Sunday, January 14, 2007

under my nose

In one of those unpredictable flashes of inspiration, having just walked by my "old" SLR camera bag, a Lowe-Pro TrimTech Traveller, which was sitting empty on the floor, collecting dust (and who knows how many crumbs from this winter's murder of ants), I wondered... would it fit the Celestron SP mount and counter-weights?!

The TrimTech Traveller served me well as a camera bag. It travelled with me to the Caribbean (more than once) and Europe. I used it for a reasonable amount of time but when I got a second camera body after the wide-angle lens, it was getting a wee bit crowded. It was around that time I received a Blacks camera bag which was slightly larger and designed differently and just worked a little better. Not perfect but better. Having vacated the Lowe-Pro, I stuffed it into a corner.

Other old carrying bags I have successfully put into service for various things. For example, I took an old, largish leather laptop bag and stuffed my portable car battery into it. Works perfectly. I even keep the AC power supply and in-car CLA-to-CLA adapter with it. The strap is helpful given the weight of the lead-acid battery. Very handy when I need to zap the dew.

Another old laptop bag stores my old Nintendo 64 game console, two controllers, power adapter, and cords. There's even room for a couple of games. Again, brilliant, for toting the (ancient) cartridge system around.

I was just thinking how good the Lowe-Pro was. Integrated straps to turn it into a back pack. Moveable Velcro dividers. Well-padded case and well-padded shoulder strap. Still in good shape, nothing broken on it. It would be a shame to not be able to use it.

When all of a sudden it occurred to me that the main compartment is about the right size... Could it be?

It works!

I finally have a convenient way of carrying the mount, weights, and shaft.

I can't tell you how long I have been struggling with this. How I have fantasised about a metal case with a custom insert or some well-padded fabric case. How many toolboxes I have considered. How many hockey bags I have pondered...

And all the while it was sitting here.

I'm one step closer to being able to carry all my telescope gear in two trips, maybe even one.

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