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Equitorial Mount Storage and Travel Case

Equipment Mount
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#1 GGK

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Posted 29 March 2021 - 08:28 PM

I finally learned what packing foam was used to ship my Equitorial mount (Sky-Watcher EQ6-R ) and where to buy it.

The original mount packing foam appears to be 1.7 pound polyethylene foam sheet glued together.  I used a combination of 1.7 pound and 2.2 pound for my mount travel case.

I could not use the original shipping foam because my latitude setting is much different than the foam cutout, and for fast setup next time, I never move the latitude adjustment when tearing down. Also, the foam didn’t fit the case anyway.

I was able to by the polyethylene foam sheets at foambymail.com.  Note that I am not associated with or invested in this company in any way and don’t know anyone who works there.  I bought from them because they replied quickly to my email and took the time to answer all of my questions. 

Links to what I purchased:
https://www.foambyma...eets-1-7lb.html
https://www.foambyma...eets-2-2lb.html

 

I started with an iM2720 Pelican Case.  This case has a wheel and extendible handle carriage, but I took it off to reduce weight.  The wheels are too small for some of the terrain I’m on.

I started with a 2” layer of 1.7# polyethylene sheet on the bottom for softer cushioning when being stored.  I also inserted a partial 1/2 inch 1.7#  foam layer under the main body of the mount to make it lay flat in the case. The cut-out section around the mount head is made of two separate 2-inch thick 2.2# foam sheets.  The 2.2# is still soft, but a bit more dense to better take the weight at the sides of the case when being carried. Rather than making the cut-out section a single piece with the bottom, I made top and bottom halves because the mount is much easier to set in and remove that way.  On top of the mount is a layer of 1 inch 2.2 # foam with proper cut-outs for tall parts, then another 1/2  inch layer to complete the needed thickness. I left the pelican lid foam in place. I tell you all of this so you get an idea of how much is required to duplicate.

Foam-by-Mail recommended the 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to glue the foam layers together; however, I was concerned that the solvent gassing off over time would corrode the mount electronics, so I used 3M industrial carpet 2-way tape which worked great.

 

I remove the east AZ bolt and store it in the case, but just turn the west AZ bolt all the way in.  The tripod accessory tray also goes in the case after the top foam is set over the mount. I don’t move the latitude adjustment bolts at all.

This case did cost some money, but the mount is a major investment for me that I expect to have for many years.

 

Case 1.jpg Case 2.jpg Case 3.jpg

 

Also, if you need a tripod bag, the “Neewer 35"x7"x8"/90x18x20cm Padded Carrying Bag with Strap for Manfrotto,Sirui,Vanguard,Ravelli and Dolica Series Stands and Other Universal Light Stands, Boom Stand and Tripod” from Amazon fits the Sky-Watcher tripod well.  I read that recommendation from another CN member and I would give them credit, but don’t remember who it was.

 

I hope this helps anyone else looking to make a mount case.


Edited by GGK, 29 March 2021 - 08:30 PM.

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#2 Brainebula

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Posted 30 March 2021 - 09:49 AM

This is great info.

 

I'm not the hero you are; I can't spring for a Pelican! Instead, I'm using an old aluminum Haliburton Zero case I still have from a previous life, almost 10" thick. It's an extra foot long, so I can fit my power supply, lens box, and cords. I'll use a cheap 2 wheel hand cart if necessary.

 

I'm not sure yet whether I'll build a new foam insert or just modify the original insert to accommodate my 41° latitude, but I gotta admit I'm loving their charcoal color. I was going to ask you about a tripod bag too, so I was pleasantly surprised that you added that at the end!

 

Thanks so much for the source references, Gary, especially that awesome $24 tripod bag!



#3 GGK

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Posted 30 March 2021 - 11:51 AM

 

Yea, the Pelican case was a bit painful for my wallet.  Really though, any case or plastic tote will work just as good if you have the right foam inside.  I took a sample of the Sky-Watcher packing foam to a few commercial packing stores and no one could tell me what it was or where to buy it.   I was very glad when the foam I bought online arrived and it was the right stuff.   I originally tried to modify the original insert to fit the case, but since my latitude adjustment is so different, it was a disaster.  I keep my counter weights, power stations, cords and vibration pads in a separate case. I bolted together two unused aluminum kayak carts with sand tires to make a 4-wheel buggy to transport all the telescope gear to wherever I set up.



#4 GGK

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Posted 30 March 2021 - 11:55 AM

One other comment - this foam cuts easily with a big serrated bread knife.




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