Lifting an RCX 12"


What do you do when get get an RCX 12", you keep it inside, you move it outside when you observe, and you do it by yourself?

What I did was investigate some commercial solutions and then decided to build my own. The result is what I call my 'gallows'.

The base is doubled 2x6's, wide enough to fit around my pier. They also fit under the Meade Tripod. There are 4" wheels underneath so I can roll it (and I have rolled it the field). The vertical pole is 2" pipe as is the first horizontal section. I then downconvert to a 7/8" pipe for the top hook.

I got a 2,000lb pulley from Northern Tools (I was really trying to provide a large safety margin!). The chains and hooks from the bottom of the pulley to the handles on the RCX are 400lb rated. I use a boat/dock cleat to tie the pulley line off when I get the telescope to the proper height.

The blue strap is there to provide some security to prevent the gallows from bending forward. The geometry is such that there is a factor of two in the restrain provided by the strap compared to the lever arm with the telescope.

The total height is just about 8' from the ground to the top of the gallows.

This is the gallows, the telescope, and the pier on which I mount the telescope. I have a hand truck/dolly to wheel the telescope from inside to this point. I have set the telescope so that the base will be correctly mounted. When I get the telescope up it can be rotated on the declination axis so the base gets to the wedge.
This is the telescope lifted to the proper height. Note the wide spacing of the wheels to make sure that the gallows does not tip over.

I have been assured by Meade that I can lift the telescope in this manner.
This is the gallows rolled in around the pier so the telescope can be put on the wedge.
This is a close up of the telescope and I am ready to swing the telescope base up and mount it on the pier.