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Celestron CPC series computerized GPS telescopes.

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#26 Strgazr27

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 04:18 PM

Jeff,

Like John I'm really curious as to how it knows what it's pointing at? Three random objects? The amount of possibilities for computing objects means it must have one H*** of a database. It just doesn't make sense without at least one known star or object. Another thing that is confusing is, what is defined as "Bright"? Instead of knowing stars do we now have to figure out magnitude instead?

Lots of questions on this one.

#27 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 04:21 PM

That's basically what it does (at least that's my understanding of it)....and it's pretty quick about it too.

Cheers,
Jeff

#28 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 04:25 PM

There are only so many combinations that will give the exact spacing and angular differences from a given location and time on the earth, and as to what "bright" means....I think pretty much anything that is readily "naked eye"....but would have to check on that.

Cheers,
Jeff

#29 jake47

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 04:44 PM

Jeff,

This is the first time I've seen three-star explained. That's kind of cool. I originally thought it was just a "more serious" two star alignment.

I'm one of those newbies without sense who bought a big old NS11GPS for a first scope. (Just kidding about the "without sense" part. Best astro decision I've made) The GPS auto align was always a problem for me. I was a newbie -- I knew some stars, but Celeste kept picking ones I didn't know. Yes I could have opened my planisphere, but we newbies get nervous when an lcd screen calls for action. We think we have to do it right now. So I kept undoing and undoing until it got to a star I knew. Then one night I did the two star alignment (two that I knew) and was viewing in a couple of minutes. I still think that after a few times out, most newbies will plan ahead and pick a couple of stars to point to before they get started and then rely on two star aligns after that. Quick and clean.

But the new three star alignment will really work for newbies, not just promise to work. And the GPS actually makes sense. Celestron now has a better newbie system than North and Level. :woot:

#30 Mike28

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 06:01 PM

Sorta seems like the Meade strategy worked. They used their lawyers to keep sucking research and development money from the smaller completion. Meade gets lots of big attention for their new product -- Celestron regroups.

That's how business seems to be done if you don't care about quality or customers. Maybe the "sue 'em til it hurts" strategy won't work if we keep an eye on service and quality. The CPC sounds like a really good product for the money. The few internal changes don't sound like any serious compromise to quality. I'd miss my carbon tube, but I don't use North and Level anyway. I like the new tripod and the better hook for the HC. Celestron needs to concentrate on customer service and getting what they do right -- two of Meade's biggest areas of weakness.

Time will tell, but, like most of you have said, I'm so glad I got my NS11GPS before the change and before any of the money went to Meade.

There's a long thread on Yahoo that seems to predict that we may be at the high point of amateur astronomy equipment - that we will look back on this time as the beginning of the decline. Too pessimistic to dwell on, but I'm so glad I have my classic NS11GPS.


I wonder if Meade is aware of the the negative reaction of their practices that is making the rounds of the amatuer astronomers. Even some Meade owners question their ethics.
Only time will tell.

#31 Syzygy

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 06:41 PM

I somehow don't think that Meade really cares...............

#32 Mike28

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 06:52 PM

I somehow don't think that Meade really cares...............


Somehow the phrase 'Greed is good' fits them......./in my opinion.....

#33 Syzygy

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 06:59 PM

Although I won't be rushing out to replace my NS11 ANYTIME soon, I hope that the new CPC line really takes off. It has alot going for it - very competitive pricing, excellent features, and no doubt optics of a quality to please. Celestron HAD to do something to get out from under Meade's cut.

I'll never trash a Meade scope, having never used one, but their business practices definitely raise a brow or two.

#34 Mike28

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 07:25 PM

Their scopes are good. Optics almost as good as Celestrons. I owned two. Sold em for a more quieter night of viewing lol. I dont want to get into a bashing them, its a waste of time and energy ;). Getting back to Celestron's new scope It looks good though. Price very reasonable and their same great optics. I would buy one as a backup to my NS11GPS but need more EPS :smirk:

#35 Mike28

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 07:30 PM

Their scopes are good. Optics almost as good as Celestrons. I owned two. Sold em for a more quieter night of viewing lol. I dont want to get into a bashing them, its a waste of time and energy ;). Getting back to Celestron's new scope It looks good though. Price very reasonable and their same great optics. I would buy one as a backup to my NS11GPS but need more EPS :smirk:


Also need room to store it!

#36 melvy

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 09:01 PM

I just hope they don't stop making the carbon fiber OTA's I am almost ready to get one.

#37 Syzygy

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 09:16 PM

I just hope they don't stop making the carbon fiber OTA's I am almost ready to get one.


Better get one while the getting is good................I don't see the current NS line lasting much longer. If the line is discontinued, the used market for current NexStars will be hot indeed!

#38 srjaynes49

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 02:25 AM

The fine print in the star database info implies you can scan by constellation now. See cut and paste below:

Standard NexStar Computer Control System Features

16 character double line liquid crystal display, 19 LED backlit buttons
RS 232 communication port
Software Features (coming soon)

New NexStar Computer Control System Features

Flash upgradable: download software updates from a personal computer to the NexStar Hand control
Precise Goto: a feature that allows you to ensure the maximum pointing accuracy
User Objects: Save objects from the NexStar database that you want to look at later as well as marking objects in the sky or on the land
Identify: Indentify objects in the field of view that you may find when exploring
Constellations: Search for objects in the sky by the constallations. This way you can explore one part of the sky at a time

Some of these features look NICE. I HOPE we can upgrade our GPS family controlers!

#39 Mike28

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 08:35 AM

Hi Steve: The more I read into this new Sky Align program, the more it sound too good to be true! No more pointing north or even level the scope. This must mean that the scope takes the GPS signals, knows the location of the scope and the sky plus the current constellations and can use any star as alignment! The reposition of the HC is good, downside is the tube is back to aluminum (to save cost?) but weight of scope/base of the CPC11 is 65 lbs-the same as my current NS11GPS scope. The tripod looks better and Celestron says easier to mount (need that!).

#40 Ken Hutchinson

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 11:03 AM

Sure this is underwhelming for those of us looking for a new gee-whiz scope. But it is pretty exciting for people looking for a new scope in this price range. It looks like the bang/buck ratio will be quite high. I think this will be a winner for Celestron. The new alignment method sounds at least as good as north/level and I kinda wish my NS11 had it.

BTW a dealer on one of the Yahoo groups claims that the GPS line will continue for the forseeable future. I would not be surprised to see all of Celestron's telescopes that currently use north/level switched over to SkyAlign in the near future. Yeah, I'll be keeping my NS11. I think the point is if you were considering an LXD75 or LX90, wouldn't the CPC give you something to think pretty hard about. For that matter, if I were buying new right now with the same mindset I had when I bought the NS11, I think I would have gone with the CPC instead.

Ken

#41 Mike28

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 01:43 PM

' If ' the CPC does as its advertised, it just might give the RCX a run for its money despite RCX's inturnal fan and dew coil extras. By the way, the fan in the RCX draws in outside air to cool the primary mirror. That means any dirt or dust mixed in the air has to be filtered or it will get to the mirror. If filter clogs after awhile, it has to be cleaned or replaced. If there is no filter then dust will get onto the primary mirror and damage to the fan can also be a issue. Need more input here. Anyone?

#42 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 02:10 PM

Mike and all,

Take a look at Mike Swanson's website for a more detailed review of SkyAlign. Basically....if it's >2.5 magnitude it can be used as an alignment star/object (keep in mind even the four brightest planets and the moon can be used).

http://www.nexstarsite.com

Clear skies,
Jeff

#43 jfaaz

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 05:32 PM

I would love one of those new CPC scopes! They look fine to me. I'd rather have CPC 11, than a C11 SGT and they are not much more!

#44 Ken Hutchinson

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 07:45 PM

Mike and all,

Take a look at Mike Swanson's website for a more detailed review of SkyAlign. Basically....if it's >2.5 magnitude it can be used as an alignment star/object (keep in mind even the four brightest planets and the moon can be used).

http://www.nexstarsite.com

Clear skies,
Jeff


I'd love to look at it but I can't find any reference to CPC or sky align on his site. Not even by searching on those terms. Where is it?

Ken

#45 Strgazr27

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 08:52 PM

' If ' the CPC does as its advertised, it just might give the RCX a run for its money despite RCX's inturnal fan and dew coil extras. By the way, the fan in the RCX draws in outside air to cool the primary mirror. That means any dirt or dust mixed in the air has to be filtered or it will get to the mirror. If filter clogs after awhile, it has to be cleaned or replaced. If there is no filter then dust will get onto the primary mirror and damage to the fan can also be a issue. Need more input here. Anyone?


A run for it's money in what respect? Sales? It should KILL the RCX in sales. As it should. From a feature standpoint? Not even close to keeping up with the Meade. If Meade were to release the LX200GPS with the same features as the RCX as far as electronics go, and kept the price where it is right now they would have one KILLER scope. But alas they haven't.

Will it outsell the LX200 GPS? Probably not but I think it will put a big hole in the sales of LX200's

As for the fan, I really don't think Meade would be dumb enough to not filter the incoming air. That shouldn't even be a question. Sure you'll have to clean the filter occasionally. A small price to pay for a scope with a cool down time that could be half a normal SCT's.

The CPC looks like a VERY nice scope from afeatures standpoint and value for the features. But god it couldn't get any uglier :foreheadslap:

#46 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 09:54 PM

Stay tuned Ken...it could be that he hasn't yet posted it. Bottom line is the >2.5 magnitude star (or solar system) and following the rest of the procedure in my previous post.

Cheers,
Jeff

#47 Mike28

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Posted 30 January 2005 - 07:46 PM

[quote name="Strgazr27"][quote]
As for the fan, I really don't think Meade would be dumb enough to not filter the incoming air. That shouldn't even be a question. Sure you'll have to clean the filter occasionally. A small price to pay for a scope with a cool down time that could be half a normal SCT's.

The CPC looks like a VERY nice scope from afeatures standpoint and value for the features. But god it couldn't get any uglier :foreheadslap: [/quote]

My question that you have misconstrued, ask's if there is a filter in the fan? READ it over again. Is it a disposable filter or one that can be cleaned off and re-used? If no, dust will be forming inside affecting the primary mirror. You want to plunk 7 grand down fore the scope? Outside of the loyal owners, I cant see people paying that much and most likely be opting for a less expensive scope with higher quality optics like the Celestron's SCT's. I owned two Meade's once. A LX200 8" classic and the 10" GPS. I sold the 8", Purchased to NS11GPS and after compairing the optics during the summer between the Meade 10" and NS11GPS, decided Celestron has the better optics. Quieter too. Ugly? A nice quiet scope with superior optics I will take any day. Wont running the dew coil on a heavy dew night along with the fan, drain the battery quicker out in the field as both systems switch on and to compensate for heat and dew? We all have encountered bad dew nights and as a result I started using a separate power pack to run my kendrick dew zapper. Can two power sources be used? I can see using house current not a problem there, but out in the field? I still stand by my statement that the CPC should sell quite well. Let's see what happens when these scopes hit the streets.

#48 Strgazr27

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Posted 30 January 2005 - 08:42 PM

Mike,

As I actually can read I think it was the confusing wording of your post that I had trouble with. As I cannot definitely answer your question as to wether it does or doesn't have a fan filter I said that logically it should. It would also make sense that it be removeable for user servicing.

I'm not plunking down $7K for the scope. I wouldn't anyway as they start at $5K not $7K.

People buying the RCX are not going to be your everyday Joe. They will probably not be the same people purchasing the New CPC or LX200GPS. It is more of a specialized piece of equipment. Why would you compare the 2? Do you know something about the optics that thousands of us don't? I ask this as you stated that people would "most likely be opting for a less expensive scope with higher quality optics like the Celestron's SCT's." How do you know the RCX has inferior optics? I have owned a C11 AS-GT and my current 12" LX200 and I don't really see any difference in the optics. I have looked through a 9.25 Celestron and can say it's images were very nice, but not that much nicer than any Meade I have looked through overall.

As the Meade Dew remover is internal it has been speculated that it will be more effecient than an external dew heater. The fan would more than likely not be running once the scope is cooled down. As far as running 2 sets of power supplies I can't answer that. If such is the case one could just add to there current setup to compensate for the increased draw.

As neither of these scopes has "hit the streets" noone can say for sure can they?

Where do you think Celestron made a compensation to drop the price? Optics? Materials? How well will the new CPC track? How accurate will it's GoTo be? How fast will the SkyAlign feature work? These are questions that should and are being asked.

I do have one more point....(OK maybe more than one) You state here

I dont want to get into a bashing them, its a waste of time and energy

but than you also go on to post

I hope the paint doesnt start to come off some like Meades do. Believe me I owned two Meades and that is what happend when you cleaned them down.

I have owned 3 Meades and NONE of them have had the paint issues you speak of :question: Than there is this

I wonder if Meade is aware of the the negative reaction of their practices that is making the rounds of the amatuer astronomers. Even some Meade owners question their ethics.
Only time will tell.

I agree but Meade still outsells Celestron so go figure. Still going

Somehow the phrase 'Greed is good' fits them......./in my opinion.....

enough said I think. Let's see

Their scopes are good. Optics almost as good as Celestrons. I owned two. Sold em for a more quieter night of viewing lol. I dont want to get into a bashing them, its a waste of time and energy .

Sure looks like you wasted A LOT of time and energy bashing them no?

If the tone of my post is sarcastic that's becuase it is. I feel that your response for me to READ your post again was uncalled for and sarcastic itself. Perhaps your original question could have been written so it was easier to understand? I could be wrong.

Bottom line is the CPC looks to be a good scope. You can't compare sales to the RCX. It may wind up selling more than the GPS but I doubt it. Especially if Meade cuts the price on the LX.

This is just further proof that it's a great time to be in the hobby.

#49 rboe

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Posted 30 January 2005 - 08:53 PM

:rant: :shameonyou:

#50 LittleDob

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Posted 30 January 2005 - 09:08 PM

Where do you think Celestron made a compensation to drop the price? Optics? Materials? How well will the new CPC track? How accurate will it's GoTo be? How fast will the SkyAlign feature work? These are questions that should and are being asked.


Okay let's ask it. Where do you guys think Celestron made compromises to drop the price? Xando begins this thread by noting some differences in the mechanics (bronze vs brass, gear and shaft sizes, etc.) and the carbon fibre vs aluminum tube, and others have commented on the royalties. Do these differences account for a $700 difference between the CPC11(XLT) and the NS11(XLT)? Another interesting comment was that Celestron may have been able to refine the manufacturing process to reduce costs. Any other ideas on how Celestron was able to manage such a significant price drop?

Here is one thought. About 6 months ago, the NS11 was priced at $2999, then the price jumped up to $3504. (Of course I paid the higher price. :() Perhaps the pricing has more to do with marketing. By keep the initial costs low, the CPC gains a reputation of being good value, then 6 months later... k'blamo...price shoots up. Okay, Okay, maybe I'm still a little sore about paying the highest of all possible prices :smirk:

Jason


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