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Galaxyfaraway

Pier & Observatory

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Hi,

I would like to get a pier built for my AZ-EQ6 Mount and add a shed around it, with a roll-off roof. 

How do I find the required specifications (for the base) and also perhaps any recommendations for the actual pier to hold the mount?

Thanks!

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PS: Does anybody just use / have a pier (with the mount) without the shed? I don't think I have space to also build a shed but I would like to somehow save time (polar alignment / some set up etc) and just use some kind of weatherproof cover etc.

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There is a whole sub section of this forum dedicated to DIY Observatories.  That would be a good place to start your research.  My AZ EQ 6 is mounted on an Altair Astro pier with an extension tube.  My concrete pillar base cube is 70 x 70 x70 cm.

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The Mods may move it anyway as I think you will get better responses there.  Yes I have a ROR shed.  Here is a picture from a recent thread where I compare my SCT 9.25" with a new ED 150.

IMG_0507.JPG.35eb7cb9dd37365363de348e46efb926.JPG

Edited by Owmuchonomy

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I would like to save time and install a pier but don't think I have space for a shed /dome installation around it. Does anybody use piers on their own (with the mount) and does it help / save you time setting up each night? Also what would be a good recommendation for the actual pier? There is the Altair Skyshed 8" and the Primaluce Lab C82 I came across that may fit my AZ-EQ6 mount. (I know it's not important but I would prefer a white pier as it will be less obvious/blend in better). There seem to be different installation options as well: https://www.altairastro.com/public/pier/Altair_Astro_8_Adjustable_Steel_Pier_Installation_Instructions_2014.pdf

Which is the better / more secure? I currently have builders in and they can pretty much do anything. I can't find info on exact specifications for concrete (70x70x70 was mentioned).

 

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I have my 130mm triplet set-up on the DDM60 on a Rigel pier bolted down onto a concrete block under the patio under a Telegizmos 365 cover. The cover was £195 from The Widescreen Centre, but FLO do them now.

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I didn't have enough space for a shed either, so I just have mine set up outside with a Telegizmo 365 cover.

 

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Whilst a concreted in pier and observatory are the ideal way to go, you would be surprised with what you can achieve just using simple and none-permanent solutions. I have my scopes mounted on an NEQ 6 pier that stands on some flat paving slabs dug into the grass. Polar alignment needs adjusting once a year or so and I have no issues with tracking and guiding. The scopes stay outside all year and are covered by a plastic garden storage container on wheels. This has a slot cut in the bottom and gets wheeled on and off when I want to use the scopes. I can go from everything being put away to my first slew in about 90 seconds. To combat moisture in the little hut, I have two large desiccant tubs that get swapped a couple of times a year, and the scopes are covered in the hut by a bed sheet and a small tarp that are just thrown over them. This stops dew forming on the equipment. Certainly not hi-tech or ideal, but it works.

 

scope house.jpg

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Scroll down this thread and you'll see the link to m,y pier and photo's

 

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I have just made a  wooden frame that just covers my mount and largest scopes. This is clad in waterproof roofing felt and one end has a velcro flap top to bottom

I just pull back the velcro flat, tip back the frame and I am ready to go. I do use bungee cords to secure the frame to the pier to stop it moving.

Not very pretty but does the job I need it to do.

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You might be surprised by how small a roll off observatory can be. The most compact design is usually called the 'sentry box' with the entire shed rolling off when observing. This way the shed can be a tight fit around the mount and scope since it doesn't need to house the observer as well. Also they can be made incredibly easily: you start with a small concrete base and pier. You buy the smallest, simplest shed that will fit over your setup. These can be wooden, plastic or metal. You make a plywood floor the size of the shed's footprint and fit it with little wheels running on rails. It needs a slot cutting into the plywood floor to let it run halfway round the pier and then you just build up the shed on the wooden rolling floor.

I've made two sheds like this but the simple idea of using a rolling floor to carry a standard bought-in shed didn't occur to me so I spent ages welding up chassis and frames myself. Curses!! 

?lly

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  • Haha 1

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11 hours ago, bottletopburly said:

THis ones quite compact by Peter shah 

 

Yep I thought I recognised it as @peter shah, I thought for a minute someone had nicked his.

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My pier was made from a 12inch  diameter off cut of air conditioning ducting filled with concrete sitting on a 1m cube of concrete foundation. I used that for a while by it self then built the observatory around it. I did find that it warmed up during the day then radiated heat right in front of the optics at the night, simply fixed with insulation.... its been in the ground for about 15 years still going strong. If i was to make another I would do it exactly the same way.

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I've used the same approach:  28cm diameter air conditioning tube filled with concrete, embedded into a 75cm cube of reinforced concrete. My NEQ6 mount is attached via an Altair Astro pier adapter which is itself fitted to a homemade square of thick aluminium plate bolted to the top of the pier.

I've built an obsy around this (or am building - take a look at my build thread) , but it could easily be used as a stand-alone pier covered with a heavy duty cover (Telegizmo 365 appear good, as mentioned by others).

IMG_5299.jpg

IMG_5604.jpg

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I've done the same as Kev's above, but also used a smaller top 150mm duct, for the final 300mm'ish which gives a small shelf for various equipment and ensures that no mount\scope\camera etc. equipment will hit the pier...

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An outside pier is a good start - mine is a 6" diameter steel tube bolted to a concrete block. When not in use - I remove the scope and cover in BBQ type covers.

39366869051_cb2dda8b90_b.jpg

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