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CELESTRON CPC 800 AT THE BEACH

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#1 Guillaume_8667

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 07:53 AM

Hi everyone,

 

Long time I have not been posting or stargazing...too busy raising little ones grin.gif

 

I'm looking to get a Celestron CPC 800 to get something "sturdier" than the Celestron 8SE I used to own. I will mainly use the CPC 800 on a balcony of a beach house (Jersey Shore) directly overlooking the ocean:

   - Is it a bad idea to use a telescope by the ocean (mist, salt etc...)? Most of the parts are made of plastics or coated metals but I'm worried about the tripod's legs, and salt finding its way inside the OTA.

   - The balcony floor is made of fake polymer wood, will that make vibrations worse?

 

Any experience, tips and advice from those of you "stargazers" who live by the beach welcomed.

 

Thank you,

 

Guillaume

 

 



#2 carolinaskies

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 07:47 PM

You'll want to regularly clean the corrector plate as salt air is corrosive to optics over time if not maintained.  Use standard cleaning practices for quality optics.   

If you aren't getting the Edge version then you shouldn't have to worry much about the interior of the scope.  If you plan on storing it inside then corrosion will be less of a problem.  Just remember after observing sessions to place the scope where it has plenty of air moving across it to dry away any condesation.  Occassional wipe downs of the exterior with a damp cloth would be adviseable.  You could also apply a wax to the exterior painted surfaces as an added layer of corrosion protection.  

Also, consider plugging any unused ports on the base to prevent unwanted corrosion.  



#3 luxo II

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 05:07 AM

Buy a cheap refractor you regard as disposable and can be washed, regularly.

 

I've tried this before. At the end of my student days I relocated my 12" Newtonian (which had a steel fork and equatorial mount with a polar disk and roller drive) to my mothers place behind Avalon beach in northern Sydney, literally 100 metres from the dunes, with a surf beach on the other side of the dunes.

 

Even stored in a garage the scope didn't last very long and most of it had to be disposed of after a year apart from the mirrors, which were recoated later when I moved further inland.

 

Salt air will produce a sticky, salty film on everything very quickly. The film will corrode all the aluminium parts rapidly. This includes the mirror coatings.

 

The salt will also cause steel parts to rust quickly such as small cap screws, grub screws etc causing them to bind or break. Take a close look at your scope and replace these with stainless steel or brass. In particular this applies to screws around the ring holding the corrector in place, the secondary alignment screws, any screws in the OTA, the screws attaching it to the fork or a dovetail, and screws in the fork and mount. Molybdenum paint (not very attractive) does provide effective protection - I used it on my mount and the fork - except where it is chipped exposing bare metal, that will rust quickly.

 

There's also another reason why using a good scope in sea air is frankly a waste of time. Basically, the sea produces a lot of fine particulates in the air which have an interesting effect. On one hand the night sky appears incredibly dark, but look carefully and you will realise this is actually because the optical transmission is quite poor - the limiting magnitude is not good.


Edited by luxo II, 04 December 2018 - 05:26 AM.


#4 carolinaskies

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 09:13 AM

 

There's also another reason why using a good scope in sea air is frankly a waste of time. Basically, the sea produces a lot of fine particulates in the air which have an interesting effect. On one hand the night sky appears incredibly dark, but look carefully and you will realise this is actually because the optical transmission is quite poor - the limiting magnitude is not good.

Interesting.... The folks who attend the annual Winter Star Party on the Florida Keys some how are having bad observing since 1984? 

Optical transmission is quite high on the coast because of laminar air flow making the seeing increadibly steady.   




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