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Pier progress


IvanT
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Been working on my pier for a few weeks now. Work, weather & material supply has meant it's not gone as quickly as I'd have liked but it's nearing an end now so thought I'd post a few pics.

Digging a 3 ft cubed hole in the ground showed me I'm not as fit as I used to be.

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The concrete delivery (minimum 1 cubic metre) looked like it was a LOT more than I needed, had calculated that I'd need approx 0.92 cubic metres. So got going and would decide what to do if it looked like I was way over. Filled 6" of concrete, set in the first of 3 rebar cages I'd made, more concrete rebar concrete rebar until ground level reached, my daughter was a great help on poker duty.

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When I reached ground level, placed the pier form I'd pre-made (245mm O/D unlined piling tube from EssexTubes) to a height of 2 foot 6 inches. Filled the pier (rebar rods to the base of the footing used for extra support) collimation looks ok too :)

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Finishing off

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You may have noticed that its no longer square. Given that it's easier to get rid of soil than concrete, the length was widened a little down to a depth of 6 inches on either side which was enough for the remaining concrete.

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Lastly some cover to keep the frost at bay while it cures

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Last piece of the puzzle is the pier top from our very own gaz_1968 who tells me it's ready and should be in the post any day now

PierTop.jpg

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Hehe, wild horses wouldn't make me do that again. I'm kacking myself incase I fit the pier top (roughly true north aligned) and get it wildly wrong so much so that the azimuth adjustment isn't enough to correct. The rebar rods down the centre of the form play havoc with my compass so it's going to be a bit of a guessing game unless anyone has a foolproof method other than my "float the compass and hope for the best" approach?

Still, can't say I'll miss kicking the legs of my mount half way through a run.

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Lovely job!!

May I ask a silly question?

What do you do between observing sessions? Do you just remove the telescope at the end of observing, and then cover the mount and pier somehow? Or take the mount and telescope off to store inside, and have a pier cover?

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Thanks guys, as for between sessions, once I have the mount precisely polar & drift aligned, I'll only be removing the scope. The cover I have not as yet got, needs to be something that will reduce frost etc on the motors of the mount. My main reason for putting a pier in was to reduce my setup times so If the skies clear I can hook the scope up and start shooting. That and I got fed up kicking the blumming tripod legs in the middle of a session.

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OK. I think it looks a brilliant idea. Sort of half way to an observatory.

What sort of cover do you have in mind. Are you going to build one? I would be concerned about keeping the mount snug and dry.

Oh .. and do you think it'll remain well polar aligned when you dismount and remount the scope?

Edited by Ouroboros
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I'm thinking of some silver loft insulation lined inside a BBQ cover. The BBQ cover will be waterproof and the lining should keep frost at bay. The alignment should stay even after placing and removing the scope, but can periodically be checked & and adjusted if necessary. I'm planning on using PHD to do the drift align. Was hoping to at least get the alignment done tonight but the sky gods are conspiring against me.

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Thanks, Ivan, for showing us those pics. ;) Looks good.

It'll be interesting to hear how you get on using it, how well aligned it remains, and whether your covers keep out the damp and the spiders. :)

I like the hand prints in the cement!! Aliens in the middle of the night? :D:D

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thats a very nice job, i am currently also busy with my own pier.

on my tripod i use a scope cover from telegizmos , maybe thats also an option for you?

you can order them till very big sizes.

scopecover-01.jpg

Edited by Erwin Kats
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I like the hand prints in the cement!! Aliens in the middle of the night? :):D

Well she is too old to fall for the "you are digging a sandpit" that other less scrupulous DIYers have used so the hand prints and an iPhone were motivation enough to help out ;-)

Like those covers, but I'll stick with the homemade one for now and see how it fairs through the winter.

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  • 4 months later...

It did, some minor rusting on the adjustment screws but nothing major. The polar alignment held really well. When I first set it up I spent one night using EQAlign to get it as accurate as I could, checked it a couple of months after setting it and it was still spot on. Must check it again though.

I'd really recommend installing one, it has made such a difference to set-up/teardown times and I can kick it all I like :)

Edited by IvanT
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Have ordered my pier today and a new goto mount (old scope was manual), So hoping to dig a hole this weekend.

Stage 2 - will be a ROR or a dome, when money can afford it

Ian

I've not mentioned to my wife that there is a stage two that requires a large portion of her deck to become firewood :D

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