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Options for secure outside housing...

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What are my options for keeping my telescope, with EQ-3 mount outside, but secure in a back garden which can easily be broken in to?

Ideally I'd like to be able to just wheel it out when needed, from a compact cabinet of some kind... but worried that this will easily be broken into - and my scope stolen.

Any advice much appreciated.

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Hello "Nebula" and welcome to Stargazers Lounge Astronomical Forum!

Keeping anything secure outside of one's house is a difficult problem anyone faces.

Once you put a store shed or any other container in your garden, it will be a target for someone looking for something of value to steal.

If you add a lock, it will become more of an attractive target - as a thief will automatically think there must be something of value inside, for it to have had a lock fitted! The more "anti theft" devices one fits, the more interesting it is to a thief.

However, as you have asked about safe and secure outside storage - in a garden which you say can easily be gotten into, then you can only either make or buy as secure a container as possible (within your budget) and put a good lock on it.

You can fit it with an alarm - perhaps even two independant alarms, in different places within your secure container/shed, etc. You can also fit a light that comes one if someone enters your garden. You can put gravel down around the perimeter - or other likely places where an intruder might enter. Thieves do not like to make noise when they are up to no good. You can also position (as best you can) the secure container or shed, in a part of your garden which is near to your house - so you have a better chance of hearing an alarm, and of making a theft attempt as unnatractive and risky proposition as possible.

I don't think anything can be truly 100% burglar proof. All we can do is "deter" theft as best we can by making it as difficult and risky as possibly.

I'm sure you will receive many other replies with good sound advice - and ideas which I have not considered.

Finally, I would urge you to have another think to see if there is any remote possibility of storing your astro equipement inside your house.

Best wishes,


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My take on the observatory is that if someone really wants in they can - after all, it's a wooden shed with a roof designed to roll off. Same goes for pretty much any form of garden storage. So locks and alarms are a deterrent to the casual thief looking for an unlocked shed, but there's no sense in going over the top because a determined thief with boltcutters etc. will get in easily pretty much regardless of what you do.

So add a reasonable lock, and make sure everything's insured - ignore the 'specialist' astro insurers, almost everything will be covered by your existing home insurance (read the shed storage terms and conditions - and ring them up to find out what their requirements are if there's any doubt, keep receipts too. I've always found them quite approachable if you call and say "I have XYZ stored in ... what locks do I need? what documentation should I put together now in case I ever need to make a claim?") or can be added for a very small additional premium. Pain in the backside if something gets nicked, but you'll be covered. CCDs, cameras, eyepieces etc. can live in the house easily enough and are safer there if you have any worries - just leave the mount and 'scope out.

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One of the easiest and cheapest ways to make your garden secure is by careful choice of planting, use very prickly bushes like holly, roses and such like, planted closely together around the perimeter to form a barrier. cheaper than fencing and more aesthetic too.

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