Roof Observatories
Pier-Tech Products
 
Professional Institutions
• NASA
• European Space Agency
• Boeing
• United States Air Force
• Oceanit Labs
• Sci-Tec
• Sensing Strategies
• Mitre Corporation
• Lockheed Martin

Universities and Colleges
• University Of North Dakota
• University of Wisconsin Lacrosse
• Texas A&M University
• Houston Community College
• Keystone College
• University of Washington
• Stroudsburg University
• Sheppard University
• Appalachian University
• Widener University
• University of San Mateo

Public Institutions
• Franklin Science Museum
• New Mexico State Parks
• Virginia living Museum
• New York Hall of Science

Nasa Meteor Impact on the Moon Studies



 


Pier-Tech 2 Telescope Pier Testimonials


Big Dave's Observatory

"I have now got everything under control and found the pier great. The install was easy and I am happy with the stability - even at full extension.

Bottom line : I can now look straight up without being on my hands and knees and I love that with a refractor!

It works well with the roll-off-roof design and I can just about get to the horizon with the setup shown and easily clear the roof line when closing. I showed some people from my astronomical society last weekend and they too are impressed and debating upgrading their piers, some of them are older and like the idea making the scope at a height that suits them.

I sent you these photos for your website as you didn't really have any refractors on your 'testimonial' page. I would recommend the pier to anyone who asked."

For your information;
Install Site : Cranbourne, Victoria, Australia
Site name : Big-Dave's Observatory
Pier : Pier Tech 2 (240V)
Mount : Vixen New Atlux
OTA : William Optics FLT132
Main Imager and guider : SBIG STL11K









 

 


University Of Washington

"We're able to move our older Meade 12" LX200 in and out to the deck viewing area smoothly, and with minimal jerks to the scope with the Pier-Tech 2 on the Pier-Caddy."

Ana Larson
University of Washington


Pier-Tech 2 on the Pier-Caddy
 

 


Mendonca Observatory
Utah


"The advantages would be the same as using the PT2 with any observatory...and would vary from scope to scope. With my 12" LX200R, I don't need to raise it much to look near the horizon. The biggest advantage that I see is not having to be on my knees on the hard cement blocks when looking higher in the sky. I still find myself starting to get down on my knees to view something...then realize I can just push the button to raise the pier. I don't think the POD is different from any other observatory when it comes to the PT2. The pier greatly enhances viewing comfort and convenience. I'm very impressed with the workmanship, quality and functioning of the pier."

Frank Mendonca


Interior Lighting


Pier-Tech 2 Raised


Pier-Tech 2 Lowered


POD Power



 

 


Wolfgang Fritsch Observatory
France

 


14" Celestron SCT On PT2 Retracted


14" Celestron SCT With CGE Mount On PT2


14" Celestron On PT2 In Tele-station 2


14" Celestron In Tele-station2
 

 


Scott Observatory

"I can't remember if I ever sent these pictures to you. If not, I sincerely apologize. It seems like everything related to building this house/observatory has taken longer to complete than we had imagined.

Our Pier-Tech 2 is the ONE exception -- it assembled easily, and has worked flawlessly from the first moment. Every time we use the telescope, we marvel at how well your product works. It is simple, quiet, and polar alignment is perfect every time. Thank you so much for your dedication and unwavering customer support! We would be happy to provide additional comments or recommendations."

Dale & Alisa Scott


PT2 supporting a AP1200 mount and 12.5" Ritchey-Chrιtien
 

 


Ludes Observatory

 





















 

 


Belgian Node - Center of Backyard Astrophysics
Flanders, Belgium


Tonny Vanmunster
 


PT2 shown at the Belgian Node of Center of Backyard Astrophysics (CBA) in Flanders Belgium. Operated by Tonny Vanmunster. The PT2 is supporting a 0.35-m f/6.3 telescope mounted on Astro-Physics AP1200-GTO mount. SBIG ST-7XME CCD camera.

 

 


Barclay Observatory

"Well, as you can see we are now fully established and the piers are working absolutely wonderful! Slewing the big 14" Meade scopes while the pier is being raised keeps the image centered at all times. We are going to add you to our web site this coming week with a plug for you, so I for one, will be promoting the piers."

Jim Barclay

 

 


Quattrocchi Observatory

"The Pier Tech 2 is great! It's been a big hit so far. It allows me to see literally over the 7 foot walls when I need to, while allowing my scope to be safely tucked away when lowered."

Keith Quattrocchi


Pier-Tech 2 In The Retracted Position


Pier-Tech2 In The Extended Position




 

 


DuBois Observatory

The Pier-Tech II is a superbly machined, valuable piece of equipment for my roll-top roof observatory. The observatory was originally built for a classic 10” LX200 that was mounted on a fixed pier. This past year I upgraded to a 14” LX200 and the Pier-Tech II was the solution to numerous problems I encountered with my new larger telescope. My home and observatory are located in an architecturally controlled resort community that has size restrictions on out buildings. After going through the headaches of the original construction, permits, committee approval, etc., I was looking for a solution that would allow me to mount the 14” LX200 in the existing building and still close the roof! The answer to my problem was the Pier-Tech II, a welcome addition to my gear.

The observatory has a 6” raised floor to allow for electrical and cabling underneath. The 14” LX200 is mounted on an equatorial wedge and is used for both visual and imaging purposes. When fully equipped for imaging with a guidescope, autoguider, and CCD or film camera attached, the Pier-Tech II operates smooth as silk. One of the benefits that I came to realize later was I could lower the pier if the wind was too strong. No more closing up due to wind. Another great benefit is being able to adjust the height for people of all ages. Gone is the step stool that had been an integral part of my equipment for many years.

The Pier-Tech II is a beautifully crafted piece of equipment that I would not hesitate to recommend to others. Its smooth operation in all temperature extremes is exemplary. As advertised, it maintains its pointing accuracy at any height, and I have yet to run into any problems while imaging. My hats off to Pier-Tech for solving my problem and building a first-class piece of equipment

Jarrett DuBois


LX200 Fully Retracted


LX200 Partially Extended


LX200 Fully Extended


Pier-Tech Telescope Pier allows viewing in the sitting position


or...in the standing position

 

 


Hahn Observatory
Hochdorf, Germany

 


Pier-Tech 2 shown with Vixen Atlux Mount, Pier is in the retracted position with observatory door closed


Pier-Tech 2 shown with Vixen Atlux Mount, Pier is in the fully extended position with observatory door open

 


Rison Observatory
 


Pier-Tech 2 with Celestron CGE 1400

 

 


Stuber Observatory
Stuttgart-Hoffeld (IAU/MPC Code 153)


"At the southern city limit of Stuttgart , Germany. Established in 1992 as a permanent observatory. In 1998 it received the observatory code 153 from the IAU Minor Planet Center.

Main instrument: Meade LX200 10 inch f/6.3 Schmidt-Cassegrain with SBIG ST-6 CCD camera. The telescope is located under a sliding/lifting roof window.

In former times the telescope was mounted on a Meade field tripod. To be able to open and close the roof window, the northern leg of the tripod had to be extended before and lowered after each observing session.

Since the installation of the Pier-tech 2 I have a real permanent station for the first time! Due to this fact I was able to polar-align the instrument to a precision of only a few arc minutes. And the Pier-tech seems to preserve this precision after lowering and lifting (checked with reticle eyepiece).

And even more: it is possible to "park" the telescope in a "zero" position (meridian/celestial equator), lower the pier and close the window. After the power is switched on again, the position is "remembered" and the telescope points perfectly again. No alignment stars are needed!"

Rolf Stuber


Pier-Tech 2 with optional leg assembly, window closed, Pier Lowered


Pier-Tech 2 with optional leg assembly, window open, Pier Raised
 

 


Smith "Hidden Loft" Observatory

"The Hidden Loft Observatory was designed from a desire to have a permanent observing position for CCD imaging that would be consistent with the covenants and restrictions of our homeowner's association. No outbuildings were permitted so a conventional observatory was out. Since I had a single bay garage for a workshop and astronomy storage area attached to the house, I decided to design an observatory with a roll-off roof in that garage. This design would keep the roll-off structure below the parapet that surrounded our home and, as such, was compliant with the association's restrictions.


In addition to the roll-off roof, I had to build a platform or deck approximately 8 feet off the garage floor, install an isolated concrete footing and pier and run the necessary cables to the office for remote telescope control. In order to clear the parapet that surrounded the existing roof, an elevating pier was needed and this is where Pier-tech came in. With the Pier-tech 2, I thought I would be able to raise my scope above the parapet for a clear view to the horizon, except where mountains got in the way. The design also had to insure the scope would fit below the roof so that the roof could be closed. This required very careful analysis and modeling.

Some statistics:

Design start: July 5, 2001
Construction start: July 17, 2001
First light: September 18, 2001

Roof opening: 78" square
Deck elevation: 96"
Pier footing: 4' x 4' x 2' (18 wheelbarrow loads up a 200' driveway!)
Concrete pier: 18" diameter by 94" high (only 7 wheelbarrow loads)

Telescope system
Astro-Physics 900GTO
Televue TV-140 5.5" f/5 refractor
SBIG ST-8E/CFW-8 CCD camera

As of this writing, I am delighted with the results. I have taken some CCD images with the best sharpness I have seen to date. The Pier-tech 2 easily handles my current mount/telescope load. A firm rap to the side of the pier seems to damp out in less than 5 seconds. I will be adding a larger mount and telescope in two months or so. Raising and lowering the pier over successive nights seems to keep polar alignment well enough to get a target in the CCD image. I plan to take some detailed measurements using Software Bisque's Tpoint software with pier up and down to get a feel for how much the alignment changes as well as how repeatable it is.

Overall, the Pier-tech 2 operates very smoothly. Installation was a snap after carefully locating true north. (This was done with a compass, corrected for magnetic declination, and confirmed with a plumb bob and string projecting a shadow as the sun crossed the meridian). Operation seems very good with imaging and, as an added bonus, visual observing is very convenient. Typically, I sit on a short stool or the deck floor and adjust the pier height to my eye. Being below the roof for most overhead viewing, down to around 20 degrees of the horizon, I am essentially below the roof and street lights are not visible, preserving my dark adaptation"

John Smith


Pier and deck complete


Roof and tracks


Telescope stowed


Telescope ready

 

 


Williams Observatory
 


PT2 with Meade 8" SCT




 

 


Elliott Observatory
Cosmos Centre, Charlevill, Outback Queensland, Australia

 


Meade 10" SCT'S In ALT-AZ Mode on Pier-Tech2 Piers

 

 


Fletterick Observatory


"I got my telescope attached to the pier. I rested the plate on the wooden floor of my observatory and aligned the system. The pier is wonderful, height changes do not affect the alignment or image on the STV. I particularly enjoy the beautiful machining, and the assertive travel up and down. My question is why is the instrument so inexpensive? Remarkable!"

Robert Fletterick







 

 


Nastasi Observatory

"With a combined equipment weight exceeding 300 lbs., the pier-tech 2 lifts my 7" F/15 refractor on the Parallax Instruments HD 150 German equatorial mount with ease. Mars remained exactly centered in the field of a high power eyepiece throughout the full range of height adjustment. The pier-tech 2 is a real pleasure to use!"

Joe Nastasi




 

 


Ceplinski Observatory


 


Pier-Tech 2 with short Pier-Tech1 supporting it to allow a greater minimum and maximum height


 

 


Kawanha Valley Astronomical Society
West Virginia


"Members of the Kanawha Valley Astronomical Society are very impressed with the new Pier. It works as advertised. With the roll off roof and silent motorized pier, visitors are also quite impressed, even before they look thru the telescope!

Another advantage with the Pier is the fact that it makes the telescope handicapped accessible. This fact will help KVAS in the future as we look to other sources of funding."

Rodney Waugh


Observatory roof closed Pier-Tech 2 retracted


Meade LX200 12" SCT in Alt-Az mode with Pier-Tech2 extended


Observatory roof open Pier-Tech2 extended


Meade LX200 12" SCT in Alt-Az mode with Pier-Tech2 extended


Meade LX200 12" SCT in Alt-Az mode with Pier-Tech2 retracted

 

 


Andrea Observatory

"The pier that I have is an excellent quality piece of machinery. The operation is extremely smooth and quiet. Attention to detail is evident. The stability of the pier is also excellent. This is the second pier that pier-tech has made for me-- the reason why I went back to pier -tech for my second pier is because of the excellent quality in operation and manufacture."

Dean Andrea

 

 


Clapper, Eskridge, Brooks Observatory

"Almost two years have past since the orange-tube 14" Celestron SCT was de-throned to make way for the 16" Meade LX-200. It had been covered and quietly sat in a corner of the observatory dome, only to receive an occasional glance by a passerby. The 14" has now been liberated! Mounted proudly atop a new Pier-Tech pier with tripod legs and stabilizers, it allows us to effortlessly roll it out of the storage room and onto the viewing pad for public nights. The 20" of travel it provides means everyone from the handicapped, to kids and tall adults will be able to enjoy views of the night sky"

Clapper, Eskridge, Brooks

 

 


Rasque' Observatory
Luxembourg


"Last week my Brother and I installed the new pier. I like the new pier because it is very stable!"

Georges Rasque'





Meade LX200 12"

 

 


Lemmi Observatory

"I'm quite happy with the Pier-Tech. You have been always accommodating and helpful in the purchase, shipping and setup. I was limited by City regulations to 6 feet in height for the observatory and the Pier-Tech allowed me to raise the telescope without increasing the height of the construction. The pier can be partially raised as needed and will stay in place firmly. It allows me to reach more altitude in the sky and there seems to be no appreciable changes in alignment. I will have more detailed/scientific data in the future using T-point and STV tools."

Carlos Lemmi, Ph.D.


LX90 and Pier-Tech 2


LX90 with pier retracted


LX90 with pier extended


Observatory with roof open


Observatory

 

 


Marshall Observatory
Luxembourg


"The Pier-Tech is the only solution I found that fits my needs. Because of my observatory design, the telescope had to be low to close the roof and high for clear observing. Also, objects stay centered in the telescope when lowered for my five foot two inch wife to see. It is great to be able to raise the telescope for high angles. I can finally stand straight and look through the finder scope. I have found the Pier-Tech to be very stable and easy to use. In addition, I can work much faster when photographing. Now that I am spoiled, my hobby is more enjoyable. Lastly, my children love to sit on the Pier-Tech and ride up and down. What a great invention!"

Doug Marshall


Observatory roof closed


Observatory roof open and Pier-Tech2 retracted


Pier-Tech extended and ready
(still polar aligned and level !!!)


Telescope Pier-Tech 2 connection


Pier-Tech2 sub pier connection


Pier-Tech2 sub pier connection


Sub pier to floor mount


Sub pier through floor below observatory

 

 
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