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I am not sure which section/category this question would belong to, so I post it here for now.

Has anyone ever thought of mounting the mount on a bracket on a wall? now the reason I ask this:

from my garden I have a 180 degrees view from south to north through west. and my study is on the second floor.

I was wondering, instead of dragging all my kits, scope, laptop, etc. out into the garden, can I fix a couple of brackets to the wall outside my study window and fix the mount on it? it iwll roughly give me the same view, in fact because it's higher up, i will get better view of near horizon objects...

is this too crazy? has anyone thought of this before, or even better, done this before that could advise what was their final decision??

Many thanks,

Naeim

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It sounds totally crazy to me. I can think of several reasons why it would'nt work.

1. The bracket(s) would have to be substantial to hold the weight of the mount.

2. Fixing the brackets to the wall to ensure it is held securely.

3. The telescope would be mounted close to the wall which will mean that heat given off by the building would affect the viewing.

4. Might be tricky trying to polar align an EQ mount and ensure the counterweight wouldn't hit the wall.

1 & 2 can be solved but not 3.

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I would advise against this for several reasons.

1.) You will have to rip off a good section of you exterior material to inspect the structure of the wall.

2.) You will then, no way around this, have to build suffiecent structural system to hold, not only the weight but the constant shifting of the weight. Even if you have CMU for your exterior wall, unless its filled solid which is unlikely, will require a rework for support.

3.) If you are able to to the above you will then have to try and build a housing that is water/weather proof. Not only to keep the equipment safe but you have also compromised the exterior material and now have to make sure you patch it suffeciently to keep water out of your walls. This isn't difficult but it has to been done right because the smallest hole can cause major problems.

4.) You will have a lot of movement in the walls. The walls are structural so they take all the weight and any movement (from any part of the house) and transfer it down to the foundations. So even though its very small movements, with AP, you'll more than likely pick it up. And no amount of guiding can correct for this.

Plus what I missed from the above post.

BUT don't loose hope. I forget where its at, try looking through the DIY sections, but someone has a similar circumstance as you. They liva in a apartment and have a very small balcony. So they custom build the moveable pier system that actually lets the mount sit OVER the balcony rail. Really creative design and I think you could take from what he's done to help your situation.

Edited by nmoushon
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If you look back at the old Amateur Telescope Making books you will see several examples of telescopes built into buildings. Could you do some experiments to see if it is possible how good or poor the seeing is?

Regards Andrew

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You don't say what size scope or even binos could be used, what about those extendable tilt swivel wall mount tv brackets folk get? could something not be made from this? they hold quite a bit of weight and maybe you could extend the arms further by replacing them with longer sections of metal than adopt a mount on the end for scope or bino, then it can all fold back flat against the wall after use?

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I would advise against this for several reasons.

1.) You will have to rip off a good section of you exterior material to inspect the structure of the wall.

2.) You will then, no way around this, have to build suffiecent structural system to hold, not only the weight but the constant shifting of the weight. Even if you have CMU for your exterior wall, unless its filled solid which is unlikely, will require a rework for support.

3.) If you are able to to the above you will then have to try and build a housing that is water/weather proof. Not only to keep the equipment safe but you have also compromised the exterior material and now have to make sure you patch it suffeciently to keep water out of your walls. This isn't difficult but it has to been done right because the smallest hole can cause major problems.

4.) You will have a lot of movement in the walls. The walls are structural so they take all the weight and any movement (from any part of the house) and transfer it down to the foundations. So even though its very small movements, with AP, you'll more than likely pick it up. And no amount of guiding can correct for this.

Plus what I missed from the above post.

BUT don't loose hope. I forget where its at, try looking through the DIY sections, but someone has a similar circumstance as you. They liva in a apartment and have a very small balcony. So they custom build the moveable pier system that actually lets the mount sit OVER the balcony rail. Really creative design and I think you could take from what he's done to help your situation.

Generally speaking UK residential buildings are not constructed in the same way as US ones.  Older residential buildings in the UK are constructed from a double layer of brick with a cavity between, or more recently an inner layer of block, insulation and an outer layer of brick.  There are of course plenty of exceptions to this, but on the whole fixing a bracket for moderately sized scope and mount would just be a matter of having sufficient anchors and a substantial enough bracket to take the weight and spread it over enough wall area.  Most modern residential construction in the US seems to be a lot less substantial, and you would certainly want to investigate what you are anchoring to!

Not quite the same, but when I was a kid I had a cheap Tasco 'refractor' which had such an insubstantial tripod that my dad made me a new mounting from a pipe bracket and some steel rod.  This clamped to the cast iron downpipe on the corner of the house and was far more satisfactory than the original mounting.

I do think the point about the practicality of using an EQ mount is valid; polar aligning would be rather more difficult on the second floor (though it would be possible with software I guess), whereas it would be a whole lot easier for a small alt-az mount.

Heat from the building affecting the image is definitely a consideration. That said, there are plenty of imagers and observers who work from balconies which would have exactly the same heat problems, or even out of open windows or skylights, which is even worse!

What you want to do is by no means impossible assuming you have access to sufficient engineering/fabrication skills and equipment, but whether it is worthwhile is something you would have to decide for yourself:

- Certainly many of the 'balcony' imagers do it because it saves them having to lug their kit down several flights of stairs from their apartment, but if you have a house would it not be easier to set up a pier in the garden?

- Assuming you have to weatherproof the mount/scope (if leaving it in place) I can't see why a wall mount is more convenient than a pier.

- On the other hand if you have move the gear in and out each time, surely it is going to be harder to set up hanging out of a second floor window than doing so on the ground (e.g. what if you drop something valuable?)

- Horizons might be better higher up, but then you might have a more restricted view in some directions due to being right next to the house?  Direct light pollution might be an issue higher up, since it would be less screened by bushes, other houses, etc.

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Generally speaking UK residential buildings are not constructed in the same way as US ones.  Older residential buildings in the UK are constructed from a double layer of brick with a cavity between, or more recently an inner layer of block, insulation and an outer layer of brick.  There are of course plenty of exceptions to this, but on the whole fixing a bracket for moderately sized scope and mount would just be a matter of having sufficient anchors and a substantial enough bracket to take the weight and spread it over enough wall area.  Most modern residential construction in the US seems to be a lot less substantial, and you would certainly want to investigate what you are anchoring to!

Not quite the same, but when I was a kid I had a cheap Tasco 'refractor' which had such an insubstantial tripod that my dad made me a new mounting from a pipe bracket and some steel rod.  This clamped to the cast iron downpipe on the corner of the house and was far more satisfactory than the original mounting.

I do think the point about the practicality of using an EQ mount is valid; polar aligning would be rather more difficult on the second floor (though it would be possible with software I guess), whereas it would be a whole lot easier for a small alt-az mount.

Heat from the building affecting the image is definitely a consideration. That said, there are plenty of imagers and observers who work from balconies which would have exactly the same heat problems, or even out of open windows or skylights, which is even worse!

What you want to do is by no means impossible assuming you have access to sufficient engineering/fabrication skills and equipment, but whether it is worthwhile is something you would have to decide for yourself:

- Certainly many of the 'balcony' imagers do it because it saves them having to lug their kit down several flights of stairs from their apartment, but if you have a house would it not be easier to set up a pier in the garden?

- Assuming you have to weatherproof the mount/scope (if leaving it in place) I can't see why a wall mount is more convenient than a pier.

- On the other hand if you have move the gear in and out each time, surely it is going to be harder to set up hanging out of a second floor window than doing so on the ground (e.g. what if you drop something valuable?)

- Horizons might be better higher up, but then you might have a more restricted view in some directions due to being right next to the house?  Direct light pollution might be an issue higher up, since it would be less screened by bushes, other houses, etc.

Good point on the constuction. I am jealous of how your buildings are built over there vs. here in the US. Much prefer brcik walls to wood framing or even CMU. So depending on your houses contruction it might not be so difficult. Still need some serious design consideration though. For both supporting your mounts weight and movement and making sure it doesnt rip off the wall with a strong wind or heavy snow load. One way to help support is maybe have a support tie into the balcony? Not a major support but one to help steady the mount and easy up on the contilever forces. You could also have tensile wire stretched to farther points on the exterior wall for added stiffness. Works great but unfortunately not the prettiest looking.

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Many thanks guys for the replies. the sky crane is insane! very inspiring indeed. but I cant use something like that because my floors are wooden and not still enough for imaging.

I can see it will require substantial amount of work fixing large brackets onto the walls... but from what I can see, thermals is going to be my main problem. I can do the polar alighnment using a webcam or a imaging/guiding camera. and the leave the scope and mount on the bracket.

my mount is a EQ3-2 goto and the scope is equinox ed80. with LVI smartguider and a dslr, thw whole package weighs just below 6kg + mount. and i do mosty imaging and not much observing. so thoughts of sitting inside my room and control the telescope and process images from there is really tempting...

If i eventually went ahead with this idea i will post pictures.

clear skies!

naeim

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You don't say what size scope or even binos could be used, what about those extendable tilt swivel wall mount tv brackets folk get? could something not be made from this? they hold quite a bit of weight and maybe you could extend the arms further by replacing them with longer sections of metal than adopt a mount on the end for scope or bino, then it can all fold back flat against the wall after use?

I am thinking of using two hefty brackets  that are usually used for supporting chimney breast when they remove an old fireplace. if it holds the whole weight of 1 ton of chimney bricks, sure it can support my tiny scope and mount ;) but I keep thinking thermals...

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