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johnrt

Altair SkyShed Pier

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In an attempt to defeat the trees currently overgrowing my view of polaris I am considering installing a pier to the back garden, the Altair pier looks like a good solid quality product. The idea being that I can align the mount each winter while there are no leaves on the trees and leave in place all year round, my mount already lives on it's tripod permanently outside so no difference there. The pier itself will need to go in a pretty intrusive place in the garden, so one that can be removed easily in case we decide move house or something is essential.

For those of you who have installed one of these, what are your thoughts on this product? What size base did you did and pour to bolt the pier down on to? Any other suggestions are of course very welcome.

John.

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Hi John, sounds like a good plan, I bolted mine down on the the patio so didn't need to make a base, lot's of conflicting advice on the size of concrete block needed.

Frankly unless you've got particularly unstable subsoil I think a 600mm square is sufficient, my obsy pier is only on an 18" square of concrete and it hasn't needed re- polar aligning since I did it years ago.

Rather than try to cast bolts into the concrete it is easier so drill and chemically fix threaded rod after the concrete is dry, this means you can get the pier orientated accurately before bolting it down.

If you move you can cut the studs off at ground level and stand a statue on the spot :grin:

Dave

 

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I used these M12 chembolt sleeves to fix my pier in.  You just drill the concrete and fix them in with chemboltx adhesive and then when its try you just bolt down into them.  If you need to remove your pier, it doesn't leave anything protruding from the ground.  

http://www.sealantsonline.co.uk/ProductGrp/Chemfix-chembolts-tarmac-asphalt-anchor-sleeves

My pier is fixed to 80cm x 60cm x 80cm concrete block,  but i live out n the fens and the ground is 'mobile'.

Cheers John

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I have a pier on about 500mm cube of concrete, the soil is pretty stable and I've noticed no movement. I drilled holes in the concrete and glued (as above) studs to mount the pier. The space under the mounting plate is useful for an EQ6 adaptor, storing my nettop PC and 12V PSU. If you end up with a Paramount mount, the holes in the top plate are pre-drilled for it!

IMG_0618_zpsb7c1c9a0-1.jpg

Photo13-06-2013083110_zpsec0cfec1.jpg

IMG_1308_zps1e8za9g0.jpg

 

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Some good advice there, thank you all. Does anyone know what size the bolts are that are supplied with the Altair pier to fix it down to the concrete base?

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I have begun digging the hole for the concrete pad, I will follow the advice above and drill / glue so I can remove the bolts at a later date as suggested. The hole is measuring 38 x 38 x 50 cm at the moment, or in old money 15 x 15 x 20 inches.

So would you bother going any deeper than that? And how many bags of the hard stuff will it take to fill, I'm reckoning on about 8 bags of premix concrete (25kg bags).

 

IMG_0675.JPG

 

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Depends on your subsoil, mines clay and I made mine about 18" square from memory and it's been fine, I was going to make it bigger but got a bit bored digging the hole :grin:

Bags of premixed  is good, if you get them from Wickes or somewhere similar you always take back unused ones.

Dave

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9 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Depends on your subsoil, mines clay and I made mine about 18" square from memory and it's been fine, I was going to make it bigger but got a bit bored digging the hole :grin:

Bags of premixed  is good, if you get them from Wickes or somewhere similar you always take back unused ones.

Dave

It's quite sandy down at the bottom of the hole, I had to dig through and old path nearer the top which was hard work. We have a couple of sand quarries very close to us in Borough Green.

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Might be a good idea to make it a bit bigger then, if the path is concrete it should have the effect of a stabilising collar at the top.

I suppose there is a possibility of it tilting if the sand moves but short of sticking a pile down probably not a lot to be gained from a much bigger block of concrete.

There's always the option of fitting some outriggers to the pier at a later date if it proves to be a problem.

Dave

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Afternoon!

So the concrete base is poured and ready, I ordered the chembolt sleeves as recommended above and the anchor resin to fix them. Unfortunately the resin is out of stock and the manufacturer cannot supply more, and apparently has no idea when they will be able to manufacture any! The retailer could also not recommend an alternative product! All a little strange. So does anyone have any suggestions of an alternative source for anchor resin?

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Does anyone have any comments as I'm not sure what I'm buying here :) 

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10 minutes ago, johnrt said:

Does anyone have any comments as I'm not sure what I'm buying here :) 

I used something similar to the screwfix one, worked very well, wll dig it out and see what it was called, the only problem is you need the applicator gun, if you fancy a drive to Swanley you're welcome to borrow mine and some spare nozzles.

Dave

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This is what I used , worked fine, don't buy the ready mixed one in plastic phials to save using a gun, tried them and completely useless.

Dave

Chem applicator.png

 

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9 hours ago, Davey-T said:

I used something similar to the screwfix one, worked very well, wll dig it out and see what it was called, the only problem is you need the applicator gun, if you fancy a drive to Swanley you're welcome to borrow mine and some spare nozzles.

Dave

Thanks Dave, I might just take you up on the offer :) , although it's possible we might have one at work I can pinch for an afternoon I'm told.

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1 minute ago, johnrt said:

Thanks Dave, I might just take you up on the offer :) , although it's possible we might have one at work I can pinch for an afternoon I'm told.

It's not an ordinary mastic gun, it's specially designed for the tubes to mix the two halves together as it pumps them out.

Dave

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22 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

It's not an ordinary mastic gun, it's specially designed for the tubes to mix the two halves together as it pumps them out.

Dave

I did notice that, I have a regular mastic gun at home, but we might have one of those at work, I'll see the man that knows in the morning. Thanks for all your help Dave. 

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A busy afternoon of drilling, resin injecting and tightening of bolts and my pier is ready to go! :D Great service from Altair Astro and they have delivered a really quality product here, not the cheapest, but for those of us who don't want to build one from scratch this is superb.

 

IMG_0756.JPG

... and with the cover on...

IMG_0755.JPG

Thank you for all the advice above, made it a painless job.

 

John

 

 

 

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Looking good John, plenty of time to get it PAd before the leaves grow :grin:

Dave

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On 24/10/2016 at 10:47, Davey-T said:

Frankly unless you've got particularly unstable subsoil I think a 600mm square is sufficient, my obsy pier is only on an 18" square of concrete and it hasn't needed re- polar aligning since I did it years ago.

 

 

How thick? My patio slabs, 2' x 2', are 1.25" :)

 

Yes...... I know lol

Edited by iapa

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The clouds have parted for a little while, so it's now all aligned and ready to roll :)

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45 minutes ago, johnrt said:

The clouds have parted for a little while, so it's now all aligned and ready to roll :)

Sitting here, reading the new posts, spotted yours, read it, looked at your location, then dashed outside to set my camera up.

 

Note to self... look out the bloody windows more often.  Made the mistake of writing off this weekend, then got rained on walking back from the pub after lunch, so had thought sod it. 

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Thank you for the posting & pics.

Hubby will be treating to me to a pier & it's installation, for a upcoming (& rather big Birthday number ??).

looking forward to it even more, now I've seen this thread ????

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15 hours ago, Viv said:

Thank you for the posting & pics.

Hubby will be treating to me to a pier & it's installation, for a upcoming (& rather big Birthday number ??).

looking forward to it even more, now I've seen this thread ????

Are you going with an Altair pier? They really are great quality and very easy to install. I can't recommend them enough.

 

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Thanks - good to know ?? Yes, will be.

Neither hubby or me, have skill, to make one. ??

So just waiting for a quote, to do the garden bit......

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