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Old 09-10-2018, 08:48 AM
alexfine (Alex)
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Advice Case for 12 dob ??

Gday,

Im looking for a case of sorts to transport my Bintel BT302-B 12 Dob for the occasional trip to the bush and back to Bondi. Id be strapping it to roof racks of my car so something durable. Was wondering if anyone had suggestions of where to buy such a case or if its easier/cheaper to build one. So far I have found a Orion soft padded case online for $300 aud inc shipping.
Wondering if anyone has tried something similar and if theres risk with transporting etc.

Any helpful tips or advice is much appreciate!

Cheers
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:09 AM
glend (Glen)
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I have (in the past) built a plywood case for my GSO 12" f5 dob, which i used to slide into my camper trailer when i went out to the Bretti dark site. I can tell you right now that getting the combined weight of a 12" dob tube and the case onto the roof of any vehicle is going to be dangerous from two points, you need to lift and remove that mass, and the effect of that weight on the handling of a vehicle is going to be significant (ie dangerous). I had to use a hand truck to move mine around to get it up to the camper, and to move it to setup position at the dark site. A dolly might work as well. BTW i built my case fairly light using 6mm ply and boat building epoxy stich and glue bonding - a framed case would me much heavier (then allow for hinges, latches etc).
I sold the case with the dob eventually.
My advice is to forget the case and lay it inside the vehicle. If it will not fit inside your vehicle, well that is a different problem.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:39 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Hi Alex,

to IIS!

I agree with Glen - roof racks is not a good place to transport such a large Newtonian! It will cop a massive buffeting from the wind as you hurtle down the M4 at 110km/hr! The vibrations the scope will be subjected to are bad news! Though not heavy, it is a BIG volume and not make for safe driving, particularly at speed. Won't help fuel consumption either.

If you cannot fit it across the back seat of your car, could you drop the back support of the front passenger seat and put the scope long the passenger side of the car, from glove box to back seat? This is how I used to transport my big 17.5" dob when it was a solid tube instrument (see pic below). That was not a scope to stick up on roof racks! I also had a 12" f/5 solid tube dob at one time. I never even contemplated putting it up on roof racks!

Maybe if we knew the sort of car you have we'd also be able to give you better advice. Roof racks is not a place to be carrying a big dob, like a 12". It will severely compromise the safety of the primary mirror in its cell - it is heavy and the clips that hold it in place are not designed to deal with the mirror in the position roof racks will put it along with the buffeting the scope will get - case or no case!

Cheers,

Alex.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:53 AM
alexfine (Alex)
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Hey guys thanks for advice I know its a risky idea but thought Id test the waters. I have a Mazda 323 2001 sedan haha so not the ideal car. I have managed to fit it inside my car by removing the back seats completely and sliding it in awkwardly through the boot, then packing as many towels and pillows around it to stabilise it and using a few occy straps inside the car. And Driving ever so carefully over bumps. The whole operation was messy but successful. The plan was and is to buy a station wagon with enough room for tube and box but the lack $$ has prolonged this purchase. Im an eager beaver that just wants to get out there discover.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:56 AM
alexfine (Alex)
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Also manually handling isnt the biggest concern, Im 27, quite athletic and always have someone around to help with a lift.
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:09 AM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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A 323 sedan, and a 12" dob. WOW!

Roof racks are not a good option. It really, really isn't. Too much of a risk for the primary mirror. The cushioning that the interior of the car provides makes a HUGE difference.

I know that is a pain in the bum to load the scope into your car, but it really is your best option to safely transport the scope. A Hatchback 323 is a better option! I had one too

The only other options other than a better suited car is a different scope - Yeah! I bet that's REALLY what you wanted to hear!

A collapsible 12" dob, or a smaller scope. Or you rebuild your 12" into a collapsible truss/strut scope. That's what I ended up doing with that 17.5".
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:56 AM
Wavytone (Nick)
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Wrong priorities. Scope must fit in car. Not on top. Either buy a bigger car or a smaller scope.

It is quite possible to build a 12” that will fit in a small car - back in the 1990’s I had a 12” which fitted the boot of a Honda Civic hatchback. But not a commercial 12”, no way.

See for example a 10” that fits in a backpack (!) https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/5...act-truss-dob/

You could cannibalise the parts and build your own, which would be cheaper than buying a larger car.

Last edited by Wavytone; 09-10-2018 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:41 PM
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G'day Alexfine,

There's a lot of "what ifs", but another idea may be a well padded plywood box on a small trailer. Not too bad idea if:

You/mates can get/make a trailer for cheap. Trailers under 750kg capacity are self assessable (in QLD at least). Maybe you have other uses for said trailer to justify it? Hopefully a trailer hitch kit can be obtained from the wreckers for said 323?

If you make the trailer, give it a sleek profile for less drag on the highway!

It would be dead easy to lift the dob onto such a low height. Perhaps it gives you the possibility of carting a larger model in future, for no extra effort (make the plywood box big enough for a 16" perhaps).

Just a thought
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:19 PM
alexfine (Alex)
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Ok thanks guys for the advice, I think Ill stick with waiting to buy a bigger car
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:51 PM
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AstralTraveller (David)
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Back in the day I built myself a 10" f/8 newt. Then discovered that I wanted to move it with a HQ sedan. So a suitable Al box and clamps were made to put it on the roofracks (Dad was a panel beater and sheet metal worker). It worked OK, so long as I had help and I never had issues with the optics. However a box for a 10" on a HQ is a bit different to a box for a 12" on a 323. The box was nicknamed 'the coffin' and attracted its share of comments.
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