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Observing Chair

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#1 kas20amc02

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 05:22 PM

Hello everyone!

 

I am looking for advice on buying a chair to use while observing.  After observing some lunar craters at 2200 this week, when the moon was about 20 degrees off the horizon, I hunched over to get to the EP for an hour.  My back is still in mild spasm four days later!  This is not the first time this has happened and I need something better.  

 

I currently use a wooden pool deck chair.  If I am in my yard, I observe from my pool deck and drag it over from the table.  If I am driving to a dark site, I throw the wooden chair in the back of my truck.  The seat is 19 inches off the ground.

 

I will use the chair mostly with my AD10 f/5 Dob, although I may use it some with my 80 mm Lunt on a Vixen Porta II tall mount and perhaps occasionally with other equipment that I might borrow or buy (don't tell my wife but a 16-20 inch Dob will help me make it through the Herschel 400!)  My AD10 has a stock rocker box, but I am still debating on upgrading it to something better (lighter, taller and sturdier).  

 

The major issue is my size.  I am 6'4'' and 250 pounds (hence the hunching for low targets).  I don't really care if it is heavy or bulky.  I will have no trouble throwing anything short of a La-Z-Boy in the truck bed.  I would love one that adjusts in height, as my kids sometimes observe with me as well (2 and 3 ft).  This would also accommodate swinging from the zenith to the horizon.  

 

 

 

Does anyone have any recommendations?  Please don't say make one because my craftmanship skills are limited.  

 

All the best,

Karl

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 havasman

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 05:35 PM

Yes you absolutely want a variable height chair. The likely #1 option is a Starbound Chair. The wooden Catsperch Chairs are excellent, maybe the highest overall quality out there.


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#3 hallelujah

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 05:39 PM

https://orbitbeachchair.com/

 

Stan


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#4 yeldahtron

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 05:43 PM

This topic has been covered recently in http://www.cloudynig...bserving-chair/

 

Several there, including myself, have recommended (has as havasman, above) the starbound chair. It is one of the best observing investments I've made.


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#5 hambone20

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 05:53 PM

I'm the same size as you.  For stuff at a comfortable sitting height I use a lawn chair and have three boat cushions to add some comfortable adjustability.  I'm fine for standing if I have to so I only use my observing chair for the very low stuff and when I need to go a little higher than my boat cushions.  I've started using a 6x8 foot rug to set up on so it's easier on the hands and knees when crawling around on the ground.  Of course the boat cushions help some here too.  My observing chair is the Cats Perch.  The smallest one.  I went with this one because it handles a lot of weight.  Spend the extra money to get the padded seat.  I would still like to make a footrest for it when in those higher settings.  With my Obsession sometimes I need just a 3 or 4 inch step when standing.  I found an early generation exercise step which is solid and very wide.  It might be a Denise Austin one.  I just noticed that my lawn chair is starting to fray so inspect it often. You don't fall through it some night.

 

Loren



#6 kas20amc02

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 06:02 PM

Got it.  I read through that thread and found it very helpful.

 

Does the Starbound chair have a compartment in the seat or is it solid?



#7 areyoukiddingme

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 06:34 PM

Given your height and weight, the Starbound is probably the best option.

 

Not sure what you mean by compartment . . . it's a foam stuffed vinyl covered seat. It's about 3-4" inches thick.


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#8 Jethro7

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 07:03 PM

Hello Karl,

Plus 1 for a Starbound Astronomy Observers Chair. This chair has been a total game changer for me, being able to do my viewing from a stable position and without fatigue, the whole night long.

 

P.S get one in white. https://www.adorama.com/atsbvcw.html

 

HAPPY SKIES TO YOU AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro

 

20210412 194616

 


Edited by Jethro7, 27 November 2021 - 07:05 PM.

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#9 BOSS3128

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 07:08 PM

+1 for the starbound.

 

Bought mine about two years ago.  I probably would have given the hobby up if it were not for having an observing chair!

 

The back ain't in the shape it used to be.


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#10 PNW

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 07:20 PM

If you don't mind a fixed height chair, There are many available. I bought a Tailgaterz brand. They come in 18", 24", and 30" seat height, with fold out side table, and 350 pound capacity. My 24" cost $50 delivered. That and a standard 18" chair fit most all my needs.


Edited by PNW, 27 November 2021 - 07:22 PM.


#11 Notdarkenough

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 07:32 PM

I use something similar to this: https://www.smithsfo...y/0697125530208

 

I am 6'3" 265lbs, but only visually observe with a SCT nowadays. No more ladders, stools or standing all night! 



#12 Dobs O Fun

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 07:46 PM

+1 Starbound.

Adjustable, sturdy, easily adjustable. Portable.

Paid the money. Never looked back to regret it.
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#13 Spikey131

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 08:43 PM

I have a Vestil chair and a Starbound.

 

The Vestil is very light weight and compact and has a very easy to use mechanism.  However, after 2 years of fairly frequent use, the mechanism is failing.  The braces are bent and the rubber pads are wearing out.

 

The Starbound I have is 6mo old.  All of the rubber tips on the feet are cracked and breaking.  I probably can easily replace them with rubber tips made for canes.  But it seems to me that they should last longer.  And if you do not handle the chair very gingerly, the seat suddenly slams itself to the ground.

 

I guess that I am about ready for a Catsperch.

 

Don’t get me wrong-I like the Vestil and the Starbound and use them a lot.  Maybe that is why I am wearing them out.



#14 sevenofnine

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Posted 28 November 2021 - 12:10 AM

The TeleVue Air Chair works well for me. I like the pneumatic lift to adjust the height of the well padded swiveling seat. The seat comes off with 4 wing nuts and the legs fold very compactly. It's not as height adjustable as the Starbound or Vestil but it is very comfortable waytogo.gif waytogo.gif

 

https://www.bhphotov...ml?sts=pi&pim=Y.



#15 Arthur L

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Posted 28 November 2021 - 08:48 PM

Long ago I was a drummer.  A "drummer's throne" works for me.  

Visit a music store or pawn shop.  

 

It easily adjusts up and down, and your kids would love to play on it.


Edited by Arthur L, 28 November 2021 - 08:53 PM.


#16 Napp

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Posted 28 November 2021 - 08:51 PM

+1 for a Starbound chair. 


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#17 weis14

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 12:45 AM

I'm a big guy at 6'2" and close to 300 lbs. I use a Catsperch chair that I made out of red oak. It's heavy, but I can't see it breaking any time soon. I have access to woodworking equipment and know-how, so I ordered the plans and hardware, which was something like $50.

#18 Spile

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 05:18 PM

I didn’t use a seat when I was observing as a teenager. I do now! https://astro.catshi...m/denver-chair/



#19 bigdob24

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 05:27 PM

Have a look at the Star Dust Observing Chair. 
Now it seems it’s called Vestil CPRO-600 Ergonomic Worker Chair and it’s not available when I looked it up
‘I’ve had one for years and it’s very sturdy, lots of adjustment for comfortable observing, has a foot rest that’s handy

Check it out maybe you can find one


Edited by bigdob24, 29 November 2021 - 05:49 PM.


#20 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 06:19 PM

I have two Starbound chairs and a Catsperch. I love the Starbound chairs because I can adjust the height while seated.  

 

I just grab the front of seat, pull it up to my thighs and take my weight and set the height. I then release the seat and sit down. It takes a couple of seconds.

 

Buy a white seat so its visible in the dark.

 

Jon


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#21 yeldahtron

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 10:05 AM

Does the Starbound chair have a compartment in the seat or is it solid?

The Starbound chair has a padded seat. There's no compartment for storing things, if that's what you are asking.



#22 yeldahtron

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 10:11 AM

The Starbound I have is 6mo old.  All of the rubber tips on the feet are cracked and breaking.  I probably can easily replace them with rubber tips made for canes.  But it seems to me that they should last longer.  

The rubber tips on the chair's legs are ordinary, readily available rubber feet, and are easy to replace. E.g., https://www.homedepo...ack-/1000100144

 

When my first set of feet failed after 10 years, I replaced them with white rubber feet, making it easier to see the legs in the dark (with a red flashlight).  I've subsequently put glow-in-the-dark tape on parts of the chair frame so I can see a dim glow, without needing a flashlight, when it's completely black under the stars. 


Edited by yeldahtron, 30 November 2021 - 10:13 AM.

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#23 yeldahtron

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 10:19 AM

The Starbound I have is 6mo ols <snip>  And if you do not handle the chair very gingerly, the seat suddenly slams itself to the ground.

The convenient, infinitely-adjustable chair height takes a short time to get used too.  If you raise the seat cushion even of a centimeter, say, by grabbing the seat cushion to move the chair, the seat's height-locking mechanism will release (simple friction), and the seat height can be changed instantly.  If you are sitting on the seat and you do this, you will rapidly fall to the ground, so don't do that.  I always warn guests about this feature of the chair before they sit in it.



#24 mondo1948

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 11:14 AM

I recall reading on another post that a guy said would give up all his high-end eyepieces and go back to ordinary ones before he would give up his Starbound chair.  After reading his post, I bought one and have found it to be one of my best investments in this hobby.

 

Clear Skies,

Mondo


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#25 Napp

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 12:52 PM

I got my Starbound chair used as part of a telescope purchase.  And no I will not give it up.  My neck, shoulders and back love it because using the chair prevents strain and pain in all.  Using the chair means I am not nearly as fatigued at the end of a long observing session.  The chair’s easy adjustability works with all my scopes/mounts from my 10 inch DOB pointed at the horizon  right up to my 16 inch DOB pointed at the zenith where I use the chair more as a leaning post.


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