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Heating mount under scope cover?


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Hi All,

I've just bought a Telegizmo 365 scope cover for my EQ6 R mount (which I'm now going to keep outside permanently) which is fixed on my pier.  I'm doing this as it's very heavy to keep taking off and on!  Security isn't really an issue although I will be taking precautions.

My question is, should I add some low power heating to the pier (under the cover) in order to keep condensation down or will this not really be an issue?

Has anyone done this and, if so, how?

Any advice/guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan

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I've considered similar, my egg seat cover has done sterling job but as the weather closes in there is more condensation under there.  A simple bar heater with thermostat may do, say 30W. eg 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hylite-Slimline-Tubular-Heater-HHT203/dp/B00TFHBEDG

Problem I can foresee which I'd like feedback on is where does the evaporated condensation go to :)

Plus I had no plans to run 240VAC to my pier, ethernet and 13VDC was my plan! 

 

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Unfortunately I don't have an answer, but I'm interested to know if anyone else does. If you have permanent power at the pier then there are probably good options. I haven't found anything that works well from a battery (I guess its impossible).

My plan for now is to leave the mount outside if there's clear skies in the next few days, and bring it in if there's about to be a storm!

Edited by rnobleeddy
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12 hours ago, jiberjaber said:

Problem I can foresee which I'd like feedback on is where does the evaporated condensation go to :)

Been thinking about this as well, maybe something like a PC fan to extract air from inside the cover, or maybe just a vent at the top. Got to keep the air moving.

Looking at ways to pump warm air from the house into the cover, or draw air from outside but feed it through a filter -> dehumidifier -> heater

All this work to save me 15 minutes setup time 😄

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I think just a 5v fan blowing up the cover would keep air moving and reduce the chance of condensation forming. I wouldn't apply heat, as you don't want the mount to get warm and then at night release the heat which would impact on the seeing. I think ambient air moved would be sufficient.

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I was actually thinking a fan rather than heating. I'm going to be supplying mains to the pier now so I could use the fan with a timer to only come on at night.

Thanks for all your ideas everyone.  Always good to get different perspectives.

Dan

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I have kept my Vixen SX mounts on a pier in the garden with a 365 cover for the last 10 years full time, without any issues or corrosion. My advice is do not heat! Warm air holds more moisture. The  cover is wrapped around the lower pier to provide a good seal in two places and I keep a dessicant canister (Fuller's earth) inside. If an observing  night is dewy I leave the cover loose and take it off to dry the mount in the morning, before sealing the cover. The canister gets dried out about once a year in the oven. Only the mount and pier is kept out, and they get put inside when I go away for any time, just for security.

Edited by Stephenstargazer
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Thanks for the advice.  I decided against heating and added two 5v fans to the pier on timers (so they only work at night).  I think this should work well and will keep the air circulating under the cover to reduce chances of condensation.  I'll look at adding a dessicant cannister of some sort as well.

Thank you.

Dan

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If you put in a dessicant  with the fans it may get used up quickly with all the air pumped through. So I suggest you go for 'either or' rather than both. Will look forward to hearing how fans work. By the way my cover has never (yet!) felt damp inside and the material really lasts incredibly well with the occasional wash on outside, mainly due to perching birds! An expensive cover that lats in all weathers is cheap in the long run, you wont regret that.

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On 21/10/2020 at 20:42, Stephenstargazer said:

I have kept my Vixen SX mounts on a pier in the garden with a 365 cover for the last 10 years full time, without any issues or corrosion. My advice is do not heat! Warm air holds more moisture. The  cover is wrapped around the lower pier to provide a good seal in two places and I keep a dessicant canister (Fuller's earth) inside. If an observing  night is dewy I leave the cover loose and take it off to dry the mount in the morning, before sealing the cover. The canister gets dried out about once a year in the oven. Only the mount and pier is kept out, and they get put inside when I go away for any time, just for security.

Got a link to the sort of canister you've been using? Just out of sheer curiosity. Thanks

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I thought they may have gone after all these years (like the dinosaur)  but F.J.Stanley survives! For the curious:

https://www.autopyjama.com/permapack-en

I have just my original one of  the 2.5" in with the mount. Modern silica gel types are much cheaper but they dont last very long. In fact I am now thinking about a big one for my store room. To check if it has collected much water you just weigh it. Simple stuff, you could even make your own I suppose. 

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My TG cover is open at the bottom, and I keep a 12V pet warmer on whenever the weather is cold enough for dew. Because it isn't tightly sealed up the air can circulate enough to keep condensation at bay.

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