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Motorized observing chairs for 150mm-class binoculars - market situation?

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#1 Stellarfire

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 02:28 AM

2-axis motorized observing chairs for heavy & large straight-thru binoculars in the 150mm class, plug 'n play, no DIY projects. Are there currently any manufacturers out there?

 

Seems the Australian-made SkyRover StarChair 3000 is no longer available/produced (the website www.starchair.com is offline).
Googled for several hours but didn't find similar alternatives. Maybe a business opportunity…

 

Esteban



#2 edwincjones

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 08:48 AM

" business opportunity"  question.gif

 

a few CN posters have had the starchair,

but at $7000US + S&H demand is limited

I always wanted on but.....

 

I do not know of other options

 

edj


Edited by edwincjones, 17 August 2019 - 08:49 AM.


#3 Stellarfire

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Posted 17 August 2019 - 01:30 PM

 

I always wanted on but.....

 

Yes, Edwin, I perfectly understand that but-factor… As often in life, good things need their time...

 

Even in times of 45°/90° angled big binos, lying in perfect laziness under the stars for hours with a fully motorized recliner/straight-thru bino combo still is a (comfort) class of its own.

 

And each time we look at Andresin in the chair, we know that the days of the straight-thru XXL-binos can't be over, and some of us starlovers will - maybe - be a "chairman" too... smile.gif

 

Esteban


Edited by Stellarfire, 17 August 2019 - 02:15 PM.


#4 rwiederrich

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 08:15 AM

The Star Chair is amazing...but way too over priced for most folks.  So I'm making my own utilizing a dental chair...I'm adopting the overhead design for my homemade 25X127 binos.

 

In the process of making the overarm.

 

Rob



#5 Stellarfire

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 09:55 AM

The Star Chair is amazing...but way too over priced for most folks.  So I'm making my own utilizing a dental chair...I'm adopting the overhead design for my homemade 25X127 binos.

 

In the process of making the overarm.

 

Rob

 

Hi Rob,

 

Yes, I saw your interesting thread DIY dental chair conversion for large bino use here in the ATM, Optics and DIY Forum.

("In the delirium of what to make next...I finally concluded it was time to proceed with the construction of my Bino chair.")

 

Looks as your delirium decision project smile.gif for your 21x127 custom binos progresses fairly well and that you will be a happy "chairman" soon.

 

For a well-controlled vibration damping (<1 sec. vibration time) of massive binos as the Fuji 40x150 (41 lbs / 18,5 kg weight), the requirements for the chair-mounted overhead support system increase dramatically. I think Chris Floyd of StarChair got it right on his latest versions with reinforced support tubing.

But yes, the StarChair price tag is pure shock therapy... and it reflects the manually one-man production in small numbers only, which always has its price... 

 

Does anyone have any news on Chris Floyd?  

 

Esteban



#6 rwiederrich

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 11:41 AM

I plan on over engineering the overhead support to reduce dampening issues.  I have a pre-machined angle bracket that will be bolted to 21/4X2" square angle, that will again be custom flange mounted to the back of the chair.  The bracketed support arm will be *tougher* then the back of the chair itself...and that is pretty TUFF.

I've designed a vertical slide adjustment into the back support so I can adjust for the height of the viewer if need be, and the horizontal attachment point for the bino control arm is also adjustable in lateral and vertical aspects.....giving the viewer some wiggle room to make viewing as comfy as possible.

 

I'm fabricating all the aspects myself in my small shop...and from parts I pick up here and there I modify for my purposes.

 

My Custom made binos have been roll tripoded and now I want them mounted to use them as astro binos.  I'm tired of getting a *Kinked* neck looking up.

 

Here is how they are mounted currently.

 

Rob

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#7 Stellarfire

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 12:35 PM

I plan on over engineering the overhead support to reduce dampening issues.  I have a pre-machined angle bracket that will be bolted to 21/4X2" square angle, that will again be custom flange mounted to the back of the chair.  The bracketed support arm will be *tougher* then the back of the chair itself...and that is pretty TUFF.

I've designed a vertical slide adjustment into the back support so I can adjust for the height of the viewer if need be, and the horizontal attachment point for the bino control arm is also adjustable in lateral and vertical aspects.....giving the viewer some wiggle room to make viewing as comfy as possible.

 

I'm fabricating all the aspects myself in my small shop...and from parts I pick up here and there I modify for my purposes.

 

Impressive job so far, Rob. Looking forward to your further news on that project.

 

Just found another interesting report in the net (Australian DIY report from 2007) which matches well into this moto-chair thread, too: Here the motorized Binocular Chair by Geoff Liddicoat.

Looks as Australia is the land of the hardcore comfort viewers...

 

Esteban



#8 rwiederrich

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 12:49 PM

Thanks for the link....I've viewed this page before...quite ingenious azimuth control.

 

Rob



#9 EverlastingSky

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 02:47 PM

Definitely the "must have" item for the committed star junkie. I've dreamed of such star chairs for years...

 

Thanks for the links. Especially the current DIY dental chair conversion for large bino use thread. Inspirational.


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#10 CMacD

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 03:43 PM

I have been using my DIY chair now for a few years and it is true that nothing compares to the experience of starring at the same object for 10-15 minutes or more. Usually we hop from one gaze to the next fairly quickly but a chair swallows you up into becoming one with the heavens (Dramatic I know... but still true) As far as a motor goes I have personally never desired to have my chair motorized. The dobsonian style base it is so simple to point that to it just doesn't make sense for me. https://www.cloudyni...-6#entry8382072 I guess what I am saying is that there is a difference between a view and an experience. A good instrument provides a nice view but a chair that is part of the instrument provides an experience. Sure, putting a pair of large binoculars on a tripod is quick and easy but I have never found that it is as relaxing and all encompassing as lying back and being transported.


Edited by CMacD, 19 August 2019 - 03:55 PM.

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#11 rwiederrich

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 04:08 PM

My father had originally built a bino chair from a converted Lazy Boy recliner.  It was plush and full and the armature that supported the binos came from either side and had a central arm that the bino was mounted to that swung away(Like a fair ride) and then swung back and clipped secure.....

It was coupled with a 5ft planetary star chart that rotated as you crossed the meridian and pointed out where you were aiming on the chart.  Pretty, before its time stuff.

 

I'm simply after a chair that permits me to lay back unfettered and comfortable while my binos are suspended before me.....permitting me to have that *Experience*

 

Rob



#12 hallelujah

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 04:46 PM

 

I'm simply after a chair that permits me to lay back unfettered and comfortable while my binos are suspended before me.....permitting me to have that *Experience*

 

Rob

https://www.cloudyni...air-starrocker/

 

Stan



#13 EverlastingSky

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 08:05 PM

There does exist a concept with a certain allure... that of actually climbing into an observing chair / machine and "setting off" to ones stellar destinations. Silent motors and joystick control.  

 

The Star Rocker, I remember reading that thread, was even going make one... shrug.gif



#14 Mad Matt

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 05:02 AM

Maybe you should try getting an old robot arm from an automobile manufacture and strap a seat and binocular to it... just make sure you keep hackers away from the controller :-) You don't want it to start acting like this: https://www.youtube....h?v=CoA-m5iHG9s

 

 

grin.gif wink.gif cool.gif


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#15 rwiederrich

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 11:02 AM

Thanks Stan for the link.  I did look into the Starrocker...but it just isn't a sturdy enough platform for the binos I will be using.

 

Great design for smaller binos...and easy use.

 

Rob



#16 hallelujah

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 11:10 AM

Rob,

 

You're welcome.



#17 ArsMachina

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 03:03 AM

Get a used hydraulic dentist chair from eBay and attach your big bino to it.

 

699_-80381748.jpg

 

I once saw such a chair with a 150mm Fujinon straight through mounted on a pickup truck.

That is all one needs :-)

 

Jochen


Edited by ArsMachina, 22 August 2019 - 03:06 AM.

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#18 Stellarfire

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 04:42 AM

DIY-projects are for DIY-people. There are many reasons, why not all potentially interested moto-chairers can start/finish such a project on their own in a ½ year barn & garage work session.

 

Would be not too surprised if a reloaded StarChair-ish version will come from China. I would bet there are already some Shanghai/Shenzhen-located nut running folks busy at prototype building work …

 

Esteban



#19 rwiederrich

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 07:57 AM

Get a used hydraulic dentist chair from eBay and attach your big bino to it.

 

699_-80381748.jpg

 

I once saw such a chair with a 150mm Fujinon straight through mounted on a pickup truck.

That is all one needs :-)

 

Jochen

That's precisely what I am doing with one of my old chairs.

 

Rob


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#20 rwiederrich

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 08:03 AM

DIY-projects are for DIY-people.

Exactly.  I have the components , supplies, machines  and the knowhow to do it...and that(I hope), equals savings.  Cuz I can build what I can't afford.

 

I realize I am in a minority in this hobbie.

 

Rob


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#21 rwiederrich

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Posted 23 August 2019 - 07:40 AM

Just a quick image of where I am with my bino/dental chair mods.

 

Rob

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#22 later

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:21 AM

Hey Rob!

 

Looking Great !

 

Rob and I have been going in generally the same direction with the dental chair concept.

 

He has opted for the (proven) Star Chair design with the Binoculars being supported by the back of the chair.

 

By chance and circumstances, I was able to procure a Optical Accessory Stand that was used to hold various instruments in front of your eyes for the ophthalmologist.  

 

This is is a substantial  ( 200 pound +)  unit that is designed from the ground up to hold stuff steady in front of your eyes.   Adjustable up down and all around with electro/hydraulics and pivot points. 

 

So, I got lucky with this I guessed.  I mounted my Oberwerk 45/100 on it and it was rock solid.

 

Every mount for telescope/bino is tested for "settle time"  after it is bumped or moved.

 

Bino chairs have another thing to contend with and that is your heartbeat being transmitted thru the chair and ultimately shaking your view.

 

By removing the bino from the chair I hope to minimize (hopefully eliminate) possible heartbeat issues.

 

The chair and the mount on my design would rest on a rotating 1/2" steel plate 

 

Thing is, you don't know how much of any particular design will work until it's built and up and running. And that's where Rob has an advantage........he is actually building something!  I'm sure Rob will have all the kinks worked out and relaxing under the stars very soon.

 

Rob's design should work better than the Star Chair because the dental chair is many times heavier.  Star Chair was designed to be light,  quick disassembly and portable.

 

More power to you Rob, you are an inspiration. 

 

Gary

 

Here is the archived CN link from the old days showing some of my thought processes. 

 

https://www.cloudyni...-to-bino-chair/

 

 

 

 



#23 rwiederrich

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 06:09 PM

Thanks Gary....I remember your bino project....sweet.

 

I bolted the overarm back brace to the chair back and added lateral brace arms.......getting there.

 

Rob

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#24 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 06:43 AM

Would be not too surprised if a reloaded StarChair-ish version will come from China. I would bet there are already some Shanghai/Shenzhen-located nut running folks busy at prototype building work …

 

 

It seems like a tiny market to me. Big binoculars are a dark sky instrument. Most of us have to travel to dark skies. I think I can transport my 22 inch more easily than I could a chair like that.

 

90° binos, a decent mount and an observing chair seem much more practical to me.

 

Just sayin'

 

Jon


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#25 rwiederrich

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 07:48 AM

It seems like a tiny market to me. Big binoculars are a dark sky instrument. Most of us have to travel to dark skies. I think I can transport my 22 inch more easily than I could a chair like that.

 

90° binos, a decent mount and an observing chair seem much more practical to me.

 

Just sayin'

 

Jon

Hi Jon.

I'm sure it is a very tiny market...not everyone can afford a large pair of binos...let alone a mount able to control them.  However, I'm Not sure I completely agree with your assessment, of practicality.

Owning a comparable(127mm+) 90deg bino, with a hefty mount(preferably parallelogram), and a decent 0 gravity chair....sounds just as impractical if you can't afford them.  Practicality here is in the eye(and pocket book) of the beholder.   Now, on the other hand....if you are resourceful, an apt ATM'r...practicality takes on an entirely new meaning. 

 

Rob(Impractical...to some)




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