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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
14" SCT setup/teardown concerns
      #5655622 - 02/01/13 06:11 AM

I am planning on making a purchase of either the Celestron 14" edge HD or Meade 14" LX-850 (if there is one by then) in a little over a year. I do not have an observatory and would need to take it in and out of the house each use. Is this something that can be done reasonably safe (for me and the equipment) each time? I am not exactly a young man anymore and in my early 50's and I would have no help. I would need to negotiate about 4 or 5 steps on our porch each time. I know that probably nobody has experience setting up the LX-850 so most likely nobody can tell me if one make would have an advantage over the other as far as ease of setup. Are these scopes too big/bulky for me to handle solo? Should I consider something smaller?

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bilgebay
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Reged: 11/06/08

Loc: Türkiye - Istanbul and Marmar...
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5655624 - 02/01/13 06:14 AM

YES!

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Qwickdraw
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5655639 - 02/01/13 06:34 AM

Sedat, I read your post on downsizing your 11" and it prompted me to finally post my question which has been on my mind for a while now as a consideration in my purchase.
Is it the fixing of the OTA to the mount that I should be most concerned with? If so, I wonder if there is any harware that can be devised or modified to hold the OTA in place while attaching it such as a simple "cherry picker"
as shown here


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bilgebay
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5655645 - 02/01/13 06:40 AM

Nope, this is the easy part actually

You should watch this.


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bilgebay
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5655656 - 02/01/13 06:51 AM

However, when it takes a while to set up or when it is difficult to do so, you start to think about it twice. This means, your scope will sit on the shelf unused if you have other scopes to use. In the beginning, you don't care about this but over the time this is what happens.

If I had had a permanent setup, I would have gone for a C14 or even for a C18 (if Celestron had made this available )

I am noticing that my hand automatically goes to my FSQ106 when I am picking a scope for imaging. However, after getting used to the Hyperstar speed, FSQ is very slow indeed. I am not hapy with FSQ's performance in that respect, especially when doing narrow band. It may be a great scope for full frame chips but for me, 90 % of the light it is collecting is being wasted.


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mdowns
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Reged: 06/12/10

Loc: Englewood,FL
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5655657 - 02/01/13 06:52 AM

I dont know of any cherry picker arrangement but I am in a similar sistuation. I have a c11 mounted on a G11. At my age I cant break it down and reassemble as i would have when young. For me,the telegizmo 365 works great. I assembled the scope once.Its been outside here in sw florida for 4 months with zero problems. I simply remove the cover and its ready to go. Perhaps this would work for you as well.

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m2k
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Reged: 12/10/06

Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5655682 - 02/01/13 07:25 AM

Sedat is exactly right when he says you won't use the scope after once or twice struggling with it. If you can put it (and keep it) on wheely bar or scope buggy, then maybe. Otherwise no. (I have mine on wheely or I would not own one...)
Best wishes,
Mike


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Mirzam
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: m2k]
      #5655706 - 02/01/13 07:50 AM

Would it be possible to have a small garden shed that would allow keeping the scope assembled on a wheely bar at ground level? Then you could just roll it out of the shed.

My friend has a C-14 and is a very dedicated amateur. It takes him a good 45 minutes to set up and nearly as much time to tear down. You need to carry separately: tripod, mount head, weights, batteries (for dew control), OTA, accessories (eyepieces, computers, cameras etc). And put it all together.

JimC


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LouHalikman
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Reged: 02/23/11

Loc: North Central Maryland
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Mirzam]
      #5655734 - 02/01/13 08:12 AM

Think smaller!!

Consider a smaller scope with a Mallincam to enhance the visual experience.

A C 8 with a Mallincam will outperform a C 14 any day. I have an observatory mounted C 14; I hope I never have to move it again. Lou


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hottr6
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: m2k]
      #5655743 - 02/01/13 08:15 AM

Watch this vid of a large 'scope and GEM on a scopebuggy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xp2gWQe9XlE
3 mins and you are done (except for eyepieces, chair, table).

Without the scopebuggy, the rig would go unused.


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WadeH237
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Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: hottr6]
      #5655898 - 02/01/13 09:26 AM

I'm almost 50, and I can setup/teardown my CGE-1400 without any concerns for safety.

The other comments about how often you will *want* to do this are spot on. I have quite a few scopes and the C14 is the last one I reach for when I want to observe from home, even though it is the best for viewing.

I make several week-long trips to dark sky site star parties over the summer. Since I'm set up for a week or more at a time, my C14 is a workhorse there and I love it.


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Qwickdraw
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: m2k]
      #5655946 - 02/01/13 09:45 AM

Quote:

Sedat is exactly right when he says you won't use the scope after once or twice struggling with it. If you can put it (and keep it) on wheely bar or scope buggy, then maybe. Otherwise no. (I have mine on wheely or I would not own one...)
Best wishes,
Mike




Wow is that discouraging to think after one or two uses I will not want to use it again. Right now my way of thinking is even if it takes an hour to set up and another hour to tear down I will still enjoy it. So basically what I am hearing is that physically it is not too much weight or awkwardness but it is more the task as a whole that will be a problem. I do have a moderately sized shed about of about 10'X 18' that I could keep it in. It is currently unheated and I would be afraid of the extreme temperature variations effecting it in adverse ways. I know it can go from over 100 deg to 60 routinely during the summer. If that is not a problem I am sure I could move the snow blower and a few other things over to make room.


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Mirzam
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Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5655988 - 02/01/13 10:07 AM

People leave scopes like this set up in unconditioned observatories all the time. You should take some precautions but the shed is definitely the way to go IMO.

I use a large cassegrain and alternately a large astrograph in my roll-of-roof observatory. There are occasional dewing issues to deal with. One nice thing about an SCT is that the tube can be tightly closed with a desiccant inside. The front corrector can be protected from dewing with a dew heater.

JimC


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Bruce FitzGerald
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5655989 - 02/01/13 10:07 AM Attachment (62 downloads)

Whether you consider a smaller scope or not is up to you. My C-14 was difficult to set up on it's tripod so I went a different route, a telescoping pedestal. When raised to the highest position all that is required is lift the OTA onto a 24 in tall kitchen step stool, rotate the RA axis so it is parallel with the ground then adjust the DEC axis so the saddle on the mount is vertical pointing down. Slide the OTA up against the saddle, tighten the mounting screws then raise the pedestal to clear the stool and rotate the scope up into the "home position". Do your alignment and off you go.

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Steve Cobb
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Reged: 04/26/10

Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5656052 - 02/01/13 10:29 AM

It can be done. I have a C-14 CGEM-DX. I am nearly 70 and essentially put the fifty pound OTA on the mount each time by myself. That is the only really hard part although the tripod and the mount are both separate, heavy pieces. Something I find very helpful is to have a step ladder or other high chair type apparatus so you can lift the OTA from the ground to a step 3 or more feet off the ground, pause for a moment, and then lift it onto the mount. That works for me easier than going from ground to mount in one movement. The type of mounting bar on the scope and mount interface are quite unhelpful since it is difficult to just set the OTA into the mount. It needs to be slid in rather than placed directly in unless you really loosen the mount until the device which holds the OTA is so loose it almost falls off. That is how I do it since holding up the heavy OTA and wiggling it until it slides in is too hard. With regard to whether you will use it; I do not take it if it is a city star party where we don't have dark skies. Otherwise I do although it does take the better part of am hour to set it up. Add another hour if the finder scope is not calibrated with the OTA and you have to try to remedy that by pointing the OTA. Taking it down is no problem.

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Qwickdraw
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Steve Cobb]
      #5656192 - 02/01/13 11:36 AM

Quote:

It can be done. I have a C-14 CGEM-DX. I am nearly 70 and essentially put the fifty pound OTA on the mount each time by myself. That is the only really hard part although the tripod and the mount are both separate, heavy pieces. Something I find very helpful is to have a step ladder or other high chair type apparatus so you can lift the OTA from the ground to a step 3 or more feet off the ground, pause for a moment, and then lift it onto the mount. That works for me easier than going from ground to mount in one movement. The type of mounting bar on the scope and mount interface are quite unhelpful since it is difficult to just set the OTA into the mount. It needs to be slid in rather than placed directly in unless you really loosen the mount until the device which holds the OTA is so loose it almost falls off. That is how I do it since holding up the heavy OTA and wiggling it until it slides in is too hard. With regard to whether you will use it; I do not take it if it is a city star party where we don't have dark skies. Otherwise I do although it does take the better part of am hour to set it up. Add another hour if the finder scope is not calibrated with the OTA and you have to try to remedy that by pointing the OTA. Taking it down is no problem.




Steve, You are an inspiration. Is your c14 on a fork mount?
The video posted earlier shows a real easy way to connect it to a GEM which is basically the same thing I have been doing with newt already. You basically convinced me to go ahead and get the 14" instead of something smaller. BTW, you are not a former Mr. America or something right?


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Jim Davenport
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Loc: Seminole Fl
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5656244 - 02/01/13 12:13 PM

Quote:

Nope, this is the easy part actually

You should watch this.




The method in this video works great.
My scope is only a C-11, but I use this method.
Im in my late sixties. When I went to our dark sight, I always needed help the C-11 on and off of My Atlas EQ-6. This is pretty much effortless.
I bet it would work just as easily with the C-14.


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t.r.
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5656253 - 02/01/13 12:16 PM

Where there is a will, there is a way! Only YOU can determine how much you will set-up and use such a scope. One persons ease is anothers pain-in-the-asympotote! But something can be said for getting a larger scope, when age begins to narrow your eyes pupil diameter, the extra aperture can do great things in the visibility of objects.

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aa6ww
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Reged: 10/23/11

Loc: Sacramento, Calif.
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: t.r.]
      #5656359 - 02/01/13 01:20 PM

Once you have something as potent as a C14, everything smaller is jist a subsitute till you can get that beast back up and use it. The ota is much lighter than the meade 14. I haul mine around in a cart i got from northen tool company, i call it the astro cart. You dont have to loft the scope on the mount to install it. Just make yourself a small strong table you can sit your C14 on face down beside your mount and swing your mount around without counterweights to line up with your dovetail then attach your scope to the mount, then attach the counterweights. Its agreat idea. I put a moving blanket on a tavle to protect the beautiful finish of the scope. The ota isnt that heavy but youd have a high lift on the cge pro, so its something to consider. Ive been doing this for 10+ years. Good luck..
..... Ralph


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bilgebay
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5656606 - 02/01/13 03:40 PM

As I said earlier, setting up the mount and mounting the scope on the mount is not difficult at all... but....after a while, you don't want to do it... maybe it's me, I dunno....

In the following photos, you can see me setting up an AP1200 mount and a C14 Edge for the first light in addition to my own mount and C11 Edge. It is easily doable, no problem.

In this first photo, my Vixen New Atlux mount is seen on the pier in the foreground. In the background, we are preparing my friend, Ozzy's AP1200 mount and C14 Edge Scope for the first light.



Click here for hires photo

Mounting C14 on the AP1200 is very easy, using Greg's method.




Click here for hires photo

My C11 Edge is also mounted now. Ready for the evening.


Click here for hires photo

Edge Bros at work



Clear skies


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Steve Cobb
member


Reged: 04/26/10

Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5656844 - 02/01/13 05:44 PM

Nope. Not Mr. Anything although I do think about running for Governor of California from time to time. The CGEM-DX is the 50 pound payload version of the CGEM German Equatorial Mount. Because it breaks down into heavy but doable pieces it is possible for one person and especially for one person with someone else there to be sure you don't push the tripod and mount over, etc. There is no way I could even lift a C-14 on an attached fork mount that didn't totally disassemble. Curling C-14s keeps you in shape but there are limits.

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spongebob@55
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Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Steve Cobb]
      #5657355 - 02/01/13 11:20 PM

Quote:

It can be done. I have a C-14 CGEM-DX. I am nearly 70 and essentially put the fifty pound OTA on the mount each time by myself. That is the only really hard part although the tripod and the mount are both separate, heavy pieces. Something I find very helpful is to have a step ladder or other high chair type apparatus so you can lift the OTA from the ground to a step 3 or more feet off the ground, pause for a moment, and then lift it onto the mount. That works for me easier than going from ground to mount in one movement. The type of mounting bar on the scope and mount interface are quite unhelpful since it is difficult to just set the OTA into the mount. It needs to be slid in rather than placed directly in unless you really loosen the mount until the device which holds the OTA is so loose it almost falls off. That is how I do it since holding up the heavy OTA and wiggling it until it slides in is too hard. With regard to whether you will use it; I do not take it if it is a city star party where we don't have dark skies. Otherwise I do although it does take the better part of am hour to set it up. Add another hour if the finder scope is not calibrated with the OTA and you have to try to remedy that by pointing the OTA. Taking it down is no problem.




RIGHT ON! I know I have at least another 13 years to do the same for my C14 and CGE PRO. Yee Ha!
Bob


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Rick Woods
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5657540 - 02/02/13 03:05 AM

My 14" is permanently mounted, and on a fork; so I have no direct experience.

BUT: If this were me, I'd go the scope buggy route. A max of 100 degrees in your shed should be OK; just have a box fan or two running all the time in there when it's hot and you're not using it. It gets a lot hotter here, so I had to put in a window A/C unit.

Also, I suggest mounting rings instead of the dove-tail mount. Less flexure, and easier to mount and secure the OTA. I watched a friend mounting his C11 on a dovetail, and he almost crashed and burned a couple of times. Rings would be easy. (This is just based on what seems reasonable to me; in real life, maybe I'm wrong).

I do know that the bloom will be off the rose fairly soon if you have to set up and tear down that monster every time.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5658092 - 02/02/13 12:53 PM

I really can't recommend the C14 for anything but permanetly mounting. You should certainly not buy one until you have a chance to see one and lift/mount it in person. This is really the key to deciding whether or not to get one. They really are immense and photos and numbers simply don't do them justice. There are definitely ways to handle this size OTA that work, but as others have mentioned, you are likely to find it simply too combersome and end up not using it. The C11 is a much more manageable size, but it is by no means small an light either. If you are unable to see and lift one in person, then I would definitely not buy anything bigger than the C11.

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Wil2010
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Reged: 08/17/10

Loc: Millville, CA
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5660532 - 02/03/13 06:27 PM

Greetings.

When I took the leap, I had no concerns that I could set up and tare down the C14 and CGE Mount with ease. After only a few times I sadly realized that the C14 set up was a bit to big to do it often. The OTA is the size of a small trash can and manipulating it in the dark is a feat that has you on pins and needles. The OTA doesn't exactly weigh too much, about 50 lbs, but the large awkward size is what makes it difficult. I finally came to the realization that I just wasn't using this amazing equipment all that much, so sadly I am selling it off. I will most likely buy a smaller set up that will allow me to use it more. This is just my 2 cents worth but the C14 is a pretty darn big OTA Good Luck with whatever you choose to do. Clear Skies WiL

PS. The C11 is a wonderful size OTA. ... OTA is 28lbs or so, but that darn aperture fever set in and I sold it off to purchase the C14 LOL darn it! Will I ever learn??


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Wil2010]
      #5660643 - 02/03/13 08:00 PM

I am in the unique position of having owned both the 14" LX850 and the 14" EdgeHD. with CGE-PRO. For me they are about the same. I'd say the mount is heavier on the CGE-Pro but it can be broken down into two more manageable parts. The LX850 is lighter and has grab handles to make it a little easier to manage but has other drawbacks. Either way is equally difficult. I typically set up on a Friday night and tear down on a Monday morning but now'a'days unless there is bad weather I just leave it up but covered.

The OTA weight was about the same for me.

Edit: And what others have said I find to be true as well. I find myself gravitating towards my lighter grab-n-go stuff because I can be up and running in minutes and have it all put away again in minutes. I am in the market for an 8"EdgeHD for my Advanced VX mount for visual only.

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (02/03/13 08:03 PM)


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KDizzle
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Reged: 09/12/08

Loc: Woodinville, WA
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5660877 - 02/03/13 11:03 PM

Negotiating stairs while carrying this type of equipment is a definite bad idea. I don't even like to walk stairs with the CPC1100. Moving a CGE Pro isn't particularly difficult but it's not in the category of "fun". Plus, putting everything together again, rebalancing etc will become not-very-fun.

It's been mentioned already, but the solution here is really for something like wheely bars. My biggest scope with mount, counterweights and everything on it is probably ~300 lbs and it takes all of about 1 minute to roll it out and start aligning. If I had to take it apart and rebuild it each night, I'd need to have friends come over.


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Rick Woods
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: KDizzle]
      #5661077 - 02/04/13 02:17 AM

With the LX850, I wonder if Meade is moving toward abandoning the fork mount?

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EFT
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5661535 - 02/04/13 11:07 AM

Quote:

With the LX850, I wonder if Meade is moving toward abandoning the fork mount?




I doubt it. The LX600/650 is supposed to be next out and they would have to be crazy to abandon the LX90 and LX200 lines or something similar. The question is whether Meade is moving toward anything other than oblivion at this point.


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Steve Cobb
member


Reged: 04/26/10

Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Wil2010]
      #5661756 - 02/04/13 01:14 PM

You make a good point about dealing with a C-14 in the dark. That is one of the rules I seem to be developing about it's use versus a C-8. I don't take the C-14 if there is a realistic chance of it clouding up so there will be usage time limits or if there will be a lot of light pollution. I also try to get to the observing spot before it gets dark. I feel more comfortable putting up the beast in daylight. Taking it down in the dark is not a problem. Gravity helps greatly.

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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Steve Cobb]
      #5662023 - 02/04/13 03:47 PM

I set my 14" up in my mobile observatory, I have a cross bar above the tripod that I attache a winch to. This allows me to suspend the OTA over the mount. Then safely lower.

Tony


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5662027 - 02/04/13 03:50 PM

Quote:

I am in the unique position of having owned both the 14" LX850 and the 14" EdgeHD. with CGE-PRO.
/quote] - Whichwayisnorth

I too purchased a 14" LX800/850 that was recalled. When did you get your back, and, do you get to keep it or were you simply beta testing?

Tony

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Qwickdraw
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Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: ahopp]
      #5664171 - 02/05/13 07:01 PM

Well, things just got a little more problematic for me. I have been in the hospital since Friday after suffering a mild heart attack. Three stents later added to my prior two makes five. Next time will be open heart bypass if there is a next time. Not to say that carrying a scope outside would be too much but dang, I am only 52 years old.

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Rick Woods
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5664307 - 02/05/13 08:52 PM

Well, damn - that sounds like a whole lot of no fun! Maybe you should stand down on that 14", and think about maybe an 8" on wheels, or even something smaller!

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Scott BeithAdministrator
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5664415 - 02/05/13 10:11 PM

I hope you heal quickly! Take care of yourself.

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bilgebay
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Scott Beith]
      #5664560 - 02/06/13 01:37 AM

I wish you a soon recovery.

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Stelios
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5667378 - 02/07/13 04:05 PM

Get better, then take care of yourself. At 52 it's not too late to make lifestyle changes to make sure that you enjoy astronomy and all that life has to offer for many, many more years.

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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5668006 - 02/07/13 10:41 PM

If you're going to be negotiating steps, this could be enough to discourage you from using it as much as you'd like. You'll have to make several trips for sure. Do you have a garage? I used to have a CGE/C14 and had the whole shootn'match on a Scopebuggy. It sure made life easier to just wheel the stuff out in one fell swoop.

But, if it's up and down steps, you might want to think about the C11 instead. I just installed one in my observatory and found it fairly light and I've got the shoulders of 75 year old...darn weight lifting injuries.

David


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Qwickdraw
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5671070 - 02/09/13 05:23 PM

Quote:

If you're going to be negotiating steps, this could be enough to discourage you from using it as much as you'd like. You'll have to make several trips for sure. Do you have a garage? I used to have a CGE/C14 and had the whole shootn'match on a Scopebuggy. It sure made life easier to just wheel the stuff out in one fell swoop.

But, if it's up and down steps, you might want to think about the C11 instead. I just installed one in my observatory and found it fairly light and I've got the shoulders of 75 year old...darn weight lifting injuries.

David




I do have a rather large shed with double doors. My biggest concerns with the shed are somebody breaking into it and it can get well over 110 deg in there in the summer.


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Matt Houston
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Loc: Florida
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5674622 - 02/11/13 06:57 PM

I had an EdgeHD 14" with the CGE Pro mount a few years ago when they first came out. I set it up by myself once and I was a nervous wreck. I knew that one mistake would be disaster. I'm a strong guy and go the gym frequently, so lifting heavy objects isn't such a big deal. But lifting a precision instrument and holding it up with one hand while I tighten the mount screws with the other...I decided to sell the scope after that.

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schinia
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Matt Houston]
      #6368128 - 02/10/14 11:32 AM

i was always careful lifting things, always tried to do it right. until one day i hit the ground, and spent two weeks in the hospital w/three herniated discs. it was a complete life change. no more going into the mountains with my horse for a week. no more anything. i couldn't go anywhere that i could go down and not be able to get up. i always had to be with someone. it meant no more hunting, metal detecting, walking in the woods, white water canoeing. as i said it was a complete life changing shock. so think wisely, expect the unexpected, and you will be alright.

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PeterR280
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: schinia]
      #6368209 - 02/10/14 12:21 PM

I have a C11 on a G11 mount and it is a chore to set up. I would love to be able to set it up permanently.It's not just the scope. You have to carry all the components of the mount. Once the whole thing is set up, it is quite heavy. I am trying to figure out a scope buggy way of dealing with it.

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rmollise
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6368247 - 02/10/14 12:43 PM

For most people, going heavier than a C11 is a mistake if the scope must be used regularly in a portable setup. Yeah, there are ways to get the OTA on the saddle without busting a gut, but most people will tire of toting a C14 around right quick.

Edited by rmollise (02/10/14 12:43 PM)


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WesC
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: rmollise]
      #6368366 - 02/10/14 01:37 PM

I went though the same conundrum... I wanted a BIG aperture SCT, but I also wanted something that I could carry, maintain and setup by myself for many years to come. I waffled back and forth with the C11HD and the C14HD... until I saw the C14HD in person. Then it was HELL NO.

Seriously, the difference in size and weight is HUGE. Then I went back and forth between the C11HD and 9.25HD... that difference was much less, so much less so that I bought the C11HD and have been VERY happy with it for the last year.

I have no trouble at all setting up and breaking down, its very easily manageable at 28lbs.

I'm 48, not in moderately fair shape, have had major back surgery, 7 broken ribs and a broken collarbone.

No, not from astronomy!


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GeneT
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6371397 - 02/11/14 11:25 PM

I hope you get a full, speedy recovery. Keep your dreams of a good telescope, and it will help you recover. I am 70 years old, and I have to enjoy this hobby within my own physical limitations.

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amicus sidera
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6371411 - 02/11/14 11:35 PM

Unless one has exceptional musculature and sense of balance, I believe that attempting to regularly set up a C14 by oneself, in addition to having to navigate a set of stairs, will eventually end in tears.

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jhayes_tucson
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6371426 - 02/11/14 11:49 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

Quote:

I am planning on making a purchase of either the Celestron 14" edge HD or Meade 14" LX-850 (if there is one by then) in a little over a year. I do not have an observatory and would need to take it in and out of the house each use. Is this something that can be done reasonably safe (for me and the equipment) each time? I am not exactly a young man anymore and in my early 50's and I would have no help. I would need to negotiate about 4 or 5 steps on our porch each time. I know that probably nobody has experience setting up the LX-850 so most likely nobody can tell me if one make would have an advantage over the other as far as ease of setup. Are these scopes too big/bulky for me to handle solo? Should I consider something smaller?




I have a C14 on a "roll-out" pier. Today, I had to pull it all apart for some upgrades and I had forgotten how difficult it is to manage solo. I am an active technical rock climber and I'm in reasonably good shape so the weight of the OTA doesn't feel extreme. However, combine the weight with the size and position of the OTA on the mount and the possibility of bobbling it during set up goes way up. I remind myself each time I pull it apart that, "I could drop this thing!" No matter how you cut it, a 14" scope is just too big to be set up and broken down for each session--particularly if you are planing to do it on your own. If I had to set up in the dark by myself, the number of times I'd be willing to go through the process and actually use the telescope would go WAY down. In my view the 14" is perfect for an observatory or for a "roll out" set up like I have. I've posted it on a couple of other forums, but in case you missed it, I'll attach a photo so you can see what I mean by "roll-out". I love the aperture of the 14", but if you need to move it each time you use it, I suggest that you don't go larger than 11". It only takes dropping it one time to pretty much lose your investment and if it's easy, you'll use it a lot more.
John


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #6371435 - 02/11/14 11:53 PM

14" requires help no matter how fit you are. I put my 10" LX200 at my upper "comfortable" limit. For my 14" LX850 I do require help with the mount head and definitely with the OTA. Even if you can hoist this weight, a 14" OTA is just too big and bulky - why risk dropping it? And even though I am a fairly fit 51 year old lad (I sail and mountain climb), I always have helpers with the LX850. I sometimes even have a "spotter" with the 10" LX200 for a piece of mind.

I use a semi-permanent set up at my home using my Telegizmos cover, and I hope to have it in an observatory in the next year. 14" is simply not very portable and is not a quick "grab and go". I do love the view from it however!


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Eddgie
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6371912 - 02/12/14 09:51 AM

For me personally, it was not so much the C14 itself.

The tube is about 50 lbs, but I did not find that difficult to manage. I used an observing chair that could let me get close to the ground for zenith, and this meant that I could use the scope on a CGE with the legs almost fully retracted (just left enough inside leg out for leveling, about 1 ".

This meant that I kept the lift height reasonable.

The OTA itself "Dead" carrires well becuase of the two handles.

I owned the C14 many years and totally loved using it.

But it was not the size or weight of the OTA that finally drove me out.

It was the totallity of it all. Not only do you have the C14, but now you have a big mount that has to be broken down into pieces to move in and out, and two big counterweights (which even here I could carry out both at the same time).

Now this is actually going to be true for a C11 as well. It would not be the OTA, but rather the mount and couterweights and all the trips needed to get everything in and out. To me, the difference between the C11 and C14 in terms of total effort to deploy is pretty small actually, and given the small extra effort required to move the C14 in and out vs the C11 (the "Total" effort) I always felt he C14 was worth it (vs the smaller C11).

But there is more to it than taking the scope out.

If I had a forcast for good weather, I would usually just leaven the mount in place and snatch the OTA on and off. This quick and easy enough to do.

But over the years, I had more than one instance where the weather turned bad and I found myself having to break camp with the mount more often than not.

And it was this constant re-suffling of the mount in and out that finallly got to me.

And just to be very clear, this is why my 6" APO does not get used that much. It isn't the scope.. Its the mount!!!

This is the commitment you make to use a C11, C14, or 6" APO. The mount itself will be far to big to take out in one trip, so you are constantly takeing he mount apart and putting it back together.

In my own opinion, the C14 was literally no more trouble than the C11 because the mount was far more difficult to manage than the actual OTA. The difference in tube weight and bulk cannot be dismissed, but the effort to bring the mount in and out is almost identical between the C11 and C14, and this is where the real effort is for these two OTAs. Both of them take a big mount with a lot of counterweight, and this means a lot of trips not only to set up, but to take down...
I eventually went to a 12" dob that can be moved on a Hand Truck because I just got tired of moving the mount in and out... Not the C14, but the mount that carried it..


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rmollise
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6371972 - 02/12/14 10:21 AM

Quote:



But it was not the size or weight of the OTA that finally drove me out.

It was the totallity of it all. Not only do you have the C14, but now you have a big mount that has to be broken down into pieces to move in and out, and two big counterweights (which even here I could carry out both at the same time).






Bingo.


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jhayes_tucson
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Eddgie]
      #6372045 - 02/12/14 10:55 AM

And, that's another reason that the binocular forum is so active...

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WesC
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: rmollise]
      #6372059 - 02/12/14 10:59 AM

Yep, I have to agree. Carrying my Edge 11 is no big deal. Carrying my set up CGEM, without counterweights of course, is heavy and a little awkward. But I can manage it pretty well and I don't mind.

But that is definitely the biggest part to deal with.

Once I'm at the eyepiece though, it's all worth it.


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WesC
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: WesC]
      #6372072 - 02/12/14 11:06 AM

I love binocs... But without a steady mount, they're frustrating to use. And then we're back to carrying heavy equipment again!

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CharlesW
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: WesC]
      #6372141 - 02/12/14 11:44 AM

After having been to a few star parties and association meetings I have noticed that most astronomers aren't particularly "physical specimens." The fact of the matter is, if you want to be portable with a C14, you might have to do some push-ups. Go to a sporting goods store and buy a couple of 20lb dumbbells and do some curls. Using a C14 does require some commitment, there is no getting around it.

Edited by CharlesW (02/12/14 11:51 AM)


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rmollise
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: CharlesW]
      #6372159 - 02/12/14 11:52 AM

Quote:

After having been to a few star parties and association meetings I have noticed that most astronomers aren't particularly "physical specimens." The fact of the matter is, if you want to be portable with a C14, you might have to do some push-ups. Go to a sporting goods store and buy a couple of 20lb dumbbells and do some curls. Using a C14 does require some commitment, there is no getting around it.




Which might help a little, but not much. The problem is not that the C14 is overly heavy. It's that it is awkward. You're maneuvering around something that's the size of a small water heater.


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wargrafix
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: rmollise]
      #6372394 - 02/12/14 01:47 PM

I agree with Eddgie. Its the total package is what makes a setup usable or not. My rig works great as a mobile platform and thanks to guys like Uncle Rod, the CG5 really shines.Great advice makes all the difference.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6372491 - 02/12/14 02:45 PM

Quote:

I am in the unique position of having owned both the 14" LX850 and the 14" EdgeHD. with CGE-PRO. For me they are about the same. I'd say the mount is heavier on the CGE-Pro but it can be broken down into two more manageable parts. The LX850 is lighter and has grab handles to make it a little easier to manage but has other drawbacks. Either way is equally difficult. I typically set up on a Friday night and tear down on a Monday morning but now'a'days unless there is bad weather I just leave it up but covered.

The OTA weight was about the same for me.

Edit: And what others have said I find to be true as well. I find myself gravitating towards my lighter grab-n-go stuff because I can be up and running in minutes and have it all put away again in minutes. I am in the market for an 8"EdgeHD for my Advanced VX mount for visual only.




An update from this post:

I have since purchased an 8"EdgeHD and AVX mount and after finding that I am using it 90% of the time I sold my LX850 14". With the money I am replacing everything with smaller and lighter stuff. I am going with an 11" EdgeHD and for the mount the iOptron CEM60 looks really good right now so I am going to try that out and see how it goes.

I can't see myself ever having an observatory and every month when there is good weather I pack all my gear up in the back of my car and drive to my clubs dark sky site where I have a 12x12 cement slab and a steel pier sticking out of the middle.

I think this is where I'll be for at least the next decade.

Also the 14" LX850 OTA is at least 65lbs. I was having to lift that thing into place by myself each time and when I finally had every piece of the system ready to go, my back hurt so much that I would be taking Advil by the hand full and dreading taking it all back down again.

Straw that broke my back was going to a club event for a 4 day weekend. The logistics was a nightmare, the long cool down times, despite my cat cooler, was too long.

I am done with big scopes.


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6372528 - 02/12/14 03:03 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I am in the unique position of having owned both the 14" LX850 and the 14" EdgeHD. with CGE-PRO. For me they are about the same. I'd say the mount is heavier on the CGE-Pro but it can be broken down into two more manageable parts. The LX850 is lighter and has grab handles to make it a little easier to manage but has other drawbacks. Either way is equally difficult. I typically set up on a Friday night and tear down on a Monday morning but now'a'days unless there is bad weather I just leave it up but covered.

The OTA weight was about the same for me.

Edit: And what others have said I find to be true as well. I find myself gravitating towards my lighter grab-n-go stuff because I can be up and running in minutes and have it all put away again in minutes. I am in the market for an 8"EdgeHD for my Advanced VX mount for visual only.




An update from this post:

I have since purchased an 8"EdgeHD and AVX mount and after finding that I am using it 90% of the time I sold my LX850 14". With the money I am replacing everything with smaller and lighter stuff. I am going with an 11" EdgeHD and for the mount the iOptron CEM60 looks really good right now so I am going to try that out and see how it goes.

I can't see myself ever having an observatory and every month when there is good weather I pack all my gear up in the back of my car and drive to my clubs dark sky site where I have a 12x12 cement slab and a steel pier sticking out of the middle.

I think this is where I'll be for at least the next decade.

Also the 14" LX850 OTA is at least 65lbs. I was having to lift that thing into place by myself each time and when I finally had every piece of the system ready to go, my back hurt so much that I would be taking Advil by the hand full and dreading taking it all back down again.

Straw that broke my back was going to a club event for a 4 day weekend. The logistics was a nightmare, the long cool down times, despite my cat cooler, was too long.

I am done with big scopes.






That is why my "grab and go" is an APO refractor. Depending on my mood it is either the 80mm or the 130mm. I had a blast with the 80mm in Eastern Oregon and at Mt. Hood. Not to get into the SCT/refractor debate, but on the smaller sizes I am pretty much 100% sold on APO refractors.

For club meetings I might use my 10" LX200, but that is the upper limit on the transportation side for me.

Any large telescope you need a helper with the OTA - I can see your back giving out when you did it on your own! Heck, I would be in shear terror of dropping it! My LX850 (mount wise) has been outside since mid-October and is holding up very well (I swap out the OTAs based on the imaging session). Then again, it helps to be in New Mexico. I will be taking the LX850 to the Small Satellite Conference this summer for a star party I am hosting (up to 1200 people will be there), however I will have paid staff helping with the set up and tear down. Otherwise, the LX850, which I love, will be parked in New Mexico. Very painful and tiresome transporting large systems around, even if it is a "long" 4 day stretch.

Oh, my ETX125 was my grab and go, but I prefer the refractor hands down!


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rmollise
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6372572 - 02/12/14 03:18 PM

Quote:





I have since purchased an 8"EdgeHD and AVX mount and after finding that I am using it 90% of the time I sold my LX850 14". With the money I am replacing everything with smaller and lighter stuff.




This is about where I am now, too. Edge 800 on the VX gets more use than anything else. NexStar 11 and 12-inch truss tube Dob for when I need more. But I don't often convince myself I need more.


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Martin Lyons
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: rmollise]
      #6372591 - 02/12/14 03:26 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

What's wrong with you folks?
I set up and tear down my 16"LX200GPS on my own without any help (in fact I insist that folk don't try and assist as it disrupts the workflow)


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CharlesW
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Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Martin Lyons]
      #6372607 - 02/12/14 03:38 PM

Here's a test to see if you can be portable with a C14 before shelling out the $6k for it. Drive to your local sporting goods emporium. Park about as far away from the store as you are going to carry the OTA. Buy, or ask to borrow, a 45 lb Olympic plate and carry it out to your car. By all means set it down as many times as necessary. When you get to your car lift the plate to shoulder height for about 20 seconds. If you are okay after this, buy the scope. If your arms are jelly, take the plate back inside and get the C11. By the way, taking the OTA up and down stairs is easy, just lift it to the next tread. It comes with a very solid cover.

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Michael Rapp
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Martin Lyons]
      #6373124 - 02/12/14 08:51 PM

Quote:

What's wrong with you folks?
I set up and tear down my 16"LX200GPS on my own without any help (in fact I insist that folk don't try and assist as it disrupts the workflow)




Gack...it's going to take me two days to recover from seeing the size of those fork arms!


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schinia
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Loc: cape carteret,NC
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6374074 - 02/13/14 12:54 PM

he's showing off, he's got a six horse team to move that thing.

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rmollise
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: schinia]
      #6374269 - 02/13/14 02:37 PM

Just make sure you have them put that 45-pound weight inside a 55-gallon drum, first.

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T1R2
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6375696 - 02/14/14 09:58 AM

I have the C11 on the heavy duty CGE mount, and I detest having to set up and take down for each use, it gets old, real quick, a 14", I would'a sold it after the first week. but its not just the OTA, its all the 25# pieces that make up the mount head, counterweights, tripod.

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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: T1R2]
      #6375706 - 02/14/14 10:06 AM

Quote:

I have the C11 on the heavy duty CGE mount, and I detest having to set up and take down for each use, it gets old, real quick, a 14", I would'a sold it after the first week. but its not just the OTA, its all the 25# pieces that make up the mount head, counterweights, tripod.




I can't argue with that. I used a CGE and C14 for outreach and star parties for a season. Too much effort, especially for the one-evening events.

The forkmounted 10" and 11" SCT models are far more suitable for that. The forkmounted 12" is nearly as easy. I found both the Meade and Celestron 14" forkmounts to be too much work.


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DG Aucoin
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6376036 - 02/14/14 12:50 PM

I use a C11 on a CG5-ASGT mount. I just recently upgraded my mount with a 16" pier extension that I bought from Orion. I detach the pier/equatorial head from the tripod and carry everything to the car. Since I have a station wagon, it is no problem to fit in the back. I dont mind the setup procedure. The 28lb OTA is not as hard as it looks. The thing that gets me, is lugging the counterweight carrier with 33lbs of countrweight back and forth. I am contemplating getting a counterweight shaft extender so I dont have to use so many counterweights. But I enjoy my C11, especially with my Mallincam Micro-EX and monitors.

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Bruce FitzGerald
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: CharlesW]
      #6376316 - 02/14/14 03:18 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

Quote:

Here's a test to see if you can be portable with a C14 before shelling out the $6k for it. Drive to your local sporting goods emporium. Park about as far away from the store as you are going to carry the OTA. Buy, or ask to borrow, a 45 lb Olympic plate and carry it out to your car. By all means set it down as many times as necessary. When you get to your car lift the plate to shoulder height for about 20 seconds. If you are okay after this, buy the scope. If your arms are jelly, take the plate back inside and get the C11. By the way, taking the OTA up and down stairs is easy, just lift it to the next tread. It comes with a very solid cover.





That was a physical test. Now take an intelligence test.

Use a collapsible cart to move the OTA! It's simple, easy, you strap the OTA in to secure it and IT GOES UP AND DOWN STAIRS! Who woulda thunk that? Once you get to te pedestal, use the mount to lift the OTA like others have suggested. no tears, no hernia, no whining!

Edited by Bruce FitzGerald (02/14/14 03:21 PM)


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rmollise
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Bruce FitzGerald]
      #6376484 - 02/14/14 05:05 PM

There are dodges like luggage carts that work for some people. But, again, most people will tire of toting the telescope around very quickly. For occasional use in the field? OK. For constant use. Nuh-uh. Not for me.

My strongest word of advice for anyone contemplating a C14 or M14 or any sort. Look at one in person first. It is considerably bigger than it look in those pretty ads.


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dr.who
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Bruce FitzGerald]
      #6376560 - 02/14/14 06:00 PM

While the Edge series tends to hold collimation I would be concerned with the jolts it would get from going down stairs with that cart. They are not rolling jolts they are sudden sharp ones which transmit kinetic energy in a much shorter form which means more likelihood of collimation issues and possible damage to the scope.

I would strongly encourage you to go with an 11" Edge and the Tempest cooling system from Ed at Deep Space Products. I use the Tempest on my 8" and 11" and it really does cut cooling time down dramatically. The 11" vs. the 14" is only a 3" difference which is not a huge difference in light gathering (a jump from an 11" to a 17"+ in aperture is needed to reach that full magnitude jump as well as very dark skies) and the 11" is dramatically lower in cost. It will also ride fine on a CG5 or AVX with good balance which is a dramatic difference in weight from a CGEM DX or CGE. On top of that neither scope will show a big difference in light pollution.

For either scope I would suggest you not lug it up and down stairs. I would suggest that you have a portable pier with wheels fabricated for it and put the mount head on top of it as well as the weights and everything else. Here is a photo of the one I use with my CGEM. Sorry for the quality it's a cell phone camera photo and I was updating the firmware in all of my controllers so the 11" isn't up on it like it was a few nights ago for scale. It's a 4" OD 1/8" thick steel pipe that is 41" tall. The wheels add about 3" to the height and I put Celestron vibration pads under the bolts so I don't ratchet them all the way down. You can see the crank I use on the table with the computer. The pier I bought used for $600 but after talking to my machinist it would cost about $500 to fabricate plus another $150 for the CGEM/AVX plate to mount it to including materials so it should be similar for you if you so choose. I put whatever scope I want to work with on the mount then balance it in the garage then wheel the whole thing out to use it. When done I wheel it back. If I plan to use the same scope later on in the week then I leave it all up. If not it breaks down much faster and easier. I am having a second one made for my AVX and a third one for my Twilight II as money comes available. The T-2 will be cheaper since I don't need a plate for it.





You can retrofit your shed with solar powered fans to draw air from the bottom and vent out the top. Just make sure to put mesh across the holes you cut so that critters don't get in. That should keep the heat down.

And to be honest for the price of that 14" and the mount needed to go with it you could get a 15" or 18" Obsession Ultra Compact that would weigh about the same put together but on wheel barrow wheels to roll it out. It also transports a bit easier than the mount and SCT from the perspective that the mount is darn awkward to walk around with.


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DesertRat
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6376665 - 02/14/14 07:21 PM

Guy, the steps are a problem and a little scary for a C14. Its not a beast, but is is bulky. I would never carry mine up and down any stairs.

I have no steps to negotiate. The mount is on a dolly in the backyard porch. Having a tip in saddle for the mount helps more than anything. But taking the eq mount, tripod and counterweights out one by one would get tiresome. A dolly is a must have for non perm backyard use with any frequency.

Even a C11 is hard to lift and slide onto a dovetail. Its not so much the weight as it is the proper 'aiming', done over your head at an angle. A tip-in saddle plate makes it a simple one man operation, even for a C14 and a reasonably fit person.

Rods advice is sound, look at one in the field or shop and if possible, get a feel for it.

Glenn


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Bruce FitzGerald
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Reged: 09/17/10

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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: rmollise]
      #6376739 - 02/14/14 08:10 PM Attachment (16 downloads)

Quote:

There are dodges like luggage carts that work for some people. But, again, most people will tire of toting the telescope around very quickly. For occasional use in the field? OK. For constant use. Nuh-uh. Not for me.
My strongest word of advice for anyone contemplating a C14 or M14 or any sort. Look at one in person first. It is considerably bigger than it look in those pretty ads.




I have used that cart every night since July 2010 when I completed the pedestal for my C-14. A dodge? No. Just common sense.


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rmollise
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Bruce FitzGerald]
      #6376773 - 02/14/14 08:24 PM

Quote:




I have used that cart every night since July 2010 when I completed the pedestal for my C-14. A dodge? No. Just common sense.




Common sense is in the eye of the beholder.


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Bruce FitzGerald
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Reged: 09/17/10

Loc: Arizona
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: rmollise]
      #6376863 - 02/14/14 09:14 PM

[quote
Common sense is in the eye of the beholder.




What a Guy! The trouble with setting yourself up as a Goo-Roo is you can't ever be wrong!


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hargy
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Martin Lyons]
      #6376916 - 02/14/14 09:55 PM

Quote:

What's wrong with you folks?
I set up and tear down my 16"LX200GPS on my own without any help (in fact I insist that folk don't try and assist as it disrupts the workflow)





You Sir are a beast. I would be nervous doing that by myself.


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bseltzer
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Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: East S.F.Bay, CA
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6377001 - 02/14/14 10:53 PM

Quote:

Well, things just got a little more problematic for me. I have been in the hospital since Friday after suffering a mild heart attack. Three stents later added to my prior two makes five. Next time will be open heart bypass if there is a next time. Not to say that carrying a scope outside would be too much but dang, I am only 52 years old.




No fun... no fun at all. I know first hand how little fun it is having suffered my first MI when I was 61. That was a wake up call, and I took it very seriously. Quite smoking and drinking in 1 day flat. More gradually switched over to a 90% vegetable based diet, and even more gradually lost 60 pounds. I got back to my other passion, bicycling, in a big way. Like 100+ miles/week way. And I was probably healthier that 90% of people 20 years younger than myself right up until I had the second MI 2 years ago. This one was 'the BIG one'... left anterior descending coronary artery 100% obstructed. For the uninitiated, that's known in the medical community as the 'widow maker'. When it happened, I quite literally dropped stone cold dead and stayed that way for what the EMS people estimated was about 5". It took a full round of drugs and a good jolt from the AED, but they got me back. Double bypass graft and 2 weeks in the hospital later, and I was back on my indoor trainer at the end of my first week home (with, of course, buy-in from both my cardiologist and my cardiac surgeon). Fast forward 2 years, and I am fit as a fiddle again, but I do pay a LOT more attention to each day now. Every one of them is a gift. No one knows that better than me.

Now the point of this little tale is that as fit as I am now (hitting the gym 3 days a week and having gotten to where riding my bike up Mt. Diablo is what I call a fun way to spend a couple hours), my 10" DSI RC10C on it's AP900GTO is absolutely as big as I'll ever go. That rig in no way stresses me when setting up and tearing down, but I love this hobby way too much to even think of trying a rig that did. It's all well and good to joke about it and let a bit of testosterone poisoning show, but life's too short and uncertain to waste time on things that don't give you sustainable pleasure.

Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery. It'll require a significant life style change, more like a real epiphany, but I think you'll find it's worth it.


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TCW
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/05/13

Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6377055 - 02/14/14 11:42 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

I don't know if this would help but look up Genie Load Lifter. Lifts 200 lbs up to 5'7".

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PowellAstro
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: TCW]
      #6377065 - 02/14/14 11:50 PM

I know if I had to move my 14 each time to use it, I would of got rid of it along time ago. They are heavy and hard to hang on to. Other people in better shape may not feel this way, but I know I do.

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Martin Lyons
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #6377104 - 02/15/14 12:30 AM Attachment (10 downloads)

Quote:

...........If so, I wonder if there is any harware that can be devised or modified to hold the OTA in place while attaching it such as a simple "cherry picker"
as shown...........




Seeing as you asked, I thought I'd show you the real way I get my beast mounted.....


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rmollise
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Bruce FitzGerald]
      #6377417 - 02/15/14 09:38 AM

Quote:



What a Guy! The trouble with setting yourself up as a Goo-Roo is you can't ever be wrong!




Me? Never wrong? A "guru"? Not hardly. I am often wrong.

However, if that is what you think, there is a VERY easy solution. Don't read my posts or set me to "ignore." I guarantee that will preserve what's left of your hairline and your blood pressure.

Edited by rmollise (02/15/14 09:39 AM)


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OneDaveT
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Reged: 10/24/11

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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Martin Lyons]
      #6377459 - 02/15/14 10:01 AM

I carry my C14 in a Pacific Design soft case with nice padded shoulder strap and handles which makes a dead carry much more manageable. Of course I also drive up as close as possible to my observing spot. I've seen others with wheeled boxes.

C14 was initially uncomfortable putting on the mount though I think most settle into a technique that works for them. There are plenty of references on CN to Greg's mounting with an observers chair video. Personally, I hoist the C14 up such that primary end is supported by my clavicle and shoulder while I lock it into the dovetail with a free hand. This was made a lot easier by lifting weights. The C14 was my initial motivator to get in better shape.

So that's what I do when I take my scope out for public viewings. At home, I just have mount and scope on a scope buggy and wheel it out of the garage and now with the SSA finally debugged enough, the hope is I can be viewing via goto within about 5 minutes of rollout. Though I haven't worked out a technique that does well with this polar vortex. May need to rig up a pseudo-sled attachment for scope buggy wheels.


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Bruce FitzGerald
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Reged: 09/17/10

Loc: Arizona
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: rmollise]
      #6377472 - 02/15/14 10:10 AM Attachment (13 downloads)

"However, if that is what you think, there is a VERY easy solution. Don't read my posts or set me to "ignore." I guarantee that will preserve what's left of your hairline and your blood pressure."



Sorry roddy, but my hairline and my blood pressure are, like my C14, just fine.
In the immortal words of that great American philosopher, Bugs Bunny, "What a moroon."

Edited by Bruce FitzGerald (02/15/14 10:13 AM)


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rmollise
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: Bruce FitzGerald]
      #6377491 - 02/15/14 10:21 AM

Quote:




Sorry roddy, but my hairline and my blood pressure are, like my C14, just fine.
In the immortal words of that great American philosopher, Bugs Bunny, "What a moroon."




This cute little post of yours tells the story. Looks like I am living in your head 24/7 now, bunny rabbit.

In that case, OK, continue to read my posts with sweaty fervor.

Edited by rmollise (02/15/14 10:23 AM)


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junomike
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Reged: 09/07/09

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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: rmollise]
      #6377785 - 02/15/14 01:39 PM

I'll be able to report what I think of the C14 "set up/tear down" as that's exactly what I'll be doing when taking my C14/CGE to the local dark site (I have an EQ5P and smaller Apo's for city stuff).

Like my NS11GPS (which I still have...for now), I'll be lugging the big pig + Mount down a flight of stairs into my Car and then setting it up for the evening before reversing the procedure to come home at the end of the night.

I looks at It this way, the C14 is 20lbs lighter than the NS11GPS Forkmount, so the "stairs" should be in fact easier.
Both require a Tripod, so the only other difference is the actually Pelican 1650 case which houses the CGE head and electronics.
I'll be the first to say that the Pelican case is probably the worst piece to transport as It has wheels, which do no good when stairs are involved.

I for one am not ashamed to admit when something is not right for me and It's possible that might be the case.
That's why I kept the Forkmount. Just in case.

But I'm not anticipating and issues with the C14/CGE, but then again I have only set It up inside.

Time will tell......and so will I!

Mike


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wormstar
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Reged: 11/23/09

Loc: Central Ct
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: junomike]
      #6378980 - 02/16/14 05:33 AM Attachment (8 downloads)

As TCW mentioned, a Genie Load Lifter is the ticket. I have a M14 fork mount. The previous owner modified a Lifter with a cradle for the ota and two padded forks that go under the Meade forks near the drive base. I'm only 5'7 and this thing makes it easy. The Load lifter has stair slides, and I have taken it up and down three steps without much issue, but had my 12 year old son ease it onto each step( basically I had the weight and he just ensures a soft transition, maybe over kill)
If you had no steps( or a ramp) this thing makes it easy, steps are not too bad in daylight,but the lift costs $1200 without the mods.


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wormstar
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Reged: 11/23/09

Loc: Central Ct
Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: wormstar]
      #6378983 - 02/16/14 05:38 AM Attachment (8 downloads)

It has a double slide mast like a fork truck,so it can go way higher than would be safe ( the previous owner added safety stops, but they were a bit too low for my pier) this pic is obviously just for show, it would very unstable this high:)

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Starman27Moderator
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Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: wormstar]
      #6379117 - 02/16/14 09:26 AM

I would have a tough time lifting and moving the various solutions that have been presented here. It took three men and three dogs to move my 14 inch Lx200 GPS to the observatory.

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alrosm
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/27/10

Re: 14" SCT setup/teardown concerns new [Re: bilgebay]
      #6380374 - 02/17/14 01:13 AM

I use my observer chair for the setup the way greg does in his video.
No problem.


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