A few years ago, I set my Celestron CGEM German equatorial mount in my garden mounted on its tripod. I had placed a few paving slabs in a corner of my garden, to provide a stable ground for the tripod to stand on. I did have an anti-weed membrane and bark chips played there, but over the years this has worn away and is in need of some repair.
Here are the photos of my setup, which is semi-permanent as it is left in my garden all year round, even in winter. But I have elected to use multiple layers of protection, rather than have an observatory – and it seems to have worked pretty well so far (3-4 years down the line).
This is how I protect the mount in between use. I have 4 layers covering it.
1) T-shirt layer over the actual mount
2) Silver reflective protective sheet (used for protecting people outdoors from excessive heat loss)
3) Layer of garden fleece (used to protect plants from frost)
4) The Telegizmo cover which has a reflective layer inside. I bought the exact size to fit my mount.
So these 4 layers have protected my mount over the last few years, and seems to have done a very good job through rain, snow, sun and windy conditions. Below are the pictures showing my Astrotech 8″ Ritchey Chretien telescope mounted on the Celestron CGEM. I have not included my auto guider setup, which includes the Skywatcher ED80 telescope and Lacerate MGEN auto guider. This will be covered in future.
I am aware that my current setup is not ideal and not tidy at all. Hence, I have plans to sink a pier into the ground for more permanent mounting of the Celestron CGEM mount, as well as tidier ground to walk on be it gravel, decking or garden rubber mats. That should give me the most stable and tidy platform for aligning my telescope and doing astrophotography (without getting an observatory). I shall post about this when it is done.