Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:55 PM
Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:17 PM
First, you will need a wedge to image, and that is an added complication.
While heavy (about 78 lbs), the fork/OTA package is very ergonomic. The grips on the base and fork make lifting and carrying it surprisingly easy for its size and weight, but don't confuse that to say that it is light an easy to manage. It is still bigger around than a beer keg and still weighs close to 80 lbs.
If you have to go up and down more than three or four steps, or have to navigate though narrow doors, it is not so much fun, though it can be done, and once agian, considering the size and weight, it is still manageable.
If you mount it on to a tripod with the legs only partially extended, it just sits right down. And because of the design, there really isn't any reason to extend the legs on the tripod. This will give you a great seated observing position. My NexStar 11 was the most comfortable scope I have ever used because of this.
The main downside to this package is that when transporting it, it takes up a lot of space. It could be difficult to get into the back seat of a small car and perhaps impossible to get into the trunk. It isn't that it won't fit, but that you have to hold the weight so far in front of you to get it to clear that it can be a struggle.
The wedge presents more of a challange. The ergonomics tha make it easy to lift and carry out to mount in Alt-Az do nothing to help getting it on to a wedge. Not saying that one person can't do it, but two people would be better. Again, it is not so much the weight as the bulk, and the displacement of the center of gravity so far out from your core.
Depending on your situation then, for normal Alt-Az use, it is actuyally pretty manageble by the average sized adult male, but wedge mounting and transporting should be carefully considered.
In a nutshell, I think that the imageing makes the EQ6 a more attractive proposition.
Good luck with your decision.
Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:07 PM
For AP you should probably consider the EQ mount instead. I would not want to (or trust) hoisting that 65 pound CPC 1100 assembly onto a wedge. I know some do it but it just looks too dangerous.
Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:41 PM
The ota/fork/base is a bit of a pig to carry out the door. The handles make it fairly ergonomic to carry one handed while opening doors and such, 2 handed when going any distance, and when hoisting onto the tripod. Easy enough in the dark, as long as you can see the tripod. You'd need average strength and fitness to be somewhat comfortable.
Imaging can certainly be done-- there are some pretty nice images folks have posted in the CPC forum.
I don't image, but if I were to start, a non-Fastar SCT would not be my choice. I'd go with a small, fast imaging Newt on the best GEM I could afford. This probably wouldn't be any of Orion's mounts, though I'm sure they could be made to work, though the already high frustration level would likely be even higher in doing so.
Imaging and visual observation are probably best thought of as 2 different hobbies... "Dabbling" and "Imaging" don't go in the same sentence without "poor", "frustrating", and "expensive" included.
Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:15 PM
Not hard to set-up in the dark . . . need to place the tripod (19 pounds) and level it first; carry the OTA/fork assembly (64 pounds) and set it on the base/tripod. I usually have a light shining on the tripod so I don't "trip" over something, and I don't miss the tripod with the scope base - can't relate to a wedge though as I don't have one. This process only takes a few minutes and is not particularly difficult - I'm 66 years old and am still able to handle it pretty well!
As for photography - there are enough folks here that do that and they're far more expert than me.
This is really a great telescope and views are wonderful; collimation is easy once you get over the 1st time angst! Cool-down time can be problematic if you are located in a cold area. I usually leave the scope set-up for at least an hour outdoors to acclimate to the ambient temperature - experience will guide you.
Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:19 PM
As far as astrophotography goes you need to consider the long focal length of the scope you're using and a C11 is not the most friendly place to start. Having a GEM mount allows you to use more than one scope with different focal lengths for framing different sized objects. On the negative side for EQ mounts, they are more difficult to setup and use than a fork mounted scope. With the CPC1100, it's basically a one time lift onto the tripod, but an EQ mount will have to be assembled and disassembled every time you move it around. That includes setting the mount head on the tripod legs, adding counterweight shaft, counterweights, and then putting the scope on the mount head. After that the EQ mount needs to be polar aligned. It's a lot more time consuming.
Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:37 AM
Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:32 AM
Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:04 AM
Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:24 AM
I now own a C11 EdgeHD that I purchased to image with on my AP900GTO. I also use it visually on my Discmount DM6 when I am imaging with my refractors. The C11 EdgeHD OTA is so much lighter than my CPC-925 upper assembly was. I still set up CPC-1100 scopes at our local observatory when doing public outreach. I get a little tired of waiting for the motors to slew to objects. I am used to being able to manually push my scope as quickly as I want on the DM6.
Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:46 PM
That's a TAK FS-104 apo I stuck on for full-disk lunar and solar images. With the counterweights it's a bit heavy overall but when balanced the motors don't seem to strain. A short 90mm apo would have been preferable but I didn't already have one sitting around.