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Leaving an EQ5 outside.


binarymizar
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Hi all,

I`m just about to get my first `scope, a Skywatcher Explorer 200mm newt on a EQ5 mount. On offer with this scope was a DVD on setting up your mount, polar aligning, filters etc. Overall a very handy DVD. This DVD came before the scope (due any day now!) so I watched it, paying particular interest in the polar aligning bit. It did strike me what a palaver it is, having to do it EVERY time you took your scope outside.

So my question is:

Is it feasable to set it all up outside, align, sandbag the mount and then just remove the scope when you`ve finished for the night and put a heavy duty bin bag over the mount to protect it from the elements whan not in use?

Obviously there is the risk of theft, but I live in a reasonably secluded area and I`m willing to take the risk to avoid aligning every time I want to view the sky.

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I would be inclined to bring it in...might get too damp at this time of year.

Trick is to set it up as good as you can then mark three spots on the ground

where the tripod feet are.

Next time out just plonk it down on the marks and away you go.

For visual use, a rough polar align is all you need, don't knock yourself out about it

until you get to long exposure photography :D

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Mine has been outside and setup since I bought it......I also have secluded garden so security isnt a problem. The scope is always ready to go, no cooldowns and the + side to that is your more likely to use it ! I bought a large patio table and chair cover from Homebase, about £20. The only thing I take off is the finder scope.

The only Polar Aligning Ive done is to point the mount north(ish) and set the latitude....working great for me at the mo, even for some imaging of the moon. Bedsides if you HAVE to use the controls to keep the target in the eyepiece I think it helps you get to know your mount.....

Oh and you will love that setup exactly what i have had, just bought a HEQ5 from Ambermille :cheers:

Chubster

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Interesting, Chubster. You even leave the `scope out, I hadn`t thought of that. Do you think I really need the Polar alignment scope? Couldn`t I just take the dust covers off the hole the alignment scope goes, and line up peering through that? I know its not terribly accurate but should it be sufficient?

Ali

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The way I figure it, its more likely to get damaged in the flat, 3 cats 3 rabbits, than sat on the mount outside! But I do have a secure garden !!

Like I say, I havent polar aligned so I do not have a polar scope, im not experienced enough to give you a qualified answer but I would have thought the way you describe it will be no more/less accurate than just pointing your mount North with the latitude set.

If your not into driven imaging at the mo dont worry about polar aligning too much, just get out there and look through it :D It is too easy to get caught up worrying about polar aligning, setting circles, collimating...etc etc ( I did) and it takes away the fun of actually looking through it. Get your eye to the eyepiece and swing it all over the place (minding the leg of the mount :D) It worked for me.

Chubster

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Polar aligning is easier than it sounds.....Trust me...

When you get the scope we'll talk you through it ...Don't worry...

People get too hung up on the polar aligning thing...Unless you're going to do astrophotography it isn't that important...just enjoy the views through your scope.

We want some reports mind!

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I have a large bag that a network printer came in. I put that over the scope and mount at night if it isn't likely to rain, and even if it does rain, the scope doesn't suffer any ill effects. I once forgot to cover it, and the rain didn't do any damage, except that I kicked myself in the butt for half an hour. I'm thinking of getting one of the bags they sell at the bus depot, for putting bicycles in, as my new frac is a little too long for the printer bag.

If we're in for some serious weather, of course, I bring it in.

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