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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
"my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions...
      #808355 - 02/03/06 04:12 PM

This was actually first posted on the CPC Yahoo Group, but since finding this forum, I thought some here might like the info in that posting:

Well, it was a good day and a bad day at the scope shop. (Skies
Unlimited in Glenmoore, PA.)

First the good news- I LOVE THIS SCOPE!
Now the bad news- it's going back to Celestron...

What I like- the scope is incredibly light! It supposedly weighs 65 lbs, but you could've fooled me. I lift weights, but (as clearly
visible in my photos posted here- see "Paul McC's CPC 1100XLT") I'm no body builder- I don't find hefting 70 lbs around fun or anything like
that. I'm more an active couch potato then an Ahhnold!

Clearly, the scope's ergonomic lift handles play a large part in making it seem lighter. This was true of the NS11 as well- but since
the OTA of the CPC is all aluminum rather then carbon fiber, I had a feeling the CPC would feel heavier somehow. If anything, it strikes
me as being a bit lighter then the NS11. I was amazed- I carried it outside and inside and was able to wait until the tripod was in place
in comfort. As long as you are reasonably healthy, I can't see any reason why this scope would cause a problem as far as it's weight.

Anyway, the first thing we did was unpack the scope and inspect it- I noticed some scratches around the base (the silver saucer) and also
some worn paint spots- this was troubling. I wouldn't drive a car off the lot with the paint job on this base. But I was willing to give
that a pass if everything else was okay (it's not like there's a 100 CPC 1100's on the shelf- anywhere- if you know what I mean).

The scope nestled on it's tripod very easily- it's remarkable how well thought out this tripod is- it's still beyond me why Meade can't do
this the same way. The tripod looks different from the one that comes with the CPC 800; it's spreader is bigger and heavier looking. One
important note though- there's NO bubble level in this tripod's top- I was disappointed in this as the Sky & Telescope review said that
leveling the scope was extremely important for it's alignment methods to work- and they really liked this thoughful gesture on Celestron's
part. So much for that.

We plugged in the hand controller (HC) and threw on the power switch (we had it plugged into a fully charged Celestron 17AH battery) and...
nothing happened. This was troublesome- the LED on the base showed power was on- and the HC backlighting was on- but there was no
readout. Being the computer geek that I am (a man of many hobbies...) I decided to reboot the HC by turning the power on and off. Walla!
Power and a readout this time on the HC. YAY!

After trying to see if it would link in the store (the newer Meade scopes do- so we thought we'd see if the CPC would as well) and
getting nowhere, we disassembled the scope and took it out to the parking lot (see photos). After powering up (which was fine) we still
kept getting the "GPS linking" message. A quick call to Celestron confirmed that it can take up to 45 minutes for the link to occur- but
actually within 15 minutes or so, in an area with buildings and trees blocking significant portions of the sky, the GPS linked! Hooray!

Now we tried some alignments- being that it was daytime, we lied to the scope and did a one star alignment on Polaris' approximate
position- the scope did it's thing within seconds and was ready to go about the sky. I chose Venus, Mercury and M81- and the scope moved to
each in about the right areas of the sky (note, we still hadn't placed any eps in the scope- we were just checking the mechanics at this
point- for all I know, all those objects may have been in the FOV!).

Then we noticed the (sigh) problem- while the scope spun around clockwise (to the right) at certain points in the slew- the base began
emitting a tapping sound (the azimuth axis). Once the scope turned past this one side, the tapping would cease. If you slewed the scope
back over the area to the left, there was no noise- but upon going right again- once the scope was oriented where the tapping was before-
you would hear it again.

We tried everything we could to rememdy this- tightening and loosening and retightening the clutch- dismounting the OTA/fork and
remounting it on the tripod, etc. Nothing worked to resolve this. If we loosened the clutch and spun the scope back and forth manually,
there was no noise in either direction- it was definitely something in the gears/motors on the AZ axis.

The fork drives - that is, in Alt, btw- worked perfectly and quietly as did the AZ axis when it didn't hit that tapping area. This was a
major bummer- it meant the scope would have to go back to Celestron. Well, at least I hadn't paid for it yet, and it wasn't at my house.
(Bob at SU is a great guy- he seemed as down as I did! Good to have a dealer who cares)

Many would think that this would lead to me canceling the scope outright... but I'm also aware that there were some development
problems and that these first few scopes being sent out may have been some of the initial "blast" as we say in retail. So, I'm back in line
with Celestron- and we'll give them a second chance. Like I said, I really like this scope's ease of transporting (I never felt
like "OMIGOD!!! I GOTTA PUT THIS THING DOWN!!! IT'S KILLING ME!!!" at all) and the optics looked pristine- not a blemish across the mirror
or the corrector glass- it's beautiful! (My wife says it's sexy looking and futuristic- so when it's not doing it's astronomy thing it
won't be an "eyesore" in the living room- you all know how important this is...)

Although we never got past the shakedown of the mechanics of the scope- I was happy to see that it DOES include the Nexremote software and
cabling to your laptop/PC; there's also a cable for hooking it up to your cigarette lighter plug or power supply using those ports; there's the
40mm E-lux ep and a finder scope as well as a nice glossy manual.

The CPC 1100XLT comes in two very well packed boxes- the OTA/fork in one, and the heavy duty tripod in the second. The OTA box is big- but
should fit easily into the backseat of any mid-size car (we have a Lumina- it would've been fine there.) and the tripod box was the right
size for a typical trunk. (okay, none of this would probably fit in my Berretta!)

While I wait (and wait, and wait) for my second scope, I hope someone out there can report on their experiences with the Celestron CPC1100
XLT and give me some peace of mind that I just got the lemon that slipped through- I'm very excited about this scope- and I can't wait
to hear how it performs under the stars!!!

Typically, even if the scope came home with me tonight- she wouldn't be having her first light- it's cloudy! Well, at least there's
that!

If you have any questions, feel free to post them here and I'll answer whatever I can!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
Posts: 16902
Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #808388 - 02/03/06 04:36 PM

Good report, sorry you have been having problems. For some reason, this is not unusual for big scopes (Celestron is not the only one about which I've heard of problems.) The big issues seems to be with the shipping.

I got to see first hand a brand new GPS11 being unpacked only to discover that somewhere along the line the box it was shipped in had been dropped on one end(it did have visible damage). The corrector was destroyed, as was part of the fork.

One of the dealers I talk with regularly has told me that an average of 2 out of every 10 large scopes (reflectors/SCTs >5") they get has some shipping damage. It would appear that lables such as "Fragile! Glass" just don't garner much care by the people who handle them.

The good news: the shipping companies pay for the damage.
The bad news: someone always ends up waiting even longer for their much awaited scope.

I hope yours gets replaced or repaired quickly. In some ways you might be better off if you get the same scope back from Celestron's repair shop. They are THOROUGH and generally return the scope to you better than it left the factory.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #808408 - 02/03/06 04:56 PM

Thanks, Randy-

The CPC was packaged fine, and the boxes were unblemished- but I agree with your statements. Shipping a scope is the WORST thing that can happen to it. (And UPS - although I don't know that they were the actual shipper- has a certain talent - in my experience - for breaking glass!)

The other things that were questionable to me was the worn paint and scratches on the base- it almost looked second hand. But how could this be on a brand new distribution of a new product? I wondered if maybe I had one that had been around to shows or something...

There's not enough of these scopes out there yet to get an idea on the QC of these- but I still have the feeling that I just got a lemon.

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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ForgottenMObject
Post Laureate


Reged: 09/11/04
Posts: 3660
Loc: Maryland, US
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #808421 - 02/03/06 05:03 PM

Sorry about the end result, but at least it should be a good scope when you get a working one.

Yeesh - 2 out of 10 get creamed in some way in shipping?! Wow... makes me feel lucky to have gotten working scopes over the years!

--------------------
Matthew
IDA member
XT8i, 10x50 binoculars, lots of eyepieces


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
Posts: 16902
Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: ForgottenMObject]
      #808434 - 02/03/06 05:15 PM

The "wear" and scratches can be the result of simple vibration within the shipping box. It doesn't take a lot of amplitude of motion to cause a lot of damage when that motion is repetitive like it is in a moving truck with perhaps an out of balance tire, or on an airplane in turbulence, or on the ocean with a pitching and rolling deck.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #808462 - 02/03/06 05:40 PM

You may be right- but on the other hand, the worn paint on top of the base looks like poor finish- but the scratches could be the result of shipping, I suppose. Thankfully, I haven't seen a glut of postings about this- so the CPC I used was probably the exception to the rule. (Hopefully!)

These were mere cosmetic things; I would've forgotten them once I got some first light views!

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Phil Wheeler
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/31/05
Posts: 2018
Loc: 3 miles WNW of Celestron
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #808473 - 02/03/06 05:50 PM

Quote:

there's NO bubble level in this tripod's top- I was disappointed in this as the Sky & Telescope review said that
leveling the scope was extremely important for it's alignment methods to work




Precise leveling is definitely not needed with SkyAlign. Just eyeball it well enough that the three stars you pick will be above the scope's (tripod's) horizon.

--------------------
Phil / W7OX
NexStar 8SE
WO 10th Anniversary ZS-80FD APO, UA Microstar; Manfrotto tripod
Celestron ASGT Eq Mount
Celestron C5+ on original Equatorial Mount
Stellarvue SV50 "Little Rascal" for air travel; UA DwarfStar and small photo tripod
Coronado P.S.T., used on NexStar 8SE mount or Manfrotto 410 geared head
Lunt LS60/B1200/C/PT mounted as above
Binos: Ob 15x70, UA Unimount; Canon 12x36 IS II
Cameras: DMK31; Canon 7D & 60Da; Panasonic FZ200; Celestron NexImage; Vixen Polarie mount


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Phil Wheeler
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/31/05
Posts: 2018
Loc: 3 miles WNW of Celestron
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #808476 - 02/03/06 05:54 PM

Quote:

I got to see first hand a brand new GPS11 being unpacked only to discover that somewhere along the line the box it was shipped in had been dropped on one end(it did have visible damage). The corrector was destroyed, as was part of the fork.

One of the dealers I talk with regularly has told me that an average of 2 out of every 10 large scopes (reflectors/SCTs >5") they get has some shipping damage. It would appear that lables such as "Fragile! Glass" just don't garner much care by the people who handle them.

The good news: the shipping companies pay for the damage.
The bad news: someone always ends up waiting even longer for their much awaited scope.




My NS8GPS arrived damaged (I picked it up at the dealer's and drove it home) in 2003. It really was Celestron's fault: The lens cap was not secured to the tube and damaged the corrector significantly at some point. Drove it to Celestron and they fixed it.

Phil


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yg1968
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/04
Posts: 1859
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Phil Wheeler]
      #812096 - 02/06/06 09:45 AM

Hi Paul,

I was wondering: when you first use the telescope outside, does the CPC start "downloading" the GPS information as soon as you power up the scope or do you have to start the alignment procedure and get to the menu where the GPS attemps to get a link (in order to get the time, date and coordinates for the alignement procedure)?

Incidentally, the hand control came with the 4.03 firmware. I decided to update it to the latest 4.10 firmware.

My telescope also had some minor scratches on the grey area (i.e. the base). The lens cap fell off when I took out the scope from the box. But I did not notice any damage to the correctors lens.

Edited by yg1968 (02/06/06 12:38 PM)


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: yg1968]
      #812502 - 02/06/06 02:55 PM

Hi yg1968,

It's been a week since my experience- but from what I remember it was flashing "GPS Linking" (and some other info- like what alignment method I wanted); we chose not to do anything until the GPS link was up. (This takes longer as the GPS downloads a lot of info initially when its at a new location.) We didn't need to go into any menus- about the only reason you might want to do this is to confirm that the CPC's internal GPS device is activated. My CPC's was on by default- and I'm guessing this is how they ship- but there is an option to turn the GPS off. (If my GPS wasn't linking after a reasonable time, this would be the logical setting to check)

I never checked the firmware on the HC, so I'm not sure what was there.

There were paint scratches on the base bottom and sides- the paint on top of the base had worn spots (as if it had been rubbed with a brillo pad that scraped paint away); there was also black scuffs on the base. Nothing fell off or was dropped during our unpacking- and the shipping packaging looked secure- so my only conclusion is that the scope left the factory like this.

Who knows? Maybe the QC process of mounting the scope scratches the base sometimes.

With all this (the tapping noise was the main reason the scope was rejected) I'm STILL real excited about this scope- I can't wait to get my hands on the new one! I'm so impressed by it's easy lift and easy mounting. Celestron's reputation for great optics is icing on the cake.

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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yg1968
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/04
Posts: 1859
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #813041 - 02/06/06 09:15 PM

Thanks or the info.

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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound


Reged: 04/23/03
Posts: 17757
Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: yg1968]
      #814000 - 02/07/06 02:23 PM

The bottom of my LX200 is by no means mint condition. I think its just wear and tear of using the scope... But I wouldn't think a new one would be very scratched up, once you get a few monthes/years of use then I would expect it.

--------------------
Preston
Meade 10in LX200R GPS UHTC
blog (updated 02/15/2013)




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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #814818 - 02/08/06 01:53 AM

Hi Preston,

My point exactly!

I've been informed that my second CPC 1100 may ship tomorrow! So, I've got my fingers twisted, entwined, knotted- well you get the point. Here's to a perfect (or nearly so) scope!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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tprice
journeyman


Reged: 01/25/05
Posts: 6
Loc: TX
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #825442 - 02/14/06 08:52 PM

I picked up my CPC1100 last Wednesday from my local dealer and it was absoutly perfect in appearance, no scratches and the finish on the tube was beautiful. I have not been able to use the telescope yet, bad weather and traveling on business . Will send a report asap.

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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: tprice]
      #825593 - 02/14/06 11:01 PM

tprice-

Excellent! There's hope for my new scope! I should be able to get mine on Monday!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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yg1968
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/04
Posts: 1859
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #826129 - 02/15/06 09:52 AM

I tried out my CPC 11 XLT telescope for a second time last weekend. I had better luck than last time. Saturn was spectacular. I could easily see the Cassini division. I used my William-Optics bino-viewer for the first time. They are great with the CPC 11 XLT.

I had some minor problems. I bought the 110 volts 2.5 amp DC adaptor from Celestron. It works fine but it has a tendency to unplug itself when the scope is rotating. I have decided to fix that problem by buying (yesterday) a wire clip (at Radio Shack) that should ensure the wire doesn't get unplug when the scope is rotating.

Other than that, I managed to use Sky Align for the first time. I had the GPS turned off as I have yet to make it work.

I had a slight motor problem. I was going from Saturn to Jupiter and the motor suddenly stopped and started again. It actually stopped twice before getting to Jupiter. It eventually got to Jupiter but I found it strange that it stopped on the way. I am guessing that this behaviour was caused by the temperature being so low (-25 C, i.e. -13 F) and the scope being out a long time in this cold temperature.

Edited by yg1968 (02/15/06 12:58 PM)


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
Posts: 16902
Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: yg1968]
      #826804 - 02/15/06 05:33 PM

I think I would give Celestron Tech support and ask them about that motor stopping issue. It may be due to cold, but could also be symptomatic of another issue. You don't want the warranty to expire without you ensuring everything's working exactly right.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #826987 - 02/15/06 07:34 PM

I second Randy's opinion- you have a two year warranty- start exercising it NOW. Also, the GPS not working is thoroughly unacceptable- you paid a heap of $$$ for the scope to "work like new"- and it better since it is new.

A call to Celestron will probably get you a quick fix- perhaps the GPS is a pluggable module that you can take out yourself and have them replace (you aren't using it now so it wouldn't make any difference.) via Fedex with you installing the new one. It might be better this way- less wear and tear on the optics in shipping- especially since you seem to be happy with the optics (yay!).

As for the motor problem, see if you can get that to repeat inside where it's warm - if not, your cold theory has more weight to it- although, again, I'd check with Celestron Technicians to see if this is true.

Thanks for your post! I'm really chomping at the bit now!!!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
Posts: 16902
Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #827183 - 02/15/06 09:55 PM

I have heard of 3 CPC units with the GPS installed "upside down", although I haven't seen one of these personally, I think it's a possibility that could be the issue with yours. In any case, the call to Celestron is a must. I haven't used my scope at that low a temperature, but it is actually more likely you are having a voltage issue than a temperature one. Good luck, and let us know what your find out.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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mike174
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 01/04/05
Posts: 784
Loc: Central, NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #827259 - 02/15/06 10:38 PM

Hi,

Where have you heard about the GPS units upside down?

Tnx,

Mike

--------------------
* CPC11
* Mid 70's Orange-Tube C8
* AT6M on SW EQ5P
* ST80 on Camera Tripod
* Meade AZ70 Walmart Special
* Are Persistent Contrails really Conrails?



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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: mike174]
      #827326 - 02/15/06 11:17 PM

I was fairly convinced to stick with waiting for my 925 (rather than change to the 800), but yikes, with all these problems with the 1100, I'm again wondering about getting the stable steady 800...

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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: ]
      #827411 - 02/16/06 12:23 AM

mdavies,

I'm supposed to be getting my CPC 1100 on Monday- the first unit I had had no GPS problems other then I had to give it 15 minutes (which seems to be one of the speedier initial links?) for it's initial linkup. The problem with my GPS was that I kept flipping the off/on switch because we thought the linkup wasn't working properly. (Meade's newer Sony GPS units evidently link faster according to my dealer- so we thought the CPC GPS unit would too)

Mine went back due to some noises in the base- which so far, no one has reported (to my knowledge) hearing in any other CPC 1100 or 800.

I'm not sure if Randy was saying that he'd heard of 3 CPC 1100's with GPSs installed incorrectly or 3 CPC 800s or a mix of these models; if they were all CPC 1100s, this would probably be due to the redesigned fork arms used in the CPC 1100 (and 925). If this is just a rare but easily user correctable (and not a warranty voider) thing, fine. (Although it would really be nice for Celestron to just get it right since we aren't talking about toys here- these are very expensive instruments and they should be treated as such by Celestron)

If the improperly installed GPSs were in CPC 800s, then there's no point in rushing in that direction either- wait for the 925 (although I stated in your other thread that I thought the 800 would be fine, too) to come out. By that time (March? April?) Celestron will probably have all those problems- often seen in new products- worked out as well. (I'm hoping someone there got a browbeating over such ineptitude)

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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yg1968
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/04
Posts: 1859
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #827450 - 02/16/06 01:06 AM

As far as the GPS is concerned, I let it run for about an hour and a half without any results. But I did not have a clear view of the sky in the sense that the house and forest were in the way. The motor problem did not occur at any other time than late in the evening when the scope was almost frozen. It does not occur when the scope is inside the house or when the scope has just started being outside. I am going to try the GPS in a clear field one last time and if it still doesn't work, the scope will be going back to Celestron. The problem is that a lot of the problems I have had are not reproducable in the sense that they only occur at -25 degrees celcius.

I have heard of Meade LX200 having problems in cold weather. I wonder if Celestron does not have similar problems in very cold temperatures. For the Meade problems, see this link:

http://www.nortek.on.ca/scope_retrofit.aspx

Incidentally, I had the dealer open up the arm to see if the GPS was upside down. Neither him or me knew for sure how to tell which side is up but the red light was blinking towards the top inside side of the scope.

Edited by yg1968 (02/16/06 01:11 AM)


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
Posts: 16902
Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: yg1968]
      #827614 - 02/16/06 06:16 AM

I think you just need to let the GPS get a good unobstructed view of the sky for a while. I haven't opened a CPC to actually look at the GPS unit, but I think those who have seen the unit upside down thought it was pretty obvious (like maybe the light was pointing down where it couldn't be seen).

I have been told that only a handful of the CPC scopes got off the line with the improperly installed GPS, so the problem is likely just that yours just couldn't "see" enough of the sky to link up. Please keep us informed, this is likely to help others figure out their situations if they come up.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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yg1968
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/04
Posts: 1859
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #827778 - 02/16/06 09:58 AM

Thanks for your help, Randy. I will keep you posted. I won't get to test the GPS for at least a week. There's too many buildings in the city. I have to go the country side in a week or so where I will get a chance to test it. The dealer has told me that the new 2.5 amp 110 volts DC Power cords (which don't come with the scope) have a tendency to unplug themselves when the scope is moving. The clip I installed should help avoid this problem. There is a 2 year warranty on the scope, so I am being patient. But if these problems aren't solved in the next few weeks, I will not hesitate to send the scope back. The dealer has been very supportive through all of this.

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yg1968
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/04
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: yg1968]
      #828473 - 02/16/06 06:18 PM

I just talked to technical support at Celestron. It was funny, he had just read my posts on this forum. He asked "did you just post in Cloudynights, today or yesterday about this problem?". My cover is now blown...

Anyways, about the GPS, they said that a good way to determine if the GPS is linked is to press "view time site" in the menu and when it is linked, it should say "linked" (as opposed to "linking"). They said to give it time to link when in a new site. Trying it in a clear field would be better.

They said that they have tested the GPS and motor drives in the desert (where it gets very cold at night) and they usually do not have problems in cold temperature with the scopes. But they said that if it had problems, they would fix it.

But to be fair to Celestron at -25 degrees celcius, I could hear all sorts of things cracking around me outside (trees, I am guessing). My telescope wasn't cracking and was working for many hours. I probably shouldn't expect a frozen telescope at -25 degrees celcius to be working as well as an un-frozen one.

I will keep you posted when I get a chance to try the GPS again.


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Sam
member


Reged: 01/22/06
Posts: 21
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: yg1968]
      #830788 - 02/18/06 06:08 AM

i was haveing same problem with the GPS

i read in one site
Celestron has discovered a problem with the Celestron CPC 800 Telescope. Some GPS antennas have problems with the reception. Not all Celestron CPC 800 Telescope owners whose scope shipped prior to 6/6/05 will experience difficulty in GPS linking. Those who do may contact the Celestron Technical Support department to receive a prepaid shipping label to return their telescope for warranty repair. Individuals, who would prefer not to send in their telescopes, can request a replacement antenna mounting bracket and installation instruction sheet to be shipped directly to them

I open the side arm cover agen wear the GPS board and i remove the GPS Board out and i try the GPS it work fine it link less than minute wean i but it bake it did not link
any way i instell it back i rotate the GPS board up side down it work fine now
it link less the 1 minutes .
i think the GPS antennas was not loceted right.
now avrey thing fine


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Sam]
      #834713 - 02/20/06 06:21 PM

It's HERE! My new CPC 1100 is home at last!

I'm hoping to do a first light shake down tonight! So far, everything else works exactly as expected- no tapping noise whatsoever, GPS links up immediately, no worn paint spots or scratches anywhere on the base (give me some time...) nor a ton of styrofoam dust covering it. I really think that first one sent out was some sort of exhibition scope or amongst the first to arrive at Celestron and that it had seen it's share of rough handling. It was probably a mistake that it went out to me.

About the only complaint I can find (so far) is that the power plug (cig adapter style) cord included with the CPC doesn't fit well in the base DC-in port! Fortunately, the Orion powertank (17AH model) that I bought along with the scope has one of these cables as well- and it's DC-in plug fits snugly into the DC-in port.

As I said, the GPS linked up almost immediately - and it did so INSIDE the shop at Skies Unlimited (unlike the first CPC 1100 that was sent out)- so for those who're having problems with the GPS, I'd definitely think those units need to be replaced.

The best way to check for linked GPS signal is in the View Time-Site section on the HC; follow the menus. If the link was successful, it says so- if not, it'll say "GPS Linking"- I had to manually tell the scope what time zone it was now located in- but once I did that, the time was perfect.

I did some "One Star Aligning" with an approximation of where Polaris is (from my living room)- the GPS linked within my house without trouble and with only a front door open- and had the scope point to Mercury, Mars, and M1- all of the spots it pointed to seemed about where I'd expect the scope to point- pretty good for One Star Align! Can't wait to see what Skyalign can do!

I bought the following:

CPC1100 XLT
Celestron 18mm Xcel ep
Thousand Oaks Dew Heater controller
2" Celestron E-lux lens kit (w/ diag, barlow, filters and 3 eps)
Orion 17AH powertank (the same model Celestron markets)

I have an Astrozap dew shield on order- combines heater and dew shield- pretty cool!

Interestingly enough, I still have some money left over in my budget... me thinks a wireless adapter is needed!!!

Anyway, I have to go sacrifice to the cloud-gods to keep the sky clear- I'll give a first light ASAP.

Clear Skies (PLEASE!),
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Neil Wallace
member


Reged: 02/06/06
Posts: 48
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #835034 - 02/20/06 11:06 PM

Paul,

I'm curious about the pakaging that your CPC1100 arrived in. I'm going nuts waiting on mine to arrive (maybe another week or so), and one of the things I'm concerned about is how to protect it once it gets here. I have to drive to dark skies, so I have been looking for a reasonably priced carrying case. I don't see many options offered for this scope, so I'm hoping the packing material will offer some protection until I can rig something up.

--------------------
Neil

Fort Worth, Texas


Celestron CPC 1100 XLT
Celestron Onyx 80 EDF


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #835079 - 02/20/06 11:50 PM

First light report!

Well it was clear for about an hour and a half tonight- but I got some really impressive views, none the less! Orion's Nebula never looked so spectacular- instead of a puff of smoke around the Trapezium, I could actually easily make out cloudy definitions and long arcs- I could also see the nebulosity directly next to M42 (M43?)- it was spectacular. The Trapezium never looked so sharp before.

Next I moved over to Saturn- awesome, even in the low power 40mm lens included with the scope (I mostly used this lens tonight and an old Orion 25mm plossl with a short barlow.)- for the very first time, I saw Iapetus clearly! Enceladus was also popping in and out of view- at mag 11.5 from my medium light polluted suburban sky- not too shabby!

I used Skyalign with mixed success- first up, it matched my choices (so cool!) and always put the object right in the finder, but I usually had to recenter it in the finder to get it in the ep; I think this has much more to do with sloppy and fast alignment of the finder with the OTA then anything else (i.e.- my fault)

I love the Precise Go-to feature- it came in handy when the above mentioned problem put a dim fuzzy out of reach- this always got the object in the fov!

The scope's collimation seemed okay- I made a slight adjustment. One odd thing I noticed was that when putting a star out of focus to make it an airy disk, the side of the disk who's image is closest to the top was somewhat rippled- I think this may be due to warm air currents in the scope moving to the top of the corrector (heat rises) - I can't see anything in the corrector or the mirror that would cause such a blemish. I'll have to see if this persists- again, I didn't have a lot of cool down time for this scope. Anyone else out there hear of such a thing- picturing the airy disk as a "donut" this one looks as though it's been nibbled slightly at one edge?

As clouds rolled in, I kept moving about the sky tracking dim fuzzies- I saw M65, M66, M41 (perennial favorite OC of mine), M79 (still could tell it was a globular thru all the murk and haze of the southern sky). I also viewed Sirius- wow! It was REALLY BRIGHT!!!

I took a look at Polaris- always difficult with my awful Orion Skyview Deluxe EQ mount (not to be confused with their current spectacular Pro series) - and saw it's optical companion. I ran the tour- and very low to the trees in the north and thru lots of backyard lights I was surprised to see Delta Ceph- a beautiful double star listed as "Colored Double with a period of 5.4 days" - obviously, this info dovetails with the info for variables since Delta Ceph is a very famous variable star!

Well, I can't wait for the next clear night when I can get a crack at the 2" diagonal and lenses in that kit! I imagine that's going to make things even more impressive.

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Jeff_Richards
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/22/03
Posts: 551
Loc: Virginia Beach, Va
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #835089 - 02/20/06 11:56 PM

Hi Paul,

Yep...tube currents are the effect you describe. The C-11 takes quite a while to cooldown (at least a couple of hours for full equilibrium).

Cheers,
Jeff

--------------------
Jeff Richards
NexStar 11 GPS with APTAstro wedge
Borg 77 ED and mini-Borg 45 ED on a CG-5GT
http://www.bluemoon737.com


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Neil Wallace]
      #835098 - 02/20/06 11:59 PM

Quote:

Paul,

I'm curious about the pakaging that your CPC1100 arrived in. I'm going nuts waiting on mine to arrive (maybe another week or so), and one of the things I'm concerned about is how to protect it once it gets here. I have to drive to dark skies, so I have been looking for a reasonably priced carrying case. I don't see many options offered for this scope, so I'm hoping the packing material will offer some protection until I can rig something up.




Hi Neil,

It came in two boxes, one for the scope/fork mount and one for the tripod. Each of these boxes were double boxes- brown shipping box on the outside, white standard box on the inside. There was plenty of styrofoam packing which held the scope rigidly in place during transport. There was no sign of abuse in shipping (Thank God!).

In order to get the scope home, we removed it from the brown box (which we folded down for future shipping to Celestron, just in case) and that gave us the half inch clearance we needed to get it into our Chevy Lumina. The Tripod box fit (with effort) into the trunk.

I would definitely recommend a case- I haven't gotten one yet, but it's a must have for transporting to dark sites. Cases are generally designed (unlike shipping boxes) to be user and car friendly. I'm sure JMI probably has one for the CPCs by now, or will soon.

Good luck with your scope, and post here when it arrives!

Clear Skies,
Paul

ps- this scope is SO easy to move around.

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Jeff_Richards]
      #835105 - 02/21/06 12:05 AM

Quote:

Hi Paul,

Yep...tube currents are the effect you describe. The C-11 takes quite a while to cooldown (at least a couple of hours for full equilibrium).

Cheers,
Jeff




Cool! Thanks for the info, Jeff- you're definitely an asset to this forum for newbies like myself.

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound


Reged: 04/23/03
Posts: 17757
Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #837296 - 02/22/06 01:04 PM

On the cooldown issue there is a company that makes a fan that helps speed the cooling effect. The fan is called a CatCooler and is made by Lymax and they run about $130.00. Astronomics and most other big dealers sell them.

--------------------
Preston
Meade 10in LX200R GPS UHTC
blog (updated 02/15/2013)




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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #837950 - 02/22/06 08:29 PM

I had a spectacular - AND COLD!!! - second light nite last night. Saturn was (again) gorgeous- I viewed M81, M82, M52, M97, The Eskimo planetary (NGC 2392), the Arrowhead Cluster, The number 3 cluster (difficult to judge the "3"- looks real flat?)- and a slew of other stuff. The only reason I stopped (around midnight) was that my corrector began to frost over (my astrozap is on order... my 1000 Oaks controller is sitting lonely in a corner...).

I'm still having difficulty getting Skyalign to get the object in the ep- it always finds a match for my stars and once aligned, it always gets my targets in the finder, but I find I have to slew a few degrees to get it into the 40mm ep that came with the scope. My tripod's level, and I generally try to use a 20mm lens fov to place the alignment stars. I'm thinking of making a reticle lens for more precision here. Also, in rereading Mike Swanson's page- I see that at least two of the stars need to be widely spaced apart- this might be another thing I'm doing wrong- I've been mostly looking for stars as far apart as Sirius-Betelguise and Procyon - fairly BIG triangles, but perhaps not big enough. Perhaps having Polaris as one of the "anchors" would be best; say Polaris as Star 1, Betelguise as Star 2 and anything else not in a straight line between them as star 3? I downloaded a program pointed to from Mike's site that evidently lists best and worst pairings of stars for alignments- I'll check this out.

Is there a minimum distance for the two "widest" stars out of the 3? For instance, should stars 1 and 2 (or 2 and 3 or 1 and 3) be no closer then 30 degrees?

I also need to get used to the idea of approaching the alignment stars via the way the scope does- I'm guessing this means that if you overshoot going to the right, you should go back to the left a little more then you need then approach the star from the right again?

Finally, although I think the CPC is a beautiful scope- the one really glaring annoyance is the red LED on it's base which is blindingly bright (Hey Celestron- this needs to be changed)- I thought about painting over the LED with something translucent enough to allow me to know that the CPC is on- but I probably won't do anything so severe as this until the warranty is done. For now- an excellent way around this is to put the smaller lens cap from the finder scope (the 9x50 finder that comes with the CPC 1100) over the off/on switch entirely. It fits perfectly, and serves the additional purpose of insuring that the switch won't be bumped off!

I had no optical issues in the airy disk last night- taking Jeff's encouraging words to heart, I took the scope outside one hour before use- I set the corrector downward and removed it's cap, then took the cover off the visual back- it was SO cold last night that I could actually feel the warm air rising out of the OTA!!! Needless to say- it established great equilibrium by the time I was ready to view stuff.

I purchased an RS232 to USB cable, ran the drivers for it in my laptop, and in no time at all, I had my laptop running my CPC!!! I had the laptop plugged directly into the HC which worked fine. It was awesome to watch Cartes du Ceil place a cursor on it's charts and see it move as the scope moved- or move the cursor on the chart and watch the scope slew to that spot. (This was all done in the house) I plan to by the wireless Bluetooth gizmo that Orion markets and a bluetooth-USB controller to actually link my laptop and CPC. I don't see the point in another layer of cables to trip over. I only bought this cable to test out whether my laptop's COM port was compatible with the CPC. In case anyone's interested, my laptop is a year old Gateway model; so they're safe to use with the CPC if anyone's tracking this.

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


Edited by Paul McC (02/23/06 01:17 AM)


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #838318 - 02/23/06 01:05 AM

What to do on a rainy night?
Well, upgrade the firmware in the HC, of course!

Long story short- I used my wirelessly networked laptop for net access for the new 4.10 version (my brand new CPC 1100 came with the 4.03 vers) and connected my laptop to the CPC thru my USB to RS232 cable to HC input plug! The entire process was flawless- kinda fun to watch, too. HC Update seems like a stable program; all of the menus were self explanitory.

After flashing, I got the HC ver 4.1 (Yay!) and my MC ver is 5.07 (or something like that; note- this is not changed via HC Update; this is the version the CPC shipped with)- I see the new features I read about. I also downloaded the HC Manual (updated for 4.1) from Mike Swanson's site- EXCELLENT site Mike- THANKS!!!!

I can't wait to see if these new features will help me tackle my pointing accuracy in Skyalign- and I can't wait to get back under the stars!

(One note about flashing an eprom like those used in HCs- the entire original HC software is wiped clean; it's like getting a brand new CPC all over again. Yes, when you first turn on your CPC after flashing the HC- it's going to go thru the initial GPS download all over again, and you're going to need to input things like Standard (or Daylight) time and your timezone. Any other custom settings will need to be re-entered as well. So don't panic when you see all this- it's normal.)

Clear Skies,
Paul

Edited by Paul McC (02/23/06 01:10 AM)


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haleymon
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/10/05
Posts: 1234
Loc: Spring, Texas N.W. of Houston
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #839564 - 02/23/06 09:27 PM

Quote:

On the cooldown issue there is a company that makes a fan that helps speed the cooling effect. The fan is called a CatCooler and is made by Lymax and they run about $130.00. Astronomics and most other big dealers sell them.




Or...

You can make a cat cooler for about 15 bucks!!

I did and it works GREAT!!!

--------------------
Clear Skies to all


Dave


Celestron CPC 800 XLT
2" Astro Tech Dielectric Diag.
Orion Shorty Plus Barlow
Telrad
Canon 40D DSLR (On Its Way)
NexImage w/LE Mod
Starry Night Pro 5.0
5mw GLP



-------Haley's Haven Observatory-------



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baondayko
member


Reged: 12/29/05
Posts: 81
Loc: Ohio
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: haleymon]
      #841018 - 02/24/06 07:50 PM

Your scope will cool down much quicker by pointing the corrector side up. Just an fyi. If you point it downward, the hot air rises until it gets trapped near the mirror. It will cool, but will take longer. I definitely noticed a big difference.

Clear Skies
Brock


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
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Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: baondayko]
      #841484 - 02/25/06 03:45 AM

Had my 3rd night out with the CPC 1100 and I gotta say, it just keeps getting better! My SkyAlign experience was right on target tonight- I used the program on Mike Swanson's excellent NexStar site that gives you the best alignment stars based on your location, date, time. It gave me a long list of good alignment stars based on that data- tonight I used Polaris (always far from a lot of stuff and very easy to center of course) and Procyon and Regulus; every single object was in the central portion of my 25mm Orion plossl from Cancer to Ursa Major to Leo- just perfect!

Tonight I caught my first big globular in my new scope (saw a dim one in Lepus on the first light night)- M3- what a spectacular globular! All of the stars resolved across it's disk- no averted vision needed at this aperature. Bye bye Orion 8" reflector and 5" Mak!!! M3 was breathtaking! I can't wait to see M13- my all time favorite globular. (M13 gave me a sneak peek- just as it topped the trees and I closed in on it, clouds rolled across the view- I got enough of a glimpse though to see that this is going to be awesome when it's clear and M13's high in the sky.)

I viewed a dimmer globular that was difficult to focus on (can't remember which one) and the nearby stars were dim, too- and then I had a good idea for another use of Precise Go-to. I used it to go to a bright star and focused on that then used it to return to the globular- now in perfect focus! Try it sometime.

Saw tons of galaxies- some I'd tried for unsuccessfully for decades- now very easily found. Some are MUCH larger then I thought in the FOV. I also checked out many double stars. It's nice to be able to sit and enjoy these objects for a change instead of breaking my back with my lousy old 8" reflector's rickety mount. I'm having a blast.

As I said, the clouds rolled in by 12:30am and ended things early but I still discovered a lot of new tricks. I tried the new firmware's "Calibrate GoTo" command, and followed the scope's onscreen prompts and it moved the scope around a bit and returned to my target. Not sure what it did actually- I thought originally that it would help fix any remaining errors in go-to but this isn't the case as far as I can tell. I downloaded the manual on Mike's site for the new firmware and it's commands- I'll have to re-read it and see if I missed something.

Had some more time to study the NexRemote tonight and found out what the Virtual COM port is all about- pretty cool that it allows other astronomy programs to use the NexRemote HC's voice. Wow!

Gotta get to bed- work tomorrow- and it's 3:43am.

Goodnight all!
Cheers, Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Jeff_Richards
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/22/03
Posts: 551
Loc: Virginia Beach, Va
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #841691 - 02/25/06 10:53 AM

Hi Paul,

Great report...keep 'em comin'.

I suggest, if you ever get the chance, to head south to get a glimpse on Omega Centauri (now THAT'S a glob!). I also recommend M22 this summer.

Cheers,
Jeff

--------------------
Jeff Richards
NexStar 11 GPS with APTAstro wedge
Borg 77 ED and mini-Borg 45 ED on a CG-5GT
http://www.bluemoon737.com


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: baondayko]
      #841828 - 02/25/06 12:22 PM

Quote:

Your scope will cool down much quicker by pointing the corrector side up. Just an fyi. If you point it downward, the hot air rises until it gets trapped near the mirror. It will cool, but will take longer. I definitely noticed a big difference.

Clear Skies
Brock




Really? I'll have to give it a try sometime- I figured opening the visual back and pointing it up would force the warm air to rise out (since warm air rises)- I'll try your method.

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


Edited by Paul McC (02/26/06 12:56 AM)


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Jeff_Richards]
      #841836 - 02/25/06 12:28 PM

Quote:

Hi Paul,

Great report...keep 'em comin'.

I suggest, if you ever get the chance, to head south to get a glimpse on Omega Centauri (now THAT'S a glob!). I also recommend M22 this summer.

Cheers,
Jeff




Thanks, Jeff-

How far south to see Om Cen? I've seen that glob from a cruise ship in the Caribbean thru cheap 7 x 35 binos- it still looked impressive, so I'd love to see it thru the CPC 1100!

M22 is one of my other favorites, too. It's low in the south for Jersey skies, but not too low. M13 has always been impressive in any scope I've owned- can't wait to see it in it's glory in the 11"!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
Posts: 16902
Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #842042 - 02/25/06 02:46 PM

There's a lot of debate on the "which end up" topic. The glass on the front certainly traps warm air, but the tube on the inside does also. I have found the best option is to use a scope cooler, it really hastens the cool down process beautifully.

As to the idea of being to build one for $15, it's probably true, if you have the equipment and materials, but be REALLY sure you make it so it won't introduce dust or foreign materials.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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Jeff_Richards
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/22/03
Posts: 551
Loc: Virginia Beach, Va
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #842090 - 02/25/06 03:44 PM

Hey Paul,

Join the Chiefland Astronomy Village club (Chiefland, Fl) and come down to the Chiefland Star Picnic in April and you will be able to see it.

--------------------
Jeff Richards
NexStar 11 GPS with APTAstro wedge
Borg 77 ED and mini-Borg 45 ED on a CG-5GT
http://www.bluemoon737.com


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Neil Wallace
member


Reged: 02/06/06
Posts: 48
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Jeff_Richards]
      #842264 - 02/25/06 06:07 PM

Paul,

Thanks for the report on your 3rd night out. Keep 'em coming... I'm living vicariously through your enjoyment of your new scope until mine arrives. I can't tell you how good it is to hear that things are going so well with yours (even if it took sending it back to make it right). I agonized for weeks before deciding on the CPC 1100 XLT, and it sounds like I've got some enjoyable nights ahead of me. Once I have a scope to report on, and a night clear enough to use it (a rarity over the last two weeks) I'll be sure to post my thoughts back here.

One quick question: With the date for the Messier Marathon approaching, how hard is it to set up a tour in the HC that uses a list like the one from www.seds.org that puts the objects in the best order for the night's viewing?

--------------------
Neil

Fort Worth, Texas


Celestron CPC 1100 XLT
Celestron Onyx 80 EDF


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Jeff_Richards
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/22/03
Posts: 551
Loc: Virginia Beach, Va
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Neil Wallace]
      #842469 - 02/25/06 08:56 PM

Neil,

You can't modify the tour in the real hand controller, however, with NexRemote you can create any sort of tour you like (in fact a Messier Marathon" tour has already been written). Of course, NexRemote requires the use of a computer.

Cheers,
Jeff

--------------------
Jeff Richards
NexStar 11 GPS with APTAstro wedge
Borg 77 ED and mini-Borg 45 ED on a CG-5GT
http://www.bluemoon737.com


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Neil Wallace
member


Reged: 02/06/06
Posts: 48
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Jeff_Richards]
      #842483 - 02/25/06 09:08 PM

Jeff,

So your saying that the software that comes with the CPC will have a pre-written tour for the Marathon that I can shuttle over to the hand controller (via laptop), or do I need to download it from a third party site?

--------------------
Neil

Fort Worth, Texas


Celestron CPC 1100 XLT
Celestron Onyx 80 EDF


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Jeff_Richards
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/22/03
Posts: 551
Loc: Virginia Beach, Va
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Neil Wallace]
      #842516 - 02/25/06 09:27 PM

Neil,

No, the real hand controller tour can't be modified. NexRemote is software that can be used to "replace" the real hand controller. So basically, you do not connect the real hand controller and instead connect your laptop to the scope via the programming cable (or you could connect the real hand controller and use the serial control cable and connect it to the bottom of the hand controller...but the bottom line is that you are using a computer to control the scope vice the hand controller.

Clear skies,
Jeff

--------------------
Jeff Richards
NexStar 11 GPS with APTAstro wedge
Borg 77 ED and mini-Borg 45 ED on a CG-5GT
http://www.bluemoon737.com


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Neil Wallace
member


Reged: 02/06/06
Posts: 48
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Jeff_Richards]
      #842569 - 02/25/06 10:07 PM

Jeff,

Thanks for explaining...I follow you now. I saw the NexRemote trial download link on Celestron's website. I think I'll download it and play around with it. It will give me something to do to take my mind off of the wait for the scope to show up.

Thanks again,

--------------------
Neil

Fort Worth, Texas


Celestron CPC 1100 XLT
Celestron Onyx 80 EDF


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Neil Wallace]
      #842740 - 02/26/06 01:14 AM

Quote:

Jeff,

Thanks for explaining...I follow you now. I saw the NexRemote trial download link on Celestron's website. I think I'll download it and play around with it. It will give me something to do to take my mind off of the wait for the scope to show up.

Thanks again,




Hi Neil,

That's exactly what I did- I downloaded the trial version to my laptop and got to know the HC real quickly. Your CPC will come with NexRemote and cable included for hooking up to a laptop- the software will write over the "trial" one- so it doesn't hurt anything. Don't throw away the envelope the NexRemote CD is in- it has the auth key on it!

Thanks for the kind words on my CPC reviews- I look forward to hearing about your experiences as well when your scope arrives. One note though- my scope (that is, the first scope sent to my dealer for me to inspect before purchasing- didn't go in for repairs- the first scope was sent back completely and Celestron expedited another one to me (thanks to my terrific dealer's efforts). I gotta give Celestron credit- they sure got another out to me quickly!

As I've said in other posts, I really think Celestron sent that first scope to me by accident- it looked like someone was using it for some time (which we all know to be impossible)- I think it was an exhibition scope, being trundled around to dealers and shipped around a lot. The new scope I have now is definitely brand new- and so far everything works! I'm more then pleased.

One other thing to consider is the fact that any astronomy software compatible with the ASCOM drivers (out there for free on the net) will drive your CPC as well- I highly recommend downloading the ASCOM driver and installing it on your laptop.

The latest Astronomy mag just came out with Virgo galaxy recommendations- talk about great timing!!! I can't wait to get out and start seeing 'em all!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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AlienRatDog
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/15/05
Posts: 1682
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #844005 - 02/26/06 09:17 PM

This is a pretty dumb question...once aligned, how is the pointing precision? I am very sure I am going to buy a CPC1100...I am just worried it isnt as good the Nexstar11GPS.

--------------------
Abe -- the poor PhD student (candidate now!)
-----------------------------------------
12" LX200GPS-SMT w/UHTC
Celestron CPC800XLT w/ Feathertouch 2" Crayford
Orion ED100 w/ Moonlight 2.5" Crayford, Orion ST80
Celestron AS-GT GEM, Vixen Star Guy Pro, FM18 fluid head
Nagler 31mm, 17mm, 13mm, 12mm, 9mm, 2.5x Powermate
Oberwerk 15x70 binoculars
Understanding wife
One beautiful daughter, Emma-Rose (born 7-29-2009)
Twin boys (cats), half Persian/half Alley Cat but all Vermin!


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
Posts: 16902
Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: AlienRatDog]
      #844043 - 02/26/06 09:47 PM

I can't speak for the CPC per se, however I have the CPC hand controller on my GPS 9.25 and the goto's are outstanding. In fact I think better than the GPS was.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: AlienRatDog]
      #844114 - 02/26/06 10:23 PM

Quote:

This is a pretty dumb question...once aligned, how is the pointing precision? I am very sure I am going to buy a CPC1100...I am just worried it isnt as good the Nexstar11GPS.




I agree with RandyR-
Again, pointing accuracy is best under Skyalign- although I had great pointing with Auto-Two Star Align" (which I guess is what is standard on other go-to scopes) and especially when at least two of the stars are FAR away from each other. (See my posts on this)

Some recommend using a reticle ep to help center the alignment stars- I haven't got one so I haven't tried this yet- I'm sure this would center things even more. With three Skyaligns under my belt, I'd say that the pointing precision is directly related to your alignment precision- a fast and sloppy Skyalign will result in close pointing. A more carefully done Skyalign will put targets in or near the center.

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more


Reged: 04/30/03
Posts: 30716
Loc: NE Ohio
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: AlienRatDog]
      #844176 - 02/26/06 11:17 PM

Quote:

This is a pretty dumb question...once aligned, how is the pointing precision? I am very sure I am going to buy a CPC1100...I am just worried it isnt as good the Nexstar11GPS.




There's no difference in alignment accuracy between SkyAlign (which uses two stars for alignment) and any other two star alignment method. I found the CPC gotos to be just as accurate as those of the Nexstar GPS models I've owned.

--------------------
John C

Battle Cry of Reno
http://www.wadsworthobservatory.com
My Cloudy Nights gallery

AT12RC
AT65EDQ
QSI683WSG-8
Roper Scientific Quantix 6303E "project" camera
mystery EQ mount on the way


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #844245 - 02/26/06 11:59 PM

I DO use a 12mm Graticule EP for my final alignment shots before hitting the last "align" button on each point. That may make a difference in my accuracy. BUT, my experience has also been that I can almost "guess" at the center of the FOV with a 10mm EP and be "close enough".

Now, if I were trying to setup for a Messier Marathon or to try to find something very elusive that I want precisely centered at the completion of a GOTO I might be be really persnickety about the shots I take.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #844336 - 02/27/06 01:46 AM

yeah, Randy- a 10mm is pretty centered as opposed to using the 40mm to "eyeball it" as we used to say in CAD drafting.

John, you're right- Skyalign is essentially Two-Star Alignment with a third calibration star (or confirmation star, I suppose)- I probably got the most accurate with SA due to the use of distant alignment stars. I'll have to try this with Two-Star or Auto Two Star.

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Jeff_Richards
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/22/03
Posts: 551
Loc: Virginia Beach, Va
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #844419 - 02/27/06 06:08 AM

One quick and dirty method if you don't own a reticle eyepiece....defocus the star to make it just about as big as your FOV so you can tell better when it's centered.

Cheers,
Jeff

--------------------
Jeff Richards
NexStar 11 GPS with APTAstro wedge
Borg 77 ED and mini-Borg 45 ED on a CG-5GT
http://www.bluemoon737.com


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Jeff_Richards]
      #844663 - 02/27/06 11:13 AM

That works great IF your scope is well colimated with that EP.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... *DELETED* new [Re: Jeff_Richards]
      #844665 - 02/27/06 11:13 AM

Post deleted by RandyR

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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Rusty
Postmaster


Reged: 08/06/03
Posts: 19246
Loc: Brooker, FL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #845895 - 02/27/06 11:11 PM

Well, of course, all CN denizens have their scopes just about perfectly collimated.







Don't they?

--------------------
N11GPS Fastar//TOA-130S//MK66 Std//AT6RC//Vintage C5//Megrez II 80mm APO//SolarMax 40
NJP Temma II//Sirius EQ-G
Too Many Astro-Cameras//Mallincam Color Hyper Plus
Two not-spoiled Golden Retrievers - Casey and Nelson

Lot 19 Deerlick Astronomy Village (Canis Major)


Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case the idea is quite staggering. - Arthur C. Clarke


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Rusty]
      #846049 - 02/28/06 12:58 AM

Well, it's been cloudy and COLD (not that COLD would stop me... ahem) for the past few nights, so I haven't gotten to try about a million things I want to try- stuff I think of while at work.

Anyway, once the clouds part again, I'm preparing to tackle a ton of Virgo galaxies- I've scored a few of the brighter members in the 8" and 5" scopes in the past- I already know I'm going to have FAR more success with the CPC 11" mirror and go to mount. This month's Astronomy magazine has an article on the Virgo cluster - I think I mentioned this elsewhere or here (repetition comes with old age... repetition comes with... nevermind.). Timely article for me.

I could NEVER find M95 and M96 in Leo with my old scopes- saw them instantly in the CPC- but oddly enough, I always found M65 and M66 easily with my old scopes- this always drove me crazy. It was gratifying to finally see them. M97 in Ursa Major (the Owl Neb) was easy to see- but so much bigger then in the old scopes. One that still eludes me in all scopes is M101- but that galaxy is so big and diffuse that it probably would be a better target for my 8" f/4 at a dark site.

I do want to check and adjust the scope's collimation- while I'm on the subject, are Bob's Knobs worth having? Can the collimation access cover (the one with Celestron's logo on it) still be placed over them? Seems like a neat idea- and the screws that are there are real tiny and tight- not real happy about putting a pointy screw driver that close to the glass.

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #846298 - 02/28/06 09:06 AM

M101 was a bear even under dark skies. Makes one wonder how it ever got on the list in the first place.

The Virgo cluster is an eye openner with the C11. Besides Saturn that was my next WOW factor. There are many galaxies that are not on the Messier list in Virgo that appear to my eye better than the ones that did make the list that it made me scratch my head. Keep your eye in the eye piece as your scope GOTO's in the Virgo area. Galaxies standing around like they're inline at MVD.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)


Reged: 06/24/03
Posts: 17639
Loc: Los Angeles
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Neil Wallace]
      #847031 - 02/28/06 05:04 PM

Quote:

Paul,

I'm curious about the pakaging that your CPC1100 arrived in. I'm going nuts waiting on mine to arrive (maybe another week or so), and one of the things I'm concerned about is how to protect it once it gets here. I have to drive to dark skies, so I have been looking for a reasonably priced carrying case. I don't see many options offered for this scope, so I'm hoping the packing material will offer some protection until I can rig something up.



It can be quite safely carried in your back seat, sitting on its base, with a seatbelt and shoulder harness around it. But don't transport it with the axes locked. Loosen them first.

--------------------
Don Pensack
www.EyepiecesEtc.com
12.5" Teeter/Zambuto, 5" Maksutov
Sustaining Lifetime IDA member



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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)


Reged: 06/24/03
Posts: 17639
Loc: Los Angeles
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Jeff_Richards]
      #847034 - 02/28/06 05:08 PM

Quote:

Hi Paul,

Yep...tube currents are the effect you describe. The C-11 takes quite a while to cooldown (at least a couple of hours for full equilibrium).

Cheers,
Jeff



I would strongly recommend a Lymax SCT Cooler for this scope. If the temperature is even dropping at all over the night, the scope may never come to equilibrium. Once you've seen the difference between equilibrated and not, you'll never view again without active cooling.
I'd advise using the Lymax cooler for a solid hour if the telescope comes out of a 70 degree house or car into 40 degrees or colder air. Set it up at sunset and run the cooler till dark and you'll see excellent images as soon as you start viewing.

--------------------
Don Pensack
www.EyepiecesEtc.com
12.5" Teeter/Zambuto, 5" Maksutov
Sustaining Lifetime IDA member



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Neil Wallace
member


Reged: 02/06/06
Posts: 48
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Starman1]
      #847218 - 02/28/06 07:07 PM

Don,

(1) I didn't think about belting the scope into an open seat... that's not a bad idea... I still may need more protection than that since the dirt road to the observation site is full of minor potholes. You can be sure that when I roll for the house at 0300 I'm more likely than not to hit every single one of them, and my Tahoe bounces like a "happy fun ball".

(2) I'm very new to big SCTs (actually still waiting on the mailman to make me a member of the club), and I understand why it is important to rid the system of heat currents, but the thought of blowing outside air into the sealed housing of the OTA makes me a bit nervous. How well do the filters work? How often do you change them out? Have you noticed any dust depositing on the reflective surfaces as a result of using the Lymax device?

--------------------
Neil

Fort Worth, Texas


Celestron CPC 1100 XLT
Celestron Onyx 80 EDF


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #847222 - 02/28/06 07:09 PM

Quote:

There are many galaxies that are not on the Messier list in Virgo that appear to my eye better than the ones that did make the list that it made me scratch my head. Keep your eye in the eye piece as your scope GOTO's in the Virgo area. Galaxies standing around like they're inline at MVD.




Yeah- probably due to their proximity to one another- he probably thought many were one and the same- as in "yeah- that's the one I cataloged as M86.. or is it that one? Aw, who cares- they AREN'T COMETS!!!" (the preceding was pure drama written by myself- based loosely on my new book, "Messier- He Only Had Eyes for Comets" never, ever, to be released. ) On the other hand, to date- I haven't discovered a single thing- so here's at me!

I remember reading that the Owl Nebula was just plain impossible to see unless you were using only the best of the best optics on the best of the best clear nights. I never tried until one night a few years ago I spotted it on my first try (I finally figured, why not? It's free) in my old clunker 8" newt.

Anyway, I might have a chance tonight- sky has been crystal clear ALL day- but there are clouds loitering on the horizon.

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)


Reged: 06/24/03
Posts: 17639
Loc: Los Angeles
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Neil Wallace]
      #847249 - 02/28/06 07:25 PM

Quote:

Don,

(1) I didn't think about belting the scope into an open seat... that's not a bad idea... I still may need more protection than that since the dirt road to the observation site is full of minor potholes. You can be sure that when I roll for the house at 0300 I'm more likely than not to hit every single one of them, and my Tahoe bounces like a "happy fun ball".

(2) I'm very new to big SCTs (actually still waiting on the mailman to make me a member of the club), and I understand why it is important to rid the system of heat currents, but the thought of blowing outside air into the sealed housing of the OTA makes me a bit nervous. How well do the filters work? How often do you change them out? Have you noticed any dust depositing on the reflective surfaces as a result of using the Lymax device?



1) you can put the scope in a cloth back to protect the finish, but after 11 years of carrying an SCT that way, including many emergency stops, without any damage, I wouldn't fear for the scope's safety. It might behoove you to fill the rest of the seat with accessories, though, so it's "blocked in".
2) the filters work well. An SCT isn't hermetically sealed, after all, and dust can get in, even if you don't use an active cooler with a filter. But let's say you had to clean the mirrors (I doubt this frequency) every 3 years. It's not as big a deal as you think. I know SCT owners think the world will end if the corrector plate is popped off, but it's really no big deal. But, the filtration on the SCT coolers is really good, and no discernable build up of dust is going to occur. The alternative is to deal with the thermal issues of an 11" SCT, which can preclude ANY decent images without some form of active cooling. I've looked through hundreds of SCTs, and I'd estimate that nearly 100% of the ones with poor images had poor images because of collimation and cooling issues.
Part of owning a telescope is learning how to tame the collimation and cooling problems.
Remember the 4 C's:
Collimate it
Cool it
Clean it
Carry it to a dark site.

Don

--------------------
Don Pensack
www.EyepiecesEtc.com
12.5" Teeter/Zambuto, 5" Maksutov
Sustaining Lifetime IDA member



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spaceydee
Postmaster


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Loc: Where the Kittens Are
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Starman1]
      #847292 - 02/28/06 07:52 PM

I'll agree with Don, cooling is an important issue. I haven't gotten the Lymax cooler for my smaller SCT and I do notice the thermals.

--------------------
Dee
space-scientist
student violinist
Nexstar8i,SV80S,80/9D,FC100,94 Brandon,TMB92SS,GM8
8" f/7 Discovery,12.5" Portaball, PST



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tjswood
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/18/05
Posts: 1881
Loc: Earth
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: spaceydee]
      #847317 - 02/28/06 08:11 PM

We would be remiss if we did not mention that you can build your own CAT cooler for $15 or thereabouts... after seeing the astronomical price tag for the Lymax, that is precisely what I did! Here is the link: http://www.starcrwzr.com/cooler.htm

Many have done the same using these very instructions, not for everyone though as it requires a small bit of parts gathering and working with your hands, but level of difficulty on a scale of 1 to 5 I would say it was a two!

I think we all agree on the premise that it does help... if you want rapid cool down, this is the way... just make sure you use a good clean filter in the cooler so you don't introduce dust particles into your scope - whether you have the Lymax or the homemade the challenge is the same!!

Tim


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jake47
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/03/04
Posts: 519
Loc: North Texas
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: tjswood]
      #847575 - 02/28/06 10:33 PM

I was at a star party and overheard a story that may be apocryphal, or maybe just a tale that all the longtimers have already heard. The speaker told about a friend of a friend who used to keep his SCT in a refrigerator that had a good thermostat. He would set it for the temperature that was forecast for the night he wanted to view so that it was ready to go.

Anyone want to market that kind of SCT cooler? Maybe it could be a part of a JMI case and run on 12dc so that by the time you drove to a dark site the scope would be set.

--------------------
Jim in Texas
NS11GPS (Celeste)
C6S-GT (Celia)
SV 85S (Stella)
SV66 (Red)
Pentax Binoculars (the Twins)


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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: jake47]
      #847595 - 02/28/06 10:43 PM

Bob's Knobs = very very very good idea. Best astro value out there besides a free view.

I place my scope in the lower half of the packing foam. This is placed in the back of the van and these my old canoe straps are hooked to the metal rods the seats lock to. Good enough for a seat with a person should hold a small scope. Two straps and I'm good to go. It has some wiggle room but not much.

For shorter trips the whole thing goes behind the rear seat (full size caravans/ TnC can do this, the shorter ones can't) and no straps are used. I'm OK unless I'm rear ended.

I have yet to use a cooler, although there have been times when a pre-heater would have been nice. Some nights in Phoenix it does not go below 100.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #847870 - 03/01/06 03:47 AM

Hi Ron-

Phoenix is a beautiful place! My wife and I were out there in October- lots of cool places to visit- and so astro-centric! You're very lucky!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #848051 - 03/01/06 09:04 AM

Tucson is even better. Darker, more astronomy shops - and a wee bit smaller. Next time you're in town give a heads up.

I'll even let you use a real telescope - the big dob.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
Posts: 16902
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #848200 - 03/01/06 10:48 AM

And the topic was....?

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #848355 - 03/01/06 12:22 PM

I meant; we can check out my NS11GPS so you may compare your experiences with your CPC to the NS.




--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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tjswood
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/18/05
Posts: 1881
Loc: Earth
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #848448 - 03/01/06 01:20 PM

Nice recovery!!

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b1gred
Enginerd


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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #848462 - 03/01/06 01:35 PM

Quote:

I meant; we can check out my NS11GPS so you may compare your experiences with your CPC to the NS.







Well done Ron. Gee even the Admins are "moderatable"...

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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Neil Wallace
member


Reged: 02/06/06
Posts: 48
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: spaceydee]
      #848466 - 03/01/06 01:39 PM

Quote:

I'll agree with Don, cooling is an important issue. I haven't gotten the Lymax cooler for my smaller SCT and I do notice the thermals.




Thanks for the discussion on the thermals. Since I'm kind of nervous about giving a new and expensive (for me) scope a blown air enema, I decided to forego the do-it-yourself route and ordered a Lymax today. I saw a few postings here and there that brought up the issue of pumping humidity into the OTA, and since Fort Worth is pretty humid, I find myself questioning the wisdom of my decision. I'm hoping it won't be an issue... I usually get out and setup so late that I really need an accelerated cool down. Can anyone make me feel better (or worse )?

--------------------
Neil

Fort Worth, Texas


Celestron CPC 1100 XLT
Celestron Onyx 80 EDF


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spaceydee
Postmaster


Reged: 04/16/04
Posts: 17311
Loc: Where the Kittens Are
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Neil Wallace]
      #848510 - 03/01/06 02:06 PM

I have no idea. I observe in a relatively dry location. Hopefully there is someone around with experience in more humid climates

--------------------
Dee
space-scientist
student violinist
Nexstar8i,SV80S,80/9D,FC100,94 Brandon,TMB92SS,GM8
8" f/7 Discovery,12.5" Portaball, PST



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tjswood
Carpal Tunnel


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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Neil Wallace]
      #848532 - 03/01/06 02:18 PM

If you search the archives, you will see some discussion on the humidity aspect... good catch and observation... many different thoughts, approaches and conclusions there.\

I live in AZ, not a big factor... personally, I would be a tad concerned about blowing 90% water saturated air directly in... I have already made a simple rule only to use the cooler in dry to moderate conditions...

Tim


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b1gred
Enginerd


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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: tjswood]
      #848651 - 03/01/06 03:33 PM

I'm in one of those dry places also, but the guys who make the Lymax cooler are in KC MO which is definitely NOT a dry place. One thing they do is add a filter on the intake of the fan. That doesn't reduce the humidity, but at least keeps you from blowing damp dust into the scope. That would kind of be like spraying a fine mist of MUD in it...

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #848716 - 03/01/06 04:23 PM

The tubes are not sealed in any event so as long as you are pumping in ambient air this should not be a problem any worse than having your scope sit out unsealed. E.g. in a dome.

If your scope becomes supercooled (looses heat quite fast and becomes colder than ambient) and you turn on the fan moisture will condense on the inside. Since you would have noticed a lot of condensed water on the outside before doing so then I would probably avoid turning on the fan in the first place.

Taking a scope out of an air conditioned space into very warm air - like in Arizona - you could have this problem (OK, probably not in Arizona where it's very dry except during the monsoon season and we're very rarely out during the monsoons with our scopes).

Short version; I'd worry more about dust, bugs and webbing than humidity.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound


Reged: 04/23/03
Posts: 17757
Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Neil Wallace]
      #848739 - 03/01/06 04:35 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I'll agree with Don, cooling is an important issue. I haven't gotten the Lymax cooler for my smaller SCT and I do notice the thermals.




Thanks for the discussion on the thermals. Since I'm kind of nervous about giving a new and expensive (for me) scope a blown air enema, I decided to forego the do-it-yourself route and ordered a Lymax today. I saw a few postings here and there that brought up the issue of pumping humidity into the OTA, and since Fort Worth is pretty humid, I find myself questioning the wisdom of my decision. I'm hoping it won't be an issue... I usually get out and setup so late that I really need an accelerated cool down. Can anyone make me feel better (or worse )?




The cooler as I would understand it is used in winter more then summer, since cooling isn't a problem as much with Alabama summers.

--------------------
Preston
Meade 10in LX200R GPS UHTC
blog (updated 02/15/2013)




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tjswood
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/18/05
Posts: 1881
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #848846 - 03/01/06 05:42 PM

Ron -

All great points, that makes sense! Per Randy's point, if any of the humidity is accompanied by dust, we have mud... ANY dust getting through the system is more likely to stick on the inside surface as your increase the moisture content...

... or at least it feels that way to me. But as my wife says, what do I know anyway!!

And I am with you on the monsoons - when our 110 degree days start to couple with 75% humidity, the only observing I do is inside at a cool drink, the wife or the tube. Or I take a road trip to the mountains with my grab and go scope!!

Tim


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Rusty
Postmaster


Reged: 08/06/03
Posts: 19246
Loc: Brooker, FL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: tjswood]
      #849360 - 03/02/06 12:15 AM

Quote:

I live in AZ, not a big factor... personally, I would be a tad concerned about blowing 90% water saturated air directly in... I have already made a simple rule only to use the cooler in dry to moderate conditions...

Tim




Lymax includes in its instructions a caution against using in humid areas. I use mine only where it's certifiably dry. I'm working on a Peltier-cooler recycling cooler that will eliminate that issue, but it's months away from operation.

--------------------
N11GPS Fastar//TOA-130S//MK66 Std//AT6RC//Vintage C5//Megrez II 80mm APO//SolarMax 40
NJP Temma II//Sirius EQ-G
Too Many Astro-Cameras//Mallincam Color Hyper Plus
Two not-spoiled Golden Retrievers - Casey and Nelson

Lot 19 Deerlick Astronomy Village (Canis Major)


Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case the idea is quite staggering. - Arthur C. Clarke


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #849425 - 03/02/06 01:24 AM

Quote:

Tucson is even better. Darker, more astronomy shops - and a wee bit smaller. Next time you're in town give a heads up.

I'll even let you use a real telescope - the big dob.




Ouch! I'm sure your 16" DOB is nice- but I'd spend hours trying to find a challenging DSO with any DOB (I truly never enjoyed star hopping or using setting circles- especially as I've aged- my old back can't take all the stooping and contortions) whereas now I can have any object that interests me (of course, within the confines of an 11" SCT's ability to deliver and mother nature's cooperation "seeing" wise) in the time it takes the scope to slew to it.

Otoh, 16" mirror- drool- and clear dark skies- double drool.

Okay, I'll take you up on that invitation- I'll just need you to point the scope, center the object, do some tracking on it (nothing of the astrophotographic sort), give me some lite info on it and tell me when it's safe for me to look in the e.p.- hey, this would essentially be a CPC 1600!!!

All kidding aside, thanks for the info on Tucson, too. We were there for a day during our Phoenix trip; cool place as well- visited the Saguaro Nat Park!!! I'll let you know next time we're out thattaway!

Getting back to CPC 1100 experiences- well today my Bluestar Wireless Telescope adapter arrived- pretty cool gizmo. It allows wireless transmissions between your bluetooth enabled laptop (I had to buy a USB to Bluetooth device for my lack-of-bluetooth laptop) and telescope. I love the idea of less wires tangled around the scope!

This gizmo can also allow for direct connections from a USB port to the HC via USB cabling (hey- what a remarkable idea!).

I've gotten it to work via the wireless connection, but for reasons I don't quite understand, when you shut it down- it loses all of it's settings the next time it's used. Pretty odd. I don't have much experience with Bluetooth so I'm not sure if this is typical or not. More data needed. I think I'm going to try a direct USB cable connection to the HC (thru the adapter's ports) and see how that goes. I know one other person (at least) wrote of getting this critter to work with the CPC 800- so if all else fails, I might just have a bad adapter or bad Bluetooth dongle.

As for observing- well, the clouds pounced last night (after a day of the clearest skies I've seen in some time) and did the same again tonight. Expecting freezing rain by tomorrow morning; it's a good time to play with this new "toy" some more. It was cool watching my scope move without me touching or cables running to it. Love this stuff!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #850068 - 03/02/06 02:00 PM

Oddly enough I used the NS11 when I want to find something, track it or in the case of planets - webcam them.

The dob fits my observing style as I can just plug the eye ball in and wander. I was able to indentify Saturn - it had rings. Jupiter - it didn't. Mars - it didn't either but it also didn't have festoons or banding. Moon - I've seen it before.

So it will be the blind leading the blind. No DSC, no comuputer - just great views if the seeing cooperates.

SCT really don't lends themselves to this kind of gypsy viewing and I'm afraid its' part personality and partly using a small refractor when I first started. They also encourage happy wanderings with wide expansive views.

The two beasts really do scratch different itches. Your personal observing style will to a great extent determine what kind of instrument you will want to use.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound


Reged: 04/23/03
Posts: 17757
Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #850463 - 03/02/06 06:20 PM

Ron,
What you describe about wandering is why I bought the Pronto

--------------------
Preston
Meade 10in LX200R GPS UHTC
blog (updated 02/15/2013)




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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #851061 - 03/03/06 12:03 AM

Footnote; I tried in vain to find M101 with the Pronto years ago - no go. Even though Starry Night and a Messier Marthon book says it's a binocular object. Ha! Finally saw it a couple years ago at a dark sky site with the NS11. Tonight I saw it with my 16" - from the backyard.

Apature does help in light polluted areas!

But that puppy is faint! Very low surface brightness.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #851160 - 03/03/06 02:00 AM

CONGRATS!!!

I had decided that M101 just didn't exist- sometimes that's less frustrating... (my apologies to the millions of civilizations calling M101 home) Once I get another clear night (wishing, wishing, wishing) I'll take another stab- I should be able to see the core- right?

btw- I am also of the opinion (through direct experience) that big aperature ALWAYS helps and that the argument that that's true only at dark sites is hooey. As I stated in another post in this thread (wow! my little thread here has GROWN!) M3 which looked okay from my backyard patio in my 8" Orion Newt looks SPECTACULAR from the same location in the 11" CPC. (no doubt, it'll seem like an even more SPECTACULAR sight from a dark site) My first view of M42 thru the 11" was awe-inspiring- again, from the same backyard patio (and a neighbor two doors down who insists on leaving her backporch light on 24/7 to contend with) spot that I viewed with the 8" and saw a much smaller and way less detailed M42 back then.

Was rainy till midnight (too late to go out tonight- early workday tomorrow)- so another night of fighting with this "Starry Night Bluestar Telescope Adapter" and my laptop. I get everything synced up for a few minutes- and then it's all lost. I think it's the Kensington USB/Bluetooth adapter- I've heard they're shaky with WinXP SP2, so I'm thinking of giving it a shot with another brand's dongle. I'll start another thread with this specific problem and see if anyone has had similar problems.

At least Orion gives me 30 days to return it... and if I do I'll probably have something else on the wishlist to buy from them anyway. The USB direct to HC option for this device works great, btw- but it's an awfully expensive USB "solution"

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #851393 - 03/03/06 09:14 AM

Keyspan - only reliable way to go with USB adaptors that I know of.

M42 really popped out of the sky once I went to darksky site.

Which is really funny since a month ago I had the NS11 out and I ran it to M42. Couldn't see it. Told it to GOTO again. Took me a bit to realize I was looking at the trapezium but I could barely make out the cloud. I thought this a bit odd since I can usually see the cloud even with my Pronto. So I dragged out the dob and there was the cloud.

I have been doing most of my observing with the dob and I think some extra light pollution and the extra light gathering of the dob had re-calibrated my eye ball to expect something very different. Up until then I had not noticed that much difference between the two scopes.

Maybe this weekend I'll drag out the NS11 and try to compare M101 in both scopes. Your eye needs to be very well dark adapted to see it. Even then a good dose of averted imagination helps.

Omega Centauri looks the same as M13 in a NP101 or Pronto. But put some big glass on it and both really take off and become showpiece objects. M13 is nice in the NS11 and OK from my backyard. The big dob can really bring it in. Andromeda is still so-so.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #852370 - 03/03/06 08:46 PM

Thanks for the info on M101;

I'm now convinced that the bluetooth/bluestar problem WAS the Kensington bluetooth adapter. A guy I work with brought me in an extra no-name bluetooth adapter he had from home- and that works like a champ! So, I now have a wireless HC (well, in NexRemote) hooked up to my laptop!

That's the goodnews!

The bad news- Cartes du Ciel doesn't like the wireless hookup- it crashes violently when used with the wireless mode- but on the other hand, the same program works like a champ when hooked up to the CPC via USB-to-RS232 cable.

ARGH!

It's always something...

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #852605 - 03/03/06 11:20 PM

Okay- I've got everything solved now- at least from a useability direction. Cartes du Ciel works with the scope, it's tracking and it's new SYNC mode (cool)- now I just need a night under the stars for real world use. When using Cartes (or any other ASCOM driven planetarium program, I guess) you shouldn't be running NexRemote- actually you probably can't since they both want the same COM port.

To get the system up and running wirelessly, here's what I do:

1) With PC and scope off, hook up Bluestar Wireless Adapter to the CPC's HC using the supplied cable.

2) Turn the PC on; after booting, activate your bluetooth and bluestar module; at this point, your CPC is still OFF. All you are doing is activating your "RS-232" wireless cable, so to speak.

3) Turn the scope on and align it using the hand controller in any of it's alignment methods.

4) Now run your ASCOM compatible astronomy program- in my case, Cartes du Ciel. In Cartes, go to the telescope section- enter Configuration and make sure the COM port and scope details are set- and press CONNECT. If all goes well, your scope and laptop and Cartes are working together.

If you follow the above to the letter, everything should work fine- Cartes will display where the scope is pointing based on your alignment on the real HC (again, you ARE NOT using Nexremote here) and you can simply choose objects and Go To or Sync or Track, etc. You can call up info on the HC or in the program on targets.

One thing consistently causes this program to crash in my setup- and if anyone has found the answer, I'd love to hear it (I have an email into the writer of the Celestron ASCOM driver- so keeping my fingers crossed)- and that's using the ASCOM's hand controller- a simple U/D/L/R control (again, NOT the Nexremote) that can be hidden (what I do now).

Anytime I used it to move the scope, Cartes promptly went into an endless loop of crashes and reloads- fun to watch a hundred incarnations of Cartes trying to run at once. The only way out was to shutdown the laptop and start over. Perhaps it has something to do with the real HC wanting control of direction keys and conflicting with the ASCOM's mini HC- but I seem to remember the mini HC working fine with the wired arrangement. Perhaps it's the timing of the wireless signals or something. At any rate, this isn't so important.

Alignment here is probably easier then using Nexremote since you're using the real HC to align.

When using Nexremote instead of Cartes, you must align the scope using Nexremote; I've used the HC's port again. Wireless hookup here is pretty straight-forward. All you need to do is make sure the COM port is set to the bluetooth's COM port- and off you go. I can't wait to get going with this!!!

Cheers,
Paul

ps- putting this on the other thread for others to find as well.

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #853094 - 03/04/06 10:52 AM

The virtual port mentioned in the other thread does not work under Virtual PC for the Mac. Too many virtuals I guess.

Can't wait for a dark sky report on your setup. One of our other members did a writeup on bluetooth and the Palm using Astronomist. The screen is a bit small but the software rocks. Nice to be able to stuff your computer into your shirt/coat pocket.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #853232 - 03/04/06 12:10 PM

Quote:

The virtual port mentioned in the other thread does not work under Virtual PC for the Mac. Too many virtuals I guess.

Can't wait for a dark sky report on your setup. One of our other members did a writeup on bluetooth and the Palm using Astronomist. The screen is a bit small but the software rocks. Nice to be able to stuff your computer into your shirt/coat pocket.




It's really fun to see the tracking of your scope's go-to on your computer's planetarium program screen- LIVE! The final approach to targets is quite interesting. The SYNC mode (supported in the 4.10 HC firmware and by the ASCOM drivers) looks like it really locks down tight on a target. Hopefully this works as well under the stars as it does in my dining room!

I don't see any reason why it shouldn't- Cartes (and really any ASCOM astronomy program for that manner) takes a pretty passive role at first. Once the scope is aligned via the real HC outside, Cartes (inside on the laptop) will display the scope's current location based on the HC's data that it's receiving. From there, I think things will work out okay. I'll let everyone know. (Cartes' information on targets is a bit clinical- just the facts, mam'- but it's faster then the scrolling stuff on the HC- and I'll know right away if that NGC object I can't find is mag 20 and that I should put it to bed.)

The two-way communication between scope and laptop is real cool- I can command a go-to from the laptop to NGC xxxx and once it's there, I can run an Identify command on the object on the real HC- it ID's the right one, right on the money. (Again, in my dining room- turns out there's a lot of NGC objects in my dining room- especially on the floor!)

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #856441 - 03/06/06 03:13 PM Attachment (146 downloads)

Okay - I had my fourth light (I guess it's time to consider the shakedown cruise over, eh?) with the CPC 1100 and my first experiences with the wireless control adapter - called Bluestar, from Orion - and I also went "swimming" in the Virgo cluster of galaxies tonight. All this on a night that the local sky clock called poor at best (and the skyclock was right- all night long the sky had just enough glow from thin clouds to look like it was just a few minutes before dawn- you know, where you say, "What- it's sunrise already!!!!")- but the CPC 1100 continued to perform like a champ even in these lousy conditions as you'll read below. I love this scope!

First up, the Bluestar -my short name for it- it's actually the "Starry Night Bluestar Telescope Adapter"- and no, you don't need to use "Starry Night" to use the Bluestar. I used it with Cartes du Ciel (Skycharts), but any ASCOM compatible program should drive the scope just fine with Bluestar. Bluestar, along with a bluetooth enabled laptop (or a laptop fitted with a on-card bluetooth card like the one I got for my USB port), becomes a wireless RS232 cable to your HC! You can also use this with NexRemote, although I still haven't done this "in the field". It works wonderfully in the dining room.

Once you link the laptop to your Bluestar, you turn on the CPC and align it with the scope's HC (again, you could also do this in NexRemote- but my laptop had to stay indoors tonight- too bitter for me to take my beloved laptop outside just yet.) then you run your planetarium program and have it connect to the scope- and you're off to the races.

Sound simple? Mostly, it is- one thing that's interesting- the Bluestar (which I have velcro attached to one of the CPC's forks via supplied velcro stickies) can't seem to get it's signal thru the CPC fork for initial link- I had to turn the scope so that the Bluestar had a line of sight to the laptop for the link to occur- once it did, the signal never dropped out no matter what the scope's orientation was in relation to the laptop. This is interesting that it can hold on for dear life once it makes the handshake- I thought that this would kill the whole reason for using the Bluestar if it needed line of sight all night. (Yeah, I'll run around with the scope holding a laptop- riiiiighht!) It didn't- in fact, for the rest of the night, Bluestar was blocked from line of sight to the laptop and never once did it drop the signal. The Bluetooth "dongle" I use in the laptop comes with a program that allows you to monitor signal strength- kinda like the bars on a cell phone. The Bluestar is compatible up to 30'- I'd say that the scope was about 15'-20' from the laptop all night with (on a scale of 0 to 5) a signal averaging 3 bars- not bad! Also, this was transmitting thru glass and walls - something a bluetooth afficiando told me "won't work"- and with lots of 2.4 frequency devices in my home (cordless phone, wireless router network, indoor/outdoor wireless thermometer, etc- in other words- a NOISY place for Bluetooth! Fortunately, Bluetooth employs a signal jumping technology to avoid this stuff according to what I've read.)

Tonight's skies were poor at best- they started out only so-so and just went downhill from there. Never-the-less, I had a great time under the stars. Rather then use Skyalign tonight, I used the Auto Two Star, and it proved to be very accurate in it's pointing. I aligned my stars with a 9mm plossl lens. If you know your stars, there's no real reason to use SA- Auto Two Star saves precious time; I chose Polaris and let the HC give me the second star of interest for the scope to auto-slew to it's second star, which then had me center and align on it. Awesome.

At this point, I booted Cartes and linked up the scope and laptop thru bluestar- Cartes allows you to track the scope's position at all times and shows this with a mesmerizing target that moves across the screen. When the wireless signal became low, the updates in Cartes became somewhat sluggish- often hopping rather then smoothly moving across screen (as it does in a wired situation); I'm anticipating that when the laptop moves outside, and closer to the scope, that the higher power signals will allow for faster updates- but this will have to await warmer temps to test.

It must be remembered here that Bluetooth 1.2 isn't intended for long distances- only 30' (although Bluetooth 2.0 does increase the signal distance 10-fold; I'm not sure if this is something Bluestar could make use of this- my experience with the Kensington Bluestar 2.0 dongle showed incompatibilities- this might not always be true of 2.0 transmitters though)- and the main point of Bluestar is LESS CABLES around the scope base. In this, the hardware is flawless. I can't think of a real reason why I'd need my laptop to be more then 30' from the scope- so the Bluestar is just fine (and cheap!) for my needs. When the weather's nicer- I'll probably have my laptop within a few feet and slightly below the scope on a little stand off to the side.

(Note: there's currently a problem when using the ASCOM's mini hand controller- NOT TO BE CONFUSED with the NexRemote or actual HCs- with the wireless Bluestar setup. Cartes - which might also be a source of the bug - crashes when the ASCOM hc is used. To avoid this, I simply don't use the ASCOM hc- it can even be deselected in the ASCOM settings menu, which is what I do. Using either the real HC or NexRemote's HC works fine. I've contacted the author of the ASCOM driver for Celestron scopes, and he's looking into it. This problem does not occur when hard-wired to a scope thru the RS232 cable- so it's probably a timing issue- strictly my guess. )

I had a great time swimming in the Virgo/Coma Bern galaxy cluster- I saw the distinct shape of M104 (the Sombrero!)- what a BRIGHT CORE!- and tons of other galaxies. I even made out the "black-eye" of M64, though it was difficult in these less then ideal seeing conditions. You literally can't go wrong in the Virgo region. With the 11" mirror, it's almost impossible to avoid bumping into any galaxy of moderate magnitude- you just keep stumbling upon them. This is SO different from my old 8" newt where it was a struggle to find even the brightest ones sometimes- now I'm seeing the "tiny" runts of the litter!

For instance, while viewing the galaxy M87, I stumbled across two little friends of M87, the objects called NGC 4478 and NGC 4476; two otherwise dim but unmistakeable galaxies. I was outside using the CPC's HC while the laptop and Cartes were inside- Cartes was dutifully retrieving my scope's wild movements (ala me) and showed the target (which mimics your eyepieces that you use) with M87 just off to the side.

Suddenly the lightbulb goes off in my head- "hey, why don't I use the new "SYNC" command (you need firmware 4.10 on your HC to use this- GET IT IT's VERY WORTH IT!) to lock the CPC onto M87?!?" - I did so like this: Simply center your object, hit Align, scroll down or up to SYNC, press enter- you'll hear tracking stop as the scope asks you to do the Center/Align routine on your target and then it locks perfectly on your target. (I took some photos of Saturn tonight using this command with GREAT success- more on this later) It's also great for adjoining targets that are real close- outside of this, you'll want to UnSync (hit Align again- scroll up to the command and hit Enter).

Anyway, I then went inside (ah- warm air!) and used the SYNC command in Cartes - that the ASCOM driver provides- and performed the same command to center the Cartes view- now the movements are precision times infinity- and identifying the dim galaxies is even easier. It's not necessary- but if there are three small fuzzies in a reversed view and you're half frozen brain can't seem to make sense of which one is which- you can easily glance at the laptop and know for sure which is which- and you can TRULY center on the dim-challenge fuzzies out there and know you're definitely pointed at it! (Way to go, Celestron!)

I swear I saw little NGC 4486B (mag 13.4!!!) popping in and out of existence just slightly north of M87! (Gee, I should've checked for NGC 4486A (mag 11.2)- that should be easy- but I was too excited and distracted by the line up of bright M87 (mag 8.6) and NGC 4478 (mag 11.4) and NGC 4476 (mag 12.2) to notice. At any rate, in Cartes, using Sync, the view onscreen was centered every time and mimicked the scope that much more perfectly. (Remember to undo Sync when moving any real distance from the sync target- your CPC will then revert to it's original alignments). Now lest I confuse anyone, Cartes is always displaying the scope's position exactly- based on your alignment and what the CPC reports to the program. But at high powers where you recenter that pointing, the dim fuzzy will not be exactly centered on Cartes screen since even the CPC no longer thinks it's exactly centered anymore- try hitting Enter on your HC and watch the CPC dutifully move your dim fuzzy back off center ever so slightly again to see what I mean. Using Sync, everyone agrees to this correction. I hope this makes sense to the reader- if not, you'll see what I mean in actually using the command.

When using a planetarium program with the real HC, the HC doesn't really pay attention to the scope's movements- for instance, you could use the HC to go-to M87 and once there, use Cartes to go to M3- the scope's HC will still display "M87". Otoh, if you ask the HC to Identify the target that Cartes sent the CPC to, the HC will (after plodding through it's database) make the correct prediction and state "M3". I'm guessing that NexRemote's HC would be more tied to the planetarium program, but I haven't tried this other then to confirm that tying the two together thru the NexRemote's "virtual" port works with the Bluestar. Again, next night out... or some experimenting in the dining room.

The Sync command is intended for precision photography- or at the very least it helps tremendously so. Tonight I decided to take my first photo through my CPC 1100. The setup I use is not one intended in any way, shape or form, for astrophotography. It's excellent for Moon shots- and so-so on Jupiter or Venus- but my best photos of Saturn didn't always make the cut, so to speak. The main problem in the past was my 8" newt's lousy drive- not intended for photography, either- and the fact that the camera I use is a Sony DSC10P 5mp consumer point and shoot digital camera. It's many settings can help, but they mostly get in the way- there's no control over exposure time- and trying to focus the camera with any scope is a best-guess scenario since you're depending on using the camera's grainy (at night) and tiny LCD screen to focus! Add to all this that photography is done by attaching the Sony camera to a Scopetronix Digi-T (excellent invention) and shooting thru a 25mm plossl which is attached to a 2x barlow and then further, the light of Saturn is then shot through the camera's lens which is telephoto increased to make the image large enough for an accurate (hopefully) at best zoom- and, well, it's amazing I get any results at all. No, the attached Saturn photo won't win any awards- and it's soft focus is the best I can do with the setup I just described- but I'm still happy with it. (*Really need to get an LPI or DSI or something to make honest astrophotos!!! Next on the list) You can still see the Cassini Division, the color differences between the rings and the yellow of the planet- and a band is evident, and what looks like a slight shadow on the rings. (Note to prospective CPC buyers- this is not the view seen by the eye- the colors are all more vivid and the focus is tack-sharp with much more detailed in the eyepiece- again this is a soft focus shot thru a lousy camera setup for planet-shooting)

What had me really thrilled was the absolutely incredible tracking with Sync (it's probably fine without on Saturn)- my Sony camera has spot metering as a feature which puts a tiny cross hair on the LCD at the center- over a half hour of my running the memory stick back and forth to my laptop to check results and to try to get a better focus and to fiddle with ASA speeds and contrast and saturation - never once did the CPC lose Saturn or require re-centering. Soooo cool! (And what a difference from the days when I had to try to convince my old newt's clock drive to PLEASE stay on target!) Anyway, I've attached the best shot of 8 shots I took of Saturn. This hasn't been stacked (I haven't the foggiest idea of how to do this with my setup- and it's probably not worth-while until I get a real astro-cam.) but it has been cleaned up a bit.

Finally- I caught my first view of Jupiter through the trees (fun to watch it sneak from behind each branch) as it rose into my sky's limited backyard view at around 2am- even in these murky conditions (it was a shutout around 2am) Jupiter looked resplendent! The north and southern pole darker cloud domes were easy (I could never see them in my old newt- but they showed up in my photos) as were the EQ bands- Io looked orangish. I tried some photos- but the trees kept competing- so this will have to wait until we get to late spring.

I also FINALLY BAGGED M101- I had nearly given up hope (as I've said before) when I saw it's fuzzy dim core for the first time ever last night- now I can see why I missed it so many times- there are many distracting stars near it. Anyway, it was there alright. Now I feel more confident about it- when seeing is good (I'd settle for Good since my results under Poor skies were so wonderful) it should be something.

Whoops- one more note- I also broke out the 2" Elux diagonal and 2" 26mm Elux lens last night- WOW! Whole new meaning when that lens swallows your eye and you view a globular. M3 and M13 (still in the murk when I had to retire) were just incredible- it's like a whole new scope. I've read that the Celestron's 2" Elux diagonal- while letting in more light then the 1.25" diag- doesn't let all the potential in of other visual backs? I'll have to research this.

Okay- this has been a LOT for everyone to digest. Any questions/observations/or advise are welcome and encouraged.

Clear Skies,
Paul

Attachment

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Jack J
member


Reged: 02/12/06
Posts: 19
Loc: Wisconsin
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #859867 - 03/08/06 04:38 PM


As I said, the GPS linked up almost immediately - and it did so INSIDE the shop at Skies Unlimited (unlike the first - I had to manually tell the scope what time zone it was now located in- but once I did that, the time was perfect.


Hello Paul,

Can you tell me how to manually correct the time zone the scope is now in. I have a NS11" I just purchased and the hand control reads Pacific Time after it was linked. The location coordinates are correct but the time is one hour off. The manual says that this data should be updated by GPS to match where the scope is now located in but does not explain how to change the time zone manually.

Thanks for your assistance.

Jack

--------------------
Jack

My gateway to the past:
Celestron NexStar 11 GPS XLT with Sky Align
Celestron C14 CGE with All-Star Polar Alignment


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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound


Reged: 04/23/03
Posts: 17757
Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Jack J]
      #859949 - 03/08/06 05:35 PM

Does the N11 have a daylight savings toggle?

--------------------
Preston
Meade 10in LX200R GPS UHTC
blog (updated 02/15/2013)




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Gary
sage


Reged: 06/12/05
Posts: 409
Loc: Southeast, Ga
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #860153 - 03/08/06 07:41 PM

Yes it does.
Gary


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Jack J]
      #860170 - 03/08/06 07:52 PM

Quote:


As I said, the GPS linked up almost immediately - and it did so INSIDE the shop at Skies Unlimited (unlike the first - I had to manually tell the scope what time zone it was now located in- but once I did that, the time was perfect.


Hello Paul,

Can you tell me how to manually correct the time zone the scope is now in. I have a NS11" I just purchased and the hand control reads Pacific Time after it was linked. The location coordinates are correct but the time is one hour off. The manual says that this data should be updated by GPS to match where the scope is now located in but does not explain how to change the time zone manually.

Thanks for your assistance.

Jack




No problem, Jack:

1) Hit Menu
2) Scroll to Scope Setup & Enter
3) Scroll to Setup Time - Site & Enter
4) Don't change Lat, Long, (or W or N), or Time- Just hit Enter
5) Select Standard Time (what we're in now) or Daylight Savings a month or so from now. Leave it alone if it already says Standard time. Hit Enter.
6) You're now in the Select TimeZone section: use the UP (#6) or DOWN (#7) keys to scroll to your timezone.

Once set, UNDO back to the top. Turn the HC off and on (this will reboot it, of course) and to confirm that everything is correct, hit MENU- and scroll to VIEW TIME-SITE. All should be well now.

Let me know if this works out for you!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #860260 - 03/08/06 09:03 PM

Okay- Night Five with the CPC (gee, this is starting to become a journal. Maybe I should save all these posts! )- what can I say? And what would you expect? It was phenomenal.

First up- Bluestar quickly synced tonight because I realized I could un-velcro it from the fork and let it hang beneath the scope until it linked up- it did so in seconds with it's line of sight. Again, once linked and velcroed to the fork arm, it never once lost it's signal. Also, I put a new pair of batteries into it- I forgot to turn it off from two nights ago ! This time, the whole setup with Cartes was very fast with the scope's movements almost at the same speed on the laptop screen- very cool.

After getting all that setup, I decided (after 2 hours of scope cool down) to collimate the optics- the center donut hole is even more centered now- but it still looks to need ever so slight a-tweaking! Celestron's guide says to choose a star at the Zenith, but I'm not crazy about poising a screw driver (even a small one) over the corrector lens. So I tried this collimation with Polaris.

Is there any way to cheaply simulate a star-point in the house? I was thinking along the lines of a pinprick thru card board in front of a light source as a way of comfortably collimating the scope; I know you can't focus on anything close to the scope- but focus isn't really the point during collimation- it's the goal after. I'm thinking this can't be done this way as any pinhole would not be a perfectly round dot? If this can't be done, I'll keep trying with stars till I get where I want to be.

I used the SYNC command again (as described on night four) and returned to M87- I wanted to see if I really did see that dim little satellite galaxy of M87's called NGC 4486B- and this time I could see it a bit better- it's a definite thing! NGC 4486B (according to Cartes) has dimensions of 0.6' x 0.6' and is rated as mag 13.4; essentially a blurry star-blob- it winked in and out- but averted vision helped solidify it. Remembering that I'd missed the other satellite to M87, NGC4486A, the other night- I went back and confirmed this one. It was easy after looking for "B"- it's much brighter at 11.2 but essentially the same size.

Again- what astounds me about the CPC 1100's optics is that I can see a tiny 13.4 mag galaxy from my suburban backyard with moderate light pollution and the Moon (half-full) up high. Once again, this disproves the adage that a bigger mirror is only good at a dark site. I even caught glimpses of the connecting bridge between M51 and it's companion (or reckless driver?) NGC 5195 although they were fleeting.

I also returned to M101 and saw the core a bit brighter this time. Tonight, the Owl's "eye spots" were easier to see. Pumping up the power is key here. I was using my Celestron Xcel 18mm (155.55x in the CPC 1100) with a 2x barlow (making the magnification 311x) and the Owl's face loomed big and dim! Cool!!!

Later, I just cruised from dim NGC galaxy to dim NGC galaxy in the Virgo/Coma region- the big bright ones are fun to see (gray fuzzies everywhere!) but the challenge of the dim ones from my backyard is staggering. Again- for you seasoned vets and for those just starting out- I'm not saying I'm seeing these little dim guys as anything more then fleeting miniscule blobs- I'm boggled that I can see them at all!

M13 came up to a higher point locally around 12:30-1 am; with last night's cloudless skies, what a spectacular sight!!! Stars resolved to the core- I never thought it possible. M92 has also become a favorite now that it's easy to get to - and M3 is truly awe-inspiring. We need a better name for these objects then "GLOB"-U-LARR cluster- how about Hive Clusters? (We can't use "Beehive Cluster"- M44's attorney's would instantly slap us with a cease-and-desist order! Don't ever get an open cluster mad at you!)

Speaking of globular clusters, one eluded me last night that should have been easy- I'm writing it off to moonlight/skyglow, but considering that I could see a 13 mag galaxy under the same conditions- this was perplexing: the GC designated NGC 5053- I saw a grayish small sphere without resolution but nothing I felt real confident about. Not putting that notch in the scope's side yet. I checked out it's photo in Cartes and found it to be very dim and diffuse- perhaps this was the reason. Anyway, if you want to check it out, it's close to M53- within a degree or so.

Finally, I took a bunch of photos of Saturn last night- I focused on mountains on the Moon (easy in my Sony Cam's tiny LCD) and slewed to Saturn and just kept shooting. I'm going to try my hand at stacking and see what I get. I'm totally clueless, but there's a lot of info on the net.

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #860289 - 03/08/06 09:16 PM

Oh yeah- one more thing- my Astrozap 11" dew shield/heater arrived last week- I put this on for nights four and five and never once had to plug in the heater (I suppose I should though, just to make sure it really works?)- dew nor cold fogging of the corrector was never a problem!

Also, my Orion 17AH power source has yet to run out of power- and this is on whatever initial charge they gave it at the factory! I guess it's going to run out sooner or later- should I still wait for the "Needs charging" light to come on or should I just go ahead and charge it anyway?

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more


Reged: 04/30/03
Posts: 30716
Loc: NE Ohio
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #860291 - 03/08/06 09:17 PM

Quote:

After getting all that setup, I decided (after 2 hours of scope cool down) to collimate the optics- the center donut hole is even more centered now- but it still looks to need ever so slight a-tweaking! Celestron's guide says to choose a star at the Zenith, but I'm not crazy about poising a screw driver (even a small one) over the corrector lens. So I tried this collimation with Polaris.

Is there any way to cheaply simulate a star-point in the house? I was thinking along the lines of a pinprick thru card board in front of a light source as a way of comfortably collimating the scope; I know you can't focus on anything close to the scope- but focus isn't really the point during collimation- it's the goal after.




Hi, Paul.

Collimation can be evaluated in three stages. The first, very rough, test is the doughnut you mention. That's an OK way to make sure things are at least working properly but it won't show miscollimation unless it is very serious. The second level is the one we are usually limited to in telescopes of that aperture because of seeing limitations. It consists of using the maximum magnification permitted by the sky at the time and SLIGHTLY defocusing until diffraction rings appear around a central dot. Adjusting to center that dot as perfectly as possible within the rings will result in a fairly accurate collimation - and is the bare minimum for reasonable performance of the telescope. Final, critical collimation is performed at focus, using sufficient magnification to make the Airy disk visible - usually 40 or 50 times the aperture in inches. Adjusting so that the ring around the central disk is evenly illuminated will result in the best collimation you will achieve. Obviously, you won't be able to achieve stable images at 550X every night.

--------------------
John C

Battle Cry of Reno
http://www.wadsworthobservatory.com
My Cloudy Nights gallery

AT12RC
AT65EDQ
QSI683WSG-8
Roper Scientific Quantix 6303E "project" camera
mystery EQ mount on the way


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #860447 - 03/08/06 10:49 PM

Hi John,

Wow- I wasn't aware of these stages- interesting. I'll see if the scope's ready for stage 2 yet. The donut hole is close- almost difficult to tell!

I used to see airy disks pretty easily in my 5" Orion Mak- especially around tight double stars like Izar where the primary's airy disk was partitioned by that of the secondary star- like two tiny bull's eyes.

Thanks for the tips!

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #860505 - 03/08/06 11:32 PM

John; That description made more sense to me than all the others I've read. I'd hug you if you were here! Many thanks!

Of course, it means I have some work to do now.

Final note: M106 and not 101 was what I spied the other night. 101 and 52 elude me still, but M81 was found (very unsure of 82).

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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Jack J
member


Reged: 02/12/06
Posts: 19
Loc: Wisconsin
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #860580 - 03/09/06 12:43 AM

Paul,

Your instructions worked great!!! Thank you very much. My scope even linked indoors with a huge rainstorm going on outside. These scopes are great

Jack

--------------------
Jack

My gateway to the past:
Celestron NexStar 11 GPS XLT with Sky Align
Celestron C14 CGE with All-Star Polar Alignment


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


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Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #861753 - 03/09/06 07:49 PM

Quote:

John; That description made more sense to me than all the others I've read. I'd hug you if you were here! Many thanks!

Of course, it means I have some work to do now.

Final note: M106 and not 101 was what I spied the other night. 101 and 52 elude me still, but M81 was found (very unsure of 82).




M101 isn't easy- are you trying to catch it with the 16" DOB or the NS11? I'd go for the Dob first - what's the focal length of the 16"? M101 really wants the big mirror and a short focal length; it's visible in my 11" (never was in my 8") but nothing spectacular. Dark site would be better, but so far all nights are in the backyard (and will continue to be until I can find a safe cheap box to transport my scope in).

Are you sure you meant M52? It's an open cluster with a fairly bright 8 mag star near it's center in Cassiopeia. That one should be easy in any of your scopes- I had it my 8" (miracle of miracles) so all of your scopes should be able to grab it. Did you mean M51 - the Whirlpool? That one was always tough in the 8" newt, but easy in the CPC 11". (Nothing beats the view I had at a dark site in a 10" Dob- the "S" shape of M51's arms were clear as day. I really need to get to a dark site one of these days!)

Have you tried precision go-to with the NS11? It will get you on top of the targets- then it's just "seeing" conditions and your eyesight to overcome.

M81 is my favorite, all time galaxy photographically speaking- it's mostly a blob in scopes- but it's partner M82 is really cool visually- definite cigar shape even in the 8" newt and 5" Mak- and spectacular in the 11" SCT! I always found the pair tough to find via star hopping.

I'll have to check out M106- I have it as being nabbed in the 8".

With the old scopes, I'd come in after a LONG nite of Messier hunting and immediately go to www.seds.org/messier/ for the Messier catalog- I'd then find the object(s) I nabbed that night and print out the info sheets so I had a date for when I saw each one. With the CPC, it's hard to remember since I fly thru 'em- I guess I'll have to keep a notebook handy! I need to sit down and see which ones I never got- I don't think there were many- and go after them. There's a galaxy in Pisces that I never found- M74- that should have been easy in my old scopes. I can't wait to unleash the new one on it.

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Jack J]
      #861757 - 03/09/06 07:51 PM

Quote:

Paul,

Your instructions worked great!!! Thank you very much. My scope even linked indoors with a huge rainstorm going on outside. These scopes are great

Jack




No problem, Jack- enjoy!

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound


Reged: 04/23/03
Posts: 17757
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #862419 - 03/10/06 09:03 AM

For M101 you need dark(er) skies Ron.... Its a large low surface brightness galaxy. ALot of times magnitudes for DSOs are "stellar magnitudes" meaning thats how bright something would be if it were a pinpoint.

--------------------
Preston
Meade 10in LX200R GPS UHTC
blog (updated 02/15/2013)




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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #862420 - 03/10/06 09:05 AM

Tell me about it. Even the 16" can't see them.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #863557 - 03/10/06 11:26 PM

Quote:

Tell me about it. Even the 16" can't see them.




Keep trying, Ron- if I can get it in my lousy skies, you can. Try with the NS11 first and use the Precision Go To (just to know you're really there) command. It won't be spectacular, but you should be able to bag it. Once you know where it is and you're confident of the location, swing the BIG gun at it!

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #867352 - 03/13/06 12:30 PM Attachment (157 downloads)

Okay- here's my latest Saturn shot (from March 7th) where I attempted aligning and stacking and processing in Registax. I'm still using the same "not-intended-for-astrophotos" camera, so the focus is still soft and grainy. On the other hand, I did focus at the same magnification on the Moon first and then I slewed over to Saturn hoping that this would improve things. It did to some degree- Moon mountains and craters are much easier to see in my Sony camera's teeny-tiny LCD then Saturn details.

I also used rapid burst exposures (to force the camera not to overexpose- remember, this camera isn't designed for manual over-ride) where the camera would take 3 quick shots at once. So they're pretty dim- but perfect for stacking. As this was my first attempt at aligning and stacking, I only took about 12 shots- of these, only 5 were good to great for my use.

Anyway, I've attached the shot- it's darker then the first I posted in this thread- but it's got much better detail.

While I'm on the subject, is there any real difference between the planetary/lunar cameras sold by Celestron, Meade and Orion? (i.e., NexImage) Do the deep space imagers (the cheap ones from Orion and Meade, for instance) take photos of the planets just as well as the "planetary/lunar" cameras? Would it be cheaper or better just to buy and hack a webcam?

Clear Skies,
Paul

Attachment

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #867431 - 03/13/06 01:26 PM

Nice shot Paul. the detail is easily visible. I sure am looking forward to mine coming .... I've got the nexImage on order with my CPC925, so I too am curious about those questions.

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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: ]
      #867703 - 03/13/06 05:09 PM

Dang; that's not half bad. Try doing about ninety of them and stacking them. Looks like you could eek out some more detail doing that.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound


Reged: 04/23/03
Posts: 17757
Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #867734 - 03/13/06 05:26 PM

Nice one Paul! I'm with Ron, start stacking them

--------------------
Preston
Meade 10in LX200R GPS UHTC
blog (updated 02/15/2013)




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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)


Reged: 06/24/03
Posts: 17639
Loc: Los Angeles
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #869309 - 03/14/06 03:00 PM

Quote:

Speaking of globular clusters, one eluded me last night that should have been easy- I'm writing it off to moonlight/skyglow, but considering that I could see a 13 mag galaxy under the same conditions- this was perplexing: the GC designated NGC 5053- I saw a grayish small sphere without resolution but nothing I felt real confident about. Not putting that notch in the scope's side yet. I checked out it's photo in Cartes and found it to be very dim and diffuse- perhaps this was the reason. Anyway, if you want to check it out, it's close to M53- within a degree or so.
Paul



Paul,
The brightest star in NGC 5053 is magnitude 13.8, and the horizontal branch(where most of the stars are) is a couple magnitudes fainter at 16.7. This is in reach of a good 12.5" in very dark skies (say, mag.21.4 per sq.arc-sec or fainter) but probably not in a suburban environment--especially when you've been looking at a laptop screen. The brightest stars are usually visible in a 6-8" scope at a dark site, so I'd just chalk it up to the viewing conditions. Have another look when you get a chance to drag your 11" to a really dark site. I think you'll be surprised. It's a lot larger than you'd think from notes. It's 9-10' across, so a lot bigger than most of the smaller globulars.
Good luck.
Don

--------------------
Don Pensack
www.EyepiecesEtc.com
12.5" Teeter/Zambuto, 5" Maksutov
Sustaining Lifetime IDA member



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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Starman1]
      #871818 - 03/15/06 11:51 PM

Cool- thanks Don!

There are a lot of cool challenges listed in some articles in Sky and Telescope and Astronomy recently. One article talked about trying to see the Quasar 3C 273 and instructed you to refer to it's position on an included map on another page. Unfortunately that map wasn't there. I can't remember which mag this was. Anyway, it's position is RA: 12:29:06.698, DEC: +02:03:08.58 - it's supposed to be mag 12.8- a challenge to say the least... but looking doesn't cost anything, so I'm going to try anyway.

At 2 to 2.6 Billion Lyrs out (jury is still debating...) seeing that tiny dot of light would really be impressive. Especially when one considers just how bright that "tiny" dot really is!

There's a pretty good photo that might help in nailing it at: http://www.regulusastro.com/regulus/spectra/3c273.html

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #875233 - 03/18/06 02:03 AM

Well, observing tonight was not in the stars- the clouds rolled in at just about the time I picked to take the scope out to begin it's cool down time. The sky finally cleared at 1:30am- not worth doing this now as I've got to go to work tomorrow. Argh...

Anyway, it wasn't a total wash- I downloaded the beta 1 version of Cartes du Ciel ver 3.0 and put it thru it's paces. It's pretty stable. I was able to get it to work with the CPC 1100 and it had no problems with Bluestar. It was also compatible with NexRemote. It's good to know the beta version of the program is already stable- apparently- in controlling the scope!

This is still a beta however, and it's the first level of beta- so I would NOT recommend doing any serious scope control with it until it's in final release. So as not to go off topic or off thread, I will say in brief- there are MANY changes to the appearance and control positions in Cartes v3.0; I'll await it's final release (no idea when this will come about) to decide whether to dump my beloved Cartes v2.76 for v3.0 or not. You can run the two programs side by side.

Bluestar is now completely friendly to use with the scope now that my laptop's bluetooth/USB dongle has it's latest drivers installed. I can't recommend the Bluestar enough- and I can't wait to take it back out in the field!

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #877822 - 03/19/06 11:00 PM

Well, I got home tonight just after dusk to crystal clear skies- I didn't even take off the coat- I just came right in and took the scope right out for it's cool down.

Then I went back in to eat dinner, watch the Sopranos, continue to play with the beta Cartes v3.0, and get ready for a great all nighter (I'm off tomorrow). I went out about 10pm, and whaddaya know- clouds everywhere!!!

So typical.

I rechecked the skyclock which looked okay but with some promise for a so-so night around midnight- but the clouds just looked ugly. So, it was a practice setup and take down kinda night.

In putting the front cover back on, I accidently bumped it up against the corrector lens.

Once inside, I saw three tiny scrapes about 1/8th of an inch long on the corrector! (Oh NO- I killed it!) Not panicking right away, I dug out my old scope's lens cleaning kit and took out a piece of dry lens tissue and gently buffed at the 3 tiny marks (rubbing radially in a direction away from the secondary) and walla! the marks are gone! (Yippee!) No scratches, and no signs of the marks whatsoever. First near catastrophy AVERTED!

Well, that's all the excitement I can handle tonight. The sky is clearing again- but there's clouds on the western horizon; not taking the bait twice tonight. It's a bit windy tonight anyhow....

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #886259 - 03/25/06 07:14 PM

I just brought my new CPC-1100XLT webpage online; it's chock full of photos of my scope, my opinions (uh-oh...), and other stuff. I'm also planning on doing a CPC FAQ eventually.

Anyway, the page can be found here:

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #889010 - 03/28/06 01:28 AM

I finally got out, after a LONG hiatus of clear days and cloudy nights, for a short time tonight. (clouds came back late tonight)

[For the rest of this post, refer to John C's comments on the 3 stages of collimation a few posts back:]

I also finally got the chance to do some accurate collimation- what a difference this makes! (yeah, it did on my old scopes, too- but the CPC is so much easier to collimate then my 8" newt was that I got more into it) First I shot over to Arcturus and got things pretty well centered in the "donut" stage.

Then I went to a higher power lens and checked it out- near perfect. Next I slewed to Izar, a close double and always a great check on collimation. The Izar pair were split cleanly- but had some flaring on one side. Just for grins and giggles, I put Izar out of focus ever so slightly and found the rings around it. I was shocked to see that what I thought was a good collimation was off visibly! So I very slowly worked the collimation screws and now had the Izarian rings centered. I rolled it back out to the "donut" stage (where you really defocus) and the collimation looked the same as it did for Arcturus! Wow!

In other words, what looked like a good collimation really wasn't at all- this is the "stage one" that John C referred to a few posts ago. The collimation on Izar was more of a "stage two" (per John C's decription) sort of thing- normally I wouldn't use a double star for collimation, but Izar's primary is pretty bright, so the companion didn't put any play into the adjustment. I was about to test "stage 3" when the clouds rolled in and ruined the fun.

At any rate, after doing this stage two collimation, the Izar pair now resolved into two pretty tight dots with tiny rings of light very slightly skewed to one side- this is where I would've tried to do a "stage three" collimation. This was really cool. Once this was accomplished I spun over to M3 for another look- if I was impressed before, this view knocked my socks off! Unfortunately Saturn moved off behind the my roof at this stage, so I didn't get a chance to see the difference there.

I have a 5mm ultrascopic ep which would give me 550x for a stage three collimation; I'll use it on the first perfect night that comes my way. That ep would ramp things up to 560x- about where John said I'd want to be for this final stage of collimation.

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #889015 - 03/28/06 01:34 AM

Oh yeah, one other thing...

I'm getting really good at hitting the center nub on the tripod base with the scope. I mean, tonight it was right on there as I brought the scope down- normally I have to pivot it a bit here and there till it seats.

When I came in, something even more remarkable happened; the scope landed right on the tripod nub (again!) and it seated into it's three footpads as well! Here I was trying to turn it to settle and she was already down!

Have I mentioned yet that I love this scope? I'll bet no one knows...


Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #890315 - 03/29/06 12:06 AM

Woohoo! Mine finally arrived today. Alas, for all you central Texans, this weather is clearly my fault ... I couldn't even take it outside to get it to link up. I tried it in my living room, but it couldn't find the GPS. think I'll wait till it's not raining to take it outside . Will post as soon as I can get some light into it!

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Oz_Skies
member


Reged: 03/16/06
Posts: 20
Loc: Hobart, Australia
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #890349 - 03/29/06 12:35 AM

Quote:

I just brought my new CPC-1100XLT webpage online...




Just had a look and I must say it's looking pretty good Pual! Can't wait to see the FAQ page

Cheers, Lee

--------------------
- Lee -

Don't own a personal scope... yet, but have access to:
Meade ETX125AT (field tripod)
Meade 10" SCT (pier mount)


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Neil Wallace
member


Reged: 02/06/06
Posts: 48
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: ]
      #890699 - 03/29/06 10:18 AM

mdavies,

Congrats on getting your CPC! I had to deal with the curse for a few days after delivery too... hang in there. I'm keeping my fingers x'ed for clear skies tonight so I can go do my first ever marathon with the new moon and the new scope.

--------------------
Neil

Fort Worth, Texas


Celestron CPC 1100 XLT
Celestron Onyx 80 EDF

Edited by Neil Wallace (03/29/06 10:20 AM)


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Neil Wallace
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Reged: 02/06/06
Posts: 48
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Neil Wallace]
      #890715 - 03/29/06 10:27 AM

Paul,

Nice job with the website! It looks great.

--------------------
Neil

Fort Worth, Texas


Celestron CPC 1100 XLT
Celestron Onyx 80 EDF


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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: ]
      #890853 - 03/29/06 11:55 AM

Quote:

Woohoo! Mine finally arrived today. Alas, for all you central Texans, this weather is clearly my fault ... I couldn't even take it outside to get it to link up. I tried it in my living room, but it couldn't find the GPS. think I'll wait till it's not raining to take it outside . Will post as soon as I can get some light into it!




I've been looking at your skyclock in the signature- it got lousy about the day you ordered your scope! Typical.

As for GPS linking inside- try placing the scope near a window or sliding door and let it sit for a while. It will probably link up. Remember that initial linking can take up to 45 minutes. Also, make sure that the GPS is actually on if you get no response.

Congrats on your acquisition of a wonderful machine! I can't wait to hear your first light impressions.

Clear Skies (*SOON!),
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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penguin
member


Reged: 08/21/05
Posts: 41
Loc: Queensland, Australia
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #891647 - 03/29/06 09:31 PM

Paul,

Excellent web site It's a terrific idea. Just for the record, when I first fired my CPC up (straight from the box), the GPS linked up, did the ephemeris download and was ready for me to align in under 10 minutes. Sure surprised me.

Cheers,

--------------------
--Marc--

C6N-GT
CPC1100-XLT & WO Focuser
WO 66ED
Ross 7x50
Nikon D70

Registered GNU/Linux User : 264179



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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
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Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Oz_Skies]
      #891694 - 03/29/06 10:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I just brought my new CPC-1100XLT webpage online...




Just had a look and I must say it's looking pretty good Pual! Can't wait to see the FAQ page

Cheers, Lee




Hi Lee,

Thanks! I've started my FAQ- it's rudimentary, but it'll grow!

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Neil Wallace]
      #891714 - 03/29/06 10:15 PM

Quote:

Paul,

Nice job with the website! It looks great.




Thank you, Neil.

I've got some more photos I want to put up there.

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #893284 - 03/31/06 02:16 AM

Well, it was a perfectly horrible night sky wise (maybe a 2 on the sky clock) but I still got some good astronomy done. I think I caught a glimpse of asteroid Metis tonight- it's cruising thru Leo if Cartes is correct. I'll have to go back and see if it's the same spot. Asteroid tracking in CDC seems a bit off sometimes. I also viewed a few NGCs in the area; NGC 3377 was the easiest here.

I took another look at the stage 3 collimation- the sky was too murky for any attempt at that tonight, but I could definitely see that I'm almost there- the rings John C described were definitely there at focus! They're very slightly skewed as yet. First clear night I'll tighten these down.

I tried to rush a few alignments and was rewarded with some lousy pointing- can't stress how important a great alignment is.

I did get to glimpse Saturn before it passed behind my house; the new collimation I did in my last post really rewarded me with an even sharper Cassini division. Also, the outer ring's gray color was striking and the belts on the planet stood out more.

Another test I performed was in using my old 9mm with a 2x barlow on the cores of M3 and M13. I was able to resolve stars, although at 622x- they were exceedingly dim. Still, it points to my success so far at collimation. I can't wait to see the results when I get everything 100%!

I got a better glimpse of Jupiter tonight- I even tried a few shots of Jupiter, but I wasn't happy with the results- the GRS stood out easily (for a little while- it was racing for the terminator when I started) in the CPC 1100! I only got hints in my old scope- tonight I turned to Jupiter and said to myself- "Hey, there's the GRS!!!". I also caught fleeting glimpses of details in the cloud belts- pretty amazing as Jupiter was still kinda low.

Another striking thing was how orange Io appears in the 11"; my old 8" scope would hint at it and some photos I took of Io in the old scope looked orange-ish- but the 11" showed the color easily. What's more, Ganymede looked like an actual disk rather then a point as it has in my old scopes. Io hinted at this as well. I didn't check this with Europa or Callisto. Ganymede is 1.56 arc seconds across according to Cartes. I guess it's possible to see Ganymede as a disk- it's half as big as Uranus appears to be and I never had trouble resolving that planet's disk in my old scopes. Neptune was a challenge but it's also very dim compared to Ganymede and Uranus.

Finally I saw the double-double star, Epsilon Lyra 1/2 tonight for the first time with the CPC- resolving all four was incredibly easy. My eyes used to water when I tried to do this with my old 8" scope! (although my 5" Mak-Cas always resolved them as well)

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #899573 - 04/04/06 09:58 PM

Cloudy, cloudy, cloudy...

Anyway, I just read that JMI is developing a case for the CPC 1100 XLT!!! Hey, there might really be a way for me to get this scope to a dark site afterall.

I've also found some positive reviews about the Orion Starshoot Deep Sky camera- there's software from a third party that allows "drizzle technology" as well. So, it looks like cameras as easy to use as the Meade DSIs- not to mention as cheap- are available for the Celestron scopes.

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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cougre
member


Reged: 03/30/06
Posts: 18
Loc: Central Coast, California
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #900170 - 04/05/06 10:54 AM

Quote:

Cloudy, cloudy, cloudy...

Anyway, I just read that JMI is developing a case for the CPC 1100 XLT!!! Hey, there might really be a way for me to get this scope to a dark site afterall.

I've also found some positive reviews about the Orion Starshoot Deep Sky camera- there's software from a third party that allows "drizzle technology" as well. So, it looks like cameras as easy to use as the Meade DSIs- not to mention as cheap- are available for the Celestron scopes.

Cheers,
Paul




Yes indeed, I'm on the list at JMI to be notified when the case is ready. It's not going to be cheap though, in fact it will be more than I spent on my old 8" Starfinder.

I'm looking into the camera scene as well. I keep going back and forth between Orion and Meade, but I think I'm leaning toward the Meade DSI-II now. I just have to decide whether to go color or black and white.

More rain for me and more rain on the way. People think I'm odd, but the ark is coming along nicely.

~ Coug

--------------------
*** No, I'm not an Astrophysicist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. ***


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Phil Wheeler
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/31/05
Posts: 2018
Loc: 3 miles WNW of Celestron
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: cougre]
      #900364 - 04/05/06 01:41 PM

Quote:

Yes indeed, I'm on the list at JMI to be notified when the case is ready. It's not going to be cheap though, in fact it will be more than I spent on my old 8" Starfinder.

I'm looking into the camera scene as well. I keep going back and forth between Orion and Meade, but I think I'm leaning toward the Meade DSI-II now. I just have to decide whether to go color or black and white.




Case: Surprised it is taking them much time. Seems like the NS11 case they sell should be darned close, with just some foam changes. But maybe the dimensions changed more than I thought. I have the JMI case for my NS8GPS, and it is really the only way to go.

Cameras: I'd go with the DSI-II vs. Orion. I will get a color one eventually. But I read somewhere that there is a several month backorder on them at this time.

--------------------
Phil / W7OX
NexStar 8SE
WO 10th Anniversary ZS-80FD APO, UA Microstar; Manfrotto tripod
Celestron ASGT Eq Mount
Celestron C5+ on original Equatorial Mount
Stellarvue SV50 "Little Rascal" for air travel; UA DwarfStar and small photo tripod
Coronado P.S.T., used on NexStar 8SE mount or Manfrotto 410 geared head
Lunt LS60/B1200/C/PT mounted as above
Binos: Ob 15x70, UA Unimount; Canon 12x36 IS II
Cameras: DMK31; Canon 7D & 60Da; Panasonic FZ200; Celestron NexImage; Vixen Polarie mount


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: cougre]
      #900753 - 04/05/06 07:28 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Cloudy, cloudy, cloudy...

Anyway, I just read that JMI is developing a case for the CPC 1100 XLT!!! Hey, there might really be a way for me to get this scope to a dark site afterall.

I've also found some positive reviews about the Orion Starshoot Deep Sky camera- there's software from a third party that allows "drizzle technology" as well. So, it looks like cameras as easy to use as the Meade DSIs- not to mention as cheap- are available for the Celestron scopes.

Cheers,
Paul




Yes indeed, I'm on the list at JMI to be notified when the case is ready. It's not going to be cheap though, in fact it will be more than I spent on my old 8" Starfinder.

I'm looking into the camera scene as well. I keep going back and forth between Orion and Meade, but I think I'm leaning toward the Meade DSI-II now. I just have to decide whether to go color or black and white.

More rain for me and more rain on the way. People think I'm odd, but the ark is coming along nicely.

~ Coug




ARK: make it 40 cubits by 40 cubits... right? Me? I'm planning to just go live on a Royal Caribbean ship- probably Freedom if it's ready in time!

CAM: The Meade cameras are great except according to my dealer, their BEST features are tied to using them with Meade scopes. It's possible that there's 3rd party software that gets around this with a Celestron scope? Apparently with a Meade scope, the DSI cams can both autoguide -and- image simultaneously?

My thinking is that the Orion (essentially the same camera as the DSI but with cooling?) camera would be more Celestron friendly right out of the box? I'm betting a version of this camera will be released soon with Celestron's name painted on the side?

CASE: Yes- I guess it's going to be over $500??? (Would my wife believe me if I said it's just a weird suitcase???)

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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yg1968
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/04
Posts: 1859
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #901032 - 04/05/06 10:32 PM

Here is a link that refers to the 3 stages of collimation that you mentionned (it includes pictures that make it easy to understand the steps):

http://legault.club.fr/collim.html


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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: yg1968]
      #902395 - 04/06/06 09:57 PM

Thanks, yg1968- That's the site I use- excellent link! Think I'll put it up on my CPC page.

JMI has their CPC 1100 case ready- it's also compatible (with modification) with the CPC 925! Here're the particulars from JMI's email to me.

(reprinted here with permission from JMI):

The case includes four lockable latches for the removable cover (no hinge), three steel-reinforced handles and die-cut foam lining with compartments for telescope, eyepieces and accessories. It can be carried (requires two people) or pulled using the attached 10" wheels. Both the finder scope and hand unit must be detached and inserted into protective pouches (included) and placed inside the case.

Outside dimensions of the case are approximately 42" x 25" x 26-3/4" and its empty weight is approximately 36.0 lbs. The shipping box is approximately 26-1/4" x 19" x 38-1/2" (UPS Ground Oversized 2 rate is at 70 lbs) and the shipping weight is approximately 43.2 lbs. All values are subject to slight changes.


The price is $459.95

Celestron now has an AC adapter for the CPC line (may work with other Celestron scopes as well)- it's Celestron model is 18776.

I also noticed a Motofocus from JMI for the CPC 1100!

Nice to see the support!

Clear Skies,
Paul

Edited by Paul McC (04/07/06 06:03 PM)


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krackerjack9
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/17/06
Posts: 611
Loc: LSA Anaconda, Iraq
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #917057 - 04/18/06 11:56 AM

I could have went home and thought about the scope I want to get and after reading this huge post I cant wait ,, but I have to,, I only hope I can run across someone who has as much information and how to work things out,, I no im going to be grasping at straws so I might make some really lame caveman type request questions ,, but I can take the ribbing,, I just want to see now!!!

--------------------
LSA Anaconda, Iraq
WO 66ED,Sirus 32mm, Orion Diagonal,10mm Celestron,25mm Possl [ Blair S.] Greensboro,NC WO 66APO Patriot
8mm Televue,4mm Or [ Donald B.] Boise,Idaho
Meade 6.7 Ultra Wide [ Chuck ] USA
Meade 26mm Plossl [ Glenda ] Fort Bliss,Tx
WO 1.25 Diagonal , 6mm Radian,4mmTMB, 40mm Meade 5000, 26mm and 32mm QX Meade, and some other stuff my Credit Card has been buying against my will, haha


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: krackerjack9]
      #917661 - 04/18/06 07:11 PM

Quote:

I could have went home and thought about the scope I want to get and after reading this huge post I cant wait ,, but I have to,, I only hope I can run across someone who has as much information and how to work things out,, I no im going to be grasping at straws so I might make some really lame caveman type request questions ,, but I can take the ribbing,, I just want to see now!!!




the only lame question is the one that goes un-asked.

Ask away- everyone here (whether they like to admit it or not) was in the same boat as you at one time.

If you want to do some reading before hand, check out either my site (below) or www.nexstarsite.com or www.celestron.com (for the scope manual).

There's tons of experience here on this forum; don't be afraid to ask.

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #918051 - 04/19/06 03:20 AM

Well, I finally had a fit night to try out the Bob's Knobs, and I certainly am happy with them!!! My collimation is now spot on! I think I'm all the way thru to stage three (or very close). Saturn's Cassini division was ink-black, and the individual stars of M3 were easy to discern! What a difference this collimation makes- and SO easy with the knobs. If you don't have these, it's a HUGE mistake- get 'em!

Has anyone else noticed that Saturn's belts seem to be much more prominent this year? I've never seen such detail before! Wow!

As I mentioned elsewhere, I saw my first comet using this scope tonight- P73/Schwachmann-Wachmann-3- I found it by punching in the coordinates from a website and searching briefly in the area to find the comet- once I had it, what an AWESOME sight!!!

Clear Skies, Paul


--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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krackerjack9
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/17/06
Posts: 611
Loc: LSA Anaconda, Iraq
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #918122 - 04/19/06 07:58 AM

Ok Paul I got my Bobs Knobs on my list of things to get,
Now should I get the Celestron eyepieces for this or some other type, I know there must be a several options so must at least 5 eyepieces that would be a must have in ones grab bag so to say to use..

--------------------
LSA Anaconda, Iraq
WO 66ED,Sirus 32mm, Orion Diagonal,10mm Celestron,25mm Possl [ Blair S.] Greensboro,NC WO 66APO Patriot
8mm Televue,4mm Or [ Donald B.] Boise,Idaho
Meade 6.7 Ultra Wide [ Chuck ] USA
Meade 26mm Plossl [ Glenda ] Fort Bliss,Tx
WO 1.25 Diagonal , 6mm Radian,4mmTMB, 40mm Meade 5000, 26mm and 32mm QX Meade, and some other stuff my Credit Card has been buying against my will, haha


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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: krackerjack9]
      #918266 - 04/19/06 10:19 AM

Eye pieces are such a *Word deleted by the CN gnaughties gnomes* shoot. Ones that some folks love may leave you cold. Luckily, the NS11 is very forgiving of eye pieces and even "cheap" ones can give decent views.

Try to test a few out to get a feel for your tastes before you buy too many. You also need a good feel for your sites seeing. Here in Phoenix, much higher that 12-13mm is a waste much of the time since the seeing doesn't support it.

Lower power 23-40mm will be used much more often.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: krackerjack9]
      #918407 - 04/19/06 12:23 PM

Quote:

Ok Paul I got my Bobs Knobs on my list of things to get,
Now should I get the Celestron eyepieces for this or some other type, I know there must be a several options so must at least 5 eyepieces that would be a must have in ones grab bag so to say to use..




You won't be sorry in your investment on the Bob's Knobs.

Arcturus was a perfect point with narrow rings at focus- gorgeous. I just hope that collimation this tight holds thru movement of the scope inside and out. I had a 8" newt that I had to CONSTANTLY collimate- of course, it's f/4 800mm optics demanded that. Izar was cleanly split- in the 18mm it reminded me of a flame with a blue taper!

As for eps, in the Celestron line, I have an 18mm X-Cel 1.25" and 3 E-Lux 2" eps (25, 32, 40mm)- all of these eps are GREAT. The E-Lux line is Celestron's budget line- but the views provided are just fine.

My CPC 1100 provides very good views with my extremely cheaply made 25mm and 9mm Orion Plossl eps as well.

You probably won't go wrong with eps in the mid price range from Celestron or Meade or Orion. I don't own any high end eps, but I've viewed thru some of them, and the view is incomparible.

Good Luck,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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krackerjack9
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/17/06
Posts: 611
Loc: LSA Anaconda, Iraq
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #918639 - 04/19/06 03:02 PM

so what are the higher end eyepieces to put on my christmass list, the closest Celestron dealer is about 130 miles from me so once I get back in the states I want to make my shopping trip while,, not saying that I can afford the most expensive eyepieces out there,, but I know what you guys mean like I said im still in kindergarden on this and I dont know what swingset I can rid on yet..

--------------------
LSA Anaconda, Iraq
WO 66ED,Sirus 32mm, Orion Diagonal,10mm Celestron,25mm Possl [ Blair S.] Greensboro,NC WO 66APO Patriot
8mm Televue,4mm Or [ Donald B.] Boise,Idaho
Meade 6.7 Ultra Wide [ Chuck ] USA
Meade 26mm Plossl [ Glenda ] Fort Bliss,Tx
WO 1.25 Diagonal , 6mm Radian,4mmTMB, 40mm Meade 5000, 26mm and 32mm QX Meade, and some other stuff my Credit Card has been buying against my will, haha


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spaceydee
Postmaster


Reged: 04/16/04
Posts: 17311
Loc: Where the Kittens Are
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: krackerjack9]
      #918643 - 04/19/06 03:07 PM

The first thing is to figure out what telescope you will have. I have a few "premium" eyepieces, for a wider field of view, but I've been told that the f/10 SCTs tend to be less sensitive to the type of eyepieces you use. I will tell you that my favorite eyepiece on my Nexstar 8i is the 22mm Panoptic, but depending on what more knowledgeable people say, you may not need to get a Panoptic to get a good view from the SCT.

--------------------
Dee
space-scientist
student violinist
Nexstar8i,SV80S,80/9D,FC100,94 Brandon,TMB92SS,GM8
8" f/7 Discovery,12.5" Portaball, PST



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Mike28
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/21/03
Posts: 3069
Loc: Morris County,NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: spaceydee]
      #918770 - 04/19/06 04:24 PM

Dee If he is purchasing the 11" SCT, then the following EP's that I use is recommended:
40mm WO SWAN
31mm Nagler
24mm PAN
17mm Nagler
12mm Nagler
9mm Nagler

--------------------
Mike

'The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once. Albert Einstein

NS11GPS/Sky align
Orion SkyQuest XX14g GoTo Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope
Celestron 80ED
TV Pronto
Coronado Ha PST





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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Mike28]
      #918804 - 04/19/06 04:52 PM

For a long time I was very fond of the 19mm panoptic. The 13mmT6 nagler was very impressive for me too.

For the planets, a 12.5 UO ortho has been a work horse. For clusters the old 23mm Celestron Axiom is my favorite eye piece.

I've added a couple pentaxes but they have seen more time in the dob.

The Stratus line from Orion (I picked up the 17mm) would be a good start too. Very nice and not that expensive.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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spaceydee
Postmaster


Reged: 04/16/04
Posts: 17311
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #919187 - 04/19/06 08:26 PM

I've heard that one doesn't have to spend the big bucks on naglers and panoptics with an SCT. How true is that?

--------------------
Dee
space-scientist
student violinist
Nexstar8i,SV80S,80/9D,FC100,94 Brandon,TMB92SS,GM8
8" f/7 Discovery,12.5" Portaball, PST



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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: spaceydee]
      #919498 - 04/19/06 11:52 PM

It really depends on your personal tastes. I don't you have to and I have reason to believe the Stratus' are as good as panoptics. Now the UWAN's are out the naglers will be hard pressed to maintain their lone spot at the top of the heap - for your super wide field views.

But ask four guys about eye pieces and you just may get five opinions. It's really a personal decision. Greatly affected by budget. I can say that TeleVues, while very nice eye pieces (especially their over looked plossl's which is where they started to make their name) are not the only game in town and many more out there will perform very well indeed.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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BigCaT
super member


Reged: 12/14/05
Posts: 136
Loc: Quebec, Canada
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Mike28]
      #920764 - 04/20/06 07:05 PM

Quote:

Dee If he is purchasing the 11" SCT, then the following EP's that I use is recommended:
40mm WO SWAN
31mm Nagler
24mm PAN
17mm Nagler
12mm Nagler
9mm Nagler




Mike, which one do you prefer between your 40 mm WO SWAN and 31 mm Nagler? Does the view is much better in the Nagler?

--------------------
Felix

Nexstar 8i SE
Antares 127mm F/6.45
30mm, 12.5mm, 10mm Celeston Ultimas
17mm Baader Hyperion
7.4mm TeleVue Plossl


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Mike28
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Reged: 06/21/03
Posts: 3069
Loc: Morris County,NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: BigCaT]
      #922009 - 04/21/06 05:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Dee If he is purchasing the 11" SCT, then the following EP's that I use is recommended:
40mm WO SWAN
31mm Nagler
24mm PAN
17mm Nagler
12mm Nagler
9mm Nagler




Mike, which one do you prefer between your 40 mm WO SWAN and 31 mm Nagler? Does the view is much better in the Nagler?




Felix I was afraid someone would ask that! The 40MM WO is VERY good. On Star field I have to say it ranks just below the 31 Nagler - but barely. It seems to lose some at the edge of field where as the 31 Nagler hangs in there and still gives that space walk/portal affect. But that is my comparision. I would like to try it on the TAK TOA 150 once it arrives (June/July now ) but it's a keeper just the same and less expensive than the Nagler! I would definately recommend it to the budget minded viewer.

--------------------
Mike

'The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once. Albert Einstein

NS11GPS/Sky align
Orion SkyQuest XX14g GoTo Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope
Celestron 80ED
TV Pronto
Coronado Ha PST





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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound


Reged: 04/23/03
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Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Mike28]
      #924542 - 04/23/06 11:21 AM

Ron,
I got to look through a 28mm UWAN and a 16mm UWAN through a C8, the eyepieces are very nice but the 28mm is VERY heavy.

--------------------
Preston
Meade 10in LX200R GPS UHTC
blog (updated 02/15/2013)




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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #926617 - 04/24/06 06:35 PM

Here's one of those necessity is the mother of invention moments:

While playing with my Sony DSC-P10 consumer digital camera recently (it's the camera that I attached to my CPC via a Scopetronix Digi-T adapter to take the Saturn photo that's also my avatar) I realized that it has an AV port (I'd forgotten this)!!! This is important because with it's supplied patch cable, I can attach this camera to any TV/Monitor (using the simple yellow video connector) and do my focusing on the TV screen rather then trying to use the camera's tiny .75" x 1.25" LCD screen! Even with Saturn imaged thru my CPC with a 2x barlow, 25mm plossl, and the Sony cam's 7.9mm lens (it's not removeable, of course)- the planet and rings are still small and very hard to see. Focus is a hit or miss thing.

I have an old Amdek 12" computer monitor from the early 80s (when my Atari 800 computer with 48k was something else!) which will be perfect for use in focusing! Saturn, the Moon, Jupiter- will all be MUCH easier to see with this setup. It will also help me to determine the accuracy of my collimation, I suppose. What's really cool about all this is that I can do all of this with the equipment I already have.

Now, for cool Part 2:
My camera also has the ability to shoot short movies (I guess limited to the size of the memory stick? I use a 256MB Memory Stick Pro). Unfortunately, it saves them to Mpeg files rather then AVI files and Registax can't use Mpeg files. Otoh, I occasionally use Adobe Premiere and it can easily convert Mpeg files to AVI files. Now, I can import them to Registax.

I just did a test shot movie using all of this of my keyboard- converted it to AVI and imported it to Registax and the resulting image of my Enter key was cool (a bit funky as I was moving towards and away from the keyboard- cool effect after stacking 248 images though!)- basically, it tells me this should all work.

It may turn out that this setup will make my desire to buy a Solar System Imager (Neximage and the like) unnecessary- or at the very least, will make me a pro by the time I buy one.

Now I desperately need a good night of seeing to give this a try!!!

I'll even welcome the Moon!

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #927034 - 04/25/06 12:58 AM Attachment (115 downloads)

I got out briefly under hazy damp skies tonight- I couldn't wait to try using the focusing method I described above- and had some success even under less then ideal circumstances.

Here's my latest Saturn with my new focusing method- it's a stack of 5 images. I also did a few mpeg streams and converted them to AVIs full of hundreds of frames- unfortunately they seem to be too dim. I was using the same settings to make a movie stream as I would for a single photo. I'll adjust this on the next try.

I think this photo of Saturn is a bit overprocessed (still learning how to use Registax) so I'll tinker with it again in a few nights.

Tracking tonight to EVERYTHING was dead on in my 18mm; I used Polaris and Spica as my alignment stars. Unfortunately, I couldn't find my Thousand Oaks heater (I've yet to use it) and my corrector got damp pretty early (also neglected to put the Astrozap shield on... must remember this fresh after monsoon!) So, I called it an early night. Things are supposed to improve by the end of the week.

This Saturn shot is a composite of five shots; each was color balanced and resized and had a slight unsharp mask added in Picture Window. The final frames were then aligned and stacked in Registax.

The ep used was a 9mm Orion plossl connected via Digi-T adapter to my Sony DSC-P10 digital camera which was zoomed 3x (the equivalent of a 7.9mm lens)- each exposure was about 1 second in length with the camera set to 100 ASA.

Cheers,
Paul

Attachment

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #927059 - 04/25/06 01:40 AM

Here's a few other things I noticed tonight:

1) the Bluestar wireless COM port adapter makes a much better link with the laptop outside; it works from the inside as well (nice when it was COLD) but Cartes would sometimes be sluggish when the laptop was inside.

2) Enabling Sync in Cartes has exactly the same effect as enabling Sync on the CPC's HC. The big difference here is that the real HC shuts down tracking temporarily to allow you to recenter the object you're Syncing to- but in Cartes, the program just asks if you've centered a target then sends the Sync command to the scope. Just as when using the HC to Sync, you must hit Unsync on the HC (there's no Unsync button in Cartes, yet) to reclaim alignments or to change alignment stars. Syncing is MUCH faster in Cartes.

3) You can still have NexRemote babble facts off to you thru it's voice simulator without actually setting NexRemote up- simply run Nexremote with it's COM port set to NONE and then just type in objects and hit INFO on the onscreen NexRemote HC! (I haven't tried to do an alignment with NexRemote yet- next time, I'll give it a shot. It should be easier with the laptop outside with me.)

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #928326 - 04/25/06 10:15 PM

I was just looking at my Saturn picture above and I realized that I also caught some Saturnian moons in the picture as well! They aren't as visible on my computer monitor, but the laptop's LCD showed some of them clearly enough.

Referring to the shot above, the brightest gray blob at the right edge of the photo near the bottom is Titan. Tethys and Dione make a very dim pair forming a line perpendicular to the planet's western rings about 1.5 ring radii to the west of the rings (I have Saturn correctly oriented here). Much closer to the western side of the rings is little tiny Mimas- about a pixel across, but distinct from background noise. Directly above the planet is bright Rhea and just below the eastern side of the rings is little Enceladus.

I ought to try enhancing these a bit to see if I can't bring them out some more.

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #933368 - 04/29/06 02:52 AM

Truly, this has been the BEST night of observing yet with my CPC 1100!!! I can't begin to express what a tremendous impact this scope has had on my 37 year love affair with astronomy. This scope is hands down, the best instrument I've ever turned on the skies.

The combination of perfectly collimated optics (thanks to Bob's Knobs) and tranparent, cloudless skies and great seeing (and neighbors who decided to keep outside lights to a minimum - I guess there's something to be said for the rising costs of energy!) made the night of April 28/29 one I won't soon forget!

First up, Jupiter. I'm convinced that I've never seen Jupiter before until tonight. No exageration- I've never ever seen so much tremendous detail on Jupiter's disk! Not only was the GRS (great red spot) clearly visible, it DEMANDED attention! The belts were no longer solid but full of wisps of color! Just below the north EQ belt in the middle white zone, I could make out the comma shaped grayish clouds- I've never seen these before in any telescope!!! I also need to stop trying to focus the galilean moons to pinpoints with this scope- they're more like tiny disks now! Io's yellow orange color blows me away!

Now, onto picking alignment stars- attention all CPC/NS users: I think the perfect alignment stars to use at this time of the year are Spica and Polaris (in that order). The Nexstar Observer List program and SAS program (go to www.nexstarsite.com for more info) both gave me this advice, and the pair has proven... well, stellar! Not once did I have to realign- I began my observing session at 8pm and stopped at 1:45am (I have work tomorrow morning, otherwise I'd still be out.) During this entire marathon, every single object I called up either from the HC or from Cartes on my laptop was in the center of my 9mm ep and 18mm ep! Perfect all night long. I began to take it for granted! So cool!

Tonight, for the first time with the CPC, I observed the following:

1) The Blinking Nebula (NGC 6826)- it really does seem to blink! What a bright blue light bulb!

2) M10- gorgeous and bright globular cluster (GC).
3) M12- somewhat squashed looking but otherwise bright GC.
4) M9- small GC
5) M14- very dim GC

6) M57- the Ring Nebula- WOW! Much more detailed then in my 8"! I could actually see the dark "ears" at the sides... I even thought I saw the central star winking in and out. There's a dim star right next to the ring- the central star was dimmer then this. Cartes says the central star is variable (!) and can be anywhere from mag 14 to 16. So, perhaps I wasn't seeing it afterall. Anyone else ever catch this star under suburban skies with an 11" mirror?

7) M29- unremarkable open cluster. In my old scope, I always thought it looked like the outline of a crab- but now it looks like someone's initials.

8) M39- too big for the 18mm, but otherwise a nice open cluster.

9) Albireo- as gorgeous as ever in the CPC.

10) NGC 6207- tiny little galaxy (that always sounds funny) near M13- I was told that it's a great test for optics once. I've seen much dimmer objects then this though.

11) Asteroid 230 Athamantis! 10.7 Mag, due south of Spica right now. Easily visible with a few dim stars- there's a dim array of five stars near it that makes a giant "X" mark. I used Cartes to pull up a photo of the region and confirmed that there was no star where Athamantis was. That's two asteroids that I can notch on the tripod!

12) M5- spectacular GC, but I still like M3 and M13 more.

There's a host of others I visited (I really have to start taking notes)- mostly lesser known galaxies tonight. In addition, I looked at some old favorites: M13 is stunning now that it's getting higher in the sky. It sweeps majestically into view during go-to slews. It's easy to see the curving branches of stars others have commented on. M51 again showed hints of spiral structure that I've only seen in 10" scopes at dark sites before. Izar should be on anyone's list of double stars to observe. (great challenge for small scopes, too)

About the only real disappointment was the loss of comet 73P- the coordinates given at the Harvard site that took me right to it last week didn't work this week. I'll have to check around and see what's going on- I know it's coming apart- but I don't think it's winked out.

I took some more Saturn photos tonight, and a few Jupiter shots and movies- I'll post them if I get anything worthy.

I could type tons more, but I have to go to bed! G'nite!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #937354 - 05/02/06 02:25 AM

Another great night tonight under the stars, although a bit nippish! The seeing wasn't as crystal clear as my last report, but it was still a worthy night. I re-acquired Comet 73P; it's much brighter now and the tail is more impressive. Tonight, the comet was very close to 59 Herc- about 43' away.

I was also able to confirm that I did indeed see asteroid 230 Athamantis as it moved from the spot I saved it in the HC's user objects! Cool! I reacquired it amongst a number of dim stars.

I viewed another asteroid tonight: 354 Eleonora. Again, I saved it's position in the HC and made some notes on the view to confirm it's identity next time out.

I also was able to get fleeting glimpses of Quasar 3C 273! This is supposed to be the most distant object visible in amateur scopes at 2 billion light years. Averted vision definitely helped bring this quasar into view.

For the first time ever, I saw M83- a galaxy with a very bright core. It always alluded my former scopes. The CPC skipped right on over and locked on- what a pleasure.

I caught a glimpse of NGC 5049- a very dim galaxy. Also saw NGC 6755- a sparce dim cluster but it wasn't well placed so it might look better this summer. I viewed IC 4665- this was a pretty cool open cluster- it reminded me a little of the Beehive (M44).

I viewed Menkent for the first time- cool only because I've never seen any Centauri star (or at least tried to) from NJ before. I also viewed Xi Sco, an excellent double star- bright white primary with a gray-metallic secondary. In my 18mm X-cel ep, there was another double star in the same field.

Well, gotta get some sleep before work tomorrow. G'nite!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Futzman
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/16/06
Posts: 730
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #937698 - 05/02/06 11:02 AM

Great reports Paul! Are you in a fairly dark sky area or near city lights?

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


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Paul McC
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Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #938558 - 05/02/06 07:39 PM

I'm in suburbs- it's fairly light polluted in the typical small town America way. Just about every neighbor has BIG BRIGHT spotlights that they shine into the woods behind their homes for no apparent reason. (These woods are boxed in by homes- the Jersey Devil can't be hiding in there...)

Fortunately, the houses directly adjacent to me aren't light junkies (my term) and there's a high wood fence that blocks most of the light out. So, I'm mostly in shadow. Next, I usually put on the Astrozap dew shield/heater- many don't realize this but these also increase contrast and get rid of stray light... and they also add a little weight to the front of the CPC which as we've seen, can be a good thing when adding weight to the back!

I rely pretty heavily on the CPC's 11" optics to pull the dim "you can't see 'em unless you're at a dark site!" objects out of the murk. Once I have them, I confirm them in Cartes via my wireless Bluestar connection. Using the Sync command here really helps zero in on the VERY dimmest of the dim.

Once I get the money together, I'll be buying a JMI CPC case to transport the CPC to a real real dark site- and then I'll probably feel like I've got a 22" scope rather then an 11"! I've viewed M51 (Whirlpool Gal) thru a 10" DOB at a "local" state park and I could easily make out the spiral arms- my CPC 1100 should easily match that.

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #938567 - 05/02/06 07:46 PM Attachment (135 downloads)

Here's my first attempt at Jupiter- the planet was still low to the horizon, and it was the end of my viewing night, so I had packed away the monitor I use for focusing- it's a pretty soft focus.

I used various programs to enhance the colors; you can sorta see the gray comma shaped clouds I spoke of a few posts ago in the middle white EQ band above the GRS. My view had these sharp as tacks- wish this photo did.

I'm probably going to invest in a NexImage and make some shots, so the best is (hopefully) yet to come.

Cheers,
Paul

Attachment

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Futzman
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/16/06
Posts: 730
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #938858 - 05/02/06 10:38 PM

Nice shot Paul. I have the NexImage, and I'm not impressed so far, but it's no surprise to me. 640x480 resolution is pretty bad by today's standards. Some initial Sun shots I took through my newly-acquired PST <.5 didn't really get me excited. I'm banking on my Canon DSLR with its 6+ megapixel resolution after I figure out the focus technique. I'm not exactly a novice at astrophotography but close

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


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Paul McC
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #938945 - 05/02/06 11:41 PM

Hi Richard,

My original intent was to buy a Meade DSI (one of the cheaper flavors) or the Orion SSDS camera. But so many have advised (on other channels) that it's best to get some experience with a "solar system" imager of some sort before trying to tackle the "big boys".

The NexImage seems to be the exact same camera as the Meade LPI, the Orion Solar System Shooter (or whatever it's called) and several webcams out there. Interestingly enough, Celestron's site also guides you to mods (with the usual buyer beware notices) you can make to this camera to make it long exposure. So if I get tired of shooting the planets and the Moon, I'll pull out the soldering iron! (No biggie to me- I once soldered a couple hundred points on an Atari ST motherboard to add a whopping 2MB to it! Modding a NexImage probably wouldn't even raise a sweat)

I'm also hoping that now that Orion's gotten into the act of selling deep space cams that Celestron will as well- albeit to their spec- and that some of the big $$$ astro-camera makers will start delivering cheaper versions of their cams- there's some evidence that this is the direction the market's headed. By this time next year, I expect much better and cheaper imaging solutions. (Of course, you gotta buy at some point... sure, if I wait another century they'll be even better.)

Good Luck with the camera- and post some pix!
Clear Skies,
Paul

ps- keep the pix small (byte wise) or CN won't accept it.

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #938958 - 05/02/06 11:50 PM

Richard,

One more thing- my shot of Jupiter was done on a 5mp camera (definitely not designed for this sort of photography) and sent thru a series of lenses to get it to the size you see.

With a NexImage, it's my understanding that the planet is projected to the NexImage's chip directly (or via a barlow)from the scope and as such it fills a lot of that 640x480 real estate. If that's the case, you probably don't need a higher res for planets or the Moon or the Sun.

For instance, in my Jupiter image above, the image is 800x600 (down from 2500 something by 1200 or so something) but you'll notice that Jupiter occupies only a tiny portion of this real estate. If there was some way to project the image to my camera, it would be much larger, but there isn't (short of axing the lens off!)

Maybe I'm wrong- but I thought that's how it worked with NexImage?

I'll have to look into this some more.

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Futzman
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/16/06
Posts: 730
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #939434 - 05/03/06 10:22 AM

I have not tried NexImage on a planet yet but on the Sun it occupies practically the whole frame. However, it's still 640x480 and there's no way to get around that. If you could use eyepiece projection for Jupiter with that 5mp and occupy the entire frame, then all other factors being equal you'd have a far more detailed view (assuming good collimation) than with the NexImage. But then again, I'm just getting started with this digital astrophotography money pit

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #939552 - 05/03/06 11:48 AM

Quote:

... I've viewed M51 (Whirlpool Gal) thru a 10" DOB at a "local" state park and I could easily make out the spiral arms- my CPC 1100 should easily match that...



I tried to look at the whirlpool galaxy the other night and all I could make out were
2 fuzzy spots (may not have been M51).
I was disappointed in the view with the CPC1100
until I found out my corrector plate was completely fogged over.

Anyway, I will get the Astrozap dew shield and my dew heater installed soon. --KFStars


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
Posts: 16902
Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: ]
      #939901 - 05/03/06 03:59 PM

That's about all I've ever seen of the whirlpool, even through a larger scope (12.5" PortaBall). You need really good seeing to make out anything other than the 2 "fuzzy spots" in my experience.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more


Reged: 04/30/03
Posts: 30716
Loc: NE Ohio
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #939909 - 05/03/06 04:04 PM

Quote:

That's about all I've ever seen of the whirlpool, even through a larger scope (12.5" PortaBall). You need really good seeing to make out anything other than the 2 "fuzzy spots" in my experience.




Dark skies are the key to low-contrast objects. I've seen the spiral arms with some details in a 15" under dark skies.

--------------------
John C

Battle Cry of Reno
http://www.wadsworthobservatory.com
My Cloudy Nights gallery

AT12RC
AT65EDQ
QSI683WSG-8
Roper Scientific Quantix 6303E "project" camera
mystery EQ mount on the way


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spaceydee
Postmaster


Reged: 04/16/04
Posts: 17311
Loc: Where the Kittens Are
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #940274 - 05/03/06 08:55 PM

Ummm, I've seen some detail in my 8" under dark skies on Mt Pinos. Granted, it was nothing like seeing it in Erik's 16" Dob, but to me it almost looked like petals on a flower.

--------------------
Dee
space-scientist
student violinist
Nexstar8i,SV80S,80/9D,FC100,94 Brandon,TMB92SS,GM8
8" f/7 Discovery,12.5" Portaball, PST



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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
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Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: spaceydee]
      #940438 - 05/03/06 10:39 PM

The night was exceptional seeing- it was Belleplain State Park and I was looking thru a homebuilt (I think) 10" Dob that belonged to one of SJAC's members- the spiral "S" shape was clear- not photo quality of course- but easy to see.

In my backyard, on very clear nights- I get hints of the "S" pattern, just not nearly as pronounced, in M51. I wonder if there are any filters that can enhance this? Probably not.

King- if you want some really great detail in a galaxy- try the Sombrero (M104), the Blackeye (M64?), and the Cigar (M82... or is it M81- they're next to each other)- this latter has incredible detail in the CPC from my backyard. Awesome views.

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #940483 - 05/03/06 11:29 PM

At the All Arizona Star party at the Farnsworth Ranch the shape of M51 was quite clear. Last weekend, at darker skies but not quite as good seeing the detail was harder to see - all with my 16" dob. Last night in the back yard it was just two faint fuzzies. In the same dob. I gave up fairly early as the skies were just too bright and I don't think it was all the moons' fault.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
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Futzman
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #940488 - 05/03/06 11:37 PM

To be honest I've never seen much detail in any of my previous scopes (a homemade 8" newt -- I ground the mirror myself and a 14" yoke mount -- drive never worked right from the start). However, I'm trying again, and really not expecting a whole lot on deep-sky objects. If I can get good planetary views, comet views and DSO photographs I'll be pretty happy. And, by the way, the Coronado <.5 Solar telescope rocks! I had a bit of clear skys today and stared at the Sun for probably 2 hours through a Denk binoviewer. Awesome. Makes me almost wish I had saved that money I spent on the CPC1100 and bought a SolarMax 60. Hmmm...Just kidding!!!

--------------------
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #941120 - 05/04/06 12:47 PM

Ok, so which galaxies and nebulai really rock using the CPC1100XLT?

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rboe



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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: ]
      #941232 - 05/04/06 02:26 PM

I found many of the Virgo Group look pretty good which was a thrill for me as galaxies are my thing. Andromeda looks better in binoculars or very large dobs.

M42 is great - assuming a dark sky site - a real eye openner for me the first time at a dark sky site.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
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127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



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LivingNDixie
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #941525 - 05/04/06 06:29 PM

Quote:

That's about all I've ever seen of the whirlpool, even through a larger scope (12.5" PortaBall). You need really good seeing to make out anything other than the 2 "fuzzy spots" in my experience.



Seeing is not as important as transparent skies, also when M51 is highest in the sky is the best time too look. I have seen spiral structure in a 8in scope, but it was under 7th mag dark transparent Nevada skies. Lets just say under those skies, M31 is easy, as was M13, M33 was tough for me, but I hadn't had my glasses redone. That whole 2yr thing is just wrong with glasses but thats another story. Randy, do you have any dark skies with high altitude near you?

--------------------
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Paul McC
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: ]
      #941943 - 05/04/06 11:06 PM

Quote:

Ok, so which galaxies and nebulai really rock using the CPC1100XLT?




Speaking from experience with the CPC 1100 (so far...):

Nebulae: M42- absolutely, positively no doubt about it- the best views EVER in this scope. M57- the Ring Nebula, same response as M42.

Galaxies: M64- "Black Eye" galaxy (see if you can see the dark lane), M104- the Sombrero (at the very least, you should see it as squashed), M82- Cigar Galaxy- it looks like a craggly, beat up cigar in the CPC 1100!, M87- Big Elliptical puff with lots o-tiny puffs around it. M51, which on exceptionally clear nights can give hints of a spiral "S" shape- best seen perhaps at a dark site but I haven't tried this with the CPC yet. (Still, if it's occasional in the backyard, I gotta believe it's awesome at the dark site) I could go on and on.

My favorite thing has always been globular clusters- they're almost always rewarding in any scope. The CPC 1100's optics allow me to have a tremendous view directly rather then having to use "averted" vision as I always had to do with my newt's 8" optics.

We live in great times (except for gas prices... and a few other horrible things)!

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #943597 - 05/06/06 01:49 AM Attachment (114 downloads)

Okay, here's another shot at Jupiter using an AVI file (the same night as the photo I took in posting 940438 a few days back) with the same camera setup. Scope was a CPC 1100, camera a Sony DSC10P 5mp, and with a best guess (all that was possible when this vid was shot) on focus. Vid was 30 sec long Mpeg, converted to an AVI file, loaded into Registax and aligned and stacked in there.

25mm Orion plossl, 2x Orion Barlow, 7.9mm lens on Sony camera. What a horrible way to shoot a planet! The stack was something just over 900 frames.

Clear Skies,
Paul

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--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
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b1gred
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #944008 - 05/06/06 11:32 AM

that's not bad at all.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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azsrr
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #944033 - 05/06/06 11:50 AM

Hey Paul, that's cool. I'd be happy if I had taken that!

--------------------
Steve
N1NM

Celestron CPC-800 XLT / Hyperstar
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Futzman
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: azsrr]
      #944221 - 05/06/06 02:47 PM

Looks pretty good to me, Paul! I'd love to get a shot like that. I can't wait to try myself (if the skies would ever clear here).

--------------------
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #944432 - 05/06/06 06:53 PM

Thanks for the kudos, everyone! It's still not the focus I want, but that will change shortly.

I went to NEAF (NorthEast Astronomy Forum) today- what a great time! Many of the big names were there. Celestron had a nice booth, as did Meade. OPT and Skies Unlimited (my dealer) were there as well as River Camera and many many more. I got to see a C-14 at the Celestron booth, right next to a CPC 1100- Wow! If there ever is a CPC 1400, I'm gonna need a few friends to move it around. You C-14 owners out there are very, very lucky!

Outside there were a couple dozen solar scopes setup with all sorts of filters- my favorite had to be the big Coronado scopes! One I looked thru had the Denk binos (this vendor was there, too) attached- old Sol was incredible!!! I'd never seen so much detail in the Sun, and seeing it LIVE was all the more impressive! There were so many streamers and granules and - well, it knocked my socks off to say the least. I actually had to drag my wife away! Also got a gander at Sol thru a 12" Meade LX200 with similar filters- awesome! (Anyone see the Celestron Solar filter that's Mylar built into the CPC dust cap for the CPC 800??? Kinda good idea! I think this sort of filter's only good for seeing sunspots, though...)

I attended a lecture by Susan French on objects of interest in the sky ("30 things you didn't know...") and got the handout at the Sky and Telescope booth- can't wait to try her list when the Moon goes away again.

So did I buy anything? Of course! It was like the kid in the candy store syndrome! I think I've hammered the astronomy budget into the ground for 2006, but I'm not complaining. I purchased the following:

A Celestron NexImage- believe it or not, most vendors had the Phillips Toucam and the Meade and the LPI at the show and just about everyone recommended the NexImage over the other two- even though the Phillips is more money. I was prepared to buy any of the three, so it made me feel good that the NexImage came recommended (it's actually a Phillips webcam according to Window's Device Manager) In addition to the NexImage, I purchased a UV/IR filter for it (I read on one of the NexImage sites that this cures some blurring) and also a reducer .5 with a .3 extender. This latter will (hopefully) come in handy on Moon shots. Got the software installed- now I need to wait for the inevitable clouds to part...

I also purchased a red/white diode flashlight with dimmer on both sets of diodes- pretty cool, and much better then my Orion red light flashlight that's never been very good at staying lit. (it's the yellow one)

Finally, I purchased a Celestron AC adapter for the CPC 1100. Since most of my viewing has been done from my backyard patio, and since there's AC available out there, it's only logical to make use of it. Plugged it in and tested it- it works fine, and it's nice and snug in the power port. It's Celestron part model 18776 if you want one. Celestron confirmed that that's the correct one- and said to avoid the 18773 which is incompatible with CPC.

About the only thing I failed to do was purchase a good planetary ep. I had in mind another X-cel ep - probably a 12.5mm. But just about every vendor recommended a University Optics orthoscopic ep (some said Televue, but I can't afford them- yet!) as being the best. Unfortunately, no one sold them. Another name was Helix orthos... again, no one had them. Looks like an internet search is in order.

I met Craig Weathermax at the OPT booth- great fellow! I purchased my NexImage from them and forgot to get back my charge card. Craig ran around the show looking for me and failing to find me (I think we were in Sue French's presentation at this point) he called my home and left a message. I just happened to stop by the booth to check on something else when he remembered my face and told me he had my charge! Good thing since the drive up was 2 hours! Now that's Customer Service!

Bob Black, the owner of Skies Unlimited and the man who sold me my CPC 1100, actually walked me around to different dealers to see if we couldn't find that orthoscopic lens! Again, excellent customer service.

What an excellent community!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #944434 - 05/06/06 06:55 PM

Quote:

that's not bad at all.




My brother said it was a great shot, but "marred by that big red spot in the lower middle!" What a comedian.

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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spaceydee
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #944828 - 05/07/06 01:22 AM

helix sells university orthos I have a few HDs, which are fine eyepieces in my opinion. My opinion is that they are very good for the money spent.

--------------------
Dee
space-scientist
student violinist
Nexstar8i,SV80S,80/9D,FC100,94 Brandon,TMB92SS,GM8
8" f/7 Discovery,12.5" Portaball, PST



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Paul McC
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: spaceydee]
      #944868 - 05/07/06 03:02 AM

Quote:

helix sells university orthos I have a few HDs, which are fine eyepieces in my opinion. My opinion is that they are very good for the money spent.




Thank you, Dee

After that post, I found the two sites for these. They sound like excellent eps for planets. I'm going to probably grab one of the HD Abbe University Orthos- evidently it's an updated version of their Orthos.

Thanks again,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #944879 - 05/07/06 03:14 AM Attachment (120 downloads)

I tried some quick and dirty pictures with the NexImage; Saturn moved out of view, and Jupiter stayed behind trees until the sky misted over (Skyclock is 2 for seeing tonight). I did get a few shots of Jupiter but I had the gain too high (figured this out later) and so the results weren't too useful. On top of all this, it was very windy tonight- just about everytime I'd try a capture, the wind kicked up and shook the scope up pretty bad.

At any rate, I got some pretty good shots of the Moon close-up. This first one is of Tycho crater which is in local morning. Amcap was set to 320 x 240 (it's default) which I didn't know at this point, so the image is small.

This is a stack of some 1800 frames and then enhanced in Registax. It's the best closeup I've ever gotten of the Moon. I tried some higher mag shots of the Moon, but by then, the sky was starting to deteriorate. Tomorrow night looks worse, so I won't get anymore shots till Monday or so.

Clear Skies,
Paul

Attachment

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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b1gred
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #945525 - 05/07/06 04:26 PM

I might suggest that you consider posting your photography over in the "Astrophotography Forum", that's where it really belongs, and you'd get a more enlightened audience over there... They're great pictures, but this is, after all, the Nexstar Forum.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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spaceydee
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #945544 - 05/07/06 04:37 PM

that is true, if you want to get some more expert advise in that area

one of these days I'll post my picture of Saturn and you guys will get a good laugh!

--------------------
Dee
space-scientist
student violinist
Nexstar8i,SV80S,80/9D,FC100,94 Brandon,TMB92SS,GM8
8" f/7 Discovery,12.5" Portaball, PST



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Futzman
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: spaceydee]
      #945553 - 05/07/06 04:42 PM

Quote:

that is true, if you want to get some more expert advise in that area

one of these days I'll post my picture of Saturn and you guys will get a good laugh!




I'll bet mine is worse. I took it years ago when I built my 8" newt. I took it in B&W with an old SLR I traded from a guy. I developed the print myself also. I'll look it up and post it. I was proud of it at the time.

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


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spaceydee
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #945557 - 05/07/06 04:45 PM

Mine looks like a bad UFO shot. You'd never be able to guess it was Saturn unless I told you

--------------------
Dee
space-scientist
student violinist
Nexstar8i,SV80S,80/9D,FC100,94 Brandon,TMB92SS,GM8
8" f/7 Discovery,12.5" Portaball, PST



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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #945831 - 05/07/06 08:20 PM

When you get your JMI case make sure you get the wheel kit and the handles. It really helps when you go to those sites that are not level. I love my case.

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Paul McC
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #946632 - 05/08/06 12:36 PM

Quote:

I might suggest that you consider posting your photography over in the "Astrophotography Forum", that's where it really belongs, and you'd get a more enlightened audience over there... They're great pictures, but this is, after all, the Nexstar Forum.




Actually, I'm thinking it's still relative since it's under the thread of '"my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions', but only to serve as an illustration of what's possible for users (newbies and oldbies) of CPC 1100 scopes. I certainly don't intend to use this forum as a photo album.

I do intend to visit the astrophotography forums here and elsewhere to find out what sort of techniques are out there to improve my photos as you suggest.

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: spaceydee]
      #946642 - 05/08/06 12:42 PM

Quote:

that is true, if you want to get some more expert advise in that area

one of these days I'll post my picture of Saturn and you guys will get a good laugh!




I gotta see it! Send it to me in a private message!

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Futzman
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #952171 - 05/12/06 12:40 AM

Here's one of my first pics of Jupiter with the CPC 1100 and my brand spanking new Orion Star Shoot Deep Space cam:



This was a single shot frame -- no stacking but a bit of post-processing.

It was an unusually COLD night here in Tulsa Oklahoma but the seeing was great! After carefully collimating my CPC1100 I tried a few prime focus shots of the moon with my Canon Rebel, then quickly switched to my new cam, the Orion Star Shoot. Man, am I impressed with this little CCD! Can't wait to get more experienced with it.


--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


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b1gred
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #953246 - 05/12/06 07:15 PM

WOW! Imagine what taking about 100 shots and stacking them would do... That's amazing.

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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Paul McC
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #953716 - 05/13/06 12:57 AM

Quote:

Here's one of my first pics of Jupiter with the CPC 1100 and my brand spanking new Orion Star Shoot Deep Space cam:



This was a single shot frame -- no stacking but a bit of post-processing.

It was an unusually COLD night here in Tulsa Oklahoma but the seeing was great! After carefully collimating my CPC1100 I tried a few prime focus shots of the moon with my Canon Rebel, then quickly switched to my new cam, the Orion Star Shoot. Man, am I impressed with this little CCD! Can't wait to get more experienced with it.





Looks to me like your collimation is SPOT ON! Way to go!

Randy's right about AVI files stacked- does the Starshoot do AVIs, too? This camera is on my short list to buy once my scope budget recovers from this year's major purchases. I thought the Starshoot was intended more for DSOs then planets- good to know it can do both!

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Futzman
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #954492 - 05/13/06 05:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Here's one of my first pics of Jupiter with the CPC 1100 and my brand spanking new Orion Star Shoot Deep Space cam:



This was a single shot frame -- no stacking but a bit of post-processing.

It was an unusually COLD night here in Tulsa Oklahoma but the seeing was great! After carefully collimating my CPC1100 I tried a few prime focus shots of the moon with my Canon Rebel, then quickly switched to my new cam, the Orion Star Shoot. Man, am I impressed with this little CCD! Can't wait to get more experienced with it.





Looks to me like your collimation is SPOT ON! Way to go!

Randy's right about AVI files stacked- does the Starshoot do AVIs, too? This camera is on my short list to buy once my scope budget recovers from this year's major purchases. I thought the Starshoot was intended more for DSOs then planets- good to know it can do both!

Cheers,
Paul




Yes, it's primarily advertised for DSOs but I didn't see any reason it could not do planets. It's very sensitive to light! You have to stop it down to about 1/2" to test it during daylight hours. It comes with MaxDL Essentials which will allow you to auto-capture multiple exposures and then stack them. I have not tried the stacking feature much yet. The camera seems like a good value for the money to me and works perfectly with the CPC1100.

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


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Futzman
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #954584 - 05/13/06 06:32 PM


Looks to me like your collimation is SPOT ON! Way to go!

Randy's right about AVI files stacked- does the Starshoot do AVIs, too? This camera is on my short list to buy once my scope budget recovers from this year's major purchases. I thought the Starshoot was intended more for DSOs then planets- good to know it can do both!

Cheers,
Paul




Here's a stacked one (6 frames) from last night:



I used a 2X barlow on camera this time.

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #957010 - 05/15/06 06:03 PM

Check to see if the SSDS can record AVI files; if so, it can do this type of stacking. If not, just record lots of single shots and stack them. The latter is a bit tedious, but my best Saturn photo was done this way. (See my website for the picture.)

Cheers,
Paul

ps- I'm in FL with my Apex 127 Mak- I'm going to see if I can't spot Omega Centauri some night! Wish me luck!

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #957036 - 05/15/06 06:22 PM

Omega Centuari is visible with binoculars. In the 127 it will be fairly bright but don't expect to resolve stars - but do tell us what you do see!

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #959080 - 05/17/06 12:42 AM

Quote:

Omega Centuari is visible with binoculars. In the 127 it will be fairly bright but don't expect to resolve stars - but do tell us what you do see!




You know, I was able to resolve some stars with M22 and M13- not to the core as with the CPC 1100, but still a pretty tight view! The Apex 127 is a very under-appreciated scope, actually. It's also purely Synta which shows me that Synta is capable of great things in the optics arena, too.

Two things will be a problem down here- first up, my arrival in FL with a scope has ended (thankfully, I guess) an unprecendented drought they've been suffering through! Secondly, my brother in law thought he had a camera tripod that I could mount the scope to- unfortunately, he can't find it now!

Still, I may be able to come up with some sort of solution before I leave. If all else fails, I'll go to a camera store and buy a tripod.

Cheers,
Paul

ps- gators are common around here- gulp!

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #959418 - 05/17/06 10:02 AM

You should be able to resolve some stars in Omega Centauri then. It's like M13 on steroids.

Everyone makes a big deal about certain scopes being good travel scopes but very few mention the tripod. Good tripods do not travel well! Maybe you can UPS the one you buy to yourself back home....

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #962356 - 05/19/06 12:18 PM

Well, I located Omega Centauri with binocs; now if I could just locate a tripod for the 127! Argh! (We still think there's one around- I'm in Key West right now- have to check again when we get back to Sarasota.) I sure miss my CPC 1100!!!!! Lots of cool stuff in the sky down here that's NOT visible in NJ!

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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krackerjack9
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/17/06
Posts: 611
Loc: LSA Anaconda, Iraq
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #963336 - 05/19/06 11:14 PM

I bet there is alot of stuff on the ground that is not visible in NJ,,haha

41 days togo and wake up call!!

--------------------
LSA Anaconda, Iraq
WO 66ED,Sirus 32mm, Orion Diagonal,10mm Celestron,25mm Possl [ Blair S.] Greensboro,NC WO 66APO Patriot
8mm Televue,4mm Or [ Donald B.] Boise,Idaho
Meade 6.7 Ultra Wide [ Chuck ] USA
Meade 26mm Plossl [ Glenda ] Fort Bliss,Tx
WO 1.25 Diagonal , 6mm Radian,4mmTMB, 40mm Meade 5000, 26mm and 32mm QX Meade, and some other stuff my Credit Card has been buying against my will, haha


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: krackerjack9]
      #967727 - 05/23/06 12:28 AM

Quote:

I bet there is alot of stuff on the ground that is not visible in NJ,,haha

41 days togo and wake up call!!




Oh, yeah- but this is a family forum, so I can't go into that!

I'm back in NJ now- so hopefully we'll get some more time with the CPC (it immediately clouded up here as the plane landed, of course!). No luck with Omega Centauri in FL (other then my crummy binoc view) as I finally got a tripod for the five inch Mak only to have clouds roll in on my last night there- I did get a pretty view of Jupiter thru some misty early clouds! (I've heard before that such thin layers of clouds can enhance planetary contrast- never saw it directly though) I left the Apex down in FL for future sessions.

I guess I'd have to buy a seat on the plane for the CPC 11"? No way my baby is going in the cargo/luggage section! At least it doesn't cry and fidget on long flights... at least, I think it doesn't...

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Futzman
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/16/06
Posts: 730
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #971582 - 05/25/06 01:34 PM

My first RGB with the CPC1100 at prime focus (no Barlows and such) using my new firewire camera:



I know this isn't the imaging forum but I thought you guys might like to see this. I love this CPC1100 (and the new cam of course!)

(I'm sorry I forgot to add this is about 180 images (60 each for R,G,B) stacked with Registax. I processed the RGB in Photoshop.)

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


Edited by Futzman (05/25/06 02:05 PM)


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
Posts: 16902
Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #971759 - 05/25/06 03:33 PM

Which camera did you use for that picture? That's GREAT!

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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Futzman
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/16/06
Posts: 730
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Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #971907 - 05/25/06 05:18 PM

Quote:

Which camera did you use for that picture? That's GREAT!




The 41AF02 B&W firewire camera. I just got it in a couple days ago. It shoots 1280x960 frames at a sustained rate of 15fps. I think it's going to be a real winner!

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


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Futzman
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/16/06
Posts: 730
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #973012 - 05/26/06 12:24 PM

Another one of Jupiter from last night:



Caught 3 of the moons in this one. I believe I can still improve on the scope's collimation.

Here's a closeup (x2 view):



I have no doubt the CPC1100 is capable of much more, I just need to try and figure out how to eek it out it.

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
Posts: 16902
Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #973021 - 05/26/06 12:30 PM

WOW, that's all I can say. WOW

C'mon, you got some slides out of a book and scanned them didn't you? You can tell us. Really now!

Seriously, that's great work. I'd love to get some results like that out of a camera attached to my scope(s).

Great work!

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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Mike28
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/21/03
Posts: 3069
Loc: Morris County,NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #973168 - 05/26/06 01:57 PM

Man that is a nice shot of Jupiter! Celestron Optics shining through!...Though I still love my NS11GPS....

--------------------
Mike

'The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once. Albert Einstein

NS11GPS/Sky align
Orion SkyQuest XX14g GoTo Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope
Celestron 80ED
TV Pronto
Coronado Ha PST





Edited by Mike28 (05/26/06 01:57 PM)


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b1gred
Enginerd


Reged: 04/01/04
Posts: 16902
Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Mike28]
      #973178 - 05/26/06 02:04 PM

Same optics, different shell and mechanics...

--------------------
"Dark Skies & Great Viewing"

RandyR / W0RDR
GPS 9.25 XLT/Sky Align /FeatherTouch
TV85 w/FeatherTouch





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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: b1gred]
      #973829 - 05/26/06 10:02 PM

Futz- Awesome shots! I think your optics are very well collimated! Extremely impressive shots of Jupiter- hats off!

I'm guessing (from the orange color) that that's Io off to the left?

I started to try some vids of Jupiter the other night with the NexImage- the GRS was dead-center as luck would have it- but alas, the clouds rolled over! (I think some dust got into the CCD chip of my NexImage as there were black dots not on any lens surface- need to figure out how that is cleaned- vacuum? I'll have to go out to the astro-photo forum to find the answer.) The best vid I got was unusable.

Anyway, keep those great shots coming!
Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Futzman
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/16/06
Posts: 730
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #973969 - 05/27/06 12:01 AM

Quote:

Futz- Awesome shots! I think your optics are very well collimated! Extremely impressive shots of Jupiter- hats off!

I'm guessing (from the orange color) that that's Io off to the left?

I started to try some vids of Jupiter the other night with the NexImage- the GRS was dead-center as luck would have it- but alas, the clouds rolled over! (I think some dust got into the CCD chip of my NexImage as there were black dots not on any lens surface- need to figure out how that is cleaned- vacuum? I'll have to go out to the astro-photo forum to find the answer.) The best vid I got was unusable.

Anyway, keep those great shots coming!
Cheers,
Paul




Thanks, Paul. I don't know if it's Io or not. Suppose I need to find out!

Seems like those special lens cleaning cloths by 3M work good for me for the dust problem. I think I bought mine at CompUSA. If you find a better method let me know!

I'm still suspicious about the collimation. When I use a Barlow it doesn't seem to be in focus good. Maybe it's just atmospheric problems. I'm too new at this CCD imaging thing to say

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #974712 - 05/27/06 05:21 PM Attachment (85 downloads)

Hi Futzman,

I did some detective work for you and figured out the moons in your photo- using Cartes du Ciel charting software and examining your photo closely and using the date you provided, I predicted (after running the moons about a bit in the program) that you took the photo on 5/25 near 11:45pm Eastern time (your local time zone is central (?) so it was more likely 10:45pm). I was able to capture the screen and reproduce the approximate positions of the moons depicted- I used another program to crop the photo and input the names of the moons.

Another great help in nailing down the time for the photo was the lack of a GRS (Great Red Spot) crossing (just missed it by about an hour or two).

Just in case the text is hard to read (you never know with Jpegs)- the moons from left to right are: Ganymede, Europa (I was wrong- GASP!), and Io.

Clear Skies,
Paul

Attachment

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Futzman
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/16/06
Posts: 730
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #974765 - 05/27/06 06:20 PM

Quote:

Hi Futzman,

I did some detective work for you and figured out the moons in your photo- using Cartes du Ciel charting software and examining your photo closely and using the date you provided, I predicted (after running the moons about a bit in the program) that you took the photo on 5/25 near 11:45pm Eastern time (your local time zone is central (?) so it was more likely 10:45pm). I was able to capture the screen and reproduce the approximate positions of the moons depicted- I used another program to crop the photo and input the names of the moons.

Another great help in nailing down the time for the photo was the lack of a GRS (Great Red Spot) crossing (just missed it by about an hour or two).

Just in case the text is hard to read (you never know with Jpegs)- the moons from left to right are: Ganymede, Europa (I was wrong- GASP!), and Io.

Clear Skies,
Paul




Excellent detective work Paul! Yes, I probably captured the AVIs around the time you predicted (10:45pm CDT). It's nice to know what moons I captured. I didn't realize Ganymede's orbit was that far out.

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #974889 - 05/27/06 08:45 PM

Of the Galilean Moons, Io is closest to Jupiter, then Europa, Ganymede and furthest out is Callisto (not in this photo). I think you might have Europa's shadow on the planet, too, btw.

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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yg1968
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/04
Posts: 1859
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #976560 - 05/29/06 01:34 PM

Here is my second light report. I had used the telescope before having my GPS fixed by Celestron, a couple of months ago. But my experience had been somewhat disapointing given that I had struggled with the alignment procedure (probably because of the GPS not working).

I started out with Jupiter. At the beginning I could not see much detail on Jupiter. But all of a sudden, things must have cleared up because I started seeing a lot more detail. I could see more than 2 bands on Jupiter and I could see the great red spot. I could also see the shadow of one of its moon on the planet. This is the most detail that I have been able to see on Jupiter so far. So I was very excited about it. I then turned to Saturn which was impressive as well but not as much as the last time that I had used the scope. This is probably due to the weather conditions (more turbulance than the last time) and the fact that Saturn was not as high in the Sky as it was the last time that I had used the scope. I had a hard time seing the Casinni division (the last time I could easily see it). Mars was small, so I didn't bother looking at it for very long.

The alignment was perfect as all objects were right in the eyepiece. I lost my alignment once because of cordwrap but the alignment procedure was easy both times. Everything was right in the eyepiece without having to work very hard at alignement.

I then turned my attention to DSOs. I saw many clusters M3, M5, M10, M12, M13 and M92. Clusters are simply amazing to look at with the CPC 11XLT. I also saw a number of galaxies M31, M51, M81, M82, M65, M66, M106, M110. I saw a couple of Nebulas M57 (Ring nebula) and M97 (Owl nebula). I was excited about being able to see M51 and M57 for the first time. I have seen so many pictures of M51, I couldn't wait to see it with "my own eyes". It was great, I could see the core of both galaxies. The spirals were hard to see, you could only see gray "dust" around the core but it was hard to see detail. M57 was small but I was excited to see it for the first time (I am used to see it in colour in pictures but I was still very excited to see it in black and white). The telescope that I had before my CPC 11 XLT was a Nexstar 114 GT that I bought for 200 CDN$ (180$US) at Costco (worth its price). So there was a huge difference in seing! The galaxy that I could see the best was M82 (the Cigar galaxy). M31 was interesting as you could see the core but its shape was hard to make out as it is larger than the field of view of the scope. I saw other galaxies in the M90s-M100s but I forget which ones they were as I was simply pressing randomily at Messier objects. I ended up going to sleep when the sun was rising at 4 PM! I had a chance to catch up on my sleep during the day. I am glad that I bought this telescope. Celestron did a fantastic job of fixing it as it now works flawlessly. It actually works even better than I expected.

Edited by yg1968 (05/29/06 02:17 PM)


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spaceydee
Postmaster


Reged: 04/16/04
Posts: 17311
Loc: Where the Kittens Are
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: yg1968]
      #976566 - 05/29/06 01:41 PM

that's great!

--------------------
Dee
space-scientist
student violinist
Nexstar8i,SV80S,80/9D,FC100,94 Brandon,TMB92SS,GM8
8" f/7 Discovery,12.5" Portaball, PST



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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: spaceydee]
      #993637 - 06/10/06 11:56 AM

It's been raining or cloudy practically every day and night for something like two to three solid weeks now- I'm beginning to forget how to use my scope!!!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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krackerjack9
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/17/06
Posts: 611
Loc: LSA Anaconda, Iraq
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #994431 - 06/10/06 10:34 PM

Your more than welcome to come down and give me a class on using mine,, its clear skies just about everyday for the next couple of weeks,, yeah I pushing fate!

--------------------
LSA Anaconda, Iraq
WO 66ED,Sirus 32mm, Orion Diagonal,10mm Celestron,25mm Possl [ Blair S.] Greensboro,NC WO 66APO Patriot
8mm Televue,4mm Or [ Donald B.] Boise,Idaho
Meade 6.7 Ultra Wide [ Chuck ] USA
Meade 26mm Plossl [ Glenda ] Fort Bliss,Tx
WO 1.25 Diagonal , 6mm Radian,4mmTMB, 40mm Meade 5000, 26mm and 32mm QX Meade, and some other stuff my Credit Card has been buying against my will, haha


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: krackerjack9]
      #996306 - 06/12/06 01:57 PM

ahhh- how I envy those of you with clear, dry southern skies!!!

A few years ago, NJ was all drought- water conservation matters were HUGE. I've solved all that with the purchase of my ultimate telescope- this has got to be one of the rainiest Springs in NJ for years! Worse yet, even when it's not raining, it's cloudy. We get some blue skies during the day- and at dusk, it hints that it might be clear- then WHAM!- clouds and/or rain. Even the local Skyclocks are having trouble making predictions!

Well, at least NJ's farmers are happy... and I can wash my car if I want to...

Last night, I was surprised to see Jupiter MUCH higher then the last chance I had out- that's HOW LONG it's been since the skies have been clear.

Krackerjack9- I'd be glad to show you how to use yours- even if it's via postings here. Let me know and I'll try to dredge up some memories of how to use the scope!

Oh, here's a tidbit- my bro-in-law who had a quadruple bypass a few years ago (he's fine now) was able to lift my CPC 1100. Not a bad illustration of the scope's ergonomics!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: krackerjack9]
      #996325 - 06/12/06 02:22 PM

You know, whenever I get around to a good method for tranporting my CPC 11 around, it's technically (but perhaps not practical) feasible that I could view Omega Centauri from NJ skies- it would take incredibly CLEAR skies and it would mean exposing my scope's optics to salt water air (if even briefly)- but according to Cartes du Ciel, Omega Centauri actually rises (around 10pm at this time of the year) to an altitude of 3 degrees, 46 minutes in the southernmost point of NJ- specifically the beaches south of Cape May overlooking the Delaware Bay. These beaches point due south. I'm guessing beach air and sand would be detrimental to XLT optics, but I'm not sure.

My view, even under excellent skies, would probably be greatly reduced from those living at points in the south- but I'll bet it's possible to see. (Actually, some from SJAC- the local astronomy club that I belong to- have said they caught Omega Centauri from NJ beaches looking south but I was somewhat skeptical of how high Omega Centauri would actually rise...)

I think some night I'll take a pair of binoculars down there (about an hour away) and see what I can see. If the binoculars can get it, the CPC can a million times better!

More things to think about under cloudy skies...

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Mike28
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/21/03
Posts: 3069
Loc: Morris County,NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #996351 - 06/12/06 02:51 PM

Hey Paul: It hasnt been exactly clear skies here in Morris County either! I was lucky to be out 2weeks ago for a 4 hrs romp with the NS11GPS. But I did test the Sky Align hc on it and it was dead on! F.Y.I. That hurricane down Fla will be dumping rain up here by Friday. Put on the slickers and gulashes boys, we're in for more rain!

--------------------
Mike

'The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once. Albert Einstein

NS11GPS/Sky align
Orion SkyQuest XX14g GoTo Truss Tube Dobsonian Telescope
Celestron 80ED
TV Pronto
Coronado Ha PST





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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Mike28]
      #998389 - 06/13/06 09:32 PM

NJ weather is usually pretty similar state-wide. It's a small state as far as storms are concerned.

Cheers,
Paul

ps- the skies are sorta clear tonight...

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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davidpitre
Post Laureate


Reged: 05/10/05
Posts: 3183
Loc: Central Texas
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #1001401 - 06/15/06 10:18 PM

Paul,
You inspired me to go catch Omega Centauri the other night.
I generally ignore it, because even here near the gulf coast it never gets very high. Though I only had my 3" refractor out, it was nevertheless a very impressive sight!

--------------------
David



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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: davidpitre]
      #1001443 - 06/15/06 11:04 PM

Cool! I'm a globular fanatic- ultimately I want to see Omega in all it's glory and go way south (of the equator, perhaps) for 47 Tucanae as well! Of course, with the skies the way they've been here in NJ of late- maybe just the Moon would be nice right now!

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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rboe



Reged: 03/16/02
Posts: 63466
Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #1001504 - 06/16/06 12:01 AM

It gets about one-two hands above the horizon here in AZ (southern AZ anyway - although I've caught it north of Prescott) and it still looks impressive.

--------------------
Ron


NS11GPS
Pronto
16" dob
127mm F9 Surplus Shed/Crawmach kit scope
Coronado SolarMax 40 on a Celestron 102 Wide Field



Best of ATM


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: rboe]
      #1010740 - 06/22/06 02:41 AM Attachment (94 downloads)

Finally- I got a night out under the stars! Well, under somewhat murky misty humid and mosquito-laced skies! Still, after a month of no scope nights, it was great fun! Jupiter's much higher in the sky now and looking pretty great- even in murky skies. I took my latest photo with the NexImage (I really need to get a better focusing solution for the finer details to come out) of Jupiter and got a good shot of the GRS and Red Spot Jr.

To ward off the mosquitos, I bundled up like it was the dead of winter (it's been hot-hot-hot here in NJ) and sprayed what small portions of my face and hands that were exposed with liberal amounts of "OFF" (or some other copy-cat spray) and setup the scope. Everything worked like a charm except for my Astrozap heated dew shield- it never really warmed up- it's either defective or the 1000 Oaks Heater controller is... will have to investigate next cloudy night.

Once setup, I was dismayed to see that my beloved Spica to Polaris alignment wasn't available (due to intervening houses) anymore- so I settled on a few others. Altair to Polaris wasn't bad- and got my objects centered nicely. One tip for CPC newbies: even if your scope's alignment isn't picture perfect, the target will probably drift thru the FOV at some point as the scope is slowing down to where it thinks the target is- you can stop the scope dead in it's tracks by simply hitting any of the direction keys (rather then watch the target drift in and pass out of the view).

For the first time using the CPC, I got a look at M27 aka "the Dumbell Nebula"- what a HUGE planetary in the CPC! It looked 3D and like a puffy cloud! It's shape was clearly discernable- truly amazing what a difference a bigger mirror makes! M13, now at the zenith, was awesome- and so comfortable to view sitting down as well. M92 never looked so good. M57 looked spectacular as I reported previously- however, the central star wasn't as visible this time around.

I poked around the star fields of Cygnus and I also took a look at M11 over in Scutum; what a gorgeous open cluster- it's stars are so dense, it practically looks like a globular cluster that got whacked. M10 and M12 are nice little globulars to view in Ophiuchus (I really hate that name for that constellation...). Still want to find Barnard's Star; Sky and Telescope had a finder chart in a recent issue- I'll have to dig it up.

M80 and M4 were challenging due to dew and horribly murky southern skies- by the time Sagittarius started to clear the local trees, the air became intolerably murky and I called it a night.

Well, hopefully we'll get some clearer skies sometime soon- I really kinda drifted all over the sky with no real agenda since I knew my time would be limited last night- but it was a real ball nevertheless.

Clear Skies,
Paul

Attachment

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Pasquale
Encrypted


Reged: 10/12/05
Posts: 2224
Loc: Arifjan, Kuwait
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #1014142 - 06/24/06 01:17 PM

Good capture, Paul... nice detail for New Jersey... I can't get that up here in Washington, Jupiter's just too low in the sky...

--------------------
Pasquale
Go Mariners!

NexStar 9.25 GPS / SkyAlign
Stellarvue SV102ED
WO ZS80FD Anniversary
WO ZS66ED Triplet
Vixen Sphinx SXW
Canon EOS XT/350D, Meade DSI, NexImager


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Futzman
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/16/06
Posts: 730
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Pasquale]
      #1014384 - 06/24/06 04:55 PM

Good job Paul. I modified it a bit. Hope you don't mind. I hit it with some levels adjustment in PS6, unsharp mask and curves adjustment. Brings the color to a more natural state and more details too.



--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400, Orion 120ST
Daystar 0.7A H-Alpha Filter
StellaCam II
SKYnyx 2-0M
Celestron SkyScout (ROCKS!)
Canon 5D w/ Canon 300mm f2.8 & 200mm f1.8


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Futzman]
      #1016992 - 06/26/06 03:34 PM

Quote:

Good job Paul. I modified it a bit. Hope you don't mind. I hit it with some levels adjustment in PS6, unsharp mask and curves adjustment. Brings the color to a more natural state and more details too.




COOL!!! I only used Registax 3 to do the processing- I actually reddened up the picture a bit to bring out the "red spot junior". I absolutely don't mind you tinkering with the photo!

I have Photoshop 6.0 as well, but it's my wife's program and I haven't played with it that much; it seems very complicated. Anyway- since this isn't considered the appropriate venue for "how-to" photography discussions, perhaps you could send me some of your tips in a private message using CN's email?

Cheers,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Pasquale]
      #1017927 - 06/27/06 01:08 AM Attachment (72 downloads)

Quote:

Good capture, Paul... nice detail for New Jersey... I can't get that up here in Washington, Jupiter's just too low in the sky...




Yeah, Jove's laying low for at least the next couple of years- 2009 it'll be a little north of Capricorn at about the same height as it is in Libra now; 2007 and 2008 will have it deep in Scorpio and Sagittarius. By 2009-2010 the planet will be better placed for viewers in more northerly latitudes. (And fall skies will be less murky affording you a better view, as well.)

Speaking of Jupiter's future positions, I wanted to see how close the planet would come to Antares during it's swing thru Scorpio in '07- as it turns out, it doesn't get much closer then 5 degrees of arc, but on the other hand, Jupiter swings very close to the star Omega Scorpio from about July 31, 2007 thru August 14th, 2007- in fact, during that time, Jupiter & the moons and Omega Scorpio should all be within the same FOV in a CPC's 11" optics using an 18mm X-Cel ep. (That's what I tell Cartes to show for eps)

Since Omega Scorpio is slightly brighter then Ganymede, it will be interesting to compare and contrast it's appearance to the Galilean moons so close by. With so many bright stars and rich clusters, Jupiter will have some pretty nice backgrounds in the Scorpio/Sag region for '07 and '08.

Here's how the field will look (as described above) on the closest approach on August 8th, 2007 (red border is the 18mm ep FOV).

Clear Skies,
Paul


Attachment

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm

Latin phrase to live by: "Illegitimis nil carborundum"


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Paul McC
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/03/06
Posts: 1004
Loc: Southern NJ
Re: "my" CPC 1100- experience and impressions... new [Re: Paul McC]
      #1026707 - 07/02/06 10:20 PM

I was showing my brother my gorgeous scope today when he pointed out a speck on the secondary mirror. I think it's a dead bug. What's the best way to get rid of it without taking the scope's optics apart- something I've vowed never to do!

I was thinking of setting my vaccuum cleaner hose to low power (it's a central vac, and it's suction is adjustable) and placing the hose over the visual back with the primary pointing up. (I can hear the screams already...) Gravity would then assist with the vacuum providing some air currents. I don't think there's anything loose inside an SCT that the vaccuum could pull away... is there?

Or perhaps just pointing the primary up and rapping lightly on the secondary? (You know this WON'T work...)

Or I could leave it alone. (But I hate that idea...)

Clear Skies,
Paul

--------------------
My Current Time Machine is a
Celestron CPC 1100 GPS XLT
aka - The Time Tunnel


My Celestron CPC 1100 Webpage:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/pmccullough/skyportcpc1100.htm<