EAA Black Box 2.0 – Storing all the gear…

I am collecting more and more gear for EAA… cameras, focus masks, dew heaters, power cords, cables, filters, tools, light box, extension tubes… As my gear collection grows I want to be able to keep it protected, organized, easy to move, easy to set up, and easy to pack up. The time had come to upgrade my EAA Black Box. My EAA Black Box has been working out very well, and initially there was a bit of room to grow but I quickly filled the space and have already outgrown it. I am upgrading to something a bit different to keep things organized and portable… hopefully I won’t out grow it as fast. I will probably still use my original EAA box from time to time, it will definitely be easier to get in the truck if I head out to observe from somewhere besides the backyard.

I was searching around for different boxes which might work and I came across this system, the Craftsman TradeStack, from Lowes.
EAA Black Box, Craftsman Tradestack
Definitely plenty of room for my current gear and much more room to grow. It is sturdy as well as water and dust resistant, so it will provide good protection. It is also on wheels which makes it very easy to wheel out to the scope to set up and easy to wheel back into the garage after breaking down at the end of an EAA session.

I am using the small box to store my filters, tools, cleaning supplies, Astroberry Raspberry Pi, and some odds and ends. It came with 6 small parts bins in the small box. The parts bins are handy for things like velcro ties, dust caps, and other odds and ends. I also have my filters, in their own holders, in the parts bins.
Small Box - Tools, Filters, Cleaning Supplies, Odds and Ends

In the medium box I have organized all my EAA gear: Cameras, cables, power supplies, dew heater controller, hand controller, extension tubes, focus masks, and other stuff needed for EAA.
Medium Box - Cameras, Controllers, Cables, Power Supplies
It may look a little bit disorganized, but everything I need to setup for EAA is in there and is easy to get to.

In the large bottom box I have a bunch of stuff I need but do not need regularly… dovetails, tube rings, mount stuff, etc… I also store the LED light panel I use for taking flats and the dew shield for the C6 in the bottom box. Even with all that I think there is actually enough room in the bottom box for the Celestron C6 SCT, I may get some foam and work out away to store the SCT in there for when it is not on the mount, or for travel.

On the hand cart there is a place to wind up a power cord. I picked up a power strip with a couple of USB outlets and attached it to the bottom of the large box with adhesive velcro strips.
EAA Black Box Power Strip
A single extension cord provides all the power I need for my setup.

The Raspberry Pi with the Display fits nicely in the top box for easy access.
EAA Black Box with Raspberry Pi
I may try to figure out a way to mount the Raspberry Pi and Display in the top of the box. It works great where it is at, but might be a little better mounted, something I’ll think about.

I can roll everything out to the scope and set up, then when I am done I can pack it all up and roll it back to the garage.
EAA Blackbox Setup
Works well and I dig it.

I really need to make some progress on the Scope Buggy build… hopefully soon. Having the mount and scope being easily wheeled out as well will be awesome.

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