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CGE arrives....Digging begins!!!!(for Pier)

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#1 nofxrx

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 08:58 PM

Well this beautiful mount arrived the other day and I have started digging for my Perm Pier!!!
Some details on the mount...
CGE(obviously LOL)
Cassidy tip in saddle
Cassidy 15,and 2x5lb CWs
Losmandy tripod knob set
Celestron CN-16GPS :woohoo: EASY setup for once!!! :lol:
I will get an image of this by Sunday(even IF it is cloudy out I want to see this puppy mounted!!! :D )

Pier details:

TOP:I made a homemade top plate pier adapter out of a piece of 6065 solid aluminum tube at 5-1/5"round(FITS PERFECTLY,for you DIY's!!!)bolted to an 8x8x5/8" Steel plate.ROCK SOLID.
This setup is going to be bolted into the concrete with 1/2"x4' treaded rod burried 3'-6" in concrete with rebar ties between each treaded rod..again,ROCK SOLID!!
Posted Image

The pier material:
A piece of 12" Storm drain PVC..I dont know if any og you guys have seen this stuff or not..Its a blue-ish color and is ~1"thick all the way around(obviously)....You could fill this with SAND and get a decen pier!!..
I dont have an image of it as it is sitting outside waiting for concrete..too dark to take an image(I will update tomorrow though!!!!!)

Here is the hole which all this is going to sit in..
Posted Image
This is ~3'Wx~3"Lx~18" deep around the main hole :p
The Pier is going to be sunk ~18" deeper in the center of that hole..
As you can tell it is going to be a ~12" concrete base wrapping the pier 360deg.I have Rebar going through the Pier(4x2'-6") at four spots kinda like a # symbol.so that I have rebar from the pier every~45deg...




SO,that is the game plan...its already in motion.BUT,I am hoping that if ANYONE sees any kind of weakness in this design you CAN let me know...concrete is not in yet..so nothing is set in stone :rimshot: :lol:

I will be updating this thread tomorrow when I pour concrete.WHICH BTW, SHOULD BE EASY AS PIE!!!! I work for an Electrical contractor and my boss owns a small concrete mixer..It can mix 2-1/2 to 3 80lb bags at a time..it might take a little while but it sure beats the PITA of mixing it in a bucket!!lol

THEN,hopefully sunday I will be bolting the CGE(ugh,it is the most beautiful mount I have ever seen in person...AND it is fareakin HEAVY!!I owned the ol' CI-700 which is supposedly the predecessor to the CGE...WELL the CI-700 WITH trpod weight = if not LESS than JUST the EQ head of the CGE!!I am hoping this is a GREAT sign that this mount WILL be able to grow WITH me and my Astro Imaging hobby,and NOT be a limiting factor in my AP...UNLESS I want that C14..unlikely,well maybe for visual though :drool:..

Right now, I will be imaging primarily with a 10"F4.7 Newt
(Celestron,but GREAT optics!!). And a WO 66SD..I know...HUGE,and so small...no inbetween.Well right now I cant afford another big purchase since I just spent major(to me)$$$$ on the CGE with all Accys.....SO,I am going to pick up the Orion ST100mmF6 OTA for guiding the 66SD AND for NarrowBand imaging!!



Anyways,let me know what you guys think of this Pier design!!!AND,wait for new updates!!! I am SO STOKED!!

Cheers and clear skies!!

#2 David Pavlich

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:33 PM

Hey Brent...looks like you've got everything at the ready. You're going to love the CGE. It has a special place in my astroheart. And with it mounted on a solid pier, it improves its performance. Keep posting pictures.

David

#3 EddWen

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 11:08 AM

In your first post you typed:

"solid aluminum tube at 5-1/5"round(FITS PERFECTLY,for you DIY's!!!)"

I believe you meant 5-1/2" round it you plan to fit the CGE electrical pier.

#4 waassaabee

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 11:27 AM

Looks great! That should be plenty stout!! I'm curious to see the future pics and progress. I'm foreseeing a similar project in the near future for my CGEM.

#5 nofxrx

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 06:56 PM

In your first post you typed:

"solid aluminum tube at 5-1/5"round(FITS PERFECTLY,for you DIY's!!!)"

I believe you meant 5-1/2" round it you plan to fit the CGE electrical pier.


I am so sorry,your right IT IS 5-1/2",I was in a hurry I think and obviously got it wrong,thanks!!!!

#6 nofxrx

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 06:59 PM

Hey Gary,this baby isnt moving!!!!!It is the best idea for an imager ,IMHO,as you can literally bolt the mount on and start imaging...as long as you do a REALLY good drift the first night out.MIGHT recheck every 5 times or so,more often if using a really long F/L...

I think it will hold the space shuttle..LOL(not really :lol: )

#7 Doug D.

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:02 PM

I love posts like this - plus it just makes me long more and more for a fixed observatory. But Brent - lets see some photos of that CGE as well, huh....?

BTW, it looks pretty solid to me....! Keep the progress pics coming.

#8 nofxrx

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:13 PM

PROGRESS REPORT :D

Concrete is IN!!!!!
WHEW,that was fun...
But first,here are some images I didnt have yesterday:
Posted Image
The Pier material(outside of the concrete,so should we say concrete chase... :shrug: ) is made of 1" thick (EXTREMELY)heavywall PVC(used for storm drains!!!)
Rebar going through the tube for added rigidity to pier "base".

READY FOR CONCRETE? I am!! The easy way too...well as easy as concrete can be I guess....
Posted Image

Ugh...GOD )*(&^#%%....stupid...hmmm,UGH...
SHI)&%$%**_+)(&_*&*&^&(^%#$#&^*&(*&^&*^)(*_*&_*&

WHEW...that was..."fun" :roflmao:
Posted Image
One more with one of my dogs!
Posted Image

This is all set and ready for curing..
All total,I have JUST OVER 1/2 TON OF CONCRETE in/around this sucker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THATS RIGHT,no TYPO there....12x80lb bags,2x60lb bags =1080Lbs of concrete.640lbs in the 3'Wx3'Lx~16" deep base. and then 440 in the ~12" INSIDE diameter X60"tall tube...

WOW,is exactly what I said....

Anyways,tomorrow I will see how she looks and MIGHT bolt the CGE up to have a look(and take a pic!!!)...it is going to be cloudy for like the next 5 years....but hey,I will be ready for when the skies do clear.. :lol:

#9 nofxrx

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:20 PM

I love posts like this - plus it just makes me long more and more for a fixed observatory. But Brent - lets see some photos of that CGE as well, huh....?


Ask and ye shall recieve..lol
This is it..my new pride and joy..tomorrow I will(hopefully)have fully assembled pics!!!
Posted Image
Cassidy tip in saddle and SScw are amazingly well crafted..ALONG with the CGE :jump: :rockon:

#10 MDearingJaxFL

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:33 PM

Brent,
Accuweather says clear skies for you tomorrow night....how long does it take for the concrete to cure enough for the CGE and ota to be installed on the pier?
You are inspiring me to do the same in my back yard.....

:>) mark

#11 coopfore1

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 12:47 AM

Yea, You should take a break. Stay away from that pier until it cures. You came this far. Do not mess it up now. It looks great. Are you planning an observatory around it?

#12 waassaabee

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 08:44 AM

Brent, Definitely, don't rush it!! Leave the house today so you won't have the temptation. Go play a round of golf, spend some extra time at the 19th hole... you get the idea.

The picture of the mount by itself makes it look so small...
I've been window shopping at Casady's Astro Bling Boutique... NICE schtuff!! :money:

#13 EddWen

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 10:32 AM

In your first post you typed:

"solid aluminum tube at 5-1/5"round(FITS PERFECTLY,for you DIY's!!!)"

I believe you meant 5-1/2" round it you plan to fit the CGE electrical pier.


I am so sorry,your right IT IS 5-1/2",I was in a hurry I think and obviously got it wrong,thanks!!!!


I was sure you got it right, didn't want others to get it wrong.

Nice pier. You can tell the wife an observatory will be next soon ;-)

#14 nofxrx

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 12:38 PM

LOL,thanks guys!!!
Mark,I am actually going to let this cure fo another couple of days...I would have set it up later this afternoon(24 hours is plenty of time to "dry fit" the CGE,no scopes or weights,just the mount...)BUT,it has been raining all morning and that will easily add a lot more time to the curing process..

I am going to set it up by the middle to end of this week for sure(depending on the weather!!)

I am "planning" an OBS,but the wife....whew,thats a hard sell right there..
I MIGHT get away with complaining about not having a "shed" for the lawn mower and how we need to be able to park 2 cars in the garage and not just hers...and THEN,desing and build a roll off with an extra room for an actual "shed"...
Sounds good to me...but this economy will keep that from happening for at least a couple years,which is why I built the pier now(which could EASILY have an OBS built around it!!).

I will keep you all updated when I can actually SEE this thing in action,even if I cant use a scope with the mount...I just want to see it up there...

I am thinking about some kind of finish for the pier now..I dont think my wife is a fan of a bright blue ginormous(her exact word :lol: )tube sticking out of the ground.
Mark had a good idea of making it a bird bath when not in use..but she kinda laughed at that,dont think she needs me to go that far...

I was thinking of that Marbeled,cracked,or hammered paint look...then maybe some kind of stone walk way around it...hmmm
any other suggestions?

BTW,I am going to be puting in a quad outlet with weatherproof box mounted right to the side of the pier...AND,eventually,maybe some kind of small shelf going 180deg(opposite side of CW swing LOL) around for dew controllers,cam accys,CCD accys,EPs,etc,etc,etc...just think I might do it out of Aluminum,for some reason I cannot be a carpenter in my lifetime...but metal,give me metal and I am good...I like drills....and power tools...I think just heard that Tim Allen manly grunt coming from somewhere...... :shrug:

ALSO,in case any of you are wondering what something like this costs,here you go:

1)Concrete=~$60!!
2)1/2"x3'(IIRC) Threaded rod ~$3.50 ea. so ~$14,AND nuts and washers for the rod..~$8
3)Rebar....I got this for free...I work in construction and on one of the jobsites saw some (I think it was)5/8"x3' pieces and asked the Masonary Foreman if he minded if I grabbed four of them...You CAN buy them at HomeDepot.But,if you see a job site with conrete guys there,it doesnt hurt to stop in and ask(just be prepared for some wierd looks and maybe even a yelling at from the Job Superintendant...they are all jerks..LOL).For me=FREE!!,MIGHT cost ~$15 total for 4 pieces..
4)Top Plate Materials.Aluminum scrap(round rod) AND Steel base plate(square) were ALL purchased on Ebay...Steel was ~$20(IIRC),and the Aluminum was ~$30 (IIRC)...pretty cheap..and some places on there will even cut your piece exactly the length you need and ONLY charge you for YOUR piece!!!
5)The Tube!!!!
This was another "jobsite thing"...except this time,I didnt work there...It was a City Road construction job and I saw a bunch of the sized tube I wanted and stopped in and asked the Foreman if "they have any "Scrap" pieces in X length to let me know,hold it aside for me,or to call me..."..he did,a couple days later he gave me a 12" piece!!!!! I only needed 6'..and only ended up using 5...LOL
so AGAIN,FREE...

There you have it.easy as,well...it was "easy" :D

#15 mish

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 06:18 PM

LOL,thanks guys!!!
Mark,I am actually going to let this cure fo another couple of days...I would have set it up later this afternoon(24 hours is plenty of time to "dry fit" the CGE,no scopes or weights,just the mount...)BUT,it has been raining all morning and that will easily add a lot more time to the curing process..


As long as the rain isn't freezing, the extra water will improve the curing, and make the concrete stronger in the long run. Full strength for most concrete is obtained after a few weeks (28-day strength is the standard for structural work), but you'll have plenty of strength after a few days of curing.

Some folks think that concrete "dries", but it doesn't, so thanks for using the proper term "cures". Having plenty of water on hand for several days AFTER the surface is good and hard will make for strong concrete because the cement then can fully hydrate, and so that rain will likely go a long way towards preventing surface cracks, and it will help insure the most strength.

Your rebar work looks excellent. The only thing I'd suggest is making sure that the rebar below grade got fully covered with concrete, including at its ends. As long as you get a couple inches of cover over all the rebar, it'll last forever. Your design looks like it will work really well. Nice work!

#16 Phil Cowell

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 07:35 PM

Put a sundial on it when not in use. Gives it that daytime artsy look as well.

phil

#17 Doug6952

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 11:22 PM

You might have a tough time getting paint to stick to the PVC. To help adhesion I would first clean it using an amonia based cleaner then sand it very well with 120 grit or even 200 grit to dull the surface. A final wipe down after sanding with denatured alcohol will remove the dust and prep the surface for paint. Krylon makes a spray paint that is designed for plastic called "Fusion". I've used it before (not on PVC) and it seems to work well. They even have textured spray paint colors to make it look a bit like stone. I'm not sure how it would hold up outdoors. You could also use the fusion as a base coat and then do something on top that is designed for outdoor use.

#18 fetoma

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:46 PM

Brent,

That tube is perfect, and I need a 7 foot piece. Been looking all over the net for one. Interested in getting rid of it? :confused:

#19 nofxrx

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 11:52 AM

WOW,seems alot of people are liking my design!!thats awesome...I was pretty confident in the structural design as I work in Construction(electrical though) and have seen A LOT of different designs and how concrete is used in them..and how to "build" the concrete...

Doug,Thanks for the tip on painting this thing..the more and more I look at it I REALLY think it needs to be a more outdoors color...NOT bright blue..I was thinking I would have to ATLEAST sand the sucker before anything would stick to it...and the Krylon paint does a great job on plastic,but I too have never tried it on PVC before..we shall see..

BTW,
My neighbor asked me if I was building a rocket launcher stand.. :rofl2: I almost keeled over right there..it was great..he is a bit of a redneck(no offense to anyone intended,but he is actually a full blown wife beater wearin,recycle bin(S!!!) are always FULL of beer bottles..kinda redneck) and thought I had plans to "terrorize" something...AGAIN,I keeled over at the word "terrorize",just imagine that guy Boomhower(???) from King of the Hill talking to you and you can only understand about half of what he is saying...its great..
OF COURSE,I said no...lol :rofl5:
Again,not trying to offend anyone with my "stereotypical redneck neighbor comment".just thought it was funny enough worth sharing..

Matter of fact when I described what I was building to the road crew where I got the PVD tube..they too said it sounded like something to launch missles....
I better stop.big brother is going to cut me...of..shi....he....

#20 fetoma

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 04:20 PM

Brent,

I went and found my piece of drain pipe too. Yes, it is a beast. I was driving around and saw a farmfield on the edge of a development with some scraps lying about 200 yards from the road. Loaded it up in the minivan and brought it home.

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#21 nofxrx

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 04:51 PM

HA!!
PERFECT...it actually looks like the same stuff..just ben siting outside longer...
Thats awesome..AND FREE!!!

So we should be seeing your pier post soon right?? ;)

#22 nofxrx

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 07:17 PM

UPDATE:


ITS DONE!!!!!!


Here it is with about 5 coats of Rust-O-Leum Hammered Texture Light Grey/metallic.With A darker grey metallic for the Top plate(I asked the wife,she said Black,which is what I wanted,would be worse than the Blue that tube came in..so WE comprimised..LOL)Also with Quad outlets with Weatherproof cover..also painted...

Posted Image

AND one with the Mount finally installed..I wont have First Light until HOPEFULLY next weekend..which is RIGHT near NEW MOON..and NO,NOT THE BOOK(OR movie..come on,some of you know what I am talking about :lol: )
:D
BTW,that is a 70lbs German Shepard Mix(for size comparison)!!
Posted Image


Clear Skies!!!!Hopefully for EVERYONE during the New Moon!!!!

#23 Doug6952

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 07:29 PM

Looks Great Brent!

Can't wait to see first light.

#24 nofxrx

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 07:33 PM

Oh,I almost forgot...Hopefully by next weekend I will have ALL my new toys READY for imaging:
Pier(obviously ready)
CGE w/Cassidy SS CW's AND tip in saddle.CN16GPS.(Boy,am "I" PRIMED AND READY for this FIRST LIGHT!!!!!!)
StarLight Xpress HC916(Ready to go!!!BTW,AMAZINLY LOW DARK current in these cams..)
Canon XS w/Baader replacement filter,modded by myself!!(Ready for WF imaging with the 66SD)
Orion SS II Mono,mainly guide cam(READY to guide the CGE)
Atik Manual FW(Ready)
Astronomik FULL set of imaging filters LRGBHOS(in the mail!!)
Apogee 106mm F/6.2 Achro for guiding the 66SD AND for a middle F/L scope,because of being an achro(couldnt afford an APO of this size) I am strictly going to image NB and hope for the best..(ALSO,in the mail!!!!)


I know 99% of that had NOTHING to do with Mounts,BUT I AM FREAKIN excited!!!!Especially about ths SX HX916!!!SWEEEEEET cam....


And yes,I WILL get some images up of the whole setup WHEN it all arrives or by next weekend with the 10"Newt/66SD/XS or HX916 ready for imaging!!


Thanks for looking guys..and for all your support and positive feedback during my process..gotta love CN..I know,I do!!

#25 nofxrx

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 07:35 PM

Thanks Doug!!!
How is the NEW gear search/sale going?
Have you decided on a new mount?I thought I heard you mention the CGEM before..you stickin with that?its a great mount,FWIHH!






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