The rigid foam in this multi-use JMI hard case can be configured to hold and transport many different Celestron and Meade 8” catadioptric telescopes. The foam in the case has pre-cut removable strips that convert the cavity that cradles the scope from one that holds Celestron NexStar single fork arm scopes to those that hold Meade dual fork arm LX50, LX90, LX100, and LX200 scopes.
The particular scopes this case will hold include 8” Celestron single fork arm NexStar 8, 8i, 8SE, and 8i SE scopes (may include optional GPS accessory); and 8” Meade dual fork arm LX50, older LX90, most current LX90 ACF and SCT, LX90GPS, LX100, LX200 (both GPS and non-GPS), LX200-ACF, LX200GPS, and LX200R.
For a period in 2013 and 2014, Meade modified the 8" LX90 ACF telescope so that it could no longer be positioned with the optical tube pointing straight down between the forks. The tube of scopes made in that time frame could only be stored in the nose-up position, making it incompatible with this JMI carrying case. Starting in 2014, Meade changed back to the nose-down storage position. At this time JMI has no plans to produce a case for the brief run nose-up storage design. If your LX90 stores in a nose-up position, do not order this case. If your LX90 ACF stores nose down, this case will work.
WARNING: Read the instructions packed with the case carefully to determine which foam pieces to remove to fit your particular scope. If you remove the incorrect pieces, they will have to be glued back in place. We recommend saving the unneeded foam is case you change telescopes at a later date and have to reconfigure the case interior.
The case has been manufactured with exact-fit die-cut foam to hold the above telescopes as securely as possible. It can, however, be used for telescopes other than those for which it was designed. The following information is provided to help you make a decision about purchasing this case for an 8” telescope not listed above.
The following 8” fork-mounted telescopes should also fit inside this case with a small amount of space between the fork arms and the foam: Celestron C8, C8+, Celestar 8 Deluxe, Powerstar 8, Fastar 8 (both the original version with the non-tapered Celestar 8 style fork arms and the newer version with tapered Ultima 9¼" style fork arms) and Ultima 8; plus all Meade 2080 LX2 through LX10 versions.
In addition, the optical tube of Celestron and Meade 8" German equatorial mount SCT or Newtonian telescopes (26" length maximum) will also fit loosely inside the case, although extra padding will be needed to take up the extra space, especially at one or both ends of the optical tube.
For the benefit of the Star Trek fans among us, the case is shaped somewhat like a photon torpedo, with a thicker center section to hold the optical tube and thinner sides that cradle the fork arms. This form-fitting cross-section allows it to take up less space during transport than an ordinary footlocker-style case, and provides firmer support to the scope in all directions.
The approximate weight of the empty case is 18 lbs. The shipping weight is approximately 26 pounds. Its outside dimensions are 32" x 21.5" x 13.6", including handles. The shipping weight is 22.8 lbs. However, due to its physical size, the freight companies consider it to be an oversize carton and charge for shipping as if it actually weighed 54 lbs. All values are subject to slight changes.
The case includes four latches (two lockable), three steel-reinforced handles, a 2" by 26" steel hinge and die-cut foam lining with compartments for the telescope, four 1.25” eyepieces, finder scope, and star diagonal. A soft bag is included for hand control protection. The case can be carried or pulled using the attached wheels that make it easy to roll the case from place to place. An optional large (10”) pneumatic wheel upgrade is available for transporting the scope over rough terrain.
When used for the Meade LX90, the LNT Module and SmartFinder must be removed and stored in the case. A quick-release bracket is included for instant accurate repositioning when attaching the LNT Module. (This bracket can be used for other finders also.)
This JMI case is not inexpensive, but it offers the best possible protection for your 8” Celestron or Meade scope. The peace of mind of knowing your scope is traveling safely is surely worth the expense.