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Pier + pier adapter help


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Hello all,

Well we have just bought our first house! :D moved in last Friday so now it's time to start thinking about a permentant setup!! :)

Although there is a lovley 3m x 3m wooden pent shed in the garden i would LOVE to convert, she is just not so keen on that idea (yet).

So a small pier and a removable wooden box cover will suffice for the time being. I also plan to run the cables into the shed and build a cheap pc to run the softwear and then remote desktop it from inside the house, although the having a non GOTO mount for now doesn't really help me much being inside.

Anyway from what i have read on here about peir's etc. I have decided to go the DIY route and dig a hole, pop in a 8" drainage pipe and fill her up, that part i think i can handle.

It is the pier adapter i'm unsure about, basicaly i havn't a clue!?

Can someone direct me to a guide or give me some instructions?

i.e list of materials, design and do's and dont's.

Is it straight forward and cheaper than just buying Altair Astro's £80 version?

It is for a CG5 non GT mount.

Do's and dont's for the pier too wouldn't go a miss :evil1:

Many thanks!

Michael

Edited by msinclairinork
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Before you bury an 8" drainpipe make sure it's in the right place!! It ain't goin' to move! You may be better off considering a steel tube pier that could be bolted to a concrete base, the advantage being that you can easily replace/modify the pier as required (and not have to explain it away when you next move house!)

The pier adaptor simply duplicates the top of the tripod supplied for your mount. You can buy them, as you have found, or you could have one made either by a small engineering firm (probably cheaper to buy the commercial one!) or find an amateur engineer who would probably make one for "cost of materials + a pint". You may have a local model engineering society - try them.

Edited by Bizibilder
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Top tips their Bizibilder!

Much appreciated! I think might end up buying the adapter as from what i can gather an EQ mount looks to be a tad more complicated than say an alt/az.

Good idea with bolting a pier, So would I be looking for a solid steel pipe rather than a hollow one idealy?

Thanks,

Michael

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My own pier was made from bits "scrounged" at very small expense (scrap value!) from my local "steel fabricators". All the bits were offcuts and ends - therefore "new" but of no use to the fabricator. The whole thing cost around £40 for the steel and a further £25 for the welding - I cut the bits to final shape and drilled the holes, the fabricator did the welding - I just gave him a sketch of how I wanted the bits assembled.

As to filling it, I used "play sand" which adds mass and dampens vibrations, it is also removable should I need to!

A pic is attached - just the top plate not shown, it is identical to the plate welded to the top of the pier except for the central hole.

post-17157-133877521002_thumb.jpg

Edited by Bizibilder
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  • 2 weeks later...

Bizibuilder- Well I have just ordered the Altair astro pier adapter and have sent in the photo of your pier to my local fabricator to quote me a price :)

Now just need to dream up some kind of way to cover the setup and keep it all safe and dry. Really has to be small due to the size of our garden.

Thanks again for your help! :)

Michael

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Quite a few folk use a "roll off shed" when space is at a premium. By that I mean they use a small tool shed (A bit like a 1 person portable toilet!!!) and cut the base to fit round the pier. To use it you open the door and wheel the whole shed out of the way! This is the sort of thing:

Buy Wooden Garden Tool Shed at Argos.co.uk - Your Online Shop for Wooden sheds.

But you can get 'em much cheaper than that!!

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Red Dwarf (I assume you are referring to my pier picture), the pier is about 1m tall and bolts down onto a concrete block that had four pieces of studding buried in it as it was poured. Each piece of studding is 18" long and has a 90° bend in its lower end to keep it in place. The concrete is 2' x 2' and 2'6" deep (actually its about 2'6" wide at the bottom for stability) and was made from 400Kg of concrete!! As the top of the concrete wasn't perfectly flat one stud has a single washer, under the pier, as a spacer to make the whole thing solid and stable.

Oops! I forgot! The pier is full of dry "play sand" which stops any "ringing" vibrations. The whole thing is ver solid!

Edited by Bizibilder
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very nice job, would you be willing to make others for people on the forum ?

Hadn't thought of it, now I've made one the next one shouldn't take as long but I'm very much an all manual little workshop. I usually make much smaller things. I'll have to find a cheaper source of aluminuim as this lump was £20 and the time it's taken isn't very cost effective.:)

Made another one:

post-12841-133877530716_thumb.jpg

Edited by Stardust
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Can anyone advise me on what the very minimum size/depth for a concrete base.

I am considering going down the route of the drainage pipe set in the cement and about 3ft off the ground, probably 8" diameter. Then the CG5, ED80, ST80 plus cameras etc.

Also in X amount of months I hope to upgrade to a HEQ5.

So any ideas on what the minimum size base to weight roughly is?

I say minimum becuse I would probably want to dig it all out in a few years or so.

Thanks,

Michael

Edited by msinclairinork
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On second thoughts...what's your opinions on the 4" square wooden post with a 2.5ft speed spike thingy? The same as what Bill has done here http://www.billinforres.110mb.com/Obsy/Obsy3.htm or even a combo of this plus a little bit of crete round the top?

I have seen a few others using this method, defently looks like the semi-permenant soloution that I would be looking for. My only concern is stability and....Orkney weather...probably the worst on the planet! lol well...pritty bad anyway. wind and rain!!!

Thanks,

Michael

Edited by msinclairinork
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I think my contcrete was 3ft deep and 20 x 20", my LX200 10" has been quite happy on that for the past 4 years or so. If you do the concrete with bolts sticking out, they could be cut off if you moved and just leave it in the ground.

I wouldn't use a metal spike and timber myself, ok for an alt-az set up.

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