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Phil73805

Storage/Transport Solution for new Telescope - Help!

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I have just bought (I bought it in January and the 'scope just arrived today) a Skywatcher Startravel 120mm Refractor together with an AZ5 Mount & Portable Tripod as a Grab & Go Telescope. The problem is that I am really struggling to find a decent quality storage/transport bag or hard case that will fit it. Not to mention the AZ5 and the tripod! I mistakenly bought one of the Geoptik bags for what turned out to be the wrong mount but I'm making it work by putting the mount in its cardboard box together with the extension and the flexible slow mo controls in their boxes to fill out the case and that'll do for now. The telescope however is a chunky beast (to which I added a Finder scope, not fond of red dot sight) and I am desperate for bag or case that will fit it.

I cannot leave the telescope set up so it has to be put away each time and good cases/storage bags will make the world of difference to taking the telescope to darker skies and keeping it safe at home. Do any of you own this telescope (and mount)? Have you found a good case that you can recommend? Please let me know! :) 

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Phil

I have a Skywatcher ED80 and came in a hard case, along with spotting scope, and a couple of 2" eyepieces

Have a glass solar filter, which also fits nicely in the case, beside the scope

Not sure why your Skywatcher Startravel 120mm Refractor  did not come in a case

What did it come in

Cardboard box

John

 

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I still keep my 4" refractor in the box in which it came. There were polystyrene 'ends' in the box which hold the scope secure (it was sent my courier that way, after all) and it sits 'upright' in the corner of my astrogear table, in the corner of the room. If I were to go elsewhere (to a dark site) I feel that would be sufficient to keep it safe.

Thanks.

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7 hours ago, cletrac1922 said:

Not sure why your Skywatcher Startravel 120mm Refractor  did not come in a case

What did it come in

Cardboard box

John

 

Yes, a cardboard box! I wish Skywatcher made cases for their telescopes!

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20 minutes ago, Phil73805 said:

Yes, a cardboard box! I wish Skywatcher made cases for their telescopes!

I take it it is too late return the Geoptik case for the correct size? They are very good.

I know @GavStaruses these in various sizes and rates them.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/x11-Orion-Padded-Telescope-Case/dp/B0000XMTTW

Any good?

 

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46 minutes ago, Stu said:

I take it it is too late return the Geoptik case for the correct size? They are very good.

I know @GavStaruses these in various sizes and rates them.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/x11-Orion-Padded-Telescope-Case/dp/B0000XMTTW

Any good?

 

He liked them so much that he bought about six of them!

I've seen ST120's stored in sturdy plastic tool boxes with strategically placed foam packing. There is even space for eyepieces in some.

Paul

 

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4 hours ago, Paul73 said:

He liked them so much that he bought about six of them!

I've seen ST120's stored in sturdy plastic tool boxes with strategically placed foam packing. There is even space for eyepieces in some.

Paul

 

Well not quite six 😉 But I do have 1 large Orion soft case and 2 mediums. They are very light compared to the hard cases and so easy to transport in the car etc. They are also generous in terms of width so fit my short and stubby refractors well. The medium is good with diagonal for my 130 f6.3 and the large works well with my 170 f7.

There is an inbuilt padded divider to separate a tripod and scope but I just use this for extra bottom padding for my scopes.

I have tried the geoptik bags but struggle with sizing particularly for larger scopes. I know that Stu’s one for his fc100dc is good.

Edited by GavStar
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8 hours ago, Stu said:

I take it it is too late return the Geoptik case for the correct size? They are very good.

I bought the Geoptik case for the AZ5 mount. It was the wrong bag and they don't make a bag for that mount so it will have to do for now. I was looking at the Orion cases, is it really possible to fit the Telescope and the tripod?! Surely not?

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2 minutes ago, Phil73805 said:

I bought the Geoptik case for the AZ5 mount. It was the wrong bag and they don't make a bag for that mount so it will have to do for now. I was looking at the Orion cases, is it really possible to fit the Telescope and the tripod?! Surely not?

I wouldn’t even think of putting a tripod in my Orion  bags with my scopes!!! 

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13 minutes ago, GavStar said:

I wouldn’t even think of putting a tripod in my Orion  bags with my scopes!!! 

Yes, something didn't add up there. So, one bag for the telescope and finder scope and one bag for the tripod and AZ5?

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56 minutes ago, Phil73805 said:

I bought the Geoptik case for the AZ5 mount. It was the wrong bag and they don't make a bag for that mount so it will have to do for now. I was looking at the Orion cases, is it really possible to fit the Telescope and the tripod?! Surely not?

Definitely get one case for scope, one for mount and tripod. Much safer and more manageable.

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You may want to look into soft cases for musical instruments for the OTA. They come in a great variety of sizes so one should fit the bill. This site has a fair assortment (no affiliation).

https://www.thomann.de/gb/index.html

Also, camera bags can be useful. My Lowepro Flipside 500 backpack holds either my TV85 + eyepieces etc or my CG5 (~EQ5) Mount + accessories. Unfortunately I don’t think it would hold an ST120. 

I’ve never felt the need for a bag for the tripod. I do use a shoulder strap for carrying it, though. 

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I use a tool box purchased from B&Q for my ST 102. With the polystyrene inserts that came with the box it is a very snug fit and the scope does not move at all when being carried. Although the tool box is very light weight for carrying it is also very robust and it cost all of £20.

EA94C174-2E4D-4B85-8F36-265ECB219B69.jpeg

65F94044-BCEC-4412-9578-CB0A1FC1148E.jpeg

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27 minutes ago, laudropb said:

I use a tool box purchased from B&Q for my ST 102.

I remembered a previous post of yours with photos of your scope box and wanted to look it up and link to it - you've saved me the bother. :thumbsup:

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The answer (if not the question) was just about perfect for you. Wonder if "Graham" is one of ours ...

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10 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

The answer (if not the question) was just about perfect for you. Wonder if "Graham" is one of ours ...

Almost certainly! He was helpful, therefore, must be a member :)

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My FC100DL still lives in its box at present. Both Equinox fracs came in cases. Boxes and cases for studio equipment are good protection.

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With my outdoor thermometer reading a chilly -4.3 Degrees Celsius (and still going down) I find myself becoming a teensy bit paranoid about my new refractor's objective lens (which is outside, in the shed in the aforementioned case). I suspect I'm worrying for nothing but just in case, I'm asking you guys. Am I worried for nothing? :) 

Edited by Phil73805

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On 13/02/2018 at 23:21, Phil73805 said:

I have just bought (I bought it in January and the 'scope just arrived today) a Skywatcher Startravel 120mm Refractor together with an AZ5 Mount & Portable Tripod as a Grab & Go Telescope. The problem is that I am really struggling to find a decent quality storage/transport bag or hard case that will fit it. Not to mention the AZ5 and the tripod! I mistakenly bought one of the Geoptik bags for what turned out to be the wrong mount but I'm making it work by putting the mount in its cardboard box together with the extension and the flexible slow mo controls in their boxes to fill out the case and that'll do for now. The telescope however is a chunky beast (to which I added a Finder scope, not fond of red dot sight) and I am desperate for bag or case that will fit it.

I cannot leave the telescope set up so it has to be put away each time and good cases/storage bags will make the world of difference to taking the telescope to darker skies and keeping it safe at home. Do any of you own this telescope (and mount)? Have you found a good case that you can recommend? Please let me know! :) 

One of these bags might suit https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Refractor+bag&suchdas=OK

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TENBA do a range of strong bags of various sizes. My FC100DC travels in one.

20160522_124432.jpg.18d63c0e0a20b4bf407f3980401a4583.jpg.d132dc19eb8752ccd190f60e1d71d7b4.thumb.jpg.f92549466784028d57211f304e1e5137.jpg

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5 hours ago, Phil73805 said:

With my outdoor thermometer reading a chilly -4.3 Degrees Celsius (and still going down) I find myself becoming a teensy bit paranoid about my new refractor's objective lens (which is outside, in the shed in the aforementioned case). I suspect I'm worrying for nothing but just in case, I'm asking you guys. Am I worried for nothing? :) 

I am no expert, but I am going to suggest that you probably are. I think the danger to glass is when the temperature changes occur very quickly (like pouring boiling water over an ice-cold windscreen). With normal changes in atmospheric temperature, I would be very surprised if it got damaged. In addition you say that it is in a case and the shed, both of which would tend to buffer against any excessive temperature changes.

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20 hours ago, Phil73805 said:

With my outdoor thermometer reading a chilly -4.3 Degrees Celsius (and still going down) I find myself becoming a teensy bit paranoid about my new refractor's objective lens (which is outside, in the shed in the aforementioned case). I suspect I'm worrying for nothing but just in case, I'm asking you guys. Am I worried for nothing? :) 

Yes Phil, you are worrying over nothing! Of all the scaremongering regarding "thermal shock" in refractors, I've heard of no actual occurrences, even with fluorite objectives. The only time i can envisage thermal shock actually occurring would be if someone was daft enough to blast HOT air from a hairdryer  directly onto a frozen objective. If your lens ever freezes over in sub zero temperatures, just bring the scope, uncapped, back into the house and allow it to thaw naturally. It gives you a welcomed chance to thaw out too! 😨 If your lens ever foggs over, as they sometime do, don't cap it! Just either allow it to warm in the house or use a hairdryer blowing COOL air, and the lens will rapidly demist!

Some instances of thermal shock have been attributed to a poorly designed or overly tight lens cells produced and assembled by careless manufacturers, which restrict the free expansion and contraction of the glass. I've never heard of a SkyWatcher or any other worthwhile brand suffering in this way. There was a rumour that a few early Meade ED doublet apo's suffered this fate, but being Meade it could only improve their performance! 😈

Avoid the use of canned air when cleaning dust from your lens as it contains refrigerant!

 

Edited by mikeDnight
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