Our current product lines includes both ScopeRoller (to make it quick and painless to roll your telescope out to view), and the patent pending Quick Release Toe Saver (to speed up installation and removal of counterweights).
New product line: tripod plug legs, to keep the dirt and bugs out, for those of you who don't need the ability to roll your scope! Initially offered for the Losmandy GM-8 and G-11. If you have some other tripod that needs them, contact us; we'll see if we can make them for your tripod.
History and Future
Our caster products were developed by Clayton Cramer, an amateur astronomer in Idaho, over a decade ago. He is the star of the YouTube videos demonstrating the installation of the caster assemblies and the convenience they offer. Testimonials indicate customers' satisfaction with his work. In August 2019, he sold the business to me, a US citizen living in Poland. A former chemist and amateur machinist, I am always looking for ways to streamline the fabrication process while still maintaining good quality and responsible sourcing. By the spring of 2020 we expect to have several products for lighter scopes (<50lbs/ legs less than 1.25inches) re-vamped to improve pricing versus the past. Medium models like the Celestron 93493 and heavy models like the Losmandy G11 and Takahashi EM-400 will continue to use aluminum sleeves and high strength plastic bushings.
Special notes as we get the business started
1) As of now (October 2019), our products are being made with USA-made aluminum and USA-made plastic for mounting bushings for some models. Casters are produced in Poland. As stock gets depleted, aluminum and plastic will be sourced from European sources, likely Poland.
2) Different things are available here in Europe versus in the USA. Legacy customers of Mr. Cramer should be aware that we cannot provide replacement casters due to differences in available specifications between Europe and the USA. Also for this reason, we can no longer support the ATS Portable Pier, as our caster supplier does not supply inch threads.
3) Right now, we are fabricating to order, i.e., we are producing products as orders come in rather than keeping an inventory of products ready to ship. This is to ensure accuracy as we gain experience and confirm our procedures. It is better to have 1 satisfied customer than 5 dissatisfied ones.
4) Currently delivery to the US is taking about 2-1/2 weeks using the postal systems, which seem to be the best value. We do not accept any money until ready to ship the product.
5) ScopeRoller is a part-time job at the moment! There will be days we just can't answer emails, fabricate or ship. It does not mean we aren't thinking about your order. Your first email to us should include the type of mount and the type of terrain you expect to use it on. The ideal email will also include the total weight of your rig and the leg/foot diameters as appropriate. This will help guarantee a positive customer experience.
What Are Customers Saying?
Clayton, I just wanted to thank you so much for the ScopeRoller (with 5" wheels) for my CG-5 mount. I've been using it over a month now, and it has much such a tremendous difference in my observing habits... basically, because of your product, I observe more! Much more! I used to dread having to take the scope/mount apart every time it'd go to the garage so that I could get it out to my lawn. (And my mount on its own is heavy.) With your ScopeRoller in place, I can keep the scope/mount together all the time and simply wheel it out to my driveway and then out about 50 feet into the grass. Even tall grass doesn't stop this thing! Works great! And rolling it back to the garage at the end of the session is a breeze. Takes about a minute. Wow! -- S.R., North Carolina
"Hi. Just wanted to let you know I received the wheels on Tuesday and just got in from a night of viewing from deep sky to Mars and the Moon just a few minutes ago. Used up to 330X through NP127 on Mars and the only time I noticed the ScopeRollers was when I moved the scope after I finished viewing! Great product! Very happy!" -- M.C., Canada
"Scoperoller and toe saver finaly arrived in Mallorca, everything in shape and well machined. I have not observed with them on as yet." -- M.E., Spain
"Thanks, Clayton. I received my Toe-Saver and it works perfectly. I'm extremely satisfied with it and hope you sell a million of 'em. " -- L.C., California
"The wheels arrived today and I put them on my G-11 already! They work like a dream (as I'm sure you know)." -- J.L., California
"I purchased a set of your nylon style rollers for my GM 8 a while back. I now leave my refractor (AP Star 12 120mm f 8.6) set up all the time in my garage (with a nice cover) so I can roll it out on a moments notice. The locking casters are good enough for hi powered visual viewing." -- A.C., Florida
"Got wheels on Monday night. Perfect fit!" -- M.H., California
"Received your Toe-Saver yesterday,...installed it and it fits and works PERFECTLY!" -- R.L., Vermont
"Got the toe saver for the eq6 and must say it is real nice, great fit, great looks to." -- J.T., Montana
"Your Scope Roller wheels are simply fantastic to use." -- B.G., Virginia
"The Vixen GP Toe Saver came in the mail today. Fits perfectly!" -- E.R., California
"Got it...works great. Thanks very much!!" -- G.S., Colorado
"I got the rollers and installed them. They work great once I got themtightened. ... It beats carrying everything outside." -- W.B., Nebraska
"I received the scoperollers today and they fit fine.... For visual [use], which I do often, they work great." -- T.M., Va.
"The wheels for my GM-8 have arrived (i.e., the "big wheels" version). They fit perfectly and I really like them! They are both larger and stronger than I was expecting. Also, the brake lock works better than I was expecting. Thanks much; I'm very pleased." -- J.H., Oregon
"By the way, I would have say that these rollers are the most useful accessory I have. They often make the difference [between] observing or not. Thanks for a great product!" -- R.W., Arizona
Of course, the ultimate compliment is when customers buy the product for one mount--and then buy the product for another mount--as has now happened three times.
"I received them on Wednesday and installed already. They look great and will be a big help in lugging my scope outside so it gets more use. And at less than half the price of any competitor! The wheels are a touch smaller than I'd envisioned but they're just fine. Thanks for your prompt shipping and excellent product!" - T.G., Tennessee
"I'm still having very good success with the ScopeRollers. While I still have to polar align each time out, the benefits of having my entire rig mobile is awesome. I can set up in a fraction of the time as before, and break-down is as simple as rolling everything back into the garage - 4 minutes flat and I'm in bed for the night! Autoguiding is as good as I've ever had, so I know the ScopeRoller platform is stable. Here are two images taken with the casters in place:
Just wanted to say I received and installed the casters I ordered for my Losmandy GM-8. The quality, price and useability exceeded my expectations so I thank you for such an excellent product." -- R.B., Georgia
Just to be completely forthcoming--ScopeRoller has had a couple of customers in the last year that were not completely happy. One was legitimately upset about the quality of the machining produced by the old lathe, when it was on its last legs, and I was in denial about it. I mollified him with a partial refund--he found that what I shipped was still better than returning it. Another discovered that there were a couple of different forms of the Synta EQ6 legs, so I happily accepted that refund. One customer had a warranty claim from when I was still subcontracting out some of the machining. I happily replaced the defective parts. A third customer had a problem with a defective caster that I replaced. A few customers indicate that they work well for visual use, but don't work so well for astrophotography.