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Carry cases & accessories for telescopes.


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Hello, I am very new to astronomy (and the forum). I recently purchased a Celestron Astromaster 102AZ refractor telescope. As it's summer, i am yet to try it out properly. I am currently planning to do a bit of wild camping when the skies start to get darker. Before I embark on any trips I wish to purchase a protective case for my scope. I have looked around and even the Celestron website does not have a case for my scope available. Looking for advice on cases or good retailers for accessories. I live in Scotland, I have always been a fan of buying things face to face but will buy online if needed. Thanks in advance. :)

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I've kept my ST80 refractor in a gym bag wrapped in bubble wrap in both my closet and in my trunk on trips with no ill effects for 20 years.  I know there are custom, padded bags from Oklop and Lacerta for telescopes available in Europe if you want a more purpose built item.

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Hello and a warm welcome to the SGL. I keep my SW 102 Frac in a tool box purchased from B and Q. Using the packaging that originally came with the scope it makes a very snug fit. Ideal for storage or transporting the scope. Only cost around £20

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Hi, I have been wild camping, involving walking a good few miles firstly last summer on the Scottish border involving a large pair of binoculars, monopod, stool etc and earlier this year taking a smallish refractor, tripod etc. Perhaps for this pursuit, you could start by looking at large camera shoulder bags and small camera tripod bags; there is one designed for, such as small reflectors on ebay. Just work out all the measurements for feasibility. If your plan is to wild camp and might involve some walking, a good padded shoulder bag would be manageable. You kind of just have to see what's around and try things out. I carried in a tripod mount in an unused bicycle rear rack pack, padded out with extra foam. There are always some solutions. Wild camping, hauling stargazing equipment is an effort, but if conditions are right will be completely worth it. Where roughly are you planning on heading - which I expect more importantly (even than darker skies) will be post midge season? 

Edited by scarp15
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31 minutes ago, Louis D said:

I've kept my ST80 refractor in a gym bag wrapped in bubble wrap in both my closet and in my trunk on trips with no ill effects for 20 years.  I know there are custom, padded bags from Oklop and Lacerta for telescopes available in Europe if you want a more purpose built item.

Thanks, Gym bag is a quick fix i had not considered. It is currently back in its original box wrapped in bubble wrap so anything is better than this :). I will be sure to look at the brands you have suggested too. 

21 minutes ago, laudropb said:

Hello and a warm welcome to the SGL. I keep my SW 102 Frac in a tool box purchased from B and Q. Using the packaging that originally came with the scope it makes a very snug fit. Ideal for storage or transporting the scope. Only cost around £20

Thank you! Happy to have joined here and hoping there is lots I can learn. Funny you mention toolbox, I am a welder by trade and had ideas of fabricating a case. Although I only have access to stainless and carbon steel for now, so could be very heavy and not ideal for transporting it around. Could still be a cool idea for in the home though.

11 minutes ago, scarp15 said:

Hi, I have been wild camping, involving walking a good few miles firstly last summer on the Scottish border involving a large pair of binoculars, monopod, stool etc and earlier this year taking a smallish refractor, tripod etc. Perhaps for this pursuit, you could start by looking at camera shoulder bags and small camera tripod bags; there is one designed for, such as small reflectors on ebay. Just work out all the measurements for feasibility. If your plan is to wild camp and might involve some walking, a good padded shoulder bag would be manageable. You kind of just have to see what's around and try things out. I carried in a tripod mount in an unused bicycle rear rack pack, padded out with extra foam. There are always some solutions. Wild camping, hauling stargazing equipment is an effort, but if conditions are right will be completely worth it. Where roughly are you planning on heading - which I expect more importantly (even than darker skies) will be post midge season? 

Hi! My tube is approx 8-900mm in length and tripod collapses to around 600mm. So a soft carry case is defo on my mind. As Louis suggested a gym bag may be my choice for now until i find something more pertinent. I have 3 locations in mind, Loch Earn, Loch Voil and Galloway Forest. I am desperate to get out and use my telescope, so as soon as its dark enough, early enough I will be on my way lol Midges or none :) My preference is view and test before I buy, why I asked regarding retailers. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be many shops without driving an hour or more from my home. I have visited a few websites Jessops etc I suppose i can always send it back!

 

Also looking for some advice regarding good solar filters and other accessories like extra eye pieces/colour filters. Solar filter is defo high on the list and would appreciate any thoughts on this? Obvs I dont want to damage my eyes or the scope so getting the right filter is a must.

 

Thanks again guys, off to try find Neo 🤞

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Hi @AstroNovice and welcome to SGL.

Solar filters can be ready made or DIY.

Ready made ones can be glass or a solar safety film.

Glass solar filters are expensive. Solar safety film filters are the cheaper alternative.

Cheaper still are DIY. To make one you will need a sheet of Baader Safety Solar film: (available at most astro-resellers); stout card and sticky tape; (i.e. duct tape), and... some sticky back foam/draught excluder.

If you do DIY, don't worry if it is wrinkly when you have made it. This is perfectly normal. Make sure it is a snug fit and does not easily come off when you move the OTA or a gust of wind. 

The last pieces of advice are...

  1. Make a filter for your finder scope.
  2. Before each and every use, check the filter for defects; i.e. pin holes, tears, scratches, etc. by holding up to a bright light source whilst it is not on the 'scope itself. This applies to ready made glass and solar film filters too. If you suspect anything DO NOT USE! - bin it.
     

 

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On 23/07/2020 at 21:48, AstroNovice said:

Hello, I am very new to astronomy (and the forum). I recently purchased a Celestron Astromaster 102AZ refractor telescope. As it's summer, i am yet to try it out properly. I am currently planning to do a bit of wild camping when the skies start to get darker. Before I embark on any trips I wish to purchase a protective case for my scope. I have looked around and even the Celestron website does not have a case for my scope available. Looking for advice on cases or good retailers for accessories. I live in Scotland, I have always been a fan of buying things face to face but will buy online if needed. Thanks in advance. :)

If you're wild camping you might want to think about the easiest and most comfortable way to carry it - have you considered a padded tripod bag like this?  Tripod carry case You should be able to find a single bag that will hold both scope and tripod. I use one (along with a camera rucksack) - I can comfortably carry both all day and if you don't want to carry it over your shoulder, you should be able to get some straps to attach to your rucksack. 

edit: Realised Scarp15 has already recommended a tripod carry bag!  You can also get specialist bags (I have one for my EdgeHD) at Altair, but they are quite expensive:  Padded Scope bags

 

Edited by Shimrod
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For what it’s worth I have been recently looking at these padded bags, I haven’t brought one yet but they seem quite cheap.

looks like they are made for lights and electronic equipment. The good thing is you can view the internal dimensions of each bag and see if one fits your needs.

as I said, no experience of them, just have been looking myself.

http://www.cobraint.com/flight_cases__bags/padded_bags_and_covers/10675_0c.html

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  • 5 months later...
On 26/07/2020 at 19:42, Andy38416 said:

For what it’s worth I have been recently looking at these padded bags, I haven’t brought one yet but they seem quite cheap.

looks like they are made for lights and electronic equipment. The good thing is you can view the internal dimensions of each bag and see if one fits your needs.

as I said, no experience of them, just have been looking myself.

http://www.cobraint.com/flight_cases__bags/padded_bags_and_covers/10675_0c.html

I was just about to post a question about transporting a 72mm refractor, diagonal and eyepieces, tripod and Star Adventurer Pro with a camera body and bits and I think you've just answred my question.  Thank you.

Unless anyone has any other suggestions....

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