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Ready to purchase a steel or aluminum pier and top plate

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#1 lrlinnell

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 08:20 PM

I am now ready to select and purchase a fixed pier for my back yard. It will be attached to a concrete base (about 4 foot deep x 12" diam) with J anchor bolts.

 

My setup is an Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G mount and Celestron 8"Edge HD scope.

 

I have been looking at the PrimaLuceLab for the EQ6 and it looks like it comes with a combination top plate and adapter. It looks as though you connect the mount to the red  top plate and then lower the top plate into the top of the pier. Does anyone have any experience with this pier? 

 

SkyShed also makes piers and since my longer term plan is to purchase a SkyShedPod, this is also an option but I would have to purchase the pier and also the adapter plate.

 

Dan's Pier Top Plates makes some nice looking top plates and adapters but I would have to find a pier to connect them to.

 

Does anyone have any experience with purchasing a fixed pier (steel or aluminum) and top plate/adapter and has suggestions on what worked best for you?

 

Thanks, Lloyd Linnell

 

 



#2 Digital Don

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 10:58 PM

Hi Lloyd,

 

I had a local steel fabricator construct my pier.  It consists of 8.5" steel tubing with 12x12x3/4" steel plates welded on the top and bottom.  I also had holes drilled in the upper plate to accommodate an 'adapter' plate that can be changed to fit whatever equipment I want to use.  The picture on the right shows the adapter holding my CPC 1100, my current setup.   The adapter is attached to the upper pier plate using 3/4" threaded rod and nuts.  The bottom plate is attached to a concrete footing through an opening in the observatory floor.

 

He had the materials in his yard which kept the cost (about $200 twelve years ago) down.  I figure about a dollar a pound!  This was considerably less expensive than the commercial options I found at the time.

 

Don usa.gif

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#3 macdonjh

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 06:23 AM

I am on my phone so I do not see your signature, but if there is industry near you, +1 to Digital Don's suggestion. A fab shop may have material that is scrap to them but perfect for you and a guy willing to moonlight. If not, the pier manufacturers will still be there.

The key point is: there is nothing magical about a pier.

#4 t-ara-fan

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:29 PM

  It consists of 8.5" steel tubing with 12x12x3/4" steel plates welded on the top and bottom.

That giant top plate works fine with your fork mounted scope. For those of us with an Equatorial mount, a 9" round top plate would be better. 



#5 Digital Don

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:49 PM

That giant top plate works fine with your fork mounted scope. For those of us with an Equatorial mount, a 9" round top plate would be better. 

The original scope I installed on the pier was an 'orange tube' C11 on a wedge.  That's why there are three smaller holes drilled and tapped in the top plate.  I added the 4 larger holes to the upper plate for future equipment modifications.  

 

I never planned on using an equatorial mounting, but as you say, the design could easily be modified to accommodate the installation of that type of mounting.

 

Don :usa: 




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