Observing Chairs

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It has been mentioned several times how nice it is to be able to sit and observe, which is one of the things that makes a CAT a great choice for an amateur astronomer. Okay, what are you going to sit on? The prime requirement for an observing "stool" is that it be light and adjustable. The eyepiece height of a CAT does not change much as the scope moves across the sky, but it does change. The time-honored solution has been a drummer's "throne," one of the adjustable stools used by musicians. These are almost perfect for astronomers, but not quite. Although they are adjustable, the range of adjustment is usually small, and changing height usually means fussing with bolts and nuts in the dark. Astronomy dealers sell drummer's throne observing chairs for around $50. They can also be bought in music stores, of course, but surprisingly, they tend to be more expensive there than in astronomy stores.

If a drummer's throne does not make a perfect observer's chair, what does? Look for something similar to the one in Plate 43, the Astro Chair from Buyastrostuff. com. This odd-looking little stool is light and easily adjustable. To change the height on this one and similar types of chairs, just tilt the seat up and slide it up or down in the "rails." Observing seats like this are sold by several astronomy manufacturers, and almost identical ones can be found in industrial supply houses, where they are sold as "utility chairs." However, the Buyastrostuff model offers the best price/performance ratio. Their version weighs a mere 10 pounds, is very sturdy, is adjustable in height from 18 to 32-inches, and costs a reasonable $105.

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