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Another GREAT Cheap Hard Case for C11 - FOUND

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#1 dpippel

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 08:59 PM

In addition to spending time hunting down an inexpensive cover for my fully set up CGEM DX 1100, I've been looking for a case. I decided that spending hundreds of dollars on one for my OTA was not in the cards. I'd rather use those funds for eyepieces, or possibly AP gear, or good beer. With this in mind my quest began.

I wanted to reuse the Celestron hard foam inserts that supported the OTA in its shipping carton, so I had some fairly specific dimension requirements. I quickly discovered that there's not a whole lot out there that's affordable in the size category I needed. Pickins were slim. I found a few things here and there but nothing was quite right. Then I discovered this thread on CN:

Cheap C11 Case Thread

I checked out the Stanley 50 gallon tote mentioned here at Home Depot but internally it wasn't quite wide enough for the Celestron foam to fit. I was ready to leave the store and was walking out of the tool department when I saw this:

Husky 37" Mobile Job Box

It's just a little larger internally than the Stanley box, and by JUST enough. It's more solidly built, has better wheels, and has better latches. It's $10 cheaper than the Stanley box, AND it fits into the back seat of my 2011 Honda Civic sedan.

I brought one home. The following pics document the results. If you're looking for a great case for your C11 for sixty bucks and some change, well, IMO this is it.

Take a look at the retractable handle:

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  • 5896854-HUSKY-1.jpg


#2 dpippel

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:00 PM

It is ROBUST, and has very solid locking latches that secure the lid very tightly:

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#3 dpippel

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:01 PM

Here it is with the bottom foam cradles for my OTA inserted:

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  • 5896857-HUSKY-3.jpg


#4 dpippel

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:02 PM

My C11 EdgeHD OTA inside:

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#5 dpippel

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:03 PM

Top foam pieces added:

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  • 5896863-HUSKY-5.jpg


#6 dpippel

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:04 PM

Ready to close the lid, latch it, and load it up:

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  • 5896865-HUSKY-6.jpg


#7 dpippel

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:08 PM

That's it! For $64 I think this case is a STEAL. I ended up wrapping the OTA in the shipping plastic, then wrapping the 8x50 finder and my TELRAD in microfiber cloths and stowing them in the bottom of the case with the scope cover I found on Amazon earlier this week. There's room on top for my flexible dew shield and in the ends for a copy of Sky Atlas 2000.0 and a few other sundries. I couldn't be happier with this find! Here's a shot of the product label and UPC just in "case" it might be helpful to someone:

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#8 Mike in Tampa

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:42 PM

Very nice. I plan to get one or my cpc1100 tomorrow. I don't think it will fit quite as nice as your's does, but I'm hoping!

#9 dpippel

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 11:51 PM

Let me know how it works out with your CPC1100 Mike.

#10 WesC

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 12:57 PM

OMG you're kidding! Its a perfect fit!

#11 WesC

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:01 PM

I'm going to pick one of these up ASAP!

#12 dpippel

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 03:26 PM

Well it's not PERFECT (you have to finesse the foam in just right) but it's very close, and for $60 I'm certainly not complaining. :grin:

I've got my rig packed up and everything's loaded into the car except for the OTA since it's supposed to top out at 108 in Phoenix today. I'll be hitting the road in a couple of hours and will stow the scope case right before I pull out. Instead of Sentinel I'm heading back into the Sierra Anchas for the night to try and get to an altitude where the temps are a bit cooler. ClearDarkSky is predicting REALLY good transparency/cloud cover with average seeing for me this evening. I'm looking forward to a night of solo dark site observing with the rig. First time! I'll let you know how the case works out on the trip.

BTW, I found a 30" hardshell suitcase on Overstock.com that looks perfect for the CGEM using the original packing foam. $85 shipped. Ordered one. Stay tuned...

#13 WesC

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 05:09 PM

Have a great night!

#14 WesC

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:24 AM

Perfect enough... I took some careful measurements and took a hacksaw and cut off a 5"H x 5/8"D section out of the outsides of the bottom halves, to fit over the indentations in the sides of the case. (make sense?)

That allowed the foam to sit further down and tightly in the case without deforming. I also picked up a 5" thick rubber foam camping mat that I'm going to cut to fit the underneath to give it some soft padding on the bottom. That way the whole thing's got just a bit of give, like a suspension. I'm going to cut another piece to fit between the top pieces and down around the sides of the OTA so that she has side and top protection as well, I might even hot glue it into the lid.

Should work out great! Thanks for the heads up!

#15 dpippel

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 01:11 PM

That camping mat foam idea sounds like a great one! I'll have to pick some up. Good call on trimming the Celestron packing foam too. I was going to but decided against it just in case I want to repackage the OTA should I ever sell.

BTW, the case worked out wonderfully on the road trip last night! Even though I had some funky alignment issues going on with my mount I was able to get in some fantastic observing. This C11 really makes things pop when you have a dark sky. The Whirlpool was gorgeous with spiral arms very evident, and the Omega Nebula was incredibly detailed and luminous. I'm going back soon...

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  • 5899801-Ancha Observing.jpg


#16 WesC

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 06:51 PM

Doug, you can still use the foam in the shipping box, it just has a small amount trimmed. I'll post a pic tonight. I think its worth doing.

Beautiful pic BTW, I really need to get to a dark site, far away from these horrible fires.

#17 Dan Finnerty

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 12:04 AM

I wonder if Celestron has replacement packing foam? It would be nice to be able to keep it for future sale/shipping. Then I would not hesitate to hack the original packing foam.

#18 Wilki

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 09:09 AM

Thanks for the post. I recently moved back to the states (California) from Germany. I was eyeing those cases but was waiting to get box and foam dimensions when my gear gets delivered along with the rest of my furniture. Lowes has one as well. By chance did you check the measurements? It seems to have smoother sides though I thought the husky was the sturdier out of the three that I saw.

I'm anxious to see how your other case works for the CGEM as I'm in the same situation. The house we moved into has a small backyard lined with tall trees on one side and the two story house on the other. Looks like I'm going to be doing some traveling soon.

#19 dpippel

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 09:12 AM

I wonder if Celestron has replacement packing foam? It would be nice to be able to keep it for future sale/shipping. Then I would not hesitate to hack the original packing foam.


It's quite possible that they do. I may email them and ask, although as Wes points out the amount of foam loss was minimal for him. This weekend I'll look into paring mine down.

#20 dpippel

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 09:15 AM

Thanks for the post. I recently moved back to the states (California) from Germany. I was eyeing those cases but was waiting to get box and foam dimensions when my gear gets delivered along with the rest of my furniture. Lowes has one as well. By chance did you check the measurements? It seems to have smoother sides though I thought the husky was the sturdier out of the three that I saw.

I'm anxious to see how your other case works for the CGEM as I'm in the same situation. The house we moved into has a small backyard lined with tall trees on one side and the two story house on the other. Looks like I'm going to be doing some traveling soon.


Welcome back Chris! I did not measure anything at Lowe's since Home Depot was my first stop and I purchased the Husky on the spot. I *did* measure the interior dimension of the Stanley case and it was narrower that the Husky.

As for the possible CGEM hard suitcase solution I'll keep you all posted. It's being delivered tomorrow and it won't take more than a few minutes to determine whether or not it's going to work.

#21 gonzosc1

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 03:05 PM

:gotpopcorn: :gotpopcorn:

#22 WesC

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:25 PM

hey guys, here's one foam piece with the sides trimmed down 5"H x 5/8"D for a better fit. Its not much, but it keeps it useable for the case and the original box. :)

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#23 dpippel

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 08:01 PM

Do you mean that you shaved off 5" of the height and 5/8" of the depth?

#24 WesC

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 01:01 AM

Not exactly. You can see where I trimmed? The cuts were in 5/8" and 5" up from the bottom. Make more sense?

#25 dpippel

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 09:40 AM

Gotcha. The image is a bit dark, but after saving a copy and lightening it up a bit I can see exactly what you did. Now it's on my to-do list. :)


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