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Grumpy Martian

Are you comfortable standing when observing?

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28 minutes ago, 25585 said:

So I stand. Also too fidgety and restless to sit. My viewing is moving about the sky, rather than in-depth study.

Having written all that, a small table & chair for studying charts, putting cups of tea on etc has its uses.      

That kind of sums it up for me also. 

I occasionally sit, depends on what kind of day I've had at work!! 😀 

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58 minutes ago, 25585 said:

My viewing is moving about the sky, rather than in-depth study.

That's similar to how I started out.  I'd explore the entire sky during the night.  Now that the trees have matured in my backyard, I have a narrow aperture of maybe 20 degrees width due south from 20 degrees above the horizon to 10 degrees past zenith to observe within.  As a result, I can spend the night observing without any need to adjust my chair to telescope positioning.

I really miss seeing the northern objects regularly.  I can only pick them out briefly through bare spots in the tree canopy.  I could move to the front yard, but then I get a lot of interruptions from neighbors walking their dogs at night in the street wondering what I'm doing and asking for a peek.  Then I'm worried about their dog taking a whiz on my equipment during all of this.  I'm looking for a vacation/retirement home in the mountains of southeastern New Mexico to fix this issue and to get away from the heat, humidity, mosquitos, clouds, and light pollution of urban Texas during the summer.

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I spent years hunched over an ep. Now I'm in my late 40's my back doesn't like it so I either perch on an ironing chair or stand up straighter by putting my dob on a platform (or garden chair!)

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1 hour ago, 25585 said:

Trouble with sitting in the dark is that getting up, the seat can get knocked, forgotten about and tripped over.

 

Cannot say I'd encountered this, my chair though is black and recall that I had stumbled into it once, always take it to dark sky locations, a valued piece of equipment.  

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

Funny story about plastic patio chairs... 

A few yrs ago on holiday in Portugal a group of us were all poolside for happy hour and one guy sat down in one and it completely exploded under him. He was a slim guy. 

My father in law had kept his sun lounger chairs from the 1960's. Then one faithful day at the beach in Dorset in full view of everyone it decided to give. It completely collapsed and folded up with me in it. 

Edited by Grumpy Martian
Spelling.

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One of the reasons I like long FL dob's is that the more upright, the more comfortable. 

SW EQ5 pillar extension adds a height comfort factor. 

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I stand, but to ease my back and keep my head steady, I've got an 1800mm length of 15 x 40mm timber which I can brace myself against. A bit of sponge or cloth wrapped around it at head height means I can hold it tight against my cheek whilst leaning against it, with the result that wobbles and shakes are totally eliminated. Cheapest and best accessory I possess.

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7 hours ago, KenG said:

I stand, but to ease my back and keep my head steady, I've got an 1800mm length of 15 x 40mm timber which I can brace myself against. A bit of sponge or cloth wrapped around it at head height means I can hold it tight against my cheek whilst leaning against it, with the result that wobbles and shakes are totally eliminated. Cheapest and best accessory I possess.

That's an ingenious way of steadying yourself! I have to admit I have never tried sitting down and I do feel it would be useful. Sometimes i get my old aluminium tripod out to lean on when I observe. I have always used manual mounts for visual, but I now have purchased a goto mount (a used Skyprodigy - will post a review in due course) so I might get a chair too.  👍

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Prefer to sit myself. I have a library steps type observing seat and a carpeted obsy floor so have three seating heights 0, 8" and 15" . With my refractor that allows seated observations of any object down to about 25 degrees, though due to the low positioning of the planets at the moment for Northern hemisphere observers, I'm having to stand for those observations. 

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Sitting every time, for me. I see far more. When I had a big Dob a stepladder was good because I had both feet and hands steadying me.

Olly

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I sometimes use a discarded Zimmer frame when observering from a standing position. Very handy and ultra light to move about.

 

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We were in our local garden centre and they were selling tractor seats on stools that could be turned to lower or higher, best thing I`ve ever got that`s not astro and comfortable. Des

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A broom is fantastic for steadying, or leaning on a garden chair.  I bought a little tripod camp stool last year and that is very comfy to sit down!  

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The most comfy viewing of all for me is to be seated at my homemade binocular mirror-mount, looking down through the binoculars and slowly cruising through the night-sky, with magnifications ranging from X7-8-10-15 and 25.

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Another vote here for ironing chairs- easily and quickly adjustable to the perfect height for whatever you are observing...

Only downside is if you get one off Amazon they spam you for months with assisted living accessories and mobility aids.

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Posted (edited)

This is a very personal thing, and to say that one is better than the other is specious. A chair is not practicable for all occasions, no matter what sort you use. If my Newtonian is pointing at the zenith, the eyepiece is right at eye level when I'm standing. A variable height chair at that level would be so unstable as to pose a real danger to me and to the telescope.

On the other hand, if I'm looking close to the horizon (which I rarely do, my low level skies are custard coloured) I have to kneel (which I find very uncomfortable), so I use an ironing chair.

I have never found myself 'hunched up' over an eyepiece. That may be due to the configuration of a Newtonian. The eyepiece sticks straight out of the side of the tube, so there's never a need to hunch.

For 99% of the time, I stand at the eyepiece. I find it perfectly comfortable and far more convenient. I'm not saying that standing is better, just that it works for me.

Edited by DeepSkyBagger

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6 hours ago, DeepSkyBagger said:

This is a very personal thing, and to say that one is better than the other is specious. A chair is not practicable for all occasions, no matter what sort you use. If my Newtonian is pointing at the zenith, the eyepiece is right at eye level when I'm standing. A variable height chair at that level would be so unstable as to pose a real danger to me and to the telescope.

 

That can be the case and I think I probably stand in that situation to, although I can just extend my observers chair to its max height placement, for my 14" dob (so long as you say, you don't tip and tumble forward i.e if on soft ground, onto the scope). Otherwise perhaps place a knee on the chair, set at a lower position. Observing planets at higher power if standing is I find to be slightly bothersome, surprised by how much you wobble and find it easier to at least lean against something (such as a shed door), or if a stool is available though at the wrong height, rest a knee on for stable support.

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With planets at such low alt, my 8 yr old daughter's bike has proven to be an ideal observing perch for planetary observing with my 15" dob ;) it just rolls to perfect positions!

More seriously, for planetary - sitting/perching rules imho; combine with binoviewers for the ultimate views :D

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Rick Singmaster of Starmaster made a nice observing chair/step stool that worked best for reaching eyepieces on tall Dobs while giving you something to stabilize yourself on.  It made for a rather poor chair because it didn't really open wide enough for broad shouldered folks to sit comfortably.  That's probably why he made the shorty version as well for strictly seated usage.

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I didn't really have an opinion as I've only just started but after a few good sessions with a chair on hand I find I'm quite animated following the scope and noticed the chair gets left behind so I'd say I'm probably 50/50 on seated standing. 

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24 minutes ago, RiponJas said:

I didn't really have an opinion as I've only just started but after a few good sessions with a chair on hand I find I'm quite animated following the scope and noticed the chair gets left behind so I'd say I'm probably 50/50 on seated standing. 

If you're going after targets all over the sky and not lingering for very long on each, then a chair would definitely get in the way.  It's when you spend 15 minutes or more studying a single object that being seated is a great advantage.  My legs and back get tired quickly trying to hold steady for long periods of time.

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I prefer to be seated, my converted ironing chair is my best friend, wouldn't be without it.

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On 09/07/2018 at 00:00, Grumpy Martian said:

I have just come to realise that I seem to be swaying more when standing at the telescope eyepiece when observing recently. This was not always the case. Perhaps it is because I am getting older. (59 last week, no one sent me a Tak for my birthday. The tears have now dried up lol). Some years ago I had a Meade LX 90 8 inch. If any of you are familiar with this telescope you will understand what I am going to describe. With this scope I could put the fork part of the telescope mount on my stable garden table top. This enabled me to sit very comfortably while viewing. Looking back I can remember it being a far more comfortable viewing experience than sitting on a stool next to the telescope in the middle of the lawn. 

This is prompting me to research what telescope/mounts there are available for table top viewing. 

I prefer to sit due to my dodgy back, I use an old dressing table stool the wife was going to bin.

Fear not as far as getting a Tak for your birthday, save it for your 60th next year like I did...one of the best pressies I’ve ever had 😃

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