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Airline Travel cases for mounts and counter weigths

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#1 marinaldi


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Posted 23 January 2019 - 01:45 PM

Hi Folks,  I'm setting up a trip where I'll be shipping some of my Astro equipment via airline check-in baggage.   Specifically I have a Celestron AVX mount head, counter weight with bar and some accessories.  The tripod will be going separately, bubble wrapped and stuffed inside a duffel bag (also checked in).  One of my ideas is to buy one of the standard 24" hard cases that many people travel with.  These have wheels and a standard telescoping hand bar for easy rolling.  I'd be putting the mount head and weight/bar inside with plenty of foam or styrofoam and/or bubble wrap for damage protection from the not so gentle airline baggage handlers.  The total weight I'd be carrying would be ~30-40 lbs.  I'm aware of airline charges for extra weight.   The price spectrum for the hard cases I'm looking at vary from $60-70 for an Amazon Basics model to $600 for the Photographers hard case types.  I'm obviously trying to justify the amazon Basics model or something closer in price to that end of the spectrum.  Would the cheaper models stand up to the rigors of airline travel?  Anyone have any experience with these?  I'm worried they'd burst and ruin my equipment.  But this may just be my own paranoia.  Any ideas/comments?


Thanks, Mike

#2 BRCoz


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Posted 23 January 2019 - 08:43 PM

I ordered a custom ATA case from New World Case, Inc for my FS102 about 18 years ago. I don't remember how much it was.  You can get locks installed and wheels.


For the weight of the mount you might want a strong case.  I can see a guy pick up your mount and say this thing is heavy as he tries to move it and it falls to the ground.  Now part of the mount came out the side.     

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#3 Freezout



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Posted 23 January 2019 - 10:53 PM

I travelled once with a Thermodyne trolley with travel tripod (= sirius mount tripod) and skyview pro inside, + astro gear. That was a beast at the limit of weight authorization per luggage. I remember seeing one of the guys pulling it out of the luggage belt. He probably thought : "come on there are metal weights in that or what ?..."
Yes there are!...

(To note: several astronomers use containers purchased at destination, filled with water or rocks before observing)
My advice is not to spend too much unless you plan to reuse this case a lot. My case proved to be convenient only for air travel, and that happened only once. My wife still uses the price of it as argument to demonstrate how irresponsible I can be. It's tiring.
Other issue : the "pro" aspect of my case forced me to be fully controlled at every gate. My brother in law who had everything in classic travel cases, never.
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#4 havasman


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Posted 23 January 2019 - 11:32 PM

Consider shipping your gear ahead, of course with the knowledge and consent of the receiver. It should be much cheaper.

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