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Grumpy Martian

Observing through the telescope sitting down?

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Posted (edited)

A few years ago I injured my left side including broken ribs which have heal slightly distorted. This has left me feeling uncomfortable viewing through a large refractor. It became a problem while standing at my refractor, differcult to stand steady. So I ended up selling my ED 120. I then bought another refractor ( the lure of a good refractor is hard to resist). I bought this because it was lighter in weight. But it soom became apparent that the same problem was there with my observing position. So sadly I have put it up for sale. But tonight I pulled over a metal garden chair and started to observe sitting down. 

An absolute revelation. A crude way of observing with the traditional cast metal chair. So I am now going to research more suitable chairs for observing. May give this refractor a reprieve from being sold. 

Edited by Grumpy Martian
Spelling mistake.
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I'd love to sit down and observe. One of the drawbacks with my big dob, but I have a 130p on an AZ4 mount which I could probably sort out a chair for. I  tend to wobble a bit looking though the big dob after some time, have to stop and regroup, haha. 

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More often than not I sit to observe now, and have a couple of observing chairs acquired used through various scope purchases which are very handy. Having something easily height adjustable is a must really for comfortable viewing, so it is worth getting yourself something suitable Martin.

Were you going to sell the Vixen 115mm you've recently purchased? Worth experimenting to see if you can solve the observing position issues.

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There's no way of demonstrating it, but in my own case, I feel that sitting comfortably adds to the scope's aperture. Maybe no more than a few millimetres, perhaps as much as an inch on occassions, but to whatever degree my ironing chair is an essential part of my kit.

I think a simple ironing chair or drum stool would suffice to see if the seating-venture were worth it, after that one of those wooden chairs from FLO look the business. The main hassle with ironing chair designs is having to adjust the seat's height each time you have to accomodate for the telescope's angle. So just as Stu suggests, 'easily height adjustable' is the way to go in the long run.

On a side note, I saw your SD115s up for sale and to be honest I feel that unless it was becoming a chore for you to set up, I'd be inclined to give it another shot. I have yet to read one bad review of the SD range and from my understanding those Vixen optics are really quite outstanding.

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My only thought (if you haven't already done it) is to turn the diagonal so that you look into it from the 'side' of the scope rather than the more normal 'top'.

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8 hours ago, Stu said:

More often than not I sit to observe now, and have a couple of observing chairs acquired used through various scope purchases which are very handy. Having something easily height adjustable is a must really for comfortable viewing, so it is worth getting yourself something suitable Martin.

Were you going to sell the Vixen 115mm you've recently purchased? Worth experimenting to see if you can solve the observing position issues.

Thanks Stu. I will look into chair options. 

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I bought an ironing chair from Aldi several years ago which I find very comfortable when my 12" Dob is viewing DSOs close to the horizon. I also have a higher collapsible stool when objects are much higher.

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I also use an ironing chair for visual observing with my 150pds.

Eric.

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I have a couple of folding tripod camping chairs which are comfy enough to use with the 8" dob.

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Except for very short sessions I use an observing chair and I rotate my eyepiece such that it is pointing almost horizontally but slightly up. This way I'm sitting and looking forwards at a natural angle that requires no effort to hold. I don't have the best back/neck so anything that keeps them straighter helps a lot.

I have one of those sky watcher chairs - the build quality feels poor and rickety but actually  it is functionally perfect.

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23 minutes ago, Paz said:

I have one of those sky watcher chairs - the build quality feels poor and rickety but actually  it is functionally perfect.

I have one of those too. You have to watch out that you don't catch the seat in the wrong way whilst adjusting it so it drops suddenly right down the the bottom!

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25 minutes ago, Stu said:

I have one of those too. You have to watch out that you don't catch the seat in the wrong way whilst adjusting it so it drops suddenly right down the the bottom!

That's true, I've had a couple of those adventure rides! 😀

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Posted (edited)

I have used one of these for the last thirty years. In fact I think it's the same chair. A draughtsman's chair has a very large range of height nearly as low as an office chair but it will get you to the same height as standing but sitting down. Being adjustable also to any height over its travel just pulling of the lever. It's nice to be able to lean back too and look up. spin around, hop out, cushioned, straight back and neck. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

I promise you that for the price it will have the biggest impact on you observing that any other accessory you can buy. 

You can find them anywhere but this is the first link that popped up.

https://www.viking-direct.co.uk/en/office-furniture-seating-c-104/office-chairs-office-seating-c-10403/draughtsman-checkout-chairs-c-10403002

Edited by StarryEyed

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Keep the refractor and find a comfy chair! I've sat down from day one when viewing high targets with my ST120. A metal garden chair does the job. The beer and eyepieces kept within easy reach on the matching table.

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I use a first surface mirror mount on an old fork mount for the ultimate relaxed observing position, cat is optional but makes for a warm scarf during the winter months, I'm using Olympus dps 10x50 in the image but have a wide field gallilean type monocular attached atm so i have a right way up view with a mirrored l/r image, I'm viewing close to zenith in the image.

IMG_8370.thumb.JPG.8fa16e1ee06e9f2b75621eaf82461295.JPG

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I swear by sitting down to stabilise my body to get the best planetary views.

If observing from my front garden, I've found my little daughters bicycle to be very versatile to plant myself on given the low altitudes in the last couple of years with my 15" dob :D

Some day i'll get a proper chair - it would be a prudent investment. 

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When observing while seated, the muscles in your eyes are relaxed and no pressure from bending your neck. This leads to better views.

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On 07/08/2019 at 14:30, Bruce Leeroy said:

I use a first surface mirror mount on an old fork mount for the ultimate relaxed observing position, cat is optional but makes for a warm scarf during the winter months, I'm using Olympus dps 10x50 in the image but have a wide field gallilean type monocular attached atm so i have a right way up view with a mirrored l/r image, I'm viewing close to zenith in the image.

IMG_8370.thumb.JPG.8fa16e1ee06e9f2b75621eaf82461295.JPG

Nice warm scarf

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Been observing with an ironing stool from a 12” dob for years, Martin - adjustable height is excellent. Very comfortable and relaxing, particularly important when at averted vision limit or waiting for that moment of still seeing to tease out detail.

 

This is mine:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ironing-Chairs-Leifheit-Accessories/s?rh=n%3A3576374031%2Cp_89%3ALeifheit

 

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I have an ironing chair to perch on. Saves my knees and back on long sessions.

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After reading all the posts for an observing chair, I made one for using with my 8" dob.

The difference being comfortable and relaxed is amazing!  When I really saw the difference it made was viewing M31. After only seeing the core, I started getting more details of the wispy outer regions. 

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Got a fishing chair but I only go fishing for galaxies.

It is the perfect height for my DOB. I have to say that the designers of the SW 8 inch collapsible DOB have judged the position of the focuser perfectly for both low and zenith viewing.

Just have to crouch a little and stretch a little. Good for my back.

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I reckon on a good observing chair adding the equivalent of around 20% extra aperture to the view.

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I bought an old ironing chair from the local charity shop for £3, an absolute bargain. 

Incredibly well built, not as easily adjustable as a custom made one, but still invaluable.

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