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Telescope Ladders

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#1 Claytoncramer

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 11:52 PM

I currently have a 10' high warehouse ladder for observing through my 17.5" f/4.5 Dobsonian.  It is very stable and tall enough for kids and adults to feel comfortable climbing into the air.  (It has handrails.)  We are moving out of my nearly perfect dark sky house into a fairly dark suburban home and the ladder has to go.  No where to store it, and too much of an eyesore for the new neighborhood.  So what do I replace it with?  I need at least three feet of elevation for myself and perhaps four or five feet for kids.  Something with handrails and casters would be perfect.  Suggestions?  I can't be the only Dob owner less than 8' tall.  Conventional ladders are not stable enough for me to feel safe.  Folding so it fits in the garage would be a big win.

 

Not exactly what I wanted.  I wanted side rails, but might be good enough.  Tall enough, sturdy enough and foldable.  Unless you know a better choice?

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Edited by Claytoncramer, 26 January 2020 - 12:20 AM.


#2 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 12:10 AM

Clayton:

 

I bought a folding, rolling ladder from McMaster-Carr for my 25 inch F/5.

 

https://www.mcmaster...latform-ladders

 

It was a Cotterman brand. They have a large selection of ladders. I had to add wheels.

 

For my 22 inch F/4.4, I found a steel ladder in my neighbors junk pile and built a platform with wheels for it. It works great..

 

Starsplitter Jstar Jewel Valley.jpg
 
Jon

 


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#3 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 12:13 AM

Clayton:

 

I bought a folding, rolling ladder from McMaster-Carr for my 25 inch F/5.

 

https://www.mcmaster...latform-ladders

 

It was a Cotterman brand. They have a large selection of ladders. I had to add wheels to the front end.

 

Obsession with Rolling Ladder CN.jpg

 

For my 22 inch F/4.4, I found a steel ladder in my neighbors junk pile and built a platform with wheels for it. It works great..

 

Starsplitter Jstar Jewel Valley.jpg

 

Jon



#4 Claytoncramer

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 12:30 AM

Thanks.  Searching for Cotterman on Amazon found a number of more reasonably priced alternatives.



#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 01:34 AM

Hi, Clayton!

 

Well... moving to brighter skies and cramped spaces is a challenge, but also downgrading that superlative ladder adds a third layer of discomfort. I have a six-step version of that seven-step orange ladder of yours. Would a five-step one fit in your garage and accommodate everyone using he telescope? To go no hand rails is a big reduction in safety and comfort. I also have a twelve-step... and need it, for my 36-inch F/3.75.    Tom

 

~ click on ~    Tom

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#6 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 01:04 PM

No where to store it, and too much of an eyesore for the new neighborhood.

 

Until you find a suitable replacement, getting rid of that orange paint would be a big step as a stop-gap measure.

 

Krylon or Rustoleum camo paints can be done inexpensively. Not sure what is in your area for background vegetation but flat colors like Sand, Khaki, Green, and Brown would break up the edges and help it blend in to whatever background you have. It doesn't have to be an elaborate stencil pattern.

 

With the orange gone, it might not be too noticeable left outside in the assembled state.


Edited by Jeff Morgan, 26 January 2020 - 01:04 PM.


#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 05:07 AM

 With the orange gone, it might not be too noticeable left outside in the assembled state.

 

 

It's possible Clayton doesn't live in an HOA.  

 

Jon



#8 bigdob24

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 09:43 AM

Don’t forget Strathmore Ladders custom Star Climber.

Ive had one for years , bought it to use with my 24”SM 

‘They are a tripod ladder , very sturdy, rungs are closer than a regular ladder to get in the right spot.
Mine is 8’ and if my memory is right the guy in west Texas has a 48” scope and I think his ladder is 18’. I remember I could not goto the top when it was at zenith, but only missed 2 objects.

Anyway the tripod design is very sturdy and steady 

BD



#9 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 10:10 AM

Here is the link to Strathmore ladders.  The StarClimber is at the bottom.

 

http://strathmorelad...custom-ladders/

 

Personally, I like ladders with hand railings that roll, it's nice to have something to lean against, something to hold on to.  

 

The fact that they make custom ladders is nice.  I would consider a custom ladder along the lines of one of their rolling ladders.

 

Jon




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