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Helix

Transferring 20" dob. Any ideas?

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Hi all,

I am looking for practical advise/idea/thought .

My 20" Dobsonian will arrive in 2 weeks time. The primary cage with a mirror is 30 kg. I do not want to remove a mirror from the cage. I am a tiny woman :) and I want my 20" but I am not sure yet how to transfer/elevate/handle my dob to/from a car.

If you have any PRACTICAL way how to handle safely 30 kg, please share it with me.

I will appreciate your help :)

Many thanks,

Tatyana :)

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Have you thought about buying a good quality, waterproof trailer to store your scope in permanently? It can be kept on your property and hooked up to the car at a moment's notice. Plenty of used trailers on Ebay, Autotrader, etc. Tow bar for car around £60.

The telescope itself could have pneumatic wheels installed, with the option of adding wheel barrow handles that can attach and detach when necessary.

The trailer's door could drop into a ramp, so that the scope can be removed from the trailer with the minimum of fuss.

The car can then be left free for other occupants, ladders, kit, etc.  :)

Depending on the type of trailer, you may be able to open out the walls and modify it so that it has drop down supports to eliminate vibration. This, however, could be a little ambitious...

I have thought long and hard about this myself; also being a wee slip of a thing with a monster dob, but have decided to permanently site my scope. Even though it can be moved on a trolley, I would prefer to eliminate the risk of putting out my back!

Let us know what your solution is. :)

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Sounds reasonable. I will definitely consider a trailer.

Thanks a lot for a practical thought.

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Does anybody hear or maybe made one kind of a portable Elevator to elevate heavy loads to/from a car?

I really want to simplify everything where possible :)

Thanks

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I recommend an enclosed trailer with ramp door. I bought mine secondhand and using cheap materials insulated the walls and floor. Doesn't have to look pretty ( actually the worse it looks the better as it's less likely to draw unwanted thieving attention) Easy to store and deploy the scope at a moments notice and a cosy cosy retreat on cold nights. A trailer has other handy uses at home as well.

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Sorry double post !  See below. 

Edited by jabeoo1

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I recommend an enclosed trailer with ramp door. I bought mine secondhand and using cheap materials insulated the walls and floor. Doesn't have to look pretty ( actually the worse it looks the better as it's less likely to draw unwanted thieving attention) Easy to store and deploy the scope at a moments notice and a cosy cosy retreat on cold nights. A trailer has other handy uses at home as well.

That set up is quite something,  my girlfriend would reverse this over my head if I rolled up with this. 

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Hi all,

I am looking for practical advise/idea/thought .

My 20" Dobsonian will arrive in 2 weeks time. The primary cage with a mirror is 30 kg. I do not want to remove a mirror from the cage. I am a tiny woman :) and I want my 20" but I am not sure yet how to transfer/elevate/handle my dob to/from a car.

If you have any PRACTICAL way how to handle safely 30 kg, please share it with me.

I will appreciate your help :)

Many thanks,

Tatyana :)

im not jealous or anything but what dob are you buying. cant wait to see it :tongue::smiley:

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That set up is quite something,  my girlfriend would reverse this over my head if I rolled up with this. 

but it would be worth having a head like sophie elespexter for that :grin:

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Does she have an odd shape head then?  Can't say I'd noticed.  Not that I've made a close study, you understand...

Anyhow, I sympathise with the OP.  I am quite the opposite of a "tiny woman" and I'd think twice about lifting a 30kg mirror and cell despite being used to lugging pairs of 25kg bags of animal feed about.

I realise it's somewhat unhelpful, but I mention it in the hope that someone else might have a better recollection of what I'm talking about and know where to go looking.  I'm sure I recall a link from SGL posted some time back to some photos of a chap (probably in the US) who had a large dob that he transported around in the back of his car.  As far as I recall the mirror cell sat on a base with retractable wheeled feet that allowed it to be winched in and out of the car along a pair of ramps.  It struck me as quite a neat solution at the time, but sadly not enough that I can remember where I saw it.

James

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Hi Helix,

<<<<I have experience of moving a 20" mirrorbox/servocat of approx. 50Kg :)

My first recommendation is the use of retractable/foldable wheelchair ramps that are sufficiently long to enable a smooth and slight angle to get into the boot of your vehicle using wheelbarrow handles attached to your mirrorbox (assuming you have these installed). Obviously you need the longest length you can get with respect to the available space in your vehicle. You could also use a trailer mounted winch if you have a kind of flatbed truck.

My second recommendation is to get a few friends on each side to lift in and out remembering to use your legs rather than your back if you feel capable of this. I would certainly not lift 30kg by yourself as you point out; I knew a fit person who did this kind of thing and the body does not react well at 3am in minus 5 degrees suddenly being tasked with heavy strain after being asked to do very little all evening. Doing public outreach or observing with friends usually means you can negotiate with those who help with a little scope time :) (or beer/chocolate!)

I have seen used in the US a kind of wind up/12v powered lift similar to those that lift engines out of cars but this was not transported, simply to get it into the high back truck.

Hope this helps and I hope you are able to get to a dark site with your 20" as it will really blow your socks off.

Regards

Dannae

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I have found pictures on google of people using ramps combined with a wheelbarrow type arrangement to get large rocker boxes into cars and personally I'd say that's probably quite easy for someone my size.  For a small person though I'd like to think that there was some additional restraint to stop it sliding back down the ramps in the event of an accident.  Depends how high the tailgate is, I guess.

James

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I should also say that it's not necessary to get a trailer a large as mine. If you google " small car trailers " and go to "images" you can see all sorts of interesting shapes. sizes and budgets. My trailer there easily fits my  28, 18, 16  and all sorts of accessories with room to spare, a micro trailer just  for the 20" dob would be perfect. Early on I tried the ramps direct method into the back of my car with my smaller 16 and 18 dobs but honestly there are a fair few moments of muscle involved and it's not ideal. The quickest, easiest solution packing up a big dob at 3 o'clock in the morning is a trailer with a ramp.

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I'd be very wary indeed of trailers. They bounce around like demented maniacs and are great destroyers of anything delicate. This is from experience. Four wheelers are better but if the trailer doesn't have a fair old mass I'd be terrified. Trailers are wild, horrible and unruly things. I tow a tiny,  light, 'building materials' trailer with my Fiat Panda and I also tow a small Eriba Puck caravan with it. The caravan is hardly noticeable, quite honestly, but the trailer pushes, pulls and snatches despite (or because of) its low mass.

I have a 20 inch Dob and have it in an observatory. However, I drove it down to France in an Astra estate and made a simple set of ramps which allowed me to wheel the bottom section on its wheelbarrow handles smoothly out of the car. I think that is by far the safest way.

Olly

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how about a wheelchair hoist, they are bolted to the floor of the car (people carrier usually) and swing out pick up the chair and swing it in

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One day I had my brother drive me home in the back of the trailer so I could see for myself what sort of forces a scope is subjected to. I was surprised to find it wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be, the suspension does its job.

I installed a 2" thick softish rubber material on the floor overlaid with carpet and I pack the scope in it's own dedicated padded covers or swaddle the components in old blankets. On the journey everything seems to snuggle down to the right spot and hardley ever moves. I have since been on some very rough roads with the trailer and my scopes and obviously I drive a little more cautiously if the road starts getting rough.

Another guy I observe with has for many years carried his 25" Obsession in a single axle trailer a fair bit smaller than mine.

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A good trailer, with a nice middle of the road payload weight for its capacity should work very well, keeping in mind load placement vs tongue weight.

What kind of car are we talking about Tatyana? There are picture of Alvin Huey with a big dob all packed up in a VW Beetle, check it out ,

The style of dob matters for loading options, what scope are you getting Tatyana?

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The trailers in the pictures look absolutely fine because they are pretty big and pretty heavy. I was thinking, as the OP may have been, of the smaller, lighter kind often seen in the UK and Europe.  The OP describes herself as a tiny woman so she might not fancy trying to manage those big trailers. I suspect the big 4X4s may also soothe the trailer's behaviour more than would a small car. Not sure about that, though.

Olly

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110% with Olly on the trailers.  Have to be big, good quality suspension, probably 4 wheeled.

My solution was wheelbarrow handles, ramps and an estate car with NO rear lip on the back door.  A key feature!

It is also possible to use the seat belt mountings to use a pulley/winch system.

Hope it goes well!

Paul

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