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Nexstar 11

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#1 garyp1936

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:14 PM

What are some of the pros and cons of the Nexstar 11, especially in comparison to a new CPC 1100? What should one be aware of when considering buying one? Thanks

#2 rboe

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:57 PM

The NexStar has an internal armature so it's impossible to cord wrap. There isn't one to wrap. Bearings are of a heavier duty than the new units. This will be glaringly obvious in about 6 generations. I warned you!!

The older Nexstars (if not all) if the handset has not been upgraded, uses the level and north alignment that meade sued them over. I got used it so I prefer it.

The NexStars did not goto as fast as the new ones so the are a LOT quieter. Speed or noise. Pick your poison.

Tripod seems better on the newer units. Other than that I don't really know them all that well.

#3 mclewis1

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:50 PM

Pro's - great optics with CF tubes and fastar secondaries. As Ron said great bearings/gears/motors, no cord wrap, and the level and north firmware.

Con's - tripod is just ok (the CPC model is a bit heavier), mounting the scope on the tripod can be finicky (it's a bit easier with CPC ... the fix for the NS11 is a Starizona Landing Pad), clutches can over time run out of adjustment and Alt clutch lever can be broken with too much pressure.

NS11 GPS scopes can be upgraded with a v4 or V5 hand controller. This is both a good and bad thing. You gain all the NexStar firmware improvements (Jnow positioning, bit better goto accuracy, etc.) but as Ron said you loose the very convenient level and north capability of the Auto 2 star alignment.


If you are looking at buying one I'd first want to ensure that the optics are in great shape (minimal cleaning, and if the corrector has been pulled that it's been replaced correctly using correct spacers and properly centered).

Mechanically you want to ensure smooth movements throughout the complete range of altitude and azimuth motions. No resets due to electrical interruptions (it's very rare but the slip rings can wear and have spots where corrosion can cause voltage drop outs). Make sure the clutches can lock both axis's. The focuser should be smooth throughout it's range of motion.

If the scope had a rail system on it (and it's been removed) make sure there is no interference between the primary mirror and any bolts put back into the rear cell. The scope should also come with it's large aperture to SCT thread adapter (this is sometimes miss placed by owners when the upgrade to 2" visual backs or external focusers).

Generally though if an NS11 hasn't been futzed with (technical term of someone who's taken the scope apart and played with it) too much there is very little risk in buying a used model.

#4 rmollise

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:42 AM

I like the CPCs just fine, but there is little doubt in my formerly military mind that the Nexstar GPS was a hair better. The downsides? Only one that I know of is that the scope has been out of production for a while and the earlier ones are getting rather long in the tooth. OTOH, my NS11 is still going strong ten years down the line... ;)

#5 rboe

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:14 AM

I bought a spare handset for mine, you know, for just in case. Have yet to use it. It's a very good scope; especially for public outreach (goto, good eye piece height, tracks, big enough to bring in detail on otherwise faint fuzzies & looks impressive).

Kinda hard to wear these guys out(NS or CPC). I think that the biggest deal is whether you want a warranty or not so you are talking new or used. If you are talking strictly used out of warranty scopes I'd score on the NS scope just to avoid the cord wrap feature and the level north. But it really depends on your hot buttons. Some folks appreciate the faster slew speeds so the CPC would make more sense for them.

Other than those points, it could come down to deciding between two particular scopes instead of model lines. A scope in very good condition at a good price would trump a well used and tired model of either version.

#6 garyp1936

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:55 PM

Thanks for all the replies. I got to see and heft one at Starizona this morning. I think at age 76 I'll take a pass; the scope is more massive than I had hoped, and the weight (65lbs) is something I wouldn't want to lift on a regular basis. Gary in Tucson

#7 aamilo

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 06:36 PM

You might consider a NS8 or CPC800 then. I really wanted an 11" too and then did a "weight carrying test". For me the 11" was just too much but the 8" was OK.

#8 garyp1936

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:05 PM

aamilo, I already have an 8SE (my original scope) which is fairly easy to move in one piece. I was (am) looking for a scope with better views of DSOs, particularly open clusters. I think maybe the Orion XX12i truss dob is the way to go. Before I jump, however, I would like to see one "live" in order to get a good sense of its size and weight. I'm certainly glad I had the opportunity to heft the CPC 1100--it made that decision much easier. Currently,I have a post on the Reflector forum asking if anyone in Tucson has an Orion XX12i that I might have a look at. Thanks. Gary in Tucson

#9 aamilo

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:56 PM

aamilo, I already have an 8SE (my original scope)


Sorry, I missed that. Best of luck in your search.

#10 rboe

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:35 PM

The ergo's are pretty good, but the mass is still there. :p A truss dob in the 12" range would do the job. Discovery comes to mind but Starizona should be able to help you out there. There are local star parties to check out too.

#11 Starhawk

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:45 AM

I have deforked my NS11 GPS. The new mount is a Mach 1 GTO, which works quite well. It is quite shocking how light and easy to move a C11 is when broken free from its fork, which is larger and heavier than the OTA. I'm working on what a future use of the fork might be, since it is a good mount in its own way.

-Rich

#12 mclewis1

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 06:52 PM

Rich,

I've gone through the same thing. I agree, it is amazing how compact and relatively light weight the bare C11 ota is.

I'm looking at the forks as a platform for something like 25x100 binoculars. One little problem is the price of good binos with right angle diagonals (don't really want to try observing with straight through models which would require the forks to be 5+ feet in the air ... lol).






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