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Thinking of a C14

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#26 TG

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:17 PM

I agree with Eddgie, dew is a major problem with the C14. Unless you live in the tropics or in a completely arid place, you'll have to struggle with dew. I owned a C14 and a C14HD, and had severe cool-down problems as well with both, even when I used the Lyma Cat Cooler with the former and TEMPest fans with the latter. Most of my time with these scopes was spent waiting for cool-down. Once cooled down they produced stunning lunar views (none of the planets being well placed), the most detailed I have ever seen. But life is short and who has the time? If I ever build an observatory, a C14HD will start to look attractive again but till then I have other scopes to play with.

 

Tanveer



#27 starman876

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 12:25 PM

I will weigh mine. It don't think it's 60 lbs. Though it might be. I believe the tube with nothing on it is likely 45 lbs. But add in 5 lbs for the Losmandy D rail and then another 3 for the Vixen top rail and another 2 lbs for the 2" diagonal and Ethos EP I use and it is up at about 55 lbs or so. It isn't light, that is for sure.

time for a truss tube C14.  Get rid of that back plate.  I have had enough of these C14's apart to say for sure that backplate is most of the weight.  Would be nice if the mirror was just fixed in place on a lightweight support.  I would guess we could reduce the weight of the scope by 1/2.   Would be easier to align also. 


Edited by starman876, 25 August 2019 - 12:26 PM.


#28 Jeffmar

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 01:03 PM

I agree with Eddgie, dew is a major problem with the C14. Unless you live in the tropics or in a completely arid place, you'll have to struggle with dew. I owned a C14 and a C14HD, and had severe cool-down problems as well with both, even when I used the Lyma Cat Cooler with the former and TEMPest fans with the latter. Most of my time with these scopes was spent waiting for cool-down. Once cooled down they produced stunning lunar views (none of the planets being well placed), the most detailed I have ever seen. But life is short and who has the time? If I ever build an observatory, a C14HD will start to look attractive again but till then I have other scopes to play with.

 

Tanveer

We don't have a lot of dew issues in Utah. Sometimes in the middle of winter, in my back yard, I have to hook up an old hair dryer to get rid of dew. Otherwise I live in a dew free zone. I am not the most patient person but waiting for my C11's to cool down has never bothered me. I bring a comfortable camp chair, a thermos of coffee, and wait. 


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#29 Eddgie

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 01:31 PM

Well, I have owned both the C11 and the C14.  The C14 was not a huge step up.  I could not suddenly see things that I could not see previously and galaxies were little improved.   

 

There were two places where I could say the C14 was better.   First is that you can go a bit deeper on Globulars, but you are not going to double the number of clusters you can see.

 

The second place is planetary nebula.  These tend to often be rather small and the extra scale you get with the C14 does indeed help with teasing out some structure in nebula like the Owl or Blue Snowball.  The problem though is that the list of objects that allows the C14 to show the most benefit is rather small. 

 

For a given exit pupil, you are only gaining a very small increase in angular size on galaxies, and in many cases, only a very small amount of extension.  A galaxy that extends to 5 arc minutes in a C11 might extend to 6 arc minutes in the C14. There is a difference, but is is rather subtle because in the overall scheme of things, an increase in aperture between the C11 and the C14 is about the same as the difference between a 100mm and a 127mm refractor. Oh yes, there is a difference, but it is not all that great.

 

All of this being said, I did own and enjoy my C14 for probably 8 years or so, but I used it less and less as time went by because it was just a lot to manage.    No one is going to call you bad for buying it, but from where you are, if you want to see a real increase in performance, I would be looking at a 16" scope. 


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#30 Astrojedi

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 02:47 PM

When folks post that they could not see the difference between a 11” scope and a 14” scope the first thing that comes to my mind is observing conditions. I could see quite a big difference in my 14” dob vs the c11 on almost every object but only in good conditions. The larger the aperture the better the conditions required to realize its true potential.

 

But like many posters above in sizes > 10” I prefer dobs. My 14” dob weighs just ~60lb. Much more manageable vs. a C14. Given my neck issues the C14 would be much more ergonomic which is why I enjoy my EdgeHD 8 so much but I cannot manage the weight.


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#31 JoeR

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 03:53 PM

Last night I had a long observing session with my C14 and used the CCDT67 telecompressor. I was in an orange zone so the LP would be very telling on vignetting in the light cone and none was noticeable. I was using the OIII filter a lot on Lagoon, Veil, North America, Crescent, Swan, and I was getting nice views all around. I also compared it to the Meade 56mm plossl and the ES 30mm EP was noticeably clearer and sharper particularly on the off axis areas. Of course I had to slew around the larger objects to take them all in but they were viewable. Earlier in the evening I was imaging with the 1600MM and Celstron f/6.3 there was pronounced light roll off in the corners that needed to be corrected with flats. So I'm glad I held onto my CCDT67 after selling my EdgeHD 11" it's a valuable tool for observing. I finished off the night with Uranus and Neptune both looked very sharp at 350x.

 

I use the C14 for imaging a lot especially the Hyperstar but If I were visual only I'd probably stay with it. I always have to setup remotely as I not only live in a city I have no yard at all. It al fits snugly in my car and I got setup and tear down routines nice and streamlined. The most valuable tool I have for this is the RAPAS polar scope and phone app which ere really awesome. I have the polar scope precisely aligned to the RA axis so It only takes me 30 seconds to get an accurate polar alignment every time and a fast one star alignment. I did get an Evolution mount recently for my EdgeHD 8" for quick grab & go views at home and its a much easier mount for solar observing & imaging.

 

The Orion 16" goto dob would be awesome for visual use with more aperture and only 1800mm focal length. But assembled it is 195 lbs. Disassembled the base is still 105 lbs. So that's only ideal if you can observe at home and wheel it out of a garage, or a vehicle with a trailer that it can be wheeled on and off. Sky-Watcher also has a 16" goto dob but it's Flextube design means it can't be broken down and that OTA is 72 lbs.


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#32 Jeffmar

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 04:08 PM

I really appreciate all the input you guys are giving me. So many people will tell you how heavy and difficult the C14 can be but I have heard the same thing about the C11 and it seems pretty light to me. The qualifier here is I don't have serious back, shoulder, or knee problems. Before a knee replacement a few years ago I couldn't say that and any astronomy outing was literally a pain.

 

I have been a little envious of people who own 14 to 24 inch Dobs and all the amazing deep fuzzies you can see in detail. I don't know what it takes to set up a large dob but at least I have some clue about using a C14 now.


Edited by Jeffmar, 25 August 2019 - 04:09 PM.


#33 Joe Eiers

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 05:12 PM

I've been using a C14 since the 70's and I was waaaaay stronger.  Still, at 60, it IS harder, but it's never been a piece of cake. I'm 6'2 and been in good shape most of my life, but the creaks and groans are showing up for sure.  I've been using using it on a G11 for years, and recently put it on a CGX cause it's easier to set up and such.  I was pretty worried about it  at first, but it's been really great.  No issues at all with dampening compared to the G11.  

  One thing that IS a problem, is that you SHOULDN'T extend the legs.  The clamps won't  hold the legs without slipping, and you could easily dump your scope!!  I spoke with Celestron tech support since it's supposed to work with the CGX, and the advanced Celestron guys even hemmed and hawed whether or not the clamps should work.  I mentioned that there should AT LEAST be a warning in the manual if you are putting a 14 on it!  

 This means that you will be sitting LOW if you look overhead...  I MEAN L O W.  For me, its super low.  I use the Starbound chair, so observing low is fine, but if you have bad knees, you're not getting back up and down easily.

I put the CGX tripod on concrete blocks to raise it up and that works great.  Course there goes transportability out the window!!  

  I got a C11 GPS scope for a retirement present from my wife, and while I love it, I had NO IDEA HOW HEAVY it would be. It's easily worse than moving around the 14.  

  Finally, FULL DISCLOSURE...  I've turned into a bit of a wimp... My wife now helps me move stuff around.   She's really SUPER GREAT!  Everything is much more portable now!

    Joe


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#34 Jeffmar

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 05:26 PM

I've been using a C14 since the 70's and I was waaaaay stronger.  Still, at 60, it IS harder, but it's never been a piece of cake. I'm 6'2 and been in good shape most of my life, but the creaks and groans are showing up for sure.  I've been using using it on a G11 for years, and recently put it on a CGX cause it's easier to set up and such.  I was pretty worried about it  at first, but it's been really great.  No issues at all with dampening compared to the G11.  

  One thing that IS a problem, is that you SHOULDN'T extend the legs.  The clamps won't  hold the legs without slipping, and you could easily dump your scope!!  I spoke with Celestron tech support since it's supposed to work with the CGX, and the advanced Celestron guys even hemmed and hawed whether or not the clamps should work.  I mentioned that there should AT LEAST be a warning in the manual if you are putting a 14 on it!  

 This means that you will be sitting LOW if you look overhead...  I MEAN L O W.  For me, its super low.  I use the Starbound chair, so observing low is fine, but if you have bad knees, you're not getting back up and down easily.

I put the CGX tripod on concrete blocks to raise it up and that works great.  Course there goes transportability out the window!!  

  I got a C11 GPS scope for a retirement present from my wife, and while I love it, I had NO IDEA HOW HEAVY it would be. It's easily worse than moving around the 14.  

  Finally, FULL DISCLOSURE...  I've turned into a bit of a wimp... My wife now helps me move stuff around.   She's really SUPER GREAT!  Everything is much more portable now!

    Joe

I originally had a vintage C11 on a sand cast fork/wedge assembly mounted on a very sturdy tripod. I am sure you have seen the setup and they usually had orange tube scopes. That thing was heavy. It had to have weighed over 60 pounds and I had to lift it in front of me almost straight armed to get it on the tripod. Nearly dropped in on asphalt a few times.

 

The tripod I have is from a CGE mount but it seems to be almost identical to the CGX-L tripod. I had to tap new holes because they were 60 degrees left or right. It works great now and the bigger tripod tends to keep my scopes very steady. Damping time is very short with the CGX mount/CGE tripod combination.



#35 Joe Eiers

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:30 PM

  I got rid of my forks/tripod/wedge many, many years ago when folks started putting the 14's on the G11's.  I regret it greatly!!

  It was WAY bulky, unwieldy, and generally less than easy to swing to and fro.  Still, I enjoyed having it, and wish I still had the setup. (I'd probably hate it; you know, those old pathways worn into my brain feel pretty good, and looking back can really get you in trouble...  those misty-eyed days of yesteryear can be deceptive.) If I ever found a mount setup for a super cheap price I'd buy it for sure.

   I do have a CI-700 tripod that's a BEAST that I could use... but haven't a CLUE how to mate the two together.  I tried doing some research (I know it's the same as the Losmandy) but couldn't really find anything easy to put the CGX to the G11 head.

  If anyone can set me up I'd appreciate it.  Sounds like a way to go.

    Joe



#36 Jeffmar

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 12:45 AM

  I got rid of my forks/tripod/wedge many, many years ago when folks started putting the 14's on the G11's.  I regret it greatly!!

  It was WAY bulky, unwieldy, and generally less than easy to swing to and fro.  Still, I enjoyed having it, and wish I still had the setup. (I'd probably hate it; you know, those old pathways worn into my brain feel pretty good, and looking back can really get you in trouble...  those misty-eyed days of yesteryear can be deceptive.) If I ever found a mount setup for a super cheap price I'd buy it for sure.

   I do have a CI-700 tripod that's a BEAST that I could use... but haven't a CLUE how to mate the two together.  I tried doing some research (I know it's the same as the Losmandy) but couldn't really find anything easy to put the CGX to the G11 head.

  If anyone can set me up I'd appreciate it.  Sounds like a way to go.

    Joe

You might be able to find a CGX-L tripod from somebody who put there mount on a pier. It should mount on perfectly. About two years ago dealers were selling off their left over CGE tripods for about 500 dollars. I don't know if they are still easy to find. The bolt holes aren't exactly in the right place but it isn't hard to fix.
 



#37 Jeffmar

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 06:03 PM

I Ordered a C14 from High Point Scientific along with a soft case, a Pentax 14mm eyepiece, and a set of Bob's Knobs. I put the knobs on all SCT's I have had. I thought about getting the edge version but it was 1500 dollars more. Also the focal reducer would cost 600 dollars or more. I have loved my C11 edge because it performs so well at anything I do with it. I don't know if that is because it is the edge version, because of good quality control, or I was just lucky to get a good one. I am going to be using the C14 with my binoviewers a lot with some light imaging now and then. I am grateful for all the input I got from people who responded to my topic. You guys are awesome.

 

Jeff


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#38 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 07:08 PM

Pardon my being nosy, but I'm curious if you considered purchasing the scope from our CN sponsor who, BTW, offers a discount to CN members. shrug.gif



#39 Jeffmar

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 07:29 PM

Pardon my being nosy, but I'm curious if you considered purchasing the scope from our CN sponsor who, BTW, offers a discount to CN members. shrug.gif

I regret to say it didn't even occur to me. Since High Point Scientific doesn't even have it in stock yet I could certainly check out Astronomics. Thanks for the heads up!


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#40 eros312

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 07:32 PM

Astronomics has it in stock. 



#41 Jeffmar

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 07:38 PM

I just looked at Astronomics and their C14. Their retail price is 4999 dollars and there is supposed to be a discount for Cloudy Night members but it seems to be a bit of a secret. High point has the C14 for 4049 dollars give or take a buck so how can I compare?



#42 eros312

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 07:46 PM

That's cheap.  I think the cn discount is 5%. So Highpoint is the best option. Unless you're in a hurry. 



#43 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 08:25 PM

I just looked at Astronomics and their C14. Their retail price is 4999 dollars and there is supposed to be a discount for Cloudy Night members but it seems to be a bit of a secret. High point has the C14 for 4049 dollars give or take a buck so how can I compare?

Call Astronomics, inform them of the other price and let them meet or beat the offer.

 

Many, many years ago I was going to be in OKC for a few weeks and offered to share my solar set up (AP Traveler w/Coronado 90/90/30) with any local clubs, but wasn't bringing a mount and the clubs couldn't round one up (say what...arrrgh?!?) Mike B. graciously offered up anything I might need to set up... great guy!

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#44 Jeffmar

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 08:29 PM

That's cheap.  I think the cn discount is 5%. So Highpoint is the best option. Unless you're in a hurry. 

Thanks Ken. I was still thinking about getting a big dob when I saw that price. 



#45 Jeffmar

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 12:35 PM

I say "go for it".  I used a C14 on a CGE for 15 years and was happy with it.  A couple of years ago, I upgraded the CGE to an AP1100, and it is much better.  The CGE had the shakes and was problematic in the wind, but I still really enjoyed the telescope.  Your CGX should be at least as good.

 

My one caution is to make sure that you understand the commitment that a C14 takes.  It's bulk and weight put it way beyond the "grab and go" range.  I rarely set mine up at home, and prefer to save it for dark sky sites, especially when I can set it up for a few nights of viewing.

Thanks for the the information Wade. I have owned a couple of C11's and other smaller scopes. I have found that the smaller scopes sit in my garage most of the time while I am using my C11. The reason is I just like to be able to see more of far away objects. Small scopes just don't do it for me and my C11 is easy for me to handle. My mount is the heaviest part.



#46 HenryB

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 02:29 PM

Thanks for the the information Wade. I have owned a couple of C11's and other smaller scopes. I have found that the smaller scopes sit in my garage most of the time while I am using my C11. The reason is I just like to be able to see more of far away objects. Small scopes just don't do it for me and my C11 is easy for me to handle. My mount is the heaviest part.

Having worked my way up over the years from a C8 to finally the C14 Edge, I am glad I built my observatory before aquiring the C14. It is not a grab and go scope for me. It is the best optics of the bunch - pinpoint stars edge to edge. Not a wide field of view, but deep sky objects look a bit better than in my C11. Very satisfied.



#47 dr.who

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 02:38 PM

I guess the next question would be whether I should spend a fair amount extra for the C14 edge model. I am only asking that because my C11 edge seems to be a very good one visually and for doing photos. I don't know if that has anything to do with the edge optics, just a bit of luck, or if Celestron has better quality control than in the past.

Yes you should. For two reasons. First and least important is the optics. Second, and most important, is the vents where you can put Deep Space Products TEMPest fans. in a big Cat this is critical. It significantly cuts down the time to reach thermal equilibrium. It can change a 2+ hour wait to under an hour in some cases. 

 

For me I absolutely hate two things. Things that will actually ruin my time at the eyepiece. In the case of reflectors (of which an SCT is one) are wooly flaring stars. In about 35-45 minutes my EdgeHD 14 has been cooled enough to make the stars much less wooly and flaring due to heat in the tube and on the mirror. When you are like me and have limited observing time this is important. My usual observing time at best is about 4 hours. Spending two of those hours waiting for a scope to cool is pointless. Now I setup the 14, turn on the TEMPest fans, put up a second smaller mount with a refractor, and use it on the really big stuff until the 14 is ready to be used. Once it is, it is over to the really big gun and it's time to get down to some serious viewing.



#48 Jeffmar

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 06:14 PM

Yes you should. For two reasons. First and least important is the optics. Second, and most important, is the vents where you can put Deep Space Products TEMPest fans. in a big Cat this is critical. It significantly cuts down the time to reach thermal equilibrium. It can change a 2+ hour wait to under an hour in some cases. 

 

For me I absolutely hate two things. Things that will actually ruin my time at the eyepiece. In the case of reflectors (of which an SCT is one) are wooly flaring stars. In about 35-45 minutes my EdgeHD 14 has been cooled enough to make the stars much less wooly and flaring due to heat in the tube and on the mirror. When you are like me and have limited observing time this is important. My usual observing time at best is about 4 hours. Spending two of those hours waiting for a scope to cool is pointless. Now I setup the 14, turn on the TEMPest fans, put up a second smaller mount with a refractor, and use it on the really big stuff until the 14 is ready to be used. Once it is, it is over to the really big gun and it's time to get down to some serious viewing.

After a lot of back and forth indecision and a few order changes I went with the C14 edge. It is nearly 1500 dollars more than the C14 XLT from High Point Scientific but I wanted those edge to edge sharp stars when I use my full frame cameras. With my original order for the C14 XLT I found myself looking for reducer/correctors that would make it the same as the C14 edge. Even though my mount may or may not be a little squirrely for astro-photography I know I am going to do it anyway. The C14 edge is on back order but I stuck with High Point because they have been very patient with my too numerous order changes. I also have a home made cooling fan setup that works pretty well on my C11 edge. 

 

I thought I noticed the same cooling vents on the new XLT models.


Edited by Jeffmar, 29 August 2019 - 11:01 PM.

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#49 dr.who

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 07:26 PM

Congratulations!

 

There may be vents but I am not sure there are the fans for it from DSP. If there are, great! If not, it is an area DSP can branch into with the TEMPest fans.


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#50 ShaulaB

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 07:39 PM

The scope needs to be in an observatory to cut wind effects. Best of luck.


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