Jump to content


Photo

The "extra inch"

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
44 replies to this topic

#1 Tim2723

Tim2723

    The Moon Guy

  • *****
  • Posts: 5765
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2004

Posted 18 July 2004 - 10:00 AM

I have become a very firm believer in an old saying that goes something like:

"If the observer is comfortable, it's as though the telescope were an inch larger."

When I am comfortable at the eyepiece, I see more detail and enjoy my experiences much more. It seems that every year there are new products out there that are geared toward this. What new ideas, or new applications of old ideas, have we come up with this year? I've seen many posts over the past months of some great ideas, including home made observing chairs, custom made accessory trays, and the very cool 'bug shirt'.

I've found that just being seated on a sturdy, well padded stool helps me greatly.

What tricks do you have to share for providing creature comforts under the stars?

#2 F.Meiresonne

F.Meiresonne

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4209
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2003

Posted 18 July 2004 - 11:00 AM

Me too, i bought a peculiar stool,adjustable over a lenght for 45 cm (18 inch) so i can sit comfortable.
Also ep are important,a certain amount of eyerelief is inadmissible for comfortable viewing, so the comfortable you are ,the longer you stay at the ep, so the more you see...

#3 Spyke

Spyke

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2694
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2003

Posted 18 July 2004 - 12:20 PM

Good post! I always take a folding stool, but I must find myself a reasonable folding lightweight chair for that extra bit of comfort! I also take a folding table to put my case of eyepieces/charts on so that I don't have to crawl around on the ground to change eyepieces. If I can keep it within arm's reach, even better :grin:

Having just got a couple of short focal length ortho's it will be interesting to see if they are up to my "comfort" level for observing with!

:cool:

#4 Scott Beith

Scott Beith

    SRF

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 44512
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2003

Posted 18 July 2004 - 01:10 PM

I use a folding lightweight chair, and I bought an extension post for my Atlas mount to raise the EP highter when viewing at zeneth. I can now stand and observe at any position with my combo, or drop the legs a little and do the same while sitting. I almost always view from a seated position with my smaller scopes.

#5 Stelios

Stelios

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1978
  • Joined: 04 Oct 2003

Posted 18 July 2004 - 02:00 PM

This is IMHO the best possible advice for beginners, who probably spend entirely too much on multiple eyepieces and filters that will be rarely used, but consider an observing chair/stool to be of secondary importance.

I use a Televue air-chair (I have a SCT which it's perfect for -- for a DOB or refractor something with greater range might be needed) and simply would not go out to an observing session without it.

Much of what you can see becomes visible after you have sat still for a minute or so. It's not just the ins-and-outs of seeing -- it's as if your eye learns to focus better and adapts to the available information.

#6 LivingNDixie

LivingNDixie

    TSP Chowhound

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 18696
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2003

Posted 18 July 2004 - 02:17 PM

Yes I agree, a chair is defintely a good thing to invest in. Ok another tip that I have learned is using a dark towel over your head to block out extra light. Yes you do look funny looking , but it really does help because it hangs over you and your eyepiece. I have used this on the SCTs I have owned,BUT I could never get the idea to work well with the dob because I was moving arround so much.

#7 F.Meiresonne

F.Meiresonne

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4209
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2003

Posted 18 July 2004 - 02:29 PM

Yes I agree, a chair is defintely a good thing to invest in. Ok another tip that I have learned is using a dark towel over your head to block out extra light. Yes you do look funny looking , but it really does help because it hangs over you and your eyepiece. I have used this on the SCTs I have owned,BUT I could never get the idea to work well with the dob because I was moving arround so much.

Yes, thats also true, i do it from time to time although it causes much laughter from my family but that does'nt bother me and you can see actually more because it blocks all stray light. :grin:

#8 LivingNDixie

LivingNDixie

    TSP Chowhound

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 18696
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2003

Posted 18 July 2004 - 02:32 PM

Freddy,

If our families make too much fun of us we can start a support group :)

#9 Bill Grass

Bill Grass

    Prince Regent

  • *****
  • Posts: 11665
  • Joined: 07 Oct 2003

Posted 18 July 2004 - 03:25 PM

I make sure I have some mosquito repellant on, a chair/stool for being seated at the eyepiece, and an eyepatch works wonders on allowing your non-observing eye to relax!

#10 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----

Posted 18 July 2004 - 03:28 PM

I often use a chair while observing the sun, moon, and planets, but for starhopping with the ETX, I don't bother. I have to get down on the ground to view through the ETX's straight-through finder, and really twist my neck around. I know all too well about "ETX neck". :lol:
I think that frustration can be even worse than discomfort, at least for me. The difference between a frustrating night and a night of successful starhopping is quite amazing. With the former, I go in wondering, "How does everyone else do this? Why am I wasting my time up late at night only to find nothing?" :bangbangbang: and with the later, going in hoping tomorrow night will be clear too.

#11 Paul G

Paul G

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5125
  • Joined: 08 May 2003

Posted 18 July 2004 - 04:24 PM

A Starbound chair and a binocular viewer.

#12 KennyJ

KennyJ

    The British Flash

  • *****
  • Posts: 34240
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2003

Posted 18 July 2004 - 05:54 PM

This very day I worked out a very simple and most comfortable observing scenario and I posted a photo of myself in it to the binocular forum.

It is entitled "Comfort and Convenience".

Please take a look and tell me what you think.

The same , or similar set -up could be used for scopes up to a certain size.

The EXTREME comfort factor really does help concentrate the mind on the VIEWING experience and little , if indeed anything else.

I hope this simple idea really does help SOME others to share the pleasures to be enjoyed as a result.

Clear skies , ---- which also help a little :-)

Kenny.

#13 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----

Posted 18 July 2004 - 06:49 PM

One thing a newbie to this forum might add is that I was able to build a Denver Observer's Chair in about 2 evenings. This cost me only about $40 and is exactly what I needed. I downloaded the instructions and followed them. Easy and cheap!

#14 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----

Posted 18 July 2004 - 08:04 PM

Freddy,

If our families make too much fun of us we can start a support group :)

I actually bought the Orion head cover and it works well. Sometimes it gets too hot and my EP's fog up, but I can have that happen with EP's that don't give enough ER. I use the bought one as my wife sews a lot and for the type of cloth used and time spent acquiring and making, it was easier to buy it. :cool:

#15 Nauset

Nauset

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3521
  • Joined: 24 Jan 2004

Posted 18 July 2004 - 10:43 PM

I bought a "Situations Leather Task Chair" (thats what it's called!), at Staples for $40. It has ergonomic features: lumbar support, chair tilt and seat height adjustment (pneumatic).It's made of cushioned leather and very comfortable. Fits in just right with my Dob. A great buy for only $40!

#16 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----

Posted 19 July 2004 - 01:53 AM

Oh, great topic. I had wanted to post a question about his myself. (But at first the subject line sounded like the ones in some of my spam.)

I have to get down on the ground to view through the ETX's straight-through finder, and really twist my neck around. I know all too well about "ETX neck".



Ian, is this pretty unavoidable with an ETX? I've been contemplating buying one, but I won't if it has bad or even mediocre ergonomics. I want to stare and visually swim in star fields for long periods.

Thanks,
Doug

#17 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----

Posted 19 July 2004 - 08:24 AM

I will second the eyepatch. Dollar for dollar, it whips every other accessory out there.

#18 desertstars

desertstars

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 42830
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2003

Posted 19 July 2004 - 10:28 AM

Having an appropriate light source (mine is that Ray-o-vac headlamp with the red LED function) that leaves both hands free comes right in there with being comfortably seated while viewing.

#19 Tommy5

Tommy5

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2814
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2004

Posted 19 July 2004 - 10:43 AM

I use a foam pad from my swimming pool a lay it it out on the ground, sometimes when viewing near the zenith with my C6R,I'm knealing or laying on the ground so the pad really comes in handy.

#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----

Posted 19 July 2004 - 10:44 AM

Did anybody else look at this thread title and think it must be spam?

Sorry, carry on...

#21 pollux

pollux

    artiste

  • *****
  • Posts: 7330
  • Joined: 01 Apr 2004

Posted 19 July 2004 - 11:17 AM

Did anybody else look at this thread title and think it must be spam?

Sorry, carry on...


:funny:

#22 lighttrap

lighttrap

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3833
  • Joined: 06 Feb 2004

Posted 19 July 2004 - 11:22 AM

I find the difference between seated observing and standing to observe to be HUGELY significant in the amount of detail I see at the eyepiece. For me, sitting to view has the effect of being at a slightly darker sky site. The height of the chair is extremely important as well. I have one camp stool that is just perfect for use with my 6" Dob. However, it's just a tad too short for comfortable use with the 8" Dob, without some neck straining. A cheap cushion on top of the stool fixes that problem. But, the point is that it really does pay to make yourself comfortable at the eyepiece. Highpower rifle shooters have a saying about finding the natural point of aim. This means aligning the body to use the body itself in a very relaxed position as a natural brace. This same concept can be adopted to astronomy. When you are at the eyepiece, before you even look at anything, ask yourself if you're really comfortable. Are you straining, or bending unnaturally in any manner? If so, fix that problem before continuing. Likewise, if you're too cold, or the bugs are bothering you, fix that. Then take a look at whether your star map or atlas is in a position where you can access it conviently and often, without body contortions. I find that a small folding camp table helps tremendously with that.

#23 Echo

Echo

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3320
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2003

Posted 19 July 2004 - 11:23 AM

I'm too hyper to sit still most of the time so I always make sure I am wearing comfortable shoes. It sure makes a difference in how tired your back and legs get.

#24 desertstars

desertstars

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 42830
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2003

Posted 19 July 2004 - 11:46 AM

For me, being able to sit comfortably makes the difference between being able to observe for a couple of hours, and being able to stay out much, much longer. (It's also much easier to take notes when I can prop the clipboard on my knee! :)

#25 RobSter

RobSter

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 449
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2004

Posted 19 July 2004 - 02:05 PM

Wow, i haven't bought a telescope yet but when i do i'm definately going to get a chair at the same time. I did wonder how you're supposed to be comfortable when the eyepiece can be in so many different places, such as low down. I live in the UK so could anyone tell me where i can get a good chair for a good price from? Thanks






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics