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Not an observatory yet...


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This past year has been very frustrating for me in terms of AP. The extremely poor skies everyone has suffered has been compounded for me by very poor reliability of forecasts. I set up and tear down every night unless the forecast is good for a few days (very rare) This means that unless I have a forecast of a good period of hours I find it very difficult to find the will to lug everything out and set up.


So I decided that some form of semi-permanent set up was in order. For many reasons a proper observatory is not an option right now. Looking around I saw many examples of the "Todmorden Pier" - inexpensive and allegedly east to build. So that was what I decided on. It took me just a couple of days start to finish.


Materials (if anyone has a real interest I can share the materials list and my build plan]


Former cut and drilled  with anchor bolts fitted to test.


Anchor bolts removed and former used as template to drill cavity block


Hole dug


Former with bolts in place and concrete poured


Blocks painted and attached to anchor bolts


Ready to go


My intention is to initially use it with a Telegigzmos 365 cover and dehumidifier bags. But I may eventually build a “roll off” around it


I hope its going to increase my imaging time.


Take care



Edited by Dmack1
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Thanks Padraic, I really hope that its going to maximize the limited clear sky we get over here. The key is going to be the conditions under the 365 cover - i.e will the dehumidifier keep it dry enough and will the reflective coating of the 365 keep it cool enough on a sunny day.  I have a bluetooth temp/humidity recorder so will be monitoring it 24/7 and we will see.


If you'd like more details of materials or how I did it let me know. I'm far from technically competent but it was pretty easy once I thought it through.


Take care,



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5 hours ago, GazAstro said:

I have to admit, when I saw how short the bolts protruded in this bit



I wondered how you'd attach the blocks but I'm guessing that one or both the boards were removed when set ?


Looks good though !


Thanks. Yes the whole former is removed after the concrete is set. Its only there to hold the anchors in place so they fit the holes in the block and it is pressed down and leveled on the wet 'crete to give a flat level surface for the block. Once the former is lifted the bolts protrude about 40mm above the concrete giving enough length to go through the bolts and fit the washers/nuts.

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Looks great - very nice and simple

I did something similar a few years before my obsy.

Got two sections of heavy gauge al. box section.

Drilled bolt holes on all four sides for joining plates between the two to extend the length.

Then postcreted one into a two foot deep hole within the side of patio raised plant pot area - i.e. out of sight in summer.

Then in winter top section simply bolts on and it's rock solid at a good height.

I was only mucking about with alt az goto and clock driven eq3/2 then, but it was much better than their cheaper tripods and much nicer and easier setup - felt very satisfying and learnt a lot.


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All wrapped up and cozy under its Telegizmo 365 - which I'm very impressed with in terms of quality and strength. I have a 1 kg bag of silca gel and a bluetooth temp/humidity recorder underneath to continually monitor conditions. I have some more webbing straps like the one at the bottom on order as I think they are beller than the bungees.


I'm thinking that If forecast is bad I may bring in the scope. All cables etc are attached to the scope so setting back up would be a quick affair. When we have a red warning storm coming in I'll probably take scope, mount and cover in leaving the pier out uncovered because thick and strong as the cover is  I think really bad winds could damage it.. 


So we shall see how it stands up.



Edited by Dmack1
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You'll find that a big improvement.  Roger another member on here.  (Apophisastros I think), has his rig set up most of the time with a decent cover and I think puts a pet blanket underneath to generate a little heat.



Edited by Carastro
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