I don't think the Mach II breaks down into separate pieces like the 1100 does
The RA and Dec don't separate but you can remove the RA axis from the bottom end by removing the 6 screws that hold them together. The RA + Dec axes by themselves weigh 29 lb. The bottom end is another 10lb. When you get to your destination, you can re-assemble the bottom section, for expediency use just the top and bottom screws, leave the middle ones out.
From: Michael Hambrick via Groups.Io <mike.hambrick@...>
To: main <email@example.com>
Sent: Fri, Mar 6, 2020 9:59 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Airline Travel
I travel quite a lot for my job, predominantly international and (luckily) business class. The airlines are very strict about the weight limit of each piece of luggage. In the US the limit for checked luggage is 50 pounds per piece, and if you go over that limit you are going to pay a hefty fee. That is why you will often see people at ticket counters repacking their luggage while everyone behind them waits. In Europe, the weight limit is 25 KG (about 55 lbs).
It is probably a safe option to check your Mach II mount provided you have good cases for it. I don't think the Mach II breaks down into separate pieces like the 1100 does, so you wlii likely need one case for the mount and another for the counterweights. There was a good series of posts on the forum several months ago (Look at the Feb 2019) from a member who showed how he made some nice carrying cases for his 1100 mount using Rigid tool boxes.
As for carrying on your OTA, just be aware that because the airlines now charge an extra fee for each piece of checked luggage, you now see more and more people trying to squeeze all their items into a carry-on. This creates a real problem because the overhead bins will fill up very quickly, and unless you are one of the first passengers to board, you will be out of luck. You would probably be OK with a 92 mm Stowaway or 130 mm Gran Turismo if you had to fit them underneath your seat, but if they don't fit, you may be forced to gate check your carry-ons. This is a less bad option than checking your bags because there is normally no charge to do this, and the bag is less likely to get lost. It can still be very nerve-wracking to if you happen to watch how the luggage handlers treat the gate checked bags. They are not gentle.
Don't forget that you will need to pack clothes and other personal items. I would guess that if you want to take an OTA and mount to a star party, you will have 3 pieces of checked luggage, one carry on, and your personal item. You did not mention if you were bringing a camera. Don't just show up at the airport with 3 pieces of checked luggage. You should make arrangements ahead of time with the airline so that they know you will have extra luggage.
The A-P folks do quite a lot of traveling to star parties and conferences with all of their gear. They can probably offer some good advice as well. Marj once told me that when they go to their vacation home in Hawaii they ship a lot of their gear ahead of time.
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