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Adjustable Observing Chair


Jim-a
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Today, with a bit of time on my hands, I knocked up this adjustable observing chair. A couple of cut-up old recycled boards that I discovered in the loft make up most of it, with other odds and ends of scrap wood and a couple of old hinges that were in the shed - total cost £0.00. The design is based on some of the chairs I've seen on here (thanks for the inspiration everyone) and the top height is just right for getting the kids eyes at vertical-dob-eyepiece-level.

Seems fairly sturdy so far... well I haven't managed to fall off yet!!

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got the chance to try it out last night - makes a massive difference... before, using the crouch-at-the-eyepiece technique, I'd find that I had to keep shifting position to stay comfortable (and would often accidentally look at a neighbours light or something as i moved away from the eyepiece and ruin my dark adaptation). Last night I was able to spend a lot longer looking continuously at each object - being able to get the height of the seat just right for the angle of scope makes it pretty simple to get a comfortable position.

The only slight downside is that the wide front 'foot' tends to nudge right up against the base of the dob when the seat is at the eyepiece position - if the foot was at the back this would solve that problem, but I suspect that it would make the balance much more unstable (and increase the falling-off likelihood), so for now I'll live with it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bit of a whoops last night - and a lesson learned. The screws holding the hinge section at the top of the chair split the wood and I went sailing backwards - luckily I landed OK, fell away from the scope and its not like anyone was there to see!! But it does serve me right for bragging that I hadn't fallen off it yet in my original post!!

I guess that top hinge part of the chair must take be under quite a bit of force as you move around on the chair - so one for todays to-do list is to replace the top block (that the hinge was screwed into) with something more substantial using a harder wood and beefier, longer screws

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Would like to add my congratulations on your efforts in making your observing chair. Your design is better than the recent one illustrated in the Sky at Night magazine because that one hinges lower down against the racking which makes it a bit of pain if you want to position the seat near the top as you have to remove the chair form within the 'A' support created, set the chair back up and then reattach the seat from the top. Your design allows the seat to move to any position without having reconstruct the chair. Some chairs I have seen include a removable front foot (+ back foot) which is handy if you need to travel to a dark site because not only does this allow for easier transportation but if the feet get wet or a bit muddy, then of course you keep these items in a separate bag to help keep your car clean. One or two designs to the seat in to a box as a means by which to keep one or two eyepieces in which is fine, as long as you are not using some great monster Nagler etc. :grin:

Again well done for a great chair which if nothing else has certainly inspired me to have a go at doing one, though given your experience so far, I might include actually include a first aid pack in my seat box! :grin: :grin: :grin:

James

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