Last updated: 24 September 2011
Many of the comments on this page refer to cases that pre-date the ETX-125, ETX-105, ETX-60, and ETX-70 and the Premier Edition (PE) models. Before purchasing a case mentioned here, be certain it is available in a size appropriate to your telescope.
Stanley Tool Boxes as Cases for ETX-70 (09/24/11)
Home-Brew Case for ETX-125 (01/21/09)
ETX-105 Soft Case (04/22/05)
ETX-70 Case (03/07/05)
Meade ETX-105 Case (03/19/04)
Camcorder case (05/06/03)
Shutan ProStar Deluxe Softsided Cases (12/08/02)
JMI ETX-125EC case (06/30/01)
Shutan #883 Tripod Case (06/13/01)
Sears ETX-125EC Case (09/15/07)
Pelican 1610 Case (12/23/00)
Plano ROLL 'N GO Tool Tote (01/25/00)
Meade ETX-125EC Hard Case (11/14/99)
Meade ETX Hard Case (03/10/99)
Deluxe Soft Case for Meade ETX (12/29/98)
Shutan Deluxe Hardcase (02/16/98)
Inexpensive eyepiece case
JMI ETX Hardcase (02/22/00)
Pelican 1560 Case (03/16/10)
Meade ETX-90PE Case (08/05/07)
ETX-125 Soft Case (03/07/05)
Walmart Case (05/16/04)
Rucksack/Haversack for ETX 105 (07/03/03)
Case for DS-80AT Refractor (01/19/03)
Sears cases (06/04/05)
Doskocil All-Weather case (06/20/01)
Picnic Cooler Case (04/25/01)
ETX-125EC Case (01/13/01)
Orion Soft Case for ETX-125EC (05/20/00)
Pelican 1650 Case (11/16/99)
Pistol case (03/25/99)
Miscellaneous Cases (10/15/00)
Pelican Carrying Cases (12/04/08)
Doskocil Seal-Tight case (02/05/01)
Meade ETX Carrying Case (10/21/98)
Shutan Camera & Video has terminated operations as a dealer. The above Shutan accessories may or may not be available from other sources.
|ETX-90 Premier Edition Case||Meade Instruments||#744||$99|
John Zimmerman (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports: "I ordered the Meade carrying case for my ETX-90PE. They have a redesigned case designed to accommodate the PE series. What they have done is made the case deeper - it now measures 20" x 16" x 9". It's the 9" dimension that has increased from the original 7". This lets you put the scope in the case without having to remove the SmartFinder lens. It would also permit EC/AT owners to put the scope in the case without having to rotate the optical finder.
True - the case is a bit bulkier than the non-PE case, but the convenience of not having to fuss with a finder is worth it.
It's listed as model #744, but on the site I bought it from (OpticsPlanet.com), the standard case had the number 07328, and the one for the PE was 07328-1. I don't know if these are Meade numbers or vendor numbers. Price was $99."
Scott Ley (email@example.com) reports" "If anyone has been waiting for the ETX 90PE hard case that fits the most recent model with the new SmartFider, they are now available. I just received mine from a Meade dealer and it is a perfect fit. Plenty of room for accessories as well. Don't let anyone talk you into accepting the older version of the case! The scope will not fit in even if the top foam is removed. The new case outside dimensions are roughly 19" X 15" X 10". The 10" height of the new case is the critical dimension that is required for the scope with the new SmartFinder to fit in properly."
|ETX-105 Soft Case||Orion Optics||N/A||£30|
|Ray Noonan (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports: "Have just bought a 105 and, having regard to comments posted re quality of Meade hard case, I found nearly all of the alternatives suggested are either exorbitantly expensive here in UK or not available at all. I bought a soft bag from Orion Optics (Units 21/22, Third Avenue, Crewe Business Park - 01270 500089) and it fits cosily. The bag is their OMC 140 Padded Bag. The carrying strap goes under the bag and the general quality is high. I will fit some extra bits of foam to support the OTA and maybe accommodate a few lenses. There is a zipped mesh pocket inside the lid that easily holds the Autostar and other odds and ends and an outside front pocket that has no separate fastening but is closed by the top of the bag. An unrolled dew shield fits nicely above the ETX. Not bad for £30. There is a photo of the Orion bag on their website: www.orionoptics.co.uk."|
|ETX-125 Soft Case||Wal-Mart||N/A||$37|
Shawn (Nesmithx4@entouch.net) reports: "I found another option for a soft case for an ETX 125 at Wal-Mart last night. It's a Wilson 27" travel bag that kind of looks like a large duffle bag with wheels and a handle. I've included some pictures to get a better idea. It has 6 side pockets and 1 large pocket on top for accessories. I hastily put together some padding using 1" foam from Wal-Mart as well. The price of the bag was $28.74 for the bag and another $8 for the foam. I used spray adhesive to glue the foam together. Thanks again for the great website, I'm getting ready to do the ETX tune up."
|ETX-70 Case||Home Depot||N/A||$16|
|Dennis Skea (email@example.com) reports: "After checking the website for cases, I went to Home Depot, bought a Stanley 24" toolbox for $15.96 (it's about 8"x8"x24"). Got some "custom made" foam inserts made. 4 pieces of 2" foam at 7"x8", 2 pieces of 1" foam at 8"x 24", and a couple of scrap pieces for "stuffing". The 7x8 pieces go on the ends of the case, and the other 2 7x8 pieces are on the sides of the scope base. The 8x24's are for the top and bottom. Foam cost $12. Unit fits solid, so I'll glue the various pieces to the sides of the case, and leave the top piece loose(just lay it on top before I lock it down). The top has 2 compartments with snap down lids. Holds the 2 eyepieces, my red LED flashlight, and has room for several more pieces of "small stuff". I'm cookin'!!!!!"|
Bill VanOrden (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports: "Here's my approach to the carry case issue for the 125:
|ETX-105 Case||Meade Instruments||776||$100|
Mike Snowden reports: "I've just bought the ETX-105 UHTC as my first 'scope, primarily for its
portability and improved build quality over the -90, and its goto
capability. I then separately bought the #776 Hard case, getting in in the
USA on a trip for around $100, rather than the 130 ($230) typical in the
I'm very disappointed by the build quality:
1) The case is flimsy enough to flex while walking along - the lip attached to the handle pulls out from its partner. It is a particularly unnerving feel as the case starts to "drop". You are now held only by the latches, which also appear to be very weak. I've only got a Barlow and an RS232 kit to connect up Autostar in there, over the base 105 kit.
2) The latches are also very flimsy-looking, and allow significant play, causing (1). I'm now tying something through the padlock hole to keep the case tight, if I'm going to carry for more than a few yards.
3) The case doesn't seem to seal tight. I'd like to put in some pouches of Silica gel, to absorb residual dew, but the effectiveness of this will be reduced by air entering. It looks tighter when laid flat, when gravity, not the latches keeps it nicely closed.
4) There's nowhere to put a Meade #675 Dew shield, especially since you can't turn it around - the taper means far too much projects beyond the end of the barrel. This is more a failing of the dew shield design, than the case, but they ought to work together... Maybe I'll change to a "wrap" design.
5) The handle is quite thin for the weight - obviously they don't intend for you to go far.
I'm also wary of leaving the right-angled finder in when packing up. It appears to be the highest thing on the assembly, and there is very little foam above it. I'd be interested in opinions as to whether this is safe.
On the plus side, even though the case does appear to be made of astonishingly thin ABS, it is a double layer, so there would be some extra cushioning effect from the separation from the layers."
|Rucksack/Haversack for ETX 105||N/A||N/A||25|
|email@example.com (Kevin Howard) reports: "Having looked around in the UK for something to store and transport my ETX-105, it was apparent there weren't many options. The Meade case was one possibility, but based upon the poorly made eyepiece case that came with my eyepiece offer, and the price, I thought better of it. I wanted something easily transportable by hand for hiking up to the top of my local hills. In the end I purchased a 'Wilderness 35' rucksack from Millets (www.millets.co.uk). Its exactly the right size for the 105 + dew shield, has pockets for accessories and even comes with a built-in waterproof cover. Its surprisingly well made; there's plenty of padding for your back and shoulders and the straps help secure the scope tightly. For only 25 it's a bargain - a rare thing here in the UK! I've also added some foam to the unprotected side and bottom of the bag for extra protection. I've attached a couple of pictures to show the size of the sack in relation to the 105. Obviously it has sufficient capacity for the ETX-90, but there may be smaller rucksacks in the same range which are more suitable. Hope this is of help to UK ETX users!"|
firstname.lastname@example.org (L Jacobson) reports: "Attached is my solution for storing my ETX... I have attached a few pics...
and a pic of the MFG tag. The bag cost $14 in Nebraska and is fully padded.
I have added extra padding under the bottom and also a extra pad for the
optical tube to even things out (the tan foam). The bag is plenty tall and
I have padding on top as well. Its so tall that one of those flat plastic
parts bin fits with no problem. Also note the little side pouch for storing
the table mount legs. The outer side storage has 4 eyepieces, a solar
filter and batteries etc. It this model can't be found any full size VCR
camcorder bag might work. Great site."
|Case for DS-80AT Refractor||Orion||N/A||$55|
|Keith Ryan (email@example.com) reports: "OPT carries the Orion Case for Medium Refractors for around $55. I got one and it works pretty well for the DS-80AT. It's not a hard case, so while it protects from minor bumps, it's not something I would check-in on a flight."|
|ProStar Deluxe Softsided Cases||Shutan Camera and Video||495-0636, 495-0654, 495-0672||$100, $120, $140|
Shutan Camera and Video sent me one of their new line of "ProStar Deluxe Soft Cases":
495-0636 ProStar Deluxe Soft Case f/ETX90 (all versions) $99.95
495-0654 ProStar Deluxe Soft Case f/ETX105EC $119.95
495-0672 ProStar Deluxe Soft Case f/ETX125EC $139.95
These softsided cases are definitely in the deluxe category (hence the higher than normal prices). Besides the expected features of side and front pouches for eyepieces in bottle cases and handcontrollers and an adjustable shoulder strap, the cases have a top pocket for charts and small books. But what really makes these cases top of the line is the 1/2-inch foam padding on the sides (interior), 1/4-inch padding (approximate) padding on the exterior pockets, metal hardware on the shoulder strap, the shoulder strap going underneath the case (for extra safety), and a 1/4-inch wood bottom (for extra support) beneath a 1/4-inch foam pad (both can be seen in the photo on the left). While I can not speak to the fit of the larger telescope cases, the one for the ETX-90 provides a nice snug and secure home for this telescope. See the photo below on the right for the loaded case. The ETX-90 case measures 10x11x18-inches (outside; my measurements); while it slightly exceeds the airline standard of 9x14x22, it will probably fit into the overhead bid of most airliners. (According to the Shutan catalog, the 105 case is 12x13x22-inches and the 125 case is 13x14x24-inches.) And the case just looks nice. So what is not to like about these cases (besides the price)? Personally I found the center-positioned shoulder strap ackward given the weight of the telescope; the center of gravity of the case is just too far from the edge of my shoulder. And, unlike the earlier Shutan "Deluxe Soft Case for Meade ETX" (also reviewed on the Accessory Reviews - Cases page), this one does not have a backpack option. I really liked that backpack option; in fact I took my ETX-90EC to and around Australia in 1999 using it. Yes, you can find lower priced and generally functional softsided (and even hardsided) cases. But still, if you are looking for a high-end softsided case that brings some class and excellent protection to carrying that new (or old) ETX while still (probably) being allowed as carry-on (at least for the ETX-90), consider the Shutan ProStar Deluxe Soft Case. And you may find specials at Shutan where it is included with the purchase of a telescope.
Shutan Camera and Video responds to my lack of a backpack option: "Just couldn't work it into this design. Had very little call for it with the last case even though mechanically it worked nicely. (As of 11/25/02 we still have a couple straps in stock if anyone needs one!). Now with cases for 105/125 being available, there would have been a lot of weight on your back vs. the 90mm and the old 90mm case didn't have the additional two exterior end pockets. These cases hold much more gear than older case."
James Krehmke (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports: "Would like to add another carrying case idea. I had been looking for a
good carrying case for my ETX-90. Had looked at coolers, diaper bags,
etc, and didn't really find the "right" one. Today, while in Sears tool
department, I spotted a nylon tool bag that fills the bill exactly. The
bag is made of a heavy red cordura type nylon with a heavy rubber
bottom. The interior is padded with high-density foam, and lined with
nylon taffeta. There are pockets inside for small items. The ETX fits
PERFECTLY, like the bag was made for it. It cost $26.99.
Craftsman 43 Pocket Tool Bag, Mfr. Model #65874
Jim Gilliland (email@example.com) notes: "The Sears padded toolbag that James Krehmke mentioned is no longer available at Sears, but they've added a new one to the catalog that is quite similar. James uses his for his ETX90, but I find that the new one fits the ETX105 just as well. It would probably be suitable for either scope. It's listed now as a 17" toolbag, and has 30 pockets rather than 43, but who's counting. The important thing is that it is rugged, well-padded, snug, has room for the Autostar and eyepieces, and costs only $30. I bought mine at a Sears Hardware store, but it's also listed at their website: http://www.sears.com/sr/product/summary/productsummary.jsp?pid=00940942000 As you can see, the product number is 00940942000."
Dave Mermelstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) adds: "I want to pass along a modification to something I'd read on the Accessory Reviews page, under "Cases". I'd read about the Sears Craftsman 16" tool bag being a good soft case for the '90; I went to Sears and bought the "16" All-Weather Tool Bag", #40942, and put my 'scope into it. I then realized that the molded plastic bottom from my original box might fit in, if I trimmed it down... I carefully cut the soft plastic, to which of course the 'scope is fitted, and it did in fact fit perfectly into the tool bag. Now my ETX 90 fits snugly and safely into the bag, and is protected on the bottom, and low on the sides. I recommend this to anybody looking for a soft case for their ETX 90. The cost was about $30. And, as usual, thanks for the site, and keep up the good work! "
Ivan Risiq (email@example.com) adds: "I reviewed all recommendation-simply bought all of them, and tried. I found that the best choice is the SEARS 940942. But times have changed and yesterday ( 31 May 2005) the cost was $29.99 One word of caution: the bottom made of heavy black rubber will stain anything you put it on. So-cover it with transparent lacquer-spray of Krylon and the like. If you travel as much as I do (every week,by air, through the Caribbean) get from SEARS Jeep knapsack with wheels-cost 19.99.( scanning code at SEARS JASBPWAS )An absolute bargain, because it accommodates not only ETX 90, but even all my personal effects!"
|Donald McClelland (DonMcClelland@webtv.net) reports: "Just got the case for my ETX-125 from JMI and here's my preliminary opinion. First of all I got it because I like the one for the ETX-90. It had lockable latches, holds the scope in snugly and had plenty of compartments. I've taken it on planes in the past and it held up well as carry-on. First thing I noticed were the cheesey plastic latches. Not only were they not metal but in less than a week, they already have stress marks were they bend. Can't imagine them lasting a year. I need to figure out how to reinforce them with some kind of flexible metal perhaps. I opened the case and immediately noticed that there was no foam where the base of the scope sits (customer service helped by sending precut extra pieces, JMI never misses a beat when it comes to customer service). Turns out this is how the stock cases are sent but that may change shortly because of my complaint. It is also stingy with the number of compartments compared with the ETX-90 case. It only had 3 holes for eyepieces, compared to five for the 90 case, and they were too wide at that. It also had a compartment for the autostar and cord and two slotted compartments (I assumed for power cords). Again JMI came through by sending me foam "shims" to tighten the eyepiece holes. Wouldn't surprise me if they came up with something to reinforce the latches on the case. They're the most inovative company I've ever seen possibly rivaling Scopetronix. Anyway that's it in a nutshell (or telescope case). The size is more compact than Meades and definetly sturdier but no metal or locking latches although the handle splits so you could lock that. They say it will fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane but the specs might be pushing it a little at the gate. You might have to talk them into it. The price is competitive with Meade, I think it's around $129.95 but there was a blemish in the foam so I got $20 knocked off. Not a bad deal all in all. Would I recomment it? You'd have to judge for yourself given some of the caveats. But for now, it's acceptable to me for the price."|
The Case Place (www.caseplaceusa.com) provided a Doskocil All-Weather Extra Large case (for the ETX-90) for evaluation. This hard-sided case features a water and dust tight seal, extra large latches (four of them), and a pressure relief valve.
Photos 1 and 2 (right and left, respectively) show the case from the side and top. You can see the large latch that snaps into place to lock the lid. I found this latch design workable although I broke several fingernails releasing the latches. The case is 18 7/8" x 14 1/4" x 8 1/4" on the inside (without the form inserts) and 20 3/4" x 16 1/2" x 9 1/4" on the outside.
Photo 3 (left) shows the case open with the foam inserts in place. Photo 4 (right) shows one of the two removable form inserts removed. These foam inserts have little blocks of foam that you remove to make room for your equipment.
The case seems of high quality although I found it surprising that the sticker on the case had a typo ("ACCESSOOY"; photo 5, below); the sticker also had the Doskocil motto "A Strong Case for Quality" (except for stickers...).
The relief valve (photo 6, right) is used when taking the case to different altitudes. There is no key lock for the case although the case can be locked via padlock holes near each front corner which will lock the top and bottom of the case together.
Before you can insert your ETX into the case you have to remove some of the foam in both inserts. I used the ETX-90 outline from the "ETX Outline for Hard Cases" on the Telescope Tech Tips page (photo 7, left). Using a knife I cut through the insert, following the pattern. The result is shown in photo 8 (right).
I repeated this on the other insert and then placed both back into the case (photo 9, right). Now it was time for the "fit test". Putting my ETX-90RA into its original plastic bag, I gently placed it into the case. The result was a perfect fit (photo 10, left)! I think that using the plastic bag helps to keep any foam debris from getting inside the ETX. The next step would be to cut out areas for any accessories that I want to place into the case.
[From Gerald Bonner at The Case Place: "A tip on forming the depression for the telescope, or eye pieces would be to put the objects in the case exactly where you want them, and to then outline the object with toothpicks. Remove the object and pull the plugs out within the toothpick outline."]
This case, for its price, seems to provide a lot of security for a small telescope, and is something that should be considered when shopping for a hard case for your ETX-90.
|#883 Deluxe Field Tripod Case||Shutan Camera & Video||#495-0173||$50|
Shutan Camera and Video sent me one of their new softsided carrying cases for the Meade #883 Deluxe Field Tripod. This case will probably also fit some other tripods as well as long as the tripod length (legs not extended) does not exceed about 36 inches including the tripod head and about 6.5 inches in diameter. The case is a gray Cordura-type material (cloth-like on the outside, rubberized on the inside) with a hand/shoulder strap. The case is tubular in design and you slide the
tripod into it and close it with a zipper. A separate zippered compartment on one end can hold the tripod's accessory tray and other small parts (like mounting bolts). The strap works well for carrying
the tripod by hand but is a little short for a real shoulder strap. You can place the strap on one shoulder but the case will ride fairly high on your side in this position. As a softsided case it doesn't provide much physical protection for the tripod so don't plan to use this case as airline checked baggage. But for transporting the tripod to and from your car when traveling to a dark site, it works well. Its rubberized inner surface will likely prevent moisture from wet tripod feet (due to dew covered grass) from getting onto car seats or other surfaces during transportation. Can you find alternative cases at a local KMart or Walmart for perhaps less cost? Possibly but the fit and protection may not be as good as with this case if you have the #883 tripod. If you want a case designed for the #883 tripod then this case is a good one. Shutan has pledged to donate $5 to Weasner's Mighty ETX Site on each case sold via phone orders (800-621-2248 or 847-367-4600) if the customer mentions this Site.
|Picnic Cooler Case||Arctic Zone||N/A||$18|
|Michael Riesco (MFRiesco@directvla.com) reports: "I wanted to contribute something for your readers, after having received so much useful information from your site. I own an ETX-90EC, and have always been put off by the ridiculous price of Meade's hardshell ETX carrying case ($100 for the "90", and it can't even hold the scope with a right-angle viewfinder installed, a ridiculous design flaw, if you ask me). Their soft case is cheaper ($50), but it is extremely flimsy and not nearly padded enough -- hardly worth even half that amount. So, I went in search of "the solution" -- and I found one: An ordinary padded, softshell picnic cooler! I purchased one by "Arctic Zone" at my local Target for $18. It is constructed of a heavy-duty, padded, rubberized material, and has a removable hard-plastic insert, like many coolers do, and a very convenient shoulder strap. The cooler itself is about 1 inch longer than the scope (with the OTA aligned with the fork arms), and about 1 inch wider than the widest diameter of the scope base -- so, it's a nice, close fit. It also has a very large zippered external compartment which can easily hold my Autostar, eyepieces, compass, flashlight, and Field Guide -- OR, you can get a small zippered toiletries case, in which you can store your more fragile items, i.e. eyepieces, etc. -- most of these have little internal plastic pockets for small toiletry items, which will hold eyepieces perfectly. This little case then goes nicely inside the cooler, next to the scope. I then bought a big block of foam padding at "The Rag Shop" (a craft store chain) for about $12, from which I cut properly-sized rectangular blocks of foam, as needed to keep the ETX from moving inside the cooler, and voila! -- for a total of $30, I have a perfectly safe, padded, waterproof carrying case with custom-cut interior foam pads to keep my ETX snug and cozy!! This is $20 less than the cheapest Meade option (and far superior, in terms of paddedness and ruggedness), and $70 less than their hardshell case. I highly recommend this solution to all your readers -- there are ideal coolers out there for both the "90" size (as in my case), and I'm sure for the larger "125" size as well."|
|Sears ETX-125EC Case||Sears||N/A||$20|
Al Kaminski (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports: "The Sears CRAFTSMAN Model No. 706.590270, Sit\Stand\Tote makes a great carrier for the
ETX-125EC and its many accessories.
As the photos indicate, it has a collapsible handle and 5" diameter x 2" rubberized wheels.
The top is designed to allow use as a seat or as a standing surface.
There are lockable side latches that are also handles. There is also a handle on the top cover.
Note there are two nested trays. One tray is partitioned and can be used for eyepieces, Autostar or whatever you wish. The lower tray is not partitioned but can accomidate pick n pluck if desired. The top tray has a depth of 2 1/8" and the lower tray. 4".
Since the box is black as is the ETX, I have placed a white template around the scope to indicate the
available spacing. Note the wheel well in the upper left corner of the right hand photo. There is, of course, another well to the right hidden under the template. I have not gotten around to installing insulation.
It has interior dimensions of 11 5/8" x 20 3/8" and, with the trays in place, a height of 10 1/8".
The exterior dimensions are 23" x 17" x 18" height.
With the components as you see, the unit weight is 42 pounds.
This is available at Sears for $ 50.00 (I got mine on sale for $40.00)."
Josh Parker adds (email@example.com): "I wanted to comment on the idea that Al had on the Craftsman tool box for the ETX 125... As soon as I read about this case I had to go out and buy one. I originally had Meade's ETX 125 Hard Case and must admit that for the price you really get the shaft. The box from Sears however is the best idea I've seen yet. The scope fits in the bottom just right and the 2 accessory trays hold EVRYTHING. I have a majority of the most common accessories and still have room for more. The quality of this box is unlike anything else I've seen reviwed on your site... I just don't have enough good things to say about this case. The only bad thing I would have to say about it is, that it gets fairly heavy with your scope and accessories inside (but thats what the extending handle is for). I took back my Meade ETX 125 Hard Case and bought $100.00 worth of accessories. (the other $50 went to the Craftsman box!) Kudos to Al for a GREAT idea!!"
David Birmingham (firstname.lastname@example.org) adds "While reading about "Cases" I saw the review Al did on the Sears case. I went to the Sears homepage, but could not find the thing using their search engine. After wading through tools, accessories, storage boxes, etc I finally found the box Al referenced. It is actually Sears Item# 0095902700, Mfr. Model 59027 and is on sale for $39.99 through 05/26/01. I just thought I would pass on the information in case anyone else was trying to find the box.".
Jonathan Edwards (email@example.com) reports: "I went looking for the subject case (profiled at http://www.weasner.com/etx/cases.html) and couldn't find it using any of the model/part numbers listed. Sears still has it, but now they're calling it the "Craftsman 24 in. Truck Tote". (It still has the part and model numbers David Birmingham listed, but when I used those to search with at www.sears.com I couldn't find anything...) It's still $39.99 (through 9/23/03)."
Laszlo Mariahazy (GIS@cox.net) reports: "Just an update to your site for those looking to store, move, protect their etx125's: The Sears Hard case configuration works perfectly (nice find!), but the information in the listing is obsolete. The case part number is now Sears item #0095027000, Mfr. Model #59027. It can be found here: http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&pid=00959027000&cat=Storage,+Chests+%26+Cabinets&subcat=Tool+Boxes&vertical=TOOL&ihtoken=1"
firstname.lastname@example.org adds: "I received my ETX 125 today and confirmed my fears. It will not fit in the SEARS SST unit that I learned of on your site. When I consulted SEARS after reading about the original (and novel) discovery to store and transport the ETX I found that they had changed models and design. The pics show the replacement along with the template I had made (also from your site). As you can see, the new model comes up about three inches short even though the stated dimension of 23" wide remains the same. Needless to say, I returned the product. I'm still in search of something similar, maybe a ice chest will have to do............."
|ETX-125EC Case||Wal Mart||N/A||$20|
Clay Sherrod () reports: "After looking at many off-the-shelf telescope cases for my Meade ETX 125, and realizing that they could not handle all the equipment and accessories that I wanted to tote around, I started looking for alternatives; while at Wal Mart looking air airline luggage, I happened across quite a find! They had just gotten in a fresh shipment of shipping trunks, made out of quality metal and brass. Realizing that this might just be the right size - not too big, not too small, I measured the i.d. and low and behold, it was 15" deep, 12" high and 29" long....EXACTLY the depth and width of the Meade carton that the ETX 125 came in!
They are available in a variety of colors, but of course my choice was the "Meade Blue, which matches my scope perfectly. The cost? Only $18.95.
Preparing the case was fun and simple. The steps follow the procedure in photos.
1) The internal part (not using the color cover) fo the Meade carton, with it's cut-out to securely holding the -125, was covered with a thick coat of polyurethane to give it strength and protection from the night air. As you can see, it fits perfectly, not room to spare, inside the trunk. After drying, I hot-glued the carton securely in place in the trunk. The inner lid (shown) holds the scope securely within. My wife cut out and glued heavy felt to surround the telescope when placed in the carton, as seen in 2). Note the wooded shelf that I cut and secured out of a 1 x 12 (painted flat black) to separate the telescope compartment from that (4.5" wide) which carries a common fishing tackle 2-sided compartmentalized box. The wooden shelf is seen in Figure 1. Since the top part of the shipping carton fits INSIDE the bottom of the box, it works perfectly to secure the telescope in place when the trunk lid is closed.
2) I attached two (2) 2.5" roller caster wheels at the BACK of the trunk and a 3" furniture leg at the front (see arrows, photo 2) to balance the trunk when standing on end. Not seen, but on the opposite (top) end of the trunk is a heavy metal brass handle used to wheel the trunk along with no effort whatsoever! Locate the handle on the BACK side of the top end, just out of sight in Photo 3, near where the arrow is pointing. In photo 2) you can see the telescope nestled in the felt-covered box liner; note that it is important that the tube end of the scope be aimed at the TOP of the trunk; this distributes the weight to the bottom of the trunk, and personally, I just simply don't like my telescope hanging upside down!
3) Here, you can see several things: a) The tackle box with my Autostar and all accessories is tucked into its holding compartment at the right (top of trunk); b) the arrow is pointing to the area in which the handle is located; c) the arrow ALSO is pointing to something very important and handy....these are Velcro tie-downs (two of them) to secure my 50-foot extension cord. There are two ADDITIONAL tie-downs on the BACK SIDE (the side with the hinges) in which my #883 tripod is strapped and totally out of the way! d) note in the upper right hand corner of the trunk LID the items that appear; at top is a touch light from Lowe's hardware ($2.59) (2-AA battery powered) which is wonderful for first setting up and emergency repairs, etc. The life is about 40 hours on a set of AA; the styrofoam at the bottom right of the lid prevents the accessory case from moving into the light, which would turn it on when the trunk is closed. e) Immediately beneath the light is a quartz (AAA powered) clock which keeps very accurate time and virtually lasts forever on one battery; find this at the auto section at Wal Mart for $4.00. Both the light and the clock were fastened with Velcro to facilitate changing the batteries when needed. Notice that the accessory case in this photo is offset toward the FRONT of the trunk, opposite the light and clock, to assure space for the trunk to close properly. You can clearly see the black felt in which the scope is nested in this photo.
4) The arrow points to the compartment for the accessory case, shown open outside the trunk; two sides allow all accessories, including camera adapters, extra film and batteries, etc.
5) Here is the trunk closed and in the upright position; you can just barely make out the tote handle on the top, behind the 50-foot extension cord; the tripod, when folded up, straps to the LEFT side of the trunk when transporting. Note the furniture leg at bottom supporting the trunk like a "tripod." When closed, there is just enough room for a large Tirion star atlas across the top of the carton and a Peterson's Field Guide for reference.
NOTE: It is VERY important to reinforce all hardware that is installed on the trunk. This would be: 1) the caster wheels; 2) the balancing leg; 3) the handle; and, 4) the Velcro tie-downs for the cord and tripod.
The inner lining of the trunk is re-constituted composite wood and thereby subject to splintering; over the wood is a thick sheet of metal. ON THE INSIDE, all hardware should be attached with reinforcing METAL PLATES which compress against this composite wood with the fastening bolts for each hardward item; the plates can be any flat metal "mending plate" as found in a hardware store and will add YEARs to the life of the trunk and minimize wear-and-tear over the years. Total cost, including all hardware: $37.95. I had it put together in a weekend. Since these photos were taken, I have painted the interior flat black and attached via Velcro several charts on the inner lid for quick reference."
|Pelican 1610 Case||Pelican||1610||$208|
Jeff Douglas (email@example.com) reports: "I enjoy your web site on the meade scope, i go to it all the time.
pelican has started manufacturing a new case mod 1610
the inside dim. 22'' X 17'' X 10'' . ( and plus a few fractions )
This makes it just right for the ETX 125 scope , and a few extra
I also spent half a week on the internet and the telephone
looking for the best price on this product. pelican has this listed for $259.00 .
and I found them for $208.00 with pluck foam.
what a deal. Ha.
just go to www.caseman.com
sorry I have no photo on this yet.
please let your readers know of this new item."
Rick Raiton (firstname.lastname@example.org) adds: "Jeff Douglas (email@example.com) wrote you about the new Pelican 1610 Case that he found at www.caseman.com for $208.00. Not to make his day or anything, but the same place I bought my Large Doskocil Seal-Tight case has the Pelican 1610 for $173.45 and the 1620 for $182.14 both with pick n pluck foam. I am not trying to advertise for these guys, but they have great prices. Here is the link to the Pelican cases: http://www.caseplaceusa.com/. Just trying to help out your readers."
|Soft Case for ETX-125EC||Orion Telescope||15142||$109|
John Hanover reports: "I recently purchased the 15142 Soft Case for the
ETX-125 (NEXSTAR 5) from Orion Telescope. The thought of lugging a hard
case around did not appeal to me but I needed something to transport the
ETX125 around in. The Model 15142 is a vertically oriented soft case
which is well padded and has an accessory patch for eyepieces etc (See
photo). There are two handles which come together with a velcro strap.
The ETX-125 fits into the case snugly in all orientations and the
optical tube is well padded from impact. The first time the case was
used I was concerned by the tight fit, but the fit loosens with use and
is actually an advantage since there is little movement within the case
upon transport. The back of the case has a thin velcro-sealed
compartment which is perfect for the ETX 125 tabletop legs. Another use
of the case is a tote when the telescope is cradled in the unzipped
case. This is actually handy for taking the wet optics in from the cold
without having to close all of the compartments. The size of the case
is about as small as is practical for housing the scope. The second
photo shows the size of the ETX125EC and the Orion 15142 case in
relation to my friend's ETX90EC and its soft case. I believe both would
qualify as carry on luggage. I have been happy with this case for the
past several months."
John Hanover adds: "The Orion Softcase 15142 for the ETX125 has the following external dimensions when loaded with the scope: 21" in height, 13" in width (widest point) and 10" in depth. Putting accessories in the accessories pouch would obviously increase the depth up to about 12". Please note that the photo of the 15142 case shown in the orion catalog is not identical to the one I received; the straps now run vertically around the base of the upright scope. I believe this is a much better design than the case shown in the Orion catalog since no stress is put on the fork arms."
|ROLL 'N GO Tool Tote||Plano||N/A||$40|
Ray Hedberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports: "The Plano ROLL 'N GO Tool Tote # 514 is on sale at WalMart for $23
(normal price $39.95). I can use it to take my ETX-90EC out into the
backyard, a nearby field or to a remote star party. The Tool Tote dark
is brown in color, 23" tall and 16" wide and 9" deep and has heavy duty
2 wheels and a collapsible pull handle - it looks very similar to a soft
side pull along travel bag that pilots and many frequent air travelers
use. The Tool Tote has two major interior compartments: the upper
compartment is accessed by opening the zipper around the top; the lower
compartment is accessed by unzipping the lower front of the Tool Tote.
The upper compartment is 10" deep and the ETX-90EC on its side just
fits; there is enough room for the Autostar controller and some
protective foam sheets. Around the inside edges of the upper compartment
are multiple soft sided mini compartments which can easily hold extra
eyepieces, a flashlight, spare batteries, etc. The lower compartment is
15" x 9" x 9" and I carry my 7 amp portable power supply and other
accessories in it. It also has an exterior pocket for long tools; I was
hopeful that I could stick 2 legs of my tripod into it but alas it won't
hold my JMI megapod. The Tool Tote is attractive and appears to be
|Pelican 1650 Case||Pelican||1650||$199|
Gary (email@example.com) reports: "Here's an attempt for me to give something back to the site - I hope
it's useful! In general, the photos show the scope inside the case, before the plucky
foam was pulled out, and comparison the with the Doskocil Seal Tight
EXTRA LARGE case - notice how small it is in comparison!
For specs, go to www.pelican.com, cost $199 at B&H
Photo, New York, and generally more money elsewhere.
After upgrading from the 90 to the 125, I soon (immediately) realized I needed a safe and reliable means to store, and transport, my 17 pound wonder. I bought a nylon bag from K-mart for about $50, which easily held the scope, had wheels, a handle, and 6 exterior pockets. The only problem was the lack of the plucky foam, and no means to safely secure the scope within the bag. After reading on the N5 board about an unhappy user who watched his scope smash on concrete, I decided to shell out the money to buy a "bulletproof case" - the Pelican line fit that bill. I was EXTREMELY happy with my Doskocil Seal Tight Extra Large Case (shown in some of the photos for comparison), but there was no way to get the 125 within the case, even on a diagonal, etc. Pelican has several cases that MIGHT do the job, but the 1650 attracted me because it had a handle and wheels (note - the case is about 18 pounds, and the scope about 17, so the wheels can come in quite handy). The case is EXTREMELY rugged - I wouldn't recommend running it over with a car like the Shutan case (which I believe is a Seal King), however I believe the scope would be well protected even from a moderate fall within the case. The exterior is extremely durable, and carries a lifetime warranty (these cases are used by Navy Seals - good enough for the Navy, good enough for moi). The exterior, and latches (all 7 of em!!!) appear to be of a similar material to the latches on the Doskocil Seal Tight case - some sort of oriented stranded super strong composite (lockable). The case of course has the water tight O-ring (mine was not properly installed and was partially out of the groove, so I lifted it and re-sealed it - I believe to no ill effect), and I usually smirk when I read how the pressure relief screw might have to be turned to relieve air pressure if the case can not be opened after changing altitudes - now that's dust proof! (Should Jordan accidentally reach for the ETX from his bridge, hopefully the case will land near enough for him to float with it!) The case had the usual plucky foam, which was generally removable in one chunk (very carefully) - I put the foam on the side, and may line a makeshift lens case with it). Replacement foam is available from Pelican. The case also comes with a nameplate which can be sent in with $10 for customizing - I'm not sure I'd like to broadcast there's an expensive scope inside, but it does give the option. There is a large size issue - the case is, frankly, large - but the photos show while the 125 has ample room, it's not lost in the case. The two layers of plucky foam allow 3 dimensional placement of accessories - I put my Autostar in vertically, but it could have gone in horizontally, etc. - the same for the eyepieces, and any flashlights, gizmos, etc. Pelican is supposed to come out with a slightly smaller case, the 1620, which may be a tighter but adequate fit. I have not compared this case with JMI's or Meade's (JMI has a very good reputation, and the foam is "professionally cut." I like the wheels, the customability, and the very intelligent locking handles - it locks upright (though short length - minimal leverage), and locks when folded down - very clever. The wheels rolls smoothly, and are useful when i don't feel like lugging the case. There is a small handle on the bottom (wheel side), and a large handle along the length of the "front" of the case - my scope balanced nicely when lifted with the handle. The case was a bit snug in the back of my Thunderbird, and I didn't even try putting it in the trunk, so plan accordingly. All in all, I highly recommend this case for its construction and durability. The 1620 MIGHT be a better choice, however this will hold many additional accessories. This appears to be the same case I've seen in the Orion catalog for about $100 more."
|Deluxe Hard Case for ETX-125EC||Meade||775||$150|
As part of a loaner ETX-125EC, Meade Instuments Corporation sent me their Deluxe Hard Case so I thought I would provide some comments about it here. This large case measures 24"x12"x15" (approximately). The photo on the right shows this case in comparison to the smaller Meade ETX Carrying Case soft case for the ETX-90.
The case has pre-cutout areas for the ETX-125EC, eyepieces, the Autostar, and a few other accessories, as seen in the photos. There is no need to remove the finderscope from the ETX-125EC before packing. The foam is sturdy as are the case wall, hinges, handle, and locks, seeming to provide adequate protection for the ETX-125EC. I don't know that I would use this case as checked baggage on airlines and it is a little too large for carry-on. But for other uses this case will serve its purpose.
|Pistol case||Champion's Choice||N/A||$60|
Jim Dantin (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports: "I bought, and then
returned, the Meade case. Didn't like the idea of having to remove the
right-angle finder (whenever I finally get mine!) and didn't like the
flimsy feel. I bought a Doscosil case -- but I got the "Extra Large
Pistol case" version from Champion's Choice
for $57. (I think it's the same
item sold for $69 at B&H and Champion's shipping is much less!) REALLY
sturdy. Holds the scope, 3 eyepieces, 2 barlows, flashlight, Autostar,
and misc. items like a pen, mounting bolts, level, camera adapter.
I also put a Daisy sight on my ETX -- now it's REALLY easy to manually
find and slew to an object. Great addition to the scope. In fact, you
probably won't need the regular finder at all.
Here's a picture of my scope and accessories in the case. You can see
the Daisy scope mounted on the tube to the right of the eyepiece hole.
The link for Champion's Choice may be down. Please add their phone number (800)345-7179. I have verified that the case is the same (except for color!) as the "Extra Large" Seal Tight case sold by Orion for $119. http://www.telescope.com/item.asp?itemno=G002"
|Meade ETX Hard Case||Meade||774||$100|
Mitchell Hamm (N8XS) (email@example.com) reports: "I received the Meade #774 Hard Case for the ETX today and have
this review for the visitors of "Weasner's Mighty ETX Site". The case is
made of black, injected molded plastic and has two lockable latches (2
keys supplied). A rough texture is molded into the exterior surface and
there is a smooth rectangular area on the lid that has a silver and
black "Meade ETX" sticker afixed. The overall size is 18.5"L x 15.5"W x
8.25"D. The inside has custom cut blocks of charcoal gray foam with
cutouts for the ETX, tripod legs, T-adapter, T-mount, 45 degree erecting
prism, 3 eyepieces, electronic controller (or Autostar) and two
rectangular spaces for optional accessories. The optional accessory
cutout near the Autostar slot fits the coiled cord perfectly. The
T-mount slot nicely holds the thumb screws that attach the ETX to its
field tripod. Everything fits perfectly and is held securely when the
case is closed. Overall quality of the case is mediocre at best. It is
not bulletproof, waterproof nor heavy duty and the latches are cheaply
made. It does seem to offer excellent protection for the ETX and
accessories, but don't try the "running over it with a car test" like
they did with the Shutan case. Overall, I am pleased, but Meade could
have come up with something of higher quality for the price. I got mine
from Colorado Scientific in Denver for $99.95 including shipping."
|Guy Duke (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports: "Found a soft carry case that works quite well for my ETX at K-Mart. It's a "Concourse" bag 17.5" X 7.5" X 12". Has one full size "flat" compartment on the one side with 3 different compartments on other. One 11" X 4" flat, one 11" X 7" X .5" that holds business cards, pencils, pens, ect, and one 15" X 10" X 1". Inside, you'll find another full sized compartment and 2 small compartments which hold 2 eyepieces each. The bag is padded well on each side though no padding in the bottom. There is also a shoulder strap. The ETX will lay on its side or flat in the case leaving about 4" of room in the top of the case(which I plan on using some up by placing some good foam in the bottom). And right now, they have 15% off the price. At the full price of 24.99 some could still consider it a good deal."
Roger W. Lange (rwlange@PioneerPlanet.infi.net) reports: "Hey ETX Owners; Tired of expensive accessories for our relatively inexpensive telescope. K-Mart has a Benchtop 20" molded poly tool box for $12.00. The ETX fits inside beautifully with a little added foam protection. The bonus is the cover which has has half a dozen molded sections with translucent poly covers. Eyepieces, adapters, etc. are contained with easy access. It will also take a padlock if you wish to keep small prying fingers out. I don't know if the newest ETX will fit but I don't see why not. There is also a smaller $8.00 model of the same design that I use for bino-heads, eyepieces, cameras, you name it other astro equipment. Check them out. Rubbermaid makes similar more expensive boxes but they are a little too small and no top section for accessories."
Don Metzner (email@example.com) notes: "For those of you that have a Home Depot near by, I found that there $9.99 "Homer Box", which is a 19" bright orange tool box with metal latches, a nice handle and lock hole is just the proper size for the ETX-90/EC. I fact it is alittle loose if you place it in the box with the dec fork facing you when you open the box. To protect the telescope and take up the space so it does not move around in the box I purchased a role of "Supreme Easy Liner" 20 inches X 5 ft. It is a rubberized liner, no lint, that will protect the telescope in transport. I doubled the liner, layed it in the box, put the telescope in with the dec numbers up, folded both ends of the liner over the top and closed the box. It is tight enough to put a small amount of preasure on the rubber liner and NOTHING MOVES. The liner was purchased at Walmart. The liner manufacture is Manco and they have a web site @ www.manco.com for those of you that are Walmartless. The total cost for this Hard case including the liner was $13.50. Now you can go buy another eyepiece. Oh the Autostar will fit nicely in the folds of the liner, well protected."
Dick Seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) adds: "Here's a picture of an ETX90 inside a Home Depot toolbox (without padding) which shows the quality of fit..."
|Deluxe Soft Case for Meade ETX||Shutan Camera & Video||N/A||$79|
| Shutan Camera & Video sent me their new "Deluxe Soft Case for Meade ETX" for evaluation. This black video camcorder-style case is a nicely padded one with a handle and a padded, adjustable, shoulder strap. The shoulder pad is curved, allowing the pad to sit flatter on the shoulder. This seems more comfortable than straight pads and may even reduce the possibility of a loaded case from slipping off your shoulder. Its interior dimensions are 16x6 inches and 8 inches deep. The top cover even has a "rain" flap that overhangs the bottom portion of the case to help keep rain or dust out while the case is closed. The top can be quickly closed with the latch, which protects the contents because of the rain flap. However, as cautioned in the small documentation that comes with the case, carry a loaded case by the shoulder strap and not the handle unless the top is zippered closed. A backpack harness will be available soon as an option (which I'll cover here when available). There are two external half-length flat pockets (no zippers) and one external full-length pocket (zippered). The full length pocket, 16x1.5 inches and 8 inches high, even has "pouches" inside for eyepieces and other accessories. I do wish there were more large pockets on the outside but that would make the case bulkier. As it is, the case is a convenient size (for me). The inside of the case is spacious enough to accommodate the ETX with the base and a 90-degree finder attached while still keeping the ETX snug in place. The case is covered by the manufacturer's lifetime warranty on defects (but not damage to any contents). Although not designed specifically for the ETX the Shutan case is a nice improvement over the simplistic Meade softcase. In fact, unless I get something even better in the interim, I will probably use this case for my Australia trip next year, especially if the backpack harness works out well. I'll report back then on how it performed. As noted on the User Feedback pages, there are many case styles available in discount and camera stores that can be used to carry and protect the ETX. The Shutan case is near the high-end in price but has several features which should be considered when purchasing a soft case, or you can just go with the Shutan case and avoid the hassle of shopping around.
Shutan Camera & Video sent me the $30 Backpack Harness for this case. This harness has the same overall look as the case and so compliments it very nicely. The harness was relatively easy to attach by following the provided six-step directions. I did have to reverse the orientation of the waist belt to properly attach it to the case. This only involved unhooking the waist belt from two places on the harness instead of one as indicated in the directions. Once all the attachments were made, you put the harness on and then begin adjusting all the various straps for proper fit on your back. The case itself rides low as can be seen in the photos, so it is more a "fannypack" than a "backpack". But that doesn't detract from its use. Once you have the proper fit, carrying the case as a backpack is really very comfortable. The shoulder straps are well padded and curved to fit your body. Three attachments to the case ensure security of the case on the harness. The buckles are large and easy to disconnect, even while wearing gloves. This harness makes a nice add-on to the Shutan Deluxe Soft Case if you travel with your ETX and have to hike to dark sites. I'll report back on its use once I actually take my ETX on a field trip.
Thaxton Beesley (email@example.com) notes: "The case you describe as the "Deluxe Soft Case for Meade ETX" from Shutan Camera seems to really be a LowePro Vidcam 6 case. This case is a commom SVHS camera bag that I use for my camera and ETX. It should be noted that this case does not come from Shutan, but in fact is made by Lowe, a notable manufacturer of professional camera bags. I purchased it for $65 from Mike's Camera in Boulder CO. The case works well, and I also have the backpack harness. It seems the two cases are the same, I can see the LowePro label in one of your pictures, why not give Lowe credit for the case? They make it and Shutan is a distributor."
|Pelican Carrying Case||Pelican||1550, 1510||varies|
|Rick Stankiewicz (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports: "I'd be surprised if this product line is not already a favorite among ETX owners, but the U.S.A. made "Pelican Products" Protector Cases, are the real thing to protect, store and carry your astronomical investments. They are made in 13 sizes and shapes and come with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. They are reportably unbreakable, watertight and dustproof. They come in a choice of orange or black. Although heavy, they are made of a thick plastic type material and are completely foam lined. The beauty is that the "pick and pluck quick foam" (pre-cut 1/2 inch squares) make it easy to custom fit the caseto your own needs. There is even a pressure release valve for when you travel (goes to show it really is watertight). I have found the #1550 sized model to be the optimum size and shape for my ETX and accessories. I have the ETX (with tripod plate attached), two lenses, Barlow lense, 45 degree image rectifier, 5 filters, camera T-Adaptor, flashlight, lense cleaning pen, field notebook/pencil and collapsible dewcap/lensehood (that I make) in my case. You could go one or two bigger models, but then size and weight become more of an issue. I would not go smaller in case size. You need the minimum 8 1/2 inch depth of the case to fit the ETX for starters. There is still room in the case I have to add another lense or two, a few filters and another camera adaptor if I want (and I do). For what it is worth, this is my recommendation to all ETX owners who are looking for the perfect system to carry their prized possession. The other aspect that I liked was that you could keep your whole system in a nice black finish (like the ETX). It should be available in any quality camera store, but be prepared for the price and the need to special order the exact items you want. It is worth the wait!"
David Talbot (email@example.com) adds: "I haven't seen a report on this particular case on the site so here goes. Pelican 1510 with dividers and organiser lid lining, paid 125 secondhand. It fits the ETX90 PE no problem and a bit of juggling round with dividers makes for a very snug fit that isn't going to move. Interior dimensions are 19.75" x 11.00" x 7.60" so no room for a 125 in there. Plenty of room for the Autostar and some eyepeices and other accesories in both the pockets in the lid and other 'pockets' made while adjusting the divers for a snug fit. Another plus is the case is at the maximum carry on size for most airlines so can make for some low stress travel with the scope. And with the divider set it will make for a great travel camera case when I don't have the ETX along."
|Deluxe Hardcase||Shutan Camera & Video||3900130||$149|
| Shutan Camera & Video sent me a Deluxe Hardcase to review (see photo). This case is called a "TUNDRA SEA KING® Case" and is supposedly virtually unbreakable and crushproof. It measures 21.7" wide by 13.5" high by 9" deep (outside) and should qualify as carry-on luggage for most airlines. While the case is all sturdy plastic, except for the metal shafts in the latches and the top hinge, it is obviously meant to protect items inside the case. It is even watertight; there is a rubber seal around the interior case edge (blue line around the lid in the photo of the left) and a small relief valve to equalize air pressure should the outside air pressure be different than the inside. Without this relief valve you might not be able to release the latches. Next to one of the latches is a hole through which you can pass a padlock (not supplied) to lock the case closed. The case is lined with foam, and as with all foam of this type, I worry about foam debris that gets scraped off working its way into mechanical parts and generally becoming a nuisance. I assume you keep the optics covered when inside any case. Instructions (visible in the left photo) are included on maintaining the seal and modifying the "pluck-out foam" for whatever objects the buyer wants to place into the case. The top is foam lined. There are two separate 2.5" thick layers of the "pluck-out foam" on top of a 1" foam layer on the bottom of the case. The cubes (one is shown removed in the photo on the right) are 5/8" on a side and there are 558 of them in a layer. You can totally create your own interior case design to hold your ETX, eyepieces, accessories, and whatever. But this means you have to plan out the design, push out the appropriate foam "cubes", try it out, probably make adjustments, retry it, and make more adjustments. The only problem I discovered with the cubes is that once removed, it is difficult to get the hole to completely fill in if you re-insert a cube. You can purchase replacement foam inserts should you decide to design a different configuration or have multiple configurations. As shipped by Shutan, there are no ETX configurations available for this case although alternative sizes are available from Shutan. While some ETX users may find it desirable to create their own configuration, others may prefer to purchase a case already modified for the ETX. But if you are willing to take the time to do your own configuring, you will have a first class case for your ETX that should protect it during almost any travel.
Bob from Shutan (firstname.lastname@example.org) supplied this photograph as a demonstration of the strength of their Deluxe Hardcase. Bob states "Yes indeed the Doskocil case is a good value but in no way is it the quality of our Deluxe Hard Case."
|Inexpensive eyepiece case||Plano Molding||3620||$5|
|From Douglas Cann (email@example.com): "Looking for a good low cost eyepiece case?? In the past, I have always resorted to Tupperware or Frig-o-seal containers which are usually too big, too deep etc. On the weekend whilst looking for some bits and pieces I came across a plastic fishing box which I presume is for 'fly fishing' parts. It is semi-transparent polythene and about 1 1/2 inches deep. Inside there are four rows that are 1 5/8 apart. There are about 25 small dividers provided and which will enable you to create a very custom eyepiece storage box that is very flat and easy to carry. You can also see through the lid to make sure that you have everything. I have made it so that I can put in eleven eyepieces and my barlow lens and still have compartments left over for a red night light and all of my filters. The eyepieces are layed down, not sitting vertically. To stop the eyepieces from rollong about, I cut up some 1 5/8 strips of grey 'camera' foam (1/2 an inch thick) which I then cut to the appropriate lengths to lay in the bottom of each eyepiece pocket. Although this makes the eyepieces about 1/8 inch high, when you close the lid and rest some books on it over night, you end up with depressions the cradle each eyepiece. The container is made by Plano Molding of Illinois and is called a Plano - Model 3620. It is the most perfect 'off the shelf' eyepiece case that I have seen to date. It will even house (no foam) my 40 mm SP 4000 Meade eyepiece which is a bit larger in diameter than the standard 1 1/4 inch eyepieces. The case is not deep enough for 2 inch eyepieces though. Hope this idea will help others with their storage problems. In Canada the box was $6.95, so in the States it should be about $4.00 to $5.00."|
|Doskocil Seal-Tight case||B&H Photo||N/A||$59|
|Ray Wartinger (Ray_Wartinger@wb.xerox.com) comments: "I recently bought a Doskocil Seal-Tight case for my ETX. These are the same cases listed in the Telescope and Binocular Center catalog as "Seal-Tight Waterproof Accessory Cases". I am quite happy with the case. It is plastic but very strong and was fairly easy to customize with 2 layers of cubed foam padding inside. I bought the large case (inside dim. 17-1/8"L x 12"W x 7-1/4"D) but would recommend the extra large (18-7/8"L x 14-1/4"W x 8-1/4"D) instead since its a bit of a tight fit in the large case. I ordered my from B&H Photo in NY-NY. Their prices were quite a bit lower than T&B Center: $59 for the large and $69 for the extra large (only $10 more! - I could kick myself!). They have a WEB page at http://www.bhphotovideo.com/. Go to Photo then Bags and Cases where they list many manufacturers of cases. I have no connection with B&H Photo - they just had low prices and (in my one experience) good service."
Kenneth Vessels (firstname.lastname@example.org) adds: "I had often thought of purchasing one of these cases for my ETX, but I wanted to hear from someone else who did it first. Well, after reading Mr. Wartinger's comments, I went right to the B&H Photo Web page and ordered an extra-large case per his recommendations. After I received my case I must say that I was quite impressed with the quality. It is very sturdy and could take a lot of banging around while protecting the scope. And it is waterproof up to thirty feet! It also has a lifetime warranty. Customizing the two layers of foam is a breeze. I had mine done within thirty minutes. And contrary to stories I've heard, there are not little foam cubes falling out all over the place. It's hard to even tell that the foam is perforated until you start working with it. After I had created a cavity for my ETX, there was still plenty of room for accessories. I have two eyepieces and a Barlow, and the table top legs that came with the scope, all fitted in the foam with loads of space left over for future accessories. Some of these might include the hand controller for an electric focuser and declination motor, and of course more eyepieces. It has four latches on the outside,. two on the front and one on each side. It also has holes for a padlock. It is only $69 plus S&H ($82.75 with S&H). This is a case I would highly recommend for anyone wishing to protect their investment. And besides that, it really impresses your friends when you open that case and they just assume that it was made for the ETX."
Greg Achord (email@example.com) comments: "I too ordered the extra large Doskocil Seal Tight case from B&H Photo and was very pleased with the quality. The foam was easy to customize and the ETX just feels safe & secure in this case. I would guess it compares favorably with the Deluxe Hard case offered by Shutan, and at almost 1/2 the price ($85.00 with S/H). I too would Highly recommend this case."
Wayne Hale (WayneH7974@aol.com) sent this in: "After reading several reviews in your reader comment pages, I elected to go with the Doskocil case from B&H Photo in New York. I went for the large case which measures 20 3/4" X 16 1/2" X 9 1/4" outside and 18 7/8" X 14 1/4" X 8 1/4" inches inside. It come with three pieces of foam, two 2 1/4" thick and cut within about an inch of the outside in a 3/8" square pattern. The cuts do not go all the way through the foam and there are no loose "squares" to deal with. I found that a sharp knife easily cut the foam or it could be carefully pried apart along the cut lines. The foam is almost totally odorless. There is another slightly smaller piece of foam in the bottom of the case, about 3/4" thick, it is not scored for cutting, however. The lid has a piece of "eggcrate" foam attached, it looks to be about 3/4" thick. The cost of the extra large case was $69.95. I was in a hurry and ordered the case from B&H's website on a Saturday morning via credit card and had the case Wed afternoon. The shipping charges were $24.55, ouch!! The case came in a cardboard box, inside a larger cardboard box which had a layer of Styrofoam "peanuts." Considering the case looks indestructible, I thought their packing was a little overkill, but then again, it arrived in perfect condition. I placed the ETX on the upper foam layer and used a felt tipped marking pen to trace around the ETX. I then cut the foam well within the pen mark to make sure the resulting hole was smaller than the scope as I'd rather have it really snug and compressing the foam rather than the scope rattle around inside. After cutting the top layer more or less to accept the ETX, I used the marker to trace the outline of the hole on the lower thick piece of foam. Since the thicker pieces are quite snug in the case, registration is not a problem. I'd guess it took about half an hour to get everything trimmed. I offset the ETX toward the hinge side of the case as I wanted the center of gravity to be below the center line of the case, hopefully making it more stable from falling over if it is standing on its hinge edge. It was fairly easy to cut round holes in the foam to accommodate the 26mm standard lens in the Mead supplied plastic holder. I cut a hole in the upper foam to accommodate the Vixen 8-24mm zoom lens large enough for the upper barrel of the lens and a smaller hole in the lower piece of foam to secure the smaller diameter end of the lens. The case with the two lenses, a barlow and 45 degree lens mount weighs in at 19 pounds. The case comes with a limited lifetime warranty and is American made. The case has an "O" ring around the lid which is advertised to make the case water tight. The lid is secured in the closed position by four husky plastic clips, two on each side and two adjacent to the handle on the front. A nice touch is the lid stays in an upright position, opening to about 100 degrees This is enough that the lid stays open and doesn't have a tendency to flop closed on your fingers. Another nice touch is a "vent" screw in the bottom which can be used when you change elevations, especially from higher to lower as the differential pressure will create a vacuum making the lid hard to pry open if the O ring does its job. Many of the case parts are replaceable for a modest fee. The thick foam pieces sell for $15.55. The plastic is quite thick and looks pretty durable. There are two 1/4 inch holes adjacent to the front locking clips that could be used to secure the case with small padlocks although it wouldn't take much effort to break or cut the plastic in that area so it is more an insurance to keep the case from accidentally popping open. With the four clips securely holding the lid in place, I can't imagine accidental opening being a problem. I'd say that the case is just about the right size for the ETX, the round base fits almost within the lower compartment. If anything, the case could be another inch thicker and give a greater margin of protection but it should be more than adequate. I'd hesitate to say it will fit under an airline seat, it is about 3 or 4 inches larger than a standard hardside briefcase in length and width but is twice as deep. There are two "feet" molded into the hinge end of the case and it appears quite stable sitting on that end. All and all, I'd say this case is an excellent value for the money."
Joe Hartley (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports: "Based on this site, I decided to buy the extra-large Doskocil hard case from B&H photo. Even though I'd specified FedEx Saver as the shipping method (the cheapest way), I still got it on Xmas eve day, which was the day after I placed the order. (Thanks, FedEx!) Price of the unit was $69.95, and shipping was only $9.20. The case is as advertised - a rugged hard plastic case with modifiable foam inside. I have 2 minor problems with the case: it lacks the rubber O-ring that should go around the inside lip for waterproofing, and it only has one layer of the cubed foam. I have a call into B&H;'s customer service (at 2:00 PM Xmas eve day there was still someone answering the phone!), and I hope they'll be able to send out the parts separately. Even without these items, I would keep this case. The foam was easily customized to the shape of the ETX, the tabletop legs and the lens with plenty of room for additional lenses and other small accessories in the future. Even with just one layer of foam, the ETX is held in quite securely, and the waterproof O-ring seal is not terribly important to me, but it will be interesting to see if B&H;'s service rises to the occasion. Overall, I'm very happy with this case as it is, and am much happier with this than if I'd gone with a soft case. Many thanks to Mike for this great resource for the ETX! Without it I likely would have ended up with an inferior case cradling my new baby :)"
Jim O'neill (email@example.com) adds: "i bought the x-tra large case from doskocil and it's great,i have every thing in there 5 e.p.'s a barlow 3 filters ,both controllers ,the 497 and the standard one underneath it also flashlight[red],compass,tripod base[round one] that goes in standing up on it's side,a solar filter underneath telescope under tube for support [a tuthill]spare batteries ,one e.p. is on scope #5 also a 1x spot scope still mounted on scope w/ a little cutout on the eggshell linning on lid .you can dig out foam underneath to store more stuff and buy some 3m dbl. sided strips to keep the upper layer of foam in place when pulling out your scope THIS IS A GREAT BUY also check out university optics for low price, extreme quality eyepieces i stress the fact due to the reason that i've tried all kinds of e.p.'s for over 25 years and went back to u.o. optics, check it out at www.universityoptics you won't be dissapointed unless you like to buy vanity eyepieces and spend 150 to 300$ and get the same results."
Bob Allman (firstname.lastname@example.org) notes the following important point: "The Doskocil Seal-Tight extra large case is rightly featured in your case forum but the source given, B&H Photo-Video apparently has discontinued carrying the line around the spring of '99. I conducted an extensive search online and by phone and no one has them for the $69.95 B&H once did. The best I found was at tallyns.com: $79.95 plus $9 S&H. This is a pro-photo shop run by Scott Tallyn (800-433-8685). Next best was a full $10 higher (Pocono Scopes). And other prices ranged up to $119 (Orion). Thought posting the additional source might save others a lot of time, so I've sent this info along. Thanks again for a great site!"
Kurt Sowers (Kurt.Sowers@dtn.com) responds: "Bob, I read your post on the Mighty ETX site, and I beg to differ with you. I purchased the Doskocil Seal Tight Extra Large case last week from B&H. Go to www.bhphotovideo.com Click on the "Photo" button near the top-left of the page. On this page, under the "Photo Accessories" category, click on the "Bags/Cases/Carts" link. On this page, under the "Hard Cases" category, click on the "Watertight" link. This page has what you're looking for."
Bob Allman (email@example.com) replies: "I used the B&H search feature and neither Doskocil nor Seal-Tight are recognized (check it, Doskocil isn't listed among manufacturers' products carried). To compound things twice I was left on hold when I called. No net search engine, and I use them all, came up with an active link to B&H for these cases. Every old link was said to be out of date circa April '99. But you're right, I tried the cumbersome approach you outlined and I've now spent $10 more than I needed to have. It'd sure be nice if B&H would fix their search engine and their phone folks. Most sites who don't list a manufacturer don't carry their line period."
Jamey Ethridge (firstname.lastname@example.org) adds: "I ordered the extra large Doskocil Seal Tight case from B&H Photo last week and received it three days later. The case was packed in a cardboard box with styrofoam peanuts, packed inside another box with styrofoam peanuts. Overkill? Probably, but then again, the case was in perfect shape after a 1000 mile shipping odyssey to my house. After some planning and serveral different trial configurations, I was able to create a layout for the case that would hold my ETX-90EC, Autostar, Orion solar filter, Orion Skyglow filter, Orion moon filter, Meade 26mm eyepiece, Meade Shorty Barlow, Orion 13mm eyepiece, Orion 7mm eyepiece, and a PhotoCo LensPen. Designing the layout and "plucking" the foam cubes took about 45 minutes. After the plucking was done and I was happy with the design, I glued the two cubed-foam pieces together using contact cement so they would not lift out of the case when I removed the scope. I was able to consolidate the contents of two (inferiorly built) cases into this one (excellently built) case. A quick trip to a local department store allowed me to buy two dial-combination padlocks (I rarely have my keychain with me when I'm in the backyard, so keeping track of keys is a hassle). All in all, I am VERY happy with the construction and quality of this case, not to mention the price. If I had to do it again, I would in a heartbeat! I HIGHLY recommend this case to anyone wanting to protect their ETX and equipment, but without unnecessarily spending more for less of a case. I am including a picture of my case and it's internal layout, as well as an inset picture of the outside of the case showing the two padlocks."
Rick Raiton (email@example.com) adds: "Just thought you might want to post another site that sells the DOSKOCIL Cases. I just ordered one from them - the extra large for $55.81 plus $8.00 for shipping (from Arlington, Texas to Phoenix, AZ). They also have the large case for $42.00. They have an online order form, but lack any means of calculating shipping. I had to call them (817-784-9138)to find out the shipping charge. Thanks for a great ETX site."
Ken Toliver (firstname.lastname@example.org) adds this important comment: "Please be advised, this case is NOT for the ETX-125EC! I know it must seem obvious, but I myself purchased the unit at the same time I bought my 125. Not having my 125 in hand, I simply assumed that the "extra large" Doskocil case would hold it. The article mentions the ETX in several places, but does not clarify which one! That aside, the article was great and I truly wish the thing would fit! I just thought I'd pass this along so no one else makes the same mistake."
|email@example.com provided the following comments: "Recently I purchased the hard foamlined carrying case for the ETX from JMI (Jim's Mobile Inc. 800-247-0304 for orders or 303-233-5353 for information). The case arrived in good condition, for $ 109.95 plus $ 7 for shipping I did expect a better made case. The shell is cast plastic, the hardware is obviously of poor quality, the lid does not close well. It does accomodate the ETX firmly in cut out foam, which incidentally emits a noxious odor the first couple of times the case is opened. The cut-outs do accomodate my accessories, though I do have a problem with my camera adapter and the barlow lens. Would I recommend the Hard Case, I am not sure, I do believe that a hard case will give better protection than a soft one, but for $109.95 this case is just not good enough. The following improvements are needed: Improve the quality of the hinge and the locks, ensure a better alignment between the top and the bottom, install reinforcement behind the locks both top and bottom, and for heavens sake, air out the case before shipping, the smell of the foam is awful."
Mike here: Based upon the comment above about the smell of the foam in a new case, JMI has informed me that they now air out cases and have purchased an electronic air deodorizer to help in the process. They sent me a case to check out and while there is a slight odor, it does not seem that different from other foam-lined cases I have seen (and smelled) over the years. Apparently, the airing out process is working. As to the case itself, it is entirely of plastic with metal latches (lockable, keys included). Locking the latches would appear to useful only to prevent accidental opening; prying off the latches would simply pull the rivets through the plastic. As shown in the photograph, there are cutouts for the ETX itself along with several eyepiece holes, a slot for the legs, and slots for some JMI accessories (or other small items). The ETX fit quite snugly and there was no concern about movement as there is with the Meade softcase. JMI is considering adding a hole for a Barlow Lens. As with any foam, scraping off flakes is possible, so I would suggest inserting a 35mm film can into the ETX eyepiece hole to prevent any possible foam flakes from entering the ETX. Is the case is worth $110? In comparison to the Meade softcase for $50, it certainly is priced correctly. Yes, you can get other cases such as the Doskocil Seal-Tight case described further up this page for less money but then you have to make the modifications yourself to support the ETX and accessories. For some people this is OK but others may prefer a final case for their money. Only you can decide. The JMI case will provide good protection for your ETX while traveling. But as with any expensive sensitive device, I would recommend hand carrying it on airplanes. The JMI case should fit in the overhead compartments.
Robert Van Den Huevel (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes: "I thought I'd let your readers know how the JMI hardcase stacks up in my opinion. I returned my image erector, since the vignetting and increased image size plus loss of sharpness were all too much to bear for me. With the trade-in credit and a little more money I bought a JMI hardcase. I wasn't about to go to Home Depot and buy a toolbox and some bubble-wrap for a makeshift case... :-) From what I have seen today, the JMI case is very light weight, (now) has no detectable smell to the foam, and its foam cutouts accomodate a fairly nice array of accessories and the ETX itself. The JMI case closes decently albeit slightly unevenly and feels fairly solid when filled with stuff. It's true that compared to some of the other cases in your reviews, it is not as well constructed. I don't think it is as good a value. But then again I will never need waterproofing nor some of the other bells and whistles these cases provide. Actually, there is ONE "feature" that I am a little worried about. This case should not be on the bottom of your suitcase stack or equipment pile in your car, and here is why. The side padding is not more than 0.25" thick, and the plastic siding is thin and flexible for such a type of case. Since I don't plan on stacking heavy objects on top of this case, (which would cause the side panels, which are not rigid like a metal case would be, to flex and press against the ETX assembly inside) I probably won't ever have a problem. I kind of am disappointed, because I'd like to be able to be reassured that I could kick the case coming from any direction and not have a problem. If you really press hard on both sides at once, a wheezing sound comes out of the JMI case as though it is breathing. I paid $65 on top of an exchange for credit for this case, and I blindly trusted my sales guy to stock the best case. I got a compromise, not "the best" by any means, but good enough for me now. I will say this -- it came ready-to-go and within minutes I had everything in the case. The cutouts are pretty nicely done and I feel good about the generous foam distances everywhere except the side panels. In my situation, I think I did OK for me, but not optimal in the long term. Everybody who reads this and is considering buying a hard case should take a close look at their actual needs and also maybe a little look at their psychological fears.... I think it might be worth the extra money to get a bomb-proof case. Think about it. You spend $550, $700, maybe even $1500 on an ETX and its eyepieces, then try to save $50 on the case? As Spock would say, "unwise." If you possibly can, get the best, or else wait. This accessory could be more important than all the rest. Take care all, thanks for reading, clear skies and no sodium vapor lamps."
|ETX Carrying Case||Meade||N/A||$50|
|I purchased the ETX Carrying Case from Meade. The case is a blue, soft, nylon case, 15" (length) x 7" (width) x 7.5" (height), with a zippered top and strap. There is a small flat zippered pocket on the inside for holding a small amount of paper and the ETX's tabletop legs. There are no supporting structures inside the case for the ETX barrel or any eyepiece pockets. In fact, other than the flat pocket there is nothing inside. This was both a surprise and a disappointment; I expected there would at least be something inside to hold the ETX tube and keep it from shifting. Fortunately, the fit is tight enough for the ETX to not move around. There is room on either side of the tube for an eyepiece or accessory case (soft) than measures no more than 4.5" x 1.5" x 7.5". I found a nice small accessory case at Robinsons-May in the cosmetics section for $11. Disappointment aside, I believe the ETX case will be adequate for travel although caution will be required since it is a soft case.
Kit-ying Hui (email@example.com) provided the following comments: "I just got my ETX carrying bag and I'd suggest others NOT to get it unless you have no other choice. The bag is badly designed. There is no handle but only a shoulder-strap. Maybe Meade is so confident in the ETX that they put in just 1cm (or less?) of packing. Originally I thought I can reinforce the protection by adding extra sponge. However, the bag is so tight that there is no space for anything extra, at least, for both ends of the bag. The bottom of the bag is also very weak, which I suspect to be made of cardboard paper (???). And finally, I saw the label "Made in Hong Kong". You know, I'm just back from HK (where I bought my ETX) and now I'm buying this "Made in HK" bag in the U.K.! In conclusion, try to find a big-enough camera bag instead of the Meade one. I don't think Meade has put any thought into the design & manufacturing of this carrying bag."
Kit-ying Hui (firstname.lastname@example.org) provided the following additional comments: I'm the guy who blamed the ETX carrying-bag a lot last time. Anyway, I live with it and I found that you can actually use a lunch-box to keep your eye-pieces and put them in the ETX carrying-bag. The solution is to put it under the ETX. In this picture you can see 3 eye-pieces, the 2x barlow and the 45-degree erect prism for the ETX. The box measures 19 x 14 x 5.5 cm in dimension and provides sufficient protection. The only problem is that there isn't enough space for me to put the EZ-finder together with the EPs. In the 2nd picture, you can see the arrangement of the box in the ETX bag. Simply speaking, I put the box on one end of the bag and fill the remaining space with a 3cm thick sponge. The trick is that the ETX has some space under the OTA when it is lying flat. The 3rd picture shows the arrangement of the ETX in the bag. You can see that I put the ETX base to the other side of the bag so that the OTA is directly on top of the lunch box. With the extra space on either side of the OTA, you can put in other accessories. Like an air-brush, in my case. Above the OTA, you can put a pocket star-atlas. The whole arrangement allows me to pick up the ETX and go in a few seconds. Of course, I can't put the tripod into the bag. I hope this information is useful to other ETX users.
Ron McCafferty (RonMcCafferty@email.msn.com) offers the following: "I have one of Meade's soft carrying cases that I think deserves some credit. It is at least 1/2 the price of a hard case. It is well constructed. The material is strong. The zipper works well. The stitching is well done. The strap goes to the bottom of the case for strength. It is small enough to travel with. I use Tupperware containers for accessory storing as suggested by another Weasner's Mighty ETX site contributor. I looked at less expensive bags and was not happy with the material and/or strap strength, stitching, or zippers. I was worried that the bag would fail and that my scope would drop to the ground. I used to buy my kids cheap backpacks for school. They would last a couple of months. I finally bought them nice Jansports that they been using for 2 years with no show of wear except a little dirt. I think the lesson I learned applies here. I'd like the Meade case to be more like my 7 year old Tamrac video camera bag with a handle, customizable compartments, and more padding. But I paid $99 for that bag. Compared to less expensive bags that you'd find in K-Mart I think the Meade bag is worth the money. I decided to get the Meade bag because I was tired of using the shipping box and because I wanted to spend my money on viewing accessories rather than a hard case. I just traveled via airplane from California to Florida to a family reunion with the Tamrac and Meade Bags. I "carried on" my Meade and Tamrac bags. Actually my daughter carried the Tamrac. They fit together under the seat or in the overhead bin. My telescope was undamaged. I wowed the family with views of Jupiter and Saturn. The ETX has performed beyond my expectations."
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