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Cave 12.5" Transportable Obs at CSPAMP?

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#26 tim53

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:42 AM

My crane does come apart and fold up, but it's still a big heavy thing to put in the van with the telescope, my stuff, and a step ladder.

What I need is something like a cross between a crane and a motorcycle lift, or a gantry crane in the back of my van! :grin:

-Tim.

#27 starman876

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:48 AM

that crane that breaks down into easy to transport pieces I would think is just the thing for you. It maybe heavy, but it will save your back and make life easy for you.
When I saw the size of that mount next to your van I was like "are you serious" That is one big mount. And you move that around how????? No wonder the VW has brake problems :lol:

#28 tim53

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:46 AM

What makes it doable at all is that it's on wheels and I don't have any obstacles between the garage and driveway. If I had to take it apart to move it, I'd never use it.

Likewise with transporting it. I don't like lifting heavy things, even with help (especially since you can't always count on that help being there at both ends of the move). So if I can use "cheaters" like cranes, levers and towing straps to save my back, I'm gonna use them!

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#29 actionhac

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:11 AM

I have one of these:
http://www.harborfre...cart-69148.html
What I like about it is you can slide your object on it with a piece of plywood, raise it up to bed height and slide your object into the vehicle.
I bought it years ago for stationary hit-N-miss gas engines, which are incredibly heavy blobs of cast iron, works great.

Robert

#30 tim53

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:18 PM

[tj]Cool! I had a Fairbanks/Morse stationary engine for a while. Never got it running, though.[/tj]

#31 JWW

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 10:20 AM

I use a chain-fall instead of a come-along but my application is different. Make sure the come-along doesn't free wheel and loose the load.

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#32 tim53

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 10:32 AM

Fortunately, mine is a chain hoist and not a comealong. It ratchets both ways. Seems very secure, and can handle a ton or so. And the whole telescope is only 450 pounds shipped. So the Eq head probably weighs between 150 and 200 pounds, I'm guessing.

Still, to be sure, I think I'll leave it on the pier and raise it and lower it a few inches to make sure that it can't free fall. When I'm satisfied, I'll remove the bolts holding the head to the pier. I'll leave the strap on the head and tie it to the tieback in the van so it can't go flying forward if I stop hard.

In the worst case scenario, I can use my engine hoist to put it in the van, and borrow some muscle to unload it and place it on the pier up on the mountain. But I doubt i'll have to do that.

After my meeting, starting in a few minutes, I'll pack and be on my way. I did get signal last year up there, so hopefully I can post some progress pics setting the scope up when I get there.

Oh, and I'll be sure to take pics of loading it in the van in a couple hours!

-Tim.

#33 herrointment

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 05:20 PM

That's dedication!

#34 tim53

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 06:47 PM

Well I got it in the. A. And I'm currently at the foot if the hill waiting on a jumbo jack.

I should of gotten one of the boys to help me load the scope, but NO, I had to do it myself. Went okay until Li took the tube off the saddle and let the dec shaft swing down. I didn't let it go, just eased it down. But it has so much mass that I busted my taillight when it bumped it.

So I hope I can get a little help up on the hill!

Tim

#35 Datapanic

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 02:05 AM

Well if it makes ya feel better, I'm glad it was a tail light and not a finger or hand or arm! Those big mounts can seriously hurt someone if they're not careful. I have a vague memory of wrestling with the Horsetrail Cave mount and the mass got the better of me and almost had a serious injury!

I'm still going to emphasize removing the Saddle & Dec Shaft from the mount to transport. It means disconnecting the Tangent Arm and un-callibrating the Dec Circle, but does make the mount lighter and less awkward to transport.

#36 CHASLX200

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 06:47 AM

Well if it makes ya feel better, I'm glad it was a tail light and not a finger or hand or arm! Those big mounts can seriously hurt someone if they're not careful. I have a vague memory of wrestling with the Horsetrail Cave mount and the mass got the better of me and almost had a serious injury!

I'm still going to emphasize removing the Saddle & Dec Shaft from the mount to transport. It means disconnecting the Tangent Arm and un-callibrating the Dec Circle, but does make the mount lighter and less awkward to transport.



I remember a guy getting his jaw broke on a Meade 12.5" RG.

He removed the counter weight while the OTA was on the mount and bam, the shaft flew up and got him and the end of the OTA was pretty banged up.

Chas

#37 actionhac

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 10:01 AM

When a ladder is required to observe you introduce another element of danger so be careful. Especially on a mountain top where the air is thin and the brain is being starved.

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#38 tim53

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 10:08 AM

The views with the cave have been great so far. The moon fit nicely in the field if an explore scientific 14mm. And the image scale was big enough to spend considerable time touring.

Saturn was very nice as well, but by the time tube currents stopped being an issue and I had rigged up for imaging, the seeing went south. So I went back to visual of DSOs. Got nice views of m51 and m31 and. Handful of other stuff. Managed to stay up past 1am. Mostly shooting the... Talking with friends both old and new.

I'll try posting some pics today.

Tim

#39 starman876

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 01:35 PM

you ever think of getting a small forklift at an auction. Seems like the perfect thing for lifting that scope.

http://gsaauctions.g...=71QSCI14366004

#40 JWW

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 02:26 PM

Fortunately, mine is a chain hoist and not a comealong. It ratchets both ways.


Just for information sake, the picture you posted is of a come-a-long and have been known to free-wheel and loose their load if you don't know how to operate them.

Cheers,
JWW:

#41 tim53

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 09:47 AM

 

Fortunately, mine is a chain hoist and not a comealong. It ratchets both ways.


Just for information sake, the picture you posted is of a come-a-long and have been known to free-wheel and loose their load if you don't know how to operate them.

Cheers,
JWW:

 

Nuh uh!   :grin:

 

It's this:  http://www.harborfre...oist-67144.html

 

But actually, so long as there are folks about, it's easier to put it in the van with 3 burly dude units.  I didn't use the hoist putting it back in, and I plan to use the engine hoist to take it out.  It's still in the van.  I squandered most of yesterday staring at my eyelids yesterday afternoon.

 

-Tim.



#42 Chuck Hards

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 12:15 PM


But actually, so long as there are folks about, it's easier to put it in the van with 3 burly dude units.  

 

-Tim.

 

 

LOL!  Is that engineerspeak?



#43 tim53

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 02:18 PM

 


But actually, so long as there are folks about, it's easier to put it in the van with 3 burly dude units.  

 

-Tim.

 

 

LOL!  Is that engineerspeak?

 

 

 

"Back off!  I'm a scientist!"    :grin:


Edited by tim53, 04 August 2014 - 02:19 PM.


#44 herrointment

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 05:40 PM

You can always spot 'em by lookin' at their shoes.



#45 tim53

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 12:44 PM

Finally unloaded the cave from my van yesterday!  I used the engine hoist to take the mount out. Easy as cake.  Putting the tube back on the mount took some help, though. I don't want to use the van to move the thing again. It was really easy with the truck. 

 

Tim



#46 tim53

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 05:10 PM

I think I need about a 4' step ladder to be fully comfy using this thing regularly toward the zenith.  Any recommendations?  I have a Cosco that's maybe 30" off the ground, and it's a little exciting on the top step, since all you have to brace against is the handrail that hits you just below the knees.  I haven't checked the load rating on it either, but I'm sure I'm overloading it, since last time I weighed myself I was 285pounds.  All the step ladders that look tall enough are only rated at 200 pounds.  I did see that orchard ladders come as small as 4 feet.  They're cool because they're tripods, so they don't flex and fatigue like a regular ladder might on uneven ground.

 

-Tim.



#47 actionhac

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 05:46 PM

I fell off my ladder once and when I got up and brushed the chicken poop off Saturn looked like this:

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#48 actionhac

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 05:54 PM

After that I went out and bought this beautiful Werner. Its rock solid and I like holding on to the top while at the focuser so I don't sway around. I can place a hand on a dob to steady myself but not a equatorial so the ladder is a good crutch as well.

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#49 tim53

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 06:54 PM

Im kind of getting excited about something like this:  http://www.ebay.com/...w-/180612422988



#50 jwaldo

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 07:22 PM

That is the single most complicated looking ladder I have ever seen. It'd sure beat the short one you had at CSPAMP though. Never been a ladder fan, even on the second step I saw my life flashing through the eyepiece...








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