Pier

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The telescope pier was constructed of stainless steel tube approx 6" diameter welded to a stainless flange (11") already drilled with several 1" holes. These were used to bolt the pier to its concrete mounting block using four M16 Rawlbolts. Many amateur observatory designs on the web use complex steel bolt cage assemblies cast into the block. I was not able to do this as I did not have the pier design finished before casting the block but in any case it would seem to be overkill to do this. The pier does not have to support any great sideways forces and Rawlbolts are quite adequate to keep it firmly anchored. 

Much more important in pier design is to reduce vibration and ringing in the mount. My design does still suffer from this when heavy vehicles go past the house (the road is some 80 feet away). This can induce a wobble of up to ?? arcseconds which takes about 5 to 10 seconds to die away. In practice this should not present too much of a problem since traffic is occasional during observing sessions and only long exposure CCD images would be affected.  Following installation the pier was filled with sand to reduce vibration but I never found much evidence that this actually helped!

The LX-200 is bolted to a 10mm stainless plate which fits over four mounting bolts in a similar plate welded to the top of the pier. Lock nuts on the bolts provide adjustment in two planes and allow for about 4 degrees latitude adjustment - enough for any home I may own in the UK in the future!


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