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6-inch f/8 seating position troubles...a realization

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#1 Cotts

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 02:57 PM

I reacquired a 1988 6-inch AP refractor from 6-7 years ago (thread here) recently and have put it in my observatory on a pier extension. 

 

The scope pokes up into the rafters and has to be moved from its park position to open the roof.  OK, I can park it horizontally, I suppose...

 

When the scope is pointing up above about 50º elevation, where all the good seeing lives, the eyepiece is only about 2 -3' from the floor and I have to sit with my butt about a foot off the ground.  Getting TO this position and arising FROM it is a horror show for me and my back, knees and hips....  I've reached 70 years and I have found the visual observing with it superb from an optical standpoint and extremely tiring and not a little bit painful from my physical standpoint.  This has shortened sessions to only about 2 hours before I have to pack it in.... For some reason this didn't seem to bother me as much 6-8 years ago....

 

I've realized that perhaps I should have let this scope pass for its second visit in my life.... 

 

It certainly has re-sale value (this is not an offer of sale...)....

 

What would work for me and my body would be an 8-inch-ish MakCass or DK-Cass.   Eyepiece height much more manageable...

 

If the scope is uncomfortable to use, human nature says that it will be used less.....

 

I'm off to the Cats and Casses Forum to see what sort of gear.....

 

Dave

 

 


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#2 rgsalinger

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 03:07 PM

If price is no object then you can buy a pier tech pier2 pier which goes up and down. Mine is now 5 years old and still works perfectly. The change in polar alignment is about 5 arc minutes from all the way down to all the way up.

 

The only other suggestion would be to put more weight on the back of the scope (dovetail) so that the scope goes farther up in the saddle. 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#3 Astrojensen

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 03:07 PM

How about an elevating pier? They can be very stable, certainly good enough for visual use. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark



#4 The Ardent

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 03:51 PM

Something like an Intes-Micro 8” Mak Cass? 



#5 Cotts

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 04:08 PM

Something like an Intes-Micro 8” Mak Cass? 

Maybe.  Whatever i can get for the $ from the (not for sale) AP refractor with some $ left over.....

 

There's a Mewlon 210 for sale right now but it is in Miami..... Complicated...

 

Dave
 



#6 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 04:09 PM

Dave, with my scope in the ExploraDome, when it's pointing high, I either use my Denver chair set low, or kneel on the floor on one of the rubber mats I have distributed around the pier.  The height of the dome doesn't allow for more elevation of the scope, and still allow low viewing over the walls.  Just the way things are with big refractors.  With the roll-off, you could use a Pier Tech pier.  My dome isn't set up for that option.  Another thought would be to sit on some sort of seat that has rails where you could use your arms to pull or push up on.



#7 Cotts

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 04:13 PM

Dave, with my scope in the ExploraDome, when it's pointing high, I either use my Denver chair set low, or kneel on the floor on one of the rubber mats I have distributed around the pier.  The height of the dome doesn't allow for more elevation of the scope, and still allow low viewing over the walls.  Just the way things are with big refractors.  With the roll-off, you could use a Pier Tech pier.  My dome isn't set up for that option.  Another thought would be to sit on some sort of seat that has rails where you could use your arms to pull or push up on.

I'm more motivated to free up the $ from the AP to get something much more ergonomic instead of throwing money at this particular scope...

 

Thinking what $3500 USD will get me.......

 

Dave
 



#8 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 04:21 PM

Maybe do a lot of stretching exercises?  I get tired of being on the floor with my refractor too, but I'm determined to live with it.  The top of my dome wall has good grips for pulling back up off the floor though.  If I raised the dome walls and pier enough to view zenith comfortably, then I would have to get on a step stool to view lower objects.


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#9 Peter Natscher

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 04:37 PM

And yet, you have a 20" Dob on order?  What about the weight logistics of setting that up?  I use a 6" f/7 APO on Mach1+Planet tripod and 20" Dob to observe with at remote darker sites and find both equivalent in time and exertion to set up.

 

 

I reacquired a 1988 6-inch AP refractor from 6-7 years ago (thread here) recently and have put it in my observatory on a pier extension. 

 

The scope pokes up into the rafters and has to be moved from its park position to open the roof.  OK, I can park it horizontally, I suppose...

 

When the scope is pointing up above about 50º elevation, where all the good seeing lives, the eyepiece is only about 2 -3' from the floor and I have to sit with my butt about a foot off the ground.  Getting TO this position and arising FROM it is a horror show for me and my back, knees and hips....  I've reached 70 years and I have found the visual observing with it superb from an optical standpoint and extremely tiring and not a little bit painful from my physical standpoint.  This has shortened sessions to only about 2 hours before I have to pack it in.... For some reason this didn't seem to bother me as much 6-8 years ago....

 

I've realized that perhaps I should have let this scope pass for its second visit in my life.... 

 

It certainly has re-sale value (this is not an offer of sale...)....

 

What would work for me and my body would be an 8-inch-ish MakCass or DK-Cass.   Eyepiece height much more manageable...

 

If the scope is uncomfortable to use, human nature says that it will be used less.....

 

I'm off to the Cats and Casses Forum to see what sort of gear.....

 

Dave

 



#10 CHASLX200

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 06:08 PM

All of these top heavy bigger APO are knee viewers or sit on the ground viewers with most mounts and tripods. You need to add weight at the bottom to make the OTA sit higher up in the mount and a much taller pier.


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#11 Bomber Bob

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 06:18 PM

For my APM 152ED, I made a "cage" with Bresser 6" Rings, a base, and a handle... then, put my Tak FC-50 (+ its cradle) on the cage as a super-finder.  All that weight put the OTA up as far as possible in the cradle, which is already at 6 ft above the ground.  At zenith, the eyepiece was at a comfortable seated height:

 

APM ED 152 S061 (Takahashi FC-50).jpg

 

(The pedestal is silver-gray now.  The EQ is a 1980s Meade StarFinder - for up to 8" Newts.)


Edited by Bomber Bob, 13 June 2021 - 08:03 PM.

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#12 Peter Natscher

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 06:37 PM

And you haven't even mentioned using the neck-breaking straight-through finder scope before you even look into the telescope's eyepiece. The practicality and portability of mounting a larger refracting telescope at 6" or larger aperture so that the eyepiece remains comfortably high enough at more vertical telescope angles is better served by changing to a Newtonian telescope where the eyepiece is always high enough above the ground at any higher telescope angle.  Using my flat-feet-on-the-ground Dobsonian's has always been more comfortable for me to observe with than a refractor as long as the Dob's maximum eyepiece height never exceeds my eye height.  With my observing chair, I can sit at a Dob's eyepiece also.

 

 

 

I reacquired a 1988 6-inch AP refractor from 6-7 years ago (thread here) recently and have put it in my observatory on a pier extension. 

 

The scope pokes up into the rafters and has to be moved from its park position to open the roof.  OK, I can park it horizontally, I suppose...

 

When the scope is pointing up above about 50º elevation, where all the good seeing lives, the eyepiece is only about 2 -3' from the floor and I have to sit with my butt about a foot off the ground.  Getting TO this position and arising FROM it is a horror show for me and my back, knees and hips....  I've reached 70 years and I have found the visual observing with it superb from an optical standpoint and extremely tiring and not a little bit painful from my physical standpoint.  This has shortened sessions to only about 2 hours before I have to pack it in.... For some reason this didn't seem to bother me as much 6-8 years ago....

 

I've realized that perhaps I should have let this scope pass for its second visit in my life.... 

 

It certainly has re-sale value (this is not an offer of sale...)....

 

What would work for me and my body would be an 8-inch-ish MakCass or DK-Cass.   Eyepiece height much more manageable...

 

If the scope is uncomfortable to use, human nature says that it will be used less.....

 

I'm off to the Cats and Casses Forum to see what sort of gear.....

 

Dave

 

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#13 gwlee

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 07:17 PM

I reacquired a 1988 6-inch AP refractor from 6-7 years ago (thread here) recently and have put it in my observatory on a pier extension. 

 

The scope pokes up into the rafters and has to be moved from its park position to open the roof.  OK, I can park it horizontally, I suppose...

 

When the scope is pointing up above about 50º elevation, where all the good seeing lives, the eyepiece is only about 2 -3' from the floor and I have to sit with my butt about a foot off the ground.  Getting TO this position and arising FROM it is a horror show for me and my back, knees and hips....  I've reached 70 years and I have found the visual observing with it superb from an optical standpoint and extremely tiring and not a little bit painful from my physical standpoint.  This has shortened sessions to only about 2 hours before I have to pack it in.... For some reason this didn't seem to bother me as much 6-8 years ago....

 

I've realized that perhaps I should have let this scope pass for its second visit in my life.... 

 

It certainly has re-sale value (this is not an offer of sale...)....

 

What would work for me and my body would be an 8-inch-ish MakCass or DK-Cass.   Eyepiece height much more manageable...

 

If the scope is uncomfortable to use, human nature says that it will be used less.....

 

I'm off to the Cats and Casses Forum to see what sort of gear.....

 

Dave

Yes, for that reason I want my 6”f8 scopes to have their eyepieces at the top of their tubes and my refractors to have much shorter tubes. 

 

My Mewlon 210 was an excellent scope, except for some annoying image shift that I fixed with an external FeatherTouch focuser, and it worked well on my DM6, so this might be something to consider if you don’t mind the long focal length. For me, the long focal length limited its versatility too much. 


Edited by gwlee, 13 June 2021 - 07:31 PM.

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#14 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 07:24 PM

Dave,

You have a refractor that is hugely desirable.   If it was me, I would find a way to keep it and enjoy it.   Maybe embed a long jack in a slot in a square pier.  Roll the roof off, jack it way up.  Ever see those 4 foot long jacks with slots in them, and a long, easily removable handle?   Just an idea. Any steel fab shop could do it. Put retaining bolts in to make it solid.

 

Edit: It's called a "farm jack".  I have the design concept right in my head.crazy.gif


Edited by John Fitzgerald, 13 June 2021 - 07:33 PM.

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#15 Wildetelescope

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 08:07 PM

Big scopes do present some logistical challenges, and you do need to plan appropriately. I set mine up on a 56 inch pier. The saddle midpoint of the mount is at about 6’8”. Got the pier in anticipation of eventually getting the 152 mm f9, which I got several years later. Can sit comfortably in a chair and view at zenith, same for my 5inch. Can stand and view with my c11. Some day I will put a dome around it.

Jmd

All of these top heavy bigger APO are knee viewers or sit on the ground viewers with most mounts and tripods. You need to add weight at the bottom to make the OTA sit higher up in the mount and a much taller pier.


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#16 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 08:42 PM

Big scopes do present some logistical challenges, and you do need to plan appropriately. I set mine up on a 56 inch pier. The saddle midpoint of the mount is at about 6’8”. Got the pier in anticipation of eventually getting the 152 mm f9, which I got several years later. Can sit comfortably in a chair and view at zenith, same for my 5inch. Can stand and view with my c11. Some day I will put a dome around it.

Jmd
 

Dave has it in his roll-off, and it's already nearly to the roof, so the best solution is a jackable pier.  I don't know why anyone would need expensive hydraulics, when simple mechanics will do.  They are basically one tube sliding inside another, and there are ways to make it work without spending anywhere near Pier Tech prices.  Either heavy wall square tubing or round pipe would work.  For round pipe, you would need locating pins to maintain polar alignment.  My concept is a jack pushing one square steel tube with a smooth sliding fit inside another, with the outer one slotted for the jack attachment for the length of travel, and removable fixing pins or bolts at intervals to keep everything safe and solid.


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#17 clearwaterdave

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 09:12 PM

You can make a mount that will allow you to view and have the eyepiece at the same height wherever it's pointing.,It will also cost you less than anything store bought.,

 Meet Frank.,It stays outside permanently and holds my 127 like it's nothing.,My back thanks me every time I use this mount.,You can even look back over your shoulder.,Let's see you do that with a store bought..lol.,cool.gif .

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#18 BRCoz

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 09:16 PM

I feel your pain. In the knees and back.  Last night I setup a G11 with the 12" extension and the legs almost all the way out.  This put my scope well above my head.  I am only 5' 7" and had to lift the AT152 above my head to mount it.  I used a step stool to sit on when the eyepiece was low.   This was better for viewing then before with the scope about head level.   I am going to look into a way to add weight to the back of the scope.  

 

Enjoy what ever you choose to do.



#19 Cotts

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 09:29 PM

I really appreciate all the help.

 

I shall be cogitating for a while now..

 

Dave


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#20 clearwaterdave

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 10:01 PM

Using a chair that rolls and has a back an armrests also adds hugely to the comfort factor for me.,I can roll myself around the mount without getting up.,pulling the scope along.,And to be able to just lean back and take a break is nice.,

 With this mount/chair combo I'm as comfortable observing as I am in my Lazy boy listening to audio books.,Good luck with your choices Dave.,I definitely have felt your pain.,


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#21 t.r.

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 12:33 PM

Just need a pier extension or new one altogether...don’t cave so quickly, work the problem. I also like the adjustable observing chairs with a multitude of positions. Getting just the right height on both the pier and chair are key but yes indeed there may come a day when the body will not keep up!

#22 Cotts

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 12:45 PM

I'm not inclined to throw money at the issue -- as opposed to a sale, buying a Mewlon 210, having some cash left over and the problem solved...

 

Dave


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#23 Astrojensen

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 01:26 PM

I'm not inclined to throw money at the issue -- as opposed to a sale, buying a Mewlon 210, having some cash left over and the problem solved...

 

Dave

Be aware, be very aware, that a Mewlon is NOT a refractor and will not give as stable images as your refractor. It will require far more attention to cooldown, insulating the tube, etc., in order to actually perform as well as your 6" A-P. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#24 t.r.

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 01:35 PM

Too late...Scope is on Amart for sale.
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#25 Cotts

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 01:44 PM

Be aware, be very aware, that a Mewlon is NOT a refractor and will not give as stable images as your refractor. It will require far more attention to cooldown, insulating the tube, etc., in order to actually perform as well as your 6" A-P. 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark

I have had Maks, SCT's, Casses before.  My strategy in the observatory of opening up as soon as the obsy is in the shade has never failed me... Same at Star Parties....

 

Thanks,

 

Dave
 




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