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Non Edge C11 vs. Meade 12 f/10 ACF

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#1 Bill Barlow

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 02:48 PM

I wanted to ask if anyone has observed with these two telescopes and had a preference to which one they would select or maybe in some cases actually kept. I am a visual observer only. Anything about optical quality, better focuser, etc. Thanks for any feedback.

Bill

#2 Illinois

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:15 AM

I see that you already have C14 and Meade 10" so are you plan to buy C11 or Meade 12? You have C14!
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#3 RAKing

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:49 AM

Bill,

Wish I could help. I owned two non-Edge C11 SCT, but could not handle anything bigger and the 10 inch Meade ARC was the biggest Meade I had.

If I can base my findings on those two, I would take the Meade - even with the smaller aperture. The ACF optics were better, especially from the outer third to the edge of the FOV, than the standard SCT optics in my samples and were just as good as the Celestron Edge series scopes I owned.

Caveat -- However! With the standard SCT, you can use the f/6.3 Reducer/Corrector and this does fix a lot of the issues with the standard SCT. Something else to think about.......

If the doctors can fix my back, I would love to find another 10 inch ARC! :cool:

Cheers,

Ron

#4 PowellAstro

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 11:13 AM

IMO, Meade has better baffling, more ridged OTA, due to pressed endcaps, better focuser pinion and better mirror mounting to the slider tube.

#5 Bill Barlow

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 04:21 PM

I'm thinking of downsizing my larger scopes to something lighter. I have owned the C14 for 3 years now and the 50 pound weight to carry, mount, dismount and carry some more is taking its toll on my lower back. I also would like something lighter than the Meade 10 which weighs 30 pounds.

So I am thinking about either a Meade 12 or a C11 for my largest scope, then either a C9.25, C8 or a Meade 8 as my lighter option. I love my SV 102ED doublet, so that will be my grab and go wide field and planetary scope. Decision decisions..

Bill

#6 RAKing

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 04:47 PM

That is a wonderful idea, Bill. I must say that MY lower back aches every time I see your signature line. :p

The only "fly in the ointment" is the weight of the Meade scopes. IIRC, the Meade 12 inch is very close in weight to the C14 and the Meade 10 weighs about the same as the C11. So to drop any weight with this plan, you will probably have to go with the C11. If so, then I would skip the C925 (even though the C925 Edge is my favorite!) and get an 8 inch for your middle-size option.

Don't forget to send me a PM if you want to move your 10 ACF. If I can get my back fixed in time.......... :cool:

Ron

#7 MitchAlsup

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:43 PM

I'm thinking of downsizing my larger scopes to something lighter.


With this caveat^: the C11 is surely lighter than the 12 Meade.

#8 Bill Barlow

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:52 AM

Yes, the f/10 Meade 12 with the Losmandy rail/blocks and 2" diagonal weighs in at about 40 pounds, 10 pounds lighter than my C14. I owned the 12" MEade a few years ago. I am thinking of these two scope line ups..

1) Meade 12" f/10..C9.25..SV 102ED
2) C11, C8/M8..SV 102ED

I did a calculation of the light grasp difference between the M12 and C11 and it is only 17%, so from my past experiences comparing scopes with light grasp differences less than 20%, hard to see it at the eyepiece. Thanks for the helpful feedback..

Bill

#9 Illinois

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 08:21 AM

How about homemade wheels base for your C14 that you can move it out to backyard? I homemade base with ball bearing wheels that I can move my 16 inch dobsonian easily! Other way is observatory for your C14.

#10 BWAZ

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 11:57 AM

Yes, the f/10 Meade 12 with the Losmandy rail/blocks and 2" diagonal weighs in at about 40 pounds, 10 pounds lighter than my C14. I owned the 12" Meade a few years ago. I am thinking of these two scope line ups..

1) Meade 12" f/10..C9.25..SV 102ED
2) C11, C8/M8..SV 102ED

I did a calculation of the light grasp difference between the M12 and C11 and it is only 17%, so from my past experiences comparing scopes with light grasp differences less than 20%, hard to see it at the eyepiece. Thanks for the helpful feedback..

Bill


Bill, I have the exact lineup as shown in the first combo except the refractor. For me, the gain from 9.25 to 12 for DSO viewing is noticeable enough. That being said, I use my C9.25 more often thanks to the weight saving and the fact it sits just outside of my bedroom! I can walk out of the door, take off the cover and start observing. Moreover, the C9.25 has some nice modifications conducted by a veteran ATMer including a very effective way to help to break the boundary layer over the primary mirror.

I weighted the LX200 12"ACF OTA the other day, it's 40, give or take one pounds.

#11 RAKing

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 12:28 PM

Bill,

My vote is for Plan #1. The combination of a Meade 12 for the "good" days and the C925 for the days you cannot handle the load should work very well.

Having a C925 as a "fallback" option is a nice luxury. Some of us (like me!) would love to be able to handle one of those things as a primary scope. :cool:

Cheers,

Ron

#12 Castor

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:22 PM

Yes, the f/10 Meade 12 with the Losmandy rail/blocks and 2" diagonal weighs in at about 40 pounds, 10 pounds lighter than my C14. I owned the 12" MEade a few years ago. I am thinking of these two scope line ups..

1) Meade 12" f/10..C9.25..SV 102ED
2) C11, C8/M8..SV 102ED

I did a calculation of the light grasp difference between the M12 and C11 and it is only 17%, so from my past experiences comparing scopes with light grasp differences less than 20%, hard to see it at the eyepiece. Thanks for the helpful feedback..

Bill


Hi Bill,

I suffer from back problems and I went for the second line up option with:

ED100Sf on a Vixen GP2 mount, M8 SCT on a Vixen GPD2/SXW mount and a standard C11 SCT on a Vixen SXD2 or Losmandy GM8/G-11 mount.

The jump from the 8-inch to the 11-inch SCT is quite noticeable visually, either for planetary (approx. 37.5% more resolution) or deep-sky observing (approx. 89% more light grasp). This scope progression, with my recent purchase of a C11 XLT OTA has worked fine for me so far. Most importantly, carrying and hoisting the C11 OTA up on the mount is no problem for my back!

But if you can handle the weight of a 12-inch SCT and the required mount, my vote is for scope line up #1. As Ron (RAKing) put it so well, "having a C925 as a "fallback" option is a nice luxury".

Good luck with your decision!

#13 Bill Barlow

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 04:02 PM

Okay, thank you. How is the optical quality in your new C11?

I guess another combination is..

Meade 12..C8/M8..SV 102ED

Bill

#14 Castor

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 05:54 PM

Okay, thank you. How is the optical quality in your new C11?

I guess another combination is..

Meade 12..C8/M8..SV 102ED

Bill


Bill,

I'm no optical expert, but after using the C11 a few times from my urban backyard, I would have to say it's pretty good!

I have an old Meade 10-inch SCT that I purchased new in the mid '90s and it failed to impress me on planetary detail -even if well collimated. The first time that I tried the new C11 XLT OTA on Saturn, I was amazed by how sharp the image was (including ring detail and the Cassini Division) and how deep the colors were, especially the olive tones on different places on the planet -I'm used to perceiving olive on Saturn only at the poles, the rest of the planet being golden/yellow. When I pointed the C11 on Mars (this was just one month after opposition), I was quite surprised to see quite well not only the North Polar Cap, but also the dark ring encircling the pole that forms when NPC shrinks. I even caught a glimpse of one of the dark rifts that breaks the dark ring!

On deep-sky objects, the telescope worked quite well too! I could never perceive much difference in brightness between my M8 SCT and my M10 SCT on DSOs, but with the C11 it's quite obvious. To the 10-inch SCT defense, it only had the old Meade 'Super Multi-Coatings' while the C11 includes the newest Celestron Starbright XLT coatings.

I'm not experienced enough to perform an accurate star test on my scopes, but as the popular saying goes "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" and in my case I'm quite satisfied with the optical performance of my new standard C11 XLT OTA!

My main reason to purchase the C11 is for planetary observing. Naturally, a C11 could never compete with a C14 (that you currently own) on any grounds, except perhaps on portability, but it would probably come close to a 12-inch SCT.

#15 Bill Barlow

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 02:39 AM

Thanks, Castor, for the feedback. My Meade 10" ACF has the UHTC coatings, but the C11 will still grab about 23% more light than the M10, so that should be a little noticeable for fainter deep sky targets like galaxies when seen through the eyepiece at similar magnifications/exit pupils. I once owned a standard C11 that I puchased through Company 7 that was very good optically. But like an idiot I sold it three years ago! Regret that one now for sure now that I am considering owning another one.

Bill

#16 Castor

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 03:43 AM

Thank you Bill!

If there is something that I have learned in all these years in the hobby is that finding the ideal telescope(s) is like trying to hit a moving target!

In time, priorities change and what once was the last telescope that you thought you would ever own, later becomes the less indicated for your latest pursuit!

Years ago when my largest scope was the 10-inch SCT, I dreamed about acquiring someday a larger scope, possibly a 12-inch SCT or maybe even a 14-inch SCT. But as I grew older and after some health issues, I have become less ambitious and I'm delighted to be able to use regularly an 11-inch SCT!

At this moment, I believe that I made the right decision by going for the C11 XLT OTA on a lightweight medium-sized EQ mount, since it is the heaviest scope that I can easily handle without issues. But I wonder what will I think about it a year from now?

You are doing well by considering your options carefully!

#17 RAKing

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 08:43 AM

If there is something that I have learned in all these years in the hobby is that finding the ideal telescope(s) is like trying to hit a moving target!

In time, priorities change and what once was the last telescope that you thought you would ever own, later becomes the less indicated for your latest pursuit!

Years ago when my largest scope was the 10-inch SCT, I dreamed about acquiring someday a larger scope, possibly a 12-inch SCT or maybe even a 14-inch SCT. But as I grew older and after some health issues, I have become less ambitious and I'm delighted to be able to use regularly an 11-inch SCT!

At this moment, I believe that I made the right decision by going for the C11 XLT OTA on a lightweight medium-sized EQ mount, since it is the heaviest scope that I can easily handle without issues. But I wonder what will I think about it a year from now?


Very well said! :waytogo:

I have owned a couple of C11 and one very nice Meade 10ARC, but have been forced to steadily downsize due to age and health issues.

When I say I wish I still had those scopes, maybe I really mean, "I wish I was young and healthy again!"

Life happens and if you can handle a big telescope, now is the time to try one.

Cheers,

Ron

#18 mnshanny

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 12:54 PM

Confused why you are not comparing the Celestron edge series to the Meade ACF?

#19 thesubwaypusher

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 03:34 PM

Hi Bill:

I would like to offer you an avenue which may be of help to you as you (we) get a bit older. I never lift anything without a back support belt. In fact this morning, I have been lifting the C-14 on and off the new mount I received, because I need to experiment with different configurations. Because I put my belt on (tightly) early, I can honestly say I feel absolutely nothing anywhere in my back. I have a horse's back, however, I have seen in my facility alone which houses 600, perfectly healthy and strong guys of all adult ages downed like children by lifting something for just a second the wrong way. Or lifting the right way, but with no support. I have seen MANY of my fellow employees go out on comp from back injuries. And stay out for many months. Some, reach the year deadline and automatically lose their jobs. (I guess those are the ones who are definitely not faking)

So instead of casting your great C-14 into retirement, consider a nice wide back support belt. I actually found mine on a train- left by a FedEx employee. Works like magic. I have been using it for years. :grin:

Thanks, Chris

#20 herrointment

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 07:25 PM

And lifting technique.

Watched a video of a fellow setting up the huge new Orion branded mount using a lifting table. Great Idea but bending at the waist with extended arms and poor placement of the feet had me cringing.

Good technique, always.

#21 JMW

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 10:13 PM

Build a very small observatory with a roll off roof or roll away shed. My C11 Edge lives on the mount except for a couple a summer trips. Here's a view of my roll away shed. My mount had a couple of refractors on it in the picture.

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#22 Bill Barlow

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 02:50 AM

Hi Chris, That back brace belt is a good idea, but it is also my arms get tired of carrying the storage bag up stairs and out to my car. I have to walk and carry the scope about 100 feet or so. How is your C14 working out so far?

Bill

#23 Bill Barlow

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 02:52 AM

You have a nice setup there. Maybe after I retire and my wife and I move to Colorado, I can think about something like this if I have the funds to do it. I would then buy another C14 if I don't have to keep moving/carrying it around.

Bill

#24 thesubwaypusher

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 10:43 AM

Hey Bill:

I waxed it and buffed it about ten times, cleaned the glass, installed the new and cooler-looking orange dovetail and added a Baader Clicklock. So it is looking great. I also bought the Pacific Designs carrying bag and some dew prevention stuff.

I took it out last night for the first time and it definitely went deeper than my M12, but the field of view was different because of the ACF optics. Not much though, as I use binoviewers. I bought the new setup because I need to be able to take it out to Long Island as well as use on my balcony. Having the M12 now is redundant as I can't get it into my truck because of the bike carrier on the hitch which is too difficult to remove and reinstall. One of them has to go. The big problem now is I really LOVVVVVE my M12! I would like to keep both, but the M12 is now blocking the light from entering from the window, which is a no-no for Mr. Sunshine here.

I understand about your arms and it sounds like a good reason to make the change.

Thanks, Chris

#25 bmark

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 12:59 PM

I'm looking at new scopes and am finding it difficult to ignore the Celestron 11" scopes vs. the Meade 12" LX200.  My last scope was an 8" LX200 with a wedge.  The Celestron is less money and they offer affordable equatorial mounts vs. the need for a wedge with the Meade.  The price of the Celestron is much better than the Meade and most people say the optics are comparable so.....

 

Why pick the 12" Meade over the 11" Celestron???








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