The pier adapter plate from Dan’s Piers arrived in early April for the CGEM which will be going into my Explora-Dome observatory. I spent some time researching various piers and decided on ordering just the top plate package from Dan. This allowed me to save a few dollars which I can use towards the observatory and pier build. The top pier plate package came in at less than $200 including shipping. This is a very well machined adapter plate and arrived on time according to Dan’s shipping schedule. The quality of workmanship and service were top notch.
I decided on using just the top plate attached to a metal pier which I am currently fabricating. My metal pier will attach to a 12″ concrete pier which will extend about 2″ above the observatory floor. The metal pier I am fabricating will have an additional plate welded on the top which I will be able to connect to Dan’s Top pier plate adapter, and allow for leveling and alignment of the pier with true north. In the future I will order Dan’s bottom plate which is universal for a variety of telescopes and offer me the convenience of changing out the CGEM for my Meade LX-200GPS. My plan is to have the telescope pier at a fairly high height within the dome observatory which will allow for easier viewing while standing, it is far easier to add a step stool then it is to hunch down while observing.
Included with the pier adapter plate are the stainless steel center bolt assembly and three stainless steel shoulder bolts which connect to the second plate. The adapter plate is machined from two pieces of anodized aluminum. The flange piece is 1/2″ anodized aluminum and the CGEM adapter plate is machined from 1 1/2″ anodized aluminum. See Picture below:
The next step in the observatory build is to finish building my metal pier then construction of the observatory can commence once the concrete pier and bolts are installed into the ground. The weather this Spring has not been cooperating too well to observe or begin the construction of the observatory, we have had snow as recently as this week in Berkshire County. I have included some more pictures of the pier adapter below. If you are looking for an affordable and quality built pier adapter I would highly recommend Dan’s Piers . Dan offers a variety of pier adapters and hardware along with his unique Motel O’Scope telescope enclosure.