Builng a pier
Posted 04 October 2012 - 06:27 PM
1) i dont have much money, so budget is very tight.
2) my new house we just bought has a back deck with a LIMITED line of sight, and the only real location to put the scope is on the deck, or directly next to it.
3) the house is on a good slope surrounded by trees. at the point where i wnat to do this, it is 5 feet form ground to the bottom of the deck, then i need another 4 feet on top of that to get LOS over the roof.
i am not opposed to construction, or even if necessary cutting a ahole through the deck to run a pier, im just not sure how to make a distance like im looking? if anyone has ideas, or info or things i should try, feel free to advise
Posted 04 October 2012 - 07:26 PM
I would put it in the ground if possible. I tried just doing visual on my deck with the CGEM and it was a complete fail... every step was magnified in the eyepiece. If I could stand still it was almost possible.
Good luck! And you might want this moved to the Observatories section, it will get a better response there.
Posted 04 October 2012 - 10:50 PM
I perm mounted my CG5 on a pier tech2. I used the 16" extension you can get from orion as my pier base. I cut the 16" extension to the height i liked and drilled new holes to mount the mount too.
Here is a link to the extension.
Orion SkyView Pro Telescope Mount Extension
This extension can also be used on the CG5
Posted 05 October 2012 - 08:07 AM
My CGEM sits atop a wooden pier (4 6x6) that is 10 feet above grade. The timbers are embedded 2 feet into a 3' x 3' x 56" block of concrete. There is a caveat. My pier has some twisting movements. Over the course of a couple of weeks this spring I monitored where the scope pointed. Initially I pointed the scope at a stationary marker about 300' away and nearly horizontal. Thought the days I looked thru the scope and see where it was pointed and noted movement mostly left and right a few inches max and up and down an inch or so. I suspect humidity and temperature where the cause. The movements where not predictable and sometimes there was no movement.
My mount/scope has been on the pier for over 2 years. Often there is no need to realign and when there is simply recentering the 2 alignment stars is sufficient.
If I had it to do over I would probably build the pier from chimney blocks to the bottom of the deck and use a steel pier the last few feet.
Posted 05 October 2012 - 09:07 AM
Probably the cheapest, strongest and easiest to build tall pier is one made out of chimney block. I built a 12.5' chimney block pier 12 years ago to hold a 12" SCT ... used exclusively for imaging ... and this type of pier is "rock solid", virtually vibration free ... and did I mention, CHEAP! Send me a PM if you're interested in the construction details.
Posted 05 October 2012 - 09:14 AM
Probably the cheapest, strongest and easiest to build tall pier is one made out of chimney block.
Agreed. My chimney block pier has been in use (imaging only) since 2003. I expect it to outlast me.
Posted 05 October 2012 - 09:33 AM
Posted 07 October 2012 - 08:05 AM
Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:07 AM
Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:20 PM
Instead of a pier, build a tripod.
- Have 3 concreted footings, ideally reaching below frost line. You don't need anything massive, just 10" diameter, 3' deep should be good enough
-Put wooden legs on top of footings in tripod shape. Again, legs don't have to be massive. I think even 2x4 may work.
-On top of legs, put a plate. Plate can be below floor, in this case you need some regular pier to extend above the floor. Other option, if having 3 holes in the deck is ok, is to extend the legs above the floor.
I think this arrangement should be infinitely more stable than a one foot pier and should be easier to build.
Attached is a smaller version of the same idea, works very well.
Posted 07 October 2012 - 06:06 PM
That's an interesting idea. If you look at some of the pier manufacturers they are essentially doing the same thing ... ie. building a triangular shaped support. The gusset reinforcements start off wider at the bottom and travel right up the whole length of the pier.
We tend to build piers and supports as a single long rectangular object rather than the more rigid triangular shape. If you build the more rigid triangle then you can use different materials (like wood) which wouldn't be appropriate in other shapes.
Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:43 AM
wow great ideas. now i need to think wether wood or block. i kinda like the through the wood aspect so ill be on the deck. with the wood pier i figure id have to join the wood together with lag bolts or equivilant. with block im figuring the cost still would be more having to purchase block and build a footer, but ill look into both typoes and see which would work best. living in TN. it can freeze, though not as bad as real northern states
The cost of the hardware (bolts,nuts,washers, foot long drill bit) to bolt my 12' 6x6's together was substantial.
Posted 08 October 2012 - 05:56 PM
I susprect folks will post their opinion that this isn't possibly enough, but for visual and perhaps limited photo work, you'll be fine. If you had a big scope, or an open-sky place, or were planning an observatory, bigger would be better, but this will be worlds better than a tripod, and not a lot of money.
Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:23 PM
Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:26 PM
mich, are you sure it was 4 6x6. when i looked at his pier in his photos, it looked to me like it was 4 4x4's i might be wrong. 4 6x6 would be a massive pier and very heavy to handle. donnie
If you're refering to Patricks pier then Yes it was 6x6. Mine is also 6x6's (really 5.5"). I put them together to drill for connecting bolts then disassembled and moved each 12' 6x6 to the hole then reassembled in place. From memory each 6x6 was about 100lbs.
Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:31 PM
My 6x6 worked really good... did exactly what roscoe is saying. It isn't 'rock solid' like a concrete pier but it dampens out before you can put your eye to the piece.
Something to consider is that over time wood will warp. Part of the idea of joining numerous pieces together is to counteract the warping.
Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:59 PM
Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:28 PM
Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:55 PM
If you're refering to Patricks pier then Yes it was 6x6. Mine is also 6x6's (really 5.5").
(4) 6x6's glued and bolted together. The general idea for using a laminated structure is to help reduce twisting in any one column by counteracting it with the other columns. I am quite happy with my pier and it has served me well over the last several years. I'm not that concerned about pier movement over the course of a season because I don't leave my scopes set up outside anyway. Consequently I just plan on doing a polar alignment every time I setup to image. If I'm not imaging, polar alignment is not that critical. Any wood movement is not going to occur that fast regardless.
Here's a Meade SN6 on a Vixen GP2 mount sitting on the Backyard Observatory's pier plate sitting on top of the pier. I currently have a CGEM sitting on the pier and have also put my CPC1100 and Mitty wedge on it with no problems.
I went with a wooden pier mainly for aesthetics. If I were building a dedicated observatory I would most likely build the pier using concrete block.
Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:48 PM
Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:40 AM
Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:36 PM