Topics

AP portable pier for 1100GTO


Patrick Spencer
 

Hi everyone,

I have an 1100GTO on order, so I'm trying to decide what to do about a portable pier. I am wondering if anyone can share experiences and/or insight regarding the AP Portable Pier. My main questions relate to ease of leveling and stability. My primary setup location is a slightly out-of-level concrete patio in my backyard (sloped for drainage), but I will also use it a handful of times per year at my favorite dark locations in the Colorado mountains and SE Utah desert.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the turnbuckle-based leveling system of the portable pier. Is it relatively easy to get level?

I'm also considering an ATS portable pier, but obviously that's quite a bit more expense. My wife is already well into the head-scratching zone about the cost of this hobby, so saving $1500 or so would certainly be a plus.

Thanks for any input,

Patrick Spencer


Cheng-Yang Tan
 

On Sunday, February 28, 2021, 10:02 AM, Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...> wrote:

Hi everyone,

I have an 1100GTO on order, so I'm trying to decide what to do about a portable pier. I am wondering if anyone can share experiences and/or insight regarding the AP Portable Pier. My main questions relate to ease of leveling and stability. My primary setup location is a slightly out-of-level concrete patio in my backyard (sloped for drainage), but I will also use it a handful of times per year at my favorite dark locations in the Colorado mountains and SE Utah desert.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the turnbuckle-based leveling system of the portable pier. Is it relatively easy to get level?

I'm also considering an ATS portable pier, but obviously that's quite a bit more expense. My wife is already well into the head-scratching zone about the cost of this hobby, so saving $1500 or so would certainly be a plus.

Thanks for any input,

Patrick Spencer


Bill Long
 

Cant speak to the Portable Pier, but the HD Folding Losmandy tripod is pretty awesome. You can either get the HD Folding with MA top + LM3APM + 119FSA or get the pre-made HD tripod from AP (which does not have the MA top). 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2021 8:02 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] AP portable pier for 1100GTO
 
Hi everyone,

I have an 1100GTO on order, so I'm trying to decide what to do about a portable pier. I am wondering if anyone can share experiences and/or insight regarding the AP Portable Pier. My main questions relate to ease of leveling and stability. My primary setup location is a slightly out-of-level concrete patio in my backyard (sloped for drainage), but I will also use it a handful of times per year at my favorite dark locations in the Colorado mountains and SE Utah desert.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the turnbuckle-based leveling system of the portable pier. Is it relatively easy to get level?

I'm also considering an ATS portable pier, but obviously that's quite a bit more expense. My wife is already well into the head-scratching zone about the cost of this hobby, so saving $1500 or so would certainly be a plus.

Thanks for any input,

Patrick Spencer


Bill Long
 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Bill Long <bill@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2021 8:17 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP portable pier for 1100GTO
 
Cant speak to the Portable Pier, but the HD Folding Losmandy tripod is pretty awesome. You can either get the HD Folding with MA top + LM3APM + 119FSA or get the pre-made HD tripod from AP (which does not have the MA top). 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2021 8:02 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] AP portable pier for 1100GTO
 
Hi everyone,

I have an 1100GTO on order, so I'm trying to decide what to do about a portable pier. I am wondering if anyone can share experiences and/or insight regarding the AP Portable Pier. My main questions relate to ease of leveling and stability. My primary setup location is a slightly out-of-level concrete patio in my backyard (sloped for drainage), but I will also use it a handful of times per year at my favorite dark locations in the Colorado mountains and SE Utah desert.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the turnbuckle-based leveling system of the portable pier. Is it relatively easy to get level?

I'm also considering an ATS portable pier, but obviously that's quite a bit more expense. My wife is already well into the head-scratching zone about the cost of this hobby, so saving $1500 or so would certainly be a plus.

Thanks for any input,

Patrick Spencer


dvjbaja
 

Patrick, Look into the Losmandy HD tripod/pier that AP offers.  Leveling and height adjustment, folding, easy storage.  I use it with my 1100 and I love it. 
(PS: The wife will too)

- jg


On Sun, Feb 28, 2021 at 8:02 AM Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...> wrote:
Hi everyone,

I have an 1100GTO on order, so I'm trying to decide what to do about a portable pier. I am wondering if anyone can share experiences and/or insight regarding the AP Portable Pier. My main questions relate to ease of leveling and stability. My primary setup location is a slightly out-of-level concrete patio in my backyard (sloped for drainage), but I will also use it a handful of times per year at my favorite dark locations in the Colorado mountains and SE Utah desert.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the turnbuckle-based leveling system of the portable pier. Is it relatively easy to get level?

I'm also considering an ATS portable pier, but obviously that's quite a bit more expense. My wife is already well into the head-scratching zone about the cost of this hobby, so saving $1500 or so would certainly be a plus.

Thanks for any input,

Patrick Spencer


M Hambrick
 

Hi Patrick

I use an 8-inch portable pier with my 1100 mount. I am very happy with it, but please take a look at my comments on the thread about paying attention to the declination top plate locking knobs. I have some lessons learned about my portable pier in that thread.

Mike


Frost David
 

I’ve had both.  Both are very stable. Get the ATS.  The AP portable pier works well, but needs fairly level ground to start with and does not have much adjustability. The turnbuckle system isn’t really for adjusting level, it’s to tighten down the legs and snug everything up.  You can adjust a couple degrees maybe by doing that but beyond that you start cranking on the pier tube where it connects to the base and it won’t be sitting level with the base piece that connects the legs.

I had one for about a year for my Mach1 and then sold it.  Later sold the Mach1 and got an 1100.  On occasion you can find deals on the ATS ones used.  I did on a 10” one which is probably overkill, but it was too good to pass up.

The ATS is one piece, not 8 like the AP.  And the ATS has a fair amount of adjustability for leveling.  For a portable pier you can’t beat it, but it is costly and also heavier.  That’s the difference. Cheaper and not very adjustable, or expensive and very adjustable...and super solid.  If only AP made an Eagle type pier for the 1100..., but it’s probably not worth their time and money with ATS out there.

David






On Feb 28, 2021, at 10:02 AM, Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...> wrote:

Hi everyone,

I have an 1100GTO on order, so I'm trying to decide what to do about a portable pier. I am wondering if anyone can share experiences and/or insight regarding the AP Portable Pier. My main questions relate to ease of leveling and stability. My primary setup location is a slightly out-of-level concrete patio in my backyard (sloped for drainage), but I will also use it a handful of times per year at my favorite dark locations in the Colorado mountains and SE Utah desert.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the turnbuckle-based leveling system of the portable pier. Is it relatively easy to get level?

I'm also considering an ATS portable pier, but obviously that's quite a bit more expense. My wife is already well into the head-scratching zone about the cost of this hobby, so saving $1500 or so would certainly be a plus.

Thanks for any input,

Patrick Spencer


Peter Nagy
 

+1 for ATS pier. It's not terribly heavy and very portable and solid. I use it with A-P1100GTO-AE. 

Peter 


Patrick Spencer
 

Thanks for all the replies. I had thought about the Losmandy HD tripod listed on the AP website, but I'm concerned about leg clearance with a tripod as opposed to a pier. Has anyone who uses the Losmandy HD found that to be an issue? My biggest scope is a 140mm refractor. 
 
Does anyone know if it's possible to use the Losmandy extensions with the configuration sold through AP? It looks like the extensions nest inside the MA top. Of course, the Losmandy HD seems to be backordered everywhere I look.


Bill Long
 

Not an issue at all, but I use the one with the MA top and the adapter stack from AP so it has a few inches of additional lift off of the tripod. You can also get the Losmandy pier extensions that way to customize further.


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2021 8:41 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP portable pier for 1100GTO
 
Thanks for all the replies. I had thought about the Losmandy HD tripod listed on the AP website, but I'm concerned about leg clearance with a tripod as opposed to a pier. Has anyone who uses the Losmandy HD found that to be an issue? My biggest scope is a 140mm refractor. 
 
Does anyone know if it's possible to use the Losmandy extensions with the configuration sold through AP? It looks like the extensions nest inside the MA top. Of course, the Losmandy HD seems to be backordered everywhere I look.


Harley Davidson
 

I agree with David. I have a 12" ATS and it is rock solid and HEAVY. Used it as one option for my 1100 before I sold it. Now I use it for my 1600 & Mach2 mounts. As to leveling I find using aluminum plates of various thicknesses works best under the feet and I don't fool with the turnbuckles. Can't speak to the AP portable pier as I never had one. The less parts you fool with the better especially in the dark.

ALSO, the 6" Eagle from AP worked very well too https://www.astro-physics.com/eagle6-ez I have two of them and wish they made a larger version.

tony

On 2/28/2021 11:31 AM, Frost David wrote:
I’ve had both.  Both are very stable. Get the ATS.  The AP portable pier works well, but needs fairly level ground to start with and does not have much adjustability. The turnbuckle system isn’t really for adjusting level, it’s to tighten down the legs and snug everything up.  You can adjust a couple degrees maybe by doing that but beyond that you start cranking on the pier tube where it connects to the base and it won’t be sitting level with the base piece that connects the legs.

I had one for about a year for my Mach1 and then sold it.  Later sold the Mach1 and got an 1100.  On occasion you can find deals on the ATS ones used.  I did on a 10” one which is probably overkill, but it was too good to pass up.

The ATS is one piece, not 8 like the AP.  And the ATS has a fair amount of adjustability for leveling.  For a portable pier you can’t beat it, but it is costly and also heavier.  That’s the difference. Cheaper and not very adjustable, or expensive and very adjustable...and super solid.  If only AP made an Eagle type pier for the 1100..., but it’s probably not worth their time and money with ATS out there.

David






On Feb 28, 2021, at 10:02 AM, Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...> wrote:

Hi everyone,

I have an 1100GTO on order, so I'm trying to decide what to do about a portable pier. I am wondering if anyone can share experiences and/or insight regarding the AP Portable Pier. My main questions relate to ease of leveling and stability. My primary setup location is a slightly out-of-level concrete patio in my backyard (sloped for drainage), but I will also use it a handful of times per year at my favorite dark locations in the Colorado mountains and SE Utah desert.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the turnbuckle-based leveling system of the portable pier. Is it relatively easy to get level?

I'm also considering an ATS portable pier, but obviously that's quite a bit more expense. My wife is already well into the head-scratching zone about the cost of this hobby, so saving $1500 or so would certainly be a plus.

Thanks for any input,

Patrick Spencer


Patrick Spencer
 

Peter, I've enjoyed the photos of your rig posted on SmugMug, and the ATS pier definitely looks sharp!


Patrick Spencer
 

Tony, I saw that 12" ATS pier in one of your YouTube videos, and that thing looks like a beast! Looks very nice with the mount, though.


thefamily90 Phillips
 

The turnbuckle system just tightens things up. Does not level the tripod. You can use shims under each leg for leveling things.

JimP 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Harley Davidson <astrocnc@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2021 11:49:23 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP portable pier for 1100GTO
 
I agree with David. I have a 12" ATS and it is rock solid and HEAVY. Used it as one option for my 1100 before I sold it. Now I use it for my 1600 & Mach2 mounts. As to leveling I find using aluminum plates of various thicknesses works best under the feet and I don't fool with the turnbuckles. Can't speak to the AP portable pier as I never had one. The less parts you fool with the better especially in the dark.

ALSO, the 6" Eagle from AP worked very well too https://www.astro-physics.com/eagle6-ez I have two of them and wish they made a larger version.

tony

On 2/28/2021 11:31 AM, Frost David wrote:
I’ve had both.  Both are very stable. Get the ATS.  The AP portable pier works well, but needs fairly level ground to start with and does not have much adjustability. The turnbuckle system isn’t really for adjusting level, it’s to tighten down the legs and snug everything up.  You can adjust a couple degrees maybe by doing that but beyond that you start cranking on the pier tube where it connects to the base and it won’t be sitting level with the base piece that connects the legs.

I had one for about a year for my Mach1 and then sold it.  Later sold the Mach1 and got an 1100.  On occasion you can find deals on the ATS ones used.  I did on a 10” one which is probably overkill, but it was too good to pass up.

The ATS is one piece, not 8 like the AP.  And the ATS has a fair amount of adjustability for leveling.  For a portable pier you can’t beat it, but it is costly and also heavier.  That’s the difference. Cheaper and not very adjustable, or expensive and very adjustable...and super solid.  If only AP made an Eagle type pier for the 1100..., but it’s probably not worth their time and money with ATS out there.

David






On Feb 28, 2021, at 10:02 AM, Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...> wrote:

Hi everyone,

I have an 1100GTO on order, so I'm trying to decide what to do about a portable pier. I am wondering if anyone can share experiences and/or insight regarding the AP Portable Pier. My main questions relate to ease of leveling and stability. My primary setup location is a slightly out-of-level concrete patio in my backyard (sloped for drainage), but I will also use it a handful of times per year at my favorite dark locations in the Colorado mountains and SE Utah desert.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the turnbuckle-based leveling system of the portable pier. Is it relatively easy to get level?

I'm also considering an ATS portable pier, but obviously that's quite a bit more expense. My wife is already well into the head-scratching zone about the cost of this hobby, so saving $1500 or so would certainly be a plus.

Thanks for any input,

Patrick Spencer


Kent Kirkley
 

Patrick

I don't think the turnbuckle system of the AP Portable Piers was intended to
level the mount. Yes, by tightening, adjusting the turnbuckles one can adjust
the attitude of the mount but not to any great degree.
I, long ago, suggested that AP add leveling screws to the ends of the pier
legs but these were never added. I have two ten inch AP portable
piers. I had a friend, who was a practiced welder, add leveling bolts
to the ends of the pier legs. Took a couple hours and works perfectly.
Other than that, the AP Portable piers are excellent. The legs and
turnbuckle rods can be stored inside the tube for transport.

Kent Kirkley



-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sun, Feb 28, 2021 10:02 am
Subject: [ap-gto] AP portable pier for 1100GTO

Hi everyone,

I have an 1100GTO on order, so I'm trying to decide what to do about a portable pier. I am wondering if anyone can share experiences and/or insight regarding the AP Portable Pier. My main questions relate to ease of leveling and stability. My primary setup location is a slightly out-of-level concrete patio in my backyard (sloped for drainage), but I will also use it a handful of times per year at my favorite dark locations in the Colorado mountains and SE Utah desert.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the turnbuckle-based leveling system of the portable pier. Is it relatively easy to get level?

I'm also considering an ATS portable pier, but obviously that's quite a bit more expense. My wife is already well into the head-scratching zone about the cost of this hobby, so saving $1500 or so would certainly be a plus.

Thanks for any input,

Patrick Spencer


Bill Long
 



From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2021 8:56 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP portable pier for 1100GTO
 
Tony, I saw that 12" ATS pier in one of your YouTube videos, and that thing looks like a beast! Looks very nice with the mount, though.


Patrick Spencer
 

Thanks for posting that photo, Bill. It's helpful to see these things in real world settings. The clearance provided by the stock MA top looks sufficient for my purposes.


Bill Long
 

No problem. I think it's a great low cost option. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Patrick Spencer <patrick.spencer2@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2021 9:08 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] AP portable pier for 1100GTO
 
Thanks for posting that photo, Bill. It's helpful to see these things in real world settings. The clearance provided by the stock MA top looks sufficient for my purposes.


Worsel
 

Patrick

Note that there is no need to over-work level on an EQ mount.  Clearly, it makes it easier to polar align, but it can be rough level with shims.

The turnbuckles just make things tight...there is no leveling aspect to them.

Bryan


Peter Nagy
 

Turnbuckles in ATS pier make them very easy to level.

Peter