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New CPC1100 Owner Here

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#1 iam1ru12

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:50 AM

Hello All,
Just a quick introduction. I picked up a used CPC1100 with a the Hyperstar conversion this past weekend, upgrading from my Celestron CeleStar 8 (basically old school C8 with DSCs). So I'm not new to astronomy nor to SCTs but definitely new to full goto and 11" of aperture.

The scope appears in great condition but I've only had it out once around sunset (raining weather plus massive pollen outbreak).

I was able to do a solar system alignment in the Moon and then get the scope to slew within 2 degrees of Jupiter. I then realigned to Jupiter and slewed back to the Moon, still not spot on. It was able to get pretty close to M45 as I was able to see 1 star. However the collimation looks pretty bad; need to pick up some Bob's Knobs.

Once the pollen dies down in a week or two I'll give it a proper first light. For now I can work in getting a case (maybe the home depot one I've seen mentioned here) and other accessories as my son wants my C8 so I need to get new Telrad, DewBuster, etc.

Regards,
-Mike

#2 HeyJP

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 02:08 PM

Hey Mike,

I followed your path this past summer. Went from a Celestar 8 with the Advanced AstroMaster (digital setting circles) to a CPC 1100 Hyperstar-ready. Been REALLY lovin' it! First addition was the Starizona Li-Poly battery pack (which I velcro'd to the underside of the right fork-arm, and the 2nd addition was SkySafari and SkyFi (velcro'd to left fork-arm) to control the 'scope with my iPad and iPhone.

What a system!

You'll get better alignments and better GoTo's once you get rolling and start using stars. The moon is a bit tough to align on since nailing the dead center is a bit tough with size and current phase. Also, get in the habit of always finishing your alignment motion with "up and right" directions on your hand-controller buttons. That will produce consistent final loading on the bearings at the moment you press the final "Align". Also, definitely pick up an illuminated reticle for alignment. Helps with quick precision.

I use the 2-star smart align most nights and as long as I pick good star-pairs and am patient with the line-up... I have good GoTo's all evening.

After you use your CPC 1100 for a few nights.... go back to the garage and take a look at your Celestar. What used to be a big scope now looks like a finder scope compared to the size of the 1100. ;-)

You'll have a ball on nights of good-seeing with planets and many nights with DSO's. If you are in the urban lights of the Research Triangle, you'll still see a load of great DSO's from the backyard with the GoTo. Much easier to find stuff with fewer visible stars for hopping.

Enjoy! Look forward to your posts.

Best regards,


Jim in Boulder

#3 Seiko4169

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 02:37 PM

Very jealous - enjoy the new scope.

#4 iam1ru12

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 04:05 PM

Hey Mike,
...First addition was the Starizona Li-Poly battery pack (which I velcro'd to the underside of the right fork-arm, and the 2nd addition was SkySafari and SkyFi (velcro'd to left fork-arm) to control the 'scope with my iPad and iPhone.


In my area we often run into dew issues so I'm always running dew heaters. Unfortunately a 7 amp hour battery is not enough for a long night of observing so I'm using a homemade battery box (toolbox with 3 7-amp hour batteries. My setup used to draw 1.5 amps per hour. However adding an 11" dew heater (1.49 amp versus 0.98 amps for an 8" dew heater) plus an estimate of 1 amp hour of draw for the CPC will give me 7 hours of use versus 14 hours of use previously. I might need to look at adding more power.

I had not seen SkyFi, very cool looking! I'll have to look into that. At the moment I'm just looking forward to get my laptop (with no serial ports).


Hey Mike,
You'll get better alignments and better GoTo's once you get rolling and start using stars. The moon is a bit tough to align on since nailing the dead center is a bit tough with size and current phase. Also, get in the habit of always finishing your alignment motion with "up and right" directions on your hand-controller buttons. That will produce consistent final loading on the bearings at the moment you press the final "Align". Also, definitely pick up an illuminated reticle for alignment. Helps with quick precision.


I was reading about the final centering going with direction of slew. Makes sense. I always used an illuminated reticle to center stars when aligning my DSCs.

You'll have a ball on nights of good-seeing with planets and many nights with DSO's. If you are in the urban lights of the Research Triangle, you'll still see a load of great DSO's from the backyard with the GoTo. Much easier to find stuff with fewer visible stars for hopping.


Luckily the light pollution is not too bad, not great but not bad. My club's dark sky site (okay semi-dark site now) is only 15 minutes away so I have good access to okay skies with low horizons.

Thanks for advice!
-Mike

#5 HeyJP

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 05:38 PM

Yeah, when I first got my Celestar I lived near Dallas and dew was always an issue in the high humidity.... and I grew up in East Tennessee in an area called "Muggy Valley"... a humid homage to North Carolina's Maggie Valley. :-) Got used to the constant, scattered whine of hair driers at our Dark Sky Site.

Since moving to Colorado with frequent 10-15% humidity in the summer.... I forgot what dew is. After living here 10 years, just bought a dew shield and new hair drier this week in prep for a road trip to the Texas Star Party in May. We replaced dew with static electricity here.

Jim in Boulder

#6 katie

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 07:32 AM

Congratulation on your new beast.

You are going to really like it, especially the Hyperstar.

I have LP at my location and transporting my beast is impracticable. I note you have the 8. I use my 8 as a travel scope - and with a dark location the views from it rival those of my 11 at home.

Oh, one other thing. If you need another scope let JP do the negotiations - he is quite the bargain guy. (I still remember that deal JP :bow:)

#7 HeyJP

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 12:03 PM

Yup, I'm still pretty pleased with myself on that one. :-)

Mike, I spent 3-4 months watching CPC-1100's on eBay and Craigslist and found an company in Tennessee that gets mostly tools and electronics from dept store firesales etc and turns them around and sells on eBay. They came up with a CPC-1100 with generic description but enough pictures that I could tell it looked pretty unused. Picked it up for about $1500. When it arrived, it was perfect. All the cords were still in "factory wrap position" (you know, those tight, perfect bundles that can never be rewound after you undo them once). I also jotted down the Lat/Long in the hand controller right as I turned it on the first time... was wondering if I could see who owned it previously... and the Lat/Long Google-Mapped to the factory in Shanghai suburb!! It also has the Hyperstar-ready secondary.

Yup, very pleased with myself.

Thanks for reminding me to gloat, Katie!!

Jim in Boulder






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