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Just bought CPC 1100 HD, now what?

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#1 millertime


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Posted 08 September 2016 - 01:25 PM

I am a newbie and just bought a CPC Deluxe 1100 HD telescope(I know....too much scope for a newbie but what the heck :) ). Here are the accessories I have bought so far:


1.  Celestron Vibration Suppression Pads for Tripods

2.  Celestron AC to DC Power Adapter

3.  Celestron PowerTank 7-Amp 12 VDC Power Supply

4.  Celestron SkyPortal WiFi Module


I understand that I will most likely want/need the following additional items:


1.  Cases:  I have read that I can buy a Stanley Cases from Home Depot instead of the one from Celestron. It looks like I will need 2-3 cases.  One for the optical tube, one for the mount and possibly the stand?  If I do it myself any recommendations on the best option to foam line the inside? 

2.  Dew Shield.  Seems like I have read that there are some metal options that perform better...Prob the one from the Celestron website is fine? 

3.  Baader Click Loc to change eye pieces...

4.  Eyepieces...it comes with a 23 mm luminous eyepiece.  I have read that I should go with an Ethos eyepiece...between 13 - 31 mm.   Would prefer to start with one nice eyepiece so hoping for a recommendation on a good overall eyepiece. Also a moon filter, barlow lense?   Celestron has the 1.25" or 2" eyepiece and filter kit but it seems like those kits are not high quality?



Anything else I am missing?  Astroimaging may follow later in which case I will get the wedge etc... and come back will a ton of questions 

#2 junomike



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Posted 08 September 2016 - 01:37 PM

A chair! 

Definitely need a chair!  i use a Starbound but there are numerous one's to choose from.



#3 jerwin



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Posted 09 September 2016 - 03:40 AM

The cpc1100 is a tank, I personally have no issues with vibration on that, so I'd suggest buying suppression pads last, IF you really think you need them.


A telrad is a nice finder, some people love the Celestron StarSense AutoAlign.  I don't like to spend $330 for something I can do myself in the same amount of time.  


100% agree with Mike on a good astro chair.  


the wifi module I guess would be for using your phone or tablet to drive the thing, but the hand controller drives it just fine too.  If you use a phone or tablet, you need to watch the brightness, or it could ruin your night vision, making it harder to see that faint object you are trying to look at.  Now granted I don't have this, but it wouldn't be in my list of stuff I need on the first night out.  


A decent piece of software is Sky tools.  You can download a free version that only works with 4.5" scopes BUT here is my logic, if you can see it in a 4.5" you can DEFINITELY see it in an 11 inch.  If you like the software, it's not super expensive, but real easy to try it out first, and it would give you a list of the first chunk of objects to try to find.  


As for cases, you don't remove the OTA from the fork arms, but it will fit in a Stanley case fine.  I have some 2" thick foam from a hobby store making a 4" thick bottom, a 2" thick back, and then I have to put the scope in at a slight angle, and I usually put a 4th piece of foam that drapes over the top, and a bit on the front.  She's a beast getting in an out of my SUV though.  I keep my tripod in a cheap duffel bag.



The baader click lock is if you want to use a normal (non SCT threaded) diagonal.  I have the celestron threaded 2" diagonal , and I've never been concerned with it falling off the scope.  SOMETIMES at outreach a kid will use the eyepiece as a handle and twist it a quarter of a turn, but it's survived.  


On the power tank...and granted it's easy to spend other peoples money, but they have a new tank out that MIGHT be a better fit.  I just bought it, only had it out 3 times so far, but I'm liking it.  https://www.telescop...wertank-lithium

I did have dew tonight, and couldn't use my 12v dew heater because this doesn't have a cigarette port, but if I was more aware of the dew point it wouldn't have been an issue.  This tank seems like (on writing anyways) it will take more recharges, and can be ran down without harming the battery.  That 7-amp you don't want it to go under 50%.


The focal reducer for the HD is a lot more expensive than the non, but it gives you that wider view when needed.  I wouldn't buy it right away, use the scope first and see if things are fitting well in the eyepiece or if a wider field would make sense, and watch the classifieds because maybe you'll find one $100 cheaper than new.  


Moon filter, I personally buy and often use the cheap zhumell 


I'm sure someone reading this would argue that a lumicon 900 dollar moon filter is .025% better, but it's the moon, it's bright and you want it to not be so bright, and that is easily accomplished with a cheaper polarizing moon filter. 


Other filters, I don't like the zhumell, we had a filter shoot out one time and the Orion Ultrablock filter was almost indistinguishable form it's Lumicon counterpart and half the price.  BUT, try to look at some nebula first and see if they look ok or if you think you want to get more out of them, while maybe losing some background stars.  Some objects I like the filter, some I don't, so it's probably a personal preference thing.  


On eyepieces, Ethos and televues in general are a heck of a nice eyepiece.  I personally use explore scientific in my scope, that are priced a little nicer.  My most used eyepiece is my Explore Scientific 30mm 82 degree eyepiece.  Followed by my 20mm 100 degree, and then probably my 9mm 100 degree (if conditions allow for that much magnification).  IF I were to try to barlow a ES 20mm 100 degree eyepiece, it would probably stick out 8 inches from the diagonal, because the 100 degree ES and Televue's are kind of long.  


Ok, onto the wedge and AP.  I had a wedge.  I think at the time I was 33ish.  to get this cpc1100 on the wedge (by my self), I had to pick it up (using mostly my lower back and groin in a twisting jerking motion  :lol:), swing it, darn near so it was parallel to the ground and hope it landed on the wedge in a way I could lock it down.  SCARY STUFF with a nice scope like that.  I loaned the wedge to a friend and he said him and his wife struggled to get it on the wedge.  So eventually he assembled it on it's side, and him and his wife stood it up TOTALLY screwing up it being level.  So it's your money, do what you want, but the wedge wasn't for me, and wasn't for my buddy.  And to be perfectly honest, my buddy, sold his cpc1100 tripod and fork arms and put the OTA on a Celestron CGEM DX mount so he could do AP.  Again, someone reading this will say I'm full of it, but that mount is not the mount you want for Astrophotography.  It CAN BE DONE, but it's done better with an equatorial mount.  He later upgraded his mount to an Astro-physics which is now his mount for astrophotography.  


Final thought I'll leave you with.  It sounds like you have a nice budget to work with, which is nice, not a lot of people have that coming straight into the hobby.  But you don't need to buy everything at once, you try stuff out if you see what seems to work and what doesn't.  Check the cloudynight classifieds for second hand, or third, forth, fifth, sixth hand stuff and save $50 or $100 here or there.  If you have a local astronomy club, join and attend some of their observing nights, and probably well over 90% of the people in the hobby would let you look through their eyepiece or even use it in your own scope so you can see what you think of something before you buy it.  Sometimes that is bad thing when your buddy has a new expensive eyepiece that you try out, and by 4am you have an order confirmation number in hand, but I'd rather he spend his money on a new piece of equipment and borrow it for 20 minutes than to spend my money one something that doesn't feel right.  


So...long answer, sorry about that, but we've all had the bug were we just want to buy it all on day 1, and probably most of us have also regretted a purchase or 2, so take it slow.  You have a beautiful scope and she's going to help you explorer the universe one object at a time.  


Clear skies to you :waytogo:



#4 MikeBOKC


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Posted 09 September 2016 - 07:48 AM

You have acquired a fine scope, one that will last you for years. I would second the suggestions on an adjustable chair (I got a drummer's throne from a music store) and the dew shield, though I would suggest the flexible one which is easier to store and transport and adds less weight up front.


Re eyepieces, Ethos is a top line series. Since eyepieces are very much a matter of taste, what is best for one person may not be for another. For example, those who wear glasses often find different lines of eyepieces more user friendly. Sane goes for the different fields of view presented by different eyeieces; some find it essential to the best view, others don't care for wider fields.


My suggestion is to avoid any further eyepiece purchases for now. The 23mm one is a good all purpose focal length. Get used to the operation of your scope for a while. If there is an astronomy club near you, bring your scope to some of their viewing events or star parties and try different eyepieces, both in your scope and by looking through those owned by others, Make some notes about what appeals best to you and then add one or two to your lineup. And yes avoid the entry-level eyepiece kits. They are adequate but not really something that would bring out the best in your scope.


Most of all realize that astronomy has a long learning curve. Things that may baffle you today will become second nature in a year or so. Most folks in this hobby would see a scope like yours as a lifetime instrument, which in many ways it is. You are lucky to have had the resources to start at such an advanced level. I know you will have many fun nights ahead!

#5 millertime


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Posted 09 September 2016 - 08:46 AM

Wow!  Thanks for all the replies guys!  I know first and foremost I am buying a chair!  I will also pick up the dew shield.  I already have ordered the power supply so I cant upgrade to lithium one, Jim :( . The lenses and filter determination are going to take time from what I can tell.  Lots to figure out but will start with joining the local astronomy club and getting some help :waytogo:.  I did find a good article on filters off astronomy.com website(http://www.astronomy.../nebula-filters).  They make you join to read the article but I can read it from my phone without a membership.  It basically said the DGM Optics Npb was one of the best narrowband filters and the Orion SkyGlow was one of the best broadband.  I live in Keller, Texas(edge of DFW) so lots of light pollution.  I will get this baby set up and see how she does as is, along with a couple of trips to the astronomy club hopefully before buying anything.   Another question is 1.25 vs 2 inch eyepieces(this is more of a learning question for me).  I believe the size of the eyepiece varies based on your scope and needs.  For this scope is a 2 inch "generally" the best option or is the answer both sizes for various viewing goals?  Thanks again everyone.  I am glad I found this website!     

#6 Kendahl


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Posted 09 September 2016 - 06:11 PM

Dew is a frequent problem for SCTs because the corrector plate is right out front. Therefore, a dew shield should be your first purchase. If that's not enough, there are powered dew heaters from various vendors. Astrozap will sell you a 12 VDC controller and 11" heater for $160.


Second purchase should be gasoline to take you to observing sites with less light pollution. I have found this web site useful for finding dark sites: http://djlorenz.gith...erlay/dark.html


Do you belong to an astronomy club? If not, join one. According to the Astronomical League's web site (www.astroleague.org), there are two clubs in your area. They are the Fort Worth Astronomical Society (www.fortworthastro.org) and the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas (www.texasastro.org). They will have suggestions for good sites and may own property for use by members.


Celestron's Luminos eyepieces are decent quality and work well with SCTs. Explore Scientific eyepieces are a step up in both quality and price. Tele Vue eyepieces are tops in both categories. General opinion seems to be that Explore Scientific eyepieces are close to Tele Vue in quality while being substantially cheaper. I'm very pleased with my Explore Scientific 82° eyepieces.


2 inch eyepieces are necessary to give very wide fields of view. For example, with 1-1/4 inch Plossls, apparent field of view is 50° or 52° up to 32 mm focal length. At 40 mm, it drops to 43°. Tele Vue advertises its 24 mm Panoptic as "designed to produce the largest true field possible in a 1¼" eyepiece."


With your telescope's long focal length, it will be easy to get high magnifications. Low magnifications, to give you a wide field of view, are a challenge. Celestron's 0.7x focal length reducer will help. A useful formula is TFOV = AFOV / Magnification where TFOV is the true field you see through the eyepiece and AFOV is apparent field of view designed into the eyepiece (e.g. 82°). Before investing in an expensive, wide field eyepiece, make sure that restrictions in the telescope or reducer don't prevent you from getting all the true field you would otherwise expect.

#7 Bentley15


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Posted 10 September 2016 - 12:06 PM

Hi all,

Although I've been lurking on this forum for a while now I am a relatively newbie. I was an armchair astronomer for years. I too have bought a CPC 1100 as my first scope and I have had a some difficulty with finding objects. This year I purchased a Televue 55mm eye piece to get the largest field of view and have seen more this year than the last 3 years combined. I also have a focal reducer which gives an even larger field. It's a great scope and have fun.

#8 Doc Bob

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 03:38 PM

Also agree with Mike re: observing chair! I have a StarDust chair . . . there are plenty of models out there to choose from. Of all the nice things to have nothing beats comfort whilst observing. Nothing worse than having a backache and undue fatigue from standing, bending, and contorting to see anything!


Good observing & clear skies,


#9 mdsohio


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Posted 10 September 2016 - 07:15 PM

I also have a CPC-1100....I wont be able to add much for equip., that hasn't already been said, but I will add this. Its more than a tank...Its a BEAST! Many choose to defork it and get a lighter OTA on their EQ mount, others put it in a observatory. Others, end up using it less than other scopes like me! A HUSKY JOB BOX will serve you well with its wheels and extendable handle. The tripod isn't light weight either! Nexremote is neat using a laptop, something to play with instead of the simple remote. A WO 40mm works nice in it as does a 13mm T6 Nag! I use the ES 24 in between those in that scope. One further thing I will add, I bought a lomax/lymax? cooler for mine...it will take forever, and sometimes longer to reach ambient temp if ever! Store in a place where its near ambient already is what I chose. Have fun!

Edited by mdsohio, 10 September 2016 - 07:45 PM.

#10 millertime


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Posted 11 September 2016 - 02:16 AM

Thanks guys.   I now own a seat and a dew sheild and ready to buy some more lenses!.  I bought the scope so me and my 8 year old boy could explore the universe(recently divorced dad with son). We had an old scope from my brother that barely could see the rings on saturn but was still really cool((it was a prcess for me to find a planet). I also bought a bunch of astronomy books that we can use.   I was hoping to find a book that he could check off each object we found(no luck).   Again thanks guys for the input!!

#11 thomasr



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Posted 11 September 2016 - 08:56 AM

Thanks guys.   I now own a seat and a dew sheild and ready to buy some more lenses!.  I bought the scope so me and my 8 year old boy could explore the universe(recently divorced dad with son). We had an old scope from my brother that barely could see the rings on saturn but was still really cool((it was a prcess for me to find a planet). I also bought a bunch of astronomy books that we can use.   I was hoping to find a book that he could check off each object we found(no luck).   Again thanks guys for the input!!

As others have said, go slow on the eyepieces. It's really easy with a new scope to go crazy and buy a bunch of stuff that you find you simply never use. My most used eyepiece by far is my 15mm Luminos. There is a fair bit of glass in my collection that just sits in the case night after night, month after month.


As for resources that allow you to check off objects as you find them, here's what I do:


There are numerous websites that allow you to create a list of targets that will be visible at a certain time/place. I use Tonight's Sky. When you create a list of items on Tonight's Sky, you have the option to export as CSV (tabular format). I then import that list to Excel for further massaging. There is another thread here on CN where I explain my process (around the 5th or 6th post from the top). I didn't initially keep all the observing plans I generated in this way, but I've started doing that, and putting them away in a binder. Some of them have handwritten notes I took during the night, and some are pristine other than the fact they've gotten dew-wrinkled. They all remind me of time I've spent with the stars.


Oh also, if you haven't downloaded and installed Stellarium yet, do that. It's a great tool for familiarizing yourself with the night sky and planning future observing sessions - and it's a pretty neat way to spend time with an 8-year-old son.

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