European Space Agency
United States Air Force
University Of North Dakota
University of Wisconsin Lacrosse
Texas A&M University
Houston Community College
University of Washington
University of San Mateo
Franklin Science Museum
New Mexico State Parks
Virginia living Museum
New York Hall of Science
"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
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."
University of Washington
Pier-Tech 2 on the Pier-Caddy
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
Dale & Alisa Scott
PT2 supporting a AP1200 mount and 12.5" Ritchey-Chrιtien
Belgian Node -
Center of Backyard Astrophysics
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.
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."
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
Pier-Tech 2 In The Retracted Position
Pier-Tech2 In The Extended Position
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
LX200 Fully Retracted
LX200 Partially Extended
LX200 Fully Extended
Pier-Tech Telescope Pier allows viewing in the sitting
or...in the standing position
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
Pier-Tech 2 with Celestron CGE
Stuttgart-Hoffeld (IAU/MPC Code 153)
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
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
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
Pier-Tech 2 with optional leg assembly, window closed, Pier
Pier-Tech 2 with optional leg assembly, window open, Pier
"Hidden Loft" Observatory
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.
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
Concrete pier: 18" diameter by 94" high (only 7
Televue TV-140 5.5" f/5 refractor
SBIG ST-8E/CFW-8 CCD camera
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"
Pier and deck complete
Roof and tracks
PT2 with Meade 8" SCT
Cosmos Centre, Charlevill, Outback Queensland, Australia
Meade 10" SCT'S In ALT-AZ Mode on Pier-Tech2 Piers
"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
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!"
Pier-Tech 2 with short Pier-Tech1 supporting it to
allow a greater minimum and maximum height
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."
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
my Brother and I installed the new pier. I like the new
pier because it is very stable!"
Meade LX200 12"