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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier)
      #5562926 - 12/09/12 06:34 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

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.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/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 . 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 . But the hard part is done! I'll be posting some cost numbers and more pics later...John

Edited by John Miele (12/09/12 06:37 PM)


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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5562931 - 12/09/12 06:35 PM Attachment (45 downloads)

Pier is ready to roll to the launch pad!

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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5562934 - 12/09/12 06:36 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

In the ground!

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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5562939 - 12/09/12 06:39 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

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

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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5562978 - 12/09/12 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?

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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: mich_al]
      #5563211 - 12/09/12 09:51 PM

Looks great! waiting on more updates...

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opticsguy
sage


Reged: 02/02/09

Loc: Washington State
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: korborh]
      #5563358 - 12/09/12 11:52 PM

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

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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: opticsguy]
      #5563886 - 12/10/12 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

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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5564947 - 12/10/12 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.


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: D_talley]
      #5567510 - 12/12/12 12:38 PM

Beautiful John!

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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: Raginar]
      #5571808 - 12/15/12 12:05 AM Attachment (24 downloads)

Completed the pier yesterday . 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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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5571813 - 12/15/12 12:07 AM Attachment (20 downloads)

View of the south end...

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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5571814 - 12/15/12 12:08 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

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

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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5571817 - 12/15/12 12:11 AM Attachment (21 downloads)

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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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5571938 - 12/15/12 02:15 AM

Hey John,

How'd you drill those steel plates?


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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: Raginar]
      #5572298 - 12/15/12 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


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5573057 - 12/15/12 07:33 PM

Cool, thanks John.

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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: Raginar]
      #5573305 - 12/15/12 09:56 PM

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

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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: Wmacky]
      #5573433 - 12/15/12 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

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D_talley
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/05

Loc: Richmond VA
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5573447 - 12/15/12 11:56 PM

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

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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: D_talley]
      #5573745 - 12/16/12 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.oregonscientificstore.com/oregon_scientific/search.asp?mfg=all&...
http://www.oregonscientificstore.com/product.asp?itmky=403576


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

Al


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5573892 - 12/16/12 10:29 AM

Quote:

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


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John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: JJK]
      #5574530 - 12/16/12 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

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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: John Miele]
      #5574723 - 12/16/12 08:24 PM

Quote:

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.


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: It's in the ground! (another Wood Pier) new [Re: JJK]
      #5574813 - 12/16/12 09:28 PM

Quote:

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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