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Storing a telescope when not in use...recommendations wanted please


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Hi All,

Although not acquired yet, I'm most likely getting an EQ3 Pro with a Startravel 102 scope. Rather than storing it inside the house when not in use can anyone recommend some form of storage unit that'll keep it safe and dry. I don't have a garden shed to put it into so wanted something compact I could abut on to the house wall on the patio. I'd be most interested in hearing what other people do.

Thanks in advance.
Daz

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I use a plastic Keter shed. Although it is surprisingly weatherproof in terms of rain, my Dob will certainly suffer over time as it bound to be a much damper atmosphere than indoors. But it is accessible and easier to use and that means it gets used much more than it would if I had to cart it out. Actually it is too big to cart out so I either had a Dob stored outside or no Dob. And it is already cooled down when I get it out. :) 

So I sacrificed how long it will last against getting good use out of it. I also store my refractor in there but that is less of a concern as it is in a reasonable quality flight case. Not sure if the Startravel has a case? The mount for that also lives in there and that has survived well so far.  

I did have to screw the shed to the wall otherwise it would not stay put in a decent wind.

So it works but I suspect lots of people would be horrified at the thought of leaving the scope out there - and I understand that, as it is definitely a compromise.

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Hello Daz,

If you go for Gordon's solution, you could add extra weather/damp protection with one of these Oklop flexible storage holdalls.

I have one for my scope and it's excellent. I think this one might fit your proposed Startravel scope:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/telescope-bags-cases-storage/oklop-padded-bag-for-small-telescopes.html

Hope that helps😉

Dave

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Ideally, I want to put the whole thing in the plastic slim shed and close the door. I assume it'll need a small electric heater inside to ensure nothing freezes but my main concern is humidity. I want it as dry as possible right?

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I'm puzzled. To be honest I don't understand the need to store such a small scope outdoors.
It will easily go in a small cupboard somewhere in the house.

By the time you have bought a small store box/shed, fettled it to make it more suited to the task, and added a heater or dehumidifier, and arranged electricity, you have in effect bought another scope.

HTH, David.

 

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27 minutes ago, Carbon Brush said:

I'm puzzled. To be honest I don't understand the need to store such a small scope outdoors.
It will easily go in a small cupboard somewhere in the house.

By the time you have bought a small store box/shed, fettled it to make it more suited to the task, and added a heater or dehumidifier, and arranged electricity, you have in effect bought another scope.

HTH, David.

 

Tbh David I have the same problem as the OP. Despite living in a fairly modern 4 bed semi, the house is packed out with two grown mid teen & early twenties children still at home. A corner in the conservatory is reserved for my stuff. New anti snap locks & alarms etc have been installed to reduce anxiety. This thread is of interest because I've been considering another Keter wheelie bin/lawn mower style shed for the gear.

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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Understood Peter. Thanks.
So really the OP ought to be looking for a 3ftx4ft shed to 'weatherproof'.
A bit too small to get repurposed for the kids bikes, but big enough for when aperture fever, or a scope for each day of week syndrome, strike.

Your comment reminds me of incurring the wrath of a family member many years ago.
Husband & wife had just moved into a new house. They had a spare bedroom and no garage.
She kept loads of crockery, vases , ceramic ornaments and the like in the spare room.
He had to buy a shed for his tools until a garage could be saved for and built.
I suggested they swap storage locations.
Tools rust, electric drills get damp insulation, etc.
Crockery survives damp conditions for years assuming the glaze is intact.
Not a popular suggestion🤣

Back to the thread. Yes something like a large Keter store. Lots of silicone sealant on the joints to keep the bugs out and add to the rigidity.
Spray the opening doors seams frequently with silicone spray, Mr Sheen, etc. This discourages the bugs from squeezing through.
Buy a dehumidifier that works at low temperature - some don't.
Security has to be about slowing down the thieves. Fasten things together inside. Don't display security measures outside.
There is no point in fitting & displaying a big padlock or bar when you can cut the shed side open using a decent kitchen knife or panel saw.

HTH, David.

 

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16 minutes ago, dazzystar said:

Problem is this isn't a small piece of kit and the wife doesn't really want it in the living room!

Blinkin' wives eh? 😉

Mr Brush's tips above should do the job. One of those plastic wheelie bin sheds should be big enough. A refractor in a case, plus tripod and extras will easily fit in. I do already have one with the lawnmower and several garden tools etc stored. I rarely notice water ingress and only one particularly mean looking spider spotted 😬 Beefing it up with extra insulation/damp proofing etc might do.

 

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Tell her the scope can fit into the same space as a few pairs of shoes in the bottom of the wardrobe. OK maybe not good for your health. 😕
Seriously though. An ST102 and collapsed tripod are quite small.

I once bought an ST102 (on alt/az) that the owner had proudly displayed in the living room!
In fact his only reason for selling was to buy a bigger scope - to display.

I modified a plain pine bookshelf to store an 8"/200mm reflector, EQ5 mount, and all the accessories.
It 'hid' behind the door in a spare bedroom.

If you do get a spider in the shed, look after it. It will kill most other things.🕷️🕸️

HTH, David.

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10 hours ago, dazzystar said:

Problem is this isn't a small piece of kit and the wife doesn't really want it in the living room!

Yeah that can be a problem, mine so far is fairly tolerant (fortunately the backroom and following a night out). 

 

 

 

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the wife and her gear takes up more room than the scope,  and you let her into the living room.  i dont see her argument. lol. shed for the wife and telescope in the bedroom. she will weather the damp better. hope shes not afraid of spiders.

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13 hours ago, apaulo said:

the wife and her gear takes up more room than the scope,  and you let her into the living room.  i dont see her argument. lol. shed for the wife and telescope in the bedroom. she will weather the damp better. hope shes not afraid of spiders.

That's so funny!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

My 10 inch dob resides in my non climate controlled garage.  I leave it on the cart I use to transport it to my observing site.  It keeps it pretty close to the outside temp and humidity.  I toss a sheet over it just in case some birds get into the garage and decided to leave some droppings on it.  So far so good.

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Would a cheap solution this not be to purchase an additional wheelie bin and store it in that. You could probably put some of that strip insulation around the rim under the lid to keep most damp etc out. Just a thought.

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I wouldn't have an issue with covering a mount, or leaving it in a shed, but I'd never leave a refractor outside in a shed, or in an observatory. A StarTravel 102 is a small bodied scope and would take up virtually no room in the house where it will be dry and safe.

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10 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

I wouldn't have an issue with covering a mount, or leaving it in a shed, but I'd never leave a refractor outside in a shed, or in an observatory. A StarTravel 102 is a small bodied scope and would take up virtually no room in the house where it will be dry and safe.

I’m with @mikeDnight &@Carbon Brush on this.
My Tal 100RS is stored vertically in the back corner of a wardrobe cupboard, it’s out of the way, dry and safe. 

I did the same a long time ago with a Tal 4” reflector including the mount, basically out of sight out of mind and a happy wife!

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20 hours ago, mikeDnight said:

I wouldn't have an issue with covering a mount, or leaving it in a shed, but I'd never leave a refractor outside in a shed, or in an observatory.

I'm in the planning phase of building an observatory and to be honest if I couldn't leave my scopes in there I'd see little point in building it. I can just imagine the conversation with my wife... "You mean you built an observatory but you still bring the scope in the house each night???" 🤣🤣

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4 hours ago, scotty38 said:

I'm in the planning phase of building an observatory and to be honest if I couldn't leave my scopes in there I'd see little point in building it. I can just imagine the conversation with my wife... "You mean you built an observatory but you still bring the scope in the house each night???" 🤣🤣

Absolutely!!! My refractors have always been too precious for me to leave them to fungal growth that would inevitably attack the lenses. The same applies to eyepieces.

I built my observatory so as to create a relatively dark observing area that's dry even in snowy or wet weather, and keeps me out of the biting icey winter breezes. It also gives me a clean environment to spread out charts and make eyepiece sketches etc. The mount is permanently polar aligned and stands on a steel pier, but my refractor and eyepieces come back into the house with me at the end of every observing session. The observatory also gives me the ability to have electricity for lighting and heating when needed. A 4" to 6" refractor takes up very little room in the house. In 42 years of being together my wife has never complained about my scopes being kept in the house. In fact she's never really complained about anything pertaining to my hobbies. She even suggested I build my observatory and then funded it. :biggrin:

This Losmandy mount was permanently attached to its pier and left outside. I covered it along with its electronics under a canvas garden chair cover when not in use, and it never got wet. The 5" apo always came back into the house.

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My best pal worried I was getting too cold in the winter months, and wanted to cover the materials cost for a run off roof observatory. Who am I to argue?!

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Edited by mikeDnight
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Can't argue with that too much @mikeDnight although I'm hoping for roll the roof, flick a switch or two and away the imaging goes (more or less). I still intend to use the telegizmo cover but other than that my plan is for the scope to stay outside. It is only a WO triplet to be fair, none of this fancy Japanese stuff 🤣🤣

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