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OMG Observing Chairs are so expensive, WHY?

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#1 SeptemberEquinox

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:48 PM

I'm shopping around for an observing chair and it kills me to see how expensive it is. I think all of the astronomical equipments are over priced. :confused: :confused: :confused:

Which chairs do you guys have and which one would you recommend?

#2 pdfermat

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:54 PM

I know what you mean, but after getting my Catsperch Summit, I can see SO much more while observing seated. I'm a firm believer that it really is like adding inches of aperture.

If you have some woodworking skills and the time, you can build one fairly cheap.

#3 FirstSight

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:05 AM

I have a Starbound observing chair which I got for $150, which makes the observing experience enormously more comfortable and enables much better stamina to observe much longer before fatigue overcomes enthusiasm and enjoyment to force an end to the night. $150 is no more than you'd invest in a single mid-range (good, but sub-premium) eyepiece, and yet is more valuable than any couple of eyepieces for enabling much better, more enjoyable observing.

#4 core

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:35 AM

Do a search for CPRO-800LP - at the moment amazon has it for ~$86 shipped. The exact same chair when tagged as an "observing chair" runs around $135+shipping at other sites.

That said, I have a Starbound chair that I use on occasion, but can be a little cumbersome if you're quickly scanning around the sky. Another option great for 8" dob owners would be a ~$20 pneumatic adjustable roller seat from Harbor Freight.

#5 Pinbout

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:40 AM

I'm shopping around for an observing chair and it kills me to see how expensive it is.



go to HD buy some oak and make one. :grin:

#6 korborh

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:51 AM

I think all of the astronomical equipments are over priced. :confused: :confused: :confused:


Unfortunately it is true that a lot of stuff marketed to the astro community gets ridiculous markups. :undecided:

#7 Mike B

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:56 AM

Whew- excellent tip! Googling that gets you an Amazon site where *three* chairs are depicted. On the SmartAstronomy site the same three are depicted, with more clearly labeled ID's... and specs. I have the "Stardust" chair, which looks to be the one labeled "CPRO-600". It has the greatest range for height adjustment, and is actually a wee bit lighter in weight. But the $85 price tag on the other is awfully attractive!

Yet using a Dob (as i do), the 13" seat height of the 600 is utilized ALL the time, so it's definitely the deal for me! Your needs might vary, by scope. If you use a 'fractor, ya MIGHT wanna consider a seat that converts into a ground-mat! :lol: :poke: (they're known for getting the EP pretty low-down for viewing at zenith ;))

#8 Bill Weir

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:57 AM

Do a search for CPRO-800LP - at the moment amazon has it for ~$86 shipped. The exact same chair when tagged as an "observing chair" runs around $135+shipping at other sites.


When I did that search I found this also http://tinyurl.com/bny85o3 Personally I prefer something like this. I have a stainless steel surgical chair I took out of the garbage at my hospital. It's stable, easily adjustable and I can swivel around back and forth between the eyepiece and my table with charts and other eyepieces.

It is adjustable enough to use even with my scope like this and even higher.

Bill

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#9 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:19 AM

It is adjustable enough to use even with my scope like this and even higher.

Bill



One advantage of a dedicated astro chair like the Starbound is that it has a greater range of possible heights than a swivel chair or a Harbor Freight adjustable stool. The lower end of the range, close to ground, is important when observing with refractors. The height also instantly adjustable, two hands under the seat and stand up a bit is all that is necessary. It's so easy I often reposition the seat just to use the finder.

In addition, the Catsperch chairs provide much higher seat heights with foot rests, 42 inches for the standard model. Eyepiece heights that normally require standing are possible seated.

I think the prices for dedicated observing chairs are very reasonable. The astronomy market is a small one, chairs like the Starbound and the Catsperch are specifically designed for astronomy and make the observing experience much more enjoyable. $150-$300 for a tool I use each and every night, one that transforms the observing experience, it's worth every cent and then some. I would rather part with my beloved 31mm Nagler than either my Starbound or Catsperch chairs.

Jon

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#10 okieav8r

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:32 AM

I'm shopping around for an observing chair and it kills me to see how expensive it is. I think all of the astronomical equipments are over priced. :confused: :confused: :confused:

Which chairs do you guys have and which one would you recommend?


Part of the reason for the expense is economy of scale. Astronomy equipment companies cater to a small niche market, so they can't crank out high quality gear 24/7 like other products. Profit margins for such companies is actually pretty slim, I would imagine. If we want good products, it has to be worth the maker's while, or we make it ourselves.

I have a Starbound chair, and despite the expense, it has proven itself to be a great investment, in my opinion.

#11 mgwhittle

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:51 AM

I'm shopping around for an observing chair and it kills me to see how expensive it is. I think all of the astronomical equipments are over priced. :confused: :confused: :confused:

Which chairs do you guys have and which one would you recommend?


Part of the reason for the expense is economy of scale. Astronomy equipment companies cater to a small niche market, so they can't crank out high quality gear 24/7 like other products. Profit margins for such companies is actually pretty slim, I would imagine. If we want good products, it has to be worth the maker's while, or we make it ourselves.

I have a Starbound chair, and despite the expense, it has proven itself to be a great investment, in my opinion.


In general this is true, but not with the chairs being discussed here. A quick visit to Amazon will show you that the exact same chairs discussed here are significantly discounted when they are called "work chairs". Call it an observing chair and suddenly its value goes up 50 percent? No special niche manufacturing going on here I am afraid.

#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:51 AM

In general this is true, but not with the chairs being discussed here. A quick visit to Amazon will show you that the exact same chairs discussed here are significantly discounted when they are called "work chairs". Call it an observing chair and suddenly its value goes up 50 percent? No special niche manufacturing going on here I am afraid.



Huh?

Several besides myself have mentioned the Starbound and the Catsperch chairs, they are being discussed here. As far as I know these were the two originals and both chairs were designed and specifically manufactured for amateur astronomy. They do the job and are well worth the money. I don't think you will find them on Amazon for $80.

Jon

#13 rockethead26

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:57 AM

Another vote for the CPRO-600 from Amazon. A non-astro version of the Stardust chair (it's identical) and about $40 less. Great chair!

#14 tag1260

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:15 AM

Build your self a Denver Observing chair. If you have to buy everything you're only looking at, probably about $35.00. Works great and is completely adjustable.

#15 okieav8r

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:30 AM

I'm shopping around for an observing chair and it kills me to see how expensive it is. I think all of the astronomical equipments are over priced. :confused: :confused: :confused:

Which chairs do you guys have and which one would you recommend?


Part of the reason for the expense is economy of scale. Astronomy equipment companies cater to a small niche market, so they can't crank out high quality gear 24/7 like other products. Profit margins for such companies is actually pretty slim, I would imagine. If we want good products, it has to be worth the maker's while, or we make it ourselves.

I have a Starbound chair, and despite the expense, it has proven itself to be a great investment, in my opinion.


In general this is true, but not with the chairs being discussed here. A quick visit to Amazon will show you that the exact same chairs discussed here are significantly discounted when they are called "work chairs". Call it an observing chair and suddenly its value goes up 50 percent? No special niche manufacturing going on here I am afraid.


Amazon link for starbound chair

#16 Tom Polakis

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:41 AM

In general this is true, but not with the chairs being discussed here. A quick visit to Amazon will show you that the exact same chairs discussed here are significantly discounted when they are called "work chairs". Call it an observing chair and suddenly its value goes up 50 percent? No special niche manufacturing going on here I am afraid.



Huh?

Several besides myself have mentioned the Starbound and the Catsperch chairs, they are being discussed here. As far as I know these were the two originals and both chairs were designed and specifically manufactured for amateur astronomy. They do the job and are well worth the money. I don't think you will find them on Amazon for $80.

Jon



While they are less expensive than the Starbound chairs, it looks like these "work chairs" have those widely spaced rungs in them. Adjusting a Starbound chair in the dark by only a couple inches becomes second nature. It's well worth the higher cost for an infinitely adjustable chair. The Catsperch and Denver observing chairs are great, but they occupy significant space when they're packed up, which can be important.

Tom

#17 FirstSight

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:53 AM

Jon, you have the exact white Starbound chair I do! I concur that the cushioned seat's ability to adjust all the way right-at-ground level is extremely useful for observing objects in refractors at high altitude angles. One of the advantages of the Starbound design is the ability to set it at any arbitrary height within its considerable range, rather than only at one of a set of incremental notches.

Which brings up a VERY important practical point about Starbound (and other observing chairs of similar design): because the seat is secured at any given height purely by weight and friction (by weight of the seat alone when the observer isn't sitting in it)...when you're not actually sitting in it providing a secure amount of friction, the seat is vulnerable to being easily jarred inadvertently into falling all the way to the against-the-ground position. PROVIDED you're not in the process of seating yourself down on it at the moment this happens, it's but a minor annoyance , but you can take an awkward spill if it happens just as you're attempting to lower yourself onto the seat. THE PREVENTIVE REMEDY is to always put a hand onto the seat and apply light pressure as you begin to sit down, rather than simply plop your rear down on it as you might on a couch. With this precaution taken, the Starbound-type chair is perfectly safe and satisfactory to use, and I'd recommend it.

I don't find it at all awkward or heavy to carry out in just one hand, either vertically by the top loop of its frame, or horizontally somewhere in the middle of the frame. The biggest practical issue is with transporting it in a vehicle, because the seat is not easily detachable from the frame, and so you have to set the seat in a sort of intermediate position and pack other gear around it.

#18 Baxstar

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

http://www.cloudynig...1871035/page...

I really like this design!

Casper

#19 Starman1

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

I have a chair that adjusts from 6.5" to 30.5" (measured), and doubles as a stool/ladder with railings to hold onto (!) for young children or small adults and folds flat for storage, and weighs less than many observing chairs:
http://www.starmaste...s.com/chair.htm This allows me to stay seated when my 12.5" f/5 scope is pointed at the zenith.

If you don't need a back or arm rest, the TeleVue Air Chair (21" to 28") is also very nice:
http://www.televue.c..._page.asp?id=70
It is close to the optimum SCT chair for <12" SCTs.

With low volume comes higher costs. I've seen adjustable drummer's stools at music supply stores and they're not any cheaper than the TeleVue and often more.



#20 coopman

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:28 PM

I have the Star Dust Chair and it's worth every penny that I paid for it, IMO. No matter what scope I take out, it goes out the door with me.

#21 taylornate

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:54 PM

I just ordered the Starbound Amazon knockoff. Thanks!

#22 Paul G

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:01 PM

My Starbound chair is my most valuable accessory, worth every penny. Don't make the mistake of confusing price with value.

#23 Paco_Grande

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:54 PM

My Starbound chair is my most valuable accessory, worth every penny. Don't make the mistake of confusing price with value.


+!

The Starbound is not the same product as those "work chairs" on Amazon.

Funny what we complain about. I think it's interesting that people will consider buying a cheap mattress set for a bed. And use it for 10 or 20 years. The truth is, most of us spend 1/3 of our life in bed. If you live to 85, that's 28 year of your life in bed. 28 YEARS! And you want cheap?

Most observing is done sitting. Cheap doesn't help your back or your butt. Treat your body to something nice for a change. :D

#24 Mike B

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:03 AM

Treat your body to something nice for a change.



:waytogo:

#25 csrlice12

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:32 AM

Firstsight makes a good point about holding the "seat" when setting; its also true if you decide to "adjust" your position (don't try to take your weight off and plop back down on it, or you'll be in refractor viewing territory). But; as long as you are a little careful, they work fine (besides, if you're gonna fall on your fanny, best to do it in the middle of nowhere).






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