Galileoscope Hack: Stable Chair Mount!
Ken's granddaughter takes in the view through a chair-mounted Galileoscope. Photo: Ken De Silva
Does your club happen to have a Galileoscope or two? Have you had any frustrations when trying to mount them for demonstrations, or lack a tripod in general?  Ken De Silva of the Mount Diablo Astronomical Society has created a great hack you can use to mount your Galileoscope to make for a stable viewing experience!

Ken writes, "I have experimented with a few Galileoscope mount designs after I finished the “From Pinhole to Space Telescopes” workshop. Most were complicated and flimsy. This was the easiest, sturdiest and cheapest one I’ve come up with.

  • 2 1/2” nylon spring clamp from Harbor Freight Tools
  • 1/2” long x 1/4-20 machine screw
  • 1 1/4” stainless hose clamp
  • 1/2” x 6” cut-off sprinkler riser
  • 1/2” PVC female threaded elbow
  • 1/2” Marlex (Black) street elbow
  • 1/2” PVC threaded plug w/flat top

Total cost: about $6.

view of the finished assembly for the Galileoscope chair mountThe completed assembly in all its glory! Photo by Ken De Silva

Assembly Tips

I filed out a half round portion of the clamp handle to accommodate the 1/2” cut-off riser.  I also drilled a hole (smaller than the 1/4” screw) in the 1/2” PVC plug for the G-scope mounting screw. I also put Teflon tape on all the PVC fittings to help the movement move smoother. 

Most people have s chair: patio, folding, etc. This will clamp on the back of a chair (as seen in the photo at the top of this article). The PVC fittings are threaded and allow up/down and side to side movement. It’s not totally stable while moving, but is stable when viewing. It’s an alternative to buying a tripod - and it’s a good kid height too.   

I made a bunch of these for the elementary school classes and Girl Scout Troops I have the Galileoscopes at."

Thank you so much for sharing, Ken! If you have any fun NSN Toolkits or related outreach hacks you'd like to share, you can send them to us at

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Last Updated: May 22, 2020
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