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Observing chairs - another option.


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Hi all,

I have just taken delivery of my new observing 'chair' from the huge German musical instrument dealers Thomann. It is made in Germany by Mey, who produce a lot of chairs and stools for industry and so forth. Some of these are also sold as stage stools, hence they link to Thomann. This is the one that I got:

MEY CHAIR SYSTEMS AF6-KL WH - Thomann UK Cyberstore

This is a very solid piece of kit and by unscrewing the two small stops on the legs the adjustment range is 39 - 89 cm. The padded seat can be adjusted for angle, and the height adjustment is really neat: all you have to do is pull the front of the seat up, slide it to where you want it and then push the front of the seat back down to lock it.

The seat also swivels from side to side with a self-centring action. This might be a benefit to those with a bad back who find twisting when sat down painful.

The base is very stable but does not extend forward at all, so is unlikely to interfere with tripod legs. The base should also be fine on soft ground as it does not rely on narrow 'legs' that could sink in.

Possible downsides? The stool does not fold down but it can be dismantled quite quickly. This could be done even faster if the nylock nuts securing the base to the upright were replaced by wingnuts. It is also pretty weighty at 10Kg. Even when adjusted to its limit the seat still has a slight 'downwards' slope that might be an issue at some heights. Time will tell.

Overall it looks like it will do the job admirably and its robustness and fast adjustability puts it in a different league to the 'ironing chair' options. It also looks rather more 'engineered' than some of the purpose-made observing chairs, many of which look a bit too much like 'DIY' projects!

Thomann do some other seats that I did consider which can be folded, but they don't go as low as this one and do not have instant adjustability. For example this one:

MEY CHAIR SYSTEMS AF-SR-KL-AH BK - Thomann UK Cyberstore

Price? £111 plus a tenner for postage.

Might be of interest to someone. :D

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Edited by CanesVenatici
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Does look well engineered! Not seen this one before, so will be interesting to hear how you get on with it!

I have made my own 'denver' style chair, but find it a bit unwieldy sometimes to be honest. I've just had a little financial boost, so i've gone and blown some of it by ordering a Smat-Seat from Smart Astronomy over in the USofA - I know, the shipping cost makes it too expensive for what it is really, but I do think being comfortable when out observing is important, well it is to me!

Will post pictures and a short review when it arrives - could be a while!!

Doc

Edited by Space Beagle
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Just a quick update on the above.



Overall, this has been a really good buy. I have found that the lowest height of 39 cm is a little too high to enable me to view objects that are directly overhead when using my 200mm Cassegrain scope unless the tripod legs are extended a little, but this is not really a big issue. 

If the seat were lower it might well be hard to get up at my age!

Best thing is the micro adjustability of the height. Being able to set the seat height so you don’t have to bend over or stretch in order to observe makes everything much easier and less tiring. 'Blackouts' have also become a thing of the past as I can easily position my eye in the optimum position. Previously I used a camping chair and as a result really did not get the best out of my scope.



Whatever you get, I would say that an adjustable observing chair is pretty much indispensible. :D

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  • 1 month later...

I am on the lookout for an observing chair and I am torn between this (thanks for posting the link) and the skywatcher one.

I weigh 15st (thats 210 pounds for our US members) so how substantial is it?

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I am on the lookout for an observing chair and I am torn between this (thanks for posting the link) and the skywatcher one.

I weigh 15st (thats 210 pounds for our US members) so how substantial is it?

Well, the Mey chair / sit-stand, which is primarilly designed for use in industry, weighs 10 Kg. The skywatcher one weighs 6 kg so there is a lot more metal in the Mey one. The Skywatcher one also has much more tube length in the design, so they tubes in the Mey one must be much thicker walled, given the weight.

The maximum weight limit for the Skywatcher is 90 kg, so you would be pretty much on the limit. I weigh 90kg and I can't say that I have notice the Mey one flex at all when I use it.

I guess you could always order one and return it if it isn't suitable?

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I thought the other chair was expensive but this is turning into a competition! :)

What's it like for doing the ironing??? :cool:

I agree that the stool is not exactly cheap, but then again nor are many of the purpose built observing chairs, some of which look like DIY projects.

They Mey is also made in Germany, rather than being knocked up for peanuts in China, and has a 5 Year manufacturers guarantee.

I hate ironing, but I have begun to use it a lot in my workshop. I didn't realise before just how much easier jobs are if you aren't standing up, unsupported, all the time. :)

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I would love a chair but it is my old recurring problem- getting it shipped out.

I see that Thomann charge 20 Euros to ship to Greece. Is Crete usually a lot more expensive than shipping to the Greek mainland?

By the way, I had a great holiday on Crete a few years ago, I would love to go back!

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  • 3 years later...

I've got the Mey chair. Not cheap, but to me it was worth every penny. I have fibromyalgia, and am in constant pain as a result. Trying to polar align even my little SkyTracker was a complete pain because of the positions I would have to contort myself in to. But with this chair, its not a problem at all. Can comfortably perch on this all night! 

I've  never managed to take it away with my, because no matter how hard me or my OH try, I can't get it dismantled so it will lie flat in the car. That is the only downside for me. Once, I put it together, it never wanted to come apart again! 

Oh well! 

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