20"f/3 and 25"f/3 Dobsonian Telescopes: Transport Modes

Truly dark sky can mostly only be found farther away from villages and towns. At these places with clear sky and brightly shining stars, distant mountaintops or lonely meadows in the middle of nowhere, all the images your telescope creates for you are so much more beautiful and finest details are unvealed.

Considering this aspect, the transportability of the telescope to these places as well as the setup are especially important. Both need to be safe, quick and easily done. Only then instead of being distracted by technical details and procedures, getting out there and exploring can be the true main focus and the motivation to do so stays constantly with you. Every experienced astronomer will tell you: „The best telescope is the one you use the most often.“

So let´s be honest: no one likes spending a lot of time setting up and disassembling their gear, not at the beginning of an observing night but even less at the end, when leaving for home to get some sleep slowly becomes the priority.

This is why both Horizon models offer you three well-thought-out transport modes, enabling you to choose the optimal one depending on the situation. Whether the telescope needs to take up as little space as possible or whether it needs to be set up as quickly as possible – your Horizon is flexible and easily adapts to your current needs and priorities, proving just how easy and comfortable the handling of an f/3 truss tube dobsonian can be.

1) Transportmode 1 – As small as possible

When using this mode, the telescope is reduced to the smallest possible packing size, taking up only minimal space. This is exactly what is needed to take your Horizon on vacation, when that car trunk just seems to severly shrink with all the items loaded in already.

To achieve the minimal packing size, the secondary cage is disassembled and its two rings are fastened to the top of the mirror box. The package consisting of the box and the rings then easily fits into the rockerbox (see figure).

The braces and carbon fiber tubes are safely stashed away within the intended bag while the accessories like focuser, finder and secondary mirror can for example be stored in a small, stable case. The side bearings and the cross brace are transported separately. The primary mirror can either be left in the mirror cell or be removed and transported within the optionally available transport box (see telescope accessories).

The setup time for the telescope is of course prolonged in comparison with the other transport modes, but still can be achieved within around 20 to 25 minutes. The only tooling needed is a 5mm allen key, which is used to detach/reattach the cross brace between the side bearings.

2) Transportmode 2 – Compact and quick

Transportmode 2 is a balanced approcach between focussing on setup time and packing size. In this mode the secondary cage stays completely assembled which saves a lot of time.

To lock the cage into place during transport, it is safely fastened to the mirror box via knurled screws. The handling of the trusses, side bearings and the cross brace have already been described under transportmode 1.

Arriving at your observing spot you first attach the side bearings, the cross brace and the diagonal carbon fiber braces to the frames of the mirror box. Afterwards the box can already be put into place onto the rockerbox. This step is followed by a quick installation of the trusses and secondary cage and the setup is done.

The described steps take no more than 10 to 15 minutes – your telescope is ready in virtually no time.

3) Transportmode 3 – Fastest possible setup

Is more speed even possible? Yes it is, just leave the side bearings, cross brace and diagonal braces attached to the mirror box.

When using this transportmode the only steps left to do when setting up the telescope are: putting the rockerbox on the ground, inserting the mirror box, attaching the trusses and the secondary cage, done. These steps can easily be carried out in a maximum of 5 to 10 minutes and do not require any tool.

While the 20“ Horizon dobsonian will find enough space in most cars to be transported that way, the 25“ version requires a bigger trunk so the 90cm height of the assembled lower telescope part fit in with still some space left for maneuvring.