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Multiple Pier Spacing/Layout

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#1 fyrfytr310

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 08:58 AM

I am getting ready to break ground on an 18'x36' ROR (tomorrow!) and am having second thoughts on my pier layout?  The spacing should be fine up to 5' long OTA's on each mount based on my math.  I wonder if I shouldn't offset the mounts from their current center lines relative to each other though?

 

Right now, each pier is set for 6' from their nearest walls and 6' from each other center to center.

 

Unfortunately I haven't been able to bring in a second mount to truly test anything but I was wondering if you all here might have some advice.

 

For reference, the piers will be 18" bases tapered to 12" at the mount.  That taper will likely happen at the floor level but I'm free to do it wherever.

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  • pier space.PNG


#2 eyeoftexas

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:13 AM

This will be a dumb question, but you say you're ROR will be 18'x36' (wow!), but your floor plan is basically square.  Does the "dob" in the storage get the other half of the ROR?  Also, which way is north?  I ask that as I wonder which way your two scopes (i.e., piers) will be pointing at night, and whether one will interfere with the other.  My first inclination would be that east is to the left/right so the scopes track as if side-by-side.



#3 fyrfytr310

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:20 AM

Not a dumb question at all. I’m only showing half of the obs on this view.

In this view, N (along with the rest of the obs) is to the right of the image so the piers are oriented E-W.

#4 Couder

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:35 AM

Piers look too close together to me, but then I use long focus refractors so I'm thinking of my stuff in your observatory. We are a year or so away (depends on the virus) from selling/moving and putting up something like yours. I too am thinking about two piers. Our top prospect right now is a house with an airplane hanger. Small airport close-by, but the town is only 1000 people, so maybe one plane a week. I will be following this topic, thanks for sharing.



#5 macdonjh

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 11:20 AM

My suggestion is to get a friend with another mount and scope similar to the second you want to install in your observatory.  Set up both mounts in your yard and determine the best spacing by experiment.  And observatory is a big project, so the effort will be worthwhile.

 

My two cents.  Good luck with your project.  Please do post any photos of your property, the thought of an observatory that big already has me jealous enough.


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#6 BKBrown

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 12:11 PM

I am building a 16x20 with a warm room and have opted for two piers. The piers are spaced 6 feet apart on the diagonal, and are 4 feet from any wall. Since one of my mounts supports visual work as well as imaging, I wanted to make sure that there was adequate room for an observer to sit or move between the mounts without hindrance. Also, the imaging mount is positioned forward of the visual mount to minimize any spurious light interfering with imaging activities.

 

Dual Pier.jpg

 

Clear Skies,

Brian snoopy2.gif


Edited by BKBrown, 20 September 2020 - 05:58 PM.

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#7 fyrfytr310

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 01:56 PM

This is encouraging.  I have decided to offset them 1' N-S from their original centerline and add 10" of space along the diagonal.  This gives me about 6'10" center to center and 5'3" from center to nearest wall.

 

I am building a 16x20 with a warm room and have opted for two piers. The piers are spaced 6 feet apart on the diagonal, and are 4 feet from any wall. Since one of my mounts supports visual work as well as imaging, I wanted to make sure that there was adequate room for an observer to sit or move between the mounts without hindrance. Also, the visual mount is positioned forward of the visual mount to minimize any spurious light interfering with imaging activities.

 

attachicon.gifDual Pier.jpg

 

Clear Skies,

Brian snoopy2.gif

 

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  • pier space 2.PNG

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#8 eyeoftexas

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 04:03 PM

One thing to consider as you move the piers closer to the outside walls (even by a foot) is how low in altitude can the scope go and still see over the wall.  It's a simple trig problem, all you need to know is the wall height and the height of the scope at the pier.  In my plans I'm developing I wanted to make sure I could see as much of the southern sky as possible.



#9 ssagerian

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 04:55 PM

I am building a 16x20 with a warm room and have opted for two piers. The piers are spaced 6 feet apart on the diagonal, and are 4 feet from any wall. Since one of my mounts supports visual work as well as imaging, I wanted to make sure that there was adequate room for an observer to sit or move between the mounts without hindrance. Also, the visual mount is positioned forward of the visual mount to minimize any spurious light interfering with imaging activities.

 

attachicon.gifDual Pier.jpg

 

Clear Skies,

Brian snoopy2.gif

BKBrown, how many doors do you have? and you have a hallway?? Why two external doors?



#10 BKBrown

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 06:15 PM

BKBrown, how many doors do you have? and you have a hallway?? Why two external doors?

I have two entrances into the building: a standard size outward swinging steel security door into the hallway, and a pair of outward swinging steel security doors opening on the observing deck. I have the hallway leading directly to the observing deck, the doorway there is a regular interior door. The door off of the front hallway into the control room is also a standard interior door; I don't store my computers in the observatory. The whole hallway arrangement allows me to segregate the control room, which is insulated to support heating and cooling. Anyone trying to break in has to defeat steel security doors to get into the building, and will be imaged by concealed security cameras. The building is also tied into my household security network which is monitored 24/7 by a private security company. And that is the stuff I am willing to talk about smile.png

 

Clear Skies,

Brian snoopy2.gif



#11 ssagerian

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 06:47 PM

I dont mean to divert the OP thread, if he objects  I ll continue via personal IM..

So just to clarify, the area that you call the observing deck, that is where the scopes are mounted? I would call that the scope room. Is that correct?

If the door to the observing deck and the door to the control rooms are both interior doors, they wont provide you with insulation unless I am missing something?

 

Is the observatory situated next to your house?



#12 ssagerian

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 07:48 PM

This is encouraging.  I have decided to offset them 1' N-S from their original centerline and add 10" of space along the diagonal.  This gives me about 6'10" center to center and 5'3" from center to nearest wall.

congrats on breaking ground, I was in your shoes a couple weeks ago, doing a little bit as I can. I finished the floor/foundation last week and hoping to do the walls next week.

 

So the south 18x18 area is the scope room and the north 18x18 is the warming room? 

 

I have only a single pier so my mental image of how two scopes on to adjacent piers should work is marginal.

 

If we are talking about equatorial mounted scopes of equal size, each scope traces out a sphere and assuming you had the spheres separated by a small distance it seems like either approach would have worked? If the scopes were not the same size you would have to make sure that their sphere's of rotation dont touch? Is that correct?



#13 fyrfytr310

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 08:05 PM

congrats on breaking ground, I was in your shoes a couple weeks ago, doing a little bit as I can. I finished the floor/foundation last week and hoping to do the walls next week.

So the south 18x18 area is the scope room and the north 18x18 is the warming room?

I have only a single pier so my mental image of how two scopes on to adjacent piers should work is marginal.

If we are talking about equatorial mounted scopes of equal size, each scope traces out a sphere and assuming you had the spheres separated by a small distance it seems like either approach would have worked? If the scopes were not the same size you would have to make sure that their sphere's of rotation dont touch? Is that correct?


That is correct. The real crux of the issue is I have absolutely no idea what I might be running in the future.

I decided to calculate for twin AP 1600 GTO mounts with twin 16” truss tube RC’s. A dream world for sure but I don’t think I would ever have more than that to contend with.

Maybe longer OTAs could present an issue but if I have to adjust my methods at that point, so be it.

#14 ssagerian

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 08:11 PM

Its a large scope room so why not dream big!



#15 fyrfytr310

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 08:14 PM

Its a large scope room so why not dream big!


Very true!

#16 ssagerian

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 08:51 PM

I have two entrances into the building: a standard size outward swinging steel security door into the hallway, and a pair of outward swinging steel security doors opening on the observing deck. I have the hallway leading directly to the observing deck, the doorway there is a regular interior door. The door off of the front hallway into the control room is also a standard interior door; I don't store my computers in the observatory. The whole hallway arrangement allows me to segregate the control room, which is insulated to support heating and cooling. Anyone trying to break in has to defeat steel security doors to get into the building, and will be imaged by concealed security cameras. The building is also tied into my household security network which is monitored 24/7 by a private security company. And that is the stuff I am willing to talk about smile.png

 

Clear Skies,

Brian snoopy2.gif

Brian,

I am puzzled why you have 2 outside doors, perhaps convenience ?

 

So you've given burglars two avenues of approach (the north door and the east door), of course they could bust a window or sawzall thru the siding.

 

Seems like you will be spending a lot of money on doors (which are not cheap), why not get rid of the north door and the hallway completely?  Have one exterior door that opens to the control room (36"x80") and the other exterior double steel door on the east side? The exterior door to the control room keeps it insulated when the roof is open.
That gives you back the hallway to use as part of your control room and reduces the number of doors you need to buy, and marginally improves your security situation.

Also, fewer holes in your control room walls means better insulation and less heat loss.

SteveS


Edited by ssagerian, 20 September 2020 - 08:53 PM.


#17 Chucke

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:17 PM

My observing floor is 20x20.  I have exterior doors to both the warm room and the observing room.  The exterior door to the observing floor is in the NW corner and th3e exterior door to the warm room is in its SW corner.   An interior door is between the two on the West side.  All of the doors are clustered in the same general area.  The exterior doors are set to open outward so there is no floor space wasted by their swings and the doors do not interfere with each other. 

 

I have two piers.  One (for the big scope) is roughly centered.  The one for the small scope is offset to the SW from the main scope 5' from the South and West walls.  If I need to see way far south with the small scope I have a drop down South wall piece.


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#18 BKBrown

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:39 PM

Brian,

I am puzzled why you have 2 outside doors, perhaps convenience ?

 

So you've given burglars two avenues of approach (the north door and the east door), of course they could bust a window or sawzall thru the siding.

 

Seems like you will be spending a lot of money on doors (which are not cheap), why not get rid of the north door and the hallway completely?  Have one exterior door that opens to the control room (36"x80") and the other exterior double steel door on the east side? The exterior door to the control room keeps it insulated when the roof is open.
That gives you back the hallway to use as part of your control room and reduces the number of doors you need to buy, and marginally improves your security situation.

Also, fewer holes in your control room walls means better insulation and less heat loss.

SteveS

Referring to your earlier question, the observing deck is what you call the scope room. It is literally an elevated floor to allow me to run wires underneath so that I need not run conduit under the concrete pad. This makes it easier to repair or upgrade the infrastructure.

 

As for the doors, yes, two entrances for convenience. I did the same thing on my last observatory with a main entrance, and a double door service entrance to allow the movement of bulky and/or lengthy objects that might be difficult to pass through a standard interior door. The double security door cannot be kicked in from the outside and has an interior drop bar for additional reinforcement. The hallway is to allow folks to enter without disturbing activities in the control room. The four interior walls of the control room and the double interior ceiling are insulated, with a heat/AC wall unit exhausting to the north wall away from the observing deck. So the control room will be isolated and insulated, unlike the rest of the building.

 

The window is reinforced, I won't go into details. As for using some kind of saw to go through the wall, that would be...inadvisable.

 

Clear Skies,

Brian snoopy2.gif



#19 BKBrown

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:41 PM

This is encouraging.  I have decided to offset them 1' N-S from their original centerline and add 10" of space along the diagonal.  This gives me about 6'10" center to center and 5'3" from center to nearest wall.

I think you will find this a much better operational solution waytogo.gif  Can't wait to see your build!

 

Clear Skies,

Brian snoopy2.gif



#20 petercoxphoto

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 08:44 AM

To add a perhaps controversial opinion - consider not installing fixed piers at all. If you have a good thick solid concrete slab you may not need them.

I built an 8x10 roll off this year and decided not to put in a pier. I have a 10" thick concrete slab as the building foundation and have two mounts in there - an 8" Newt on a CEM70 and an 80mm refractor on an EQ6. Neither scope's guiding is impacted by me walking in the building, and both are on their normal tripods (tripier in the case of the CEM70).

I'm very glad I decided to go pierless as it has allowed me a lot of flexibility, and I could probably add a third or maybe even a fourth scope in this observatory if I wanted to in the future.

Cheers,
Peter

#21 macdonjh

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 09:57 AM

To add a perhaps controversial opinion - consider not installing fixed piers at all. If you have a good thick solid concrete slab you may not need them.

I built an 8x10 roll off this year and decided not to put in a pier. I have a 10" thick concrete slab as the building foundation and have two mounts in there - an 8" Newt on a CEM70 and an 80mm refractor on an EQ6. Neither scope's guiding is impacted by me walking in the building, and both are on their normal tripods (tripier in the case of the CEM70).

I'm very glad I decided to go pierless as it has allowed me a lot of flexibility, and I could probably add a third or maybe even a fourth scope in this observatory if I wanted to in the future.

Cheers,
Peter

The reason I didn't choose this option is a pier is more compact than a tripod or portable pier.  I have enjoyed not having to walk around tripod legs since I built my observatory.  It's nice also not to have the worry of tripping over a tripod leg, not that I ever have.  Finally, I ran conduit under my slab and up through my pier, so no wires on the floor.  Of course, you could do that if you choose to use tripods as well, just have a conduit "exit" in the floor near where you anticipate locating tripods most frequently.

 

For the flexibility petercoxphoto is after, I have a slab outside my observatory where I set up a mount on a tripod when I want to use a scope other than the one mounted inside.

 

A good hobby that presents several ways to get where you're going.



#22 ssagerian

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 10:26 AM

The reason I didn't choose this option is a pier is more compact than a tripod or portable pier.  I have enjoyed not having to walk around tripod legs since I built my observatory.  It's nice also not to have the worry of tripping over a tripod leg, not that I ever have.  Finally, I ran conduit under my slab and up through my pier, so no wires on the floor.  Of course, you could do that if you choose to use tripods as well, just have a conduit "exit" in the floor near where you anticipate locating tripods most frequently.

 

For the flexibility petercoxphoto is after, I have a slab outside my observatory where I set up a mount on a tripod when I want to use a scope other than the one mounted inside.

 

A good hobby that presents several ways to get where you're going.

What size conduit did you run? I was thinking of using 1" sch 40 but have been  have recently been thinking of going to a 2" conduit with pull boxes in the warming room and at the base of the pier.



#23 macdonjh

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 02:05 PM

What size conduit did you run? I was thinking of using 1" sch 40 but have been  have recently been thinking of going to a 2" conduit with pull boxes in the warming room and at the base of the pier.

I actually have three conduits at my pier:

 

I think one is 3/4" for 120VAC.  It comes through the slab next to my pier and into a single gang box with a duplex outlet.  I use it for a clock and an occasional hair dryer.  I don't get dew often, so I don't use my hair dryer often.

 

I think one is 3/4" or 1" for 12VDC.  That one comes from the west wall where my power supply is, under the slab and then up through my pier.  It comes out the side of my pier and I've got a small plastic project box mounted with masonry screws to my pier.  The cover of the project box has four locking XLR connectors for power to my mount and scope fans.  I don't have a use at this time for the other two connectors as I don't use my scope's dew heater (no need).

 

The last conduit I'm pretty sure is 2".  It runs from my chart table in the south-east corner, under the slab, through the pier and out the side.  I fixed a slightly smaller plastic project box to my pier for this conduit.  My though was with a conduit that big I'd be able to pull a data cable with a DB connector if I had to (I was using Gemini I at the time, and I might again).  

 

I used conduit "sweeps" for all the conduits so I shouldn't have any trouble running a fish tape through them if I have to replace wiring or run a new wire at some time in the future.

 

You can see the air conditioning grating I use to hide my power supplies at the left of this photo.  The power supplies are mounted on a board inside the wall.  The A/C grate provides access, allows ventilation, and a bit of concealment.

post-15547-0-52713800-1464552840.jpg

 

Here you can see the 120VAC outlet and the project boxes on my pier.  Right at the base of that rolling desk chair is where I can get access to my 2" data cable conduit.  It's the "blank" box cover nearest the corner.  Seen "edge on", like M104.

post-15547-0-68313900-1443312020.jpg

 

More photos are here: https://www.cloudyni...hl= poorly lit


Edited by macdonjh, 21 September 2020 - 02:13 PM.



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