I’m a wheelchair user and I struggle to get to my telescope. Any advice?
BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Scope Doctor Steve Richards solves your astronomy ailments.
I’m a wheelchair user and I struggle to get to my telescope eyepiece because of the tripod legs. Any advice?
Steve says: "This must be a common problem and the very design of a standard tripod is at odds with wheelchair use.
The ideal solution is to install a fixed pier at home as this has the minimum footprint of any support structure.
A fixed pier has the added advantage of providing a very substantial base for your mount and if you use an equatorial mount in particular, setup time will be greatly reduced.
If this option is not available because you observe elsewhere and you require a solution that can be quickly assembled and dismantled, then a portable pedestal mount would give you a greater degree of access than a standard tripod.
If you can find one on the second- hand market, a TAL or Antares Portable Pedestal Mount would be suitable.
Unfortunately, although good, these portable piers are not readily available, but you could get a welding shop to make one up for you based on photographs from the internet."
Some more guides that might be useful:
- Read our report on accessible astronomy
- Build a protective shield for your telescope pier
- Build a rolling telescope dolly
Email Steve your astronomy queries to firstname.lastname@example.org and they could be answered in a future issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.