In order to transport a large telescope, it is necessary to pay attention to the safety of optical tube, mount, cameras and accessories but we always suggest to keep the various components pre-assembled to avoid losing too much time when preparing the telescope in the field. Let's see how we managed to transport a large telescope using different bags and rigid cases to reach places with low light pollution, moving quickly in the car and allowing us to spend more time using the telescope and less to prepare it. At the end we will see the result of the First Light of our telescope and the verification of the optical tube collimation!
In fact, to transport a large telescope is not an easy thing but it is certainly possible if we manage and optimize our telescope. For example, using EAGLE instead of an external computer and installing it directly on the telescope, we have less cables, less items to transport, a smaller and lighter battery to power the whole telescope and we can keep all the cables pre installed on the telescope (without running the risk of being detached when the telescope moves during use).
In order to transport a large telescope we used:
2) rigid case to transport the Avalon-Instruments M-Uno mount with EAGLE already installed and all cables already connected. In order to keep the mount still, we have cut a filling sponge.
3) hard case to transport Atik 16200 CCD camera with, already installed, EFW3 motorized filter wheel with 7 50,8mm filters and off axis guider with Lodestar X2 guide camera.
4) soft case that comes together with Avalon-Instruments T-POD 130 tripod.
5) hard case to transport various accessories.
Then we obviously also had with us a special battery to power all the instruments in the field. We installed our telescope close to the observatory of the Pordenone Astronomical Association and we made our First Light! We tested all the telescope components for the first time under the stars: telescope focus, polar alignment, mount alignment and tracking, autoguide corrections. Everything was controlled from the EAGLE and ran so smoothly that at the end we recorded this 10 minute picture (single image) of the M27 nebula: we're very happy for the result of this first test!
The next day, we came back to our laboratory and we tested collimation on the optical bench. We were curious to check if, after more than 500 km of telescope in the trunk, the telescope was still collimated. And it was quite close! And thanks to the Bob's Knobs collimation screws we installed on the Celestron EdgeHD 925, we collimated it perfectly in a few minutes!