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russ

Dark damp sheds don’t make good storage

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Russ

Great you have found your Astro mojo and are back to the hobby and SGL.

I feel for you on your posting, that sucks on all counts.

I have been out of work several times and so understand how you would have felt when you found the devastation, you are clearly a strong person to bounce back so well.  

As to the kit, well strip and fettle and see what comes of it, you will be surprised. 

Sheds always worry me for storing things of a delicate nature such as optics, I keep my items in the dining room, much to the better half’s displeasure, but it’s warm and dry and I get to look at my kit everyday.

Wish you well Russ and pleased you are back.

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Posted (edited)

Dusty is not good either. My old dob needs its mirror re-coated due to being in a garage. Best ep at the time lost along with secondary and holder.

Nowadays its cheaper to buy a replacement. Only sentimentality makes me keep what is left.

Edited by 25585

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Sorry to hear your bad news! Good to read that you've managed to find a new position that you are happy with.

After moving 18 months ago, all my tools have had to go into a leaky shed. Everything in there is now covered in mould and my tools are going rusty! We are talking about getting a new shed this year. I will definitely be putting some form of ventilation in.

Good luck with refurbishment of your kit.

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Well one back Russ. I member enjoying some of your posts in the past and it's good to k ow you are back in the hobby☺.

Fungus isn't much fun but can usually be mostly got rid of with care.

I hope you can salvage most of your kit...May also be worth checking if you house insurance covers stiff in your outbuildings?

Good luck!

Dave

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I had a plastic twin door shed. Ventilation on that was paramount as it would sweat in the summer.

I've now moved, but I'm looking to get another plastic to house my gear. I'm also looking to install a couple of sets of 120mm fans on the vents to extract the internal air. I have an idea around using solar panels and batteries that I think may help.

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Damp and moulds a real pain and sneaks up on your kit. I keep my 190MN and EQ6 out in a roll off shed, the roof is sound and internally its dry but essentially well ventilated due to the gap in the base for the pier and the whole thing being raised off the ground on castors. So far the scope has faired very well, except for the odd spider that likes to get inside the "sealed" tube and make lots of fine webs. The main issue I encountered was on the EQ6 mount, the counterweights have signs of rust and every screw/bolt has suffered with rust, also all the connections show sign of rust. I have now replaced every one with A4 Stainless which should be good for many years now. All my usb connections and 12v power supplies are now fully sealed in outdoor rated enclosures wherever possible.  Interestingly I have also thought about a little solar powered fan for the hotter summer days too to try and keep the temp down as I'm worried all the lubrication will leak out of the mount  :O, its got to well over 40 deg C in the past.

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5 hours ago, Rob said:

I've now moved, but I'm looking to get another plastic to house my gear. I'm also looking to install a couple of sets of 120mm fans on the vents to extract the internal air. I have an idea around using solar panels and batteries that I think may help.

On my Keter shed there's a vent at the apex above the front door, and a rear vent low on the back wall. 

It  simply just works!  you don't need a wind tunnel, and at what cost for the  fans and power supplies.

Its been my experience that some of the cheaper solar panels require direct sunlight in order to work at their best, not just daylight!

You'll  need two sheds now to compare the outcome?
 

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I had a similar issue with a bunch of plossl EPs I left in my old leaky caravan once.

I took the opportunity to learn how they went together and took them apart (making notes on which order and way round the glass went) and just cleaned them with soapy water in the sink.

Dried them with a yellow duster and wiped them with a kitchen paper towel and put them back together.

2 years later they still work fine!

Have the coatings been degraded... probably. Do they still work... ABSOLUTELY!

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3 hours ago, nicks90 said:

Dried them with a yellow duster and wiped them with a kitchen paper towel and put them back together.

Ahhh!!!  My heart stopped for moment there.  Paper towels and facial tissues are quite scratchy at the near microscopic level.  I always dry optics with either a well washed T-shirt or fairly new cotton washcloth that is still soft (no fabric softener used on either).  I follow-up in the field with a microfiber cloth to remove fingerprints and other assorted oils after lightly flicking the surface with the edge of the cloth to knock grit away.

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Many thanks for all the replies. 

So weekend just gone I took the opportunity, while stuck indoors recovering from flu, to strip everything down. Also a chance to see up close the damage to the optics. 

It all went very well indeed. After several washes the primary mirror is unmarked. The tiny fungus filaments have all gone. Not one left. The secondary mirror proved more problematic. After several washes with very light dabs with cotton wool I am left with one Mark. Just won’t budge. I can live with that. Online (Cloudynights) it recommended a soap sud and warm water mix, followed by copious amounts of distilled water. But I don’t think I’ll bother. If the Mount Wilson Hooker scope can get by with bullet holes in the mirror (I think it’s that scope that a disgruntled astronomer took pot shots with his six shooter?) then I think I can get by with one tiny mark.

The corrector plate also cleaned up 100% okay. Actually it looks mighty fine looking down the front end now. I put it all back together, collimated it last night and then did a 1.5 Hour session in the garden. Checking out all the old favs (M42, M81/M82, M45, Leo Triplet, M31, Double Cluster, Auriga clusters) having a thoroughly great time. 

And to add to the plus points, when up in the loft digging out my red torch, observing table etc, I found one of the eyepieces that I brought in from the shed but didn’t sell (it wasn’t mine to sell, belongs to my son). Which was also a relief as I thought I may have sold it and was dreading my son asking about the eyepiece. phew.

Finally I stripped the mount, regressed both axis with white lithium grease. Now much better. 

Thanks again everyone.

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Awesome result mate. I had everything crossed that would be the case. Sounds like you got there just in time 😁

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Great news Russ, glad it turned out ok and that you got to enjoy using it again so quickly - possibly the best session you’ve had; every cloud, etc. etc.:thumbright:. Very well done and thanks for updating us all.

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53 minutes ago, geoflewis said:

Great news Russ, glad it turned out ok and that you got to enjoy using it again so quickly - possibly the best session you’ve had; every cloud, etc. etc.:thumbright:. Very well done and thanks for updating us all.

Great news and a huge relief......phew :)  It was a great sky too. Even for my back garden.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Moonshane said:

Awesome result mate. I had everything crossed that would be the case. Sounds like you got there just in time 😁

Thanks Shane. So glad to have it out the way now. C6 is now living where it used to live, up in our bedroom. The only snag is cool down, which is why it was in the shed. I will fix the shed next, make sure it’s ventilated and leak proof. Then move the scope back outside. An SCT indoors isn’t really a practical solution.

Edited by russ

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10 minutes ago, russ said:

I will fix the shed next, make sure it’s ventilated and leak proof. Then move the scope back outside. An SCT indoors isn’t really a practical solution.

Russ, if you want to add additional damp proofing and if your shed has any power outlets then running a dehumidifier periodically can keep moisture levels down to acceptable levels. My gear is permanently mounted in a ROR observatory and everything can be wringing wet after an imaging session, either when humidity is high or everything got covered in frost, so I let my dehumidifier run for about 4 hours overnight then pour away a couple of litres of water from the removable tank the following morning. I don't run the dehumidifier every time, though it can be permanently installed with a drain pipe and humidity sensor, but I don't consider that necessary. I got mine from Dry-it-Out a couple of years ago; my model is no longer available, but similar to this one I think...

http://www.dry-it-out.com/dd1-simple-desiccant-dehumdifier

The folks at Dry-it-out were very helpful when I called them to get advice on what I needed. Anyway, it maybe something to consider to protect your valuable equipment.

Cheers, Geof

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Yeah, I had a clever idea to store some smaller eyepieces in the pier for my scope in my observatory. But in the English climate they were getting a hammering. Not so much from fungus but from a daily dew cycle "gluing" muck to the lenses. Fortunately they cleaned up perfectly but I don't store them in the obsy anymore. As for ventilation, I have an air gap round the rotating roof with a flange that keeps the rain out perfectly. However in our recent blizzards that fine powdery snow blew right under it and I ended up with 1/2" of snow on the observatory floor!  

 

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I'm pleased this story had a happy ending.  I very much hesitate to meddle with the internal workings of things that function after a fashion hence my hesitancy with collimation, but in a 'nothing to lose' situation I'll dismantle and see if I can improve things any time.  I bet you learned loads about it all works in the process too.  Sounds a great night out as well.  I still don't think I'll shift mine from behind the porch door though - this tale certainly lets me know that the storage location is worth the inconvenience of lugging it all in and out when I want to use it and the EP's are perfectly happy tucked away in my lounge.  Hope you get lots more nights out. 

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My heart stopped for moment there.  Paper towels and facial tissues are quite scratchy at the near microscopic level.

 

agreed if these were nagler's, but cheap SW plossl EPs aren't worthy of that sort or care.

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