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Pier-Tech Observatory experience?

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31 replies to this topic

#26 meking64

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 09:21 PM

Russ,

How is the remote-ing aspect working out? One of my worries is that I will have so many problems with the remote control technology that it will be unworkable. I don't want to travel too much to fix things. Reliability is crucial. Site security is another issue for an unattended observatory.

Mike



#27 RussD

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Posted 18 May 2020 - 10:48 PM

Mike,

It has worked out well for me.  But you are right to be suspicious, remote imaging can be a house of cards. It is not for everybody. I started playing with automation in 2003 or 2004 and my equipment has evolved a lot since then.  I ran my backyard observatory automated for about 9 years before I seriously considered trying remote imaging.  I could have done it much earlier, if I had been more serious about it, but I am glad I took my time.  Once I was able to run my backyard observatory without touching the rig or building for six months of running every clear night, it dawned on me that I could do it remotely with a reasonable expectation of success.

 

Reliability is the thing, and designing things so you can recover from failures of all types. It is absolutely necessary to have local help of some kind and security is always a concern.  I have all of that covered to my satisfaction and it is approaching a year since I have visited. I have been very lucky this year but I have had help from others.  But last year I made four trips...none due to critical failures.  I have been lucky.  But I am able to make the trip if needed.

 

Russ


Edited by RussD, 18 May 2020 - 10:51 PM.


#28 John Carlini

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 11:18 AM

Mike,

 

There is another thread on the observatories portion of CN where someone talks about doing a ROR using 80/20 components.  It's an interesting read since he does comparisons with Pier-Tech and others:

 

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



#29 akulapanam

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 01:48 PM

Mike,

There is another thread on the observatories portion of CN where someone talks about doing a ROR using 80/20 components. It's an interesting read since he does comparisons with Pier-Tech and others:

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

Thanks for posting. I’m about to update that thread with some new photos now that the motor roof is installed. I can tell you that opposed to the Pier Tech unit I have had no issues with water ingress, a built in AC unit, a built in sensor tower, onsite installation, and built in mounting for motor/controller/SkyRoof etc... I also paid a fraction of the prices listed earlier (which frankly don’t change much for Pier Tech in smaller sizes).

Edited by akulapanam, 19 May 2020 - 01:49 PM.

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#30 Raginar

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 04:12 PM

All,

   I am in search of a roll-off roof observatory enclosure that is commercially available. This will be a remotely controlled observatory. I have come across the Pier-tech Telestation-5 and Telesrtation-6 series of products that appear to be a good fit for me. They sell the hardware and roof control software. Has anyone had any experience working with this company Pier-tech or purchased their observatories? They also have piers that I would be considering. Are they a reputable company and are their products sound?

 

Any information based on experience I would appreciate.

 

Thanks,

Mike

 

PS this is their website:  http://piertechinc.c...-observatories/

I have one I bought used for a much lower price than what they sell them for.  I think you could literally build one using 8020.net if you put some effort into it for significantly less.  The only 'non-8020' part is the garage door opener and the stamped roof panel.  



#31 akulapanam

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Posted 19 May 2020 - 11:02 PM

I have one I bought used for a much lower price than what they sell them for.  I think you could literally build one using 8020.net if you put some effort into it for significantly less.  The only 'non-8020' part is the garage door opener and the stamped roof panel.  

You sort of can.  I ended up needing a lot of custom machining particularly for the roof, door, and equipment mounting.  If you could figure out a way to do it with just 8020 parts I think you could get it down to maybe a third of the Pier Tech price.


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#32 Raginar

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Posted 20 May 2020 - 08:49 AM

You sort of can.  I ended up needing a lot of custom machining particularly for the roof, door, and equipment mounting.  If you could figure out a way to do it with just 8020 parts I think you could get it down to maybe a third of the Pier Tech price.

That's what I was wondering about.  The only part of the Pier Tech system that isn't 8020 is the roof/opener.  I think you could figure it out with Pier Tech; I just already owned a Pier tech so I didn't run down the rabbit hole on it.  

 

The garage door opener is actually well designed too.  I like their setup.  How did you do the roof? I posted in your thread but I think that's the portion you should document more for people thinking about going this route.

 

And, I guess the other thing I'd highlight about this style setup is portability.  I can take my Pier Tech system apart in about 2-3 hours.  It takes probably 4-6 hours to get it setup to the point I could use it again.  And, you can even get this thing on a moving truck.  




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