Author Topic: My new Bino-Chair  (Read 556 times)

Zeek Letter

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
My new Bino-Chair
« on: December 29, 2017, 11:12:04 PM »
Cannot believe it took me over 30 years of observing to finally get around to building this. After 2 nights using it , I am spoiled rotten, I could never go back to tripods and stiff necks for binocular observing. And certainly not hand-holding binos.Features:
90* alt & 360* azim motion.
Intuitive hi-tech azimuth drive system (one ski pole )
12" dia lazy susan bearing, 1000# rated, smooth as silk with my weight on it. The slightest push with the pole rotates me to position.
Bino mount adjusts for body size , angle, & eye relief.
I may eventually do a fancier bino clamp but for now the zip-ties seem to work fine.
Dimensions: 3"x20"x33" 22# all parts. 14# chair.

Parts/Costs: (for me, ~$20 plus the chair)
1/3 sheet 3/4 ply (had on hand);
some nesting alum tube parts (from a batch of surplus electronics i bought years ago);
L susan bearing ($16 on ebay);
maple blocks (cut from my firewood pile);
misc fasteners ~$3;
**X/Y level $1;
a couple 1# dive weights (had those).
You can find the zero-G chairs for around $40 if you dont have one. This one was a $7 thrift store catch, it is more comfortable that the $40 i bought earlier.

A few tips-
--base assembly- LS bearing screwed to ground board; mid-board screwed to bearing via access holes in ground board; top(chair) board screwed to mid-board from above & below. NOTE the chair board is NOT centerd over the bearing !, your COG will be offset to the rear so the loaded COG of the chair is what gets centered over the bearing ! See pics.
--don't skip the **X/Y level. The base MUST be set up on a level patch of ground to prevent gravity from constantly rotating you to the low point !
--you need to have a way to fasten the chair to the base, i screwed on two strips of wood to tightly fit the rear chair foot between and then match-drilled thru the strips & chair base so i could lock the chair in place with a couple large hitch-pins as shown in the pics. Those strips and pins also allow me to attach the aluminum tubes to the base for carrying or storage. Just drill the tubes to match the holes in the wood.
--I leave the maple blocks on the chair so setup is under a minute- insert the tubes in the blocks & tighten wingnuts; place chair on base & insert hitch-pins; slip the bino-board onto the tubes; and climb aboard.
--not shown are rubber friction washers cut from inner-tube, between the rotating joint of the blocks
--bino holder board is cut from 3/4 cedar for light weight. Cutouts on it give good hand access to bino focus without having to move the binos forward
--lead counter-weights simply hang in holes at rear of tubes. Can use whatever wgt is needed. 1# wgts seem good for 10x50, 11x70 binos . Might have to go to 2# wgts when my 20x80's arrive.
--nylon screws on outside of bino board lock the sliding alum tubes in place to hold proper eye-relief. This is important espec with heavy binos when viewing at high angles, you don't want to wake up in the morning looking like a racoon !

In use:
First experiment (daylight) to set the rotating blocks at the right up/dn position on the chair to adjust for body size (butt to eyeball measurement). Mark the block position on the chair frame so you can return to it easily. I added a bit of ruler tape to the chair tube so i could easily set it for myself or others.
Bino angle & eye relief are adjusted on the fly as you observe at varying altitudes.
You can easily reach the base board space under the chair while sitting. as it rotates with you, its a great out-of -the-way safe space to store gear while observing. I am going to add a holder for a thermos and coffee cup to one side of the base.

First impressions:
Anyone who spends much time with bino's deserves one of these. It is a complete game changer for bino observing. No getting up to reposition tripods or chairs, just sit there & scan the entire sky for hours on end.
What a joy to just kick back and soak in the sky with complete freedom of movement to any destination that strikes my fancy. After 2 nights I can already see this contraption is going to seriously cut into my telescope time.
I still enjoy the porthole views thru my scopes, but this very different. It is more like a space-walk experience than an observing experience. You literally get the impression you are floating among the starfields as you move from place to place. If i had to describe the experience in one word, it would be " Immersive" .

‚ÄčLast night i actually nodded off while floating between Cassiopeia and the Double Cluster !

Now, if i could find a way to mount my Dob on this thing
CS
Bob

pics below & following posts








Randal Samuels

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 10:54:39 PM »
more detailsAttached Thumbnails




Frky Sherman

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 10:08:56 PM »
one more


tenewbandhams

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 06:22:10 AM »
I enjoy seeing the creativity of people to solve problems.
This is an awesome solution, Great Job!

You may have to share this with NorthwoodsBill

two dogs and a telescope

Sam Noble

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 03:14:13 AM »
Brilliantly done! WOW.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Gary

selusmiystag

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 132
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 09:01:03 PM »
I love this.

How did you figure out where to place the bearing to be properly centered under center of gravity?

Lawrence Paez

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2018, 01:34:37 PM »
Way to go Bob!

One little thing... I see a safety hazard! We gotta figure a way to mount a cup/bottle holder on the arm of the chair!
We can't have bottles sitting on the ground like that, especially at night... Think of possibility of knocking the bottle over when you reach for it... After you just got comfy. Think of the children, Bob!

Seriously, good job. I'd really like to try this out!
Clear Skies my friend!
Mr. Joey

tersrhythopes

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 143
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2018, 12:30:45 AM »
Thanks for the compliments guys. This is a real game-changer in observing comfort, too simple to not do !
CS
Bob

belohalcu

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2018, 04:38:29 AM »
Quote
I love this.

How did you figure out where to place the bearing to be properly centered under center of gravity?

Welcome to CN !

To answer your question, it's simple. You build the bearing boards (bottom & mid-board) first, those are both centered on the lazy susan. Then you make the top board long enough for your chair leg-spread. Then you just set the chair-board on the bearing, set the chair on it, climb on, tilt back and see where it balances. Helpful to have someone watch from the side to see when it all sits level with you in it. Once you find the balance-point, index mark the top board and screw it to the mid board. Per the 3rd picture, you can pretty much figure the COG will be at about where your butt is when reclined in the chair. But you need to do this balance experiment to find the exact COG, that is what you want centered over the center of the bearing.
CS
Bob

brascharnide

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2018, 05:16:33 AM »
Quote
Way to go Bob!

One little thing... I see a safety hazard! We gotta figure a way to mount a cup/bottle holder on the arm of the chair!
We can't have bottles sitting on the ground like that, especially at night... Think of possibility of knocking the bottle over when you reach for it... After you just got comfy. Think of the children, Bob!

Seriously, good job. I'd really like to try this out!
Clear Skies my friend!
Mr. Joey


Ha ha !
The bottle in the pic is a 'construction phase beer'
... For night use it will be replaced by a thermos of coffee or hot cocoa.
Actually I found it surprisingly easy to access stuff on the chair board while reclined in the chair. It makes a great out of the way place for small items

Mike Khan

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2018, 05:52:52 AM »
Super job! Do you think balancing might be a bit trickier with much larger binocs...say 5~6in?

Rob

ceicomfeara

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2018, 08:27:39 PM »
Good timing for me. I'm currently in the planning stages for some kind of mount for my 20x80 binoculars. I was thinking Parallelogram (already bought 12' of oak 1x2) but this might be better. I don't have any aluminum tubing though so I may modify.

Bill Godschalk

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2018, 10:41:43 PM »
This looks supremely comfortable. Great job!

inovcomsett

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 116
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2018, 11:13:33 PM »
Quote
Super job! Do you think balancing might be a bit trickier with much larger binocs...say 5~6in?

Rob

WOw, 5-6", I guess !
I assume you are talking about 50 - 100 # ??
Such hugebinos would have to be part of the COG-balance experiment I described above, for sure.
I would also consider bigger pivot blocks, and also adding a pair of gas-assist struts from the chair vertical to the bino board.
Or maybe just heavier counterweights on longer rear tubes would do it
I'm guessing that another couple pounds of weight on my setup as-is will work for my incoming 20x80's... will know soon enough.

pamasluocon

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 111
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: My new Bino-Chair
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2018, 03:42:47 PM »
Quote
Good timing for me. I'm currently in the planning stages for some kind of mount for my 20x80 binoculars. I was thinking Parallelogram (already bought 12' of oak 1x2) but this might be better. I don't have any aluminum tubing though so I may modify.


I suppose you could do the tubes with wood, square-cut or dowels. But nesting/sliding aluminum tube works so very well.
I'm luck here I have a scrap yard that has a good selection of alum, but you can also get what you need pretty quick on ebay, pretty cheap for the little bit you'd need.