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Mike in Tampa
super member


Reged: 05/19/13

Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: katie]
      #5880215 - 05/23/13 01:15 PM

Katie,

I dont know if your caution is scaring me off or making me look at my finances to see if a new truck can be had so I can easily haul this thing to some dark skies! I'm chomping at the bit to really put her through her paces, but unfortunately since I bought it the other day it's been terrible weather and I've been on call for work and cant risk taking it outside only to be paged to work.

Monday is a holiday so hopefully we have clear skies planned for the area.


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iam1ru12
super member
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Raleigh/Durham, NC
Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: Mike in Tampa]
      #5885878 - 05/26/13 04:57 PM

I just picked up my new (to me) CPC 1100 back in April and have had a few nights out with it now the pollen season has died down.

Prior to my CPC 1100, I used a Celestron Celestar 8. Most of my comments will be based on my experience with my Celestar 8 over the past 5 years and trying to get every little bit of performance out of that 8" aperture.

DEW CONTROL:
I always use a dew shield when observing with an SCT. Not only will it delay the formation of dew but it also helps block stray light as well as help protect the corrector for dust, pollen or other items floating around in the air.

After about a year with an SCT and have a few observing sessions cut short due to dew, I decided to go with a more comprehensive solution, a Dew Buster controller with Dew-Not heater strips. What convinced me to go with the Dew Buster was the great reputation for customer service and the ambient temperature sensor that allows the controller to more efficiently heat by only heating up to a few degrees above the ambient temperature. Basically it's a set it and forget it. You will not over heat your corrector which drains your battery quicker as well as deteriorates your view (just like an OTA whose air inside the tube is warmer than the outside air - gives you views like poor seeing).

As for heater strips, I recall hearing that Dew-Not strips we one of the most efficient so that's what I went with. They work great no complaints. If fact the very first accessory I bought for my CPC 1100 was a heater strip for the corrector.

Ever since I've been running my setup as described above (which also ways includes not only be Dew Buster & Dew-Not strips but a dew shield), I have never dewed up even when dobs next to me had their primaries and secondaries dewing up.

COMFORT:
The last thing you what to do is tweak your back from leaning over your eyepiece all night long. An adjustable observing chair will extend your observing sessions, keep you comfortable and arguably improve your observations. It has been postulated that sitting instead of standing when observing is like adding an inch or two of aperture to your scope. The thought is you are much more stable / still and thus are able to observe finer details.

I purchased mine from http://www.buyastrostuff.com/store/Metal-astro-chair-frame-page.htm

A buddy of mine also bought one but he managed to mangle the mechanism that allows for multiple adjustments. Now I use my all the time, including all outreach event (so much easier to kids to see through the eyepiece sitting up high on a chair instead of their parents holding them) and it has held up beautifully.

EYEPIECES:
Nothing beats the views you'll get thru Naglers or Ethos eyepieces. However their price tag is quite daunting! One of those eyepieces cost what I spent on my entire set. I went with the Baader Hyperions. They are not quite a wide (only 68 degrees) as the Naglers (at 80) or Ethos (at 100). I've compared theses Televue EPs side by side to the same focal length Hyperions in my telescope and the Televues win hands down. But are they 3, 4 or 5 times better as their price tag would suggest? No way! The Televues are marginally better. If you are the kind of observer that demands perfection for your optics, go with the Televues. If you want improved wider views and better eye relief as compared to Plossls while not breaking the bank, the Hyperions are a solid choice!

I purchased my set (21mm, 13mm, 8mm and 5mm) one by one on the used market over the course of a year. I also bought a new 38mm 72 degree EP from Agena Astro. The price new is about $85 and in our long focal length scopes the views are pretty good. It's been my experience that the outer 10% to 20% is hard to get focused in the same plane as the inner 80%.



TRAVEL CASE:
Around the house I typically use my son's 6" Dob because it is so easy to set up and move around. I have lots of trees around me. However the site my club users is only 15 minutes away so I travel back and forth a lot with my scopes so a case was a must. I picked up the Husky case from Home Depot. The CPC 1100 fits, just barely with some foam on ends. I'll have to post a pic in the case thread here on cloudy nights.

POWER:
I try to go to 3 or 4 star parties a year and many of them do not have power on the field. I need to be able to power my scope and accessories for at least 2 nights of observing before recharging so I needed a portable power solution. Check out some of these home-built options:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=telescope...

Here is my design: http://www.siriusastronomy.org/aboutme_Equip_Accessories.htm#power

Well that's my 2 cents worth.


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Mike in Tampa
super member


Reged: 05/19/13

Re: New CPC 1100 owner [Re: iam1ru12]
      #5886054 - 05/26/13 07:00 PM

Quote:

I just picked up my new (to me) CPC 1100 back in April and have had a few nights out with it now the pollen season has died down.

Prior to my CPC 1100, I used a Celestron Celestar 8. Most of my comments will be based on my experience with my Celestar 8 over the past 5 years and trying to get every little bit of performance out of that 8" aperture.

DEW CONTROL:
I always use a dew shield when observing with an SCT. Not only will it delay the formation of dew but it also helps block stray light as well as help protect the corrector for dust, pollen or other items floating around in the air.

After about a year with an SCT and have a few observing sessions cut short due to dew, I decided to go with a more comprehensive solution, a Dew Buster controller with Dew-Not heater strips. What convinced me to go with the Dew Buster was the great reputation for customer service and the ambient temperature sensor that allows the controller to more efficiently heat by only heating up to a few degrees above the ambient temperature. Basically it's a set it and forget it. You will not over heat your corrector which drains your battery quicker as well as deteriorates your view (just like an OTA whose air inside the tube is warmer than the outside air - gives you views like poor seeing).

As for heater strips, I recall hearing that Dew-Not strips we one of the most efficient so that's what I went with. They work great no complaints. If fact the very first accessory I bought for my CPC 1100 was a heater strip for the corrector.

Ever since I've been running my setup as described above (which also ways includes not only be Dew Buster & Dew-Not strips but a dew shield), I have never dewed up even when dobs next to me had their primaries and secondaries dewing up.

COMFORT:
The last thing you what to do is tweak your back from leaning over your eyepiece all night long. An adjustable observing chair will extend your observing sessions, keep you comfortable and arguably improve your observations. It has been postulated that sitting instead of standing when observing is like adding an inch or two of aperture to your scope. The thought is you are much more stable / still and thus are able to observe finer details.

I purchased mine from http://www.buyastrostuff.com/store/Metal-astro-chair-frame-page.htm

A buddy of mine also bought one but he managed to mangle the mechanism that allows for multiple adjustments. Now I use my all the time, including all outreach event (so much easier to kids to see through the eyepiece sitting up high on a chair instead of their parents holding them) and it has held up beautifully.

EYEPIECES:
Nothing beats the views you'll get thru Naglers or Ethos eyepieces. However their price tag is quite daunting! One of those eyepieces cost what I spent on my entire set. I went with the Baader Hyperions. They are not quite a wide (only 68 degrees) as the Naglers (at 80) or Ethos (at 100). I've compared theses Televue EPs side by side to the same focal length Hyperions in my telescope and the Televues win hands down. But are they 3, 4 or 5 times better as their price tag would suggest? No way! The Televues are marginally better. If you are the kind of observer that demands perfection for your optics, go with the Televues. If you want improved wider views and better eye relief as compared to Plossls while not breaking the bank, the Hyperions are a solid choice!

I purchased my set (21mm, 13mm, 8mm and 5mm) one by one on the used market over the course of a year. I also bought a new 38mm 72 degree EP from Agena Astro. The price new is about $85 and in our long focal length scopes the views are pretty good. It's been my experience that the outer 10% to 20% is hard to get focused in the same plane as the inner 80%.



TRAVEL CASE:
Around the house I typically use my son's 6" Dob because it is so easy to set up and move around. I have lots of trees around me. However the site my club users is only 15 minutes away so I travel back and forth a lot with my scopes so a case was a must. I picked up the Husky case from Home Depot. The CPC 1100 fits, just barely with some foam on ends. I'll have to post a pic in the case thread here on cloudy nights.

POWER:
I try to go to 3 or 4 star parties a year and many of them do not have power on the field. I need to be able to power my scope and accessories for at least 2 nights of observing before recharging so I needed a portable power solution. Check out some of these home-built options:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=telescope...

Here is my design: http://www.siriusastronomy.org/aboutme_Equip_Accessories.htm#power

Well that's my 2 cents worth.




thanks for the information. I will probably steal your idea of making my own power box as I havent been able to find anything that I really like except one item called a power port 312, but your option may be cheaper.
power port 312 link


I also like the idea of the kick me nots as I almost tripped over someone's tripod recently so I can see how that can easily happen.

I'm definitely in the market for some dew fighting products, so I will check out the dew buster. how do you like the celestron dew shield compared to others? it seems to be more reasonably priced, but I was curious about the quality to say the astrozap.


and finally if you could post a picture of your husky case, I would greatly appreciate it. I was curious how it was able to fit and if there can be any foam inside the box for added protection.


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Lancem
super member


Reged: 03/17/11

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: Mike in Tampa]
      #5886351 - 05/26/13 11:05 PM

I would also recommend the chair from buyastrostuff.com. It is reasonably priced and has worked great for me.

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iam1ru12
super member
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Raleigh/Durham, NC
Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: Lancem]
      #5886445 - 05/27/13 12:47 AM

Mike,
I really like(d) my Celestron 8" dew shield, it held up really well; I lost one that came with my scope when I bought it in 2008; it was 10+ years old but I great condition. The one I bought for my 8" as a replace was the same flexible one from Celestron. They hold up well as are nice and lightweight.

My CPC 1100 came with one already (astro zap aluminum version with the not lches and an opening for Hyperstar cables). It's a bit easier to put verses the Celestron flexible one with Velcro. But is that worth the $135 price difference, no.

I'm in vacation with family sans any astronomy related equipment :-(. However when I get back in town, I snap some pictures of the case with the scope in it.

-Mike

Edited by iam1ru12 (05/27/13 12:55 AM)


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Mike in Tampa
super member


Reged: 05/19/13

Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: iam1ru12]
      #5886487 - 05/27/13 02:09 AM

Quote:

Mike,
I really like(d) my Celestron 8" dew shield, it held up really well; I lost one that came with my scope when I bought it in 2008; it was 10+ years old but I great condition. The one I bought for my 8" as a replace was the same flexible one from Celestron. They hold up well as are nice and lightweight.

My CPC 1100 came with one already (astro zap aluminum version with the not lches and an opening for Hyperstar cables). It's a bit easier to put verses the Celestron flexible one with Velcro. But is that worth the $135 price difference, no.

I'm in vacation with family sans any astronomy related equipment :-(. However when I get back in town, I snap some pictures of the case with the scope in it.

-Mike




thanks Mike. I appreciate it.


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St Pete Keith
member
*****

Reged: 10/09/10

Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: Mike in Tampa]
      #5916762 - 06/12/13 11:32 AM

Hi Mike, I'm pretty quiet on these boards but I can say (living in the St Pete/Tampa area) that Dew Control and good chair are probably the best investments early on. You can upgrade eyepieces later on after looking through some at star parties etc...
The DewBuster is a fantastic addition! (I used it along with a shroud when I had my C11) I found a used Stardust Chair that works great as well. A 33ah battery from Northern Tool with a simple 12v plug attached would serve for a couple nights and cost less than 50.00 (I got 2 on sale there for 39.99/ea)
Congratulations on the CPC1100, I have the mount that I've converted for "other uses" (came with a broken OTA and just love tinkering) since they can handle quite a bit of weight!
PM me if you have any questions...


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Mike in Tampa
super member


Reged: 05/19/13

Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: St Pete Keith]
      #5917006 - 06/12/13 01:34 PM

Quote:

Hi Mike, I'm pretty quiet on these boards but I can say (living in the St Pete/Tampa area) that Dew Control and good chair are probably the best investments early on. You can upgrade eyepieces later on after looking through some at star parties etc...
The DewBuster is a fantastic addition! (I used it along with a shroud when I had my C11) I found a used Stardust Chair that works great as well. A 33ah battery from Northern Tool with a simple 12v plug attached would serve for a couple nights and cost less than 50.00 (I got 2 on sale there for 39.99/ea)
Congratulations on the CPC1100, I have the mount that I've converted for "other uses" (came with a broken OTA and just love tinkering) since they can handle quite a bit of weight!
PM me if you have any questions...




thanks Keith. I have added a Chair and dew controller/heater, but I am still looking for the power supply. I will check out the battery/12v option at norther tool.


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Monadnock
sage


Reged: 04/24/12

Loc: SW NH
Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: Mike in Tampa]
      #5917034 - 06/12/13 01:50 PM

Mike, I believe it was you that posted a question regarding a Scopebuggy in a different thread. If I am correct, and you're still considering getting a SB, a 12v marine battery may be the cheapest route. The battery tray SB sells works well when repositioned (has to clear the tripod spreader bars) and with that setup, weight and battery capacity will never be an issue. A decent marine battery can be found for $60-70. Add an $8 battery box and a few 12v cig lighter sockets and yer good to go. Keep in mind you'll need to have a charger for the battery, but anyone with a car, riding lawn mower, motorcycle, etc, should own one anyway.

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Mike in Tampa
super member


Reged: 05/19/13

Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: Monadnock]
      #5917160 - 06/12/13 02:57 PM

yes, I had posted a SB question more out of curiosity. unfortunately, I do not have a garage so I would not be able to utilize one like I would like.

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rboeAdministrator

*****

Reged: 03/16/02

Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: Mike in Tampa]
      #5917589 - 06/12/13 07:37 PM

Motorcycle Lithium Iron LiFe, http://www.shoraipower.com/Products/batteries/ (just one maker but the one I bought - for a bike) are:

Expensive!
Light! Very light. I though the box was empty when it arrived.
Hold a charge, while on the shelf, for a very very long time with minimal discharge.

Lead Acid is cheaper, but you have to worry about sulfating, discharge, hydrogen gas, acid leaks and weight.

I have not really stress tested my battery for how long it will power the scope but so far is seems to have a lot more poop than the Starizona battery I bought.

Plus the darn things will take a charge just like a lead acid battery.


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rookie
Good Night Nurse
*****

Reged: 01/14/06

Loc: St. Petersburg, FL
Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: rboe]
      #5919242 - 06/13/13 05:57 PM

Come and visit our astronomy club!
The St. Petersburg Astronomy Club.
We meet the 4th Friday of each month at 8pm at the Science Center of Pinellas County. Nov. & Dec. we meet the 3rd Friday due to holidays.


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Mike in Tampa
super member


Reged: 05/19/13

Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: rookie]
      #5919337 - 06/13/13 06:54 PM

Quote:

Come and visit our astronomy club!
The St. Petersburg Astronomy Club.
We meet the 4th Friday of each month at 8pm at the Science Center of Pinellas County. Nov. & Dec. we meet the 3rd Friday due to holidays.




I met a gentleman from your club at the last public viewing event @ MOSI. I cant recall his name, but he and his wife were at the event. he had a Meade SCT. a real nice guy. I was hoping to get to one of your events.


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iam1ru12
super member
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Raleigh/Durham, NC
Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: iam1ru12]
      #5935315 - 06/22/13 08:39 PM

Quote:

Mike,
......I'm in vacation with family sans any astronomy related equipment :-(. However when I get back in town, I snap some pictures of the case with the scope in it.

-Mike




Mike,
Sorry it has take so long to some pics posted of the case in action. I've posted the pics in the tread for the case. CPC1100 Case posting

Also worth mentioning an interesting thread in another CloudyNight's section about Observing Chairs.

Basically the same chair I bought 3 or 4 years ago for $105 plus shipping can be had on Amazon for $79.89 (Vestil CPRO-800LP). Also the Vestil CPRO-600 that sells on Amazon for $118.00 is the same exact chair as the Stardust observing chair that sells for $185 through various astronomy stores.

-Mike


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Mike in Tampa
super member


Reged: 05/19/13

Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: iam1ru12]
      #5935737 - 06/23/13 01:48 AM

Thanks mike for the link. Turns out I already purchased the husky case and did some mods myself, so it looks like it will do the job.

I wish I had seen the link on the vestil chair. I ended up getting the stardust but am please none the less. It would have been nice to get it for 1/2 the price but I feel it is worth twice what I paid for it regardless.


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astrocramp
member


Reged: 02/07/10

Re: New CPC 1100 owner new [Re: Mike in Tampa]
      #5946498 - 06/29/13 12:26 PM

I really good all-weather scope cover is what I found to a be a key purchase for my CPC1100:

http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_t365.htm

If I know I'm going to be observing several nights in one week, I just leave it outside with some comfort that even if it rains it will be ok. Takes the hassle out of setup. I do have a scope buggy, but my yard is too bumpy and to get it under my patio roof there's about a 3" patio step...too many close calls of a catastrophic tip-over, now I just carry it out.

With the cover, I don't leave it outside continuously, I'm too paranoid for that, but some folks swear by this cover and leave it outside.


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