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Trolley to move my Dobsonian about!


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10 hours ago, bosun21 said:

Wow! Improvisation and ingenuity at their best. I love it. I’ll be thinking about this each time I wheel my own Dobsonian out for a viewing session.

PS:- Is that a Baader and BST EP’s hitching a ride under the OTA?

I like a project, sometimes just for the sake of it and whilst the plan was to use it as a simple pull along trolley, once I had discovered that the motors and controls worked I couldn’t resist adding the li ion battery and charger, which of course doubled the cost of the trolley in one go!
 

Yes, the baader seemed to get good feed back. Funny thing is I tend to swing it from full wide to full zoomed in but it is convenient. The BSTs were a recommended next step up from the standard EPs and I find them very acceptable. I have also tried just one Tele Vue long eye relief EP, but that’s going to be too expensive for a clutch of them.

Edited by Roog
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9 hours ago, Pixies said:

Superb! And a big ol' Altair RACI too!

Thank you, the Story of the finder scope was a painful lesson. The skywatcher finder fine though it was has an un protected plastic edge which has put some nasty dinks in my new and very expensive spectacles, thankfully the marks lie out side of my main view, but I also found that the straight thru finder view was doing my neck in. So in the search for a 90 deg finder with rubber eye cup the Altair seemed like a good choice. However, being a lot heavier than the stock finder scope It does affect the balance quite a bit. It does look nice though, visitors to our home tend to notice it once they get over the big white thing in my hallway, as in the road bike world, “the red ones go faster!”

Edited by Roog
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On 14/11/2021 at 01:12, Roog said:

The skywatcher finder fine though it was has an un protected plastic edge which has put some nasty dinks in my new and very expensive spectacles, thankfully the marks lie out side of my main view

Online order a pair of single vision distance glasses with the lowest index plastic possible and use them strictly for astronomy.  The advantages are that the entire field will be in focus at once, off axis chromatic aberration will be minimized (higher index lenses have higher dispersion or prismatic effect), cost of the glasses will be minimized (the higher the lens index, the higher the cost), the lenses won't develop microscratches from daily wear that become visible at high power with tiny exit pupils, and if you do manage to ruin them, they won't be expensive to replace (my pair was under $20 from EyeBuyDirect a few years ago).  The downsides can be thicker, heavier lenses because of the low index and lack of close vision for bifocal wearers.

I don't know about UK laws, but in the US, your optometrist must provide you with a copy of your vision prescription when asked; and it is perfectly legal to order prescription glasses from online vendors.  I've found the frames and lenses to be just as good as those sold by my optometrist.  In fact, I've had several of the latter's frames fail within a year while none of my online frames have had any issues.

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Love the home-made trolley Roog and it is inspiring me to plan something similar as long as I can clear a bit of space in my garden shed sufficient to hold my 250mm SkyWatcher Flexi-Dob. I too have an issue with a step up into the shed and a very small garden so the slope will be quite severe. Keeping the 'scope outside will mean it is less likely to suffer from condensation and four relatively small castor wheels with jacking screws attached to their sides seems a good idea. Making the base as wide as the Dob's base is fine to help get it through the shed door but I will extend the length a little so I can put the extra power batteries into an open box so they don't wander around.

My latest aquisition on the astronomy front is an HEQ5 mount and tripod plus a 150P-DS OTA. Although not as heavy as the big Dob, it still is a bit of a beast to locate without bashing it so if Stage 1 (the Dob) works, I just may go on to Stage 2 for that one.

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On 14/11/2021 at 07:12, Roog said:

Thank you, the Story of the finder scope was a painful lesson. The skywatcher finder fine though it was has an un protected plastic edge which has put some nasty dinks in my new and very expensive spectacles, thankfully the marks lie out side of my main view, but I also found that the straight thru finder view was doing my neck in. So in the search for a 90 deg finder with rubber eye cup the Altair seemed like a good choice. However, being a lot heavier than the stock finder scope It does affect the balance quite a bit. It does look nice though, visitors to our home tend to notice it once they get over the big white thing in my hallway, as in the road bike world, “the red ones go faster!”

Quite a few use counterweights to balance heavy eyepieces, etc. They can be bought specifically or made up:

John has attached a magnetic knife strip to the bottom of his tube to allow weights to be attached at various positions. 

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On 16/11/2021 at 02:36, Louis D said:

Online order a pair of single vision distance glasses with the lowest index plastic possible and use them strictly for astronomy.  The advantages are that the entire field will be in focus at once, off axis chromatic aberration will be minimized (higher index lenses have higher dispersion or prismatic effect), cost of the glasses will be minimized (the higher the lens index, the higher the cost), the lenses won't develop microscratches from daily wear that become visible at high power with tiny exit pupils, and if you do manage to ruin them, they won't be expensive to replace (my pair was under $20 from EyeBuyDirect a few years ago).  The downsides can be thicker, heavier lenses because of the low index and lack of close vision for bifocal wearers.

I don't know about UK laws, but in the US, your optometrist must provide you with a copy of your vision prescription when asked; and it is perfectly legal to order prescription glasses from online vendors.  I've found the frames and lenses to be just as good as those sold by my optometrist.  In fact, I've had several of the latter's frames fail within a year while none of my online frames have had any issues.

Good idea @Louis D I have a spare pair of glasses with close enough prescription, but I often forget to change over! and yes in the UK we get a copy of the prescription so we are free agents as it were. I have also thought about getting contact lenses, which i used to wear for sports, but these would be a faff to put in each time.

Edited by Roog
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18 hours ago, Pixies said:

Quite a few use counterweights to balance heavy eyepieces, etc. They can be bought specifically or made up:

John has attached a magnetic knife strip to the bottom of his tube to allow weights to be attached at various positions. 

Thanks for the idea @Pixies I agree its a good option, I have some tool storage magnets with lead strips glued to the back for extra weight and wrapped in tough polythene to minimise scratching the scope tube. I stick it/them on to the tube wall with the magnetic side and slide them up and down to improve the balance. I don't like the extra weight mind, with an SLR fitted and the counterbalance weights it all adds to the pressure on the plastic bearing points.   

Edited by Roog
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Wow it's been a long time since I've been on here, got busy living and have recently found astronomy again. 

I have a dob which i fixed locking castors to, rubber shoed castor wheels with a locking arm set of 4 from any good supplier will cost you about £20, fix them direct to the base of the stand. 

Edited by Budding Star Gazer
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  • 1 month later...

I have given a lot of consideration to getting an appliance dolly and using that to transport my dob.  A couple ratchet straps in the right places and it won't move

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17 hours ago, Mike Q said:

I have given a lot of consideration to getting an appliance dolly and using that to transport my dob.  A couple ratchet straps in the right places and it won't move

I have one of these too, three holes drilled where the dobs feet can lodge and one in the middle for the pivot bolt to poke through, I guess you could use a few clips to hold the dolly onto the bottom of the scope base when lifting it about.  

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On 13/11/2021 at 18:51, Roog said:

Not sure how far it will go on the tool battery, but 4 or 5 hundred metres would probably be fine for me.

Update on battery powered Dob trolley.

It is a source of amusement to me that it is still on its first charge since Nov 2021, and spare battery hasen't been touched.  I have also decided that going backwards, like a forklift truck, whilst very manoeuvrable is not especially intuitive to me so I may 'flip' the steering handle the right way around to travel single wheel first.  

Edited by Roog
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On 08/10/2021 at 15:18, Roog said:

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.

You can buy 'suitcase' ramps, intended for wheelchairs, which you fold up when not in use. They stow away easily and come in different specs. depending on size and the weight they need to cope with.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 20/01/2022 at 22:37, LostInTime said:

You can buy 'suitcase' ramps, intended for wheelchairs, which you fold up when not in use. They stow away easily and come in different specs. depending on size and the weight they need to cope with.

Absolutely @LostInTime I managed to find one of these on Gumtree and it works well, that is until in manage to finish my back door, one step lift! Development currently in progress.

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  • 3 months later...

In my first post I mentioned that i have a small but never the less irritating challenge to get my '10" Dob on a trolly' out of my back door and down one step into my back garden. Well after much discussion and designs I happened to mention my challenge to an ex-colleague. I was only expecting to hear back from him with a few ideas as i know him to be a very experienced mechanical engineer. I became a little alarmed when out of the blue he began to send me animated linkage stress analysis run on his computer. Next he announced that he had bought him self a fancy pants Mig Tig Arc welder and a welding tent. He continued to send me updates including some videos to show progress. To put it mildly I was a little alarmed at the money he was spending on my behalf.

Anyway in the early part of this month he announced that 'it was ready'  my back door step lift was ready to collect.

And, here it is, it simply sits on the floor, no need for fixing down. The square deck section remains outside the back door when the lift is not in use and has a low profile. The rest of the mechanism, including the metal arms to the rear and the electric actuators clip into place when needed and can be assembled and removed without tools. It operates from a small 12V 7Ahr sealed lead acid battery (early tests used a lab power supply) and takes about 50 seconds to travel the single stop of one step.  It is very quiet and smooth in operation. It is designed for a 60Kg load but manages 1.5 times this. In fact the electrical linear actuators and battery are not the limiting factor the gauge of steel in the construction is. 

It was getting dark when I shot the picture which is not the best.

I do have to finish the woodworking off by shaping the edges to act as short ramps (wedges) and will add one to the front edge to minimise the risk of topping off the front lip. I am going to get a shower resistant box in which to install the battery and I may also change the wired remote controller over to a wireless remote which should reduce the wiring and make operation a little more flexible. 

I have a short video too, but i am not sure that I can up load such a large file to this site, TBH it isn't very interesting but does show how quiet and smooth the operation is. (Edit: I have broken new territory in that i have now managed to uploaded my first ever video on youtube, see link in later post!)

 

IMG_4469.JPG

Edited by Roog
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On 13/11/2021 at 18:51, Roog said:

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.

Great work. Now you could call yourself a competitor of Astro Tuff-Truk showcased in recent AN magazine 🙂

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1 hour ago, adyj1 said:

Looks great - I'd like to see the video.

Thank you , but it really is a very dull watch! But in order that others can suffer, do you have any ideas as to how this could be posted?

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24 minutes ago, Roog said:

Thank you , but it really is a very dull watch! But in order that others can suffer, do you have any ideas as to how this could be posted?

I recently managed to post a 48mb video of my automated RORO shed roof (zzzzzz) - how big is your file? 

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4 hours ago, Roog said:

Thank you , but it really is a very dull watch! But in order that others can suffer, do you have any ideas as to how this could be posted?

If you have a gmail account, you can post the video to YouTube and post the private link to it here.

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