Warren - Stargazing since the 60's! Scopes: ETX-LS6, ED80T, AT6RC, Lunt LS60T, C9.25 Mounts: Atlas EQ-G, Vixen Portamount II Cameras: Atik 314L+,DMK31AU03,SSAG, ASI120MC Filters: Astrodon LRGB, Orion HA, SII, OIII Acc: Orion 5 place Filter wheels x 2, Flatman Primary Imaging site: Bortle Scale Class 6 Red Zone http://astrobin.com/users/rigel123/
Coates Astrophotography Full Gallery
Ocala, FL Bortle scale 6-7
Astro-Tech 8" Ritchey-Chrétien
Orion 80mm EON
Losmandy G-11 with Gemini II
Starlight Xpress Lodestar
QSI 683wsg-8 with Astrodon LRGB filters Astrodon 5nm SII. OIII and Ha Narrowband Filter Astro-Tech field flattener
Quote:Have you thought of building one? I bought 2 steel plates (from a scrap metal shop for $20.00) that I bolted to a concrete pier poured in a sono tube 4 feet in the ground and maybe 3 feet high (I'm not exact on my numbers ). I bolted the bottom plate to the pier then I bolted a top plate to then bolt to the "adapter" taken from the tripod. I used this a guide . When I used a CG-5 I took the top off from the tripod and bolted that to the top plate. Now, I am using a G11 and I have an adapter bolted to the top plate. This is not a good picture but this is the CG-5. Here is the G-11 mounted. Another option is to buy a pier plate from here. My project took a weekend and cost less than $80.00.
Quote:You can check out www.skyshed.com They sell the POD as well as ROR observatories and Piers.
George You know you're getting on when the equipment you farmed with is showing up as suburban lawn ornaments.
Quote:Well sonotube, rebar and concrete are pretty cheap. As a rule of thumb you should have more concrete in the ground than above the ground. Ideally, you should shoot for a foundation that is larger than your pier. A 18" by 4' deep footing should do. Figure 900#s of concrete mix (dry) will be needed to fill that hole. A Sirius should be happy on a 6-8" pier. 80 to 400#s should fill your tube depending if it's 6" by 3' or 8" by 4'.
A steel pier top is nice if you have the tools to work with it, but laminated plywood 1.5" thick is easier to work and just as rigid as 1/2" steel.
If you have access to a CAD program that can output Autocad files you can design your pier top and take to the files to a steel fabricator. They will use CAD-CAM plasma, laser or water jets to cut your parts. Cost should not be not excessive.
C-14 HD on CGE Pro Mount 80 MM Orion CF triplet Green Zebra Observatory Mallincam MCHC