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Perfect case for NexStar 6SE

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#1 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:53 PM

I found the perfect case for my NexStar 6SE. I bought the scope and mount separately, used so I had no original packaging. I also had no case for the scope, or mount or my accessories and I wanted something that would transport easily (even taking it just outside, so all of my gear would be in one container).

 

I found this Husky Case at Home Depot. $49. 

 

Typically at home I wouldn't take the mount off my tripod, so my main reason for the case was just for my scope and all my accessories. But, as you can see in the first pic, my mount required an adapter plate and I made it also into a shelf. I can't fit that into this case along with the OTA, but I'm fairly certain the mount itself (without my adapter plate) would fit in this case with the OTA as there is still room around the OTA. This might even work for an 8SE OTA without the mount. 

 

I can fit all of my accessories in the top compartments and unlike tool boxes with removable trays these just flip out of the way (no need to wonder where to put the tray). Even my WO binoviewers fit in the top compartment with the WO foam padding that came with the binos and I still have plenty of room for my DSLR camera gear. The other side holds my finders, other EP's, Barlow, etc. 

 

The case is rugged, stiff and comes with nice big wheels and a pull out handle, the pull/flip out upper storage trays that also come with dividers you can arrange, and very sturdy latches and you can lock it. I still have to arrange components around and figure out padding.

 

In all my years of using toolboxes for cases, this is by far the best one yet. It's like it was designed for my use. Great deal at $50.

 

6SE-case1.jpg

 

6SE-case2.jpg

 

6SE-case3.jpg

 

6SE-case4.jpg

 

6SE-case5.jpg

 

6SE-case6.jpg

 

 

 


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#2 bobparkersd

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 08:53 PM

Mark,

Thanks for posting this, especially with photos. I'm hoping to fit an Evo 6 into it with the ota and mount.

Bob


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#3 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:07 PM

Mark,

Thanks for posting this, especially with photos. I'm hoping to fit an Evo 6 into it with the ota and mount.

Bob

The Home Depot website doesn't tell you specifically the internal dimensions, only the outside dimensions...so I'll post them here.

 

Each flip out tray is 10 1/2" X 11" X 3" deep. It comes with removable dividers, but I'll probably use some kind of foam.

 

The inside dimensions of the main compartment is 21" long X 11" (front to back) and 12 1/4" tall (where the trays when closed meet the top edge). Also, there is a little bit of space loss for the wheel wells, only on that one end, but it isn't much. 

 

Hope that helps. 

 

I looked at every toolbox I could find online and this one looked interesting, but it also seemed like it was perhaps too large. I looked at every toolbox Home Depot and Menards had after work today. When I saw this one in person today and measured it, it wasn't as large as I thought it would be, so I immediately wheeled it up to the check-out counter! I added the pic of it in front of my tripod and mount to help get an idea of scale.

 

I really like the flip out storage trays. Every other tool box case I've had, had the trays you have to take out, but then you have to find a place to set them (like on dew covered grass?). With these, everything is so accessible, yet I can easily get at everything with only the very bottom of the entire case sitting on the ground. I can swap out EP's, camera or whatever I need and keep the lids closed to keep everything dry while out observing. The pull-out handle is quite long and very solid. 

 

I should mention that the lids over the trays do open up without having to flip the trays out, so you can leave it closed and still access each top compartment individually. 


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 09 January 2018 - 09:21 PM.

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#4 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:31 PM

And just for reference, my OTA has some additional add-ons to it that make it a bit bulkier than a stock 6SE. Since I took this pic below, I've also added a Telrad base, a RACI finder shoe, and my dew controller to the rings (in addition to the handle and offset rail pictured here) so it take up more space inside the case than a stock Celestron 6" SCT.

 

handle1.jpg

 

 

But my dew/light shield that I made is retractable (because of using mounting rings), so I can leave the dew shield on the scope inside the case...

 

Extended dew shield...

 

retract-dew-shield2.jpg

 

Retracted dew shield...

 

retract-dew-shield3.jpg


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 09 January 2018 - 09:41 PM.


#5 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 12:42 PM

I think I'm going to cut down my adapter plate to the diameter of the mount base. With this new case having trays, I really won't need the tray right under the mount (though I will still need the adapter). This should give me enough space to also store the mount in the case too. 

 

I might have to remove the diagonal from the OTA to store both together. The extra length with the diagonal on the OTA makes it just a little too long. 



#6 Traxx

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:34 PM

Can you give me the OD x length of the 6se? Are you going to put in any foam lining? I am guessing this is to pack it around to remote sites. 



#7 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:50 PM

Can you give me the OD x length of the 6se? Are you going to put in any foam lining? I am guessing this is to pack it around to remote sites. 

I'll have to measure the OTA when I get home later. Actually, this is for at home or taking it elsewhere. At home I can just take the mount outside and then take the case out, so I have access to all my accessories as well.


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#8 barbarosa

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 03:11 PM

What a very neat setup, nice work.

 

I can't tell from the image how you are preventing movement along the axis of the OTA, but it might be better to remove the diagonal (and maybe the VB) when you put the OTA in the case. The diagonal may not stand up well if the case is dropped. If nothing else the prism might shift.

 

Again a very neat solution. I like that dew shield.


Edited by barbarosa, 10 January 2018 - 03:12 PM.

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#9 Traxx

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 03:17 PM

I am looking forward to seeing the finished product with the mount inside. Just a thought, a trashbag and a couple of cans of spray foam and you can have a form fitted storage. Similar to bedding a rifle stock.


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#10 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:03 PM

What a very neat setup, nice work.

 

I can't tell from the image how you are preventing movement along the axis of the OTA, but it might be better to remove the diagonal (and maybe the VB) when you put the OTA in the case. The diagonal may not stand up well if the case is dropped. If nothing else the prism might shift.

 

Again a very neat solution. I like that dew shield.

I just got the case and everything in it is loose for now until I figure out all the arrangements. 

 

Thanks. One of the things I've disliked about SCT's was dealing with the dew shield. Because my OTA is mounted using rings instead of the stock dovetail rail directly on the OTA, I have clearance around the OTA to allow for the dew shield to stay on the OTA, but further back. It's something I've thought about since I had a hard retractable dew shield on my ETX105 (where the OTA is mounted far back in dual forks). 


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 10 January 2018 - 07:09 PM.

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#11 Traxx

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:20 PM

I am really liking this case build. I am planning on setting up a pelican case to mount on my bike. So I may be stealing some of your ideas. I guess one of my biggest concerns is vibrations and bump and how to dampen them. 


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#12 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:33 PM

I am really liking this case build. I am planning on setting up a pelican case to mount on my bike. So I may be stealing some of your ideas. I guess one of my biggest concerns is vibrations and bump and how to dampen them. 

That's why I post them. I like to inspire people to get creative to make things that work for them. I mod and DIY almost everything to suit my needs. This case is almost perfect as is. I just need to tweak a few things. 

 

Commercial manufacturers are tied to designing things that will work for most people. Most commercial offerings cost a lot more than I can either afford, or want to spend, so I make other things work for me. 

 

Really for a scope case, this "toolbox" is designed almost as if I designed it specifically for my purposes. 


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#13 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 07:08 PM

Can you give me the OD x length of the 6se? Are you going to put in any foam lining? I am guessing this is to pack it around to remote sites. 

The OTA is 15 1/2" long (from the end of the 1.25" visual back to the corrector end of the OTA with the cap on). That does not include any diagonal in the visual back either. It is about 7 1/2" in diameter...but maybe 8" if you include the dovetail rail mounted along the length. I had to estimate that because I took the mounting rail off my 6SE OTA and attached it to mounting rings. So figure about 8" X 15/1/2" with nothing else on the OTA.


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#14 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 07:18 PM

UPDATE: I removed my adapter plate off the mount and tried getting both the mount and OTA inside the case. It will not fit as I have mine set up, but I think if someone wanted to fit both the mount and OTA inside, it might still work, although it could be a little tight. 

 

My OTA has mounting rings on it. It also has a handle added to the mounting rings. The stock 6SE dovetail mounting rail was removed from the OTA and reattached to the mounting rings. I also added a raised Telrad base and RACI finder shoe to the mounting rings, as well as a dew controller on the rings. These things have all increased the overall size of my OTA.

 

If it were just the OTA (with the stock rail on it as most people have it) it would probably fit inside this tool box along with the mount. I can't confirm it because I don't want to take everything apart just to check. 

 

I'm totally fine with using the case just for my scope and accessories as that was my original intention anyway. 


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#15 IdahoBenny

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:18 PM

Can you put the original Styrofoam inside the bottom?



#16 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:30 PM

Can you put the original Styrofoam inside the bottom?

I don't know. I bought the scope and mount separately, used so I don't have it. But I do have a lot of packing foam of various shapes, sizes and types of foam. I'll get around to making the scope and my accessories fit neatly and securely, probably over the weekend. I'm not sure what size the original NexStar 6SE packing foam is, but I posted the dimensions of this toolbox up an earlier post...

 

Each flip out tray is 10 1/2" X 11" X 3" deep. It comes with removable dividers, but I'll probably use some kind of foam.

 

The inside dimensions of the main compartment is 21" long X 11" (front to back) and 12 1/4" tall (where the trays when closed meet the top edge). Also, there is a little bit of space loss for the wheel wells, only on that one end, but it isn't much.


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 10 January 2018 - 09:31 PM.


#17 Traxx

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:49 PM

Pelican cases have a "pluckable" foam insert that you may be able to get. 

https://www.amazon.c...5/dp/B00I80KG0I



#18 Toddeo

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 10:18 PM

I-also picked up a tool storage case, but I found it at Sears on sale. $39.00.  It works really well!

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#19 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:14 AM

UPDATE: For the benefit of other 6SE owners, I removed my OTA from the rings to see if the OTA and mount would fit for those who leave the OTA stock with the stock mounting rail attached.

 

I can confirm that yes, the 6SE OTA and mount will fit in this case. It's kind of a tight fit and you will have to figure out how to pad the case in such a way that the OTA can be fitted so that the visual back sits up over the wheel well area inside the case (on the right in the pic below). This will allow the mount base to fit behind the corrector end of the OTA. 

 

So yes, both the OTA and Mount will fit together in this case. It will not work for me because my OTA is mounted in rings with all kinds of things attached to the mounting rings as well. That works for me anyway, but I wanted to let everyone else who owns a 6SE that they do fit.

 

6SE-plus-mount-case.jpg


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 11 January 2018 - 10:17 AM.


#20 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:16 AM

I-also picked up a tool storage case, but I found it at Sears on sale. $39.00.  It works really well!

Excellent. Looks like the exact same case. Isn't this an excellent design to have all your accessories available without having to use another case or try to find a place to put typical pull out trays?



#21 rodb

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 12:01 PM

 

What a very neat setup, nice work.

 

I can't tell from the image how you are preventing movement along the axis of the OTA, but it might be better to remove the diagonal (and maybe the VB) when you put the OTA in the case. The diagonal may not stand up well if the case is dropped. If nothing else the prism might shift.

 

Again a very neat solution. I like that dew shield.

I just got the case and everything in it is loose for now until I figure out all the arrangements. 

 

Thanks. One of the things I've disliked about SCT's was dealing with the dew shield. Because my OTA is mounted using rings instead of the stock dovetail rail directly on the OTA, I have clearance around the OTA to allow for the dew shield to stay on the OTA, but further back. It's something I've thought about since I had a hard retractable dew shield on my ETX105 (where the OTA is mounted far back in dual forks). 

 

Hi, Mark,

 

Sorry if I'm getting this subject "off track." Since you mentioned having the ETX 105, what was your opinion of the optics and mount? I ask because I'm debating (see my recent post) getting either the 6" SE or maybe the Meade 125 ETX Mak. Does the dual fork provide better stability than the single arm of the SE? Have you had a chance to look thru the 125? And what made you decide on the 6" SE rather than the 125 ETX? Sorry for all these "hijacked" questions. But would very much like to know your opinions and reasons for your choice.

 

Regards, Rod



#22 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 12:42 PM

 

 

What a very neat setup, nice work.

 

I can't tell from the image how you are preventing movement along the axis of the OTA, but it might be better to remove the diagonal (and maybe the VB) when you put the OTA in the case. The diagonal may not stand up well if the case is dropped. If nothing else the prism might shift.

 

Again a very neat solution. I like that dew shield.

I just got the case and everything in it is loose for now until I figure out all the arrangements. 

 

Thanks. One of the things I've disliked about SCT's was dealing with the dew shield. Because my OTA is mounted using rings instead of the stock dovetail rail directly on the OTA, I have clearance around the OTA to allow for the dew shield to stay on the OTA, but further back. It's something I've thought about since I had a hard retractable dew shield on my ETX105 (where the OTA is mounted far back in dual forks). 

 

Hi, Mark,

 

Sorry if I'm getting this subject "off track." Since you mentioned having the ETX 105, what was your opinion of the optics and mount? I ask because I'm debating (see my recent post) getting either the 6" SE or maybe the Meade 125 ETX Mak. Does the dual fork provide better stability than the single arm of the SE? Have you had a chance to look thru the 125? And what made you decide on the 6" SE rather than the 125 ETX? Sorry for all these "hijacked" questions. But would very much like to know your opinions and reasons for your choice.

 

Regards, Rod

 

Hey Rod. No problem at all. I've used an ETX125 but owned an ETX105. The optics on the ETX Maks are excellent. The mounts on the ETX's are, hmmm...well, kind of cheaply made. Lots of plastic for one. Secondly, I find the NexStar 6/8SE mounts to be very solid and stable. I think the single fork arm of the NexStar to be better than the dual forks of the ETX, and most certainly the drives/gears are better on the NexStar. The ETX line is notorious for slippage. I'm not referring to backlash (as both can exhibit this) but the ETX line of mounts, the clutches sometimes actually slip, or don't hold well under heavier accessories. The ETX line is also very nose-heavy without any ability to counterbalance them without taping some weights on the back. It can be dealt with, but why bother when the NexStar is better anyway?

 

On that point also be aware that the visual back on the ETX mounts are plastic and under the weight of something like a camera have actually broken off! The NexStar SE scopes use a traditional metal visual back and diagonal capable of holding a camera or binoviewers and I would NEVER trust the ETX scopes to handle that weight.

 

The 6SE uses the exact same mount as the 8SE, but the 6SE is smaller and lighter and therefore the mount handles the 6SE even better.

 

The NexStar mounts use a dovetail saddle which means you can remove the OTA and put any OTA (including small refractors if you like) that has a dovetail rail on it, onto the SE mounts. The ETX's are permanently mounted. Whatever ETX scope you have is what you are stuck with. The ETX scope also (being permanently mounted) only allow you to store them with most of the scope sticking far out of the fork mounts in storage because the ETX OTA will hit the mount base the other direction.

 

In addition, while I enjoyed using the Meade Autostar, the Celestron NexStar handcontroller is much easier to navigate and use, and I also now use a Wi-Fi module on my NexStar which means I don't even use the handcontroller...I use SkySafari on my phone to control the scope wireless. I don't know if Meade ETX's have an equivalent. 

 

The best part of the NexStar mount is I don't ever have to go through the laborious "polar" alignment procedure. Going wireless and using the Wi-Fi, the mount uses my phone's GPS and date/time, so I don't have to enter anything into the mount HC and I can pick out any bright stars (without even knowing what they are) and the NexStar will calculate where the scope is pointing. 

 

I'm not knocking the ETX line at all. I loved using my ETX105...the views were very sharp. It's the mount that is really the knock on them (and the visual back if that is used). But I think the 6SE is the best compromise between portability, aperture and ease of use. At 150mm it is a larger aperture than the ETX125, with a smaller package that stores easier, and gives you more options.

 

Based on my experience between the two, I'd choose the NexStar 6SE every time. Now, if it is just a matter of the scope OTA's themselves, well, the 6SE is an SCT with a larger obstruction whereas the ETX125 is a Mak. The ETX125 might give slightly sharper views, but IMO for the 1" loss in aperture, I think you'd have to be pretty OCD to notice a signficant difference. But we're also not talking about just the scopes, but the mounts as well. 

 

If you did prefer the view of the ETX125 and you could find just the OTA removed from the ETX forks, used, and also a used NexStar 6/8SE mount, well then you could mount the ETX125 onto the NexStar SE.

 

Just my opinion. 


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 11 January 2018 - 01:03 PM.


#23 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 01:58 PM

I have the main scope compartment lined with foam. The scope is safe inside and doesn't move or shift at all, even while rolling it around with the handle. It's not like this is to ship the scope somewhere anyway. It's only for my purposes and for the most part it will only get carried down my front steps and then rolled to either my backyard or my van (if going somewhere else). 

 

The dovetail rail sits in the very middle of the foam (the light colored foam strip) at the bottom so the entire weight of the scope rests softly on the two foam pieces running lengthwise along side it. The handle on the rings then is right at the top to easily take it out and mount it. 

 

With a cushion on top of the closed case lids, it actually even makes a nice place to sit on while observing. The case really is perfect for me. smile.gif

 

foam.jpg

 

filled.jpg


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 14 January 2018 - 02:01 PM.

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#24 Ericco79

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:14 AM

Hey Mark,

 

     Great thread. I read this a couple of days ago and decided to go out and get the exact same case. I have an LXD75 8 inch Schmidt and with a little padding, it holds it quiet nicely. Thanks for posting this find!

 

Eric


Edited by Ericco79, 15 January 2018 - 12:37 PM.

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#25 davidparks

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:44 AM

Just to give credit where credit is due, like Eric, I went out right after reading this post (as I was leaving work and Home Depot was right around the corner), to evaluate the case myself. Bought it, love it. As Mark says, PERFECT.   I could not ask for a better fit for my Nexstar 6se, on mount, with Starsense.  Great fit for all my accessories too.  Big THANK YOU  Mark for finding and sharing this gem. bow.gif


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