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How do you transport your 8"?

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#1 fewayne

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 12:28 PM

I have an AT8RC that will be traveling out to dark sites with me. For now, I'm just setting it VERY CAREFULLY down on a blanket in the back of the car and trying to brace it so it doesn't roll. But I'd like a safer, more convenient solution that doesn't require me to either grip the rail in my hands or by the focusing tube (which, of course, is infamously part of the primary mount). What do y'all use to transport an OTA this size?

 

I should note that I invariably set up within 100 meters of the car, frequently within 3. So I'm not looking for a lug-it-up-the-mountain solution, just a safe way to transport it without bashing it out of collimation. I've looked at a couple modular wheeled toolchests, which might do the job even if they're kinda big to get through doors.



#2 redtag

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 12:46 PM

The wheeled toolchest idea with the small diameter wheels is likely to jar the instrument significantly more than the ride in the car, not matter how bad the road is. 



#3 nic35

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 12:56 PM

My 6" GSO RC fits nicely in a plastic dewalt tool chest - with extensions removed. mine would be too small for your 8".

 

I carry my 8" SCT in a food delivery bag like this one  

https://www.amazon.c...2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

 

I added some padding, and it's good to go.

 

I had a wheeled locker, but that was way too bulky.


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#4 carolinaskies

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 03:40 PM

More than 20 years ago I built a Rubbermaid chest for my LX10 8" using upholstry foam.  The fellow who bought it from me kept using that until a couple years ago when he sold the telescope to the next guy who is probably using the same chest. 

Image3.jpg

Today you can opt similarly or look at a used suitcase either hard or soft, and line it with foam.  Remember an 8" even fully dressed is only about #15lbs.  The suitcase route is nice as you can buy one with rollers or one with a strong handle to carry that distance into the field.  

Another route is to look at the stackable tool boxes which allow you extra boxes for eyepieces, filters, accessories, etc. 
Craftsman-TradeStack-Tool-Box-Combo-Hero.jpg


 


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#5 KLWalsh

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 07:00 PM

You could make a simple frame to set it in, using some 1 x 6 pieces of pine and some screws/wood glue, so that the dovetail bar rests in the gap between the two boards. A decent bungee cord would keep the scope from rolling off the wooden frame during turns. Transport it in the back of your car.
Also, ADM Accessories sells a carrying handle that attaches to the top vixen rail.

Edited by KLWalsh, 14 May 2022 - 07:01 PM.


#6 luxo II

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 07:10 AM

No way. 

 

... a safe way to transport it without bashing it out of collimation.

What you suggest will result in tears.

 

For an 8" I'd say carry it, possibly with a strap over one shoulder - see Farpoint Zhumell straps.

 

If you're really determined to use wheels, at least use 8" or larger soft pneumatic tyres to absorb the bumps. With a little DIY effort you could cannibalise the tyres and axle from something like this https://www.bunnings...-tyres_p0085399

 

.. or with 1 tyre, a wheelbarrow...


Edited by luxo II, 15 May 2022 - 07:20 AM.

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#7 Stardust Dave

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 07:53 AM

a little beat over nearly 40 years from going from the Sierras to the desert , many states. 

scope stayed beautiful .

Original footlocker from my 8"SCT

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Edited by Stardust Dave, 15 May 2022 - 07:56 AM.

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#8 gnowellsct

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 09:20 AM

I put my c8 on the floor behind the driver's seat. I don't bother with a blanket. It's a snug fit so I don't worry about it flying around.

It's a c8 for crying out loud. Not a triplet APO descended from heaven.

For my c14, I put it on the rear seat and strap it in with the seat belt. Don't jam it against anything hard or like steel so that it scratches and you'll be fine.

I have carrying cases for the apos.

For something open tube that was a bit longer I probably would slip a heavy bag over it to protect the optics from dust and strap it in with the seatbelt.

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#9 gnowellsct

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 09:25 AM

In these decisions much depends on the vehicle you own. I see a lot of chests and cases that take up a lot of space. They are also dew traps after you break down you might have moisture on the optics that's going to get locked in that box. It's actually better not to put them away until they've had a chance to dry out.

Soft protection like moving blankets, which you can buy at u-haul, can be strapped around the tube. Takes up a lot less space. This is how I protect my ATS Pier. With open tube construction and a blanket you would still want a plastic bag to protect the optics from dust.

Greg N

#10 12BH7

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 10:25 AM

In these decisions much depends on the vehicle you own. I see a lot of chests and cases that take up a lot of space. They are also dew traps after you break down you might have moisture on the optics that's going to get locked in that box. It's actually better not to put them away until they've had a chance to dry out.

Soft protection like moving blankets, which you can buy at u-haul, can be strapped around the tube. Takes up a lot less space. This is how I protect my ATS Pier. With open tube construction and a blanket you would still want a plastic bag to protect the optics from dust.

Greg N

I just use a large sheet of 4" think foam when I transport my 12" SCT.


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#11 Bill Barlow

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 11:39 AM

Celestron and Pacific Design Cases make soft storage cases for SCT’s.  I own a few of them and they make storage and transport easy.

 

Bill


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#12 CeeKay

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 05:48 PM

Celestron and Pacific Design Cases make soft storage cases for SCT’s.  I own a few of them and they make storage and transport easy.

 

Bill

I have the Celestron cases for my C8 and C9.25... well made and extra compartment for putting small items in.


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#13 alphatripleplus

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Posted 16 May 2022 - 07:02 AM

+1 on using large toolboxes. For my SCTs, I've used the RIDGID boxes from Home Depot,  which come in a variety of sizes.



#14 Exnihilo

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Posted 16 May 2022 - 09:28 AM

a little beat over nearly 40 years from going from the Sierras to the desert , many states. 

scope stayed beautiful .

Original footlocker from my 8"SCT

Yeah, I have an old footlocker with my 8" classic Super Polaris.  Transports easily in a car.



#15 peter k

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Posted 16 May 2022 - 12:26 PM

I don’t throw my equipment around and find soft cases more convenient than hard. I used an appropriately sized gym bag lined with yoga mat (the thick type) material for my eight inch cat. 


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#16 Stevegeo

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Posted 16 May 2022 - 12:54 PM

I bought a PLASTIC COOLER , garage sale cheap, lined it with 1 inch foam bottom, 1/2 sides, and 1in on top. 

The ota / mount  fits nice , with room for a 2 by 2 block of foam holding eyepieces,  ect.

Finder and all fit good . Tripod strapped to lid .

Bonus .. it DOUBLES AS A SEAT .

 

During the eclipse  last nite with an outreach with Barefoot Bob... we had a lot of people come by , check out our scopes,sit and  watch the moon come up. A great night to share with the public , and we saw the ISS go by as well !  Everyone had a great time . 

 

The kids can sit comfortably on the cooler, look through the eyepiece without neck issues .  Packing up takes but a minute.

Keeps the scope safe , and fits in the trunk of about any car .  Not bad for $5 . 



#17 rmollise

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Posted 16 May 2022 - 05:02 PM

I have an AT8RC that will be traveling out to dark sites with me. For now, I'm just setting it VERY CAREFULLY down on a blanket in the back of the car and trying to brace it so it doesn't roll. But I'd like a safer, more convenient solution that doesn't require me to either grip the rail in my hands or by the focusing tube (which, of course, is infamously part of the primary mount). What do y'all use to transport an OTA this size?

 

I should note that I invariably set up within 100 meters of the car, frequently within 3. So I'm not looking for a lug-it-up-the-mountain solution, just a safe way to transport it without bashing it out of collimation. I've looked at a couple modular wheeled toolchests, which might do the job even if they're kinda big to get through doors.

 

Simple:

 

Buy a nice case from someone like JMI or Pelican or whomever. 

 

Or, if you are as cheap as me...

 

Find something like a Sterilite storage chest in WallyWorld. I found one that perfectly accommodated the foam my OTA was shipped in. A little extra foam, a hot glue gun, and I was all set. The box even has wheels. It has done a fine job for going on a decade. Less than $20.



#18 gnowellsct

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Posted 16 May 2022 - 06:12 PM

I just use a large sheet of 4" think foam when I transport my 12" SCT.

Sounds good to me

#19 whizbang

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Posted 16 May 2022 - 11:41 PM

My 6" GSO RC fits nicely in a plastic dewalt tool chest - with extensions removed. mine would be too small for your 8".
 
I carry my 8" SCT in a food delivery bag like this one  
https://www.amazon.c...2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
 
I added some padding, and it's good to go.
 
I had a wheeled locker, but that was way too bulky.


Exactly!!!

With extra foam on all 6 sides (top, bottom, and sides).

#20 CeeKay

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Posted 17 May 2022 - 05:39 AM

I don’t throw my equipment around and find soft cases more convenient than hard. I used an appropriately sized gym bag lined with yoga mat (the thick type) material for my eight inch cat. 

You can find some good gym bags or bags for music equipment on Amazon for transporting and storage of telescopes.  I line them with foam from the local craft store as added protection.



#21 Chad7531

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Posted 17 May 2022 - 05:46 AM

I keep my 6” newt in that wheeled tote. There are two nice pillows on the bottom it sits on, then I put a folded up blanket on top over the open tube space kind of wrapped around so it can’t roll. Then it makes a nice little table too. I hit a deer while traveling with my scope over the weekend and all was fine with the scope, not the car unfortunately. 

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#22 RTLR 12

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Posted 17 May 2022 - 10:21 AM

I did so much public outreach for so many years and my equipment traveled a lot every year. I worked with youth groups and seniors and civic groups, but the problem that I had was that I did a lot of work with Marines. Everything had to be in extremely protective military style Pelican cases. Now that I’m not doing as much outreach as I use to, I still need to keep up the practice of extreme protection. Everything goes into a Pelican case.

Stan

I have never had any damage to my equipment and I very very rarely have to collimate my SCTs.
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#23 Patrick

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Posted 18 May 2022 - 01:13 AM

I use the Celestron OTA Bag for my 8" Edge.  The case is plenty durable with hardened sides and thick rigid foam.

 

Patrick



#24 Echolight

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Posted 18 May 2022 - 11:37 AM

I use the Celestron OTA Bag for my 8" Edge.  The case is plenty durable with hardened sides and thick rigid foam.

 

Patrick

I have one of those. It's HUGE compared to the C8 OTA. I doubt I would use it for car travel. Just too big.

 

It does seem like it would protect the scope very well though. And it does seem to have a lot of durability. If you have the extra space then it would be a good choice.



#25 fewayne

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Posted 18 May 2022 - 03:55 PM

Thanks everybody, some really good ideas here.

 

One reason I want a case of some sort is to make it easier to hold when transporting the scope to and from the car. It just doesn't feel all that secure held in my hands, especially if I'm trying to avoid the focusing tube that's mechanically connected to the primary. Your mileage may vary, of course. I had seen the Vixen handle, that is definitely something I'm considering although I'm awfully cheap.

 

Will definitely look at some of these options.


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