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Skywatcher dob base + wheelbarrow handles

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#1 fromEarth

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 12:24 AM

Hi, 

 

I am thinking of installing simple/inexpensive wheelbarrow handles to my Skywatcher dob base.  This dob base has two side panels (see attached pic), so I cannot directly install handles. I am thinking of detaching side panels, but guess it will make the base unstable.

 

I found one approach for similar base design: Orion product (very expensive)

 

http://www.telescope...24/p/102067.uts

 

Is there anyone who successfully attached wheelbarrow handles to Skywatcher dob base? I will appreciate it if you share your design (+ pic) with me. 

 

Thanks!

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • drawing.jpg


#2 jtaylor996

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:08 PM

I'm very interested in this as well! I just got the 14" and boy is it heavy!!



#3 halx

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:21 PM

I'd rather keep the base intact and construct a special wheelbarrow for it which goes underneath the base as a platform of sorts. E.g.:

 

33441873422_9088a3c2f9_n.jpg

 

When I'm observing at home (concrete, wood, carpet ground) I'm simply mounting my dob's base on the furniture moving dolly (4 x 8" wheels, front ones are swiveling) and dragging it around with the OTA installed either by the rope or by the handle made from the 3 step collapsing step ladder, which can be detached from the dolly and used as a seat. No need to remove the dolly. It's rock steady (actually I even push it by foot for tracking in the meridian). So the base legs are sitting tight over 3 screws' heads in the dolly (on one side of it I have a 3/4" thick plywood plank making it wider to accept two legs). That works perfectly well unless you have a staircase/steps to traverse.


Edited by halx, 23 March 2017 - 11:55 AM.


#4 SeaBee1

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:56 PM

Since I built my own Dob, I am not sure if my design would apply in your case. BUT, if you are not averse to some saw work and modding of your scope's base, you can easily install wheelbarrow handles and wheels and make that baby grab-n-go.

 

Since each side panel has that reinforcing brace, add another one at the front on each side, cut a square hole with a jigsaw in the braces to fit the handles and slide them in. Following is my version...

 

gallery_241784_6248_540696.png

 

^^^ This was the best mod I did for this scope. I used  large wheels to smooth out the ride... I can roll it anywhere...

 

Hope this helps!

 

CB


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#5 S.Boerner

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:26 AM

I've got the 12" collapsible SkyWatcher.  My solution was to use an old Harbor Freight dolly and bolt an 18"x24" piece of 3/4" plywood to the metal plate on the bottom.  I then screwed two 18" 2"x4"s as tines that stick forward and spaced so the feet on the scope's base just fit the distance between.  I did cut the front of the tines so they can slide under the scope's base more easily. 

 

To put the scope on the dolly I just push it forward, slip the tines under the base, rock everything back, and then wheel away.  It works pretty well.


Edited by S.Boerner, 23 March 2017 - 08:28 AM.


#6 jtaylor996

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 11:39 AM

I've got the 12" collapsible SkyWatcher.  My solution was to use an old Harbor Freight dolly and bolt an 18"x24" piece of 3/4" plywood to the metal plate on the bottom.  I then screwed two 18" 2"x4"s as tines that stick forward and spaced so the feet on the scope's base just fit the distance between.  I did cut the front of the tines so they can slide under the scope's base more easily. 

 

To put the scope on the dolly I just push it forward, slip the tines under the base, rock everything back, and then wheel away.  It works pretty well.

I'd love to see pictures of this.



#7 S.Boerner

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 12:10 PM

I don't have any pictures of the dolly with the scope on it but here it is with a table I use for my laptop when observing with it...

DSC_0381-1.jpg

 



#8 halx

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 03:06 PM

Yep, that's another "nonintrusive" option. Though, that dolly is around $80, which is probably similar to what TS found on the telescope.com (i.o.w. expensive).

 

SeaBee1's solution and advice are the most economical. Make a hole in the side rib and attach, let's say a square shaped door handle in the front to make a second wheeled pole attachment point. Or, maybe, affix a 4 prong T-nut from inside for a side screw instead (could be easier and cheaper if you have some screws with a hand grip already. E.g. I have plenty laying around, but actually prefer flat-head screws and a wireless electric screwdriver at hand for all my DIY disassemblable joints).

 

The only remaining question: is that laminated particle board on the side is reliable enough to serve you over the expected terrain? (the plywood is, indeed). What is your SW model size, by the way 12", 16"? Perhaps, in addition to that hole in the rib it would be wise adding the second steel/aluminum door handle (or another T-nut) on the other side of it?


Edited by halx, 23 March 2017 - 03:21 PM.


#9 jtaylor996

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 11:15 AM

Here's my solution. In the end I just remove the side pieces and attached wheelbarrow handles with blind nuts. I was going to notch the side pieces to re install the side braces, but in the end I don't think they'll be strong enough to do anything at all once the notch is cut in them. Particle board is incredibly weak, which is why the mount base is so huge. It has to be or it will crumble. 

 

I actually had one of the side pieces split while I was hammering in one of the blind nuts in to a 1/16" undersized hole. Ugh. Not only is it particleboard, it's really cheap and crappy particleboard with not enough glue in it.

 

UQUntkT.jpg

 

iqC3Jca.jpg

 

Ru1GSiJ.jpg

 

 

Even without the side pieces things seem really stable. If I have issues and it turns out they're actually necessary, I'll try to remake the side pieces out of non crap wood with notches that go around the removable handles.


Edited by jtaylor996, 18 April 2017 - 11:16 AM.

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#10 Abhat

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 04:55 PM

This is a useful thread. Where do you folks buy the wheelbarrow wheels with the handles from? I have struggled with that step. I am personally open to drilling holes or attaching plates to the Dob base if I can figure out how to make the handles with wheels.



#11 SeaBee1

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 06:53 PM

Hello Abhat! Wheels and handles can be purchased separately at Home Depot or Lowe's. I would recommend large wheels, inflatable for a smoother ride, not the solid ones. You will also need to purchase the nuts and bolts for mounting the wheels. And you may need to drill out holes in the handles to accommodate the bolt size. I have been completely happy with my rig. It made my 10 inch totally grab-n-go.

 

Best regards!

 

CB



#12 fromEarth

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:00 PM

Hi, 

 

I finally decided to use a "divide-and-conquer" strategy.  This is my recipe for my 12'' Skywatcher collapsible dob. I spent ~1 hour to finish up this project. 

 

 

[1] Wheelbarrow handle,  60''

 

True Temper 00221400 Ames C Series Hardwood High Display Wheelbarrow Handle, 60"

 

https://www.amazon.c...temper 00221400

 

 

[2] Pneumatic wheel, 10''

 

Harbor Freight Tools

 

http://www.harborfre...tire-67465.html

 

 

[3] 5/8' hex bolts, stop nuts, wing nuts, and washers

 

@ Lowes

 

 

[4] Drilling holes

 

5/8' drill bit

 

 

[5] Assembly

 

Eight 5/8' hex bolts are permanently fixed on both sides. I am using wing nuts to attach handles and it takes < 1 min to attach/detach handles and wheels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am so happy with this system. This is my best mod I have ever made !!


Edited by Ken Sturrock, 05 August 2017 - 07:12 PM.
Images deleted per request from poster. See below for new images.

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#13 starbase25

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:12 PM

Or put a "notch" in the side piece, so that the handle can go in there.



#14 Abhat

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:56 AM

That is very good. Did you  insert the 5/8" bolts in the wheels and tightened it with nuts or did you buy a special bushing to avoid play in the axis and get smooth rolling movement?



#15 fromEarth

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 06:38 AM

That is very good. Did you  insert the 5/8" bolts in the wheels and tightened it with nuts or did you buy a special bushing to avoid play in the axis and get smooth rolling movement?

Standard 5/8" hex bolts (the Hillman), stop nuts, and washers are just fine. 


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#16 jtaylor996

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 12:26 PM

This is a useful thread. Where do you folks buy the wheelbarrow wheels with the handles from? I have struggled with that step. I am personally open to drilling holes or attaching plates to the Dob base if I can figure out how to make the handles with wheels.

I got these from amazon:

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

They just went out of stock, but they came 2 day prime for me.


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#17 FarmerWhite

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:26 PM

Love the wheelbarrow handle mods.  It would be great to be able to move the scope without disassembling the OTA from the base every time. 



#18 halx

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 10:47 AM

It looks a bit scary to me on the handles side. That's a huge lever ratio and so close to the edge... Hopefully, the large bolts' diameter will be easier on the particle board. But I would tighten them very well and use handles gently.


Edited by halx, 24 April 2017 - 10:49 AM.



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