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Old 30-11-2019, 08:45 AM
Hemi
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Leveling

G’Day learned ones,

After a year of cogitation, I’m about to receive my first pier.

It’s a simple design, 200mm square base plate, 160mm steel tube (1m height)and 165mm top plate machined to take my AZEQ6. A hole cut in the side for access and no rat cage.

I had a local fabricator do it for me from my drawing. A senior gent, who had been in the trade for a lifetime and seemed as excited by the project as me.

The pier is going on a concrete and tiled floor. There is a slight camber for rainfall runoff. I plan to remove one tile (permission acquired from her indoors) and bolt the pier down with resin bolts or the like.

I plan to use the mount in EQ and AZ modes.

I know that leveling is not needed for eq, but what about az mode. Will the slight camber effect alignment and goto?

Should I level that small square section of concrete? About 300x300mm. And how? Spacers? Self leveling concrete?

Thoughts would be well appreciated.

Cheers

Hemi

Last edited by Hemi; 30-11-2019 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 30-11-2019, 09:08 AM
Rainmaker (Matt)
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Use stainless steel wedge anchors: https://www.hilti.com.au/c/CLS_FASTE...E_ANCHORS_7135

Once you remove the tile, drill the bolt holes to suit suitably large wedge anchors with the pier base in place to make sure the bit doesn't wander about.
Install the wedge anchors and use thin fender washers to get the pier level.

Then remove the pier and mix up some non-shrink grout (leaving the levelling washers in place), pour the grout into the recess and re-fit the pier tightening down fully. Then clean up the excess grout that squeezes out as you tighten the pier.

All done, go and enjoy a cold beer.....
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Old 30-11-2019, 09:39 AM
Wilso (Darren)
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If you tap on the tile with something metal youíll soon hear if itís hollow underneath, so they will most likely crack if you donít take them up.
Another fixing option is to use loxin anchors with bolts, easy to remove later if you decide to move it.
Enjoy
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:02 AM
Hemi
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Thanks Matt and Darren,

Will get the bolts and grout from bunnings. The pier arrives Monday.
Will let you know how I get on.

Cheers

Hemi
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:12 AM
alval (Alan)
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A method I have used for levelling posts which have four dynabolt, loxin, chem anchors or what ever you have is to tack weld a nut in the centre of the holes underneath and then by tightening or loosen fasteners on each corner you can easily get the post dead level. Once happy force non shrink grout under until it comes out the other side. Once the grout is hard a final tension on the bolts and its going nowhere.
Al
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:18 AM
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doppler (Rick)
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Hi Hemi, personally I like to install things so that they can be easily reversible, in case you have to move out and restore the area. On my pier I have used this type of concrete anchor, strong but easily removed. https://www.bunnings.com.au/ramset-1...nchor_p2260285
Just put some washers under the base plate bolt holes to shim it to level, you will probably find that it will be solid enough without grout. If you don't want to smash out a tile you can drill a hole through the tile with one of these without cracking the tile. https://www.bunnings.com.au/p-n-10mm...l-bit_p5710034
Cheers Rick
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:48 AM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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To answer one of the questions that is not really explicitly answered. Yes, foe ALT-AZ it is best to have the pier top level. When I was using my AZ-EQ mount in ALT-AZ mode the biggest impacts on performance were from making sure the base was level.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:45 AM
Hemi
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Thanks again folks,

Al....I’m not sure I quite follow. Unfortunately I don’t have the skills or equipment to weld. Thanks though.

Rick....great advice, I would prefer to keep the tile for sure, will look better finished as well. Those ankerbolts look the easiest solution so far.

Paul....thanks, I suspected as much. Well I’m armed enough to do the leveling now. Pier should be here tomorrow.

I can only apologize in advance for the clouds this week.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:03 PM
Hemi
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haven't made much progress, but the pier is here. Specs were a bit tight, but corrected with the Dremel.

Do you think 60mm (M10) will be long/stable enough to fix the pier down?

Cheers

Hemi
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:50 PM
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doppler (Rick)
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60mm would be the bare minimum, you loose 10mm with the bottom plate thickness plus any leveling spacers. I think 100mm would be better.
Rick
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:24 PM
Hemi
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Thanks Rick, went with 100mm. The diamond bit for the tile worked well.
Getting it level was surprising difficult.

So this is my first pier fixed down. Next job is drilling and tapping a whole for the Azimuth pin. Research indicates its m10 1.25, that needs an 8.6mm drill bit. Any thoughts on those HSS drill and tap bits on eBay?

The mount doesnít quite sit flush or level. The machining isnít great, but the steel shop guy was very nice and didnít charge me much.

Any suggestions on the best way to fix the mount? The Centre whole is 32mm to allow the mount to sit. Bolting down with a m12 bolt and washer seems insecure and the mount easily turns. Iím thinking I might just get an adapter plate.

Cheers

Hemi
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:56 AM
alval (Alan)
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If the pin supplied is m10 x1.25 that is a metric fine thread not a m10 x 1.5 which is standard. Im not sure you’ll find those drill taps in that configuration which are ok if not drilling and tapping too deep. Tapping drill for metric is diameter minus the thread pitch so 8.75 but they dont make this size. So 8.8 is what you can get for the tapping drill or 11/32 if you have imperial drills.
Al
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:43 AM
Imme (Jon)
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This is going to probably sound a little unconventional however it has worked great on the two piers I have set up.....solid as a rock. Also means you don't need to worry with the azimuth

- Remove legs from Tripod 'head'
- Reinstall the bolts (that held the legs in place)
- Buy 3 x suitably sized U-bolts from hardware store
- Install U-bolts over tripod head bolts
- mark position on pier head and drill out the six holes for U-bolt ends to go through
- tighten U-bolts down.

Works a treat for me.........and simple!

Also allows additional azimuth adjustment if needed.

I've mounted an EQ5 and EQ6 this way and they are as solid as a rock. EQ6 has around 14kg hanging off it.
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:43 AM
Hemi
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Al: Thanks, will take the pin to a shop and get it sized exactly.
Imme: Thanks, any pics?

Any other suggestions/critiques? before I put the mount on?
should I fill with sand or pebbles?
if not, I was thinking of cutting a hole in the bottom for cable routing. bad idea?

Cheers

Hemi
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  #15  
Old 11-12-2019, 03:07 PM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
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replacement azimuth pin

Hi Hemi,
for $20 you can buy a replacement azimuth pin that is fixed with a nut so you can simply drill a hole for it, rather than tapping a thread. A quality tap and the right drill bit for it will cost more than that...
https://www.siderealtrading.com.au/p...justment-post/

Or if you want to spend a bit more, buy a whole new adapter plate including pin and simply bolt it on top of your pier:
https://www.siderealtrading.com.au/p...adapter-plate/
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  #16  
Old 12-12-2019, 05:48 PM
Hemi
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Thanks AA

Duh!
Of course, don't need to drill and tap. I have the old pin that has a nut on it!. Will just drill a 10mm hole!


Hemi
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:12 PM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
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Hopefully the simple solution works out for you - Iíd use lock washers and do it up tight enough not to budge.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:15 PM
miker
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I think you will find that the NUT is only a lock nut, and you will still require a threaded hole to screw the stud/threaded bit into.

Michael.
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Old 12-12-2019, 09:26 PM
AstroApprentice (Jason)
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True, but for a few cents he could replace the lock nut with something like this https://www.classicfasteners.com.au/...25mm-14mm-hex/ with serrated flange, so he won’t need a lock washer on underside. I’m not sure of his top plate thickness, but I think the pin has a 25 mm thread, so should be long enough to pass through and be threaded on.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:44 PM
Hemi
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Slow and painful progress, now I realize why there is a market for ready made piers!😆

Spent two hours trying and failing to drill a hole!

Watched a lot of you tube videos about drilling steel....purchased some cobalt drill bits....4mm,6mm,8mm,10mm.
4 and 6 took a while but got there. 8 chewed up my drill bit, and yanked my shoulder out of its socket, drilled and drilled no joy! 😥

Second problem is machining I think. The mount has a very slight wobble. (Not bolted down yet), I think the Centre machined depression is not flat, or recessed enough.

Lastly still donít know the best solution to secure the mount. Was thinking of 50mm square m12 washers (3mm thick) epoxied to the undersurface to reduce the 32mm opening to m12.

Iím thinking Iíll unbolt the mount and take it back for the fabricator to drill the whole and flatten/sink the recess more! Not sure if ankerscrew bolts are a one way process or can be refitted?
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Last edited by Hemi; 12-12-2019 at 11:57 PM.
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