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How to add wheelbarrow handles to my 14" Sky-Watcher dob

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#1 carl67lp

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:02 PM

I absolutely love my 14" collapsible dob, and find I get a fair bit of use out of it.  But, of course, it's a beast to move.  I've been considering adding wheelbarrow handles to it, as I've seen in other places -- but somewhere, possibly even on this site, I saw a big caution about drilling holes in this dob's base, as it's particle board.

 

Moreover, there was concern about whether the particle board itself would even stand the force exerted by the handles while in motion.

 

Can anyone comment on these issues?  While I accept that I could get a flatbed dolly to transport the scope, that still presents the challenge of lifting the dob up onto the dolly platform, something that, while not horrible, would get old.  There's also the issue of dolly wheels not typically being suited to grassy or uneven terrain.



#2 Astrojensen

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:20 PM

I put wheelbarrow wheels on my Meade Lightbridge, which is also made from particle board and I just drilled some holes in it and bolted the handles to it... That was a couple years ago. No issues so far, but it also stays inside, in an unheated room, when not in use. 

 

Here's the latest version of my modded Lightbridge:

 

gallery_55742_4772_100729.jpg

 

The wheels are solid, puncture-proof tyres. The round rocker box bottom has been replaced with a square one and the ground board with a round one, not larger than the rocker box minor axis. This saves A TON of weight and makes the rocker box assembly MUCH more compact. It is slightly less stable, but nothing dramatic. I plan on either do a complete rebuild of the scope or just get a more modern dob outright.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#3 carl67lp

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 08:23 AM

Thanks Thomas!  Do you remove the handles when you observe, or do you just step carefully around them? (Looks like there *might* be wingnuts holding the handles on, but I can't be sure...)



#4 Starman47

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 08:34 PM

good job



#5 Earthbound1

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 08:42 PM

With just slightly bigger wood handles that were notched on top instead of bored through, you could easily set it down and then move the handles out of the way, if the tires had a shared rod/bolt for an axle...also the bolts could then be made shorter so as to not be as likely to be "ankle biters"! Round them off so they won't bite you as bad... just be sure to keep it "pinched" between them while moving it or put some oversized washers on the ends of the bolts to keep them in place while using it. Gravity would hold it in place over most terrain or small steps. Great design Thomas! If I ever get me a big dob I'll remember this. Those yellow tires are cool too!

Edited by Earthbound1, 18 January 2019 - 08:59 PM.


#6 Starman47

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 02:50 PM

How do you prevent the tube part of the scope from tipping over when you move the telescope with wheelbarrow handles?



#7 carl67lp

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 09:01 AM

Finally got around to this project a couple of weeks ago, and the other night was more-or-less clear enough for a real test.

 

Got the handles and the hardware at Home Depot, and the wheels at Harbor Freight.  I plan to buy different wheels, though; the ones I got are hard, and while that's fine for level ground, it's not suitable even for the bump from the garage to the driveway.

 

Also, remember the old adage: measure twice, cut once. Luckily I didn't do anything that couldn't be fixed, but I did have to re-drill holes on the handles because I eyeballed everything.  If I were to do it again, I'd make a template.

 

Last note: I used threaded brass inserts (https://www.lowes.co...ock-Nut/3012578) on the rocker box, and I'm really glad I did.  They seem to hold quite well.

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Edited by carl67lp, 07 March 2019 - 09:02 AM.

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#8 carl67lp

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 08:56 AM

How do you prevent the tube part of the scope from tipping over when you move the telescope with wheelbarrow handles?

In my case, gravity pulls the tube toward the front of the rocker box, where the front support stops the tube from moving too far forward.  You can kinda see this in the photo I posted above.



#9 xrayvizhen

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 09:28 AM

You might want to consider folding handles which eliminates the need to remove them when observing so you don't trip over them in the dark which is what I did constantly until I made the modification. I also had threaded inserts in baltic birch, not particle board, and found that over time the inserts still managed to work themselves loose. Now the handles are permanently attached.

 

Handles 2 Compressed.jpg Handles 1 Compressed.jpg

 

The hardware are just regular door hinges and a window sash lock from Home Depot. The hinge is robust enough to support the weight of the entire scope with the handles extended and the sash lock tightens together the two parts of the handle nicely.

 

Note: These are old pics. The azimuth circle is no longer there since I now have a Nexus II DSC system from Astro Devices instead.


Edited by xrayvizhen, 08 March 2019 - 09:28 AM.


#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 09:49 AM

How do you prevent the tube part of the scope from tipping over when you move the telescope with wheelbarrow handles?

In Carl's Dob, the tube is captured.  In a standard Dob, the tube is balanced so it won't tip over.. 

 

What does happen though is that if the handles are lifted up too high, the OTA will slide forward as if you were dumping a wheel barrow.  There is a critical angle that depends on the design of the rocker box.  I dumped my 25 inch F/5 one night.  It just slid forward but nothing was damaged.. But it was a few tense moments while I manhandled the OTA back in place on the rocker box.

 

I lengthened and raised the handles on the 22 inch Starsplitter, they were too short and if I stood up, it would dump the scope.  This photo shows the handles. I was cleaning and lubing the Azimuth bearing.  

 

Starsplitter 22 Lubing Azimuth bearing.jpg

 

The Starsplitters and my Obsession have 3/8-16 steel inserts in the rocker box, the handles use eye bolts so they can be threaded in quickly. 

 

Jon




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