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Celestron cpc 1100 user reviews

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#1 omcbman

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 09:38 PM

Hello everyone, Ok, So here is my situation, I'm thinking very seriously about buying a brand new Celestron CPC 1100. I would like to get some user reviews of this scope. Please provide me with what you have seen with your scope and how much detail you saw. I'm aware of seeing conditions and what not, and I also know this is a heavy scope, but the weight will not be an issue. I'm mainly concerned with what you can see with this scope and how good you see it(Mainly Solar System). Thank you all very much in advance for the information you can provide.



#2 Patrick

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Posted 29 October 2016 - 10:15 PM

 

Hello everyone, Ok, So here is my situation, I'm thinking very seriously about buying a brand new Celestron CPC 1100. I would like to get some user reviews of this scope. Please provide me with what you have seen with your scope and how much detail you saw. I'm aware of seeing conditions and what not, and I also know this is a heavy scope, but the weight will not be an issue. I'm mainly concerned with what you can see with this scope and how good you see it(Mainly Solar System). Thank you all very much in advance for the information you can provide.

 

Hi ombcman,

 

I have a CPC1100 which I use mostly for star parties and outreach.  It's a great scope for that and I really enjoy the views through it.  I use the scope with a Denkmeier Power Switch which has 0.63x focal reduction and a 2x barlow plus the native focal length.  It's very convenient.  

 

Under excellent skies and thermally equalized, the C11 can provide wonderful and highly detailed planetary views at better than 300x. On deepsky objects, the C11 has enough aperture to provide nice bright views of the night skies jewels, and can go deeper on fainter objects.

 

You can't go wrong with a CPC1100.  At 65 lbs it is heavy, but the ergonomic handholds really help.  I just carry mine from a shelf in the garage to the car seat and then to the tripod at the site.  

 

Patrick



#3 MikeBOKC

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 08:41 AM

Mine is the best scope I have ever owned. As I noted in a similar thread, I think it is a "sweet spot" instrument with the right combination of portability, ease of setup and use, aperture and versatility. Absent the ability to transport and use a really alrge Dob (say 14 inches and up) the CPC1100 is probably the most aperture you can get in a portable scope. One factor: be sure to get an adjustable viewing chair or seat, which will really maximize the comfort factor.



#4 Patrick

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 02:55 PM

Mine is the best scope I have ever owned. As I noted in a similar thread, I think it is a "sweet spot" instrument with the right combination of portability, ease of setup and use, aperture and versatility. Absent the ability to transport and use a really alrge Dob (say 14 inches and up) the CPC1100 is probably the most aperture you can get in a portable scope. One factor: be sure to get an adjustable viewing chair or seat, which will really maximize the comfort factor.

A couple of other things....

 

On my scope, I need to use a counterweight on the underside of the OTA to get a good balance with the 2" diagonal and 2" eyepieces I sometimes use.  If I don't use a counterweight I get a gradual creep in the tracking.

 

I believe the CPC Deluxe HD version has an upgraded mount with upgraded motors and gears.  Maybe that fixes the issue.  

Patrick



#5 ATM57

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 02:38 PM

Quotes from my observing logs. Multiple observations:

 

"Saturn showing 6 moons easily. Found Enceladus without having to look up it's position first." Seeing 3-4/10

 

"So far the star test images are quite nice in this scope... I do like what it is showing me. It is as though the scope is adding "nothing" to the view. No aberrations so far. Scope has a very narrow focus area. Snap focus. Even in bad seeing you know when you are focused. Saturn at 112x is crisp and clean. At 140x the view of Saturn is quite nice." Seeing 6/10

 

"Just split the .9" double next to Procyon. Two airy disks clearly seen. A wide split. Matched the view generated in Aberrator. Iota Leo easily split. Seeing going away. Saturn is crisp and well defined at 187x. Going to 311x to to see if the seeing will allow it. This is the best night so far with the 11". Saturn is tack sharp at 311x. Could only glimpse the Cassini division with the ring tilt only being 3.3 degrees. Just saw Dione only 2.7" below the ring and only 6" from the globe of Saturn in "not the best seeing." Not bad at all!" Seeing 7/10

 

"Despite the "average" sky, Saturn comes up well defined at 140x. A stunning view. The seeing went away for a while but has now come back. At 400x I just saw Tethys only 1" away from Saturn. That's doing some! Seeing not quite 400x quality but you could confirm the moon in moments of simi-steadiness. 6 moons visible." Seeing 6-7/10

 

"Split Iota Leo at only 140x. Split Eta Gemini at 140x. Went to 311x to confirm." Seeing 5/10

 

"Nice view of the moon in bright twilight. The three crater pits in Archimedes are very easy. There is a 4th visible as well. The twin craterletts on the floor of Plato are easy. So far up to 4 craterletts. I did see the Pi Kies lunar dome pit.  Again seeing limiting the view." Seeing 5/10

 

"Just saw Tethys 1.8" from the ring of Saturn. Seeing not the best. You can see the color of Titan. Seeing 5-6/10

 

"Shadow breakouts are very close to equal on both sides of focus. I'm having a slight (good) problem with the out of focus star test. I'm having difficulty seeing a difference in the out of focus patterns. No turned edge. No astigmatism. No zones. 250 LPI grating at 4 bands are prison bars!"  Not bad at all!" Seeing5/10

 

There are many more but I hope this helps.

 

Scopejunkie

Attached Thumbnails

  • CPC 1100 Web2.jpg
  • Addons 002.jpg

Edited by ATM57, 31 October 2016 - 08:44 PM.


#6 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 02:48 PM

My friend has this scope and has been mounting it on a wedge and doing EAA as well as astrophotography. Its a beastie, but super easy to setup and align. When I retire I'd like to have one of these setup in a roll off observatory set on a permanent pier. The tripod it comes with is really nice as well (I want one of the tripods to put my 8" Evolution on)

 

I will say that you should watch the used sections of Highpoint, B&H as well as Astronomics as they come up from time to time on the used sections. They may have been used as a demo. You can save some cash going that direction and have some extra for some good eyepieces

 

Jon


Edited by Spacefreak1974, 31 October 2016 - 02:48 PM.


#7 Peter9

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 03:59 PM

I echo all that has been said regarding ease of use, and the range of objects the CPC1100 makes it possible to observe.

Very good optics coupled with excellent goto's and tracking, make it a joy to use. I feel sure you will not regret purchasing a CPC1100.

It is by far the best scope I have ever owned.

 

Regards.  Peter



#8 dann

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 10:37 PM

Hows cool down time on the C11 OTA, would you guys also recommend some active cooling? (Lymax, TEMP-est...)


Edited by dann, 31 October 2016 - 10:48 PM.


#9 ATM57

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 11:48 PM

Hows cool down time on the C11 OTA, would you guys also recommend some active cooling? (Lymax, TEMP-est...)

Depends on your weather conditions. Based on my personal SCT experiences, if your average evening temperature changes are not severe, or your primary observing is deep sky, I wouldn't recommend cooling. A C-11 set out early enough (at sunset) should be able to handle average evening/night temperature changes. Where I live the temp drops are a bit more severe. I have actively and passively cooled just about all my SCT's over the years because of this.

 

The pics show the spinner fan I installed in my CPC 1100. It was powered through the AUX port.

 

Scopejunkie

Attached Thumbnails

  • CPC1100 Cooled WEB3.jpg
  • CPC1100 Cooled WEB2.jpg
  • CPC1100 Cooled WEB1.jpg


#10 Patrick

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 12:43 AM

Hows cool down time on the C11 OTA, would you guys also recommend some active cooling? (Lymax, TEMP-est...)

It's a good idea.  I use a Lymax cooler and it speeds up the cool down time considerably.  You can use the Lymax cooler with the non-edge C11, but the Edge version requires the TEMP-Est coolers.  On my Edge 8 I run the Temp-Est coolers.

 

Patrick



#11 Nissaire

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 10:04 AM

Highly recommended scope for visual. I've gone from a cheap refractor, to a good 8" Dobson, and then upgraded to the CPC 1100 XLT. Never had any regret. A fellow observer has the 9.25" Nexstar Evolution. We've had many occasions to compare both scopes. Even if the 9.25" is no small scope and provides very nice views of most sky objects, the 11" consistently provides more details and a brighter image. The difference is very noticeable. Thus, when we observe together, he doesn't bring the Evolution anymore.

 

I live in a city so I have to drive to get dark enough skies. The tube and fork assembly are indeed very heavy, but I have no problem carrying it around, thanks to the appropriate placement of the handles. I usually transport the tube and fork assembly in a passenger seat, with the seat belt on. The rest of the equipment, including the tripod (which is very solid and stable btw), goes in the trunk. If you can bear the weight, I find this is the most aperture you can get and still keep it reasonable to transport in the SCT format. Some people consider the C14 to be transportable as well, since the tube is separate from the mount, but I'm under the impression they are a minority.

 

The combination of a large aperture, relative transportability, ease to setup, good ergonomics, good optics and efficient GoTo make this scope very versatile. There is no scope that does it all, but this one comes very close to an all-rounder for my visual needs.

 

The main thing I really miss is wide field views. The 11" is limited to about 1° TFOV with 2" eyepieces. Some DSOs or clusters are too big to fit in this field of view. A refractor would be a good complement to this scope. I've seen a lot of people in this forum who mount a refractor on the CPC1100's optical tube. I might do that eventually.

 

Also, if you want to observe where there is no electricity available, you will have to purchase some kind of power supply. The Evolution have a built-in battery, which is very useful (and WiFi controls if you are gadget-minded), but there is no 11" Evolution, unfortunately. I purchased a good deep cycle battery, and placed it in a battery box. Solved.

 

Also, bear in mind you might have to deal with dew, depending on where you observe from. A dew shield is a minimum for me. When the scope gets dew all over, I simply use a hair dryer to blow it off. But I'll eventually go for some heating elements.



#12 janapier

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 11:43 AM

A good C11 can provide astonishing planetary views. During the last opposition and in a moment of absolutely steady seeing, I saw Jupiter "like in the pictures", i.e. in colour, with all commonly known bands visible and richly structured, including five to six white ovals in the SSTeB, plus additional details in this band often barely discernible in lesser instruments or under more adverse conditions. An apo refractor capable of showing this view is likely to bust the bank. I always observe through a Baader Mk. V bino. This also works surprisingly well on deep sky objects. I'm very satisfied with my C11.



#13 Patrick

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 01:15 PM

"The main thing I really miss is wide field views. The 11" is limited to about 1° TFOV with 2" eyepieces. Some DSOs or clusters are too big to fit in this field of view. A refractor would be a good complement to this scope. I've seen a lot of people in this forum who mount a refractor on the CPC1100's optical tube. I might do that eventually."

 

Yes, I have added my small AT66ED refractor to the top of the OTA using ADM "MDS" Dovetail plates and rings.  Also, I've added a bottom plate and their tube counterweight.  The system works very well.

 

I can enjoy the high power views through the 11" or the wider views through the refractor.  Having said that though, there have been many nights when I've not looked through the 'frac, mainly because it's so similar to binocular views. 

 

Patrick


Edited by Patrick, 06 November 2016 - 01:16 PM.


#14 bobhen

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 02:43 PM

I had a C11 OTA for 16 years and liked the scope but if you live where temperatures fall or you bring your scope outside into colder air or both you will need aggressive cooling assistance.

 

Initial acclamation is only half of the problem. If temperatures continue to fall, heat plumes can reform as the mirror sheds head into the tube distorting the light path. Fans that you can run while observing are a huge plus. Without additional cooling, and under certain conditions, a C11 can take a very long time to acclimate.

 

If you live in such an area, I would suggest an Edge OTA and the complete Tempest Cooling System.

 

If you just want to use a C11 for low power visual observing, acclamation is not as important but in that case there are other scopes better suited to low power visual observing other than a C11.

 

Bob



#15 junomike

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 07:43 PM

"The main thing I really miss is wide field views. The 11" is limited to about 1° TFOV with 2" eyepieces. Some DSOs or clusters are too big to fit in this field of view. A refractor would be a good complement to this scope. I've seen a lot of people in this forum who mount a refractor on the CPC1100's optical tube. I might do that eventually."

 

Yes, I have added my small AT66ED refractor to the top of the OTA using ADM "MDS" Dovetail plates and rings.  Also, I've added a bottom plate and their tube counterweight.  The system works very well.

 

I can enjoy the high power views through the 11" or the wider views through the refractor.  Having said that though, there have been many nights when I've not looked through the 'frac, mainly because it's so similar to binocular views. 

 

Patrick

To add this, the 11" ForkMount's can handle a decent sized OTA (or Binoscope).

I regularly use mine with an AT111EDT or APM 100 Binoscope piggybacked.  Both weigh upwards of 14 - 16 lbs.

 

Mike



#16 TheFacelessMen

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 08:58 PM

I owned a CPC1100 for a couple of years prior to purchasing my Mewlon 300

 

I have seen both Jupiter and Saturn in very easily distinguished colour and banding in the CPC1100 and optical/views wise was the best SCT I owned.

 

It did take a long time to cool but my process was to setup before dinner.......leave end cap off the visual back with a mesh filter.....and leave for at least 2 hours....or more depending on conditions.  Worked well.

 

The scope held collimation well.

 

The only downsides for me was mirror shift with focus which was annoying.....and little niggly electronics and mechanical problems, power port rotating free, clutch locks being stuck on irregular occasions, random runaway slews for seemingly no obvious reasons, GOTO star alignment/tracking constantly degrading and needing to be redone during single observing sessions.

 

So my personal summation was that optically mine was very nice, but the electronic/mechanical execution for early CPC's was not very reliable.....the OTA would have been nicer on an Alt/Az GOTO or a EQ mount.

 

Hopefully the latest generation of CPC's have improved on all of this as a reliable CPC1100 with good optics makes for a very nice easy to use SCT


Edited by TheFacelessMen, 06 November 2016 - 09:00 PM.


#17 Patrick

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 03:09 AM

The only downsides for me was mirror shift with focus which was annoying.....and little niggly electronics and mechanical problems, power port rotating free, clutch locks being stuck on irregular occasions, random runaway slews for seemingly no obvious reasons, GOTO star alignment/tracking constantly degrading and needing to be redone during single observing sessions.

 

Regarding the goto degrading, I found that even a small mis-balance in the azimuth could cause 'drift'.  After adding a sliding counterweight under the OTA, I no longer have that issue.

 

Patrick



#18 Umasscrew39

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 11:04 AM

Very happy with my new CPC EdgeHD 1100 but two things.....

 

1. Just purchased the PRO HD Wedge for my CPC 100 and am getting more vibration than what I was expecting.

- tripod is balanced and sitting in a JMI Wheeley Bar as no other way to get it out of the house unless I keep taking it apart
- am using vibration pads
- I am at latitude 37 (south of SF) - so based on the instructions (as ambiguous as they are) I have:
   1.  The slide plates have NOT been moved forward as moving them forward is suppose for be for LAT at 50 or higher
   2.  I have the swivel block set in the middle position (not sure if the highest is best as they imply it might help)

The only problem I can think of is that my scope is on our 900 square foot deck - well built but still not like on concrete.  I did move my setup over a main beam like someone suggested - better but not perfect.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I cannot see doing long exposure AP like this. 

 

2.  How well does Starsense work using the wedge?

 

Thanks in advance,

Bruce



#19 pgrunwald

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 07:09 PM

Hows cool down time on the C11 OTA, would you guys also recommend some active cooling? (Lymax, TEMP-est...)

I made a cat cooler similar to this for about $10.   It works quite well.   My OTA is carbon fiber so I need to actively cool it if the temp is changing rapidly.  

 

http://www.cloudynig...s/sctcooler.pdf

 

I have thought about adding fans but I have not been brave enough for major surgery! 

http://www.morningst...1-xlt-mods.html   

If I was going to do imaging, I would consider this.



#20 mikona

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 09:20 PM

I bought a CPC1100 used simply because the price was so cheap, I couldn't pass it up.  I could make money reselling if I wanted to, so there was minimal risk.  I was simply amazed at how much I loved the scope.  I even sold my Starmaster 20" dob because the CPC1100 provided me more enjoyment due to the fantastic views and the ease of setup.  My biggest complaint is the mirror shift, no fine focus, and the power cord can easily be jarred loose.  Also, the GOTO works great!  

 

This scope is amazing!  I total keeper!    It is a great scope to have!



#21 stefang

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 11:07 PM

Quotes from my observing logs. Multiple observations:

 

"Saturn showing 6 moons easily. Found Enceladus without having to look up it's position first." Seeing 3-4/10

 

"So far the star test images are quite nice in this scope... I do like what it is showing me. It is as though the scope is adding "nothing" to the view. No aberrations so far. Scope has a very narrow focus area. Snap focus. Even in bad seeing you know when you are focused. Saturn at 112x is crisp and clean. At 140x the view of Saturn is quite nice." Seeing 6/10

 

"Just split the .9" double next to Procyon. Two airy disks clearly seen. A wide split. Matched the view generated in Aberrator. Iota Leo easily split. Seeing going away. Saturn is crisp and well defined at 187x. Going to 311x to to see if the seeing will allow it. This is the best night so far with the 11". Saturn is tack sharp at 311x. Could only glimpse the Cassini division with the ring tilt only being 3.3 degrees. Just saw Dione only 2.7" below the ring and only 6" from the globe of Saturn in "not the best seeing." Not bad at all!" Seeing 7/10

 

"Despite the "average" sky, Saturn comes up well defined at 140x. A stunning view. The seeing went away for a while but has now come back. At 400x I just saw Tethys only 1" away from Saturn. That's doing some! Seeing not quite 400x quality but you could confirm the moon in moments of simi-steadiness. 6 moons visible." Seeing 6-7/10

 

"Split Iota Leo at only 140x. Split Eta Gemini at 140x. Went to 311x to confirm." Seeing 5/10

 

"Nice view of the moon in bright twilight. The three crater pits in Archimedes are very easy. There is a 4th visible as well. The twin craterletts on the floor of Plato are easy. So far up to 4 craterletts. I did see the Pi Kies lunar dome pit.  Again seeing limiting the view." Seeing 5/10

 

"Just saw Tethys 1.8" from the ring of Saturn. Seeing not the best. You can see the color of Titan. Seeing 5-6/10

 

"Shadow breakouts are very close to equal on both sides of focus. I'm having a slight (good) problem with the out of focus star test. I'm having difficulty seeing a difference in the out of focus patterns. No turned edge. No astigmatism. No zones. 250 LPI grating at 4 bands are prison bars!"  Not bad at all!" Seeing5/10

 

There are many more but I hope this helps.

 

Scopejunkie

That sliding counterweight bar assembly is a thing of beauty.

stefan




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