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CPC11 to Nextstar 8SE

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#1 boblakewood

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:03 AM

I am thinking of going smaller. The CPC11 is kind of a hassle to carry and set-up and I am looking for something I can easily carry around. As they say, the best scope for you is the one you use.

Anybody migrate from a C11 to a 8SE? How was the experience? Do you miss the bigger scope? I would expect solar system views to be about the same, but DSO's not anywhere as good as when viewed through the larger scope. I live in a red/orange location. Don't travel with the CPC11 because of the hassle, but may travel more with a smaller scope. And then again, maybe not.

#2 Midnight Dan

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:17 AM

Hi Bob:

I have not migrated from a C11 to an 8SE, but I can probably offer some perspective. I've looked through a 12" dob and found the views better than the 8, but not hugely so. You will definitely notice some reduction in what you can see, but I think you'll be pretty happy with the tradeoff for portability - HUGE difference there!

The thing you will likely notice most is that the 8SE will be considerably more shaky than the CPC. Again, this is a tradeoff for portability. The tripod is lighter and so is the mount. The problem can be mitigated to some degree by using anti-vibration pads (about a 50% reduction in settling time) and by hanging a weight (e.g. powertank) from the spreader. Some also purchase a motorized focuser to eliminate the need to touch the scope, which removes that as a source for vibrations.

But in the end, it will never be as stable as the CPC. In fact, some SE owners upgrade their tripod to the CPC tripod to gain some stability. For my 2 cents, that defeats the purpose of owning the SE by adding weight and bulk. If you think this may be an issue for you, you may want to see if you can find a nearby owner or astro shop and try one out.
-Dan

#3 AstroTatDad

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 04:48 PM

Hi Bob:

I have not migrated from a C11 to an 8SE, but I can probably offer some perspective. I've looked through a 12" dob and found the views better than the 8, but not hugely so. You will definitely notice some reduction in what you can see, but I think you'll be pretty happy with the tradeoff for portability - HUGE difference there!

The thing you will likely notice most is that the 8SE will be considerably more shaky than the CPC. Again, this is a tradeoff for portability. The tripod is lighter and so is the mount. The problem can be mitigated to some degree by using anti-vibration pads (about a 50% reduction in settling time) and by hanging a weight (e.g. powertank) from the spreader. Some also purchase a motorized focuser to eliminate the need to touch the scope, which removes that as a source for vibrations.

But in the end, it will never be as stable as the CPC. In fact, some SE owners upgrade their tripod to the CPC tripod to gain some stability. For my 2 cents, that defeats the purpose of owning the SE by adding weight and bulk. If you think this may be an issue for you, you may want to see if you can find a nearby owner or astro shop and try one out.
-Dan


+1 :waytogo: great info Dan, agree.

Dan, I almost, I mean Almost fall in to buying a CPC tripod and even a wedge for my 6SE :silly: I know I know, LOL. I have seen few members here that have done that, but after really thinking about it "light bulb" HEY!!! I can get a goto EQ mount for that price and it will be even better! The SE mounts are great, not perfect but great and I have been pleased with my 6SE

#4 Dunkstar

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 11:05 PM

I know this is the Nexstar forum, but another option would be a C8 with AVX mount. It's EQ but it's light and quick to get going - just point in the right direction and align with a couple of calibration stars and the gotos are remarkably accurate. Not quite as grab and go as the SE mount, but less susceptible to vibrations.

#5 Sorny

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 11:32 PM

Shake shake shake. That's the first thing you'll notice. SE mounts are not stable. Focusing my SE5 (the SE8 is very similar in this respect) results in 2-3 seconds of shake if done by hand. If you touch the tripod, it shakes. If you touch the eyepiece, it shakes. More than 2-3mph winds, you guessed it, shakes. By way of contrast, I have accidentally kicked my CPC tripod while viewing (foot slipped off the chair), and there was under 1 second of shake.

That said, what it lacks in stability it makes up for in portability in spades. An 8SE is 1 hand movable; ota on mount on tripod in 1 hand.

The SE8 is just about the very definition of grab-n-go portable. It is a serious step down in aperture, but an 8" scope can still show a whole heck of a lot, and can keep you busy for a lifetime.

#6 bcuddihee

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 08:42 AM

Using the CPC mount has been the best addition to my c8se. The whole set up is much more stable and less toy like. As for portability...it's mow a two piece set up as opposed to a one piece. For outings it really doesn't matter, it was always a two piece set up. If you can find one of these used for around 150.00, don't pass it up.

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#7 John59

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 10:54 AM

Using the CPC mount has been the best addition to my c8se. The whole set up is much more stable and less toy like. As for portability...it's mow a two piece set up as opposed to a one piece. For outings it really doesn't matter, it was always a two piece set up. If you can find one of these used for around 150.00, don't pass it up.

A couple of questions on your setup.
Sent a PM as to not high jack the thread. :grin:

#8 Peter9

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 11:29 AM

Using the CPC mount has been the best addition to my c8se. The whole set up is much more stable and less toy like. As for portability...it's mow a two piece set up as opposed to a one piece. For outings it really doesn't matter, it was always a two piece set up. If you can find one of these used for around 150.00, don't pass it up.


I agree. I bought my 8se so that I could take advantage of the extra 2" of aperture over my 6se. By making the 8se more stable, surely you are able to take better advantage of the increased aperture. In the end, I think if you up grade to an 8", you are hoping to do some semi serious observing. The fact that it can, if you wish, be set up fully assembled, is just an added bonus. I personally would sacrifice that for more stability.

Just my two pennies worth.

Regards. Peter.

#9 Sorny

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 11:35 PM

Using the CPC mount has been the best addition to my c8se. The whole set up is much more stable and less toy like. As for portability...it's mow a two piece set up as opposed to a one piece. For outings it really doesn't matter, it was always a two piece set up. If you can find one of these used for around 150.00, don't pass it up.


You aren't using a CPC mount, you're using a CPC tripod. I agree the CPC tripod is vastly superior to the Nexstar tripod and stiffens things up quite a bit, but the fact is that the SE mount (that's the single-fork that holds the OTA) is not stable compared to the CPC.

I may sound like I'm bagging on the SE pretty bad, but only because the OP already has a CPC and a CPC is rock steady even if you stub your toe on the tripod or smack the OTA (seriously, I've done both and had the image damp in less than a second). No SE comes close to that sort of stability. Likewise, the CPC is big and heavy (stability), which means it is a PITA to set up or travel with, whereas an SE will be easily moved and set up.

I've got a SE and a CPC for a reason. :grin:

#10 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 12:02 PM

I own an 8i (earlier model of the 8SE as well as a CPC1100 which I have pier mounted in my observatory...

Honestly ... 3 inches is a lot to give up especially on DSO's BUT in general I find I opnly have a few nights that when using the 8i that I say to myself I shuda used the CPC...

I have mounted my 8i on the CPC tripod and it helps (considerably) BUT spending $150-200 on a 4 inch portable pier is both cheaper and more /solid and comfortable to use

I truly could live quite well with my 35 to 50 pound rig (depending on which tripod I use or if I use the portable pier instead of a tripod

Bob G

#11 shkong

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 02:50 PM

I do not have CPC, but C!1 on CGE.

Recently I got Nexstar 8SE at 550$ in yard sale.

8SE is easy to carry around its go-to is spot on.

I love it.

You may consider getting used Nexstar 8SE in addition to CPC 11.

Thomas

#12 herrointment

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 06:50 PM

Ok....I had the 8SE....bought the CPC 1100, sold the 8SE and then bought it back two weeks later.

If you can afford both and have the space then do what I did and enjoy both.

Lots of solid advice in this thread and it mirrors my experience.

#13 boblakewood

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:00 PM

The takeaway I am coming away with is to keep my CPC1100 and buy a used 8SE. I can probably get a used one for $750. The only thing I would want to upgrade is to a 2" diagonal. I am concerned with vibration in the wind. The cpc1100 is like a tank...but the 8Se is my grab and go.

#14 herrointment

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 07:54 PM

Yes, Sir. The CPC 1100 has become the scope I use for special occasions...like great seeing. That is not a common condition in Wisconsin, but when it occurs the CPC1100 gets to show what it can do.

Tonight, for example, it is going to be clear and according to the CSC the seeing will be decent. The 8SE is outside waiting and even after a very long workday will be easy to put away after I check out Saturn and a few globs. Most times the 8SE gives great views if it is acclimated and in good adjustment.

The shakes? Sure. You can minimize the shakes with a motofocuser, either manufactured or D.I.Y.

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#15 barbarosa

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 01:35 PM

The takeaway I am coming away with is to keep my CPC1100 and buy a used 8SE. I can probably get a used one for $750. The only thing I would want to upgrade is to a 2" diagonal. I am concerned with vibration in the wind. The cpc1100 is like a tank...but the 8Se is my grab and go.


I've had the 4, 5 and 8 SE and the CPC925 and 1100. I ended up with a C5 on the 6/8 SE mount/tripod and a CPC1100.

Carrying the the CPC1100 in and out was great exercise but frustrating on the nights when I had to guess if the fog was going to blow in. I also worried about a misstep in the dark or a back insult.

I was contemplating a weather proof cover, but decided to do a metal shed/roll off roof. The 1100 moves to its new home in a few days.

Putting a light C5 on a 6/8 mount solved most of the shaking issues (anti-vibration pads too if I remember them). Putting the 8 SE on a heavier tripod was an improvement but a marginal one. The major problem for me was shaking while focusing and not shake induced by bumps or footfalls.

The 8 SE mount is a compromise but one that you should be able to live with particularly if you keep the CPC.






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