Telegizmo 365 Cover Review

Before I purchased my Telegizmo 365 cover for my telescope I did a lot of searching for reviews. I found a couple reviews, and then the Telegizmo testimony for their 365 cover. This is the way it is advertised on their website (I didn’t copy the whole part, just the part that captured my interest when looking into the covers).

Less than 1% shrinkage or stretch assures continuous proper fit. The water resistant capabilities of this material are outstanding… tested and shown to not allow moisture penetration from a spray test at 40 PSI, 1/2 inch concentrated stream.
A year of strenuous testing in some of the harshest outside environments, including the desert southwest, Florida Keys, Colorado @ 8000 feet and the Texas Hill country has proven the 365 Series to be capable of handling all types of weather on a continuous 24/7, 365 basis.

We all know that companies will say what they have to in order to sell a product, and given the fact that I couldn’t find much information on them I was a bit skeptical about buying one. I had one in my cart ready to purchase for many months. I had planned on buying one to fit my 6” Newtonian over a year ago. I just couldn’t pull the trigger on purchasing one although I was extremely tempted.

After I purchased my 8” Celestron SCT I found myself really wanting to be able to setup my telescope, polar align it, and be able to leave it up for use whenever the skies were clear even if that meant having it set up throughout a lot of rain and wind, and snow in the winter.

This year I had attended the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) at Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY. This was my first time attending this event, and I would love to make it a yearly adventure. While at NEAF I stumbled upon the Telegizmo 365 cover when I first got there. The bin they were in was filled. A few hours had gone by and I walked past the booth with the bin of these covers again, and noticed a bunch had been sold. So, I decided to look through and see if they had one there made specifically for an SCT telescope on a EQ mount since my telescope is mounted onto my CG-5. I found the cover for my telescope and mount and decided to bite the bullet and make the purchase.

NEAF happened early April, and after getting home with the cover I set up the telescope in preparations for a clear night. I polar aligned the telescope, did my imaging and viewing for the night, and covered the telescope. This is when the true Telegizmo 365 Cover test went into full effect. We had practically 2 months worth of rain. Some nice days in between, but way more rainy days than nice days. Some of the days were heavy downpours with wind gusts of 50mph, and other days were just a light sprinkle.

After 2 months of my cover being rained on I finally did a thorough examination of my telescope to ensure there was no water that has penetrated the cover and entered the OTA. I checked for water damage to the telescope, and to the mount. Everything was bone dry!

It seems these covers really are excellent for keeping your telescope dry in the rain. This purchase was worth every penny spent!

The only downfall I found which has nothing to do with the cover is that where I setup my telescope there was a bit of erosion on the ground which resulted in my mount no longer being polar aligned. No fault of the cover, just my own fault for having my telescope setup where it is; in dirt, along a slight slope on the ground. I need to put a few pavers down where my tripod sits to hopefully avoid erosion messing up my polar alignment.

Here are images of the cover on the telescope, and the way I have it on my telescope. The cover came with an extra bungee cord which I use as extra security in hopes that it keeps the wind from blowing it off of the telescope.

I tighten up the bungee cord that cinches the bottom tighter, then I take the loose bit of bungee and tie it around the adjustment knob for the tripod. This helps secure the cover to the telescope and mount through heavy winds.

Telegizmo 365 Cover

This leaves the cover looking a little bulky on the scope, which had me worried that a heavy gust of wind could get inside of it and either rip the cover off, or knock the whole setup over.

Telegizmo 365 Cover

So I took the spare bungee cord that came with the mount.

Telegizmo 365 Cover

I tighten that bungee around the telescope to hold it tighter and reduce the parachute-like appearance it has. So far this has worked out good in heavy winds.

Telegizmo 365 Cover

I wrap the extra bungee around the telescope to get the loose bit of cord off the ground. No need for a tripping hazard around the telescope.

Telegizmo 365 Cover

Then I wrap the bungee around itself to keep it from coming undone.

Telegizmo 365 Cover

Now the cover is completely on the telescope, and it is ready for inclement weather.

Telegizmo 365 Cover

I have also been out on a clear day to remove the cover after a rainstorm to see if it is damp at all, and it has been bone dry each time I have checked on it. I also found that the cover does and excellent job keeping it from getting too warm. Where I have my scope in my yard it is bombarded by the sun for most of the day. I can remove the cover midday and it is cool to the touch. So not only does the cover do a great job at keeping rain out, but it also does an excellent job of keeping the scope at a decent temperature so the optics don’t get too hot sitting out like that.

I highly recommend these covers to anyone that is looking for a way to keep their telescope setup in their yard without having to purchase or build an observatory. This has saved me a lot of time on nights that I go out since I can turn on my telescope, wake it up from hibernation, point it at an object, and begin imaging. I cut down the entire setup and polar alignment time which has been major motivation for going out on a clear night.

More good news in the telescope and Linux combination

Not only did I get autoguiding to work under Linux, and not only did I get images to instantly download from my Canon 350D to Linux instantly so that I can preview on something other than the tiny screen, but I just got in my Celestron cable and my rs232-usb cable, and successfully got them to work using Stellarium to select an object and slew. One step closer to a sentient life form automated telescope. Getting closer and closer to having full control over my telescope via computer.

Why is that awesome? I suppose if you have to question it then you don't quite understand the addiction of astronomy and astrophotography. After polar aligning and all-star alignment I can control everything (except focus, and long exposures) via my computer. The long exposures I use an intervalometer so I'm not too worried about having computer control over that… yet, give it time and I'll want that too. Focus is another thing I'm not too worried about having computer control over… again, give it time. 

Really the plus side to it all is that I wanted to have these abilities for astrophotography purposes, and for joining +Global Star Party hangouts to share live views of deep sky images. Everything has tested successfully and I'm ready to participate in bringing galaxies, clusters, and nebulae to the public through the awesomeness that is G+ star parties. Now all I need is the skies to cooperate and rid me of these clouds. Of course the clouds came packaged in the cables I ordered since they are for astronomy purposes. They typically ship a minimum of a weeks worth of clouds for every astronomy related item you purchase.

Brace yourselves winter is coming long exposure deep sky objects are coming to you live in the near future.

This weekend worked out great for my Linux and guiding test

Successfully got Lin_Guider to work under Ubuntu 15.04 which I could never get to work under Mint with my Orion StarShoot Autoguider. Not only is guiding working, but so is image downloading from my camera to my computer. Image below is Lin_Guider guiding on a star near M27.

I also just ordered the Celestron RS232 cable and RS232-USB so I can us Cartes du Ciel for Goto controls of my CG5 mount.

Just about all the pieces of the puzzle are finally together. Only thing left on the big astronomy list is an observatory, but that is still a ways away from happening.

#linux #ubuntu #astronomy #astrophotography #autoguiding 

Linux and Astronomy Frustration

Anyone that follows me knows that I have been relentlessly (bashing my head against the wall) trying to get Linux as my main astrophotography setup. I can successfully plug in my Canon 350D and download images instantly onto my computer with just a USB cable and the software Entangle: I do not use it as my means of controlling the shutter since I have an intervalometer that controls the shutter for imaging.

I use an Orion StarshootAutoguider (SSAG) as my guiding camera and a CG-5 mount, which I am attempting to control using Lin_Guider: I have successfully gotten the SSAG working to show me the stars it is imaging, but I still can't get the program to talk to the mount and send pulses. I can't calibrate or guide with it yet. This is the last thing I need to get working before I can be completely up and running in Linux, and finally be able to ditch Windows all-together.

I have been trying like crazy to get the computer to talk to the guide camera and mount, but I just can't get them to work yet. I'm probably missing something extremely simple.

#Linux   #Astrophotography    #Autoguiding   #Astronomy   #Lin_Guider