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iOptron Mini Pier

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#1 Skywise2

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:56 PM

Anyone have trouble with the iOptron Mini Pier for the iEQ 30 or 45? Mine had incorrectly placed mount holes which did not allow the bottom of the pier to contact the base plate on all sides, setting up a "fulcrum" on which it could wobble with little effort. The oversized holes in the pier itself allowed for even more "play." You can forget about trying to align anything.

My fix was to drill new holes next to the existing ones (making sure the pier had contact with the base plate all around) right through the cylinder, and tap both the pier and base plate at the same time with M6 x 1.0 for the mounting screws. Hope this helps someone.

#2 sgtcombs

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 03:39 AM

Not many people no about elf quest, cheers to you.

#3 Astronewb

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 09:58 AM

Nice solution, you didn't mention which mount you put it on?

I purchased a iOptron mini-pier for the iEQ45 a couple of years ago. I didn't have any issues with 'wobble', but I did have to slot the 3 lower holes in the pier in order to get the azimuth pin lined up with the north facing tripod leg. I also replaced the lower lobed knobs with socket cap screws for increased tightening force.

Not a big deal for most people, but I'm ocd about stuff like that. I recommended to iOptron that they consider slotting the lower holes on future production, but haven't seen any mini-piers with slotted lower holes yet.

Best...Paul

#4 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 11:55 AM

Not many people no about elf quest, cheers to you.


Wasn't that the dice RPG from back in the mid 80's? I used to have that game too.

#5 neversummer

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 08:05 AM

For someone with a 102mm refractor + dslr, would an iOptron 42" pier provide the best stability and clearance for imaging around the zenith or the tripod + mini-pier?

#6 Astronewb

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:02 AM

For someone with a 102mm refractor + dslr, would an iOptron 42" pier provide the best stability and clearance for imaging around the zenith or the tripod + mini-pier?


The 42" pier is extremely stable. Here's pic of mine with a iEQ45 and AT6RC on it.
Posted Image
iOptron 42" Pier by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

If you can imagine the mount slewed to 180 degrees horizontal and the ota vertical, you can see that there is plenty of room even for very long refractors.

The 42' pier is for the CEM60 when it arrives. I use the mini-pier (8") on the tripod with the iEQ45 normally as in this picture:
Posted Image
Two in One by Astronewb2011, on Flickr

Again, plenty of room to image at zenith with the extra 8" of pier.

By the way, the 42" pier provides 7" from the top of the pier to the securing rod, the 48" pier will give you about 13" but it's too tall for my taste.

Clear skies...Paul

#7 neversummer

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 01:48 PM

Thanks Paul, great reference images. Do the legs on the 42" Pier cover a wider radius than a 2" tripod? Just wondering how it will fit through my patio doors compared to my CG-5.

#8 Astronewb

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:37 AM

Thanks Paul, great reference images. Do the legs on the 42" Pier cover a wider radius than a 2" tripod? Just wondering how it will fit through my patio doors compared to my CG-5.


That's a tough question? My 2" tripod's tip distance between two legs is 31", but that's with the lower legs extended 5 inches. It fits thru a doorway fine.

The 42" pier tip distance between two legs is 38" so it would be tight. I plan on keeping it in the garage and rolling it in and out on casters eventually. Working on a way to do that. The levelers on the pier are 10x 1.5mm thread, I have found casters with that size threaded stud.

Now to figure out how to adapt a leveling device to the pier once it's in position.

One other thing you need to take into consideration is that the pier has nothing to really hold on to if you needed to lift it to maneuver through a doorway other than the guy cables. That's another reason I've decided to leave it in the gargage 24/7.

Hope that helps...Paul

#9 neversummer

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 03:28 PM

Thanks for your help Paul. The mini-pier sounds like it will suit my needs. Now to wait for the reviews on the CEM60. :waytogo:

#10 timmbottoni

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:55 PM

Paul does the mini pier provide a more stable AP environment because you can not have to extend the legs so much? I have the ieq45 now.

Timm

#11 Astronewb

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 02:44 AM

Paul does the mini pier provide a more stable AP environment because you can not have to extend the legs so much? I have the ieq45 now.

Timm


I wouldn't say more stable Timm, but it does allow you to image/view with the ota straight up to zenith without your imaging equipment or diagonal making divots in your tripod legs?

I haven't used the 42" pier yet, but it certainly is solid when assembled (and all the little cap screws holding the tube tightened firmly).

One thing I realize is that a tube is not as easy to lift as a tripod, there's really nothing to grab except the guy rods, and they're too thin to grab comfortably. Now begins my quest to make it mobile, aka, castors and big levelers.

Best...Paul






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