Case in point! (Protective strorage and transport cases)
Being well-protected allows it to be crammed into this smallish trunk, along with an Astro-Physics mount and pier, portable power supplies, several equipment cases, a double-wide folding table, charts, and enough coffee and other refreshments to see me through the night! With the trunk lid closed, the little wienermobile is ready to roll!
We all eventually get to the point where our pile of toys becomes large enough that a shoebox can no longer contain it all! By then we usually recognize by that this stuff needs an organized method of storage that not only provides a good level of protection but that can be used to help schlep it from place to place as well.
Expensive customized cases are not the only option, as other alternatives abound for the sharp-eyed backyard astronomer who's willing to dig a little! The following panels show some of the equipment cases I use, and may help set the wheels in motion for your own needs.
I attend most of our club's (ASNH/Yale) public viewing sessions, frequently bringing my "Big Mak", a 203mm f/5.9 instrument that has yet to disappoint the crowd! A "big" challenge though, was finding a hard-shell case large enough to safely transport this massive 10" diameter by 48" long precision instrument (~1/9th wavefront). Thankfully the baffled dewshield unscrews, as it would add another 13" to the length!
My search led me to an ideal candidate... a hard-shelled "airporter" golf club case! The fit was superb, but for the fact that the cover could not close over the added height of the dual-speed focuser (aaaargh!). A do or die decison was made, and surgery... plastic surgery... was performed!
Using a blow-torch, the case was "bumped out"... heated until mildly pliant, then worked into shape using a pre-formed wooden last. After it cooled, woven fiberglass matting was added as reinforcement and painted to match the original material. Foam "air-conditioner" padding was later added at strategic locations, augmenting what the manufacturer had already installed. Not the prettiest face in town, but my plastic-surgery patient (victim?) has gone on to survive for over three years now!
The shot on the immediate lower left shows the scope nestled in place and the offending big-mama dual-speed Crayford focuser lofting outwards. The next panel shows it locked, loaded, and ready to roll!
The Zero Halliburton is not the most economical of cases, but many generics can be similarly outfitted. I prefer divider boards and bolt-style protective cases, as they maximize the available space while allowing easy access and the ultimate level of protection. The case below IS one of the less expensive generics, though it guards my beloved Coronado SolarMax90 and friends!
Though only costing about $20 (available at Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart, etc), this case seems a perfect match for the Coronado SolarMax90 and BF30 blockiing filters, even allowing storage of the adapter plate, three CEMAX H-a optimized eyepieces and Barlow, and the zero-clearance 1.25" to 2" adapter. Solar Nirvana in a neat little package!
I've several other cases, but this should be enough to get the ball rolling for you... don't be afraid to innovate!