AP 400 and 600 class 5.79" x 56.5" pier complete 1980s

Auction No.:
15715
Current Bid:
$410.00
High Bidder:
Ralph Skogen
Bid History:
22 Bids
Location:
Spokane Vly, WA - US
Seller:
Andy Sedlacek
Started:
06/20/2022 08:33AM
Ends:
06/30/2022 08:39AM
Shipping:
Buyer pays shipping
Payment:
PayPal, Personal or Cashier's Check, Money Orders
Hits:
417
Before we get things going on this, there is no reserve set AND I am willing to meet the winning bidder up to 250 miles from the Spokane area with a reasonable gas charge in mind. I will, of course, be willing to ship.

This is a 1983-85 years Astro-Physics 6-inch class pier for their (at the time) AP 400 and AP 600 equatorial mounts. This is complete and all original. The paint is original and so are the (3) holes on the very top side of the pier.

Total standing height when erect:  56.50-inches
Inside diameter of pier where mount base is fastened:  5.79-inches
Length of pier tube:  52.15-inches
Length of each pier foot:  24.50-inches
Length of each stabilizing rod assembly:  42.75-inches
Bolt pattern for purchasing mount-to-pier:  (3) bolts 6.25-inches apart on the curve
Materials:  aluminum and steel

How heavy is this thing?

Weight of pier tube:  8 pounds 14 ounces
Pier base:  11 pounds 3 ounces
Each pier foot:  4 pounds 14 ounces
Each stabilizing rod assembly:  1 pound 6 ounces
Total weight assembled before applicable mount head:  38 pounds 14 ounces

As daunting as this pier sounds (and looks when standing alone), it is quite manageable by one person to set up in no time. The hardest part is not transporting it; it's getting the hang of getting each stabilizing rod's hook-and-loop into the pier foot and pier eye bolts, and then turning the aluminum coupling till adjustment is firm. Even when fully erect, the 38 pounds is not that bad to move around because the stabilizing rods serve as multiple points to handle and weight distribution is over a large area.

The important factor to consider on this pier are the location of the (3) bolt holes on the top side of the pier tube. Those (3) holes will be HOW you purchase your equatorial mount's base to this pier. The holes on this pier ARE NOT threaded, but they will be in your equatorial head base.

To give you an idea of the pier's inside width; it will ALMOST perfectly fit a Losmandy GM-100 or G-11 base. The mount's base fits inside perfectly, but the bolt holes on the mount do not perfectly line-up with the holes on the pier. Adding one or (2) holes on the pier may be needed if you are using a non-AP equatorial head. The good thing is this is a common width to mounts in the class of the Losmandy G-11, Orion Atlas, and Vixen Atlux. 
And if your head's base is a little too narrow, you can add an adapter so that the lip would catch on the pier flange. It would not be a difficult task by any means.

These AP piers are about the best you can get for your mount aside from an actual permanent pier installment. An adjustable tripod has the most vibration because it has areas where length is connected by gaps. A fixed tripod, like the Losmandy one I use with my GM-100 is far more stable and has considerably less vibration because it is fixed and there are no gaps. But it lacks the ability to damper minor shock and other vibrations. With AP's design on this pier, the stabilizing rods, which also serve to squeeze together the pier feet against the pier base, ALSO help further dampen and control just about any excess vibration given by breezes/wind and contact touch of the telescope from you.

The series of photos I arranged show specifically in steps, how the pier should be quickly assembled (photos #2 through #5).

Physical and functional condition of this pier is perfect. It is not bent, heavily rusted, missing any parts, or exhibiting any areas of compromise due to neglectful handling or abuse. It assembles exactly as it should, holds firm, and stands perfectly still and steady once the process of assembly is completed. The only issue I have with this pier is one of the pier feet likes to "stick" to the pier base connection. And it takes some muscle to make it let go. However, my vehicle is more than long enough that I have always just left that one foot on the base and transported it that way; it doesn't bother my process. Other than this, all is sound.

The stabilizing rods thread to their couplings without any issues.

Cosmetics are great, but not excellent. The paint is at least 37 years old now and fading in areas. These piers were originally jet black. This is definitely graphite gray for the most part. No extra holes, bad dings, or deep scratches; and definitely no repair work anywhere. Just good ol' faded black color. If you want to repaint this, it would NOT be a big project.
There is some rust in areas, most noticeably on the pier base and on the threads of the stabilizing rod. But this is not deep-running rust and the metal isn't chipping off due to oxidization, and the threads are not preventing connection. It was never a problem for my needs, so I never found priority to remove it.

So there you have it; a heavy duty pier that is rock solid, but not heavy as a mountain.