C5 - Travel Packages

Motivation | What Is Added with GoTo? | Variants | Further Changes to the Package | Conclusions | Links

On this page I am putting together a couple of "travel packs" for the Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain C5 OTA. These will hopefully include the most important accessories to take with you for a few different usage scenarios, be it traveling, visiting, or outing.

Notes:

 

Motivation

After I had bought a Sky-Watcher AZ-GTi mount head for use with my two lightweight telescope tubes, I asked myself whether the GoTo solution would be suitable for traveling. One must surely differentiate between camping with constantly moving from place to place, stationary camping, and holidays in a vacation home or visiting relatives/acquaintances. Only in the last two cases do I think that taking more extensive equipment with you is feasible. Even with stationary camping, as we do in France, it becomes a tight fit with the accommodation of the equipment.

In any case, I wanted to compile what equipment is needed for different scenarios and took photos of it that I present below.

 

What Is Added with GoTo?

When the AZ Pronto mount is converted into a GoTo mount using the AZ-GTi mount head, the AZ Pronto mount head is no longer needed (but you will still take it with you when traveling to be able to observe manually). In addition to the AZ GTi mount head, a power supply is needed, in my case it is a Sky-Watcher PowerTank, as well as a reticle eyepiece (with illuminator if necessary). Such an eyepiece is recommended, but not absolutely necessary.

    

The AZ-GTi- mounthead, reticle eyepiecea nd PowerTank with connetin cable and power supply (glasses for size comparison)

 

Everything put into its case... (glasses for size comparison)

Al least, with respect to the mount head, you can save some space by not using the box....

 

Variants

AZ-GTi as a GoTo Mount with PowerTank and Reticle Eyepiece

First of all, it is about the variants of the GoTo mount! On the first three photos, I show how the GoTo equipment looks when the AZ Pronto tripod is added together with the center column. With repsect to the C5, you might probably do without the center column, at least if only 1.25" accessories are used.

On the other three photos, I add the C5 telescope, a dew cap, first 1.25", and then 2" accessories to the mount. Furthermore, I add the AZ Pronto mount head for manual observing. The photo at the bottom right shows the "maximum equipment"!

    

Only the needed equipment

 

Plus the boxes and cases...

 

Everything in its box or case now! Without the boxes, the package would be more compact...

 

Now the C5 including its dew cap and the eyepiece bag are added! Here, the AZ Pronto mount head for manual observations is missing...

 

Now the AZ Prontomount head for manual observations is there (and one eyepiece bag is no longer needed...)!

 

Now, I added 2" accessories (and its bag)! This is the "maximum" GoTo variant...

Presumably, when traveling, one would consider to what extent the eyepieces and other accessories can be packed in a more space-saving way. I have not tried it yet, but think that one can save an eyepiece case (the smaller one). I already mentioned that the center column can be omitted when using the C5 under certain circumstances.

Variant without GoTo and with AZ Pronto

How extensive the manual variant turns out, again depends on whether you want to take with you 2" accessories and also the center column. In the top right photo, we see the slimmest variant.

 

Manual variant with 1.25" accessories only

 

Manual variant with 1.25" accessories only and without the center column

    

The manual 2" variant (1.25" accessories are always included)

 

The manual 2" variant without center column (1.25" accessories are always included)

In the photo at the bottom left we see the "maximum" variant with 2" accessories and the center column. Again, the accessories could be packed in a case to save space (see further down that this is possible).

 

Further Changes to the Package

C5 in Sky-Watcher Bag

The otiginal bag of the C5 is "suboptimal" in my eyes, even if it protects the telescope better than smaller bags like the one from Sky-Watcher. Another shortcoming is that there is little space for accessories. Therefore, I tried out whether the smaller Sky-Watcher bag could hold at least as much or maybe even more. The result can be seen more or less well on the following photos:

    

First packaging variant...

 

... and the second - both pack the same accessories

   

Second variant in daylight....

   

Accessories I stowed in the bag: 1.25" zenith mirror, 1.25" Amici prism, red-dot finder, screwdriver, reducer/corrector, 1.25" visual back (in ClickLock box, without box it would be more space-saving...).

Every Other Optical Accessories in an Eyepiece Case (1.25" and 2")

Getting the 1.25" and 2" eyepieces into the large eyepiece case was somewhat of a challenge. The case also contains a 2" zenith mirror, a UHC filter, a reticle eyepiece with illuminator, a white/red flashlight, a bubble brush, various Allen keys, and a variable gray filter. I left out the color filters and focal extenders. Here are photos of the open and "protected" case:

    

Look into the eyepiece case with 1.25" and 2" accessories

 

Ditto, protected with foam

 

Look into the eyepiece case with 1.25" and 2" accessories

 

Ditto, protected with foam

Every Other Optical Accessories in an Eyepiece Case (1.25")

If I only want to take 1.25" accessories with me, I can simply take the existing 1.25" eyepiece case, add the crosshair eyepiece with illuminator as well as the white/red flashlight, take out the focal extenders and color filters - I guess that's essentially it.

Eyepiece case with 1.25" accessories, white/red flashlight, a bubble brush, and a variable gray filter.

What is missing ?

The AZ-GTi mount head and mount accessories are still missing, which could, for example, find place in the small eyepiece case:

The AZ Pronto mount head and the tripod have to be transported separately. Finally, there would be the box with the PowerTank. I guess that's it!

However, if I travel with only the 1.25" accessories, the corresponding eyepiece case will not be available and I will have to pack differently....

And One More Package!

In early February, I purchased a more compact powertank with lithium battery from Celestron. Below, I show how the pack could look like if I would take with me only 1.25" accessories and would do without the extension tube:

    

Pack with 1.25" accessories, without extension tube, and with Celestron powertank

 

Ditto with the Sky-Watcher powertank for comparison

On the right, the same pack, but with the Sky-Watcher powertank. If I would also do without the boxes and wrap the dew cap around the tube, it might become even a bit more compact.

 

Conclusions

I have the least baggage when I operate the C5 manually only with the AZ Pronto, use 1.25" accessories and do without the center column. Even then, so much comes together that you may think about whether it has to be. And depending on what else has to come along, be it the GoTo control or the 2" accessories, the total package becomes quite extensive and hardly suitable for camping.

At least, I have now compiled the possibilities and can look before the next trip or the next camping, what has to come with me and how it can be packed.

 

Links

 

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10.11.2022