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Travel with 5 inch apo

Started by RobertHowe, 11/27/2011 02:06PM
Posted 11/27/2011 02:06PM Opening Post
The May 21 annular eclipse will be in very attractive astronomy country, the southwest USA. I'll be going to Utah alone (or perhaps with a lovely lady) to photograph it. It makes sense to me to bring a substantial refractor to observe the very dark night sky before and after the eclipse. Usually I use my Traveler for travel, but for this small a jaunt (Newark--> Las Vegas non stop) I am contemplating using my AP 130 f/8.35. To avoid shipping or having Southwest Airlines manhandle it in cargo, I am thinking of turning it into a Doubly Gran Turismo by removing the focuser and lens assembly, carrying the latter in my carry on and putting the tube and focuser in my luggage. Heck, I'll only need two changes of clothing. Does any one have any experience, cautions or thoughts on such a practice?

Thanks

Robert

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Robert Howe
Wilbraham MA


TeleVue 85 f/7 // Astro-Physics Traveler 105 f/6 // Astro-Physics 130 f/8.35 // Tak Mewlon 210 //
Coronado 60 DS
"Scopes, Brains and Wisdom--but no Beauty"
Posted 11/27/2011 08:13PM #1
Robert Howe said:

The May 21 annular eclipse will be in very attractive astronomy country, the southwest USA. I'll be going to Utah alone (or perhaps with a lovely lady) to photograph it. It makes sense to me to bring a substantial refractor to observe the very dark night sky before and after the eclipse. Usually I use my Traveler for travel, but for this small a jaunt (Newark--> Las Vegas non stop) I am contemplating using my AP 130 f/8.35. To avoid shipping or having Southwest Airlines manhandle it in cargo, I am thinking of turning it into a Doubly Gran Turismo by removing the focuser and lens assembly, carrying the latter in my carry on and putting the tube and focuser in my luggage. Heck, I'll only need two changes of clothing. Does any one have any experience, cautions or thoughts on such a practice?

Thanks

Robert

Not a big deal at all. I have come to the same conclusion but I reduce it by one step. Leave the focuser on the tube if you can. Just remove the cell, cover with a couple of piece of something solid to protect the glass on each side and wrap in something soft and cushioning. It goes in the carry-on and stays there for the trip. I have transported it both ways, once with the entire cell and countercell removed from the tube using rubber wrench straps, and once with the cell alone removed via the three "pull" bolts around the exterior of the cell and accessible from the front of the OTA. My 130 made the trip this way to Hawaii a couple of times, but the added grief of transporting mount, tripod and counterweights means I generally just travel with a Stowaway and TakSPIII these days.