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Organizing my astro stuff

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#1 MikeBOKC

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:30 PM

I occasionally see posts here on CN, or encounter a similar situation in the field, where someone says "Darn I hauled my scope 40 miles to a dark site and realized I forgot to bring X." To me, careful organization prevents the kind of disorder that can lead to a ruined night of observing. So I snapped some pics of how I pack, store and transport my astro gear, assuming it might be helpful to some.

First is the Pelican 1600 case that holds all of my ocular equipment -- eyepieces, filters, binoviewers, finderscopes, Barlows, coma corrector, with an eyeglass holder strap.

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#2 MikeBOKC

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:31 PM

Next I have my solar viewing rig in a second Pelican 1600 -- PST, TMB92L in rings with second dovetail for piggybacking the PST, white light solar filter for the TMB, some dedicated eyepieces for solar and another eyeglass strap. The diagonal for the CPC rides in the main eyepiece case and there is a second diagonal for the TMB in the solar case. If I plan to piggyback the refractor on the CPC at an outreach event, I just bring the whole solar case rather than breaking it up.

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#3 MikeBOKC

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:34 PM

Everything else -- counterweights, collimation tools, batteries, flashlight, green laser pointer, AC and 12v power cords, 12v hair dryer, eyepiece cleaning stuff, instruction manuals for scopes, hand controllers, moon map, star charts, even a stocking cap for chilly nights -- rides in this wheeled foldout equipment case.

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#4 MikeBOKC

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:36 PM

This is the case folded up. The only way I vary my load is deciding which scope to pack -- the CPC in its rolling case or the xx14g in its carry cases. This way I have everything I might need for any observing combination. I know others are surely better organized than me, but this arrangement has worked well so far.

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#5 Greyhaven

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:31 PM

Mike you're doing a great job at getting all that astronomy gear packed and ready to go. I don't have to travel. I just have to step into my observatory and I wish I was as half as organized as you.
Be Well
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#6 KD58

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:32 AM

Mike that is a very well thought out set up. I'm one of those you meet who have left counterweights, GoTo hand controllers etc at home. I am working on a system to organize my stuff for observing and AP but its ended up being too many containers that are nicely labelled but not convenient when it comes to setting up the mount and scopes. I'm still working on that but your setup looks superb.

#7 csrlice12

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:24 AM

Nice setups! Saw one of those rolling cases recently and had been thinking of getting one for the stuff you didn;t need to worry about (i.e. counterweights, books, extra batteries, etc...). My only real problem is my eyepieces are outgrowing their cases.....

#8 spongebob@55

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:22 AM

Great thread Mike. I was just thinking the other night when I was at a darker site and it was taking me 45 minutes just to get all my stuff out of the car......bag of EPs here, 3X22lb weights there, OTA in a case, and tripod, chair, etc wrapped in movers blankets.......there must be a way to make my C14 and CGE Pro more 'efficient' in setting up. I have to get my EPs into my 1600 case, but any more 'efficiencies' you or anyone else has would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your pictures.
SBob

#9 rigel123

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:32 PM

Mike, you think like me! A place for everything and everything in its place!

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#10 WesC

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:43 PM

Nice, guys! I'm still waiting until I get all the gear I think I will need before I start traveling out to dark sites, but organized setups like that are the goal!

#11 csrlice12

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:45 PM

All the gear you really need at a dark site, you were born with. Anything else (binoculars/scope) is just icing on the cake......Get out there and enjoy what you got, learn the sky, because it looks completely different away from the light pollution of the city......

#12 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:06 PM

I occasionally see posts here on CN, or encounter a similar situation in the field, where someone says "Darn I hauled my scope 40 miles to a dark site and realized I forgot to bring X."


Usually I hear, "I brought all this cr&p and I only needed a few things"

Wow.. some of those pictures.. do you unpack and setup for 2 hours.. view for 2 hours and tear down and packup for 2 hours? seems inefficient with more time spent tearing down and setting up and packing/unpacking... Unless of course it was an overnight trip. Then all bets are off and I hope you can take the kitchen sink :p

As you get wiser and more experience, you will find that carrying less and more "view" time is what you are after... take what you "need" not what I "might" use. Changing out that gear in a session is also time consuming.. plus the rebalance...

#13 rigel123

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:47 PM

I should mention that not all of that stuff goes on each trip, it depends upon what my goal is. So I might be imaging wide field, then it is the Atlas, ED80T, cameras, weights and accessories. 45 minute set up, all night (or 2) imaging. :grin:

#14 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:11 PM

I should mention that not all of that stuff goes on each trip, it depends upon what my goal is. So I might be imaging wide field, then it is the Atlas, ED80T, cameras, weights and accessories. 45 minute set up, all night (or 2) imaging. :grin:


Imaging definitely takes setup time and equipment. And you don't want to forget anything.. otherwise you're dead in the water.

I have most everything in cases and soft cases/bags. I just about always take the same basic cases, one or two eyepiece cases, my collimating tools. A padded bag with binoculars and miscellaneous stuff, gloves, lights, hats, other tools... Then I decide which refractor(s) and tripods I am taking and that's about it. The bigger scopes are already out there, setup is about 15 minutes, tear down about 15 minutes but I am not an imager.

Jon

#15 thesubwaypusher

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:54 AM

Mike, you think like me! A place for everything and everything in its place!


Wow- Now I don't feel so bad. Thanks for sharing that picture.






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