Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_android_vs_ios_winners.thumb.jpg.803608cf7eedd5cfb31eedc3e3f357e9.jpg

PESKYWAABBIT

Keeping heavy setup from sinking into the boggy garden grassland

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

Pretty new to the forums, so hello everyone!

I have been using a Vixen Super Polaris EQ mount with a Vixen 80m refractor for many, many years. During this period I was not caring too much about polar alignment at all, but instead just to whip it out and have a look around.

Recently I have purchased myself a SkyWatcher 200 P reflector with a HEQ5 SynScan mount which together is extremely heavy in a bid to start learning some astrophotography as in East Anglia light pollution isn't too common. My garden does have 'some' solid ground but this is not in an ideal location and so I will most definitely have to use my gardens boggy grass. I am worried due to the weight and the boggy grass, my scope will slowly sink down whilst taking shots.

Do any of you guys have any proven solutions or mods that you have come up with in a similar situation to eradicate your set up sinking on loose ground? Just curious if this has been dealt with before in a smart manor.

Cheers!

Edited by PESKYWAABBIT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used  to use terracotta plant pot saucers - one under each tripod leg. Non-slip, frost proof, cheap, effective.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need to spread the load over a larger area, and if imaging then it needs to be as stable as you can practically get it. If you can sink 3 concrete flags into the lawn (say, 18" square min) they will eventually sink/stabilise over time and will provide a good stable base. Ideally of course you would install a permanent pier - handy even if you don't leave your mount attached to it all the time.

There are other options - you could make a Y-shaped platform out of steel angle or heavy timber and stand the tripod on that. Or you could dig out an 18" square sod of grass, then sink the hole 8"-10" and place the flag in the bottom. Do this for each tripod foot, cement a brick on end to the middle (in the right place!) then back fill the hole and replace the grass sod. You'll hardly notice they are there without looking, and if you get the height right the mower will just run over the top.

ChrisH

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys, both brilliant ideas!

I will have to give the terracotta plant pot saucers a try first as I have some lying around in my garage. I'll have to coat them in a gold foil to make them resemble the feet of the Lunar Lander too! Haha!

If these don't suit then I reckon I could build a more stable and larger tripod stand as ChrisH suggests.

I'll let you know how I get on, however the night sky does not seem to be promising this week at all :(

- Pesky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a similar problem when I attend star parties. I solved it by getting an 18" long X 1.5" X 6" bit of wood and cutting it into 3 pieces. I then drill a hole in the centre of each that was large enough to accept the pointed foot of the tripod. I just place one under each leg and polar align, sorted. Total cost, not very much, it was an off cut of wood. You could varnish it if you wanted

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could dig a hole, insert a steel pier and fill the hole with concrete. I left a GM8 and a G11 outside for years, including their electronics, without any harm. I covered the mounts with a waterproof canvas garden chair cover. They never got wet! You could possibly lay some decking around the pier to give yourself a firm footing.

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the others have said - spread the load out on a wider solid surface. Like a wooden-board, plant saucers, anything at hand.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A cheap, simple option would be a visit to the local camping store and purchase a few of the pads that go under the legs of  caravans (I'm sure you can tell I'm keen on using the technical terminology :grin:)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of great ideas!

I have some bricks with holes in them I take when away from home. I set them do0wn, then set up and level the tripod. When done for the night, the equipment goes into my enclosed truck bed but I leave the bricks set.

Paver stones could suffice as well. Just drill (or have drilled) a detent in them for the tripods toes.

I like the pot saucers idea. I think I would take an extra for breakage....

COMMON%20BRICK%203HOLES%20thumb.jpg

Edited by SonnyE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Similar to using pot saucers I had a few ceramic tiles left from a kitchen refurb. Use them glazed size down so your tripod sits on the rough reverse. Seems to work for me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As  noted above all you need to do is spread the load.  A fair solution might be a large pallet esp. if you topped it with a sheet of outdoor/marine grade plyboard or chipboard and got it sitting fairly level to begin with.   There would probably be sufficient space for the telescope tripod and you!  Possibly seated on a chair with a flask of hot coffee?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, JOC said:

As  noted above all you need to do is spread the load.  A fair solution might be a large pallet esp. if you topped it with a sheet of outdoor/marine grade plyboard or chipboard and got it sitting fairly level to begin with.   There would probably be sufficient space for the telescope tripod and you!  Possibly seated on a chair with a flask of hot coffee?

For the tripod yes, however. if you are planning on imaging, don't stand/sit on the same pallet or you'll be wondering why your images are getting ruined due to the vibrations.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Further to this issue, I have found that when I have my mount setup at a star party I need to have it secured in case the wind gets up. I use a scope cover in the event of inclement weather. This turns my scope in to a reasonably sized "sail". I once had the misfortune of my mount and scope being blown over by the gusty Scottish winds. To solve this I purchased one the screws that are normally used for securing a tether for a dog and a turn buckle. Once I have my mount on the wooden blocks, to spread the load, and roughly polar aligned,  I drive the screw into the ground, attach the turn buckle to the top of the screw and tie the other end of the turn buckle to the bottom of the mount. Then tighten the turn buckle to pull the mount down. This ensures that the mount will not blow over

http://www.toolstation.com/shop/p30160?mkwid=s3Z3fpJI3_dm&pcrid=142502840529&pkw=&pmt=&product=30160&gclid=CMuAj42z9tACFeqT7QodkaQOiQ

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00E8NH12K/ref=mp_s_a_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1481811924&sr=8-12&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=ground+screw+anchor

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Further thought brought to mind that one should never use Mum's China saucers either.

Or if you do, don't get caught at it. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 13-12-2016 at 00:30, mikeDnight said:

You could dig a hole, insert a steel pier and fill the hole with concrete. I left a GM8 and a G11 outside for years, including their electronics, without any harm. I covered the mounts with a waterproof canvas garden chair cover. They never got wet! You could possibly lay some decking around the pier to give yourself a firm footing.

Mike

Could use 20 or 25 cm diameter PVC drainage pipe as well. Use some rebar to get a good connection between first and second layer of concrete and overall stiffness. 
Some threaded ends of stainless steel in the toplayer in the right configuration for your mount or a mounting plate and voila... a permanent pier...

If you use telegizmos 365/24/7 telescope cover with skishoe warmers in it, nothing will happen to your expensive equipment.

An extra would be to include a PVC conduit pipe in the pier so you can have electricity and usb or ethernet leads go down  and to the house without tripping over them.

downside: it will be there forever...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By AstroRuz
      £180
      Selling a nice portable wide telescope with great glass and a great field of view
      I have two telescopes and I'm using the 80ED more currently and so this Telescope just isn't getting used anymore
      It has a longer dovetail (originally from the 80ED) so declination balance can be reached.
      Great performer for the price
      Collection only as P&P is like £40 (Northamptonshire - UK)
      Selling to fund a scope or mount upgrade.🤔
      Selling





    • By AstroRuz
      Skywatcher 150/1200 f8 planetary Newtonian.
      Bought this originally intending to set up a planetary rig but circumstances call for sale.
      Will come with eyepieces and a collimation eyepiece. Not used by myself and has seen very little use. Mirrors in good condition
      Collection only
      £50



    • By jadcx
      Skywatcher 80 ED DS-Pro outfit including matched flattener and motor focus. Now only £350
      This kit gives you a great introduction to astronomy and imaging, which is why it's so popular.  You can see details over at FLO but there is:
      80 ED Ds-Pro OTA (Objective Lens Diameter: 80mm, Telescope Focal Length: 600mm,  f/7.5)
      SW Eyepiece (2"): 28mm
      2”/50.8mm Di-Electric Star Diagonal
      9x50 Finderscope
      Dual-Speed 11:1 2” Crayford Focuser (Backlash-Free)
      Supplied with Tube Rings & Mounting Plate - please note there is a longer black vixen type dovetail fitted, not the fancy new green short one you will see on the FLO site
      SW motor focus and fitting kit - I've never used this, hence it's not fitted (more details over on FLO)
      Dedicated SW 0.85x reducer/flattener (see FLO for more details)
      Aluminium Carrying / Shipping Case
       
      The RRP is over £720, so grab a bargain while you can.
      Collection from Nottingham, or DHL for £20 (within UK)



    • By muddy
      SOLD
      Skywatcher HEQ5PRO Tripod and Extension pillar.
      There are a few marks on the tripod legs but not really noticable, the eyepioece/spreader tray has paint flaking off
      But could be cleaned and repainted, it didnt bother me, but I am lazy.
      I am selling as its not getting used as it should be and I find I use the excuse that it takes to long to carry it out 
      and setup, but in reality I think I am just losing interest.
      As it is a heavy object collection from TS25 (Hartlepool) is preferred.
      But if a courier collection service is available buyer pays the costs and arranges pickup I am happy as long as money has been transfered. Also I am prepared to travel a reasonable distance to meet for exchange.
      Price £400 ONO I will not split
       
      SALE COMPLETED







    • By tooth_dr
      I scrapped all the Oiii and Sii data I previously took during a full moon (about 15 hours worth) and retook it all when the moon was a bit smaller at 76%.  Ha was taken during 98% and 67% moon.  All the lights were taken on the following nights: 12th, 19th and 20th September 2019.
      Integration times, all in 600s subs unbinned:
      Ha = 28.33 hours
      Oiii= = 5.67 hours
      Sii = 5.67 hours
       
      The Ha data is really nice, and unsurprisingly the Oiii and Sii is not as strong (or nice).
      I'm missing that (vital) step in my processing routine of getting the Sii and Oiii properly stretched to match the Ha, before combining.  I dont really know how to deal with the weaker data properly.  Any pointers would be appreciated.
      What I do currently:
      All the data is loaded into APP into separate channels/sessions.
      The data is stacked and registered against the best Ha sub
      This produces individual stacks of Ha, Sii and Oiii that are all registered
      Each channel is processed with DPP in APP and then saved as a 16bit TIFF
      Each is opened in PS
      Stars removed with AA and any remnants removed and tidied up
      I then open a blank RGB document in PS
      I paste Ha into Green, Sii into Red and Oiii into Blue
      Adjust the selective colour settings to get 'Hubble palette'
      Adjust levels, curves, saturation until looks ok
      All the Ha Sii Oiii data is then combined together in a single 'super' stack in APP using quality weighted algorithm to create a 'luminance'
      That luminance layer is adjusted using levels, curves, and NC tools such as local contrast enhancement and deep space noise reduction (using masks to apply as required)
      The luminance is pasted onto the above colour layer, and incrementally added using gaussian blur
      Cropped and saved.
       
       
      Here it is anyway   I haven't intended on any more exposure time for this one, but will consider it, if the expert opinion dictates otherwise!
       
      CS
      Adam
       


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.