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  1. #1's Avatar Guest

    Default Scopebuggy vs. JMI wheeley bars, or other similar - any advice?

    The traffic in this group is lots lower than it used to be, but I am
    hoping there are enough experienced people left to help with some

    I am considering buying either a Scopebuggy ( or JMI
    Wheeley bars to use with my Celestron C5+ on the Field tripod, a new
    tripod-mounted pair of binoculars, or even (future) a go-to scope. I
    need to be able to wheel things out through the sliding glass door to
    the patio, so there is a somewhat bumpy threshold. I'm having shoulder
    and wrist problems, so using the wheelbarrow handles on my beautiful
    Starmaster scope is kind of a problem right now (unscrewing and
    screwing in the bolts, on top of picking up the handles, etc.)

    The wheels are larger on the Scopebuggy (10" vs. 5" max), but the frame
    design is somewhat different on the 2. I have not seen any other
    commercial designs like this, so if anyone knows of another choice, I
    would like to hear about it.

    Anyone with experiences with either or both, or useful advice to offer?


  2. #2
    Too_Many_Tools's Avatar
    Too_Many_Tools Guest

    Default Scopebuggy vs. JMI wheeley bars, or other similar - any advice?

    I would like to help but when I click on the URL all I get is a blank

    Any ideas why?


  3. #3
    Brian Tung's Avatar
    Brian Tung Guest

    Default Scopebuggy vs. JMI wheeley bars, or other similar - any advice?

    Too_Many_Tools wrote:

    Yes. I suspect you either do not have Flash, or don't have it enabled
    for your browser. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have a non-Flash
    home page. However, here are the URLs for some pictures of the Scope

    Brian Tung <>
    The Astronomy Corner at
    Unofficial C5+ Home Page at
    The PleiadAtlas Home Page at
    My Own Personal FAQ (SAA) at

  4. #4
    Stephen Paul's Avatar
    Stephen Paul Guest

    Default Scopebuggy vs. JMI wheeley bars, or other similar - any advice?

    <> wrote in message

    I've experienced them both, and owned one.

    For transport, I prefer the Scopebuggy because it has two fixed wheels and
    one that swivels for steering, with a push/pull handle. Plus the wheels are
    pneumatic, which means a smoother ride in the dirt.

    I sold my JMI with 5" wheels after just a week because the three swivel
    wheels simply didn't work well with the 50 to 80 lbs that I load up. First
    night out, was the last night out. It was too difficult to control and
    steer, and not really capable of handling the rough terrain in my yard.

    I don't own a Scopebuggy, but I've seen one up close and personal. It's on
    my list of wants. Currently, I've gone back to using a set I made out of
    2x4's using two fixed dolly wheels and one swivel, but I can only use them
    on the driveway, as the wheels are not large enough for grass and dirt.


  5. #5
    Jan Owen's Avatar
    Jan Owen Guest

    Default Scopebuggy vs. JMI wheeley bars, or other similar - any advice?

    <> wrote in message

    I don't own any Scopebuggy's, and have never used one, but at one time
    did contemplate buying one...

    I DO own three JMI Wheeley Bars. Two with the 5" wheels, and one with the
    original, small, wheels. The one with the small wheels works great in the
    house, but once outside, the little wheels can be a major problem,
    especially on uneven, rough, or bumpy ground. The large wheel versions
    are far better. But in very rough conditions, they may be a problem too.
    This has not been the case for me, because I go across a fair distance of
    carpet, then down a hallway, through the family room, and through the
    kitchen on ceramic tile, then through an Arcadia door, and down a small
    ramp, made for the purpose, onto the back patio. In cool weather, I often
    observe from the patio. But in hot weather, the paved patio becomes a
    source of local seeing, so I move into the lawn, which I installed from
    sod myself. So it is both level and smooth. In either case, the Wheeley
    Bars have been GREAT for me...

    The only watch out, if you have similar conditions to mine (I hear what
    Stephen says, and in his conditions, I suspect even the large wheeled
    Wheeley Bars would be a pain, as he found them), is if you have a large
    scope on them, like my 10" SCT, the load can be pretty top-heavy, so be
    careful going across thresholds, or across elevation changes (it is about
    six inches from the kitchen floor to the patio floor - the first time I
    did that without a ramp, I had the 10" on my back... Not much of a
    problem, and I quickly took care of THAT, but if I hadn't been between the
    scope and the patio floor, the scope would have landed OTA first on
    concrete... The mini-ramp I built has ended that problem entirely...

    I doubt any of this would be a problem with your C-5, any more than it has
    been for my APO... That one's a breeze!!!

    One other comment on Stephen's words; the pneumatic wheels of the
    Scopebuggy will be helpful on rough or rocky areas. Probably moreso than
    the JMI 5" wheels, just as Stephen indicates. Not so for me, but others
    may not have the ideal conditions that I do (but then, I already had the
    scopes when I bought this house, and so the lawn masterplan always
    included the ability to move smoothly across the patio, and then across
    the yard). Beyond the grassy area, the yard is 3/4" crushed granite, and
    nearly impossible to traverse, even with pneumatic tires...

    Below are links to photos of the two Wheeley Bars I use, with their
    respective scopes... The small wheeled version is currently collecting
    dust in the garage, though I've been considering modifying it for use with
    my 8" Newtonian on a GEM with portable pier...

    Jan Owen

    To reach me directly, remove the Z, if one appears in my e-mail address...
    Latitude: 33.662
    Longitude: -112.3272

  6. #6
    Randy Roy's Avatar
    Randy Roy Guest

    Default Scopebuggy vs. JMI wheeley bars, or other similar - any advice?

    I've owned both and now use the ScopeBuggy with my FS128/EM200 setup. I
    much prefer the ScopeBuggy for heavy loads (or in my case bulky loads)
    due to its better manueverability. However, if I were just looking for
    a solution for a C5, I would go with the Wheeley Bars with upgraded
    wheels because if its simplicity. Since you are considering another
    scope (presumably larger) I would recommend the ScopeBuggy.


  7. #7
    lal_truckee's Avatar
    lal_truckee Guest

    Default Scopebuggy vs. JMI wheeley bars, or other similar - any advice?

    Brian Tung wrote:

    Dam shame when even the small guys succumb to silly web site designs
    that serve primarily to obscure content.

  8. #8
    Bill Meyers's Avatar
    Bill Meyers Guest

    Default Scopebuggy vs. JMI wheeley bars, or other similar - any advice?

    Hi, Susan,
    I have a Starmaster 11 ELT f4.55 and I want to wheel it in and out of
    the garage, but I don't have wheelbarrow handles installed and I don't
    want to lift that weight anyway, so my situation sounds similar to yours.
    Some people like two-wheel dollies, but I don't want to mar the scope,
    nor do I want to have to wrap in in a blanket to sheild it, nor do I
    want to take a chance of having it tip over and fall on me or the ground.
    I looked at the Scopebuggy website and saw a picture of it with a Dob on
    it but it didn't look secure to me, it seems more suited to carrying
    tripod mounted scopes like C8s and the like. For similar reasons I
    decided not to get a WheelieBar setup from JMI.
    I started out by using a four wheel refrigerator and furniture dolly I
    bought for $20 at Home Depot. It was very sturdy but the wheels are
    small, and besides that, the scope kept slipping off it. I didn't feel
    20 inches was wide eough for an 18 inch load, not enough room in case of
    lateral slippage.
    I then bought a garden wagon made of steel. four large wheels, very
    strong, plenty wide enough, and with a good steering handle. But at high
    magnifications the scope shook badly. Also, it raised the scope so high
    that I could not sit while using it in some positions.
    I then built a wooden platform of inch square that whs small caster
    wheels but the scope slides on it, and there is no way to steer it. Plus
    I made the mistake of using four wheels all of which are free. And the
    wheels I chose are too small.
    Right now in my garage is a box with a metal four wheeled "truck
    platform" Safeco SAF4078, for moving office furniture and heavy boxes. I
    just bought it at Office Depot for $175 (about $100 cheaper than the
    ScopeBuggy) plus tax. It is the largest of the three versions available
    and is 24 inches wide, with a 19 inch wide rub berized non-slip platorm.
    It has a large fixed handle for steering it, and two of the four wheels
    are fixed. I anticipate that I can move the platform when I use the
    scope so the U shaped steering handle doesn't foul the Dob tube;
    ordinarily I will keep it north of the tube.
    I will let you know this works out.
    In the meantime, good luck with your efforts and let us know what you
    decide. You might want to take a look at the Office Depot moving carts
    and see what you think of that alternative.
    Bill Meyers wrote:

  9. #9
    Bill Meyers's Avatar
    Bill Meyers Guest

    Default Scopebuggy vs. JMI wheeley bars, or other similar - any advice?

    I put the Safeco four wheeled platform truck together today and put the
    scope on it and find that it works perfectly. The 900 lb capacity
    version SAF4078 is 24 inches wide, which gives it a 20 inch rubberized
    non-slip surface, which is fine for my SM 11 inch ELT, which is only 18
    inches wide. I am delighted with it and thought I would let you know.
    Bill Meyers

    Bill Meyers wrote:

  10. #10's Avatar Guest

    Default Scopebuggy vs. JMI wheeley bars, or other similar - any advice?

    I was really looking for something to use with a tripod. Do you think
    your solution would work for that, and if so, what about movement when
    you bump the scope? I don't want to have to remove the scope or
    binoculars on a tripod from the rolling mount to view. Probably the
    C5+ is the prime candidate for a rolling platform, at the moment.

    My Starmaster 11" ELT has wheelbarrow handles on it, and I am not
    looking for a different solution for that at the moment.

    I just found a kit on the web for a pretty cool looking, versatile,
    binocular mount, really cheap, so I might get that for quick, stable
    binocular views - check it out:



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