Portable Hoist

Several years ago, I suffered a back injury that resulted in my inability to lift heavy things.    Getting a 12" LX200 up on the mount was out of the question.

I designed and built this hoist so that I could continue using my scope without relying on someone else to do the lifting.    The main components that make everything work are a "sawhorse kit" (lumberyard or big-box item) and a hand winch (boat trailer or similar type).
  • Safely and easily mount/demount a 200 lb. load
  • Take less than 5 minutes to set up or tear down
  • Usable on moderately uneven ground
  • Work equally well for Polar and Alt/AZ mounting
  • Light weight
  • Collapse into the smallest possible package for transport/storage
  • Require an absolute minimum of tools for set up/teardown
  • Be "dark friendly"
  • Be rugged and reliable - no quirks
  • Shouldn't break the bank
  • Cost:   Less than $150.
  • Meets all the functional requirements listed above.
  • Collapses to 9" x 12" x 80" (5 cu. ft.)
  • Breaks down into 3 sections:   9 lb, 22 lb, &  33 lb.
    (The 33 lb. side includes the winch and harness)
  • See the tool requirements at the bottom of this page

Click here for the docs pack: construction drawings, harness rigging and notes (PDF)

Below: Sherie demonstrates the hoist setup

The hoist in transport mode

Comfy handles, easy handling. Weight here: 22 lb.

Pull the Velcro - loosen the bundle

Unfold legs and base - tap in the hinge pin

Slide in the wheels & install retainer clips

Lift the top end, let the braces hang and stand it in place

First top beam bolt goes in

Tighten the wing nut

Install the braces - one wing nut each

Same process for the other side

Position for the final lift

Up it goes...

... and the bolt drops in place.

Install the other braces

Remove pulley, install the lift line

Closeup of axle pin and retaining clip

Pull the Velcro and unstow the lift harness

Ready to lift the scope

Roll it over to where we're setting up...
Polar lift photos

ALT/AZ lift photos

Detail photos

Docs - Construction/rigging drawings & notes (PDF)

Projects main page

Images main page

Astronomy home page

Tools required for setup & teardown:


Minimum tools required: Blunt nail &  blunt instrument
(To remove and install the hinge pins)