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It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier)

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#1 John Miele

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:34 PM

Hi all,

I did not want to glom on to Dwight's thread any longer so I started a new thread here in the observatory forum on my wood pier build. This was inspired by the great write-up that Dwight shared over in the mounts forum

http://www.cloudynig...5527689/page...

I always wanted a pier but did not want to go with concrete columns or the cost of a metal pier. One aching back later, I have my own backyard wood pier in the ground :jump:. It's a beast made just as Dwight did using four 6 feet long 6x6 wood posts glued and bolted together and dropped into a 36" deep hole. I'll be attaching some metal plates and the G11 adapter on Tuesday. Dug the hole by hand with a shovel and post hole digger. Good grief, Alabama red clay is hard to dig in :crazy:. But the hard part is done! I'll be posting some cost numbers and more pics later...John

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#2 John Miele

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:35 PM

Pier is ready to roll to the launch pad!

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#3 John Miele

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

In the ground!

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#4 John Miele

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:39 PM

Took seven 40 lb bags of quick-crete...

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#5 mich_al

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

Congratulations on the new pier, hope it serves you well. These things are starting to really multiply, I have one too. The first I heard of was built by Patrick in Northern Ohio about 3 years ago. Anyone know of an earlier 4 6*6 timber pier?

#6 korborh

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:51 PM

Looks great! waiting on more updates...

#7 opticsguy

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:52 PM

Looks good!!! What you gonna do about them trees??

#8 John Miele

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

They block my neighbors lights right now. I plan to do a limited topping sometime soon as they restrict my southern view to about 45 deg. or higher. I'm pretty good East, West, and North...john

#9 D_talley

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:35 PM

Great looking pier. Patrick is to blame for our back pain.

I wish I had your sky view. I have a north shot over the house and can just see Jupiter over the trees in the east by 10pm. No south view at all. West is just as bad as the east.

#10 Raginar

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:38 PM

Beautiful John!

#11 John Miele

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:05 AM

Completed the pier yesterday :jump:. Notched the corners and installed the 1/4" x 12" x 12" steel plates and the G11 adapter. Here are some photos of the mount. Had a brief chance to use it last night. With my C8 on top, it felt very sturdy and rigid. A sharp rap on the tube damped out in about 2 seconds in a 220X eyepiece view of Jupiter. I think it's a success. Now to see how long it holds polar alignment...John

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#12 John Miele

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:07 AM

View of the south end...

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#13 John Miele

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:08 AM

I added two handles on the East and West sides under the top plate to hold cables and the controller...

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#14 John Miele

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:11 AM

As Dwight noted, the Gemini controller does not attach properly to the std brackets on the pier adapter. I made a couple of right angle brackets to move the controller to the back edge of the upper plate. It still allows a clear view through the polar scope and keeps adequate slack in the motor cables...

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#15 Raginar

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:15 AM

Hey John,

How'd you drill those steel plates?

#16 John Miele

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:22 AM

Hi Chris,

I bought the two plates from a local welding shop and had them match drill the 3/4" holes in the corners of each plate. They charged me $50 total to cut and drill both plates. I then had to drill 5 addtional 1/2" holes and 6 additional 1/8" holes to assemble everything. I used a drill press and standard metal drilling bits. The 1/8" holes were drilled in one pass. The 1/2" holes were first drilled with a 1/4" bit and then enlarged to 1/2". Dwight talked about this too...the key was to use a low speed on the press and lots of lubricating oil to keep the bits from overheating. It did get messy! I already owned all the bit sizes I needed. The plates are made from A36 steel which is easier to drill through than a high strength steel. But they are just as stiff because all steels have essentially the same Modulus (E) regardless of their hardness...John

#17 Raginar

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:33 PM

Cool, thanks John.

#18 Wmacky

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:56 PM

How about those nuts, and bolts. Are they Stainless? If so were to you obtain them?

#19 John Miele

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:43 PM

The corner bolts are actually 3/4" threaded rod cut to lenght with a hacksaw. The rod and the nuts were bought from Lowes. They are standard zinc plated hardware. I will be keeping the pier covered with a Telegizmo continuus exposure cover and a dry stick (both on order from Scopestuff). Hoping that will keep any corrosion at bay for a long while...John

#20 D_talley

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:56 PM

Perfect mount. I like your solution for the controller better than what I did. Enjoy!!!

#21 mich_al

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:52 AM

I'd recommend a remote temp/humidity monitor. I've got one like this with a remote under my TeleGizmo 365.

http://www.oregonsci...?mfg=all&amp...
http://www.oregonsci...sp?itmky=403576


I have a light bulb for humidity control. I'd like to hear how the dri stick performs.

Al

#22 JJK

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:29 AM

The corner bolts are actually 3/4" threaded rod cut to lenght with a hacksaw. The rod and the nuts were bought from Lowes. They are standard zinc plated hardware. I will be keeping the pier covered with a Telegizmo continuus exposure cover and a dry stick (both on order from Scopestuff). Hoping that will keep any corrosion at bay for a long while...John


The dry stick is called "Dri-Rod Dehumidifying Heater Rod" on the Scope Stuff website.

http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_drd2.htm

#23 John Miele

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:33 PM

Thanks JJK. I should have been more accurate in my wording. I thought about using a light bulb but was a little concerned about their fragility. The Dri-Rod is more robust and not too exepensive so I'm giving it a try. The one thing I'm not sure about is whether to leave the bottom of the cover open to allow air circulation or whether to try and seal it off around the base. Any thoughts on that? Thanks...John

#24 JJK

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:24 PM

Thanks JJK. I should have been more accurate in my wording. I thought about using a light bulb but was a little concerned about their fragility. The Dri-Rod is more robust and not too exepensive so I'm giving it a try. The one thing I'm not sure about is whether to leave the bottom of the cover open to allow air circulation or whether to try and seal it off around the base. Any thoughts on that? Thanks...John


No problem. I added the real name & link, because the ScopeStuff website isn't fun to navigate.

The Dri-Rod makes more sense than a bulb for several reasons.

I'd first try out the Dri-Rod with the bottom of the cover somewhat open, and check to see if the equipment is sufficiently dry. It would likely depend on whether the equipment has dew/frost on it at the end of the observing session.

#25 mich_al

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

The Dri-Rod makes more sense than a bulb for several reasons.

Yrs, if it performs well enough, it probably does. Early on I looked at Dri-Rods but was a bit concerned they didn't really have the wattage needed to quickly dry out the area I needed. I beleive they where made to keep the inside of a closed gun safe dry. My target area is under a Telegizmo 365 cover that is not sealed and is fully exposed. That's why I asked for info on how it performed. I might switch over from by 60W bulb to a Dri-Rod, but I'd like to get a first hand report first. Right now it's been raining off and on all day here. I have my light buld on under the Telegizmo cover and my remote sensor is reporting 58% humidity. If the rain stops it will be around 40% in the morning. I think that's pretty good. If a Dri-Rod will do as good or better I'll switch. If it can't then I'm happy with the light bulb I've been using for 2 years now.

Al






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