Do you wish you had an easy way to move your tripod-mounted, pier-mounted or Dobsonian telescope from garage to patio or driveway? Wheeley Bars (telescope wheels/dolly) were created for just that purpose. The sturdy base with locking wheels and leveling bolts allows you to easily move, lock, level and use the complete telescope assembly. And best of all, you don't have to disconnect and reconnect all the electrical and computer cabling. Scroll all the way down for our FAQ and to find out what the astro-community is saying about JMI Wheeley Bars!
Wheeley Bars and Wheeley Bar Accessories on sale now until June 3 11:59PST. Use code: WHEELEY20
Standard Wheeley Bars are designed to be used on hard flat surfaces only. With the optional large-wheel upgrade, great care in maneuvering and ideal conditions, they can be used on grass, dirt and gravel surfaces. Wheeley Bars are generally designed to be used with the tripod legs almost fully retracted to reduce the overall width.
Word of Warning: The heavier the telescope mounted on the Wheeley Bars, the more careful one must be in moving the complete system by pulling or pushing below the center of gravity. JMI is not responsible for incorrect loading or operation.
They are made from sturdy steel channel or rectangular tubing covered by a durable powder-coat finish. If treated properly, they should last several lifetimes.
When deciding on which Wheeley Bars to purchase, there are several things to consider including:
TYPE OF EQUIPMENT
Telescopes with a tripod should use one of the Universal-style Wheeley Bars. Dobsonian telescopes should use one of our Dob-style Wheeley Bars based on which Dob you have. The size will depend on the size and weight of the telescope equipment (see below).
The Universal-style Wheeley Bars show a minimum and maximum tip-to-tip distance for the tripod legs. The best way to measure the tip-to-tip distance is to set your telescope up the way you would normally use it then measure the distance between two tripod feet. Be sure to account for the height the Wheeley Bars will lift your equipment off of the ground. Compare that measurement with the range shown for each size of Universal Wheeley Bars to match up with the best fit. Custom Wheeley Bars are available for those that fall outside of all of the listed ranges. For more information on how to make this measurement, see What is Tip-to-Tip Distance? If you wish to move your telescope equipment through a doorway, see Doorway Measurements to verify whether you will be able to maneuver your equipment through a particular doorway (based on the size of the Universal Wheeley Bars).
TOTAL WEIGHT The Medium Size Universal Wheeley Bars are for small, lighter telescopes like a standard C8 that weighs less than 100 pounds. If you have a telescope with tip-to-tip distance that falls into the Medium range but weighs near or over 100 pounds (total weight of all equipment) you should use the HEAVY DUTY Medium Wheeley Bars since they will support the weight much better. If you are planning on adding any equipment to your telescope in the future (like cameras, guide scopes, etc.) you should take that weight into consideration. Heavy Duty Medium, Large and Custom Wheeley Bars can carry up to 300 pounds. We also carry Extra Large and Max Wheeley Bars for specific very large telescopes.
WARNING We do not recommend using Wheeley Bars on any surface under adverse conditions, especially if you have a very heavy telescope. The heavier the telescope mounted on the Wheeley Bars, the more careful one must be in moving the complete system by pulling or pushing below the center of gravity. JMI is not responsible for incorrect loading or operation.
We have three types of wheels:
- standard, lockable hard-rubber wheel 2-3/8" in diameter and 1-1/8" in width
- lockable, polyurethane wheels 5" in diameter
- all-terrain pneumatic rubber wheels 10" in diameter
The standard 2-3/8" wheels work fine if the surface is hard and flat, such as a gymnasium floor or smooth concrete. If you need to move over concrete with cracks or seams (like sidewalks and driveways) or rough cobblestone-like surfaces, you should get the 5" Wheel Upgrade as these will ride over these surfaces much better without getting stuck. If moving over grass, dirt or gravel (or you just want a smoother ride) you should use the 10" Pneumatic Wheels. These wheels will travel over surfaces smoothly and not sink into cracks. There are times when the 5" wheels can be used on hard dirt, but if the weight of the telescope is more than 100 pounds, the 5" wheels may dig into the upper layer of dirt and become hard to move. For more information on the composition of the different wheels, see What Size Wheels Should I Purchase?
To be sure that your tripod or pier will fit a particular Wheeley Bar product, it may be necessary to verify the tip-to-tip distance of the mount.
Choose your Wheely Bar model based on tip to tip distance. To measure that, setup your telescope at observing height...not all the way up or down, but at the height that gives a comfortable eyepiece height. Remember to make allowance for the height of the Wheeley Bars. Please keep in mind that the 5" wheel set raises the setup about 6"; the 10" wheel set raises the setup about 3.5".
So the procedure is:
1. Setup your tripod at observing height.
2. Lower your tripod 6 inches if you are getting the 5" polyurethane wheels. Lower your tripod 3.5 inches if you are getting the 10" pneumatic wheels.
3. NOW measure the distance between two tripod tips. This is the distance you should use to choose between the HD Medium or the HD Large Wheeley Bars, etc.
Proudly Designed and Manufactured in California, USA
What the Astro-Community is Saying
My C8/Atlas Pro astrophoto mount lives in garage, rolls to driveway for use. Previously used moving dollys. Benefits of JMI Dolly: no lifting, easier leveling, more secure/reliable/durable, moves much more smoothly...does not jar mount.blocks, it can make your customer confused and don't know where to focus
DAVID, March 2022
I’m very impressed with the Dolly! Excellent design, construction and components. It’s carefully packed and arrived in excellent condition in short order from California to New York. The Farpoint staff took a very active role to be sure the order details were correct and would suit my needs. Assembly was straightforward with a few simple tools. The Dolly is a perfect fit for my older style non-folding G-11 tripod- very solid support. Cloudy weather has prevented me from getting outside with it yet but I look forward to doing so soon.
SAM, Feb 2022
I purchased the 10" wheels version. I could not be happier with this dolly! I was initially hesitant due to the price, but upon arrival and assembly I was impressed with the build quality and attention to detail. I just wish I had done this years ago. The turning radius with the 10" wheels leaves something to be desired but the ease of rolling it over previously insurmountable objects more than makes up for that. Great product!