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How do you move/transport your GEM with scopes on?

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#1 chitown

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:42 AM

I was wondering how do you guys move your mount (and tripod) when its fully loaded? Such as moving from front yard to back yard or from inside the house to outside?

I tried to lift my Atlas with everything on and it was very difficult!

Also, how do you extend the legs? Remove all equipment first and then extend?

#2 Luigi

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 11:29 AM

Kinda depends on your setup and your strength. I used to move my G11 around when setup but always took off the C11 as it was kind of top heavy with it. The total weight of the mount/tripod without the C11 was about 90 lb. To carry it in and out of the house I'd lift it and remove one leg so it'd easily go through the door. I can pretty easily pick up and carry my CG5 with a 15lb OTA on it. YMMV

#3 GShaffer

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:17 PM

Thats an easy answer..... I DONT :)

I take the scope(s) out of the saddle and then put them back after I have moved the mount and leveled etc. While I could move it all together there are too many reasons not to do so and only one reason to not break it down which would be I am being lazy :)

Look at it this way.....not many of us buy this stuff for life. We instead tend to "upgrade" from time to time, some more than others lol. I buy used on everything pretty much.

I look at it as paying rent rather than purchasing since I will eventually "trade it in" on the next shiny gadget. The better condition I keep it in the less rent I have to pay for its use when I do get around to selling it :)

In as far as raising the legs....depends. If I am confident it wont get away from me to do so then I have taken that chance.....all depends on which mount, what is sitting on it etc.

Greg

I was wondering how do you guys move your mount (and tripod) when its fully loaded? Such as moving from front yard to back yard or from inside the house to outside? Moving entire setups, particularly something on the lines of an Atlas mount all decked out with gear is simply begging for disaster and possibly raising the rent!

I tried to lift my Atlas with everything on and it was very difficult!

Also, how do you extend the legs? Remove all equipment first and then extend?



#4 Zebra24601

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:28 PM

I wouldn't try carrying a fully-loaded GEM any significant distance unless I had only a small (four-inch or smaller) refractor attached to it. Even then, the time involved in removing at least the OTA and countweights is pretty minimal (dovetails are your friend), so I don't see the risk/reward of trying to move a fully assembled GEM/OTA combination.

In the field, I only do this to avoid inconvenient trees. I will also slide the mount with an 8" SCT small amounts of space. I wouldn't try moving the C11/Sirius combination.

I would (and do) make small adjustments in the legs, but not a full extension. Too much weight to overcome.

#5 Miguel Lopes

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:51 PM

DON'T! :D

#6 Trebor777

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 01:14 PM

I was wondering how do you guys move your mount


Don't - unless you like the sound of optics crashing against the ground.

What I do with my Atlas. If I'm only putting a refractor on there, I extend the tripod legs about half way. Then, I mount the Atlas head on the tripod. Then I get the mount somewhat pointed north, then I level the tripod.

Once the tripod is level and pointing close to North (Polaris) then and only then do I mount an OTA on there.

However, I've been mounting a SN10 on my Atlas for over a year and I don't extend the legs at all - except for minor adjustments for leveling.

The mount is more stable when the legs are not extended anyway.

I would NEVER try to move a fully loaded GEM. When you set up, make sure it's a place you'll be all night. The advice I'd give if you were going to move it is to break it all down, and then set up again.

#7 LLEEGE

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 01:54 PM

Get a Scope Buggy.

#8 Joe Cipriano

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:01 PM

...or build one. ;)

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#9 Luigi

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 04:03 PM

>>>Kinda depends on your setup and your strength. <<<

I should have added "and how big of a clutz you are."

#10 HaleBopper

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 05:31 PM

I carry my CG5 with both 11 pound couterweights, C8 SCT, and 80 mm guidescope up the stairs out to my yard then back down when I'm done. I make sure the eyepiece tray is not attached so that I can fold up the tripod legs. I don't find it too heavy, just a bit ackward at times. Then again, I'm in the gym everyday so I have no problem with weights. I think I would draw the line if I had a heavier CGEM or CGE to lug around.

When I'm going out in the field. I simply remove the OTA and take it in a separate box. I try to leave as many things assembled as reasonably possible.

#11 WadeH237

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:47 PM

I keep a CG5 set up in my basement with a C8 mounted. When I want to take it out, I just carry it out to my observing location. It's not hard to manage for me at all.

I also keep a CGE set up in the basement with no OTA on it. The CGE tripod, mount and counterweight shaft are around 90 pounds - and that's the most I can handle. I can't imaging carrying a CGE with any OTA on it.

-Wade

#12 kohudson

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:28 AM

Joe,

I just wanted to say that I'm very impressed with your scope buggy. Nicely done! Thank you for posting the picture.

Ken

#13 yock1960

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:02 AM

Holy Toledo! According to Orion's website, just the Atlas is 76lbs!

I had this concern when I fist got my GEM back in February and I only have an LXD75 & small Newt & guidescope. I developed a technique to carry it from my garage out to my observing site, but it's still a risk. With an Atlas....no way! Of course, I'm a weakling :grin:!

Some sort of scope buggy would be great, but I have no clear path to my observing area from the garage, there would be tipping going over steps or lots of bumping as I traveled over grass. It's a concern if I ever upgrade my mount.

Steve

#14 Scott Beith

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:05 AM

I don't.

#15 Skylook123

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:34 PM

Let me throw in some technical considerations, just to put some light on the topic

The scope/mount doesn't fall over on its own because the weight acts down through the center and is supported by the three legs. If, for some reason, one leg is lifted up, the force necessary is only 1/3 the total weight; two legs are a pivot line, so the weight pushing down is about 1/3 the distance from the pivot line compared to the lifted leg's distance.

Now, same configuration, but push against the side of the mount; make the problem easy and apply the force over one leg. Huge moment arm for the force to act through now, same small moment arm for the weight to resist. Much easier to tip over inadvertantly! Those of us at the 2008 All Arizona Messier Marathon watched a daytime dust devil blow against a (C-11/CGE I think, anyway, a heavy mount and scope) with a reflective weather cover on it. The cover inflated and the whole setup went over in a heart beat, with a spine tingling noise as it crashed, while five feet away a small sun canopy didn't move.

It is possible to really cause a disaster when the scope and mount is by its design top heavy, especially after carrying it some distance and trying to put it down gracefully. It doesn't take much OOPS to have it do something you'd wish it hadn't. Even a ScopeBuggy has max terrain or obstruction angles to consider. The wider base, though, helps lower the risk of tip over.

#16 Trebor777

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:15 PM

I wouldn't even trust it on a scope buggy. If one of the wheels snags on a rock or crack in the pavement - it only takes a split second to tip everything over.

I would trust a scope buggy without an OTA&CW's mounted though. It's when everything is set up, that's when I wouldn't try to move anything. Some might pull their full set up out of their garage every night for the past 10 years - but now after reading this thread Murphy and his Law comes knocking...

#17 Dean Norris

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:30 PM

I can have my 10" newtonian set up in about 15minutes in my backyard. I store my scope in the garage.

1) Bring telescope tube outside, standing up on the walkway in my backyard.
2) Roll the assembled mount outside on walkway over to my place on the lawn. This is the hardest part since only 2 wheels on the tripod are on the concrete the other wheel rolls across dirt and grass.
3) Eyeball the polar alignment with the north star.
4) Place telescope on the mount in the observing location on the grass. Attach to mount via the rotating rings.
5) Plug in cooling fan to the extension cord via 12V adapter inside an insulated box.
6) Plug in variable speed control for clockdrive.
7) Prepare eyepieces for viewing.

Approx. 15 minutes or less if I was to hurry. Pretty good for a 10" newtonian on a GEM.
Dean

#18 Joe Cipriano

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:36 PM

Ken: Thanks, man. Only took 1 day to build (although it took a few hours to figure out the jack screw setup), and around $100 in supplies. It works; only changes I've made are cutting down the jack screws to a more reasonable length and replacing the wing nuts with crank handles.

Randy: I've had no issues with my setup, even fully loaded (around 150 lbs not including weight of the platform) - but then I'm only moving from my garage to the driveway. I've got two fairly deep expansion joints to cross - but I used 4" foam-core wheels, and the tripod is attached to the buggy with rubber tie-downs. It's never gotten "tippy" - but I sure as heck wouldn't want to try navigating my backyard with it.

#19 waassaabee

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 05:47 PM

I've never even considered it. I guess my philosophy has been if I drop something, I don't want to drop everything.






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