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Tripod v Pier Visual Use - Your input please


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I am setting up a dedicated observing area in my garden and whilst this is happening very slowly, I have been pondering (as you do).

To date I have only used varying tripods and a Dobsonian base, but I started to think and talk to individuals on here about Piers.
Now I have the longest pleasure Pier 1 1/4 miles long near me at Southend on Sea, but that is not the type I am thinking about 😂

So your thoughts please on:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Tripod?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Pier?

I use a mixture of scope types at present a Newtonian, SCT and ED Refractor.
This of course will change over time.

Your input is in advance much appreciated 👍
 

Link to my other thread:

 

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The main advantage I can see with a pier is stability (from a well constructed and fixed pier).

The main advantage I can see with a tripod is portability.

For visual, it is not unknown for me to start in one part of my garden and finish the session in another.

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I have been impressed by the rigidity of the heavy-duty tripod that came with my CPC800. I don't think that a pier would deliver any marked increase in rigidity for visual use.

The obvious advantage of a pier is that you don't have to erect it for each session. Or polar align it, if that is applicable.  Disadvantage - large one-off effort to dig foundation and install it.

The advantage of a tripod is that you can move it.  And if a change of OTA requires a significantly different support, you can change the tripod.

Edited by Cosmic Geoff
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If you kick a pier, it hurts. If you kick a tripod (which is easily done) you've lost any alignment you've had. You'll probably swear more in the latter case than the former.

If you don't need to move the mount round, I'd go for a pier every time.

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A pier may not be as flexible as a moveable tripod, but once built\installed, it is much easier to update with power\network etc. and even, space permitting, a full enclose that can be fully removable, or just parts.....

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I'd go for a pier every time. When I bought my rigel pier to replace the Skywatcher HEQ5 tripod the improvement was immediate. OK, I'm an imager so the rigidity requirements might not be a stringent, but not having three legs to kick out of alignment , or trip over in the dark, was a big bonus.

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I think if your position is such that you can see everything from the position of the pier, then go for a pier. If there is any requirement to move them it has to be a tripod. I have a kind of halfway house, a Skywatcher Pier with the legs at the bottom. It can be moved but I never do as it is pretty heavy! Trouble is that i have to go to the bottom of the garden to get the planets so I need to use a different, tripod setup for that.

I do like the quick setup of everything being aligned and ready to go.

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I've been contemplating a Todmorden Pier for a while and got the green light from Mrs AdeKing..... But the only place that got approval was the NW corner of the garden. 

I set up to observe Jupiter from there the other night and its an awful position as the view approaching the meridian is over the Summerhouse which gives off heat like there is no tomorrow, 

My thought was that I'd observe more because the mount would be permanently set up, but the reality is that the seeing is so bad as to make it a non-starter. 

But in the words of Baldrick "I have a cunning plan" in that we're extending the patio in front of the Summerhouse so the patio slabs may develop mysterious dents that coincide with the tripod feet and align the North leg north, who'd have thought the slabs would be delivered like that 😉

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42 minutes ago, AdeKing said:

who'd have thought the slabs would be delivered like that 

Its amazing what they can do these days isn't it? 🤣🤣

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Thanks Ade, 

I have pondered design and the Todmorden type is  a possibility.
A Pier would be a good option on my observing pad as it will be the only shaded spot in the garden,
the sky views are OK for most things except at low level E to S so Jupiter at present is not observable.
However a tripod on the driveway does the trick.

As to indented slabs, oh yes, Travis Perkins have a 'special' range for astronomers.

Edited by Alan White
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On 25/07/2019 at 19:43, AdeKing said:

Todmorden Pier

Adeking, how much per hollow concrete block did you pay as, on ebay uk the prices seem so ridiculously high !!!!!.

 

                                                       Regards,      Tom.

 

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10 hours ago, mckinnell said:

Adeking, how much per hollow concrete block did you pay as, on ebay uk the prices seem so ridiculously high !!!!!.

 

                                                       Regards,      Tom.

 

 

6 hours ago, AdeKing said:

I decided not to go that route in the end but I thought they were about £7 each from Jewsons or similar. 

 

I used these from Travis Perkins - £4.69 each currently.

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