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Tripod Dolly Collapses

Ad Astra

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Hi friends,

We almost had a disaster here today with the CGE-Pro mount and the JMI tripod dolly. Mrs. Astra and I had assembled the mount in the garage and mounted the scope, then fitted our new scope bag (it is for keeping the scope cool when set up before sundown and to facilitate safe, easy storage. We had everything attached, and I began to wheel the mount to reposition it in the garage prior to taking it out after dark.

That is when the arm on the tripod dolly failed. It began to twist under the weight of mount and scope and the entire rig began to twist and rotate toward the floor. I grabbed on and hollered (from fright and shock, to be sure!), thank goodness Mrs. Astra was still in the garage. Seeing me waltzing with 120 kg of scope and mount, she rushed in and grabbed the central pier, allowing me to stop the rotation without the entire setup falling on top of me. :) She held it stable while I dismounted the CW's. With that 20kg removed, the leg was strong enough to hold everything still until we could dismount the scope safely. If there were an award for heroism in astronomy - my wife would get one today! Not everyone would rush in to help - most of us would step back and try to get out of the way of the crash, I think (me included, probably... :) )

I've called the shop where I bought it - they were very nice about it. We are both going to contact the manufacturer (who is at the big NEAF astro show all week), so I don't expect an instant response, but I'm sure we will have to have it replaced - and not with the same model, either! I need something with a solid 150 kg capacity! :(

You can see the sprung dolly arm below. The angle it's twisted at here is a lot less than what we saw with all the weight on it. At that time, the big bolt was bent over close to 45-degrees. :(




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The castors didn't fail... it was the thin formed sections that twisted.....

True, and I intend to over-engineer those as well. Given the total weight of the mount/telescope, adding a heavier dolly is not really an issue. The strong, large wheels I have will be used because (i) they run very smoothly even in the case of small obstacles, and (ii) I do not have to fork out for new ones :). If I did not have such wheels handy, I would simply buy a strong dolly.

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I have talked with the vendor and the manufacturer, and they are working on a solution now. Both parties have been very nice about it (I suppose the magnitude of the possible disaster has caught their attention!).

I'll let everyone know how it turns out!


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