Re: AP1100 carrying to dark site - SUV mount?

W Hilmo

I use a simple, plastic tub.

I wrap the declination part in a towel and lay it on the bottom of the tub.  I set the RA section to zero degrees latitude.  It also gets wrapped in a towel and laid on the floor of the tub.  I have the two halves oriented so that they are space efficient.  I wrap the top plate in a cut down piece of packing blanket, sized appropriately.  I do the same with the CP4.  Both of these lay on top of the two halves of the mount and I close the tub.

For the counterweights and shaft, I remove the thumbscrews and inserts and put them into a ziplock bag (this prevents them from getting broken in transit).  I wrap each counterweight in a piece of packing blanket, and they all go in a different tub.  I often travel with multiple mounts, so there can be a fair number of counterweights.  I never try to move or lift the tub when loaded.  The reason for the tub is so that it can sit on the floor of my cargo trailer and keep the counterweights protected and contained.

I use the Astro-Physics portable pier.  The cylindrical section gets wrapped in a Harbor Freight packing blanket.  I either strap it to the side of the cargo trailer, or lie it on the floor, depending on what else I am packing.  The pier legs and turnbuckles are wrapped in a towel.  I put down one leg first, and do one wrap.  Then I lay down another leg and do one more wrap, and so on.  The last thing that I wrap are the turnbuckles.  This gives me a compact part that can be tucked into many different places.

The biggest pain is the part to which the pier legs attach.  That's just an odd shape.  I pack it a bit differently each time, depending on the rest of the load.

It sounds complicated, but that's because I am trying to be descriptive.  It's all quite compact and can easily fit in the trunk of most cars.

On 9/11/21 9:17 AM, ap@... wrote:
I have been looking at various cases people have built, planning what to do, but I had a thought and curious if it's a sane one.

I am not hauling this through airports or checking baggage.  It will ride in my SUV, then go from the back about 10' to a tripod when I get to a dark site, then back.  It's a 90 minute drive and no off-roading (i.e. reasonably smooth ride).  There's no need to protect the mount from anything but the ride itself.

What if I bought a pier adapter, one of the flat ones, and just screwed it to the floor in the back of the SUV.  Then to move the mount it comes off the tripod, and onto this SUV mount.  Pop in 3 or so screws.   No OTA or counterweights of course.  

No case, no foam it just sits there. It seems easier than getting one or two very large cases and custom cutting foam.

Is normal driving acceleration, e.g. curves, bumps, etc. any risk to it?   Or do I need a setup where the gears can be disengaged?

Inspired a bit by similar bike racks, where you just clip the bike's front forks to a bracket on the floor of a car and it stands up for the ride.  

Sane?  Risky? 

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