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Geoff Barnes

How Do You Move Your Big Dob?

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Since becoming the owner of a 12 inch Dob I've been experimenting with various methods of moving the thing around (they're heavy!).

First of all my wife and I simply carried the whole unit outside using the sturdy handles on either side of the base. It is a goto model and I couldn't be bothered with unplugging all the cables each time, so kept it all together.

This was fairly okay but still a bit of a struggle and there was always the risk of one of us stumbling, so I bought a large sack truck with an extended base. With a bit of padding between the scope and the truck it was a lot easier than carrying it but I wasn't really happy about tipping the scope over each time and the risk of losing the whole load over any bumps.

So now I've ended up with a great solution. I bought a heavy duty Dolly Board (furniture mover platform thingy). It has 5 elasticised rubber castors and a non slip rubber topping and could take 3 times the weight of the Dob. I've added a thick foam rubber gymnastic mat to the top for added cushioning and grip and it works like a dream. Really easy to push around, it runs smoothly even over uneven ground, no more lifting, tipping or carrying, I leave it undercover outside with a scope cloak over it ready for action (if only the winter weather would let me!).

 

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Looks like a very good solution Geoff. The goto versions are quite heavy aren’t they? My back never liked carrying my 12” f6 Orion Optics, something like your trolley would have been very useful!

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Great solution Geoff!  Mine's a solid tube 10" - just about the biggest I could manage .  Arm around near the top, hand under the opposite end, but even that can be tricky getting through a narrow doorway with a high step.  Anyway - shed ordered to make it all a lot easier - can't wait!

Doug.

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Looks neat :)

To move my 18" around I use detachable wheelbarrow handles, about 8ft long.

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Obviously I use the wheel barrow handles on my Obsessions, you can move them in one piece as in the photo, but I prefer to break it down as it’s safer for the 30”, this method is great for uneven ground and can be adapted for your scope as seen in the photos

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I also have a SW 300p GOTo, and it's heavy...

I would want to leave the scope on a self-built platform to avoid having to lift back on to it late at night for storage.  It's 600x650 MM OSB board, braced underneath with two 650mm lengths of 50x30 MM battens, onto which the casters and levelling bolts are securely attached. The casters proved to be a bit small to deal with uneven terrain, also they are swivel but not braked. They are nylon wheeled, so I'm ordering 4x 80mm rubber wheeled ones, all with brakes, to reduce vibrations when going over the several cracks in the terrace pavement. The brakes should avoid the need to use the levelling bolts on even terrain.

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1 hour ago, Geoff Barnes said:

Good grief! Do you ever still suffer from aperture fever??? ?

Did for  a while as I wanted a 36” but I decided that it would not be that much of a improvement over my 30”  ?

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My Orion Optics tubed 12" F/5.3 weighs around the same overall as a 10" Skywatcher dob. I carry the base out 1st (around 10 kgs) and then lif the tube (about 16 kg) out and onto it. Easier and quicker to set up than my refractors really. I've no steps to climb and only a few metres to carry it though. The "wagon wheel" alt bearings make good carrying handles which helps with the tube. I did have a Meade Lightbridge 12" dob for a while but that was a lot heavier (both tube and mount) than my current dob. When the Meade was in place, it stayed there. I can actually pick up my whole Orion Optics dob and move it a small distance to get a better view of the sky, which is important where I observe.

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My 17", 20" and 30" Dobs are permanently set up but wheel out of their housings on rails.

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I had locking wheel castors on my old 22” dob. I am acquiring a bigger dob but will probably build an observatory .

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