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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Pier diameter? new [Re: Raginar]
      #6050905 - 08/28/13 03:27 PM

Hi Chris:

I think you have me mixed up with someone else - maybe StarmanDan? Photos of my pier are in the thread above. It's poured concrete, not made of bricks.

-Dan


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Pier diameter? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #6050938 - 08/28/13 03:45 PM

Quote:

I'd absolutely hate to enlarge the holes in the top plate but if it comes to that, it will just have to be done!




I think you'll be fine. If you look at the Dan's Pier Plate site, the bottom part of the plate has curved, slotted holes for the anchor bolts. So if you're off a little, there's some room for adjustment.

-Dan


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Pier diameter? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #6050963 - 08/28/13 04:09 PM

Yea I do, sorry

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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: Pier diameter? new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6051035 - 08/28/13 04:44 PM

Quote:

I'd like to have the pier ready for the 1100 mount which AP tells me will be delivered in November.




You can't help but love AP's quality but.... My 1600 was suppose to be delivered in July. Now they are telling me early Sept. We shall see. I know it will be perfect when I get it but don't hold your breath on getting your 1100 in Nov.


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: Pier diameter? new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #6051267 - 08/28/13 06:45 PM

Quote:


You can't help but love AP's quality but.... My 1600 was suppose to be delivered in July. Now they are telling me early Sept. We shall see. I know it will be perfect when I get it but don't hold your breath on getting your 1100 in Nov.




My understanding is, once they take your money, and they just took $4,600 of mine 48 hours ago, their delivery dates are pretty reliable?


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Pier diameter? new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6051309 - 08/28/13 07:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Why bother with a rat cage at all?




Seems to me there are only two ways to do this, with a third that is "maybe."

1/ Metal pier with provision for leveling at the pier base.
2/ Concrete pier with provision for leveling via a "rat cage."
3/ Maybe, just maybe your concrete surface at the pier top is perfectly level and finished smoothly enough that a top plate can be affixed flush to it and bolted tightly to the concrete surface.

As I see it:

Number one is just too expensive . . .for me anyway. Cost of a 10" ATS pier delivered in Canada would be in excess of 2300 USD plus 15%HST. Only Canadians are likely to understand that the costs will probably be pushing $3,000 CDN by the time this thing actually showed up here. That is $3,000 in addition to the concrete costs for the base!

Number two is very cost effective. The rat cage seems robust enough to me with a trio of 3/4" stainless steel bolts bearing the weight and allowing for precise and easy leveling.

Number three is . . . . maybe. I hope to have the threaded portion of the bolts extend into the concrete so that this option will remain open. Whether I use it or not will depend on how smoothly finished and level I can get the top surface.




If you make your concrete pier the height you need, I see no reason for the rat cage. If the concrete pier top is not quite level, you can use a metal shim.


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rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: Pier diameter? new [Re: dawziecat]
      #6051421 - 08/28/13 08:08 PM

Well I put 50% down in June and was told then delivery in July. They will bill the other half I'm sure just before they ship so if u just paid the second half they'll should ship soon. If u just paid the first half down then its just a guess. They have shipped early at times but I suspect if u search the forum you will find they are often a bit late. They don't hide this and in fact clearly say so on their web site. I knew that before I purchased my mount as I said too their quality is unsurpassed so its worth the wait but if you were expecting a precise shipment you will probably be disappointed.

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Footbag
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Pier diameter? new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #6051471 - 08/28/13 08:45 PM

I don't consider the three L-anchor bolts a ratcage. The concrete side is anchored for a long length of the bolt and mine only rise 3 1/2" from the concrete.

After looking at piers and ratcage designs, I decided the concrete pier with a Dans Pier plate was the easiest and cheapest. 3/4" bolts
cannot flex that much in 3".


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JJK
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 04/28/08

Re: Pier diameter? new [Re: Footbag]
      #6051551 - 08/28/13 09:46 PM

Quote:

I don't consider the three L-anchor bolts a ratcage. The concrete side is anchored for a long length of the bolt and mine only rise 3 1/2" from the concrete.

After looking at piers and ratcage designs, I decided the concrete pier with a Dans Pier plate was the easiest and cheapest. 3/4" bolts
cannot flex that much in 3".




I just don't see the point in depending on that assumption .


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Footbag
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Pier diameter? new [Re: JJK]
      #6051625 - 08/28/13 10:41 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I don't consider the three L-anchor bolts a ratcage. The concrete side is anchored for a long length of the bolt and mine only rise 3 1/2" from the concrete.

After looking at piers and ratcage designs, I decided the concrete pier with a Dans Pier plate was the easiest and cheapest. 3/4" bolts
cannot flex that much in 3".




I just don't see the point in depending on that assumption .




I have seen 4-bolt designs with large "ratcages", but with these, the bolts are bolted on both sides and are much longer. By having the L-anchor bolts embedded in concrete and keeping them shorter, you are limiting the risk of flex or vibration. By using 3/4" bolts, you are further limiting it.

The "assumption" isn't that it would be better then having it flush mounted. The assumption is that any flex would be insignificant. I don't perceive the Dan's Pier Plate with a concrete pier to have the same drawbacks as a 4 bolt pattered larger metal pier that I associate with ratcages.


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Pier diameter? new [Re: Footbag]
      #6051653 - 08/28/13 10:58 PM

I have to agree with Footbag. Take a look at the photos of my pier and 3/4" stainless anchor bolts farther up in this thread. They look less like bolts and more like large steel shafts that rival the counterweight shaft in size. With the 2-3 inches of length between the pier and the plate, they are not going to introduce anything measurable in terms of flex or vibration. Not happenin'.

From what I've seen of people referencing the "rat cage", it is not the bolts from pier to plate, but the area between two plates that are often connected with another set of bolts, frequently smaller than the anchor bolts. This is usually done to allow bolting through the bottom plate, and into the mount head from underneath the top plate, without the sets of bolts interfering with each other other the plates. It also works as something of an "adapter" in that the bottom plate fits the pier, while the top plate fits the mount head. If you build your own pier plate, this is a fairly easy way to do it. But if the plates or bolts are not heavy duty enough, they can introduce some flex or vibration.

I've eliminated the rat cage in my design by using flat aluminum plates between the top and bottom pier plates instead of bolts. "Dan's Pier Plates" eliminates the rat cage by using countersunk holes in thick plates, and short bolts to bolt the top and bottom plate right to each other.

-Dan


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StarmanDan
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Reged: 08/27/07

Loc: Deep in the heart of Texas
Re: Pier diameter? new [Re: Raginar]
      #6059418 - 09/02/13 02:33 PM

Quote:

Dan, can you detail how you did the top of your brick pier?

Pictures?




So as to not hijack the thread I've updated my progress on my pier:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5729183/page...


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