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Skyline

Landed myself a Pier

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It's been a very excited week. After 2 months of having my Spinal surgery my lovely wife suggested I needed a pier in the garden, due to my back condition I will find it hard to move my equipment outside.

We have a couple of builders doing some exterior work around the house and they offered to build my pier so long as I provided the materials. Very nice of them I say....

Day 1.

A hole 600mm deep and wide.

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I bought a galvanised 1.5mtr 8" diameter duct tube from for a total of £18 inc. Parcelforce 48 delivery.  A layer of 100mm of some gravel into the whole then the tube.

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Exactly 1mtr over ground. The pouring of the gravel and mastercrete around the base.

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Day 2 - Tube filling with Rebar 

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On the same day this arrived from Germany:

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This sinks into the concrete, length 500mm a high quality cnc machined pier adaptor for my heq5, fitted with M16 rods. Bear in mind my heq5 base was 0.6mm wider, so I had to grind it down to fit the pier plate. It now fits really well with smooth rotating movement.

Day 3 - The pier tube was rock solid just over night so the builders poured in the mastercrete to the top of the tube and fitting the pier plate.

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Now I'm just waiting for some time to add the mount onto the pier plate.

Nadeem.

 

Edited by Skyline
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Excellent!  I like the use of spiral tube. There used to be a manufacturer on a local industrial estate. For very many years I worked in the joinery manufacture trade and have installed a number of dust/chipping extraction systems using that stuff. I think that was easier than digging holes and pouring concrete. My back could barely do that 30 years ago. Do Amazon do concrete? :) 

What are your intentions? leave the mount permanently sited and throw a tarp over it?

There are thought bubbling in the back of  my swampy mind about a fixed pier at home. Not sure about leaving my all too infrequently used NEQ6 mount outside all year round though!

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Thanks for your kind words Paul, I've recently bought a waterproof tarp, it's really a quality leaf collection bag with velcro and rubber handles which I am hoping I can use some bungee cords with it. 

I will add another layer underneath with some desiccant pots.

The plan is to have my heq5 permanently mounted, so the only thing I need to setup would be a small refractor and my imaging equipment. My power provision is near the pier.

N.

Edited by Skyline
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2 hours ago, Skyline said:

Day 3 - The pier tube was rock solid just over night so the builders poured in the mastercrete to the top of the tube and fitting the pier plate

I have zero experience of pouring a concrete pier, but I have read many times that pouring new concrete over hardened concrete results in a very poor bond at the join, which an experienced builder should have known..... 

Michael 

Edited by michael8554

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7 minutes ago, michael8554 said:

I have zero experience of pouring a concrete pier, but I have read many times that pouring new concrete over hardened concrete results in a very poor bond at the join, which an experienced builder should have known..... 

Michael 

It’s inside a metal tube with rebar, no issues there... 😀👍

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Today I fitted the mount head on the pier, I found the peg a bit long so I had to thread an 8mm rod with some nuts to create a correct size peg, now everything fits flush and tight. Also I need some long azimuth knobs. Where can get some from ?

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Finally covered over with a waterproof tarpaulin with a fresh hardcore rubble bag underneath. Colour is bright, but so long it does the job it's no problem. Bungee cords are firmly fitted.

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Edited by Skyline
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1 hour ago, Skyline said:

Also I need some long azimuth knobs. Where can get some from ?

You can get knobs here and make your own with some threaded rod, best to Araldite them together.

Dave

https://www.goodhanduk.co.uk/Catalogue/Standard-Parts/Star-Palm-Grips-Wing-Grips-Knobs/Star-Palm-Grips/K0145-Palm-Knobs-In-Aluminium-Five-Hole-Types-Size-8-16mm

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Very smart looking job.

Re comments on jointed concrete and structural strength. I think most piers of this nature are hugely over engineered anyway. The main benefit of all that concrete is its mass, rigidity and inflexibility. It's just solid. No torsional or other stresses acting on it. 

It'll be just super!

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My wife is waiting for the construction stuff to be cleared around the pier before I can have a go. Walking on crutches is no fun and dangerous in the dark with building material around.

N.

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Very wise.  Good luck with your convalescence.

Edited by Gina

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Looks really good. Are you not concerned about condensation? I have been thinking about a pier too, but I am worried about leaving the mount permanently outside.

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Invest in a gizmodo cover or similar , you need a bit of airflow  , an Aldi shopping bag upside down works too , disclaimer other supermarket bags are available.

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I have a dehumidifier cannister under the covers. I need to print off a fixing bracket

Edited by Skyline

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On 04/11/2019 at 16:36, bottletopburly said:

gizmodo cover

And that is ?? 

I would think that after a year under only a plastic cover the mount will be in a similar shape as our Weber grill stored the same way - rusted to pieces.

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56 minutes ago, Viktiste said:

And that is ?? 

I would think that after a year under only a plastic cover the mount will be in a similar shape as our Weber grill stored the same way - rusted to pieces.

My bad it’s  telegizmo  canvas on outside insulated on in  plenty of air comes in at bottom letting it breathe 👍

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It's a very good pier but one thing tends to come up on these threads: you don't need to level the pier top so the threaded levelling bars are not necessary and add complexity and expense. Then again you do need a nicely machined top plate to sit the mount on, of course. But, for the record, GEMs can be perfectly polar aligned on non-level pier tops.

Olly

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The complication is access to the mount securing bolt under the top plate. 

There are ways to accomplish that without spacing the top plate with the studs. 

Michael 

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4 hours ago, Pompey Monkey said:

Super!

What's all that black tape doing?

I hope it's just a low voltage cable!! 😱😱

That black tape is only securing the spiral cable wrap to join the ends together. I had loads of cable wraps in different lengths.

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On 07/11/2019 at 15:21, bottletopburly said:

My bad it’s  telegizmo  canvas on outside insulated on in  plenty of air comes in at bottom letting it breathe 👍

I've had my EQ6-R plus 200PDS and electronics, cameras etc mounted outside under a Telegizmos cover for well over a year and they're all absolutely fine and rust-free. I'm not near the coast or anything though. Just pop the cover off, lens caps off, dew shield on, run out the mains cable and 12V supply and plug that in - everything else is already set up and good to go, though being on a tripod it does need polar alignment once in a while.

Only gotcha is that while I can get insurance for everything, weather isn't covered unless it's in an observatory!

The pier looks fab and solid. The tube approach I've seen done by a few people now and it looks a great way to contain the concrete.

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I look into buying one of those Telegizmo's in a little time later. 

Edited by Skyline

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