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Cave 12.5" Transportable Obs at CSPAMP?

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#1 tim53

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:17 PM

Hi troops.

I'm still having problems with the brakes on my VW pickup, so I thought I wouldn't be able to take the Cave to Pinos next weekend. No big deal, I've got a lot of classic scopes. It's just that I sorta promised to try to bring the 12.5" this time.

So it occurred to me, while I was measuring my Eurovan's space behind the front seats to see if the OTA would fit, that I might be able to use a small chain hoist to lift the GEM off the pier by hanging it from one of those big cargo ties in the roof just inside the rear door.

I picked one up at Harbor Freight yesterday. The only thing subspiffy about this idea is that the chain hoist can't move in or out, so I'll have to kind of swing that GEM into the van to get it in. Even that might not be a big deal.

I'm not sure I want to load it today (worked on installing a couple gates in the heat, rain and high humidity all morning, so I'm kind of grody and tired), but I might roll the scope over to the van and see how easy it might look to do. But save the big task for Friday morning, as I'm getting ready for the trip to Pinos.

Anybody else use one of these chain hoists to move their heavy scopes around?

I'll take pics and post them, as I work this out.

-Tim.

#2 tim53

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:24 PM

The cargo tie whatevers are the three chrome metal gizmos in the ceiling just inside the door in this picture online. They swivel down, so I'm reasonable certain they'll work for this.

http://images.cobalt.../9020323945.jpg

-Tim.

#3 tim53

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:27 PM

Guess I'd better just put my bloody shoes back on and go check it out in person!

Here's the scope I hope to take with me:

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#4 Datapanic

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:34 PM

The mount is definitely going to be the tricky part to move. What about pulling the cradle and Dec shaft out to lighten the load? The Dec Drive would complicate things a little, but it could be done that way. The Cradle and Dec Shaft on the Horsetrail Cave is about 45lbs, and that's 'only' a 2" shaft, so your's will be somewhere around that weight as well, but it'll lighten the load quite a bit.

The OTA is the next heaviest thing, but if you pull the mirror, that'll help alot.

A pair of saw horses can be used to lay the OTA on by rolling the scope up and laying it down, then remove the counterweight, then the knobs holding the OTA to the cradle and then roll the mount away - one person can do this! :)

Then, when you get there, just put it all back together again.

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#5 tim53

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:49 PM

Here's the sky hook, "installed."

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#6 tim53

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:57 PM

Dan.

I bet I could roll the scope up to the back door of the van and stick the tube halfway in, so I can remove the counterweight and then the ota, and slide the ota into the van and off to the side so I have room for the mount.

Is your mount really 2" shafts? I thought all the "smaller" ones were 1 1/2" shafts". (Unless they were lightweight deluxes with 1" shafts.

The observatory mount has 2 1/2" shafts. The dec shaft is 36" long and the saddle is 11 1/2" x 29 1/2".

If I have to tear it down, I'll just bring something smaller. :o

Tim

#7 Datapanic

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 07:13 PM

Is the van cargo area long enough for the OTA? My shortbed F250 is too short for the OTA unless the tailgate is down.

The early 12.5" Cave mounts had a 2" Dec Shaft and a 1.5" RA shaft.

#8 tim53

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 07:18 PM

Yes, the OTA will fit by putting the front between and behind the two front seats or behind the right front seat. I've taken the rear-facing seat out from behind the passenger front seat, because it's easy to do. The one behind the drivers seat is bolted in, and takes a while to remove, so I've never done it. There's 7 feet straight back from this seat. The OTA is 7 1/2 ft long, but there's a bit over 8 feet behind the front seats. I'll still have to put one end of the tube in the left rear corner to have a prayer of getting the mount in, though.

Thankfully, the legs come off the pier with the big knobs. Looks simple, though I've never taken it apart.

Wow, why would Cave use 2" shafts for the dec and only 1 1/2" for the RA? Seems bass ackwards.

-Tim.

#9 CHASLX200

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 07:25 PM

The Observatory mount is a back breaker for sure. Just lifting the head was too much for my back when i had one years back.

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#10 Datapanic

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 07:31 PM

I think he went with 2" shafts for the Dec because there are no bearings - just the steel shaft against the aluminum housing. The RA shaft does have a pair of sealmaster bearings though. So maybe 2" without bearings = 1.5" with? I don't know. There were a lot of design improvements through the years.

#11 Datapanic

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 07:37 PM

I think if I really wanted to haul a 12.5" 'Transportable' around, I would get one of those small utility trailers with a ramp and just roll the mount up on it and tie it down.

#12 tim53

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 08:39 PM

That's not a half bad idea. I could pull it with the FJ Cruiser, which has a hitch.

I'll cogitate.

-Tim.

#13 Datapanic

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 12:58 AM

The second alternative - U-Haul - they rent those things. The question is, for a one-time trip, should it be U-Haul or an "investment" and buy your own?

#14 starman876

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:06 AM

you need a portable shop crane. They will lift the beast and will allow to roll it in. The lift also breaks down for easy transport.
http://www.harborfre...rane-69512.html

normally I have used these to take engines in and out of cars.

#15 tim53

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:12 AM

The second alternative - U-Haul - they rent those things. The question is, for a one-time trip, should it be U-Haul or an "investment" and buy your own?


I'd buy my own, but there's no place for me to store it. So I'll either get this puppy in the van, rent a trailer for the FJ, or fix the brakes on my truck - all in the next few days! (and exciting things are happening on both sides of Mars, so I don't want to take too much time off! ;) )

I think I'm leaning toward taking the van, because I can be comfy and stuff. And in my twilight years, I like comfy! :grin:

-Tim.

#16 tim53

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:22 AM

This sure was cool, though:
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But even with the brakes working well and safely, it'd likely take me twice as long to climb that hill as with the Eurovan. Probably 3rd gear and 35mph from the base of the grade nearly the whole way up!

I also didn't pick up one of those pickup hoists this weekend, since I know I'll have to do some welding to mount it in my truck. And i'd have to bring a tent to sleep in, but I could probably set it up on the truck when the scope isn't there, so I could camp with my stuff.

-Tim.

#17 tim53

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:32 AM

you need a portable shop crane. They will lift the beast and will allow to roll it in. The lift also breaks down for easy transport.
http://www.harborfre...rane-69512.html

normally I have used these to take engines in and out of cars.


Yep, as you can see I do have one of these puppies. It's a beast, though. Probably at least as much hassle to bring along and assemble as the scope itself. I was thinking more along these lines: http://www.harborfre...60732-9889.html

My truck may look homely, but they've got quite a following. I don't want to make any irreversible mods to it, so the crane would have to mount using the existing bolt holes, so I'd have to weld up a mounting plate that uses them that the crane attaches to. I'd put it behind the cab, though. Since the side gates fold down, I could load the mount from the side, not the rear (and it's not heavy enough to tip my truck over!).

TJ: I never understood why American truck makers don't make truck beds like this.

-Tim.

#18 terraclarke

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:00 AM

Wow Tim, that thing is enormous. It's hard to get a feel for the true size of that mount until you see it scaled next to your VW pickup. It's HUGE!!!

#19 Chuck Hards

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:02 AM

I'm impressed that he's even thinking of hauling around a Cave observatory mount, let alone actually DOING it.

The man is spry for his years!

#20 tim53

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 01:34 PM

I haven't been accused of being "spry" in a VERY long time.

-Tim.

#21 Chuck Hards

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 02:13 PM

You're only about 5 years older than I, you've got lots of spry left. Enough to hoist and haul that Cave!

#22 Mr Magoo

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 02:23 PM

Tim you could look for a used wheel chair ready van or one of the lifts for that.

#23 clintwhitman

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 02:53 PM

Tim that's awesome!! were glad to see a good sized group will be heading up the hill for CSPaMP VIII I am ready, willing and able to go!! Getting over the triple by pass blues. The Cave/Brige Lee Combs 1970 10" F5 Cave mirror installed in a Light bridge with a Track & train system installed, also a Unitron 155c will be going with me, have to keep it light this year. (doctors orders)Cant wait to get a look in the CAVE 12.5 Tim see you there!!!!

#24 Jeff B

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 03:09 PM

I'm glad to see you out'n about and looking forward to things Clint. :waytogo:

#25 starman876

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 04:05 PM

Tim
Does your crane break down into smaller pieces?
the new ones all do. They are very easy to transport. I have picked them up in the back of my benz wagon. fit in there very easy.






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