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C-11 ota -- new black VX mt. version -- is here!

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#1 Crow Haven

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 01:59 PM

I ordered a standard C-11 ota from Woodland Hills Camera & Telescopes recently, which arrived safely in excellent condition (even still in good collimation :foreheadslap: !) on a rainy 25th, and got it set up for just visual use in the observatory next to the EON 120 apo. I was wondering if it would handle well enough for just visual use on the CG-5 GT mt., and since Rod and others here said it can, I set it up that way to see how it would work out. It does work! :grin: Vibration stops from hand focusing in about a second and tracking works smoothly without vibrations. I put vibration dampening pads under the tripod feet. I also used a stainless 6" RA shaft extension from ScopeStuff for a bit more balance option with a 17 lb counter wt. plus an 11 lb. one. This worked well too. I didn't attach the heavy stock 9x50 finder and bracket and instead used a Synta SCT finder shoe bracket and light red dot finder and lighter wt. 9x50 finder. It balanced in DEC fine at the far end of the dovetail in the ADM dual saddle I had already put on the CG-5 mt. It's still balanced well with a 35mm Pan, a Meade 56mm plossl, and other heavy eps.

I was surprised that the evening after the C-11 arrived there was a short period of clear sky so I was able to do a preliminary check on the optics collimation on Polaris and found it collimated well in spite of its travels! Stars were sharp and snapped in focus, both sides of focus rings even and looking the same -- this is the best I've seen in a SCT right out of the box. I'm really thrilled with this C-11! :whee:

Another surprise when I opened the box was that this C-11 ota is the new black version that comes with the new VX mt. I prefer this coloration, it's a beautiful black cat, but didn't know it was available separately as only the older grey otas were advertised on the website. :grin: I just got lucky with this ota.

Here's a couple of pics of it set up with dew heater strap, etc...

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#2 Crow Haven

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 02:00 PM

...one more on the CG-5 GT...

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#3 Bill Barlow

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 03:58 PM

Nice looking setup..glad you got a sample with very good optics. I believe all Celestron non-edge SCT's are black now coming out of China the past 2-3 years. The gray ones were the last batch made in Torrence, CA before Synta moved manufacturing overseas. Enjoy the C11..

Bill

#4 mgwhittle

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 03:59 PM

Nice! I love my C11 and I bet you will enjoy it. I also had an EON like yours and it's quite the step up in light gathering and resolution.

I am curious, is the only thing about the VX is that it's black? I ask because the C11 I bought last year is black and appears to be identical to yours. Is there something else that makes this a VX version?

#5 rmollise

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 04:08 PM

I prefer this coloration, it's a beautiful black cat, but didn't know it was available separately as only the older grey otas were advertised on the website. :grin: I just got lucky with this ota.

Here's a couple of pics of it set up with dew heater strap, etc...


I love the color of my new Edge 800, but she will always be second in my heart to my black cat, Miss Celeste, the U8 OTA. :cool:

#6 bremms

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 04:24 PM

I have an 88 C11 All black, tube to fork mount base. Sometimes I hear labored mechanical breathing from the scope.

#7 magnus

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 04:55 PM

Glad to see your CG-5 is steady enough to handle a C11. I also have a CG-5 which I use for my C8, 8"f/6 OOUK Newt and Intes MK66.
I have read some threads here on CN were some write a C11 is far too heavy for the CG-5 and some (who actually use that combo)write it works quite ok for visual observing.
I am seriously considering upgrading from C8 to C11 on my CG-5 and your post get me consider it will be just fine for visual observing.
By the way do you ( or anyone else here) know if a f/6.3 focal reducer works on a C11 for visual observing?

Magnus 57N.

#8 Crow Haven

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 05:27 PM

Thanks Bill, Mark, Rod, bremms and Magnus!
This is a great combo with the little refractor covering whatever the evenings bring in the way of seeing. :grin:

Mark wrote:

I am curious, is the only thing about the VX is that it's black? I ask because the C11 I bought last year is black and appears to be identical to yours. Is there something else that makes this a VX version?


The reason I found out that it was part of the VX pkg is it was stamped on the outside of the original Celestron shipping box. :grin: I didn't know there were black otas available separately, I've only seen the grey ones advertised. It was lucky for me, though, I'm partial to the black and orange otas.

Glad to see your CG-5 is steady enough to handle a C11. I also have a CG-5 which I use for my C8, 8"f/6 OOUK Newt and Intes MK66.
I have read some threads here on CN were some write a C11 is far too heavy for the CG-5 and some (who actually use that combo)write it works quite ok for visual observing.
I am seriously considering upgrading from C8 to C11 on my CG-5 and your post get me consider it will be just fine for visual observing.
By the way do you ( or anyone else here) know if a f/6.3 focal reducer works on a C11 for visual observing?

Magnus 57N.


The CG-5 will work, just balance it well, and use a light touch while focusing by hand. A moto focus would eliminate all vibration I think. An Atlas or CGEM wt. mount would be best and more solid but the CG-5 will work fine if you don't load the ota down with lots of accessories. I tend to stick to 1.25" eps and a few 2" of the 68 deg. variety. I do have a Japanese Celestron f/6.3 focal reducer I've had many years, I've only used it with my C-8's so far though. Maybe others here can offer advice about using it on a C-11.....

#9 GeneT

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 05:31 PM

Congratulations! You have an excellent telescope, and a great looking one too.

#10 magnus

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 05:44 PM

OK, thanks for your kind info and feedback Crow Haven :)

Magnus

#11 Crow Haven

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 05:48 PM

Thanks Gene! :grin:
Magnus -- My pleasure! :grin:

#12 jrbarnett

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 06:50 PM

Fantabulous looking OTA.

Much nicer than gray IMO.

- Jim

#13 Crow Haven

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 09:19 PM

I have to agree! :grin:
Thanks Jim!

#14 stevew

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 10:36 PM

Congratulations on your beautiful new C11!
I always preferred the black one as well, but a few years back when a grey tube became available locally for a good price I bought it.
The color is quite interesting.
Sort of a charcoal grey color. Sometimes it looks black, and other times it looks grey. It's only when an a picture is taken with a camera flash does it actually look light grey.
Still, it's what's inside that really matters.
When I really want to see details on the planets, I put away my refractors and pull out the C11.

Steve

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#15 Benjamin B

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 02:28 AM

Steve;
What counter-weights are you using with your G11? Would you today buy heavier weights, or is this perfect match?

#16 Moromete

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:55 AM

Glad to see your CG-5 is steady enough to handle a C11. I also have a CG-5 which I use for my C8, 8"f/6 OOUK Newt and Intes MK66.
I have read some threads here on CN were some write a C11 is far too heavy for the CG-5 and some (who actually use that combo)write it works quite ok for visual observing.
I am seriously considering upgrading from C8 to C11 on my CG-5 and your post get me consider it will be just fine for visual observing.
By the way do you ( or anyone else here) know if a f/6.3 focal reducer works on a C11 for visual observing?

Magnus 57N.


Magnus, I have a C11 on a CG5-GT for a few years and it works quite well for visual if you make all of the following mods to get rid of vibrations:
a) put the CG5-Gt on a pier!!!
B) install an ADM Dual sadlle on the CG5-GT head to accept both Vixen and Losmandy dovetails
c) install a Losmandy dovetail on the C11!!!
d) in Custom Rate 9 setting of the hand controller set it at 6 or 7 to reduce engines stress when slewing and DEC engine stalling in certain positions
e) balance everything very well on RA and DEC axis before each observing sesion
f) put a longer counter weight shaft and use 3 counter weights.

In my limited experience, when using the C11 on a CG5-GT the vibrations at high power observation come especially from the tripod and Vixen dovetail.

I hope this will help you make a decision.

#17 Moromete

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:57 AM

By the way, I forgot to say I have 15kg of telescope on my CG5-GT and 15kg of counter weights.

#18 mark379

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 06:54 AM

Congratulations on the c11!
Glad to see someone uing it on the cg5 successfully !
Just a matter of taking a little more time to balance it correctly,and you're in good shape.
Btw all the c11's coming out of celestron ( not edge) are all the black tube variety nowadays . Wish celestron would update their stock photos when just purchasing the ota only. They still use the grey tube pics for those for some reason...

#19 magnus

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 07:03 AM

Thanks very much for your valuable advices :)

Magnus 57N.

#20 Schaden

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 09:31 AM

Cool scope. I like the black ots. Good to know it works on your mount.

#21 Arizona-Ken

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 09:35 AM

Congratulations on the new scope!

Nice job on the detailed description on your setup and the comment on the vibration during focussing. The suitability of the C11 on a GT5 mount comes up every so often and some real world experience on a setup will be useful to others.

In my opinion, a second for the vibration to settle down after focussing is perfectly acceptable, but at least with that information, someone who is thinking about the setup can make their own judgement.

Arizona Ken

#22 Scott Beith

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:19 AM

Does the new C11 have the venting and the mirror locks of the Edge versions?

#23 David Pavlich

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:50 AM

That's some terrific looking hardware! Congratulations.

David

#24 Crow Haven

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 02:08 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone! :grin:

Scott -- This C-11 does not have mirror locks or vents. The handle on the rear cell has a matt black finish. I don't know if that is any change from the grey tubes. Sounds like the VX mt. pkg is using the most recent black otas like others have received in the past year or so.

A bit more about the CG-5 mt -- I don't want to give anyone the thought that this is rock solid with a C-11 on it. It would have vibration (gusts would no doubt cause trouble with the ota surface area) if you used it on a windy night, and it will cause vibration handling the ota when changing eps or other handling of the ota. That said, I don't usually try to observe in windy conditions anyway.

The tripod pier extension I've used is the shorter one for an Atlas mt. (had to change some hardware to fit it to the CG-5) and it was originally on there for refractors. I like the added heigth with the C-11 but the mt. may be more stable for a C-11 without an extension. The extension does add some extra weight to the tripod, though, and that could be good, but it does put the C-11's center of gravity higher so maybe that's something to consider...

It would be a good idea for astro shops to update the pics of these otas. The grey coloring was okay. It wasn't going to stop me from this purchase! :grin: I've wanted a C-11 ever since I viewed through an orange one years ago at globulars and parts of the Veil -- it just ruined me! :lol:

#25 Scott Beith

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:43 PM

Thanks for the update. That is a really good looking scope.






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