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kirkster501

Mounting my MESU 200 on my pier

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I thought I'd start a thread about how I mounted my new MESU 200. I did have a NEQ6 that I had mounted onto a peer I built:  You can see this arrangement in the two photos below.  IMG_1421.jpgIMG_9850.jpg.jpeg

With my new MESU, I did not want this "plate-upon-a-plate" design - the two black disks separated with bolts as above.  I have not paid nigh on £5500 for a mount for it to be perched on top of a wobbly pier!

First thing I did was to take the existing pier head off, revealing four 12 inch long M8 bolts set into the concrete when i built the pier last year:

IMG_1427.jpg

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Here is the MESU supplied mounting plate.  Expensive for what it is but I thought what the heck and bought it anyway.  It is 260mm in diameter and 10mm thick:

IMG_1425.jpgIMG_1426.jpg

As I said, I did not want my expensive new mount atop spindly bolts, I wanted it as solid as the rock of Gibraltar.  So I made a cardboard template of the pattern of the bolts set into the top of the pier.  Using this template I then marked and drilled into the MESU plate.  It took some drilling but eventually i got there :)  I can now fit the plate to the pattern of the bolts set into the pier

IMG_1430.jpg

The nuts on top really pull it tight to the pier.  However the nuts stand proud of the MESU plate.....

IMG_1431.jpg

I do not want the base of the MESU 200 perching on top of the four nuts, I want it solidly on top of the MESU plate.  How to do this?  My idea was to make a "doubler" that would be thick enough to stand above the nuts. Using the newly drilled MESU plate as the template for the 6mm thick doubler...  I made the doubler from the previous pier head metal disks. Drilling time again....

IMG_1429.jpg

I had to make the doubler's holes wide enough to surround the nuts:

IMG_1432.jpg

Now the base of the MESU 200 itself is fully in contact at all points with solid metal work.  The doubler stands above the nuts.

Job's a good 'un....

IMG_1434.jpg

IMG_1433.jpg

I hope this helps someone trying to think how to mount a MESU.  I struggled to understand this before I bought it.  But i managed to work it out :)

BTW - My pier does not lean - it is dead vertical.  I'm a better metal worker than I am a David Bailey impersonator ;)

For info my pier is an 8 inch piece of drain pipe filled with reinforced concrete and is set with rebar and goes a meter into the ground.

 

Edited by kirkster501
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Hi Steve,

Congrats on the Mesu mount. It's nice to see your DIY skills come into play to affix your new mount on your pier. I, like you, had an EQ6 which worked really well but my Avalon Linear is in a different league and the Mesu another level higher. You certainly won't be disappointed. Just got to wait for clear skies now.......

Steve

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My next step is power up and connecting to the computer.  Not had the time as yet!

Quick question please?  If it's connected to the PC does it *have* to have the hand controller plugged in?

Edited by kirkster501

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You don't need the hand controller to be plugged in if you are controlling the mount through sitch.exe. My hand controller has been dodgy since day 1 and now lives in a box far away from the mount.

HTH

Derrick

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Assuming that M12 stud is the mount clamp method, how do you get inside the mount to secure it, and is this by way of nut or a hand turned lever of some sort?  I guess there is an opening of some sort in the front for access to It once you're aligned North to clamp it down?

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Yes, there is a large M12 bolt on the mount plate (as per the photo above) that goes  through the metalwork of middle of the mount base and a large M12 wingnut with large "wings" to tighten the mount down.  Even despite my "doubler" there is plenty of the M12 stud left to tighten it down.  It ain't going anywhere, rest assured!

I'll take a photo tomorrow to show you.

 

EDIT:  and to answer your question, you can easily get your hand in to tighten it, despite my huge hands.  It is actually very easy to get the thing mounted really.  I worried about this unnecessarily.

Edited by kirkster501

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2 minutes ago, kirkster501 said:

Yes, there is a large M12 bolt on the mount plate (as per the photo above) that goes  through the metalwork of middle of the mount base and a large M12 wingnut with large "wings" to tighten the mount down.  Even despite my "doubler" there is plenty of the M12 stud left to tighten it down.  It ain't going anywhere, rest assured!

I'll take a photo tomorrow to show you.

Great stuff.  Oh no I can see it's not going to move, I've just never seen one up close so couldn't picture how they are securing via a single central bolt, as most would screw up from the bottom, but this makes much more sense.

Hope you get it up and running soon, it's been a long wait :thumbright:

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This is what the mounting wingnut (behind) and azimuth adjustment locking wingnut (at front) look like on my Mesu:-

mesu_bolts.png

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1 minute ago, steppenwolf said:

This is what the mounting wingnut (behind) and azimuth adjustment locking wingnut (at front) look like on my Mesu:-

 

Ah that's perfect, thanks Steve.  It's actually quite a substantial fixing then, more like a mini T-bar arrangement.  That helps hugely.

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I currently set up my Mesu and take it down for every session, it's a good job we have regular cloudy skies or else I would have muscles like Arnie Schwarzenegger. 

I glued some thin ptfe strips to the base to facilitate rotational movement, I find with these I can keep the centre bolt gently tightened and the az adjuster will still move the mount for Polar alignment, meaning there is less flexture when you come to tighten it down at the end. The brake on the altitude disk works great.

Enjoy your mount, I'm currently saving up for a scope that will do its load capacity justice, another muscle workout lol!

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33 minutes ago, tomato said:

I currently set up my Mesu and take it down for every session, it's a good job we have regular cloudy skies or else I would have muscles like Arnie Schwarzenegger. 

When you setup, what do you put the mount on? Tripod, Pier? 

Any pics? :)

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50 minutes ago, RayD said:

Ah that's perfect, thanks Steve.  It's actually quite a substantial fixing then, more like a mini T-bar arrangement.  That helps hugely.

Yes, it is very substantial - I trust a lot of gear on mine!!

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1 minute ago, steppenwolf said:

Yes, it is very substantial - I trust a lot of gear on mine!!

Yes I'm planning to have a dual rig on mine too so was initially a little concerned seeing just a single M12 fixing, but looking at your picture I needn't have worried.

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Very substantial indeed - you can get your whole hand on the wingnut so as to tighten it down with a lot of torque.  As Steve says, a lot of expensive gear riding on that mount staying put!

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2 minutes ago, kirkster501 said:

Very substantial indeed - you can get your whole hand on the wingnut so as to tighten it down with a lot of torque.  As Steve says, a lot of expensive gear riding on that mount staying put!

I'm more than happy now :icon_biggrin:  seeing the recent deliveries has actually made me quite excited. 

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Star101, here is a pic of my set up. It's on a substantial homemade pier tripod, very heavy but super stable. The whole lot will fit in the back of a car for trips to a dark site. As you can see, the mount is overkill for the scope, but it does not tremble, even in high winds.image.jpeg

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Thats impressive. Thanks for sharing tomato.

I currently have a NEQ6 Pro on a tripod in my garden, see avatar. I'm looking for what is best for my Mesu 200 when it arrives in March. 

I am currently looking at a roll off roof shed with a pier inside but my wife would also like to take the mount to dark sites when we go camping. A pier such as your looks like a great option.

And I dont think the mount is overkill at all. Its perfect for the job. One less thing to worry about.  :)

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Hello Kirkster501,

Congratulations on the new Mesu. It looks very solid on your pier, I hope you get as much enjoyment out of it as I have had from mine. Hoping to post my first picture soon. Took the images way back in October, a simple process thanks to the Mesu. Unfortunately it can't help me learn to use PixInsight ☺

Cheers, Ian

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Thanks Ian.  Yes it is rock solid.  That said, I  wish I would have built the pier out of a 12 inch piece of pipe now!  I will remember that for next time!

The lesson is that whenever you build a pier, build it as thick as you can! :)

 

 

Edited by kirkster501
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14 hours ago, RayD said:

Yes I'm planning to have a dual rig on mine too so was initially a little concerned seeing just a single M12 fixing, but looking at your picture I needn't have worried.

Yous shouldn't be worried...... I've dualled mine up and it seems to be holding firm :)

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15 hours ago, tomato said:

 

I glued some thin ptfe strips to the base to facilitate rotational movement, I find with these I can keep the centre bolt gently tightened and the az adjuster will still move the mount for Polar alignment, meaning there is less flexture when you come to tighten it down at the end. The brake on the altitude disk works great.

 

Great idea about the PTFE strips!  Just ordered some for this purpose for a couple of quid off the bay.  Less grab and inertia to move when twisting the azimuth bolt then!

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Star101, you can make the Mesu portable, but I strongly recommend a flight case or something similar for transporting. First time out I put it in the back of the car adequately supported, or so I thought. After a 50 miles on twisty roads I found it lying on it's side, gulp! Fortunately no harm done. I bought a second hand flight case and foam for £30, which now keeps it safe and sound.

image.jpeg

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tomato, Thats a great idea. Especially with my driving !! lol.

Thanks for that tip and the pic. 

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I installed some 0.5mm PTFE tape on to the plate. This is the PTFE strips you can get off of ebay - not PTFE on your plumbing ;) Great idea from tomato.  The stuff is as slippery as a US presidential candidate.  The mount is now really easy to move in azimuth when the main mounting wingnut is slackened and the azimuth adjustment bolt is moved a whisker.IMG_1442.jpg

Edited by kirkster501
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8 minutes ago, kirkster501 said:

I installed some 0.5mm PTFE tape on to the plate. This is the PTFE strips you can get off of ebay - not PTFE on your plumbing ;) Great idea from tomato.  The stuff is as slippery as a US presidential candidate.  The mount is now really easy to move in azimuth when the main mounting wingnut is slackened and the azimuth adjustment bolt is moved a whisker.IMG_1442.jpg

The idea of squashing presidential candidates between two substantial metal plates has something going for it...

Olly

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