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Custom Refractor Case: Case Technology

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#1 10gauge

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 08:47 PM

I thought I'd share my favorable experience since there are always inquiries about refractor cases. For the past 2 years, I looked at many case options for 5-6 in. class refractors. They were either too expensive, too flimsy, too big, or too small. I heard good things here on CN about Case Technology in Ipswich, MA.

So, I finally ordered a custom case from them and Brian helped me to finalize the design and order by phone because I wanted an extra handle on top to avoid any confusion. I ordered the Custom Lightweight ATA case, in silver gray. It houses the scope + diagonal. The density of foam and quality of the latches and 3 handles are better than ScopeGuard. At $295 + S.H., it is also cheaper. I like the quality and finish of the case as much as the scope, and that says a lot. Here are a few photos:

web pageFlickr

web pageFlickr

#2 Lane

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:12 PM

That is a nice looking case, I want to get a smaller case for my TMB 92L and I am planning to use this same company. How thick is the foam on the Bottom, Sides, and Top and did you get to specify that? Is the foam firmer, softer, or about the same as what comes in a Pelican case?

I like the TMB case but it is almost twice as big as it needs to be. It does carry 7 eyepieces but I would really rather carry those in my eyepiece case and have the scope in its own case.

#3 ryderc1

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:49 PM

Their web site has an on-line quote feature where you can specify the case measurements, foam thickness, case type, and hardware and get an instant price quote.

I've had several cases made by Case Tech. over the past several years and have always been very pleased. I had a couple cases made with handles off center so that the case would stay horizontal when carried despite the front or rear heaviness of the particular scope the case was made for.

#4 Lane

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:14 PM

Smart thinking about that off center handle - I will have to remember that.

#5 10gauge

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:05 PM

Thanks ryderc1 and Lane. Everything is customizable. For instance I had them place handles at the ends as well as on the top. I requested 1" foam all-around, but you can request thicker if you like. I have a snug TEC 140 + diagonal in it, and the middle balance is OK OPonand the foam is harder and much more durable than the Pelican pluck out foam or the ScopegGuard offering. I love it!

For my accessories, I decided against putting EPs in with the OTA. All my accessories fits into a Pelican 1520 case with pluck out foam. This way I know that all accessories will be in one case. It will be OK for now, but I feel that the foam in the Pelican case can wear and tear easily. I'd like to have Case Technology customize it with the harder foam down the road. Here is a photo: http://www.flickr.co...N03/8562253648/

Contents: Eyepieces: 3.5XW, 5XW, 8E, 13E, 24PO (2).
AP BaradV Barlow 2.5x,
Baader MkV Binoviewer system with 1.25x, 1.7x GPCs
Baader Vario-Finder 10x60
Orion 2" Filter Wheel
Lumicon 2" UHC, OIII, Variable polarizer
AP 2" to 1.25" Adapter






Case Technology has a configurator where you design and select everything. Then I confirmed everything on the phone with Brian because I wanted to make sure that the top handle could support the weight. I

#6 ScottAz

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:45 PM

:applause: Wow! Very nice for the price ... Time to get out a measuring tape!

#7 Ennis

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:38 PM

Did you ask for a specific type of foam? If so, what was it? I have a TEC APO140ED coming in about six months. I was planning to purchase Yuri's German-made case, but the Case Technology option is very appealing (and cheaper).

#8 CounterWeight

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:46 PM

Just wanted to add a +1 to the above - I had mine made for TEC160ED to dimension with the foam cut to accomodate my double DTP/rings, and it wasn't considered custom -I can only imagine what the would be like. Fantastic folks to work with and the product is 'top shelf' quality. Have to admit I was expecting less quality for the price - sure is nice to be impressed!

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#9 Lane

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:42 AM

What did you guys do about the dovetail on the bottom? I was thinking of having them put two 1" foam pads in the bottom and then cutting a slot in the upper one for the dovetail. The rest of the case would just have 1" all the way around.

#10 10gauge

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:18 AM

Over time, the dovetail will indent into the foam and customize itself. It will only compress the foam to the depth of the dew shield I went with 1" foam all round, typical of other quality cases. The standard foam is rigid enough that it doesn't warrant further modification. If you really want, you could add an addition small 1/4" to 1/2" piece at the bottom.

It will ultimately depend on what you want the case to do, and refractor size. Storage only, mild transport, rugged travel? Mine is the middle duty 1/4" thick ABS plates for travel in a car or SUV storing a TEC 140. It will only be used for storage and mild transport. I wanted minimal size and weight, but good strength.

If you want heavy duty rugged use, or if you have a > 6" APO, my guess is to go HD, as it uses thicker 3/8" ABS plates instead. Then go for 1.5" foam all round. But now your adding more weight and size.

*Don't forget to measure the width of your trunk space of the intended vehicle of transport! Mine is fine in the SUV, but barely fit into car.

#11 CounterWeight

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 09:54 AM

Lane,

Looking carefully at my picture, the upper and lower DTP's are to the sides of the case, this allows for more foam in the up/down than the sides - it's gravity I worry about more than side impacts. I think these cases could take quite a thump or two without showing it, they are rated ATA cases after all. If you just want a simple square cut in the foam - he will do that and not consider it 'custom' if you send him drawings. For reference the foam thickness at the objective end in my case is 1.5" thick on sides and 2" top and bottom.

That it was I liked from the start - they make the case you want, you just need to know what that is.

#12 roscoe

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:44 AM

I posted this site up in the ATM page, but here's a supplier of all the metal parts and more if you wanted to build your own case:
http://www.diyroadcasesstore.com/
Russ






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