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14" SCT setup/teardown concerns

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#26 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:00 PM

I am in the unique position of having owned both the 14" LX850 and the 14" EdgeHD. with CGE-PRO. For me they are about the same. I'd say the mount is heavier on the CGE-Pro but it can be broken down into two more manageable parts. The LX850 is lighter and has grab handles to make it a little easier to manage but has other drawbacks. Either way is equally difficult. I typically set up on a Friday night and tear down on a Monday morning but now'a'days unless there is bad weather I just leave it up but covered.

The OTA weight was about the same for me.

Edit: And what others have said I find to be true as well. I find myself gravitating towards my lighter grab-n-go stuff because I can be up and running in minutes and have it all put away again in minutes. I am in the market for an 8"EdgeHD for my Advanced VX mount for visual only.

#27 KDizzle

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:03 PM

Negotiating stairs while carrying this type of equipment is a definite bad idea. I don't even like to walk stairs with the CPC1100. Moving a CGE Pro isn't particularly difficult but it's not in the category of "fun". Plus, putting everything together again, rebalancing etc will become not-very-fun.

It's been mentioned already, but the solution here is really for something like wheely bars. My biggest scope with mount, counterweights and everything on it is probably ~300 lbs and it takes all of about 1 minute to roll it out and start aligning. If I had to take it apart and rebuild it each night, I'd need to have friends come over.

#28 Rick Woods

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:17 AM

With the LX850, I wonder if Meade is moving toward abandoning the fork mount?

#29 EFT

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

With the LX850, I wonder if Meade is moving toward abandoning the fork mount?


I doubt it. The LX600/650 is supposed to be next out and they would have to be crazy to abandon the LX90 and LX200 lines or something similar. The question is whether Meade is moving toward anything other than oblivion at this point.

#30 Steve Cobb

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:14 PM

You make a good point about dealing with a C-14 in the dark. That is one of the rules I seem to be developing about it's use versus a C-8. I don't take the C-14 if there is a realistic chance of it clouding up so there will be usage time limits or if there will be a lot of light pollution. I also try to get to the observing spot before it gets dark. I feel more comfortable putting up the beast in daylight. Taking it down in the dark is not a problem. Gravity helps greatly.

#31 ahopp

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:47 PM

I set my 14" up in my mobile observatory, I have a cross bar above the tripod that I attache a winch to. This allows me to suspend the OTA over the mount. Then safely lower.

Tony

#32 ahopp

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:50 PM

[quote name="Whichwayisnorth"]I am in the unique position of having owned both the 14" LX850 and the 14" EdgeHD. with CGE-PRO.
/quote] - Whichwayisnorth

I too purchased a 14" LX800/850 that was recalled. When did you get your back, and, do you get to keep it or were you simply beta testing?

Tony

#33 Qwickdraw

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:01 PM

Well, things just got a little more problematic for me. I have been in the hospital since Friday after suffering a mild heart attack. Three stents later added to my prior two makes five. Next time will be open heart bypass if there is a next time. Not to say that carrying a scope outside would be too much but dang, I am only 52 years old.

#34 Rick Woods

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:52 PM

Well, damn - that sounds like a whole lot of no fun! Maybe you should stand down on that 14", and think about maybe an 8" on wheels, or even something smaller!

#35 Scott Beith

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:11 PM

I hope you heal quickly! Take care of yourself.

#36 bilgebay

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:37 AM

I wish you a soon recovery.

#37 Stelios

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:05 PM

Get better, then take care of yourself. At 52 it's not too late to make lifestyle changes to make sure that you enjoy astronomy and all that life has to offer for many, many more years.

#38 David Pavlich

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:41 PM

If you're going to be negotiating steps, this could be enough to discourage you from using it as much as you'd like. You'll have to make several trips for sure. Do you have a garage? I used to have a CGE/C14 and had the whole shootn'match on a Scopebuggy. It sure made life easier to just wheel the stuff out in one fell swoop.

But, if it's up and down steps, you might want to think about the C11 instead. I just installed one in my observatory and found it fairly light and I've got the shoulders of 75 year old...darn weight lifting injuries. :p

David

#39 Qwickdraw

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:23 PM

If you're going to be negotiating steps, this could be enough to discourage you from using it as much as you'd like. You'll have to make several trips for sure. Do you have a garage? I used to have a CGE/C14 and had the whole shootn'match on a Scopebuggy. It sure made life easier to just wheel the stuff out in one fell swoop.

But, if it's up and down steps, you might want to think about the C11 instead. I just installed one in my observatory and found it fairly light and I've got the shoulders of 75 year old...darn weight lifting injuries. :p

David


I do have a rather large shed with double doors. My biggest concerns with the shed are somebody breaking into it and it can get well over 110 deg in there in the summer.

#40 Matt Houston

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 06:57 PM

I had an EdgeHD 14" with the CGE Pro mount a few years ago when they first came out. I set it up by myself once and I was a nervous wreck. I knew that one mistake would be disaster. I'm a strong guy and go the gym frequently, so lifting heavy objects isn't such a big deal. But lifting a precision instrument and holding it up with one hand while I tighten the mount screws with the other...I decided to sell the scope after that.

#41 schinia

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:32 AM

i was always careful lifting things, always tried to do it right. until one day i hit the ground, and spent two weeks in the hospital w/three herniated discs. it was a complete life change. no more going into the mountains with my horse for a week. no more anything. i couldn't go anywhere that i could go down and not be able to get up. i always had to be with someone. it meant no more hunting, metal detecting, walking in the woods, white water canoeing. as i said it was a complete life changing shock. so think wisely, expect the unexpected, and you will be alright.

#42 PeterR280

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:21 PM

I have a C11 on a G11 mount and it is a chore to set up. I would love to be able to set it up permanently.It's not just the scope. You have to carry all the components of the mount. Once the whole thing is set up, it is quite heavy. I am trying to figure out a scope buggy way of dealing with it.

#43 rmollise

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:43 PM

For most people, going heavier than a C11 is a mistake if the scope must be used regularly in a portable setup. Yeah, there are ways to get the OTA on the saddle without busting a gut, but most people will tire of toting a C14 around right quick. :lol:

#44 WesC

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 01:37 PM

I went though the same conundrum... I wanted a BIG aperture SCT, but I also wanted something that I could carry, maintain and setup by myself for many years to come. I waffled back and forth with the C11HD and the C14HD... until I saw the C14HD in person. Then it was HELL NO. :shocked:

Seriously, the difference in size and weight is HUGE. Then I went back and forth between the C11HD and 9.25HD... that difference was much less, so much less so that I bought the C11HD and have been VERY happy with it for the last year.

I have no trouble at all setting up and breaking down, its very easily manageable at 28lbs. :waytogo:

I'm 48, not in moderately fair shape, have had major back surgery, 7 broken ribs and a broken collarbone.

No, not from astronomy! :lol:

#45 GeneT

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:25 PM

I hope you get a full, speedy recovery. Keep your dreams of a good telescope, and it will help you recover. I am 70 years old, and I have to enjoy this hobby within my own physical limitations.

#46 amicus sidera

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:35 PM

Unless one has exceptional musculature and sense of balance, I believe that attempting to regularly set up a C14 by oneself, in addition to having to navigate a set of stairs, will eventually end in tears.

#47 jhayes_tucson

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:49 PM

I am planning on making a purchase of either the Celestron 14" edge HD or Meade 14" LX-850 (if there is one by then) in a little over a year. I do not have an observatory and would need to take it in and out of the house each use. Is this something that can be done reasonably safe (for me and the equipment) each time? I am not exactly a young man anymore and in my early 50's and I would have no help. I would need to negotiate about 4 or 5 steps on our porch each time. I know that probably nobody has experience setting up the LX-850 so most likely nobody can tell me if one make would have an advantage over the other as far as ease of setup. Are these scopes too big/bulky for me to handle solo? Should I consider something smaller?


I have a C14 on a "roll-out" pier. Today, I had to pull it all apart for some upgrades and I had forgotten how difficult it is to manage solo. I am an active technical rock climber and I'm in reasonably good shape so the weight of the OTA doesn't feel extreme. However, combine the weight with the size and position of the OTA on the mount and the possibility of bobbling it during set up goes way up. I remind myself each time I pull it apart that, "I could drop this thing!" No matter how you cut it, a 14" scope is just too big to be set up and broken down for each session--particularly if you are planing to do it on your own. If I had to set up in the dark by myself, the number of times I'd be willing to go through the process and actually use the telescope would go WAY down. In my view the 14" is perfect for an observatory or for a "roll out" set up like I have. I've posted it on a couple of other forums, but in case you missed it, I'll attach a photo so you can see what I mean by "roll-out". I love the aperture of the 14", but if you need to move it each time you use it, I suggest that you don't go larger than 11". It only takes dropping it one time to pretty much lose your investment and if it's easy, you'll use it a lot more.
John

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#48 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:53 PM

14" requires help no matter how fit you are. I put my 10" LX200 at my upper "comfortable" limit. For my 14" LX850 I do require help with the mount head and definitely with the OTA. Even if you can hoist this weight, a 14" OTA is just too big and bulky - why risk dropping it? And even though I am a fairly fit 51 year old lad (I sail and mountain climb), I always have helpers with the LX850. I sometimes even have a "spotter" with the 10" LX200 for a piece of mind.

I use a semi-permanent set up at my home using my Telegizmos cover, and I hope to have it in an observatory in the next year. 14" is simply not very portable and is not a quick "grab and go". I do love the view from it however!

#49 Eddgie

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 09:51 AM

For me personally, it was not so much the C14 itself.

The tube is about 50 lbs, but I did not find that difficult to manage. I used an observing chair that could let me get close to the ground for zenith, and this meant that I could use the scope on a CGE with the legs almost fully retracted (just left enough inside leg out for leveling, about 1 ".

This meant that I kept the lift height reasonable.

The OTA itself "Dead" carrires well becuase of the two handles.

I owned the C14 many years and totally loved using it.

But it was not the size or weight of the OTA that finally drove me out.

It was the totallity of it all. Not only do you have the C14, but now you have a big mount that has to be broken down into pieces to move in and out, and two big counterweights (which even here I could carry out both at the same time).

Now this is actually going to be true for a C11 as well. It would not be the OTA, but rather the mount and couterweights and all the trips needed to get everything in and out. To me, the difference between the C11 and C14 in terms of total effort to deploy is pretty small actually, and given the small extra effort required to move the C14 in and out vs the C11 (the "Total" effort) I always felt he C14 was worth it (vs the smaller C11).

But there is more to it than taking the scope out.

If I had a forcast for good weather, I would usually just leaven the mount in place and snatch the OTA on and off. This quick and easy enough to do.

But over the years, I had more than one instance where the weather turned bad and I found myself having to break camp with the mount more often than not.

And it was this constant re-suffling of the mount in and out that finallly got to me.

And just to be very clear, this is why my 6" APO does not get used that much. It isn't the scope.. Its the mount!!!

This is the commitment you make to use a C11, C14, or 6" APO. The mount itself will be far to big to take out in one trip, so you are constantly takeing he mount apart and putting it back together.

In my own opinion, the C14 was literally no more trouble than the C11 because the mount was far more difficult to manage than the actual OTA. The difference in tube weight and bulk cannot be dismissed, but the effort to bring the mount in and out is almost identical between the C11 and C14, and this is where the real effort is for these two OTAs. Both of them take a big mount with a lot of counterweight, and this means a lot of trips not only to set up, but to take down...
I eventually went to a 12" dob that can be moved on a Hand Truck because I just got tired of moving the mount in and out... Not the C14, but the mount that carried it..

#50 rmollise

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 10:21 AM


But it was not the size or weight of the OTA that finally drove me out.

It was the totallity of it all. Not only do you have the C14, but now you have a big mount that has to be broken down into pieces to move in and out, and two big counterweights (which even here I could carry out both at the same time).


Bingo.






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