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Flatbed Wagon for Large Telescopes and Equipment

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#1 Project Galileo

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:58 PM

My LB16 has been riding in and out of the garage to my viewing site on a JMI Wheely Bar cart with pneumatic wheels since I got it. It has made taking it in and out a dream. It is a huge telescope and base. Recently I ordered an eq platform for the telescope and have been rebuilding the base of the LB16 in preparation. The new dimensions of the base means it will no longer fit on the JMI cart. A ground board will not be used either since the eq platform will take its place. I needed another way to haul this beast in and out of the garage.

I found this wagon on sale and ordered it. For $107.44 shipped I thought it was a screaming deal. I cannot make one for that price. The cart's platform is 48" x 24", has a nice lacquer finish, and the wagon can handle 1000 lbs. It arrived in two weeks. It was in one box and mostly assembled. I had to attach the four wheels and the handle. Five nuts and a bolt total. Way easy. There was a small nick you can see in the plastic border. Super glue has fixed that already. The front steering mechanism is like a car's keeping the load right over the wheels increasing its stability. It also has a great turning radius. All the hardware is powder coated steel. The 10" pneumatic wheels are the same as the JMI cart. It is taller but not by much. The platform is around 13" off the ground. It will be easy to lift the LB16's pieces onto the cart.

I will be modifying it. That's what I do. I want to add a shelf to maximize how much I can haul with one load. My hope is to make it a one trip cart. The plywood base lends itself easily to the modifications. Some carpet will also make it soft for the telescope's and base's bottoms. The carpet will keep things from sliding around too.

Now, does anyone want to buy the JMI cart?

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#2 DaveJ

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:22 PM

I had a similar one, and before I knew what happened, it turned into this!
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#3 Astrojensen

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:26 PM

Motorized telescopes. That is, REALLY motorized! This thread is gonna be awesome!

:grin:


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#4 star drop

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:51 PM

A 25" f/5 on a cart with 16" pneumatic tires.
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#5 starrancher

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:20 PM

A 25" f/5 on a cart with 16" pneumatic tires.
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The cat seems to like it too . :grin:

#6 Project Galileo

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:50 PM

That is awesome Dave!

Nice scope Ted!

#7 StarStuff1

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:52 PM

You guys both have the same identical setup including cat and house AND landscaping? :lol:

#8 GeneT

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:17 PM

Great idea!

#9 epee

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:25 AM

Let's see....substitute a really large dob of the cannon and....

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#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:55 AM

I used to haul my 16 inch from the garage to the pad outside using a wheeled cart/dolly. It was easy to get on and off, I just tipped it on it's side and pulled the dolly out.

But the scope sometimes walked around on and it was not the most secure. I make a pair of wheeled handles for it a la Obsession and I find it works much better... It's like wheeling an empty two wheeled wheel barrow..

Jon

#11 mikey cee

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:39 AM

Dave beat me to the punch on the lawn tractor. :waytogo: Other Dave my wife and I love the cat picture too. :grin: Mike

#12 Project Galileo

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:15 AM

Some 2x4s and some plywood made for a fun weekend. I worked on the cart for the 16" Lightbridge.

To the front I added a round plywood guide for the lower assembly. I simply drilled three holes just a bit over the size of the legs/counter weights. These holes will hold in place the counter weights permanently mounted as legs on the bottom of the lower assembly. The right side of the cart got a shelf for my eyepiece case and a garage for the new base. It is securely drilled and attached from the bottom of the cart into the legs.

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The end was treated to the same truss holder than came on my original base. The truss holder was an accessory the original owner added. I reused it and placed on the end of the cart.

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Trusses in place.

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Sturdy. I would climb up onto this shelf it is so sturdy. I am not even coming to within a third of the wagon's weight limit of 1000 lbs.

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Every thing sits on it nicely. The lower assembly slips into the three drilled holes securing it from sliding. It is such a nice fit it keeps it from tipping too. The board you see in between the lower and upper assemblies is a piece I am still making. It will be a double lens cap thingy that will hold the upper in place and secure it all to the shelf. My ultimate goal would be to have everything secure enough to roll right onto a trailer or toy hauler and have it travel all just as it is.

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I also plan on adding a drawer the width of the shelf to hold cords, filters, tools, doohickies, and what nots. Then some paint, carpet, and who knows what else. I made the eyepiece and accessory case too.

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#13 starrancher

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:46 AM

Excellent ! Don't forget to leave room for the cat .

#14 roscoe

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:45 AM

And I'm SO glad you have a 'remove before flight' flag!! So many people try to fly these things with the engine covers in place, and always have truly disappointing results!!!!! :roflmao:
Seriously, very nice cart idea!! Those waggons are darn near indestructible, my friend the nurseryman has several, and his help hasn't killed one yet!
Russ

#15 FirstSight

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:24 AM

I'm speaking as the owner and frequent user of a cart having the identical size & wheel/chassis structure which I have at our beach house for hauling loaded coolers, chairs, umbrellas, tent, and sometimes surfboard from house to beach strand. It is indeed a ruggedly sturdy, well-designed cart chassis, but nevertheless from hard experience I can see some potential problems with your design that are mostly manageable, so long as you're aware of them.

The potential risk with your cart design isn't whether the total load will approach more than a safe fraction of the cart's rated 1K load capacity. RATHER, it's the risk that a slope or turn will move the center of mass off-center enough that momentarily, its mass is effectively riding mostly on just two of the wheels, which will make the wagon very "tippy". This can happen on a seemingly modest-radius turn if the wagon is on a slight sideways slope or one of the wheels is in a bit of a rut. Be wary attempting a sharp turn, especially on anything but a level, smooth surface, and never give an abrupt hard pull when doing so.

That's a rather tall structure you've got built atop the wagon bed, and you're probably implicitly counting on the low placement of the relatively heavy mirror/base to keep it stable. Also, the load does appear well-centered side to side, but I can't tell whether front-to-back the load is centered between the wheels or else prodominately more over the front vs rear axle.

From hauling many a fully-loaded heavy cooler in mine, it seems to work better to have the heavier end in the rear, because the handling in front usually gives me timely feedback if a maneuver is getting a bit dodgy. However, you should experiment with what works best for you...the most important thing is to be aware of the potential for inadvertently tipping the cart so you don't have any unfortunate (possibly expensive) surprise some night.

#16 Project Galileo

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:46 AM

Thanks for your inputs Chris. I figured this cart to be a bit laterally challenged. To prevent accidents I will be adding a method to secure the ota pieces to the shelf to prevent tipping. Additionally I plan on placing on the top of the shelf a trim around the base of the eyepiece case to keep it from sliding around. This cart will be used primarily to move the telescope out of the garage and out to my viewing site 75 feet away. The gentle slope of the driveway will be my biggest grade. However, I want to be able to roll it directly onto a trailer to take it camping or on vacations. For those excursions I will be adding bungees and other tie downs.

I played around with having the upper and lower UTA in the front or back and found this way to be most stable. The telescope has a very low center of mass. Further, I will be putting my deep cycle power tank into the base when it is on the cart. This adds to the low center of gravity for the entire load.






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