Bob, I like your tree removal scheme, but as the offending trees are on my neighbor's property, that may present a small problem - :shock:
Glad it worked for you, however!
Magic Man - YES! I'd like to hear how you solved the pier to ground problem and see pics of your overall job, well done. While my trailer is wonderfully stable for walking on, but even with jacks I am quite sure any movement of myself or a visitor would shake the image terribly if I simply mounted the pier to the trailer bed. I like your view that the first mind picture one has is often the best and to stick with it. I think a simple as possible steel frame would work for the basic structure, covered with who knows what.
I plan to build it up on a free standing platform first (which will be fine for viewing planets and bright and fairly high in the sky objects from my yard).
Then, when I want to get out of here for better viewing, I can back the trailer near the platform, slide the observatory onto it and drive off -- about 5 minutes from here there are nice dark skies with an open horizon in all directions.
I'd like to find a way to make the ride smooth enough to keep the scopes mounted while driving to save set-up/breakdown time -- I think that may have been one reason you went with heavy, heavy on your set-up. I would have no trouble pulling heavy as I have a Cummins diesel pick-up, but will likely not add weight just for this -- maybe add some shocks and lighter leaf springs.
However, I must admit I am a bit stumped on how to design an easy to employ, supremely stable pier with ground-contact stability. I can think of designs which would work well, but would be heavy and time-consuming to set-up or simple, but not very stable. It's the main problem, as I see it.
What do you think? :?:
In search of a good 5 cent cigar