Bicycle Travel > Gear Talk

trailer for a telescope?

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grebjack:
Is this a totally crazy idea?  I'd like to build or buy and modify a trailer so that I can drag my telescope out to the campground with me when I go for an overnight.  The scope doesn't weigh anything, but the tube is 1.2 meters long.  Am I crazy to even try this? Can I put in enough shock absorption to not crack the mirror?  I'd love to hear from someone else who has attempted this.  I'm tired of driving to dark skies.

aggie:
I have and use a trailer but I'm not sure it I'd want to carry something as delicate as a telescope.  There is only 1 trailer I'm aware of that comes with a shock to help absorb bumps.   This trailer (BOB Ibex) may (with enough other padding) keep the mirrors from shifting. 

grebjack:
I'll have to check out the BOB Ibex.  Thanks for the response.

bogiesan:

--- Quote from: grebjack on July 07, 2012, 08:31:51 am ---Is this a totally crazy idea?  I'd like to build or buy and modify a trailer so that I can drag my telescope out to the campground with me when I go for an overnight.  The scope doesn't weigh anything, but the tube is 1.2 meters long.  Am I crazy to even try this? Can I put in enough shock absorption to not crack the mirror?  I'd love to hear from someone else who has attempted this.  I'm tired of driving to dark skies.

--- End quote ---

As Aggie says, damagin the alignment of the optics is the risk. I think you need to research astronomy forums. There are a couple of guys in the Boise Astro group who show up at summer star parties on their bikes with trailers. Hhowever, I do not know if they transport their scopes on them.

gyro:
> Is this a totally crazy idea?  I'd like to build or buy and modify a trailer so that I can drag my telescope out to the campground
> with me when I go for an overnight.  The scope doesn't weigh anything, but the tube is 1.2 meters long.  Am I crazy to even
> try this? Can I put in enough shock absorption to not crack the mirror?  I'd love to hear from someone else who has attempted
> this.  I'm tired of driving to dark skies.

It is not so crazy to carry a telescope out into the field, but it is usually handled with a APO refractor telescope instead of a reflector telescope. Some scopes such as the Celestron C5 were actually designed for backpacking into the field. A company called HuTech sells Borg refractor telescopes and many have been hauled up mountain peaks, into jungles, on cross-continental biking tours.

I know of at least one photographer who hauls an 80mm William Optics doublet with him on tours because his Sony NEX-7 camera system currently has no long telephoto available for wildlife photography. He doesn't use a trailer though. The scope is carried within a partitioned Pelican case inserted inside one of his Ortlieb rollup panniers.

By tube length, I'm assuming you have a Newtonian. Aside from the primary mirror, you also have your secondary mirror and eyepieces to protect. You could probably remove the primary, secondary and eyepieces and store them in foam within a handlebar bag or inside a partitioned Pelican case. Then carry the telescope tube and mount on a trailer. This assumes that your mirrors are easy to remove, install and realign.

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