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Weight of scope, mount and tripod for portability

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#1 mondo1948

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 02:47 PM

Hello,

I'm new to astronomy and have just purchased a refractor telescope that weighs 10 lbs.  I have also ordered a mount that weighs 5 lbs, and now it's time to order a tripod.  The only wooden tripod (I don't want aluminum) I can find, that is available right now, is a Berlebach Uni 28 that weighs 20 lbs.  The lighter weight Berlebach that I really wanted to order is 10 lbs., but is out-of-stock everywhere.  So while I am strong enough to lift 35 lbs., I've never tried moving a telescope on its mount and tripod.  Will it be too awkward to move this set-up around my yard to find sky between the abundant oak trees that I have to deal with.  I guess what I'm asking is whether grab-and-go is not applying here?

 

Thanks,

Mondo


Edited by mondo1948, 03 March 2021 - 06:15 PM.

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#2 photoracer18

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 03:04 PM

Depending on finances if it was me and I was staying in my own yard I would get either a JMI Wheelie Bar or a Scope Buggy, put everything on it and just roll it around to where I want. I have owned both and used them. If you are going to be using it on grass then the JMI needs the 5" wheel conversion kit while the Scope Buggy is fine like it is as it has pneumatic tires. I also believe in taking the scope off when moving the rig just to be safe. Unless its way too heavy. I have rolled C9.25s and 6" F15 refractors around that way. The standard JMI wheels are only good if you are keeping the rig on a hard flat surface as in rolling it out of the garage onto the driveway.


Edited by photoracer18, 03 March 2021 - 03:04 PM.

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#3 Migwan

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 03:06 PM

That's kinda up to your physique.  35lbs is all grab and go to me and I am average size and strength.   The tripod does sound a bit heavy, but I've never had a wooden tripod. 

 

jd



#4 markb

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 03:09 PM

Personally, I would never move an intact tripod mount, and telescope combination.

 

Not to say I haven't done it on rare occasion however it is terrifyingly unbalanced and top heavy, even with small scopes like yours 

 

Normally the telescope itself can be removed from the mount/tripod combination and can be moved seperately.

 

Tripod and mounts are a little more durable (if dropped), and removing the weight of the optical tube assembly makes the tripod/mount combo moveable.

 

So, in your case I would suggest thinking about moving things in two parts, at the very least.

 

It is probably overkill for your lightweight setup, however, triangular dollies are made for telescopes, or can be relatively easily made especially for lighter setups. If you buy or make one use nothing less than a 5 inch wheel for stability and rock resistance. My little Nexstar 11 (only, no tripod) cart has fat 6.5" wheels, the Manfrotto 5".

 

I use the Manfrotto 114 functional equivalent of the large jmi dolly, both several hundred dollars when new, but designed for a 130 lb load. I use them to move my Nexstar 11 short distances after assembly onto the tripod. And I plot my path for safety.



#5 markb

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 03:12 PM

I forgot to mention, excellent tripod choice.

 

Two of the biggest disappointments getting your first good telescope setup I realizing you need to spend nearly as much money for a tripod and then again for the mount, as you have to do for the telescope itself.

 

With my setups, and, I would say, most other people, the limiting factor has almost always been tripod rigidity, and the Berlebachs have an awesome reputation.

 

That heavier than expected tripod may end up being a huge boon down the road, as it will be undoubtedly more versatile in the future.



#6 aeajr

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 03:41 PM

Hello,

I'm new to astronomy and have just purchased a refractor telescope that weighs 10 lbs.  I have also ordered a mount that weighs 5 lbs, and now it's time to order a tripod.  The only wooden tripod (I don't want aluminum) I can find, that is available right now, is a Berlebach that weighs 20 lbs.  The lighter weight Berlebach that I really wanted to order is 10 lbs., but is out-of-stock everywhere.  So while I am strong enough to lift 35 lbs., I've never tried moving a telescope on its mount and tripod.  Will it be too awkward to move this set-up around my yard to find sky between the abundant oak trees that I have to deal with.  I guess what I'm asking is whether grab-and-go is not applying here?

 

Thanks,

Mondo

That all depends on you, how strong you are and what type of mount you have.

 

A 35 pound tripod AltAz mount with an F5 80 mm scope might be easily managed when you close up the tripod.

 

A 35 pound EQ mount with a long F15 refractor may become very awkward.

 

A 35 pound 6" Dobsonian is pretty easy to move around.

 

I have a 12" Dobsonian that I have attached to a hand truck.  I easily move that around my  yard all night and it weighs about 90 pounds.



#7 Tony Flanders

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 05:09 PM

I do indeed carry my 4-inch f/6 refractor on an EQ mount as one piece. I don't think there's any risk at all of the optical tube falling off assuming that it's properly connected. And if it's not properly connected it can fall off even when the whole rig is stationary -- as I have found out to my sorrow. Fortunately, refractors are tough, and can easily survive a 4-foot drop onto grass. Onto concrete -- maybe not such a good idea.

 

Anyway, the whole rig probably weighs around 35 pounds and I have no trouble at all carrying it around as a unit. Assuming you don't want to carry it for real distances (more than 100 yards) you should have no trouble. But I would not recommend hiking with it a half mile up a trail in the dark.


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#8 mondo1948

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 05:29 PM

I forgot to mention, excellent tripod choice.

 

Two of the biggest disappointments getting your first good telescope setup I realizing you need to spend nearly as much money for a tripod and then again for the mount, as you have to do for the telescope itself.

 

With my setups, and, I would say, most other people, the limiting factor has almost always been tripod rigidity, and the Berlebachs have an awesome reputation.

 

That heavier than expected tripod may end up being a huge boon down the road, as it will be undoubtedly more versatile in the future.

Thanks for the compliment regarding my tripod choice.  And, you're right....Vixen has a go-to unit that I can easily place on this tripod, so it will be a "boon" down the road, as you mentioned.

 

Thanks again,

Mondo



#9 mondo1948

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 05:35 PM

Personally, I would never move an intact tripod mount, and telescope combination.

 

Not to say I haven't done it on rare occasion however it is terrifyingly unbalanced and top heavy, even with small scopes like yours 

 

Normally the telescope itself can be removed from the mount/tripod combination and can be moved seperately.

 

Tripod and mounts are a little more durable (if dropped), and removing the weight of the optical tube assembly makes the tripod/mount combo moveable.

 

So, in your case I would suggest thinking about moving things in two parts, at the very least.

 

It is probably overkill for your lightweight setup, however, triangular dollies are made for telescopes, or can be relatively easily made especially for lighter setups. If you buy or make one use nothing less than a 5 inch wheel for stability and rock resistance. My little Nexstar 11 (only, no tripod) cart has fat 6.5" wheels, the Manfrotto 5".

 

I use the Manfrotto 114 functional equivalent of the large jmi dolly, both several hundred dollars when new, but designed for a 130 lb load. I use them to move my Nexstar 11 short distances after assembly onto the tripod. And I plot my path for safety.

Hi Mark,

I'm so glad you mentioned that I shouldn't be thinking about moving the scope, mount and tripod in one piece.  I didn't think about removing the scope and moving the mount/tripod separately.  Now I know that I can handle the weight.....25 lbs. of scope/mount and 10 lbs. of OTA.  It also means that if, down the road, I want a large, let's say 130mm or 150mm refractor, my tripod can handle the weight.  I will just have to get a bigger mount.

 

By the way, the Berlebach tripod I'm getting is the Uni 28 which has a load capacity of 110 lbs.

 

Thanks,

Mondo



#10 SeattleScott

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 06:55 PM

I tree dodge and have no difficulty moving an intact 8” F4 setup that weighs 35lbs. The longer tube 40lb refractor setup is a bit more awkward but still manageable, even going up steps or through a gate. There are potentially concerns about motors, so you might want to lock clutches or fully open them up before you pick up and go. But I haven’t had any issues or heard of actual issues, just more speculation of potential issues.

Certainly up to you how you want to proceed but I wouldn’t think it would be a problem to move it altogether if you want.

Scott


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