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Trolley to move my Dobsonian about!


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I have seen lots of DIY trolleys used for transporting Dobsonian telescopes about the garden, but none that can easily get up or down a step, just the one step, 190mm high, my back door step to be precise. I am quite keen on a project but wondered whether anyone has solved this before. I have a 10" Dob and I have tried adapting a sack truck but using it scared me half to death, even getting it tilted back was a struggle, let alone the lurch forward on lowering it over the step.

I am completely up for a bit of custom building, welding etc. but I have yet to find a design that will allow me to roll the scope though the house, where it is stored, out through the back door, down a step and have big enough wheels that it can get about the lawn with out bogging down! 

I know that a ramp is the proper answer but these aren't ideal when it gets slippery either, plus I can't see Mrs Roog being all that happy about a ramp, how would she put it, "permanently in the way."

My work colleagues came up with putting the telescope on a dolly, making a square lifting platform, say 1 metre square using air bags and a battery powered car compressor, or a motor cycle maintenance lift, just to get it down the step, but this would have to be moved in place and out of the way each time. It would be nice if could all be built into a low profile base for the telescope. Oh and Mrs Roog has asked if it could it wipe its wheels before it comes into the house as well!

Really interested to hear if others have sorted this issue out. I will be happy to share my ideas if they make it to the prototype stage.

 

 

Edited by Roog
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Not something I've had to do, but what about something like this for the step? https://www.argos.co.uk/product/9192407?istCompanyId=a74d8886-5df9-4baa-b776-166b3bf9111c&istFeedId=30f62ea9-9626-4cac-97c8-9ff3921f8558&istItemId=ixilqwmax&istBid=t

Can be used just when you need it and then stored away afterwards

The other nice solution for large dob I've seen if a small "toolshed" in the garden to store the dob and the guy had small railway tracks to roll it out into the garden on

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1 hour ago, Dave scutt said:

My dob is on a trolley and I use a ramp to get it in and out of the shed280515970_Screenshot_20210802-222209_Chrome2.thumb.jpg.f42123dae7af6531bbe8b7473020acbf.jpg

That looks nice Dave, is it stable enough to keep it sitting on its wheels when observing, or do you lift it off at its desination?

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Liking the ramps all, I must admit I had a' big wooden slice of cheese' in mind! these metal ones look a bit more manageable.

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24 minutes ago, Roog said:

That looks nice Dave, is it stable enough to keep it sitting on its wheels when observing, or do you lift it off at its desination?

You could always add corner jacks to stabilize it:

spacer.png

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1 hour ago, Roog said:

I have seen lots of DIY trolleys used for transporting Dobsonian telescopes about the garden, but none that can easily get up or down a step, just the one step, 190mm high, my back door step to be precise. I am quite keen on a project but wondered whether anyone has solved this before. I have a 10" Dob and I have tried adapting a sack truck but using it scared me half to death, even getting it tilted back was a struggle, let alone the lurch forward on lowering it over the step.

I am completely up for a bit of custom building, welding etc. but I have yet to find a design that will allow me to roll the scope though the house, where it is stored, out through the back door, down a step and have big enough wheels that it can get about the lawn with out bogging down! 

I know that a ramp is the proper answer but these aren't ideal when it gets slippery either, plus I can't see Mrs Roog being all that happy about a ramp, how would she put it, "permanently in the way."

My work colleagues came up with putting the telescope on a dolly, making a square lifting platform, say 1 metre square using air bags and a battery powered car compressor, or a motor cycle maintenance lift, just to get it down the step, but this would have to be moved in place and out of the way each time. It would be nice if could all be built into a low profile base for the telescope. Oh and Mrs Roog has asked if it could it wipe its wheels before it comes into the house as well!

Really interested to hear if others have sorted this issue out. I will be happy to share my ideas if they make it to the prototype stage.

 

 

Could you confirm that it is just one step

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My aluminium ramps can be used for rolling the disassembled telescope into the boot of a car if needed. I walk on them. They fold in half. 

https://www.sgs-engineering.com/slr200-folding-aluminium-loading-ramps 

I paid £82.99 for mine. You might find the same cheaper somewhere else.

Alternatively, you can use two wood bars, cut them in half, and connect the two sections with a hinge. Many options.

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1 hour ago, Dave scutt said:

I keep the dob on the trolley when observing very stable. 

For the ramp I use 22mm marine ply easy to move out the way each time

Cheers Dave that is helpful to know, adding screw down jacks and using them would be another job! 

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41 minutes ago, banjaxed said:

Could you confirm that it is just one step

Yes just one back door step, 190mm high, down to get out and back up to get the thing back in!

I have a design for a trolley in mind which I will share once i have it drawn up a bit better, so far it has received a fairly 'luke warm' review by my colleagues, hey what do they know!   

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4 minutes ago, Piero said:

My aluminium ramps can be used for rolling the disassembled telescope into the boot of a car if needed. I walk on them. They fold in half. 

https://www.sgs-engineering.com/slr200-folding-aluminium-loading-ramps 

I paid £82.99 for mine. You might find the same cheaper somewhere else.

Alternatively, you can use two wood bars, cut them in half, and connect the two sections with a hinge. Many options.

They are very nice, by necessity they need to be fairly long, my issue is that the distance from my back door to the wall opposite may preclude the use of these beauties. They are worth consideration though, thank you for posting them.

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1 hour ago, Louis D said:

You could always add corner jacks to stabilize it:

spacer.png

Good to know that you can get ready made wind down jacks, thank you for posting.

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1 hour ago, Roog said:

Yes just one back door step, 190mm high, down to get out and back up to get the thing back in!

I have a design for a trolley in mind which I will share once i have it drawn up a bit better, so far it has received a fairly 'luke warm' review by my colleagues, hey what do they know!   

Just a thought, my platform trolley is about 120/130mm high which is very comfortable to use so if you built a platform trolley the same height as your step 190mm for use outside and a low trolley which could be used to wheel on to the outside trolley and locked into place for transporting to your viewing site. Food for thought maybe ?

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, banjaxed said:

Just a thought, my platform trolley is about 120/130mm high which is very comfortable to use so if you built a platform trolley the same height as your step 190mm for use outside and a low trolley which could be used to wheel on to the outside trolley and locked into place for transporting to your viewing site. Food for thought maybe ?

Brilliant, and you know, this is very similar to a suggestion Mrs Roog made. She suggested "Put casters on the bottom of the Dob and wheel it out of the back door on to another trolley at the same height as the step". I kid you not! I really like this as it keeps the indoors casters clean! and the out door trolley can stay out side and have big wheels to get about over the lawn/grass. My hesitation stems from having a trolley on top of a trolley, but it looks a lot simpler than my hair brained idea which I will share once I have figured out if it works and i can draw it well enough that others can understand it.   

Edited by Roog
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Neat trolley mr scutt.  Is that the 12" dob?

 

I've 3 steps to contend with so trolley and ramps Stunts seem possible.  I'm dreaming up slings, handles or even back packs to make the tube easier to handle.

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1 hour ago, LondonNeil said:

Neat trolley mr scutt.  Is that the 12" dob?

 

I've 3 steps to contend with so trolley and ramps Stunts seem possible.  I'm dreaming up slings, handles or even back packs to make the tube easier to handle.

Yes 12"skywatcher.  What about building a shed just the right size for it

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I've yet to collect the scope, it's the same though, 12" classic skywatcher.  Planning to store in the garage but will have steps to deal with.  I'm thinking modify an old rucksack such that the tube can be donned on the back.  Dunno until I've got the thing in front of me though really!  Really like your trolly though, very smart Indeed!

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  • 1 month later...

Well I haven’t cracked the back door step issue yet, but I couldn’t wait any longer for a trolley so I bought a non working mobility scooter to convert. I stripped it down and cut the seat and seat post off leaving a chassis. I added a platform and wired in a 20V li ion tool battery and to my surprise it worked, so I now have a powered trolley!  The idea is to drive it backwards like a forklift truck, hence the control handle is flipped. Not sure how far it will go on the tool battery, but 4 or 5 hundred metres would probably be fine for me.
 

Stability isn’t bad at all as tyres are puncture resistant and quit firm but if it isn’t good enough I can add some screw down jacks.

174E80D7-1A12-49FA-86FD-579DC8869FA8.jpeg

Edited by Roog
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15 minutes ago, Roog said:

Well I haven’t cracked the back door step issue yet, but I couldn’t wait any longer for a trolley so I bought a non working mobility scooter to convert. I stripped it down and cut the seat and seat post off leaving a chassis. I added a platform and wired in a 20V li ion tool battery and to my surprise it worked, so I now have a powered trolley! 
 

Stability isn’t bad at all as tyres are puncture resistant but if it isn’t good enough I can add some screw down jacks.

174E80D7-1A12-49FA-86FD-579DC8869FA8.jpeg

Fastest dob in the West!! 🤣👍

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25 minutes ago, Dave scutt said:

If you turn it horizontally could ride it to a dark site🤣

He he, that would be quite funny. I have had a play with it, riding it without the telescope on board, going is great, stopping from full speed can be quite exciting as it has very good brakes built in.

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