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No scope piks - but piks of scope! ;)

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#1 Kokatha man

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 03:39 AM

Hi all - a combination of many things (including clouds frequently) have meant no imaging for us...but we have also been playing around with some old gear to make the lugging around of the C14 & EQ8 combo easier as we get older..!gramps.gif

 

Anyone who knows about these mounts will appreciate just how heavy the steel tripod/pier is: we had an old aluminium pier which had sections of smaller diameter heavy ally tubing welded near the bottom to accommodate some old Samson or somesuch legs - this came from Mick (Space99) several years ago as another "gunna do" project which neither of us progressed with... lol.gif

 

But because the pier & quick-detaching legs all weighed diddly-squat I thought it might make an excellent lightweight substitute for the stock tripod - I've just finished it & hope to try it out on Thursday (morning after tomorrow) out in the Murray Mallee at Sedan.

 

It appears quite rigid but I need to give it a real field-testing...if it isn't as steady as I wish then I'll simply shorten the pier by anything up to a foot (300mm) & weld another top-plate onto it so that I can re-bolt the EQ8 Az plate I've made onto this new top...

 

Here's the new pier assembled with the EQ8 & C14 - I've also lashed out on a new Stellarvue 10x60 finder-scope with illuminated reticle ep, primarily to assist with Neptune targeting later in the year. The S/vue is a real little beauty btw...I've made a rail to go on the top of the ota & attached a SW guidescope mount with fine Az/Alt adjustment so that I can easily calibrate finder & main scope - the only item not seen here is the Telrad.

 

Being able to slide the finder back & forth also gives us the ability to set fine Dec balance...atm I have adjusted all these (Dec & RA c/weight settings) but although I have tried to align the N-S orientation of the Az plate I made as accurately as possible with the "South" leg, I will need to fiddle with the Az knobs at Sedan the night before any imaging to accurately mark the EQ8's arrow on the bottom of the mount proper with the Az plate...hopefully all goes well..!  fingerscrossed.gif

 

Pier&EQ8mk1.jpg

 

The 3 extra holes (small) in the Az plate are the result of me using an old piece of ally plate which I'd used for something else previously - waste not, want not! wink.gif

 

AllPierTopPlateCloseup.jpg

 

The last pik (below) was taken before I fitted heavy-duty self-levelling feet (see 1st pik) to the adjustable knobs at the end of the legs...each is rated at 800kgms crazyeyes.gif  but I had to make connector sleeves - the feet are 12mm threads but the leg knobs were 1/2"BSF which I thought a tad odd as I was under the impression this was originally from an old Samson et al job & imagined they would be some weird thread like 15/32" AF...but luckily they weren't. wink.gif

 

If everything goes well I'll finish the leg-to-pier brackets with full-length fillets of weld & wire-brush or polish the entire pier/pedestal setup - in time! lol.gif

I took the corrector plate off during this work & cleaned it (both surfaces) & the primary in anticipation of a good "first light" Thursday morning..! fingerscrossed.gif

 

AllPierTopPlate.jpg


Edited by Kokatha man, 12 February 2019 - 03:41 AM.

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#2 happylimpet

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 05:03 AM

Nice work Darryl!

 

How do you attach the centre bolt up through into the base of the EQ8?

 

Im hopefully building a pier soon and havent quite resolved how to do this - maybe an 'owls' nest' or similar to allow access to the underneath of the base plate?



#3 Kokatha man

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 05:31 AM

Nice work Darryl!

 

How do you attach the centre bolt up through into the base of the EQ8?

 

Im hopefully building a pier soon and havent quite resolved how to do this - maybe an 'owls' nest' or similar to allow access to the underneath of the base plate?

I have a small cutaway to fit my hand into (just) & use a ratchet ring-spanner or a ratchet socket Nick.

 

If I have to shorten the pier I'll weld another (thicker) cap on it & then have a "double top" with the Az plate bolted just above the new cap so I can trap the bolt - but that won't hapopen if this works fine the way it is... the present arrangement has a cap which was already there but it was only the thickness of the pier. (5-6mm) wink.gif


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#4 Dartguy

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 11:10 AM

Nice to see where that "magic" is made!



#5 lynnelkriver

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 05:47 PM

Boy that is quite the set-up!  Scott



#6 Kokatha man

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 06:11 PM

Thanks folks - any "magic" is principally in the hands of the weather D/g - I hope this is a big advance in portability because the ally pier is a big drop in weight compared to the stock tripod/pier setup: I'm quite prepared to discover that we might need to lop a foot off the pier for more rigidity & in fact will probably do so regardless - just not for tomorrow morning! lol.gif

 

If you look at the S/vue finder it is sitting on a C-section channel I had a mate fold up...I erroneously opted for 2mm thick ally, but there was appreciable flex when you twisted it laterally with your hand - going to 3mm at the same dimensions created a manifold increase in strength & rigidity. waytogo.gif

 

In the pikky the ep etc of the S/vue is turned sideways as they can for viewing when the scope is pointing very high (not likely tbh) but lopping a foot off the pier would also have the effect of bringing this to a better height even if it is not entirely necessary.

 

The only downside was when tightening this finder rail I stripped one of the front pair of ota holding screws...in copying my earlier 2mm rail's holes I was a fraction out & as the holes needed a radial/inclined set to match the ota holes: there was lateral pressure on this hole, stripping the ota thread.  (being 3mm thick was also a factor - but I'd also copied the 2mm rail holes, typical! lol.gif )

 

So I placed nuts on the inside of each holding thread as extra precaution...a good excuse to clean the corrector both sides plus the primary as well. smile.gif

 

Anyway...fingerscrossed.gif



#7 Space99

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 06:50 PM

Looks great Darryl  waytogo.gif

 

Mick



#8 Kokatha man

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:00 PM

Thanks Mick - did it bring back old memories..?!? lol.gif

 

It has been sitting in my workshop for who knows how many years now (& you would know best probably! wink.gif ) & I've been thinking about doing it for a year or 2 now...it seems pretty solid as is but I will lop about 12" off the pier height which will only make it more stable & be a bit more easy to access the finder, which is ok atm but making things lower will be a bit more ergonomic! wink.gif

 

I've screwed up (pardon the pun) by using a 10mm thread & locking nut on the Az peg - the nut is too wide for the opening there in the mount, so in the absence of a "skinny" bolt (never heard of such tbh!) I'll have to pare one down - although I could grind out the cavity in the mount itself of course..! bigshock.gif   lol.gif


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#9 Kokatha man

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:43 PM

 

I've screwed up (pardon the pun) by using a 10mm thread & locking nut on the Az peg - the nut is too wide for the opening there in the mount, so in the absence of a "skinny" bolt (never heard of such tbh!) I'll have to pare one down - although I could grind out the cavity in the mount itself of course..! bigshock.gif   lol.gif

...brain fade from too much haste: simply drilling & tapping out an 8mm nut to 10mm sorted this issue out - a "skinny" nutting..! lol.gif

 

SkinnyLockNutAzPost.jpg


Edited by Kokatha man, 12 February 2019 - 09:16 PM.


#10 Space99

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 09:29 PM

"did it bring back old memories..?!? "

 

hmmm...that was a bad year for me... my s@#$t fight with my x ... devorce etc. A bit of mental breakdown frown.gif ....I'm OK now waytogo.gif

 

Glad you able to make a use of it  smile.gif bow.gif

 

A suggestion: copy what AP do to the pier to make it more stable.

 

http://www.astro-phy...nting_acc/piers

 

Cheers,

Mick


Edited by Space99, 12 February 2019 - 10:12 PM.


#11 Kokatha man

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 10:41 PM

Yeah, I know what you mean.

 

Thanks for the AP link Mick...I'd already thought of guy wires/cables but thought I'd check the pier as it is tomorrow morning & the shortening is probably  good thing all around, but if needed the cables might be added as well! wink.gif

 

We're off to the Mallee right now! fingerscrossed.gif


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#12 Vega700

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 11:53 PM

Very sophisticated, I was going to make something similar but ended up making it permanent and put a shed over it with roll off roof. The pier is pretty simple, here the peg I took from an EQ6. The bolts can easily be slid around for polar aligning, the pier is in 300kg of concrete... so pretty solid smile.gif

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#13 Kokatha man

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 09:26 PM

Nice setup! waytogo.gif  My pier was motivated by the opposite reasons to what I'd imagine most folks would have to put one together...I wanted something lightweight to be able to carry around because we do quite a lot of our imaging from remoter locales - no need to tell you that the EQ8 tripod/pier is a heavyweight unit!

 

I've got a permanent pier in the backyard as well but it has an EQ6 adapter plate I built on top of it - the EQ8's tripod sits on pavers on the back lawn & probably the only advance at home is to sand-fill in an old disused brick tank that is half above & half below ground level - it stands about 2.5-3 feet above ground & has an 8" concrete top...would make an ideal base for one of those kit dome obs...perhaps down the track. wink.gif

 

We've only just got home from the Mallee - the pier was a resounding success & I'll post some more about it in a thread with any images if they turn out passable. lol.gif


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