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CPC tripod for 8se

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#1 Tim J K

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:21 PM

Amazon periodically lists used CPC heavy-duty tripods for sale, and I finally decided to try one for my 8se. The UPS driver just delivered it. $186 with free Shipping. It was listed as "used but in like new condition". It looks brand new to me! As packaged, it looked like it is straight from the factory. Very nice, solid mount. I've included a couple photos of the 8se on the HD tripod and a shot of the stock SE tripod vs the CPC. If the clouds will hold off, I'll try to report back soon with comments on improvements in stability.

Tim

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#2 Tim J K

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

Here is another shot:

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#3 Tim J K

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:30 PM

And one more.

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#4 TmaninTn

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:01 PM

Looks good Tim! Interested to hear your results. I bet you'll get minimal vibration issues with that setup.

#5 Smittty692k4

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

$186 is hard to pass up. Now I gotta go check out Amazon. :grin:

#6 mitaccio

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:48 PM

Does it hold the SE mount the same as the original tripod? Are there the three thumb screws to hold the mount on the tripod? I am interested in knowing how well it works!

#7 Tim J K

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:51 PM

Thanks Tim. I'm hoping to try it out tonight. I'll let you know how it does.

Matt- I just looked on Amazon and the cheapest right now is $206 in "good" condition. Hopefully they will have some more "like new" ones for a little cheaper soon.

Tim

#8 Tim J K

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:54 PM

mitaccio - The 6/8 SE mount fits perfectly on the CPC tripod. All of the holes and center pin are a perfect fit. It really is a rock-solid tripod for the light load of the 8se.

Tim

#9 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:57 PM

Tim - Thanks for posting! A fairly substantial tripod and it sounds like an 8SE and 6SE attaches with no problem. Something to think about, g... Tony

#10 paolotto

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:48 AM

Very intriguing, Tim... how many pounds would you say it adds compared to the standard tripod? Can you still lug it all in one trip?

#11 Tim J K

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:18 AM

Tony and paolotto - The SE mount is a perfect match to the tripod. It definitely adds some weight (maybe an extra 12 or 15 lbs.?), but I can still carry the whole set-up out of the garage to the backyard at once.

I had a few minutes last night for a quick test of the new tripod with the 8se. Like I said, that tripod is very solid. If you kick a leg, the vibrations damp out more quickly than the stock tripod. This will help for use with our kids and at outreach events. Overall I would say it improved stability, but there is still a a good deal of vibration when focusing. This must be a result of the mount itself. I didn't use my vibration suppression pads - I'll have to try those next time.

I'll need to do more testing, but overall I would say that stability was improved somewhat, not a lot. I may need to get an electric focuser to get rid of the vibration induced by manual focusing.

At times I do wonder if the mount itself can be tightened up a little to improve stability. I know that you don't want to over-tighten the clutches and cause problems with motor and gear wear, but does anyone know if there are locations on the frame/structure of the single-arm mount itself that sometimes need to be tightened to provide more rigidity. I've never taken the mount apart to check. Thanks.

Tim

#12 bcuddihee

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:46 AM

I have found this to be a very solid combo,

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#13 Dave Ponder

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

Yep, I have the same set up. I added some Celestron Anti-Vib Pads and was a Big improvement over stock. Got my CPC tripod new from Amazon at about $300 delivered. I did have to screw in the center pin for a correct fit, but it was a a no-brainier. .

#14 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:09 PM

I use my CPC1100 tripod for my 8i at star parties... and yes it proved to be a heck of a lot more stable then the OEM Tripod ( I think my tripod is identical to that shipped with the newer 8i's

However my spreader bar on the CPC tripod does not look like the one shown in the picture ...I'm guessing but my CPC si 3 or 4 years old...

I have NEVER mounted the CPC on its tripod.. its pier mounted in my observatory...IF I had to lug that sucker outside I would not have purchased it.. Tooooo Big toooo heavy

Bob G.

#15 herrointment

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:02 PM

I've stripped the mount down to individual parts...there are not too many! The arm/base interface is secured with 4 cap bolts into threads in aluminum. They were sufficiently tightened at the factory on my unit. There's not a lot inside the mount that could be modded to improve stability sorry to say. IMO the electric focuser is the solution....love my homemade example built from this ...http://emediadesigns.com/focuser/ .

#16 Peter9

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:54 PM

I too turned to a motofocuser to solve the problem after trying various other methods. In the end, if you don't have to touch the scope during focusing, you don't get any vibrations.

Regards. Peter.

#17 Tim J K

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:24 PM

Thanks for all of the replies everyone. Nice set-up bcuddihee!

I have noticed that there is a small amount of play in the mount base between the two sections labeled 1 and 2 in the attached photo. Is that normal for the SE bases? I've had my 8se for 3 years now, and have used it quite a bit. I don't know if the play in the base is new or if I just had not noticed it previously.

Tim

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#18 Tim J K

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:29 PM

I should specify: it is about 1 or 2 mm of play in the azimuth motion. It is solid vertically.

Tim

#19 bcuddihee

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:22 AM

Tim, I believe there is a thread that was posted a while back that addressed this issue. I had the same issue with my SE a couple of years back and the problem became progressively worse over time. There are several brackets holding various pieces of the drive in place and these brackets sometimes work themselves a bit loose. Most likely it is the one holding the main drive gear. It could also be the motor mount itself working loose or the gear on the motor that drives the main gear. After just living with the slop in the base for quite a while I had my entire transmission housing separate from the motor...small gears everywhere in the housing. I just took it apart..stacked the gears correctly, tightened everything up and have no play in the base whatsoever anymore. In any case if you are somewhat mechanically inclined you can try to find the thread and take the base apart. The origin play should become evident rather quickly and can probably be remedied by a twist of a screwdriver. Hope this helps.
bc

#20 Tim J K

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

Thanks for the info BC. I'll look for that thread.

Tim

#21 Tim J K

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:35 AM

Thanks for all of the help everyone. The CN thread covering this is at:

http://www.cloudynig...d=nexstar&am...

I checked the azimuth drive sprocket, both little hex screws were tight. I then tightened the azimuth nut a little tighter than it was. There is still just a little play, but not quite as much. Hoping for a clear and not so windy night to try it out soon.

Tim

#22 bcuddihee

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

In my case the play in the system was coming from the three black Phillips head screws holding the large gear ring in place. Hope this helps.

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#23 Tim J K

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:37 AM

Thanks again for the info BC. I didn't check the 3 philips screws. I'll have to check those. Is there any play at all in the azimuth on your SE mount now? I've still got a very small amount, less than 1 mm. Just wondering what is a normal amount if any.

Tim

#24 bcuddihee

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

None now but 1mm is just fine.
Glad you were able to fix the issue.
bc






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