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TOPIC: Permanent Pier for Backyard Observatory

Permanent Pier for Backyard Observatory 4 years 3 months ago #107

  • JeffWolff
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I spent the previous weekend pruning 3 trailers full of branches to improve my southern and eastern views from my back yard. Saturday I dug a 36 inch deep hole that was about 30 inches wide at the bottom and 22 inches wide at the top. I put in rebar and mixed and poured eight 80 pound bags of concrete. Here is a picture of the poured base.

Jeff
PierBase.jpg
Last Edit: 4 years 3 months ago by JeffWolff.
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Re:Permanent Pier for Backyard Observatory 4 years 3 months ago #108

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I built up additional rebar, and a pair of 1 inch electrical conduits up into a 12 inch diameter 48 inch tail concrete tube form. I poured in 3 bags of concrete and made sure the tube was level and the rebar and conduit was well centered. When pouring the concrete I use a stick to tamp down the concrete to be sure there were no air pockets around the rebar.

Saturday night when Polaris was visible I used a small telescope with a cross air eye piece to align with Polaris on my Discmount DM-4. I put a 8 foot long straight stick on the saddle of the mount and made sure it was aligned across the center of the concrete tube. I made a north and south alignment mark.

Here is a view of my top plate. I used 4 24 inch sections of 5/8 inch threaded rod to support the top plate. The bottom 3 inches of rod was bent over 90 degrees to keep them from turning. I bought a 12 x 12 inch 1/4 steel plate and used my grinder to cut it into a hexagon shape.

I finished the pour of concrete on Sunday. I filled the remaining portion of the tube and set in the top plate with the all thread rod. I verified the bolts and alignment marks matched and the top plate was level. The nuts can be moved up or down as needed after the concrete cures for 7 days for final leveling if required.

I used a pair of 2.75 pound weights as spacers on the top of the pier plate. I bolted the plates to the 1/4 steel plate and put in an azimuth alignment bolt for the Atlas. The Atlas head set on the center of the top plate and be bolted down using a short bolt with hand knob that was included with the Atlas pier mount extension.

Jeff
PierPlate.jpg
Last Edit: 4 years 3 months ago by JeffWolff.
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Re:Permanent Pier for Backyard Observatory 4 years 3 months ago #109

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The pier is pretty high right now but I plan on building a deck around the pier area that will also support the roll of building. This will effectively reduce the final pier height. Here is apicture of the completed pier with the concrete for still in place.

My next step is to remove the sod and topsoil around the pier. I will put in landscaping fabric and decomposed granite inthe area. I need to rearrange the sprinklers so they no longer cover the area. When it gets a little cooler after August I plan to build the deck and observation building. I plan a small shed that will be on wheels. The door will open and the room will roll away from the pier. In the back of the shed I will have a small desk t support the laptop for controlling the mount and cameras. I will also add a power feed. My goal is to be able to leave the scope and cameras on the mount ready to go and just roll off the building on clear nights to image.


Jeff
PierComplete.jpg
Last Edit: 4 years 3 months ago by JeffWolff.
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Re:Permanent Pier for Backyard Observatory 4 years 3 months ago #111

  • Chris J
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OK, now I am jealous! If I had a back yard that wasn't filled with trees, I would build a pier. That looks very nice, and very well done! Congrats!
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Re:Permanent Pier for Backyard Observatory 4 years 3 months ago #113

  • AndyD
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Nice job Jeff.
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Re:Permanent Pier for Backyard Observatory 4 years 3 months ago #114

  • JeffWolff
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Well If I am ever to catch up with you and your completed imaging project, I need to have a permanent setup. I have removed 4 trees over the years and finally have some decent back yard views. I decided that I will be living at this house at least another 15 years and might as well have the views I want. Now that I can see the sky I want an observatory.

Good job on completing your imaged objects.

Jeff
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