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Making my scope mobile

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#1 CapnRon

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:33 PM

I have reached the age of no longer caring about being called a wuss. I want to be able to set the scope up in a reasonably warm garage and roll it down the driveway when I want to use it. But as most of us, funds are limited. So I am making my garden cart do double duty. The garden cart has nice 10" pneumatic wheels, so it rolls easily over the driveway or yard. I built a wooden frame to hold the CGEM tripod above the garden cart base. I retract the legs and it sits on the cart. when it is where I want it I extend the legs to lift it off the cart. It seems to work, so I thought I would post it here.

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#2 City Kid

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:35 PM

I wouldn't call that being a wuss at all. Looks like a good, cheap idea.

#3 CapnRon

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:39 PM

I used a hole saw to cut the supports from 2x4 lumber. I cut those pieces at the angle they matched the base. I used the cut off pieces to complement the supports so I could drill and screw the supports at right angles to the base. The plywood base is attached to the cart with a bolt so it does not slide or rock. I added cables from the tripod legs to the base and attached them with turnbuckles so I can tighten the base up against the legs. This keeps the tripod legs fully separated and the whole assembly solid. This poor garden cart has seen a lot of duty (think pallets of sod and patio block)so it is a little worse for wear. But a new one is only $75 at Lowes, so it may be worth the investment.

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#4 CJK

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:30 AM

That's a very clever setup, and nicely executed!

-- Chris

#5 snowcrow

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:50 AM

Clever indeed but, those blocks are not really carrying any of the weight. You need to clamp the blocks to the legs, otherwise the hanges will be taking the load, and that is a bad thing. :( Maybe try using some speader ring clamps above the blocks or something similar? :grin:

#6 rigel123

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

Very ingenious!

#7 CapnRon

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:51 PM

Bill,
The hinges on the CGEM are pretty beefy, but I agree I would be more comfortable if the tripod legs were clamped to the struts or as you suggest there were ring clamps on the legs putting the load down on the struts. Either can be easily done. I just have to decide which method is simplest to implement.

#8 snowcrow

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:08 PM

I'm going to make or buy something for my beast too! Loss time setting up means more time imaging :grin:

#9 CapnRon

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:50 PM

Just want to wrap this up and relieve the concerns of torque on the CGEM mount hinges. I used 2" wide u-bolts to attach the cut-off pieces of wood, which I originally drilled with the holesaw, to the legs of the mount. I set the mount up level and attached these pieces so the weight of the mount (and scope, etc) is applied to the struts when the legs are retracted. The mount now literally sits on my base and the base sits on the garden cart (the statics community should be satisfied).

I feel more comfortable about it also. This added about $9 to the cost of this project, which without the cost of the cart comes to about $35 and some spare wood.

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#10 coopman

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:53 AM

Well done, Ron.

#11 csrlice12

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:31 AM

I recently saw a similar cart on sale at Harbor Freight for $25 (in one of their ads). Had the 10" tires. Harbour Freight also carries an adjustable height "drummer chair" that they put on sale for $20 occasionally.

#12 snowcrow

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

Nice job, Ron

#13 CapnRon

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:32 PM

I am sure you can find this type of cart on sale in various places. I just checked Harbor Freight (and Lowes) on line. The Harbor Freight ad is for $75, the Lowes price is currently like $150, but there are variations that are less expensive.

Given that the cart does double duty for me, I find it affordable. It does move easily around the yard. But I would warn you that making it top heavy with the mount and scope will make you want to move it slowly and carefully or else it could topple over.

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