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Poll for Smaller Dob Owners

Started by markvcostello3, 06/11/2014 02:10PM
Posted 06/11/2014 02:10PM Opening Post
Hello, everyone. On a thread in a different astro-website, a gentleman wrote that he did not use a chair when observing with a 12" Dob since he would have to get up and move the chair too frequently to make having a chair beneficial. For those of y'all who have Dobs 12" but in particular for those of y'all with the 8"F6 or 10"F5 (F4.7-5.0) Dobs, do you use a chair and if yes, do you find moving it around during an observing session to be a hassle?

Here's my interest. I'm considering buying a 10" F5 Dob as a complement to my 5"F6.5 achro refractor. I hope to get an equatorial platform for it but in the interest of not overstraining our finances, I'll probably defer the equatorial platform a year and use the time in between to get used to the scope. But I am intending on getting an observing chair if I get the Dob since I figured that I'll need one. Based on my experience with the refractor and earlier times in the hobby when I stood to observe, not using a chair would be for me a show-stopper. I'm much more able to observe, think about what I'm seeing, and write notes and draw it if I'm seated. If I stand, I'm spending too much time fidgeting in an attempt to be comfortable to the point that it's a big distraction on my observing. So if using a chair doesn't work with a Dob, well, it's good to find out now. smile

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Mark Costello
Matthews, NC, USA

"I hear you're mechanically inclined. Did you ever do anything with perpetual motion?"

"Yeah, I nearly had it a couple of times."
Posted 06/11/2014 06:17PM #1
Mark I have a Celestron C10 on an EQ mount and most of the time I use an old barstool, with rotating rings it's fairly easy to get it in a good position the barstool works great,I also use bino viewers. For the refractors I use a Starbound chair that's the best investment I ever made , life's great. And hope that helps!
Posted 06/12/2014 10:32AM #2
It depends.

For observing, I like to be seated. It's comfortable for longer looks, it's more stable and definitely more relaxed. I can see more. For picking out details of a Jovian shadow transit, the GRS, faint galaxies, clusters, or sun spots, etc, it's the only way to go.

For just looking, I like the scope on a raised base and I like to stand. This is for low power sweeping or jumping from target to target quickly. Just lookin' not really observing, like a Messier marathon.

Posted 06/12/2014 01:55PM #3
"Based on my experience with the refractor and earlier times in the hobby when I stood to observe, not using a chair would be for me a show-stopper."

Based on what you said above, I think you've answered your own question, Mark. For what it's worth, I agree. If I'm sketching, taking notes, or looking at one object for several minutes, I much prefer to have a chair. I always keep a chair next to my scope when I observe. The worst that happens is I move the chair out of the way if I start hopping quickly from object to object.

Keep in mind, with a Dobsonian there will be times when you won't be able to use the chair, no matter how long you want to look, due to eye piece elevation.
Posted 06/12/2014 06:09PM | Edited 06/12/2014 06:11PM #4
Hi Mark,

I had a 10" dob and now have a 14.5" f4.3. I would have a sore back without an observing chair and can see much more when I'm relaxed as opposed to bending over to get to a lower altitude object. I built my dob to be able to stand when at about 75º to 90º but I sit in my homemade Catsperch clone for the rest of sky. I tend to study an object for a while and after about 30 seconds or so of bending over to see into the eyepiece I tend to start thinking more about my balance and my back and less studying the object. Being relaxed at the eyepiece is almost as good as having more aperture, at least IMHO.