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Equipment Discussions >> Classic Telescopes

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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6044710 - 08/25/13 05:58 AM

Quote:

Packing gear isn't an issue, my other hobby is powerlifting ...




Years ago, I sold backpacking equipment. A huge guy walks into the store, maybe 300 pounds of solid muscle, to buy an outfit for a wilderness trip. He asks for the most comfortable sleeping pad we carry. I show him that, at about three pounds and too big to fit in the pack, and a backpacker's foam pad at maybe twelve ounces and small. I explain that the big pad is meant for use in base camp or maybe car camping. He grabs the big one an responds, "You got some straps I could use to tie this to my pack? If it fits with the pack, I don't care if it's made of lead!"

Another power lifter? I appreciate your good fortune!

Larry, I remember now you told me about the special virtues of Meade's tripod for the 2080. Still, I find in my C8s, any wiggling comes more from the wedge than the Locked Field Tripod. Maybe that's not really true? Maybe the wedge is solid, but its length provides more leverage for wiggling the tripod? I'll increase the tension on the tripod and see if that helps.


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: C8 question new [Re: tim53]
      #6044732 - 08/25/13 06:38 AM

Quote:

All around, the original c8 was a nice portable package. In my view, the sct design doesn't scale up very well, such that 10" and larger scts aren't any easier to use in the field than comparable newts - they're just more compact (and even then, not by a lot).




A member of my club had a good year, so he traded his modern Meade 8-inch SCT for a 12-inch. It's a lot bigger and a ton heavier, but to his surprise, is not a radical improvement when viewing most objects here on the Northern East Coast. It certainly resolves more stars in a cluster (actually, it's stunning in that regard; this improvement is worthwhile in itself), but in general, and despite careful collimation, objects are not appreciably brighter or even radically more detailed. Maybe it would be better in the ideal skies of New Mexico or Arizona, but for our location, the 8-inch is magical, giving most of the benefit for less of the cost, weight, and hassle. We have to jump to the club's 18-inch Dob to see a big difference on extended dim objects.

The take-away for the OP is that the C8 he already has is a deceptively potent, portable package. Not perfect in every way, no, but the with all the right trade-offs for a superb all-around, practical telescope.


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terraclarke
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: C8 question new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #6044818 - 08/25/13 09:09 AM

Hi Joe,

Thanks for saying that I rock. But "Always stayed at 3 inch refractors..."? Don't know what gave you that impression? Maybe because I have three F15 and F16 classic 3 inch refractors but my favorite telescope is actually my modern 4 inch F 11 refractor (had it out at our club star party last night) and I also have modern 5 and 6 inch refractors, (I just dont talk much about them in this forum). My cutoff is 30lbs for the OTA and 5 feet for the length of the OTA generally (although I am currently building one that will be closer to 6 feet long. I have never owned a scope larger than 6 inches in aperture though and am looking forward very much to the C8.

As far as mounting the C8, I just ordered a set of ADM radius blocks and a long Vixen rail. Next week I am going to my friends machine shop and will be making an adapter plate to put a Vixen dovetail jaw on the vintage Meade 826 mount that I bought for my 6 inch reflector. It has a very nice clock drive and will be more than capable for the C8. I may also make a sliding counter-weight for the C8 if It seems to be needed for use on the GEM. I am very partial to GEMs and will for the meantime de-fork the C8 and safely store the fork mount. (I will definitely get a wedge however.)

Thus are my present plans for the C8, however I am very interested in looking into the Tuthill Isostatic mount for the C8 down the road.


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Joe Cepleur
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/18/10

Loc: Dark North Woods
Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6044967 - 08/25/13 10:58 AM

Gosh, Terra;

I coulda sworn you yourself said you liked smaller aperture refractors because you could more easily lift them. Maybe ya did, and I misunderstood that did not mean you used them exclusively. Certainly makes more sense to be realistic about size and weight, not aperture. And that is where the C8, like you, rocks!

But, getting back to the OP's original question, you are an experienced observer with preferences honed over many years. For a newcomer, I say, "Begin by using what you have as it is," especially when that scope is a vintage C8!

I've never deforked a C8, but I've heard, and hope you have, too, that it is easy to scratch the tube against the screws attaching it to the forks if you don't something exactly right. Maybe we should start a new thread for that.


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6045040 - 08/25/13 11:41 AM

Quote:

I saw your number there and I'm sure I may need it eventually.Thank you. I just ordered my cord about an hour ago. Now the waiting game begins.



Another accy you need to look into is a Celestron F6.3 Focal reducer and field Flattener.
It does 3 important things, reduces the magnification so finding Deep Space objects is easier thats one.
I dramatically reduces the field curve in the F10 SCT, thats 2
Also seals the tube from dust.3
Oh yes it drastically reduces exposure time for Prime focus Astro photography!
Try and find the original Made in Japan version. I like them better, don't know if the coatings are better, or if they are better optically. I could see a slight difference in sharpness between the 2 I had. I kept the MIJ and sold the other one..


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: C8 question new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #6045047 - 08/25/13 11:46 AM

My C8 and Meade 7" Mak are getting the most use out of my Stable of scopes. It has to be a pretty good Night of "seeing"
for my C14 to really show off, And you think that Meade 12" is heavy, try the C14 Compustar. It is close to 190 lbs total
WOW.. BUT when the seeing is right Holy Smoke does it Rock!
Later Dudes and Dudettes.


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: C8 question new [Re: Joe Cepleur]
      #6045066 - 08/25/13 12:01 PM

Quote:

Gosh, Terra;

I coulda sworn you yourself said you liked smaller aperture refractors because you could more easily lift them. Maybe ya did, and I misunderstood that did not mean you used them exclusively. Certainly makes more sense to be realistic about size and weight, not aperture. And that is where the C8, like you, rocks!

But, getting back to the OP's original question, you are an experienced observer with preferences honed over many years. For a newcomer, I say, "Begin by using what you have as it is," especially when that scope is a vintage C8!

I've never deforked a C8, but I've heard, and hope you have, too, that it is easy to scratch the tube against the screws attaching it to the forks if you don't something exactly right. Maybe we should start a new thread for that.




The "remedy" is very simple. Just loosen the screws holding one fork arm to the base by a few turns. This will allow you to move the fork a quarter inch or so at the tube mounting point, which is more than enough room to get it out without scratching it. I make sure the tube is cradled in something soft, on a table, when you do this. Don't want things swinging around when you take the screws out.

-Tim.


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Brian RisleyModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/04/06

Loc: SW Florida
Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6045075 - 08/25/13 12:06 PM

I have the Meade and 2 Golden Pyramids. Don't have one of the locked triangle (been 30 years since I last used one). I do prefer the newer CPC one over the Meade and GPTs, but it has only recently become available. I actually put a CPC tray on my Meade (Much better as a stiffener IMO), so it may be a bit closer to the CPC now, but still has the weaker bottom struts.
Brian


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terraclarke
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: C8 question new [Re: tim53]
      #6045534 - 08/25/13 05:09 PM

Thanks for the tips Tim. You da man here. What you've done with Tinky is amazing. I know who to ask if I have questions, (and I probably will).

Terra


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bremms
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/31/12

Loc: SC
Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6045951 - 08/25/13 08:54 PM

Tim's got the proper method. I like to take one arm off and slide the tube out with the brackets then remove the fork brackets from the tube. I have a set of tube rings for the C8 tube but like the bolted on dove tail better. Mine stays on the fork.

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terraclarke
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: Just South of the Mason-Dixon ...
Re: C8 question new [Re: bremms]
      #6046845 - 08/26/13 11:45 AM

Looks like I'm getting an older Celestron Wedgepod for my C8. I'll use it on that for a while before I decide if I truly want or need to de-fork it and mount it on the Meade #826 GEM. The wedgepod looks like a nice stable and portable solution as I am only interested in visual observing with it.

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A6Q6
sage


Reged: 05/31/11

Loc: Stroudsburg,Pa,U.S.A
Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6046960 - 08/26/13 12:50 PM Attachment (4 downloads)

Hi Terra, I hope you get a good C8, they seem to be hit and miss, I never realized how good a SC could be because the ones I looked through had soft images. Then I Picked up an orange tube C5 at a pawn shop for only $100.00 last winter and it wasn't until this summer that I saw that the optics were fantastic. I have had a Quantum Six for over 30 years so I know what good optics can do. Anyway, you will really be impressed if you get a good one. Good Luck

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rdandrea
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/13/10

Loc: Colorado, USA DM59ra
Re: C8 question new [Re: terraclarke]
      #6047006 - 08/26/13 01:24 PM

Quote:

Looks like I'm getting an older Celestron Wedgepod for my C8. I'll use it on that for a while before I decide if I truly want or need to de-fork it and mount it on the Meade #826 GEM. The wedgepod looks like a nice stable and portable solution as I am only interested in visual observing with it.




Good move. Using the fork on a wedge has some real advantages.


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5RNS
member
*****

Reged: 08/19/13

Loc: Arizona
Re: C8 question [Re: orion61]
      #6047169 - 08/26/13 03:02 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I saw your number there and I'm sure I may need it eventually.Thank you. I just ordered my cord about an hour ago. Now the waiting game begins.



Another accy you need to look into is a Celestron F6.3 Focal reducer and field Flattener.
It does 3 important things, reduces the magnification so finding Deep Space objects is easier thats one.
I dramatically reduces the field curve in the F10 SCT, thats 2
Also seals the tube from dust.3
Oh yes it drastically reduces exposure time for Prime focus Astro photography!
Try and find the original Made in Japan version. I like them better, don't know if the coatings are better, or if they are better optically. I could see a slight difference in sharpness between the 2 I had. I kept the MIJ and sold the other one..




I will add it to the list. After giving myself a quick education on what it does it looks like a must have.


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tclehman1969
sage
*****

Reged: 05/18/10

Loc: SF Bay Area, California
Re: C8 question new [Re: 5RNS]
      #6053517 - 08/29/13 11:07 PM

The old C8 is an awesome scope! You've done good in selecting that. It's a good mix of aperture and size for portability sake.

As for AP, it is a fine scope for that as well. I have a C8 from mid 80's that is a great workhorse. I have since deforked it, but in its early days, I was getting 5 - 8 minute exposures with no drive corrector and piggyback photography. Now, admittedly, that was on the Byers drive which was pretty dog-gone good, I think most old C8ers will agree. And for AP, there is a great YouTube video that goes into astro photography without a driven scope at all. Instead just a series of very short images on a DSLR stacked in a computer.

If you defork the scope, I learned a little trick to defork. When deforking loosen the two bolts where the fork attaches to the drive base on one of the forks. That way, when removing the screws from the tube end of the forks, you can wiggle the lose fork arm out of the way and not scratch the tube.

Anyway, great system and really you are set for a long time of enjoyment without getting carried away with equipment...don't get GAS: Gear Acquisition Syndrome. There is no question there is some great equipment available out there for astro photography, and many take some amazing images with it, but you don't have to break the bank to get some absolutely great images. Today, I have the same C8 deforked on a Atlas EQ-G and I'm still doing piggyback photography. I use a DSLR and use a 50 mm, 17-50mm, 50-150mm and a 80mm refractor. And this is great for a lot of deep space objects. When I image I like to put these objects in context with a bit of the area around them, so wide field work is great. Realistically, for me, anyway, there will be times when I image DSOs through the scope, but that will be rare.


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5RNS
member
*****

Reged: 08/19/13

Loc: Arizona
Re: C8 question new [Re: tclehman1969]
      #6054784 - 08/30/13 05:10 PM

Update......
I received my new power cord yesterday. Today i assembled the scope and mount,plugged it in and...........IT WORKS! At first I expected to hear something and didn't. So I zeroed the RA wheel and now I see she's purring right along.

While going through my gear I found my receipt from when I traded my 4.5 reflector in on it. 1993! Twenty years later it's like I have a new scope all over again.

And in keeping with new scope tradition, monsoon weather here.


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