Jump to content


Photo

homemade "scopebuggy" pics?

  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 NHRob

NHRob

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5020
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2004
  • Loc: New Hampshire

Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:46 AM

I have a CGEM and TEC-140 and decided that something like a scopebuggy is what I need to really get a lot of use out of my rig. The more I can have things assembled, and ready to go, the better. My viewing opportunities are irregular and often brief. I usually view from my yard.

I really need something with larger tires than what I see with commercial units. I have a gravel driveway, and often have to move across the yard. Small wheels would not work well.

So, I may build my own. Anyone have pics of theirs they can post? I'd love to see ideas.

One thought ... just have a wood beam across two tripod legs (under the feet) with two tires attached. I can then tilt the mount/tripod back and wheel it around. The third tripod leg sits directly on the ground.

Thanks,
Rob

#2 LLEEGE

LLEEGE

    True Blue

  • *****
  • Posts: 12896
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2005
  • Loc: Cloud-chester,NY

Posted 29 June 2009 - 08:42 AM

As long as you have a good sized pneumatic tire, you should be fine on rough terrain. I think you are better off with three tires. Two fixed and one that pivots. Something like the Scope Buggy. The question is: to build or buy?

#3 mclewis1

mclewis1

    Thread Killer

  • ****-
  • Posts: 10991
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 29 June 2009 - 08:52 AM

Rob,

Larger tires than on the Scopebuggy? They are already something like 10" in diameter and wide with a heavy tread, larger than that and I think you're into much heavier ATV or small car wheels. I know the standard JMI wheelies use small hard wheels which would have a difficult time on a gravel driveway (JMI does have an option for the larger wheels) but the Scopebuggies wheels are considered large and soft. If you really need more than the Scopebuggies wheels then you are into some serious "off roading" ... lol.

There isn't a lot of ground clearance at the front wheel with a Scopebuggy so abrupt changes (sidewalk edges, potholes, etc.) would be a problem but I have no problem taking a Scopebuggy over what is considered a rough driveway or lawn. Stones up to about 2" are not a problem.

I've seen a few homemade configurations pictured here on CN, including a few really creative dolly type setups for alt az mounted scopes. I like the idea of two wheels and lifting the third leg for shorter runs with only the mount. I already do something like that (lift the front wheel off the ground) when I'm going over edges and such with my Scopebuggy.

#4 mclewis1

mclewis1

    Thread Killer

  • ****-
  • Posts: 10991
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 29 June 2009 - 10:11 AM

There's a pic of just about the simplest tripod wheel setup I've seen over on the "other" site. link
Also note the nice turnbuckle connection holding the scope/tripod down ... a very good idea.

#5 NHRob

NHRob

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5020
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2004
  • Loc: New Hampshire

Posted 29 June 2009 - 11:37 AM

I didn't realize the Scopebuggy wheels were that large. Perhaps I was thinking of the JMI version.
Yes, I will need some type of pneumatic tires to get across rough gravel, stones, and driveway edging, etc.

Curious .... how is it it, vibrationwise, viewing through a scope when it's resting on those pneumatic tires? Do you have to take the tripod off the buggy?

Rob

#6 LLEEGE

LLEEGE

    True Blue

  • *****
  • Posts: 12896
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2005
  • Loc: Cloud-chester,NY

Posted 29 June 2009 - 12:59 PM

There are leveling feet that raise the tires off the ground. These can be used to accurately reposition the mount each time. Just tape a few vegetable cans together to they are about 2' long, set them in the ground under each leg so they are flush to the ground, fill them with concrete and you have a fixed location that won't interfere with mowing, and they will be barely visible.

#7 mclewis1

mclewis1

    Thread Killer

  • ****-
  • Posts: 10991
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 29 June 2009 - 05:44 PM

For some other comments on the Scopebuggy and suggested upgrades have a look at this thread

#8 SteveC

SteveC

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3569
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Sunshine State & Ocean State

Posted 29 June 2009 - 08:33 PM

Hi Rob,

Viewing with everything resting on the tires is not a problem. I haven't had any vibration or goto realignment issues. I have one level spot where I don't need the levelers and I've accidently kicked the tires a few times while observing. The scopebuggy w/G-11 doesn't move.

#9 NHRob

NHRob

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5020
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2004
  • Loc: New Hampshire

Posted 30 June 2009 - 04:35 AM

sounds like the scopebuggy is perfect for me. Now .... buy or make?
It will prob. be faster if I save up a few months and just buy one.
Many thanks all.

Rob

#10 tim53

tim53

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9399
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 30 June 2009 - 10:42 AM

I need to look at the thread on the scopebuggy, but I make my own. The biggest cost is in the wheels. The rest is screws and old 2x4's.

I prefer all 3 wheels pivot. My scopes are stored in my basement shop, which has only a 27" wide doorway, so I need the space between tripod legs to worm my way around the doorjamb.

I have my 8" f/6 Springfield on one of these, an EM-10 on another (that holds either a C-8 or a 6" f/10 Newt, though the 6" has to be moved separate from the mount), and a Super Polaris on a Quickset Hercules tripod (pictured here).

This dolly was made with some 1x4's I had laying around. Subsequent dollies I use 2x4's arranged in a "T", like the first link above.

But I prefer all three wheels pivot for maneuverability. I also prefer to move them by pushing on the legs about midway up and/or putting my foot on the dolly to help the scope over bumps and cracks in our brick patio between my shop and my observing site on the grass. That way I have a firm grip on it if it ever wants to get tippy (or is that tipsy?)

All my dollies have different wheels, depending on what I had laying around at the time. The one pictured here has small wheels, but it does okay. The one that works best has 4" narrow wheels from Harbor Freight. These go right across the lawn and bricks without a care. I would think 6" wheels would do fine on most surfaces, possibly even gravel.

I don't like the way the scope buggy is used. I would be very nervous with me at the end of that long handle and the scope at the other, on the dolly. Back before affordable laptops for field use, I used to move my desktop computer around on an old dresser that I put wheels under, and a handle on the end. Once, a wheel caught in a rut when I was moving it around to the other side of the house (for morning planets) and it was like watching a train wreck in slow motion as the computer gently toppled off the back of the dresser on the side away from me. It still worked after that, but that cracked and skewed case always looked rather sad to me.

-Tim.

Attached Files



#11 tim53

tim53

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9399
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 30 June 2009 - 10:57 AM

I've never had a problem with observing or even imaging with the scope's weight entirely on the wheels. None of my dollies have screws or any other means of lifting them off the wheels.

When observing from my driveway (the east side of the house), I simply put 2 of the wheels in a seam between concrete slabs and I'm good to go. If I set up in the same place, and roll into the crack from the same direction, I'm automatically polar aligned. But most of my mounts have good polar alignment scopes anyway, so getting aligned only takes a couple minutes each time.

-Tim.

#12 Rcade

Rcade

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 767
  • Joined: 04 Sep 2004
  • Loc: FL

Posted 30 June 2009 - 01:32 PM

Neat practical buggyTim53!!! How is the tripod secured to the buggy? Just gravity or something mechanical?

#13 tim53

tim53

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9399
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 30 June 2009 - 04:05 PM

The feetpads of the Hercules tripod have a single hole through them for mounting them onto... something!

So, I just ran a wood screw through each.

On my other ones, the tripod tips fit into holes in the 2x4, and the Springfield is sitting on a "tray" (first one I built has a floor for putting the drive corrector and stuff on. Gravity is hold those scopes down. When I push them around, I have a firm grip on the tripod, so they haven't fallen off (yet).

-Tim.

#14 tim53

tim53

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9399
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 30 June 2009 - 04:09 PM

Just remembered. I have this old pic of the Springfield on it's dolly. I think this only had one steerable wheel, because all I had to do was roll it about 10 feet outside the garage. I changed it to all three steerable wheels when we moved to our current house.

Attached Files



#15 Rcade

Rcade

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 767
  • Joined: 04 Sep 2004
  • Loc: FL

Posted 03 July 2009 - 03:29 PM

Very cool and best of all simple. I tried a similar but not as well thought out approach but my set up seemed tppsy, and no I had not been drinking so it was not me that was tippsy .... LOL

Thanks for posting the pics.

#16 helpwanted

helpwanted

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4521
  • Joined: 04 Jul 2007
  • Loc: Phoenix, AZ

Posted 03 July 2009 - 07:26 PM

working on wheelie bars for my scope this weekend... will post pics when done

#17 luismartinez

luismartinez

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 13
  • Joined: 17 Sep 2008

Posted 09 July 2009 - 10:36 AM

Just got a Scope Buggy, after pondering the price for quite a while. In a nutshell, I love it. At 56 I am getting quite sore hauling everything ( 8"SCT, wedge and tripod) out then back every night. The buggy is rock solid and I would recommend it for anyone who's getting on in years and back problems plague you. If I had the time and the skills I'd built one, it is really a pretty simple device. Now I don't hesitate to roll the scope out from under my back porch anytime the mood strikes.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics