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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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dandabson
super member


Reged: 10/15/08

Loc: Dover, DE
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5606059 - 01/05/13 06:13 AM Attachment (68 downloads)

Thanks to everyone answering a lot of questions in this thread. My new wood pier is in the ground and the cement is setting up. I used 4 4X4s bolted and glued together. The entire pier is six feet long. Half of it is in the ground. That leaves me about the height of my CG5 tripod extending up from the ground. I was planning on letting it cure for at least 72 hours prior to use however, my clear sky alarm went off for tonight. I will check and see if it is ready for use. My oldest son is seen in this photo after the pier was set and leveled. I sure need to plan all of my projects before he moves to far away from home.

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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: dandabson]
      #5606133 - 01/05/13 08:49 AM

Great job! I hope it is setup by tonight.

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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: D_talley]
      #5606154 - 01/05/13 09:08 AM

Great job. I put in a pier as you did with 4 4x4s back in '03. It was for an observatory that I built my God Son. 10 years later and it is solid as a rock.

One note, make sure you put in a level of gravel for drainage. Also, I mounted large joist hangers to the bottom of each side of the peer to act as anchors into the cement.

Tony


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dandabson
super member


Reged: 10/15/08

Loc: Dover, DE
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: ahopp]
      #5632913 - 01/20/13 10:31 AM Attachment (54 downloads)

An update. I was a little nervous. It has been rainy from the second day my new pier was in the ground and the mount attached. I was hoping my cover was keeping everything nice and dry.

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dandabson
super member


Reged: 10/15/08

Loc: Dover, DE
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: dandabson]
      #5632916 - 01/20/13 10:32 AM Attachment (55 downloads)

Everything looks good to go. What a time saver. Powered it up and the polar alignment was spot on. Love it.

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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: dandabson]
      #5634750 - 01/21/13 11:21 AM

Same here, ground is soaking but the mount is dry and alignment is still on target. I use three covers to cover the mount hardware and I see no evidence of moisture on it.

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CharlesW
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: D_talley]
      #5638123 - 01/23/13 12:46 AM

If you have any of the top plate plywood left over, chuck it up in a vise and install a piece of threaded rod in it just like the mount and torque the nuts down until the wood fibers start to crush. Then torque your pier nuts to the same setting. You'll know you will have the highest clamping force possible on your plates.

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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5638475 - 01/23/13 09:13 AM

Charles, that is an excellent idea!

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turk123
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/09/10

Loc: N.E. Ohio
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: Raginar]
      #5639501 - 01/23/13 08:01 PM

Just a note for you "northern" folks: For areas that get freezing weather (It's 6 out right now in Ohio) the recommended depth is 35" -38" putting you below the frost line. Your milage may vary but you can look up this number. If you don't go the needed distance down, your pier will get pushed up by the frozen ground. Also, most fence companies use small amounts of concrete in the hole for a reason. The concrete should not be at the surface but in the hole. Setting a treated wooden post in solid concrete will cause the water to be held by the wood (it doesn't drain) and eventually destroy the wood. Ask me how I know!

I think I might build this project. I'm tired of hauling my losmandy out for a 2 hour setup!

Turk


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turk123
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/09/10

Loc: N.E. Ohio
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: turk123]
      #5639509 - 01/23/13 08:09 PM

Dwight

Does the Losmandy Pier mount just have one bolt in the center? Is that a solid connection? Can it turn on you?

Turk


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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: turk123]
      #5639520 - 01/23/13 08:20 PM

Quote:

Just a note for you "northern" folks: For areas that get freezing weather (It's 6 out right now in Ohio) the recommended depth is 35" -38" putting you below the frost line. Your milage may vary but you can look up this number. If you don't go the needed distance down, your pier will get pushed up by the frozen ground. Also, most fence companies use small amounts of concrete in the hole for a reason. The concrete should not be at the surface but in the hole. Setting a treated wooden post in solid concrete will cause the water to be held by the wood (it doesn't drain) and eventually destroy the wood. Ask me how I know!

I think I might build this project. I'm tired of hauling my losmandy out for a 2 hour setup!

Turk




I set my pier down three feet with gravel on the bottom to help drain the water. I am glad it does not get cold enough to worry about ground pushing it up. More worried about the rain. I set my concrete about 6 inches below the ground level, which will make it easier to remove the pier later.


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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: turk123]
      #5639527 - 01/23/13 08:27 PM

Quote:

Dwight

Does the Losmandy Pier mount just have one bolt in the center? Is that a solid connection? Can it turn on you?

Turk




Only one hole in the middle. I worried about it moving and made sure I used lock washers to prevent it getting loose and moving. So far no problems with it moving. One way the mount could move is if you pushed the scope by hand and not use the motors.


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aa6ww
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: dandabson]
      #5640967 - 01/24/13 03:57 PM

Quote:

Everything looks good to go. What a time saver. Powered it up and the polar alignment was spot on. Love it.




I like that idea allot Dan. I've been wanting to do this for a year at least, now you have me motivated. Id be using a C14 on a G11 so it sure would save on set up time!
One thing I thought of in putting one of these together was to make it just wide enough so I could put a 5 gallon bucket over it to keep the hardware clean and dry, and put a sun dial on top of it so you have something cool to look at in the day time. Something like this:

http://windchimedirect.com/pro1393848.html?gclid=CMSyptjvgbUCFSTZQgoda1kA1w

Great Job!!

....Ralph


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dandabson
super member


Reged: 10/15/08

Loc: Dover, DE
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: aa6ww]
      #5641963 - 01/25/13 05:53 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Everything looks good to go. What a time saver. Powered it up and the polar alignment was spot on. Love it.




I like that idea allot Dan. I've been wanting to do this for a year at least, now you have me motivated. Id be using a C14 on a G11 so it sure would save on set up time!
One thing I thought of in putting one of these together was to make it just wide enough so I could put a 5 gallon bucket over it to keep the hardware clean and dry, and put a sun dial on top of it so you have something cool to look at in the day time. Something like this:

http://windchimedirect.com/pro1393848.html?gclid=CMSyptjvgbUCFSTZQgoda1kA1w

Great Job!!

....Ralph





I can't imagine why I didn't do it sooner after I settled down. I am retired military and have set up to observe in a lot of different places from all the moving around. When the wife and I settled down and finally bought a house it was on my list of things to do. Finally, I just spent the 2 days of work on it and it has paid off.


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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: dandabson]
      #5643678 - 01/26/13 01:18 AM

Dan,

Start looking at a ROR shed and you'll be in business permanently .

Congrat's on retiring!


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dandabson
super member


Reged: 10/15/08

Loc: Dover, DE
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: Raginar]
      #5644601 - 01/26/13 03:25 PM

Quote:

Dan,

Start looking at a ROR shed and you'll be in business permanently .

Congrat's on retiring!




A ROR is on the list. Unfortunately the wife also has a long list. I did two years at Ellsworth AFB. I really like d Rapid City.


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CharlesW
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: dandabson]
      #5647821 - 01/28/13 11:03 AM

If I could make one more gentle suggestion, especially since you're using plywood top plates right now? Your bolts should be as short as possible and still provide the leveling feature that you want. At the length they are now, they are acting like four levers trying to twist and cut their way through your plywood. I know this is opening a heated debate with a lot of people but, it makes no mechanical sense to have longer bolts than you need.

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dandabson
super member


Reged: 10/15/08

Loc: Dover, DE
Re: Backyard wood Pier new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5648326 - 01/28/13 02:21 PM

I intentionally left them that, lenth to facilitate removing the mount. I did not want to have to remove.the upper plate if I take the mount to a starparty or dark site.

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