CPC Operating Temperature
Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:14 AM
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,
Posted 04 January 2013 - 01:33 AM
Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:15 AM
Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:27 AM
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
Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:32 PM
Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:06 PM
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.
Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:29 PM
The display slows down slightly but I have not felt the need to use warmers because of it.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:23 PM
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.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:47 PM
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...
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.