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Observation by Alan Thomas: Dobsonian extension stand

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Alan Thomas


Alan Thomas


2020 Sep 01 - 13:16


2020 Sep 01 - 13:30




Warrington, Cheshire, UK

Target name

Dobsonian extension stand


Dobsonian extension stand

About this image

I have been fretting recently over how to get a telescopic view of Jupiter and Saturn, which currently only rise about 15 degrees above my horizon (my location 53:22:59). I already use a water butt stand, but this still doesn't give enough elevation for my 200mm Dob. to see over my garden fence.

This morning, I was wandering around B&Q in search of household items when I spotted a stack of four-legged green objects which turned out to be 'kiddies picnic tables'. Hmm... Possibly a bit flimsy, but nice broad rectangular top with short legs. Sale price £6.50. It seemed worth a try so I bought one.

This is the result. It seems quite sturdy though I have yet to test drive under night-time conditions. An added bonus (?) is that I now need a ladder to reach the eyepiece. I instantly thought of the 7th Earl of Rosse and Birr Castle! (see neighbouring images).

Delusions of grandeur . . .

[Next evening at 19.20, I managed to view Jupiter for about ten minutes between cloud. The set-up remained remarkably stable - and I did not fall off the ladder!]

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Paul Leyland
Paul Leyland, 2020 Sep 01 - 20:05 UTC

Nice idea. I find my SkyWatcher 250P is too low but haven't yet found a suitably high stand. Might follow your approach when I return to the UK.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Alan Thomas
Alan Thomas, 2020 Sep 03 - 07:35 UTC

Thanks. I can claim no credit for the water butt stand idea - that came from articles by Neil English ( But the kiddies picnic table is all mine! Best of luck.