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CPC Operating Temperature

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#1 jerwin

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:14 AM

Friday night looks (mostly) clear in the Chicago area and I'm working about 45 minutes closer to our dark site than normal. Thinking about busting the CPC1100 out and putting in my first cold dark night of observing.

Temperature is 36-21F but I heard some dob guys at my astronomy club saying the LCD screens start to flake out and the goto scopes in general don't like the cold. (might just be dob guys bashing anything that isn't a dob as they sometimes do, but it might have some truth to it)

I don't feel like 21 is so cold my scope wouldn't work, but I was wondering how cold any of you guys have observed with a goto, and if you took any special caution around the electronics.

Thanks and Clear Skies,
Jim

#2 jerwin

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:17 AM

BTW, this was the only thing I was able to find from Celestron.

http://www.celestron...se&_a=viewar...

Jim

#3 akscubaduck

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:33 AM

I run my CPC 1100 in temps of -15f. :coldday: Dew heaters at both ends. Had to give up on the hand controller. (the cold affected scrolling) Now I use my ipad and SkySafari pro. Works like a charm in the cold weather.

#4 dragonslayer1

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:15 AM

I have been out in 32*/15* so far and hand controller starts to lock up/ freeze up.. what you can do is get one of those hand warmers and keep it next to hand control. I got a padded pouch for my controller and it fits inside it. Scope or vision seems to slow down after a few hours due to cold it seems too :bawling: Kasey

#5 KerryR

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:27 AM

I stuff the controller inside my mostly zipped up coat. Body heat keeps it warm and functioning.

#6 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:50 AM

I stuff the controller inside my mostly zipped up coat. Body heat keeps it warm and functioning.


To be honest I do that myself BUT do have a supply of chemical hand wanrmers and rubber bands handy...

The Problem I have with the LCD getting dimmer and sluggish is that the problem is unpredictable ..in both my 8i and my CPC1100 the HC'ers will work fine down below freezing on some nights ..yet will start to act up in the low 40's on others...??/ And although I do not like the cold... Temps in the 40's is NOT what I personally call cold..

When its cold I just shove it in the top of my jacket next to my chest.. IF the problem becomes severe..out come the chemical hand warmers and rubber bands

Bob G.

#7 cn register 5

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

You should be able to reduce the scrolling rate on the HC, this can improve it's legibility when it's cold.

Chris

#8 Digital Don

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:06 PM

Hi Jim,

I live about 50 miles due south of you. My CPC 1100 has 'lived' in my roll-off observatory since I got it about 5 years ago. Cold temperatures don't affect the scope's performance, but what the guys mentioned about the LCDs is accurate. Don't forget the "L" in LCD stands for liquid. In cold temperatures, the LCD becomes difficult to read. Some guys keep the hand paddle inside their coats, others attach a chemical 'hand warmer' to the back. Both of these are viable solutions.

Since my scope is in an observatory, and the warranty on my scope has expired, I opened up the hand paddle and installed the heating element I removed from a small Dew Not eyepiece heater. Along with the main heater for the corrector plate, the heater for the hand paddle is regulated by a Thousand Oaks Controller.

In this area you're going to need a heater (and dew shield) for the corrector anyway, so you might consider doing something similar even for a portable setup.

Don :usa:

#9 troutinco

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:29 PM

I haven't had any issues with my new CPC800 with the new nexstar+ controller. It's been in single digit temps a lot recently and no issues.
The display slows down slightly but I have not felt the need to use warmers because of it.

#10 jerwin

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:23 PM

Had a good night out last night. There ended up being 4 other people so I was bouncing around to everyone's scopes so I couldn't keep the controller tucked in my coat. It only got down to about 25 so it wasn't too bad but towards the end of the night I could see the refresh rate of the controller was sluggish. As I'd scroll through some named objects it would take a second for the display to look properly. I think some rubber bands might be a good addition to my equipment case for next time.

Not sure how many of these below freezing next times there will be this season but I think I'll be ready.

thanks for all your input.

Jim

#11 HeyJP

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:47 PM

If I remember correctly, the new version of the hand controller for CPC series (released last February-ish) has a more cold-tolerant display. (I have the old one).

Jim

#12 Digital Don

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:28 PM

If I remember correctly, the new version of the hand controller for CPC series (released last February-ish) has a more cold-tolerant display.


I'd do more winter observing if I was more cold tolerant... :roflmao:

However, using my MallinCam I saw M 1, M 42, Jupiter, and "Thor's Helmet" before the Moon interfered last night at about the same temperature Jim mentioned.

Don:usa:






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