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03-03-2014, 06:06 PM   #1
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Pelican as a travel case

Again, let me share some life lessons... In a post probably way too long for many to read... I always do that... But I'm very happy on how the thing turned out. And if it helps one person, it'll be worth sharing.

First, some context:
On my last trip, I took quite a bit of gear with me. All packed nicely into my camera backpack, which I used as my carry-on. But on my return flight, the plane was full and obviously they ran out of room in the overhead bins... So as any decent and caring human beings would do, people started compacting the compartments. When I got home, I saw that one of my filter case was broken, probably the result of the storage improvement technique of AA. My backpack padding is heavy enough but I feel lucky that none of my hood got crushed or god forbid one of my bodies.

Then, some trial and error:
So I went ahead and bought a Pelican case (1510, with little wheels and a retractable handle, within carry-on guidelines of pretty much every airlines). It's not the most practical but it's waterproof and very crush resistant. It came with their pick-and-pluck foam thingy which make customizing the foam fairly easy but it's far from beautiful. And after a few months of putting stuff in and taking it out, the foam started to fall apart. I ordered a new foam online, this time I got a solid piece, no pick-and-pluck thingy. I've built myself a guitar wire foam cutter and went at it. Wow did that turned out ugly. Better than the first one but far from a case I'd be proud to show off.

And then:
I went online again and found a website where you can draw your design, as complicated as it might be and they'll cut it for you. It's not cheap but they do a very good job (I order all my foam for my priceless instruments, OTDR and meters at work from them) So I figured that for the amount of money that sit in it, it's worth the price of getting it done properly.

So, if anyone of you is looking for a sturdy and heavy-duty case for your gear which will float, is water tight and can easily take a beating, Pelican is the way to go. (I've squeezed 2 bodies, 2 chargers, 4 batteries, 4 SD cards and 8 lens in it, including the DA* 50-135 and the Sigma 35, which are not small). But if like me, you've got limited talent at crafting stuff, check out they do a great job.

I don't want it to look like I'm advertising for them, I just want to let you guys know, in case you ran into the same problem I did.

03-04-2014, 02:21 PM   #2
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03-04-2014, 03:05 PM   #3
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I'm not a professional photographer, nor do I have enough lenses to warrant this kind of storage, but I definitely agree with having a dedicated ATA bag if you're going on an airplane with a lot of gear. I do some DJ work and I've never seen anyone carry equip into an airplane with a softcase, it's almost always in an aluminum and wood flight case.

Pelican cases are as bombproof as you can get though. They're actually heavier than most aluminum/wood flight cases heh. Some of them are even watertight, some have gas-balancing valve so they don't vacuum-lock when you go through pressure differences.
03-04-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
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Actually got the Pelican idea from back in my DJ days...

I actually pulled that puppy from its Pelican case to snap a few pictures last fall... Ended up setting the whole thing up and buying Serato...

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03-04-2014, 03:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by fgaudet Quote
Pelican as a travel case
Yep that's exactly what I use 1510s, for all the reasons you describe, but with all of mine I use the dividers and net bag thingy in the lid section.

My Pentax Pelican, has two bodies with lenses mounted plus four other lenses and a shed load of stuff in the net bag lid thingy.
03-04-2014, 04:04 PM   #6
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glad to see another Serato user online! I wish I had a Pelican case for my controller, heh I only recently started to get into mixing and it didn't cross my mind until lately that it may have been a better value vs my current flight case.

That's a really slick shot of those Stantons...I'm guessing Scratch Live?
03-04-2014, 04:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ablahblah Quote
I'm guessing Scratch Live?
Yup, SSL. I had M-Audio Torq before but I couldn't get it going on Mounting Lion, and having zero patience and no control over myself...

I ended up using Pelican after my stored gear go into a club fire a few years ago (well, a decade ago). Stuff was in the basement, safe from the fire but the water the FD poured on the blaze got the best of the flight cases... It was a disaster, I lost everything except a single MKII that I managed to Frankenstein with parts from the wreck. So I bought watertight cases afterward.

03-05-2014, 09:26 AM   #8
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Hmm, I've never actually had any experience with Torq, I got in a bit late so my primary expertise is with Traktor, Serato, and VDJ heh. Was it an older DVS system?

Sorry about to hear about that club fire man, I can't imagine having good equipment lying around safe only to be ruined by water. Glad to hear you salvaged a MKII out of there though, need more of those things around these days! Water has been worrying me lately actually, as it occurred to me that the flight cases didn't have "waterproof" explicitly labeled anywhere. I'm doing a regular gig next year; if it's pouring outside, I'm not sure if I want to take that gamble now that you mentioned that. May have to swap out before then
03-05-2014, 11:10 AM   #9
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Flight / road case are pretty good. They'll live thru some nasty weather, as long as you don't submerge them (SKB made some decent water proof flight cases back in the days but $$$). During the fire, the basement flooded with water, it was like 3'-4' deep, they had to pump it out, my stuff marinated in that soup for more than a week.
Torq was nice (it came out a bit after the first version of SSL) my kit came with a 2 stereo in/4 stereo out USB box, a couple of timecode vinyls and the software. But it wasn't as bullet proof as Serato was... but it was half the price and since I was not living off of djing anymore, it was good enough for a rec room setup... until I lost patience with it

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