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Does anyone really use tables

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#1 grif 678

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 12:29 PM

There are quite a few small scopes with the tripod legs, questar, ETX, meade 2045 etc, that have the small table top legs. But does anyone really use the tables, it seems that would be awkward, unsteady, and maybe too low also. Just wondering, I have a couple of those scopes ( not the Questar), and I have used them on tripods by deforking them.

#2 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 12:39 PM

I used to have an original clockwork ETX-90 with the table-top legs and found that, other than the picnic table outside of my apartment, there was never a convenient table to use. I soon bought a tripod with a wedge.

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#3 Zamboni



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Posted 12 October 2019 - 12:51 PM

I've tried USING tabletop scopes including various ETX models, old-school astroscans and mini dobs. I've never PURCHASED a tabletop telescope because they are awkward and difficult to use for all of the reasons you listed. They're just an utter pain to use. Tables are for accessory cases and star atlases, not mounting a scope.

Edited by Zamboni, 12 October 2019 - 12:53 PM.

#4 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 12:52 PM



It can be done but in my experience, table-top telescopes and tripods are one of those things that seem like they ought to be a good idea but are not.  Few tables are solid enough and then there's issue of getting close enough to the scope to be comfortable.  



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#5 OldManSky


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Posted 12 October 2019 - 01:06 PM

When my son (who's now 23) was 5, he wanted to come on astronomy-imaging camping trips with me.  So I bought a 4.25" f/5 mirror and diagonal, and made a home-built little tabletop dob for him to use.

He loved the scope, and loved finding things with it.  But the first night we were out, he got frustrated sitting at a wobbly camp table, and quickly put it on the ground on a tarp, and happily sat there with it for hours.


Moral of the story:  even a 5 year-old knows the table-top scopes aren't a very good idea :)

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#6 Jeff L

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 01:10 PM

I love my table top on my homemade table. It’s simple to use. And sets up in seconds.

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Edited by Jeff L, 12 October 2019 - 05:22 PM.

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#7 Astroman007


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Posted 12 October 2019 - 01:10 PM

A pile of bricks or a large stump, or even an upturned barrel, would work well or better: the first two for lawn chair access, the last for standing.

My experience, back when I had a tabletop scope.. And yes, nice and solid.

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#8 clearwaterdave



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Posted 12 October 2019 - 02:08 PM

For me it wasn't very hard to come up with a stand for my tabletop dob. It is strudy and lightweight.,

There are plenty of options out there from cinderblocks to milkcrates.,to rebuilt Cosco tables.,

  I wouldn't expect much from those little 3 legged tripods.,with those the table may or may not be the culprit.,cool.gif.,


Very nice set up Jeff.,waytogo.gif


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Edited by clearwaterdave, 12 October 2019 - 02:12 PM.

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#9 izar187



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Posted 12 October 2019 - 05:28 PM

Table top scopes can also work on tail gates, trunk or front hoods on vehicles, if flat enough.

Though not necessarily well at higher power due to vibration.


They work great on platform top observing stations, out on the property. If you can.

Then just carry the scope out to that best spot you came up with.

The structure to set the scope on is already there. Metal, wood or masonry.


No question that tripod mounting them is an ultimate good way to go.

Then they are go anywhere scopes. 

#10 kathyastro


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Posted 12 October 2019 - 05:45 PM

My C-90 came with table-top legs.  You were supposed to splay the legs just so to set the latitude for polar alignment.  Yeah, right!  I have never used them.  Instead, I bought the wedge and mounted it on a tripod.  Works great!

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#11 lphilpot



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Posted 12 October 2019 - 07:08 PM

For me, a table is becomes useful only when it starts to approximate a tripod (or some other kind of stand). Otherwise it's too shaky, too horizontally big and difficult to work around, IMO. Use a table for eyepieces, etc., but not for the scope. At least that's been my experience.

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