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Using what I have, Block wall Pier.

astrophotography imaging mount refractor
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#1 SonnyE

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 04:09 PM

I've spent about 4-5 years getting my feet wet, learning the hard way but persevering, a final mount failure is moving me forward now.

 

Over the years sitting out with my equipment, I've often wondered about a nearby Semi-Circular wall made of block about 5' 6" feet tall as a base for a Pier Mount. It's really solid and shows as very level.

The pending mount purchase (come on February!) has me again pondering this concrete filled block wall as a place to mount a base, and extension, for the new Astro Mount. Seems like a natural spot, and an additional $100 for the base seems minimal to me for the option. I already have in mind to get a 12" extension for the tripod of the new mount. I very rarely go out in the field with my equipment. But digging for a Pier is fraught with many underground hazard possibilities. So the wall seems a viable choice.

 

So I'm asking what you other Astronomers, Astrophotographers, think about utilizing an existing block wall as a mounting point for an outdoor observation place. Seems like a good option to me.

 

Any and all thoughts would be appreciated.

 

 
20170927_093358.jpg
 
The spot in question is immediately behind the covered mount in this picture. The ivy is easily removed. And I can easily remote connect (WiFi) to my inside computer to run things.

 



#2 D_talley

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 05:17 PM

The wall is not isolated from the deck, people walking near it will induce vibrations.  However, if you are inside you should not have much of a problem. 



#3 SonnyE

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 06:16 PM

The wall is not isolated from the deck, people walking near it will induce vibrations.  However, if you are inside you should not have much of a problem. 

Well, it is actually separated from the deck, so it's free standing on it's own foundation.

I did have some troubles with my G3 camera and observed if I moved at all it would show in the image on my AVX.

But since I got the Atik Infinity, such disturbances don't seem to be showing up. confused1.gif

 

But point well taken Dwight. Vibrations might still be a factor.

I do, do a lot of inside running. I have a big display inside, and the wife doesn't feel like I'm isolating myself so much...

She can yell, SONNY! and get a response. (When I feel like responding, that is) flowerred.gif

 

Just wondered what others thought of the idea. But good thinking!

Just having an extension on the tripod gave me pause about vibrations.

Thanks for replying!



#4 OldManSky

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 07:01 PM

Concrete block as a pier can work very well...

 

https://www.cloudyni...k-pier-planted/


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#5 Steve Haverl

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 08:44 PM

How would the mount be fastened to the wall ? As an example, would you build formwork and pour concrete to create a thickened section that would include anchor bolts to receive the mount ? Or......?


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#6 StarmanDan

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:01 PM

I did a cinder block pier for my scope. You can see my build here.

https://www.cloudyni...ervatory-rises/

As I had the blocks already from a defunct raised garden, the pier cost me less than $100.
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#7 macdonjh

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 07:36 AM

If the wall is solid, it will support your mount and scope fine.  Vibrations from people walking around outside may be a nuisance, but how often are people in your yard after dark?  Perhaps it's not a big deal.  5'-6" is pretty tall for a pier if you're going to do any visual observation at all.  But if you are strictly an imager, your camera doesn't care how far it is off the ground.

 

Seems like a good option.


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#8 *skyguy*

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 09:21 AM

I have a 14' concrete chimney block pier in my 18 year old garage-top observatory. The pier is hollow and it sits directly on the garage floor ... no separate foundation. I've never been bothered with any vibrations when imaging. I can walk around the garage floor without any vibration problems showing up in an image.

 

You shouldn't have any vibration problems installing your scope on a concrete block wall.

 

OrbitJet Observatory:

 

https://www.flickr.c...57644177074161/


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#9 SonnyE

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 01:25 AM

Thanks for the input!

 

I have hit on the wall and it seems very solid and did not vibrate. So I think it will be sound.

I've been considering this wall for a long time, and can simply tear the ivy stuff off.

My idea was to simply sink an anchor, or a drop in stud (there is a 1/2" hole in the 1/2" thick bottom of the base), and tighten down the base linked above. It checks as very level at the spot in mind.

I could add jacking screws if needed, or simply plumb it and use grout to support the base level and solid. Or epoxy.

The pier base is 4", and adding a 12" extension puts the bottom of the mount 16" off the wall. Add the mount height, and I'd get plenty of safe room for my peashooter.

My only other concern would be a hollow column. But I could pop the cap block and fill it if need be. (Drill some small exploratory holes first.)

My other thought was to build a saddle, then mount the base to the saddle, and to the wall.

I think I should try it out first to see how it is, use some big shop clamps and a temporary saddle. 

In fact, the top of the tripod appears to be the same thing as the hundred dollar Pier mount. smirk.gif

 

MA Pier mount picture.

 

FT Tripod picture.



#10 SonnyE

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 01:40 AM

I have a 14' concrete chimney block pier in my 18 year old garage-top observatory. The pier is hollow and it sits directly on the garage floor ... no separate foundation. I've never been bothered with any vibrations when imaging. I can walk around the garage floor without any vibration problems showing up in an image.

 

You shouldn't have any vibration problems installing your scope on a concrete block wall.

 

OrbitJet Observatory:

 

https://www.flickr.c...57644177074161/

I like that Capacola style ROR.

I take you can only park a Smart car in there? wink.gif

Nice place!




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