factoring in Winter protection in the early days of
acquiring a Large Dob. Scope They are a precious possession, and everything possible should 
be done to keep it safe from bad weather. That could mean a custom built bolted down weather proof shed type construction.
That could include a rail mounted unit, easily slid away for use. Secure anchors in the ground to keep it free from movement in high winds.
A lot of work, that could save a lot of hassle though.:icon_biggrin:

Alternatively, mothballed for winter, which seems  counter productive considering the reasons one has a Big Dob.

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150 & 200 should not be too heavy to carry in 2 pieces. A sack truck makes transport easy as well.

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If your scope has any wood. I would say ‘No’. 

Mine is all metal. It seems happy enough for a few days. In fact the mirror seems to stay clearer for longer with the fresh air circulating freely, rather than locked up in the garage.

Paul

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1 hour ago, Paul73 said:

If your scope has any wood. I would say ‘No’. 

Mine is all metal. It seems happy enough for a few days. In fact the mirror seems to stay clearer for longer with the fresh air circulating freely, rather than locked up in the garage.

Paul

The smaller scopes have a wooden base I’ll have to have a think of where to put it.

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9 hours ago, Dinoco said:

Hello,

after deciding  on getting a dobsonian either a 150p or 200p I was wondering if anyone leaves their dobsonian outside?. Obviously I won’t be leaving it uncovered, I was hoping if there are any special all weather covers? So I can just leave it all assembled.I do have some room left in my garage but might be a tight fit :). I was also thinking of getting a bag like this ( something  a bit bigger) http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/textiles-rugs/outdoor-textiles/tosterö-storage-bag-for-cushions-black-art-20292328/?cid=gb|ps|pla||||. I’d wrap it up in dust sheets or something as well. I really want to get one of those dobs but I’m struggling on where I can store it. And please would someone confirm the weights for me Ive seen the 150p dob is about 7kg is and the 200p is about 9kg and the base being around 10kg for both is this correct?

 

Dino

I would not leave outside

I use a water proof ground sheet under mine as well

With the mount been constructed out of chipboard, can absorbed moister, and eventually swell and split

 

Skywatcher 10 inch Dobson.jpg

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Good precaution. I have one exactly like that ☝️ ☝️ . Very good scopes for those short of space.

Learned the hard way. Now has a warped base and takes a terrific push to get it to move at all. Not what you need for star hopping.

BTW - a light shroud really helps the contrast. I got mine from Astrozap.

Paul

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I modded my base on my 10" skyliner with a setting circle a couple of years ago. Started having a sticky patch which got considerably worse at kelling heath after being outside in the damp for a few days. Got it home and striped it down and discovered that where i had cut a sight hole for the setting circle the damp had got in and was slightly swollen. Had to sand it down. I need to seal it with something, but thinking I might just make a new base for it out of marine ply with some improvement in mind.

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My Skyliner 250PX is used on my paved patio. It does not stay outside overnight, and if I leave it unattended for a while, I usually cover it with an old towel. Mine has the Synscan drive assemblies, so I tend to keep it powered to reduce any dew effects on the electronics.

Geoff

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Thanks for all the input seems like it’s a no go for leaving it outside which I did half suspect. I’ll have to see if I can get some sort of bag to keep the scope but base separated, so I can have it indoors.

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I have a 200p and it does not take up that much room.  The OTA points upright when in its 'parked' position so the whole scope and bases footprint is just about the diameter of the base. There is no need to store the scope and base separetly.  And i would not recomend doing that anyway. Yes the handles stick out but these can be removed when stored.  Surley it could be stored in a corner somewhere????

Edited by Chefgage

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