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EQ6 PRO Pier Adaptor any Suggestions?

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#1 skyguy55

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 06:00 PM

Hi All,

I have decided to build myself a small roll off observatory so now I need some advise on building a pier and some way to attach the EQ6 to that pier. I'm not sure what is best, a cement pier or a metal pier. In the future I plan to upgrade the mount to something larger like a G11 or maybe one step higher. In other words I would like to build for the future and be able to swap out adapter plates and keep the pier intact.

My metal work skills are zero so I'm trying to find some plans or something that I could take to a machine shop or has anyone found somebody that makes this sort of thing for a reasonable price?

Thanks for any and all advise.

Gregg

#2 AlexN

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 03:36 AM

Cement pier reinforced with a steel frame, have 4 bolts coming out of the top of it, and a flat steel plate for leveling the top.. this way, when you go to a bigger mount, you can just make up a new steel plate to suit the new mount. Easy as pie..

#3 RobertED

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 07:36 AM

I just finished one...10" dia. concrete pier, 3 bolts , 2 aluminum 12" plates and 4 leveling bolts in each corner. This holds an Atlas mount and a C-11 scope.

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#4 skyguy55

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 09:01 AM

Thanks Robert/Alex,

Robert, do you do anything 'special' to attach the mount head to the top adapter plate? Is there just a hole drilled into the top plate so that the center screw goes through it and attaches directly to the mount? Do you not loose that east/west adjustment or did you not find that to be a problem?

Alex, unfortunately I don't make pies but according to Robert, maybe I should give it a try! :roflmao: :lol:

Thanks for you help guys.

Gregg

#5 celestial_search

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:05 PM

I don't have my "plans" anymore. I had a metal fabricator make a steel pier (that I filled with sand once attached to the cement anchoring base).

I used round metal plates (lower and upper leveling plate). The upper plate must have a hole cut that matches that in the mount and you must be able to tighten the mount down. I had a large spacing "washer" made that fits around the mount base and then a threaded screw to secure it.

If you look at your mount's base and the tripod you will see what I mean. The tripod has a recessed hole. You must be able to clamp the mount head to the uppder plate. My spacing washer fits around the mount base circular instrusion. You have to be able to tighten the threaded screw to pull the mount tight against the upper leveling plate.

You will also have to tap a thread for the azimuth (square headed screw) so that you have something "to push off" for azimuth adjustment (see picture).

I do have pictures of my CG- setup prior to using the EQ-6/Atlas to give you some idea.

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#6 celestial_search

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:08 PM

Again, the above picture is for my CG-5, but the arrangement is similar. Not how I traced the mount head outline on the plate and tapped a threaded hole (same place as located on tripod) where the azimuth square headed screw will thread into.

One spacing washer fits around the mount head protrusion (so that it "levels" it and then a washer with screw hole and screw can pull the mount head snug against the leveling plate).

I'll try to find my "plans" for the EQ-6, but hopefully you will get the idea of what you will have to do based on observation and measurement.

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#7 celestial_search

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:17 PM

You can see from my EQ-6 picture, just under the upper leveling plate is the "washer" and you can also see the metric screw (cut to just enough length to fit through washer and into mount threaded hole to tighten it). You can't used the threaded screw on the tripod.

The EQ-6 washer arrangement was different in some respects from the CG-5 (different base protusion size).

The basic idea is that you must be able to "tighten" the mount head down onto the leveling plate and you have to have the azimuth squared-headed peg screw transferred from the tripod base.

Once measured where the az. peg goes, you use a drill bit one size smaller than the thread of the az. peg screw and then use the tap and die kit proper size (you can get these kits at Sears, etc.) to "drill" by hand the threads.

I can't even remember the thread sizes, but they are metric. Take the az. peg screw and the threaded retaining bold from the tripod to a hardware store that has a thread measuring template to get the right size. I can't even remember the thread style (course or fine).

#8 skyguy55

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:30 PM

Hey Frank,

Thanks very much for the clarification! I think I have it now.
One question though, what was the diameter of your pier?

Thanks everyone for all your help!

Gregg

#9 celestial_search

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 02:35 PM

Gregg:

The pier is 6" diameter and the bottom plate and top leveling plate are 8" in diameter.

I will post a picture of the pre-installed pier. It is higher than it looks. I wanted the flexibility of moving the pier if we bought a new house. The cement anchor is 4' deep (just below the frost line for these parts) that has four large bolts (placed into the cement with a wood template and bottom lining to maintain flat, level area for the pier base after the cement dried, and so template could be easily removed from the dried cement). I used a plumb line to mark the NCP on the ground before building it so that I had a roughly accurate polar alignment. The mount--anchor is isolated from the floor. I used cushioned floor squares on the floor of the telescope half of my observatory shed, but nothing touches the pier. The power line runs up through the same hole that the pier is in. I used large, double-nutted screws to hold the pier to the cement anchor.

The upper leveling plate can be adjusted some inches if necessary for mount height, but it works well where it is for me. If I use my 8" f/6 Newt I use a two-step step ladder (the one in the picture is no longer used--I replaced it with a hard rubberized two-step, 300# plus weight rating step stool (I weigh about 207# and am 6'3", but I "pump iron" like Scott Beith ;) ).

I also added a metal utility stand on single-shaft support pole with four wheels that fits under the shelf (when stored) under the back boarded-up window, such as used by mechanics, for my laptop, etc. I still use the small folder table seen in the picture occasionally. I also have a second, pneumatic, chair that has more adjustable height than the one in the picture. Between the two penumatic chairs and the two-step ladder (Newt only), my mount height has worked well for all my scopes.



My observatory floor is raised off the ground (I'll show a picture) so the mount had to be higher. I chose a height that accounted for the floor height and a good viewing height for my C-11 and refractors based on my normal viewing position.

You can see the difference in height of the pre-installed pier picture, between the upper leveling plate and lower plate, and the height I use in the observatory picture.

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#10 celestial_search

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 02:38 PM

You can see the hole in the bottom plate where I eventually filled with sand (and covered the hole after that).

I double-nutted the leveling plate, etc., for stability.

Note that the picture of the base was before it was complete. It was filled in entirely with cement blocks (save where the pier attached). You can get the idea of what I did. I used sand (see outer framework) and leveled the base before placing the blocks. It didn't matter if the floor was sleightly off-level as the pier--cement anchor was as level as possible and the upper leveling plate could be used for minor adjustments.

You may have different observatory plans, but I wanted you to see how my pier choice and height was selected.

The sand in the steel pier makes it as solid as can be.

I spray painted the steel with an anit-rust paint coating.

I also built a "deck" at the entrance (once the doors open and are blocked--there is more walk room).

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#11 RobertED

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 04:21 PM

I do have a hole in the center of the top plate big enough to let the base of the mount sit inside it. It is a little recessed for a perfect fit. Unfortunately, I did not make the plates assembly, a machinist friend of mine did. I then used a large washer to add a locking pressure and used a bolt (hex) to lock it all in place. I did have the machinist drill a small hole and put a large bolt in place of where the East-West stop would go. This way, I still get my fine E-W adjustments.

#12 skyguy55

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 05:00 PM

Thanks Robert and all,

This seems to be the way to go with slight variation but with the same result!

I am really looking forward to the night I don't have to keep breaking down the mount and 'focus' on the task at hand.

Thanks again.

Gregg






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