VintageBigBlue.org

 

Re: Pier for Losmandy GM8


Nov 6, 2010

 


----------------------------

#47297 Nov 6, 2010

I'm a happy owner of a Losmandy GM8 with the Gemini system and for the past year or so I've been setting my mount up (mainly for imaging) before each use. On average the whole process can take up to 2 hours or longer so I've decided it's time to set up a home observatory.



The reason for this post is to ask other Losmandy users which piers they would recommend. I'm based in the UK so I'm hoping to be able to source a pier here as due to the weight it would be expensive to ship. I'll be installing the pier in a roll off roof shed and plan to install the pier on an isolated concrete platform which has yet to be prepared. Any suggestions and recommendations would be very welcome.



Regards

Simon



----------------------------

#47298 Nov 6, 2010

Hi Simon



Just about all the UK suppliers have access to piers, my local shop

www.astronomia.co.uk based in Dorking, Surrey list some but also if you

are local and can pop in has access to custom made ones, prices are

around .500.00 plus the cost of having the base laid.



The following link shows a typical pier,

www.astronomia.co.uk/shop/item/1535/Altair_SkyShed_Observatory_Pier_8-inch_diameter/



though I would personally plumb for a nice minimum of 8" (preferably 10"

concrete filled tube pier) with 2 steel steel plates on the top which

would allow for levelling and changes of mount in the future, you can

never have too much girth for a pier so bigger is better. All steel

piers from suppliers such as the Astro Engineering are again OK, but for

the money you may wish to have one custom made at a local engineering works.



You will be bombarded with tales that you must fill any tube based piers

to help dampen them down, I can assure you that this has little effect,

if your pier is that bad it needs beefing up or a redesign and not

filling with sand as all this does is to dampen audible vibration's,

better to go for more girth on the pier and isolating the base from the

surrounding structure.



The G8 is a nice mid range (weight wise) mount so would be fine on all

but the smallest piers, I though would suggest that the difference in

cost between a small pier and a big one is small if you take into

account that the base and structure will cost the same, that you may

wish to go the whole hog and get a nice pier that will also be good if

you decide to go to a G11 or bigger mount in the future.



Badger







> I'm a happy owner of a Losmandy GM8 with the Gemini system and for the past year or so I've been setting my mount up (mainly for imaging) before each use. On average the whole process can take up to 2 hours or longer so I've decided it's time to set up a home observatory.

>

> The reason for this post is to ask other Losmandy users which piers they would recommend. I'm based in the UK so I'm hoping to be able to source a pier here as due to the weight it would be expensive to ship. I'll be installing the pier in a roll off roof shed and plan to install the pier on an isolated concrete platform which has yet to be prepared. Any suggestions and recommendations would be very welcome.

>

> Regards

> Simon

>

>

>

---------------

>

> Yahoo! Groups Links

>

>

>

>

>



----------------------------

#47300 Nov 6, 2010

I used the Astro Engeneering AC421 and a G11 in my roll-off observatory.

For the few nights that have been clear since completing it I have been

very pleased with the pier. There are a few photos of the pier in the

observatory as it is being built can be seen here in our club's forum

forum.orpington-astronomy.org.uk/index.php?topic=6434.0

forum.orpington-astronomy.org.uk/index.php?topic=6434.0> .



I ordered the pier with the fixings, it was straight forward to set up,

the seperate mounting ring allowed fine tuning for leveling. It is

advisable to get your base laid as level as possible.



Here in the UK starting a two hour set-up under a clear sky, for it to

cloud over just as you are ready to start imaging is a real pain, but

not unusual. Having everything ready to go makes such a difference. Good

luck with your observatory build, it will be worth it.

--- In Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com, "caracol_uk" simon@...> wrote:

>

> I'm a happy owner of a Losmandy GM8 with the Gemini system and for the

past year or so I've been setting my mount up (mainly for imaging)

before each use. On average the whole process can take up to 2 hours or

longer so I've decided it's time to set up a home observatory.

>

> The reason for this post is to ask other Losmandy users which piers

they would recommend. I'm based in the UK so I'm hoping to be able to

source a pier here as due to the weight it would be expensive to ship.

I'll be installing the pier in a roll off roof shed and plan to install

the pier on an isolated concrete platform which has yet to be prepared.

Any suggestions and recommendations would be very welcome.

>

> Regards

> Simon

>







[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



----------------------------

#47302 Nov 7, 2010

Thanks for the information and the link to the photos. It is for the

reasons you mentioned that I'm building an observatory. On several

occasions this year I've set up based on weather forecasts predicting a

clear night only to find low level clouds roll in just as I'm ready. It

seems that many of the weather forecast sites don't accurately predict low

level clouds.



Your observatory looks first class. I hope the weather changes soon so you

can put it through its paces. From the images I can't see the mount on the

pier clearly and I was wondering whether you use the Gemini system with your

G11. From the spec for the AC421 it doesn't seem that there is anywhere to

fix the main Gemini controller. I've really only found 2 pier options so

far, the AC421 and the Altair Astro 8" pier. The Altair Astro pier would

seem to make alignment easier through the use of the adjustable top plate

but would require a pier adapter for use with a Losmandy mount. From what I

can tell the adjustable plate would force the Gemini unit to stick out at a

nearly horizontal angle. This may be a problem as the Gemini unit could not

be placed on the east or west of the pier as it would run the risk of

getting in the way of the scope. If it were placed on the north side it may

be in the way of the counterweights/bar which only leaves the south side.

That would probably be the best option but it would make polar alignment

difficult.



Simon



_____



From: Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com]

On Behalf Of Whitmap

Sent: 06 November 2010 18:38

To: Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [Losmandy_users] Re: Pier for Losmandy GM8









I used the Astro Engeneering AC421 and a G11 in my roll-off observatory.

For the few nights that have been clear since completing it I have been

very pleased with the pier. There are a few photos of the pier in the

observatory as it is being built can be seen here in our club's forum

forum.orpington-astronomy.org.uk/index.php?topic=6434.0

forum.orpington-astronomy.org.uk/index.php?topic=6434.0> .



I ordered the pier with the fixings, it was straight forward to set up,

the seperate mounting ring allowed fine tuning for leveling. It is

advisable to get your base laid as level as possible.



Here in the UK starting a two hour set-up under a clear sky, for it to

cloud over just as you are ready to start imaging is a real pain, but

not unusual. Having everything ready to go makes such a difference. Good

luck with your observatory build, it will be worth it.



--- In Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com

mailto:Losmandy_users%40yahoogroups.com> , "caracol_uk" simon@...> wrote: >

> I'm a happy owner of a Losmandy GM8 with the Gemini system and for the

past year or so I've been setting my mount up (mainly for imaging)

before each use. On average the whole process can take up to 2 hours or

longer so I've decided it's time to set up a home observatory. >

> The reason for this post is to ask other Losmandy users which piers

they would recommend. I'm based in the UK so I'm hoping to be able to

source a pier here as due to the weight it would be expensive to ship.

I'll be installing the pier in a roll off roof shed and plan to install

the pier on an isolated concrete platform which has yet to be prepared.

Any suggestions and recommendations would be very welcome. >

> Regards

> Simon

>



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]













[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







----------------------------

#47303 Nov 7, 2010

Hi Badger,



Thanks for the information, that's very useful. The 2 piers you have

referenced are the ones I've been trying to decide between. I agree it's

best to opt for a pier that will allow me to use larger mounts/scope

combinations in the future. My only dilemma now is whether either of these

2 piers will be suitable. I do like the idea of the adjustable top plate as

it will make alignment easier but I am concerned that it will force the

Gemini unit to be positioned at a near horizontal angle. However, on Altair

Astro's website it seems someone has found an ideal solution to the problem

and has mounted the Gemini brackets just under the top plate to allow it to

be positioned vertically as intended (as in the image below):



www.altairastro.com/product.php?productid=16162



I've emailed Altair Astro to find out more about this as this looks like

it's what I'm after.



Regards

Simon



_____



From: Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com]

On Behalf Of David Mercer

Sent: 06 November 2010 17:04

To: Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com

Subject: Re: [Losmandy_users] Pier for Losmandy GM8









Hi Simon



Just about all the UK suppliers have access to piers, my local shop

www.astronomia.co.uk based in Dorking, Surrey list some but also if you

are local and can pop in has access to custom made ones, prices are

around .500.00 plus the cost of having the base laid.



The following link shows a typical pier,

www.astronomia.co.uk/shop/item/1535/Altair_SkyShed_Observatory_Pier_

8-inch_diameter/



though I would personally plumb for a nice minimum of 8" (preferably 10"

concrete filled tube pier) with 2 steel steel plates on the top which

would allow for levelling and changes of mount in the future, you can

never have too much girth for a pier so bigger is better. All steel

piers from suppliers such as the Astro Engineering are again OK, but for

the money you may wish to have one custom made at a local engineering works.



You will be bombarded with tales that you must fill any tube based piers

to help dampen them down, I can assure you that this has little effect,

if your pier is that bad it needs beefing up or a redesign and not

filling with sand as all this does is to dampen audible vibration's,

better to go for more girth on the pier and isolating the base from the

surrounding structure.



The G8 is a nice mid range (weight wise) mount so would be fine on all

but the smallest piers, I though would suggest that the difference in

cost between a small pier and a big one is small if you take into

account that the base and structure will cost the same, that you may

wish to go the whole hog and get a nice pier that will also be good if

you decide to go to a G11 or bigger mount in the future.



Badger

> I'm a happy owner of a Losmandy GM8 with the Gemini system and for the

past year or so I've been setting my mount up (mainly for imaging) before

each use. On average the whole process can take up to 2 hours or longer so

I've decided it's time to set up a home observatory. >

> The reason for this post is to ask other Losmandy users which piers they

would recommend. I'm based in the UK so I'm hoping to be able to source a

pier here as due to the weight it would be expensive to ship. I'll be

installing the pier in a roll off roof shed and plan to install the pier on

an isolated concrete platform which has yet to be prepared. Any suggestions

and recommendations would be very welcome. >

> Regards

> Simon

>

>

>

---------------

>

> Yahoo! Groups Links

>

>

>

>

>













[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



----------------------------

#47304 Nov 7, 2010

Simon



Try www.scopesnskies.com/AstroBoot?needle=losmandy can be slow

or awfull service depending on if there is a Y in the month, but the kit

is fine, I think they have some connection to Astro Engineering but

could be wrong. For .5.00 you just can not go wrong, though you may need

to have some longer motor cables made up depending on the distance below

the pier top that you need to mount the controller, but even it it was

horizontal, who cares! though I would personally prefer it away out of

harms reach.



The pier you link to would be fine for both the G8 and G11, I use a boot

lace around the azimuth adjuster knobs and the mounting bolts on my

Gemini when on the pier I have, simple and effective.



Badger







On 07/11/2010 13:19, Simon Edwins wrote:

> Hi Badger,

>

> Thanks for the information, that's very useful. The 2 piers you have

> referenced are the ones I've been trying to decide between. I agree it's

> best to opt for a pier that will allow me to use larger mounts/scope

> combinations in the future. My only dilemma now is whether either of these

> 2 piers will be suitable. I do like the idea of the adjustable top plate as

> it will make alignment easier but I am concerned that it will force the

> Gemini unit to be positioned at a near horizontal angle. However, on Altair

> Astro's website it seems someone has found an ideal solution to the problem

> and has mounted the Gemini brackets just under the top plate to allow it to

> be positioned vertically as intended (as in the image below):

>

> www.altairastro.com/product.php?productid=16162

>

> I've emailed Altair Astro to find out more about this as this looks like

> it's what I'm after.

>

> Regards

> Simon

>

> _____

>

> From: Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com]

> On Behalf Of David Mercer

> Sent: 06 November 2010 17:04

> To: Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com

> Subject: Re: [Losmandy_users] Pier for Losmandy GM8

>

>

>

>

> Hi Simon

>

> Just about all the UK suppliers have access to piers, my local shop

> www.astronomia.co.uk based in Dorking, Surrey list some but also if you

> are local and can pop in has access to custom made ones, prices are

> around .500.00 plus the cost of having the base laid.

>

> The following link shows a typical pier,

> www.astronomia.co.uk/shop/item/1535/Altair_SkyShed_Observatory_Pier_

> 8-inch_diameter/

>

> though I would personally plumb for a nice minimum of 8" (preferably 10"

> concrete filled tube pier) with 2 steel steel plates on the top which

> would allow for levelling and changes of mount in the future, you can

> never have too much girth for a pier so bigger is better. All steel

> piers from suppliers such as the Astro Engineering are again OK, but for

> the money you may wish to have one custom made at a local engineering works...

>

> You will be bombarded with tales that you must fill any tube based piers

> to help dampen them down, I can assure you that this has little effect,

> if your pier is that bad it needs beefing up or a redesign and not

> filling with sand as all this does is to dampen audible vibration's,

> better to go for more girth on the pier and isolating the base from the

> surrounding structure.

>

> The G8 is a nice mid range (weight wise) mount so would be fine on all

> but the smallest piers, I though would suggest that the difference in

> cost between a small pier and a big one is small if you take into

> account that the base and structure will cost the same, that you may

> wish to go the whole hog and get a nice pier that will also be good if

> you decide to go to a G11 or bigger mount in the future.

>

> Badger

>

>> I'm a happy owner of a Losmandy GM8 with the Gemini system and for the

> past year or so I've been setting my mount up (mainly for imaging) before

> each use. On average the whole process can take up to 2 hours or longer so

> I've decided it's time to set up a home observatory.

>> The reason for this post is to ask other Losmandy users which piers they

> would recommend. I'm based in the UK so I'm hoping to be able to source a

> pier here as due to the weight it would be expensive to ship. I'll be

> installing the pier in a roll off roof shed and plan to install the pier on

> an isolated concrete platform which has yet to be prepared. Any suggestions

> and recommendations would be very welcome.

>> Regards

>> Simon

>>

>>

>>

---------------

>>

>> Yahoo! Groups Links

>>

>>

>>

>>

>>

>

>

>

>

>

> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

>

>

>

---------------

>

> Yahoo! Groups Links

>

>

>

>







----------------------------

#47305 Nov 7, 2010

Thanks Badger, with one of those brackets I should be able to mount the

Gemini below the top plates which is exactly what I had in mind. The only

concern I had with mounting the Gemini horizontally was that it would stick

out far enough to either get in the way of the scope, counterweight/bar or

make looking through the polar scope difficult depending upon which side of

the mount it was installed.



Regards

Simon



_____



From: Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com]

On Behalf Of David Mercer

Sent: 07 November 2010 15:03

To: Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com

Subject: Re: [Losmandy_users] Pier for Losmandy GM8









Simon



Try www.scopesnskies.com/AstroBoot?needle=losmandy can be slow

or awfull service depending on if there is a Y in the month, but the kit

is fine, I think they have some connection to Astro Engineering but

could be wrong. For .5.00 you just can not go wrong, though you may need

to have some longer motor cables made up depending on the distance below

the pier top that you need to mount the controller, but even it it was

horizontal, who cares! though I would personally prefer it away out of

harms reach.



The pier you link to would be fine for both the G8 and G11, I use a boot

lace around the azimuth adjuster knobs and the mounting bolts on my

Gemini when on the pier I have, simple and effective.



Badger

On 07/11/2010 13:19, Simon Edwins wrote:

> Hi Badger,

>

> Thanks for the information, that's very useful. The 2 piers you have

> referenced are the ones I've been trying to decide between. I agree it's

> best to opt for a pier that will allow me to use larger mounts/scope

> combinations in the future. My only dilemma now is whether either of these

> 2 piers will be suitable. I do like the idea of the adjustable top plate

as

> it will make alignment easier but I am concerned that it will force the

> Gemini unit to be positioned at a near horizontal angle. However, on

Altair

> Astro's website it seems someone has found an ideal solution to the

problem

> and has mounted the Gemini brackets just under the top plate to allow it

to

> be positioned vertically as intended (as in the image below):

>

> www.altairastro.com/product.php?productid=16162

>

> I've emailed Altair Astro to find out more about this as this looks like

> it's what I'm after.

>

> Regards

> Simon

>

> _____

>

> From: Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com

mailto:Losmandy_users%40yahoogroups.com>

[mailto:Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com

mailto:Losmandy_users%40yahoogroups.com> ]

> On Behalf Of David Mercer

> Sent: 06 November 2010 17:04

> To: Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com

mailto:Losmandy_users%40yahoogroups.com>

> Subject: Re: [Losmandy_users] Pier for Losmandy GM8

>

>

>

>

> Hi Simon

>

> Just about all the UK suppliers have access to piers, my local shop

> www.astronomia.co.uk based in Dorking, Surrey list some but also if you

> are local and can pop in has access to custom made ones, prices are

> around .500.00 plus the cost of having the base laid.

>

> The following link shows a typical pier,

>

www.astronomia.co.uk/shop/item/1535/Altair_SkyShed_Observatory_Pier_

> 8-inch_diameter/

>

> though I would personally plumb for a nice minimum of 8" (preferably 10"

> concrete filled tube pier) with 2 steel steel plates on the top which

> would allow for levelling and changes of mount in the future, you can

> never have too much girth for a pier so bigger is better. All steel

> piers from suppliers such as the Astro Engineering are again OK, but for

> the money you may wish to have one custom made at a local engineering

works...

>

> You will be bombarded with tales that you must fill any tube based piers

> to help dampen them down, I can assure you that this has little effect,

> if your pier is that bad it needs beefing up or a redesign and not

> filling with sand as all this does is to dampen audible vibration's,

> better to go for more girth on the pier and isolating the base from the

> surrounding structure.

>

> The G8 is a nice mid range (weight wise) mount so would be fine on all

> but the smallest piers, I though would suggest that the difference in

> cost between a small pier and a big one is small if you take into

> account that the base and structure will cost the same, that you may

> wish to go the whole hog and get a nice pier that will also be good if

> you decide to go to a G11 or bigger mount in the future.

>

> Badger

>

>> I'm a happy owner of a Losmandy GM8 with the Gemini system and for the

> past year or so I've been setting my mount up (mainly for imaging) before

> each use. On average the whole process can take up to 2 hours or longer so

> I've decided it's time to set up a home observatory.

>> The reason for this post is to ask other Losmandy users which piers they

> would recommend. I'm based in the UK so I'm hoping to be able to source a

> pier here as due to the weight it would be expensive to ship. I'll be

> installing the pier in a roll off roof shed and plan to install the pier

on

> an isolated concrete platform which has yet to be prepared. Any

suggestions

> and recommendations would be very welcome.

>> Regards

>> Simon

>>

>>

>>

---------------

>>

>> Yahoo! Groups Links

>>

>>

>>

>>

>>

>

>

>

>

>

> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

>

>

>

---------------

>

> Yahoo! Groups Links

>

>

>

>













[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







----------------------------

#47306 Nov 7, 2010

I have used velcro to fix the Gemini control box to the top of the pier, it fits under the polar scope eyepice.Mounting it there keeps it well out of the way of the scope etc. But I like the look of the holder and may get one.

--- In Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com, "Simon Edwins" simon@...> wrote:

>

> Thanks for the information and the link to the photos. It is for the

> reasons you mentioned that I'm building an observatory. On several

> occasions this year I've set up based on weather forecasts predicting a

> clear night only to find low level clouds roll in just as I'm ready. It

> seems that many of the weather forecast sites don't accurately predict low

> level clouds.

>

> Your observatory looks first class. I hope the weather changes soon so you

> can put it through its paces. From the images I can't see the mount on the

> pier clearly and I was wondering whether you use the Gemini system with your

> G11. From the spec for the AC421 it doesn't seem that there is anywhere to

> fix the main Gemini controller. I've really only found 2 pier options so

> far, the AC421 and the Altair Astro 8" pier. The Altair Astro pier would

> seem to make alignment easier through the use of the adjustable top plate

> but would require a pier adapter for use with a Losmandy mount. From what I

> can tell the adjustable plate would force the Gemini unit to stick out at a

> nearly horizontal angle. This may be a problem as the Gemini unit could not

> be placed on the east or west of the pier as it would run the risk of

> getting in the way of the scope. If it were placed on the north side it may

> be in the way of the counterweights/bar which only leaves the south side.

> That would probably be the best option but it would make polar alignment

> difficult.

>

> Simon

>

> _____

>

> From: Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com]

> On Behalf Of Whitmap

> Sent: 06 November 2010 18:38

> To: Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com

> Subject: [Losmandy_users] Re: Pier for Losmandy GM8

>

>

>

>

> I used the Astro Engeneering AC421 and a G11 in my roll-off observatory.

> For the few nights that have been clear since completing it I have been

> very pleased with the pier. There are a few photos of the pier in the

> observatory as it is being built can be seen here in our club's forum

> forum.orpington-astronomy.org.uk/index.php?topic=6434.0

> forum.orpington-astronomy.org.uk/index.php?topic=6434.0> .

>

> I ordered the pier with the fixings, it was straight forward to set up,

> the seperate mounting ring allowed fine tuning for leveling. It is

> advisable to get your base laid as level as possible.

>

> Here in the UK starting a two hour set-up under a clear sky, for it to

> cloud over just as you are ready to start imaging is a real pain, but

> not unusual. Having everything ready to go makes such a difference. Good

> luck with your observatory build, it will be worth it.

>

> --- In Losmandy_users@yahoogroups.com

> mailto:Losmandy_users%40yahoogroups.com> , "caracol_uk" simon@> wrote:

> >

> > I'm a happy owner of a Losmandy GM8 with the Gemini system and for the

> past year or so I've been setting my mount up (mainly for imaging)

> before each use. On average the whole process can take up to 2 hours or

> longer so I've decided it's time to set up a home observatory.

> >

> > The reason for this post is to ask other Losmandy users which piers

> they would recommend. I'm based in the UK so I'm hoping to be able to

> source a pier here as due to the weight it would be expensive to ship.

> I'll be installing the pier in a roll off roof shed and plan to install

> the pier on an isolated concrete platform which has yet to be prepared.

> Any suggestions and recommendations would be very welcome.

> >

> > Regards

> > Simon

> >

>

> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

>

>

>

>

>

>

> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

>



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