The Lost Valley Observatory
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4bringing.up.the.scope.web.jpg

This is not the way I recommend you move your telescope.  But since I was unwilling to disasseble the telescope, we drove it up to the observatory in a truck.  it took considerable force to roll it onto the trcuk on it's Lowe's dolly!  On retrospect, betwen the vibrations and risk of damaging it, we were very luck it made it with it's collimation almost still dead on! 
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7details.reinforce.pt.web.jpg

Hee you can clearly see the gray squar hollow steel sharfts the reinforced the Paramount ME.  We raised the PT-III and had it settle onto the shafts, then simply unplugged the Pier-tech III Pier.  It is no longer posssible to rock the mount, whereas there was about 2-3 inches of movement prior to making this change. 
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5scope.into.building.web.jpg

Just a view of how we rounded the corner of the door and managed to get the entire assembly through Vito's Pier Tech door.  We has less than an inch of clearance.   


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8ascope.in.web.jpg

With this system I was able to image at a quality greater than I had ever before.  Although the Pier-Tech III had to be modified, the platform was solid.  The biggest issue I ran into was snow loads overwhelming the observatory, which was not built to handle snow loads.  My final solution was to build a cusom observaotry and use a solid Pier (similar to those sold by Software Bisque). 
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6reinforce.ptweb.jpg

My original setup included 120 pounds of telescope (the 16" RCOS scope and a Takahashi 106 FSQ initially).  With the counterweights we had 240 pounds on the Pier-Tech III Telescope Pier.  Althought the motor could lift the weight, the construct was unstable and even a good T-point model could not correct the mounts flexure.  In fairness to Vito, I doubt anyone ever tested this mount for long focal length autoguiding with this amount of weight, nearly exceeding the abilities even the Paramount ME.  The next image details the solution, bracing with hollow steel rods from, you guessed it, Lowe's! The idea from Mel Helm, the mechanical genious of SRO. 
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My system is now in a custom built roll off roof observatory. The Paramount ME is on a solid steel pier.   
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