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Home setup transportation


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Just wondering on peoples thoughts and opinions of transporting "home" setups to remote locations.

Like most, I have 2 setups; home and a travel.

Travel - The travel setup is single enough to transport because it's been put together in a way that it runs on batteries or a small power bank and is light/small.
It consists of a ZS71, 1000D ( or ASI533 depending on location), SW SA GTI plus a couple of extra pieces and comes with me when I travel abroad or if I'm just grabbing and going.

Home - My home setup is a much bigger affair and normally stays setup, but stored in the garage. Each time I use it I take the mount out, align then mount the payload and adjust the alignment as required. However it is the setup I take when I'm going for a week somewhere dark in the UK.
It consists of Esprit 120, ASI1600 or 533, AM5 or NEQ6, filter wheel, rotator, power box, nuc, dew straps, evoguide, gps, temprature sensors, auto focuser, etc, etc

So it's a sizeable setup to move, previously I've broken the home setup down; packed everything up in all the original boxes, transported and re-setup on location and then keep the setup build for the entire time.

But I've just gotten everything just how I like it! :P

Do people do as I've always done? and just break it down and rebuild on location for the week? or does someone know of a peli case 1200 x 400 x 300 with some nice inserts that I can cut out :D

What are peoples thoughts?


On second thought this might have been better in the Discussions - Scopes / Whole setups section please feel free to move the thread admins :D



Edited by qisback
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My travel setup consists of: AZ-EQ6, steel tripod, 2x5kg counterweights, 8" newtonian, imaging kit including mini-pc, camera, OAG, all the cables (and spares) flat panel and a mobile power station to run everything. Because its not bulky enough i haul a 90mm refractor, AZ5, and eyepieces for visual to keep me busy while the imaging rig does its thing. I do this every time i use the kit as i have no backyard to image from.

I typically take no longer than 30 minutes to have everything setup, polar aligned and guide calibrated. If you practice packing your gear the same way every time and setting it up the same way every time youll find that its not that difficult to do in about 30min or even less with a frac! I dont carry the original boxes, they are just way too bulky, would advice to find more travelable bags.

See if you can find Oklop bags for your kit, they make all sorts of rugged bags for astro stuff. You might even find one that fits your esprit with the camera stuff attached so that there is less to setup. The EQ6 travels in any sports equipment bag easily (not comfortably though).

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I've got some of the Oklop bags which @ONIKKINEN is referring to. My setup is uses very similar equipment to you with some minor differences, so hopefully this post is useful. I shoot from my back garden and at the beginning of my journey I used to set up and dismantle every session (which became tedious very quickly!) so I bought Oklop bags for storage when I did that. I'll talk through the bags I have with some comments. 


Bag for EQ6-R mount


This bag comes empty, but you place the original Skywatcher packing foam on the inside. I have the upgraded ADM puck which required some cutting of the foam to fit my mount in. The bag is very sturdy and the straps well built. The tripod and weights do not fit in this bag. If they make a similar bag for the AM5, it should be great. 


Bag for counterweights


My mount came with 2x5kg weights and this bag is ideal for storing them inside. It comes with a loose padded sheet which you place between the weights to avoid metal on metal contact and damage during transport. I actually use three 5kg weights with my 120mm refractor and it turns out this bag will hold the three 5kg weights. I place a thick cloth between the second and third weight to avoid metal on metal contact. The straps seem strong enough to take this weight, but I usually carry it with a supporting hand underneath just in case. 

Telescope bag


Probably the most important bag to talk about. This thing is like Mary Poppins handbag with the stuff you can fit inside! To give you context, my imaging system includes the following items:

  • WO FLT120 
  • QHY268M with 7x36mm filterwheel 
  • 50mm guidescope
  • Dew heaters on OTA and guidescope
  • Mini-pc
  • Pegasus powerbox (opposite side, out of view) 
  • Pegasus focus cube

So as you can see, very similar to yours! All of this neatly packs away inside the bag I linked above. See below image showing my setup in the back garden and everything packed away. The only things shown in the "setup" photo not shown in the "bag photo" is the mini-pc, Pegasus powerbox and the 12V power bricks (these are all connected to my Redcat51 right now :) ). These should fit inside the bag with the camera in the top row. 

Inside the bag, top row is a storage box, Allen keys, digital calipers, notebook, bag of cables for camera etc, QHY268M camera and filter wheel and 50mm guidescope in plastic wrapping.

In the middle compartments are a leatherman with driver bits, head torch, bag of bits and bobs, LED video panel and white t-shirt for flats, lens pen, spare M48 spacers, bag of screws etc. 

In the bottom row is the FLT120 with reducer attached. The dew shield is retracted all the way and all accessories attached to the rails are removed. The retracted length of the telescope is 580mm not including the length from the reducer, and this fits fine with some leftover room. The focus draw tube has been rotated since the middle compartment row gets squished otherwise. I placed some masking tape with witness marks on the draw tube for easier realignment when setting back up. This OTA takes up about 60% of the width of the bag, so don't expect to fit two of these OTA's in the bag side by side! The bag is sturdy with strong handles and has been carried between my house and outside on many occasion. 

After all is said and done, the only things not accounted for is storage of the tripod & spreader plate, and the laptop + mains plug for remote desktop to mini-pc. 

I hope this helps! 



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3 hours ago, ONIKKINEN said:

See if you can find Oklop bags for your kit

2 hours ago, Richard_ said:

I've got some of the Oklop bags which @ONIKKINEN is referring to.


Thats the sort of badger!; I'll go look into them, thanks.

Otherwise it was a £20 "INFANZIA 197L Travel Duffle Bag" from Amazon just to keep the kit clean; but I didn't fancy trusting it for carrying this lot. (sorry for the quality it's the only image I have of the kit on the phone)


2 hours ago, Elp said:

If you want to save some money, some yoga mat bags with cheap yoga mats as padding work very well. Depends on length you require though.

Cracking idea, I will investigate also.

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2 minutes ago, qisback said:


Thats the sort of badger!; I'll go look into them, thanks.

Otherwise it was a £20 "INFANZIA 197L Travel Duffle Bag" from Amazon just to keep the kit clean; but I didn't fancy trusting it for carrying this lot. (sorry for the quality it's the only image I have of the kit on the phone)


Cracking idea, I will investigate also.

Nice setup! It's still amazing to see bigger refractor setups like this held in place by harmonic mounts without any counterweights. 

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