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Apache 4800 Case - Virtually a Pelican 1520

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#1 BarrySimon615

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 05:16 PM

Harbor Freight recently started carrying a new Apache case, the 4800.  It is noticeably larger than the 3800 case which had been the largest one available.  That one, the 3800, was equivalent in size to the Pelican 1450 and I thought the new 4800 would probably be equivalent to the Pelican 1500, but it goes beyond that.  It is virtually the same size as the 1520.  

 

What is not the same is the price.  The Pelican 1520 typically sells for about $120.00, maybe a bit more, with foam; and the Apache 4800 sells normally for $54.99, but I used a coupon which reduced the price to $44.99, quite a good deal.  In addition to the two front latches which have metal reinforced lock holes, the 4800 has two side latches as well.  Inside are top and bottom layers of dense foam and two diced layers of foam which can be punched out to custom fit your equipment.  Quite a good deal at less than half the price of the equivalent Pelican case.

 

Note - I am not knocking Pelican cases, I have quite a collection of them from the 1400 on up to the 1650 with virtually everything in between.  However the construction and the price of the Apache cases at Harbor Freight cannot be ignored.  Several of them in various sizes will be used as door prizes at our upcoming Deep South Star Gaze.  For those looking for a great case at a good price, you might want to visit Harbor Freight.

 

Barry Simon


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#2 Darren Bly

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 06:20 PM

I picked up a 4800 a few days after they arrived.  Good quality at a great price.


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#3 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 07:25 PM

I have three of the Apache 3800 cases and love them.  I'm sure I'll find a use for the 4800 too!  wink.gif


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#4 Geo.

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 08:14 AM

I've found Chinese plastics to be problematic. There tends to be a lot of recycled material used in them. Pelican uses virgin HDPE and offers parts and post purchase support. You gets what you pays for. It's a real PITA when the hand grip of a case containing $2K worth of camera equipment fails. 



#5 Joe1950

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 08:48 AM

I have a smaller Pelican 1200 and an Apache 3800 I got on sale for $29 or $39 at Harbour Freight.

 

Both very nice cases. The Apache has a thick steel pin going through a double hole on each side of the handle that seems very capable. Anyway, I just use it for moderate eyepieces and if it breaks I hope the foam does its job.

 

I can't tell you how many times the pelican has closed on my hand. The Apache has a spring device that makes for a slow closure. Maybe the larger Pelicans do also, I don't know.

 

I change my cheapo eyepieces a lot and have to find out if there is a source for replacement foam for the Apache 3800. If anyone knows, please let me know.

 

Thanks.


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#6 shohin

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 11:05 AM

 

I change my cheapo eyepieces a lot and have to find out if there is a source for replacement foam for the Apache 3800. If anyone knows, please let me know.

 

Thanks.

It's called "pick and pluck foam".  Google it and you'll find a bunch of vendors.


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#7 Joe1950

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 11:45 AM

Okay shohin, I will do that. Thanks. 

 

Sometimes for cases such as the Pelican 1200, someone sells a specific fitted foam set. I wasn't sure if that was the case with the Apache, but I'll search and find out.


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#8 BarrySimon615

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 03:18 PM

I've found Chinese plastics to be problematic. There tends to be a lot of recycled material used in them. Pelican uses virgin HDPE and offers parts and post purchase support. You gets what you pays for. It's a real PITA when the hand grip of a case containing $2K worth of camera equipment fails. 

Being an owner of.....let me do a quick count...….yes 10 Pelican cases dating back some 20 years I guess you could say I believe in them, and I do.  That being said, one cannot deny that the Apache cases, comparing like sizes offer one comparable protection in a similar case at less than half the price of the equivalent Pelican case.  

 

One of the things that I did before my first purchases of the Apache cases was to look at the comparison videos available for your review on YouTube.  Here is one - https://www.youtube....h?v=rcB_UoZsmiI

I believe it may give you the confidence to give Apache a try, particularly when you are in need of a new case in a size matched by one of the four cases now offered in the Apache line (the largest, the Apache 4800 is equivalent to the Pelican 1520).

 

As I was well covered by the Pelican cases that I have the newer Apache have been used for various purposes including housing my AstroTech Paradigm line of eyepieces (my 1.25" Outreach Set), housing my ES 1.25" eyepieces (I separated my 1.25" ES eyepieces from the larger ES 2 inchers) and also a case for my two AVX counterweights.

 

Perhaps as the Apache cases get more popular and begin eating into potential Pelican case sales, there will be a downward price adjustment by Pelican and those that have to have a Pelican case will be able to get one at a lower price.  Competition is good.

 

Note, as per your post - have you had a hand grip fail on a case containing $2000.00 worth of camera equipment and if that happened, was it an Apache case?

 

Barry Simon


Edited by BarrySimon615, 18 September 2018 - 03:49 PM.

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#9 airbleeder

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 03:36 PM

   I use an Apache 3800 for my eyepieces and collimation tools. It seems quite adequate. If I find the need for another case, it'll be another Apache.


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#10 austin.grant

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 04:17 PM

Any long-term info on the materials used? Any reports of damaged optics from the foam outgassing or something similar? 



#11 airbleeder

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 04:52 PM

   I think  if anyone had damaged optics from an Apache, Pelican or any other brand case that the unfortunate one would be quick to post on CN, but I haven't read any such posts. 

   Geo posted what a PITA it is when your case handle breaks with $2000 worth of equipment, but hasn't replied to another poster's question if he had experienced it. I'm curious myself. How about it, Geo?


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#12 Joe1950

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 05:34 PM

I took it as a "what if" statement.


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#13 airbleeder

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 06:55 PM

    Maybe so Joe, but the way it was phrased, I read it as either he or someone he knows had experienced it. It wouldn't be the first time I misunderstood.


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#14 Joe1950

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 07:21 PM

Nor me, Air! 

 

With the Apache I have, the handle doesn't appear to be a weak point. But it there are different kinds of plastic used and such, who knows.

 

I don't use the 3800. Too big for the # of EPs I have. I did have everything in there for a while... iPhone holder, extra diagonal... a lot of stuff I don't use on a regular basis.

 

I like to keep things simple. Matches my IQ.


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#15 MalVeauX

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 07:27 PM

I have the Apache case and the Pelican. The Apache is pretty much as good as the Pelican for a lot less cost. I got it from Harbor Freight and there's a coupon to take it down (which essentially makes shipping free). Even at full price it's an excellent case for the cost. I use them to store imaging equipment, diagonals and eyepieces out in my observatory. They're excellent.

 

Very best,


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#16 BarrySimon615

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 08:29 AM

    Maybe so Joe, but the way it was phrased, I read it as either he or someone he knows had experienced it. It wouldn't be the first time I misunderstood.

I am the Topic Starter and I am the one that posted a follow-up to what I read as a "What-If" possibility about handle failure on an Apache case.  Something, I have to assume is not based upon any evidence including personal loss.   I say this because as I called the poster out on that statement and to date he has not responded to defend the statement.  Accordingly I have classified that statement about "possible failure" as vague innuendo, nothing more.

 

Being the owner of 10 Pelican cases and now about 5 or 6 Apache cases, I see no legitimate reason to purchase a case for better than twice the price of an Apache case when the Apache case will be perfectly fine for my intended uses.  Certainly I think my Pelican cases are first class and if the need arises in the future where I need a case in a size not provided by Apache, I will likely get a Pelican case if there is a Pelican case in the size I need.

 

Barry Simon


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#17 Dartguy

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 11:55 AM

Somewhere here is a post that describes a very expensive lens (or camera) that was in a Pelican case that slid out of a helicopter.  Upon retrieval, he found the contents unharmed.  That is enough for me to think dropping from 3 feet above the ground wouldn't hurt anything in these cases.



#18 jag32

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 08:45 PM

Thanks a lot for posting this, Pelicans are nice but way over priced. I will definitely be trying an Apache, I just wish they came in longer lengths that could fit a refractor.



#19 jag32

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 08:46 PM

I hope harbor freight sells a lot of them so they offer more sizes in the future.


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#20 BarrySimon615

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 08:31 AM

Thanks a lot for posting this, Pelicans are nice but way over priced. I will definitely be trying an Apache, I just wish they came in longer lengths that could fit a refractor.

Apache...….not yet, but Pelican does have a "1740" which is perfect for a TEC 140 and similarly sized scopes.  In this case the Pelican is the economical way to go as it is much more reasonably priced than a ScopeGuard case and probably more protective (although I have not seen a head to head evaluation)

 

Picture shows a TEC 140 in a Pelican 1740.

 

Barry Simon

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  • TEC 140 in Pelican 1740 case.jpg

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#21 Tomgils

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 09:08 PM

The best 50 bucks I've spent in a while. Thanks Barry

I don't have much, but it fits what I have.

20180924_165645~2-800x549.jpg
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#22 OneGear

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 06:19 AM

I would absolutely not say Pelicans are over-priced.  I would say Apache cases are inexpensive alternatives.  Pelican is very reasonably priced for what they are promising regarding equipment protection but for moving from my apartment to my trunk to the field and back, Pelican is overkill.

 

I know enough to not be confused simply because two products look similar.  Yes, we do get what we pay for and sometimes we are asked to pay for features we don't need to support the business model of the manufacturer.  I don't need Pelican protection but can find use for the form factor hence Apache.  I currently use a tackle box and a pistol storage case for my eyepieces but neither are as space efficient as the Pelican/Apache form factor Imho.  Just glad I have a choice.



#23 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 08:00 AM

Recently I used an Apache 3800 case to make a battery box.  It holds an 80AH LiFePO4 battery that weighs 25-30lbs and has enough room inside to store the charger when not in use.  Even at this weight I have no worries of the handle breaking (but of course I'm not swinging or throwing it around either!).  I think these Apache cases are great deals for the money.  


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#24 tneutgens

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 04:43 PM

Recently I used an Apache 3800 case to make a battery box.  It holds an 80AH LiFePO4 battery that weighs 25-30lbs and has enough room inside to store the charger when not in use.  Even at this weight I have no worries of the handle breaking (but of course I'm not swinging or throwing it around either!).  I think these Apache cases are great deals for the money.  

Curious what battery you went with.  Link?



#25 buckeyestargazer

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 05:53 PM

Curious what battery you went with.  Link?

The one I have is similar to this one, but not the exact same one.  




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