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Include a manual winch / manual chain block in your home observatory

Celestron Observatory
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#1 Visit-the-Moon

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 05:58 AM

My "roll off shed" observatory includes attachment points for a manual winch / manual chain block. Over the years this equipment has proven to be very useful in assembling and disassembling the two 9.25" EQ mounted telescopes that live in the observatory. It is very easy to remove or load a CPC 9.25 onto its wedge without disturbing the polar alignment - of course it is checked and tweaked afterwards by star drift method. The manual chain block shown was also useful when I replaced the RA bearings in both mounts.

 

I put this post up just to point out this is a useful tool to "build" into your observatory. This winch can lift 200 kg very easily so the whole telescope-tripod assembly (~80 kg) can be moved if desired. It goes without saying that the observatory needs to be sufficiently robust.

 

My observatory incidentally is built from a commercial steel glass house mounted on a steel chassis. It rolls off on tracks and has a lot of extra bracing. Over its 10 year life it has survived many storms, hail, >100km winds etc.

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#2 astrokeith

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 06:13 AM

Excellent use of a lift.

 

I had a good friend who lifted his 16" RCOS and Paramount ME. A week later he died. The lift had caused heart strain and damage.

He had just retired too.



#3 Visit-the-Moon

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 06:29 AM

Astrokeith, what a sad story for your friend! 

 

There are a lot of posts in this forum where people say they are selling the equipment they love using because it is too heavy. Downgrading to something smaller. Sometimes you might have no choice but to carry things manually. However there are many situations where a manual or electric tool simplifies the assembly of the telescope. Much safer too as you point out and at reduced risk of damaging your telescope. This is a small investment compared to the cost of a large telescope and mount.  



#4 *skyguy*

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 07:20 AM

I also have a manual winch installed in my observatory. However, it's more than just useful, it was an absolute necessity to lift my 12" LX200 ... over 14' ... into my garage-top ROR observatory. Even though that was 20 years ago, I still remember the anxiety as the scope was lifted off the ground.

 

OrbitJet Observatory:

https://www.flickr.c...57644177074161/

 

Observatory_Winch.jpg

 

observatory-pier-CN.jpg


Edited by *skyguy*, 29 July 2021 - 09:39 AM.

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#5 TOMDEY

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 07:51 AM

Yes indeed! A crane is near essential, more than a luxury. And the bigger the equipment and observatory, the more important it becomes. I built cranes in my domes that I could configure when needed and remove when everything is copacetic. Also smaller Sky Hooks that remain in place for smaller lifting applications. It is of course essential to assure that your Sky Hook Anchors can handle the loads!    Tom

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#6 Dynan

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 08:24 AM

I also have a manual wench

I hope you pay her well...lol.gif



#7 Stevegeo

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 08:27 AM

Yesterday I got a wild hair in my brain to mount my Millburn Wedge on my 12in lx 200 in my 9 ft dome observatory.. got everything ready to lift and found a small hornets nest at the peak ..so out come the broom and bug spray ..

Then getting smart I waited till dark when they all came home to roost..  waited another hour and squish ..all gone . 

Then my lifting straps in place I got the scope down to my table .. Tonite the wedge gets mounted . Then scope ..

Not an easy job ..



#8 Couder

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 08:51 AM

I also have a manual wench installed in my observatory. However, it's more than just useful, it was an absolute necessity to lift my 12" LX200 ... over 14' ... into my garage-top ROR observatory. 

I really like this idea, and I like your solution.



#9 *skyguy*

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 09:44 AM

I also have a manual wench

 

 

I hope you pay her well...lol.gif

Just wishful thinking on my part ....wink.gif


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#10 Dick Jacobson

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Posted 30 July 2021 - 07:53 AM

I have a one-ton chain hoist in my rolloff. The hoist hangs from a bogey that runs crosswise between two of the roof trusses. Movement in the other direction is provided by rolling the roof. I estimate that it could lift and move 2000 pounds, though I don't expect to ever lift more than a few hundred.



#11 Visit-the-Moon

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Posted 30 July 2021 - 06:11 PM

I have a one-ton chain hoist in my rolloff. The hoist hangs from a bogey that runs crosswise between two of the roof trusses. Movement in the other direction is provided by rolling the roof. I estimate that it could lift and move 2000 pounds, though I don't expect to ever lift more than a few hundred.

Dick, looks like your gear (20", 30"!) needs this sort of lifting power. Any pictures?



#12 Dick Jacobson

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 09:43 AM

Dick, looks like your gear (20", 30"!) needs this sort of lifting power. Any pictures?

I don't have any pictures right now and am headed to the Nebraska Star Party so can't take any for a week. The hoist hangs from a steel bar mounted on a sturdy wooden bogey built from 2x6s. The bogey runs crosswise on casters. The casters run on steel angles attached to the bottom chords of two adjacent roof trusses. I reinforced the trusses to take the additional weight.




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