Jump to content


Photo

Transporting GEM to Observing Site

  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 EXT64

EXT64

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Virginia Tech, VA, USA

Posted 06 November 2012 - 06:02 PM

I recently got a new scope and mount (Celestron C6 SCT and Orion SkyView Pro Intelliscope) and have gotten out for a few observing sessions (hope to do many more soon!). When I observe I have a very short car trip to get to the site I use.

How do you recommend transporting a GEM? What I did on the first couple trips was remove the scope and counterweight, fold (and tie) the legs, and leave the rest assembled. It is still pretty awkward and the weight of the counterweight shaft can sometimes make the head move even when locked.

So, I guess my main questions are:

Leave the head attached to the tripod, or get a case for the head?

Get a bag (Orion sells a few) to carry the tripod/head?

What level of disassembly for transport?

Thanks all!

#2 Pat at home

Pat at home

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 328
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2007
  • Loc: Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:47 PM

To transport my EQ6 I remove the counterweights, store back the counterweight shaft, remove the mount from the tripod, unclutch both axis and put it on a folded ground cloth in a big plastic tub.

Takes a few trips to the car but it is manageable and worthwhile to get to a dark site. Mount, weights and tripod - 3 trips, battery pack and accessories bag - 1 trip, LYBAR and EP case - 1 trip, munchies, warm drink and a kiss for the missus- 1 trip

#3 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11443
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:02 PM

Hi Todd:

I have an iEQ45 and I pretty much do a complete tear down for storage and transportation. I have a Pelican case for the head and associated parts:
Posted Image

I use a small Harbor Freight case for the counterweights and shaft extension:
Posted Image

I store the tripod in an "On Stage" microphone stand case: http://tinyurl.com/aqgysza

-Dan

#4 mayidunk

mayidunk

    Don't Ask...

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 4050
  • Joined: 17 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Betwixt & Between...

Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:30 PM

I always remove the head from the tripod, and the head rides on the passenger seat with the seat belt attached to it. The rest goes in the trunk or the back seat, whatever makes sense.

Too easy!

#5 EXT64

EXT64

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Virginia Tech, VA, USA

Posted 06 November 2012 - 10:42 PM

Thanks everyone! And nice case Dan.

I don't think removing the mount should add much time to setup/teardown, so I will definitely start doing that. With how sensitive the mount is to bumps (with the Intelliscope encoders and all) it seems like the only logical thing to do.

Mounts stored in Pelican cases look so nice (and safe!) I will have to pick one of the pluck foam ones up soon. I think I have a few rebate cards laying around (what better way to spend them).

#6 EXT64

EXT64

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Virginia Tech, VA, USA

Posted 06 November 2012 - 10:55 PM

One quick question if you don't mind Dan - what model Pelican case is that? They have so many models (and such confusing numbering). Knowing what yours is will get me in the ballpark, and I can measure my mount and figure out the rest from there.

#7 bradynel

bradynel

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Ajax, ON

Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:08 PM

What are you moving it in? I have a SUV and for my cgem dx I leave the head on the tripod, collapse the legs and put it in the back of my vehicle. I'd do the same if I had a minivan.

Not so if it was a car...

#8 EXT64

EXT64

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Virginia Tech, VA, USA

Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:22 PM

Right now I am in a pickup truck or van; however, in the near future I will probably switch over to a car (so not as easy of a question as you would think :) ).

#9 RTLR 12

RTLR 12

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4569
  • Joined: 04 Dec 2008
  • Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest

Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:39 PM

My CG-5s fit into a Pelican Storm case iM2450.

Stan

Attached Files



#10 Agatha

Agatha

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1264
  • Joined: 04 Jun 2012
  • Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:53 AM

It appears that both Dan and Stan are using Storm cases, now known as Pelican Storm. Pelican bought Storm which was part of Hardigg. There is a difference between a Pelican and a Pelican Storm. I much prefer the Pelican Storm version also. The latches are much easier than the Pelican. And the handle is also much more comfortable. The Storm versions all use an iM designation as part of their model number. There are various places to purchase. I've had good luck with B&H photo. If you go to B&H, it's best to do a search for the Storm version. You can't go wrong with one. Good luck. :)

Best, Linda B.

#11 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11443
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:28 AM

Mine is the Pelican Storm case im2600, but you really need to get one that fits your own needs. Start by laying the mount, and any other pieces you want to put in the case, out on a table arranged the way you want. Then measure the area occupied, including the thickness, and add about an inch in each direction. Then choose a case that is large enough to hold your gear.

I decided on the Pelican Storm case as opposed to the plain Pelican case because it was a little less expensive and weighed a little less. One surprise was how nice the latches are. Pelican case latches can be a pain to open, but the Storm case operates with a pushbutton latch that is simple to use, takes almost no pressure, yet is still very secure.

-Dan

#12 EXT64

EXT64

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Virginia Tech, VA, USA

Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:58 AM

Thanks again. My brother actually has a Pelican Storm case (back when the acquisition was recent and it was called Hardigg) he uses for his camera and it is a very nice case. I'll check the dimensions and get what fits, and it sounds likely that the result will be somewhere in the iM2450-iM2600 range.

#13 EFT

EFT

    Vendor - Deep Space Products

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 2550
  • Joined: 07 May 2007
  • Loc: Phoenix, AZ

Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:43 AM

What are you moving it in? I have a SUV and for my cgem dx I leave the head on the tripod, collapse the legs and put it in the back of my vehicle. I'd do the same if I had a minivan.

Not so if it was a car...


Your name wouldn't happen to be Hercules would it? ;)

#14 TopherTheME

TopherTheME

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2011
  • Loc: Rochester, MI

Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:46 AM

I guess I'm in the minority as I just leave my CG-5 assembled (except for CW's) and toss it in the trunk with the axis stops loose. I also put a towel between the legs of the tripod to stop them from clanging into each other on sharp turns.

#15 bradynel

bradynel

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 13 Feb 2012
  • Loc: Ajax, ON

Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:54 PM

What are you moving it in? I have a SUV and for my cgem dx I leave the head on the tripod, collapse the legs and put it in the back of my vehicle. I'd do the same if I had a minivan.

Not so if it was a car...


Your name wouldn't happen to be Hercules would it? ;)


Lol, no. I Sasquatch it to the rear of the vehicle and then lean it into the vehicle. Fold the legs down and push. It's laborious but it is pretty much the only exercise I get! :sumo:

#16 hottr6

hottr6

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2442
  • Joined: 28 Jun 2009
  • Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:22 PM

I don't have to drive to a dark sky site, but sometimes I have to lug my CG5-clone and OTA on a surveyors tripod a couple of hundred feet (vertically) up a hill so that I can get good views to the south. I have to make 2 trips:
Trip #1: I carry the complete mount, sans counterweights, with the legs collapsed and tied with a bungee cord. I carry it on my shoulder with some extra padding so the legs do not dig into my shoulder. I do not lock the clutches.
Trip #2: I carry the OTA (usually my 90mm 'frac) on my shoulder, a backpack with counterweights, eyepieces, red-light, maps and other paraphernalia. I carry a collapsed stool in my spare hand.

The few times I have gone car-observing, I transport it the same way; head on the tripod, clutches unlocked.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics