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Atlas mount question

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#1 Karr24

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:12 PM

So I got my atlas mount today. First mount / telescope :grin:

But man this thing is heavy. I will be storing it in the garage, about 10 feet from the back yard. My question is how do you guys transport & store it for road trips/ star parties.

#2 Pauls72

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:16 PM

I take the spreader off, then use a couple of bungee cords around the legs. I have a hand truck that I sometimes use to cart it from the house to the SUV. Other times I will just back up close to the patio doors when I have a lot to load in the SUV and just carry it the little way I have too. I normally leave the head on the tripod all the time.

In the back of the SUV I have some moving blankets from Harbor Freight that I wrap around it.
http://www.harborfre...over's blankets

I would recommend that you pull the attitude adjusting bolts out one at a time and out a little grease on the tip and on the part of the threads that are in the casting. It will make it much easier to adjust the up/down angle of the head. I used SuperLube, but a Lithium or Synthetic grease should do OK. You don't need much.

#3 Phil Sherman

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:04 PM

I transport mine all the time and discovered that it's actually semi-transportable. I built a box that holds the mount, tripod spreader, hand controller, mount cords and finder. The 8" scope is in a soft padded bag and the accessories are all in a large plastic bin. A small plastic cat food box with a handle holds the counterweights and a .50 cal ammo box contains the battery and power box that supplies ~12V, 13.6V, 8V, and 5V to run various pieces of gear. A home made folding table (1'x3'x3"), a lightweight folding chair and a backpack fill out the equipment list.

The issue is getting everything from the car to the observing site. I have a folding cart that will carry everything except the backpack and scope which I carry. It's a lot easier when I'm travelling in the RV, when I can set up and use the scope for a few days without having to repack it every night.

At home, I can keep everything assembled and have just enough strength to move it from the driveway into the garage and back as needed. I've considered making a triangular rolling cart but haven't done so because observing from home is severely limited by light pollution and trees. Polaris is one of the dimmest stars visible from home and there's no view to the South until you get around 50 degrees above the horizon. The worst thing is that even if I get rid of the trees, I still have to fight the multiple overhead electrical lines running through the back yard.

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#4 rigel123

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:11 PM

There are a number of ways that folks store and move the mount. I store and move mine in a Pelican Case, the tripod goes in a soft Orion Case. The Pelican holds the mount, hand controller, cables and I have the optional spreader and it all fits inside. The counter weights I keep in a smaller Pelican Case along with my Dew Zapper. The case holds two 11 lb CW's, one 7 lb, and a 31/2 lb CW.

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#5 jrbarnett

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:14 PM

I put the head in a hard case, throw the tripod, folded up, in the cargo hold without a case, put the counterweights in the rear floorboard with the battery, and it's good to go.

You can snag a Pelican or similar hard case of appropriate size and pluck the foam to suit.

Regards,

Jim

#6 rigel123

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:22 PM

And if you are a total neat freak (like me!) this is how you transport your stuff! Listen to other ideas though, you can transport your stuff for a fraction of the cost of these cases, but I'm a bit obsessive about my stuff! :grin:

Oh, and this needs to be updated since I've added a Lunt LS60T and a Vixen Portamount II to my family since this picture. (Did anyone tell you this hobby gets just a tad addictive??)

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#7 Karr24

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:56 PM

Warren, that reminds me of when I take the wife on a 3 day road trip. She would pack about that many suit cases. :roflmao:

Great ideas. I think I will keep an eye out for a sale on one of those pelican cases.

#8 CJK

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:05 AM

Wow, what a nice set of astro-luggage! :bow:

You've given me something to shoot for!

-- Chris

#9 gonzosc1

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 04:27 PM

There are a number of ways that folks store and move the mount. I store and move mine in a Pelican Case, the tripod goes in a soft Orion Case. The Pelican holds the mount, hand controller, cables and I have the optional spreader and it all fits inside. The counter weights I keep in a smaller Pelican Case along with my Dew Zapper. The case holds two 11 lb CW's, one 7 lb, and a 31/2 lb CW.


I wouldn't think that pluck foam would give much support with that mount. I mean I've had EP's fall out of pluck foam!!! :shocked:

#10 rigel123

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:20 PM

There are a number of ways that folks store and move the mount. I store and move mine in a Pelican Case, the tripod goes in a soft Orion Case. The Pelican holds the mount, hand controller, cables and I have the optional spreader and it all fits inside. The counter weights I keep in a smaller Pelican Case along with my Dew Zapper. The case holds two 11 lb CW's, one 7 lb, and a 31/2 lb CW.


I wouldn't think that pluck foam would give much support with that mount. I mean I've had EP's fall out of pluck foam!!! :shocked:


I have heard that comment from a number of people, but that mount doesn't move and neither do the counterweights in the other Pelican case.

#11 rigel123

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:21 PM

Warren, that reminds me of when I take the wife on a 3 day road trip. She would pack about that many suit cases. :roflmao:

Great ideas. I think I will keep an eye out for a sale on one of those pelican cases.


I can relate to that! :lol:

#12 andysea

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:56 PM

+1 for the Pelican case. When I had an Atlas I used a Pelican 1600 and it worked just fine. Phe pick foam is great. Currently for my RM tripod I use this.
http://www.amazon.co...ils_o03_s01_i00
Not sure if the Atlas tripod would fit but my guess would be yes.

Andy

#13 Karr24

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:24 PM

Thanks Andy. I will have to check that out, much cheaper than the Orion bag. Plus Amazon has such relaxed return policy, if it don't fit I can always send it back.

#14 EFT

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:25 AM

I get mounts shipped to me in Pelican cases frequently. I have seen the pluck foam collapse in some and not in others. I think there are a couple of factors involved, how careful you are when you pluck the foam, leaving as much thickness around the items as possible, handling of the case with the mount in it, time. Over time it will likely be necessary to replace the foam, but how long it will last depends on the above factors.

There are some custom cut foam solutions out there that can make foam for any case. If you find a used case that needs foam, I would look at one of those to see if it is cost effective.

#15 ValleyRain

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:19 PM

Great pic and great set up Warren! I love the organization and protection. Thanks for the ideas!

#16 Patrick

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:00 AM

My question is how do you guys transport & store it for road trips/ star parties.



You need to develop your own system to manage transporting your gear. For instance, with my CPC1100 I never put the scope below waist height so I never have to lift it from the ground. I store it in the garage at waist height and transport it in the back seat of my van at waist height with the seat belt around it.

EQ mounts can be a lot of work though, especially one as heavy as the Atlas. I also have a CGEM mount and it mainly stays on my pier mount on the deck. It will go with me to dark skies, but only when I plan on staying more than one night.

Patrick

#17 jrbarnett

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:13 AM

I should add that I do have one rule regarding cases: the things I put into a case must cost at least as much as or, ideally, more than the case I put them into. :grin:

Regards,

Jim

#18 rigel123

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:04 PM

I should add that I do have one rule regarding cases: the things I put into a case must cost at least as much as or, ideally, more than the case I put them into. :grin:

Regards,

Jim


So far I'm following that same rule, mostly. It's pretty close with the new Pelican I got for my $300 AT6RC! :lol:

#19 andysea

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:16 PM

I should add that I do have one rule regarding cases: the things I put into a case must cost at least as much as or, ideally, more than the case I put them into. :grin:

Regards,

Jim

LOL yeah that's an easy rule to follow considering how pricey astro gear is:)

Regarding the foam I redid the foam in the pelican case that I use for my NJP. I bought two large foam pads at Fred meyer for $20 total and then cutout the shape of my mount with a very sharp bread knife (yes a shun knife) and ended up with a very good new two layer insert that is stronger than the pluck foam from Pelican.

#20 andysea

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:20 PM

So far I'm following that same rule, mostly. It's pretty close with the new Pelican I got for my $300 AT6RC! :lol: [/quote]

When I had a 6"RC I used this case
http://www.lowes.com...87826&Ntt=to...
extremely strong, watertight and only 30bucks. I lined it with inexpensive foam.

#21 LateViewer

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 03:50 PM

I think Jim is referring to those of us who have Pelican cases for our CG5's!

At least I am following that rule buying new.

Al

#22 archer1960

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:06 PM

[quote name="andysea"]So far I'm following that same rule, mostly. It's pretty close with the new Pelican I got for my $300 AT6RC! :lol: [/quote]

When I had a 6"RC I used this case
http://www.lowes.com...87826&Ntt=to...
extremely strong, watertight and only 30bucks. I lined it with inexpensive foam. [/quote]

Yep, that's the one I have for my AT6RC, only I got mine at the place with the big orange sign rather than the big blue one. :D

#23 groz

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:42 PM

Hmmmm. This rule could be problematic. We recently upgraded our telescopes, and the new scopes in cases don't fit well in the rv. My solution is we are having a rack built that will hold the 12 inch rc and toa-130 without the cases. This essentially turns the roadtrek into our telescope case.

Does this rule mean I have to buy another new scope, worth more than a roadtrek 190?

#24 andysea

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

Ya def! Just go to tak USA and start shopping... It wouldn't be difficult givens their prices :)






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