Re: Piertech3 Adjustable Pier with AP1600 Experience

Woody Schlom



You say you live in San Diego.  Are you a member of SDAA (San Diego Astronomy Association)?  I ask because I believe there are several of us who have Piertech piers.  Mine is the smallest one (single column) and it’s in my mobile observatory and only holds a CPC-1100 Deluxe EdgeHD w/ HyperStar (around 100 lbs. when my LS80DSII Ha solar scope is piggybacked).  So it’s nowhere near as large as you need.  But I’m pretty sure there are at least a couple of the larger dual column PierTech piers out at the club’s Dark-Sky property in Tierra del Sol (near Boulevard, CA).


I’d find a 5’ x 5’ observatory with that scope and mount VERY constrained.  My mobile observatory is 7.5’ x 10’ and I’m using an Alt/Az mount – so no CW’s swinging around.  Personally, I wouldn’t go smaller than 10’ x 10’ if I could help it with your gear. 


Anyway, if you’re interested, I’m sure I can put you in contact with some club members who own the big dual-column PierTech piers – and I’m sure they’d be happy to demo them for you out at TDS (Tierra del Sol).  I’m not sure any of them have an AP-1600 or C14 on theirs (most seem to have Paramounts and various RC scopes), but the weights are probably similar.


And while out at TDS, you can see several types of observatories – roll-off roof, dome, etc.


Woody (you can contact me privately)


From: <> On Behalf Of psparkman via
Sent: Sunday, January 9, 2022 11:34 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Piertech3 Adjustable Pier with AP1600 Experience


Greetings everyone.  I am the recent lucky owner of an AP1600AE and I want to use it with my Celestron C14 for imaging.  I want to build a "Micro" observatory in my small suburban San Diego back yard.  I have a spot that will work, but need it to be as small as I can get it for my lovely Wife to accept it.  Essentially, I need it to be a 5' cube phone booth with a roll off roof.  I do strictly imaging, so it does not need to accommodate me in there while slewing around.  

With the scope this low, I am worried about extra humidity coming up from the ground, and this is a humid environment as it is.  Also, it would be nice to have the scope up higher to clear the sides of the "observatory" and my neighbors bamboo.  A potential way to solve my problems is to get a Piertech3 heavy duty height adjustable pier.  I could have it park 4 to keep the box as low as possible.  Then open the roof, and raise the pier up for imaging.  This will raise it another 20" and will help with clearance and humidity.

Does anyone have any imaging experience with the Piertech pier at longer focal lengths.  Will it maintain polar alignment well enough to reuse an APCC model?  Any other issues that I should consider with the Piertech?  Another other options or ideas?

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