I am planning eventually to build a small domed observatory in the corner of the yard for visual use only. I had originally not planned to put a pier in since I wanted flexibility to put my big dob in the observatory at times, to use a tripod where I could easily adjust the height and also to be able to easily move the observatory if I ever move to another house.
This post in another thread convinced me that the best solution would be to pour the concrete pier base below the floor level of the observatory and bolt on a metal pier. That way I would have all the benefits of a pier and could do AP if I wanted, but could easily take the pier out if needed.
I have no idea how to build something like that, and after googling around a bit, I was hoping for some help and guidance from all you fine experienced folks here.
There are a few complicating factors. The only suitable area for an observatory on my property is at the edge of a gravel parking area with half of the observatory on flat land and the other half extending over a fairly steep slope. The pier would be on the sloped ground. The slope is about 50%. There is also some fill here that was left over from the grading for the house so they leveled off an area for some extra parking.
I will probably get help from a builder to pour the concrete (I have a good builder to work with but he doesn't have any experience with astronomy), but I need to know how deep and wide the hole needs to be, what type of internal reinforcements to use and what type of bolts I need to set in the concrete in order to add a mount plate, where to get a mount plate, recommendations on metal piers to attach to the mount plate, etc.
I don't know what telescope I will put on the pier but probably something like a TEC 140 or 160 on a G11 mount, none of which I own at the moment. For now it will jsut be my Tak FC100DL on a LX70, but I want the pier to be sufficient for heavier telescopes than the Tak.
Any advice or suggestions?