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Thinking of a C14

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#51 Jeffmar

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 11:07 PM

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

I would really like to have an observatory. My issue is that my neighborhood is so light polluted it seems to be a waste to build one there. My sister who lives about an hour away from the city has great dark skies and has been telling me we need to build an observatory on her land. I haven't had problems with wind in the places usually go with my telescopes but for that an observatory does make sense.



#52 Rustler46

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 02:25 AM

waytogo.gif  Now all I need is the image intensified eyepiece!  wink.gif

 

Mike

I've been thinking about one as well. But now with my C-11's dew problems conquered via Reflectix, its go-to capabilities on the G-11 mount make for a nice experience. While my 10-inch Dob has DSCs, the eyepiece position is not as user friendly as the SCT. There are trade-offs with different designs.

 

I was considering a C14 about 10 years ago. So I loaded up a tool box with 45 lbs. of tools. One try at hefting that to shoulder height convinced me to get the C-11. Add another 11 years age (now 73), I was considering getting rid of the C-11. Then I watched one of Greg's videos of the easy way to mount a large SCT. I'm so pleased to still have the C-11 in my stable of telescopes. It even has a 115 mm APO on top.

 

Russ


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#53 gnowellsct

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 12:23 PM

C14 is a small portable scope. Best used with a 92mm or 102mm refractor, which solve the narrow field problem. Dew is a problem, I mounted a dew strap internally and that is much more power efficient.

It is the scope most requested by girlfriend and peers. I try to use smaller rigs if moon or weather point to a shorter night. Several dob owners in my club have complained about heavy rocker boxes and moved to GEM mounted scts. The tube (45 lbs) and the battery (50 lbs) are the heaviest items in my rig. Everything on the mount is 20 to 30 lbs.

https://youtu.be/IwVg1M6bURI

I used it for several years on G11 but mounting a refractor required more so I got an AP900.

Almost anything you look at in a c14 will be visible in a c11 but this is besides the point because the majority of objects will also be visible in 100 mm aperture. To duplicate jump from an unaided night pupil to 100mm you would need 200cm or 80 inch scope. Things are easier to see in a c14. But you have to push to extremes like Pal 14 to say well I saw it in 14 but not 11.

Large dobs have aperture advantage but are much less precise to use as tools. You have long single sided truss and the gearing and mechanics have not as a rule caught up to CNC aluminum. I would never tell someone don't get a large dob. But if you're into GEMS and the very precise control and steadiness they can give, if you have a good one, the c14 is a very good choice.

If you can't get a great mount don't get the c14 and be wary of comments such as "you can get away with" or "good enough for visual" in seeking advice on a mount. A c8 orb9.25 on a g11 is a lot more fun than a c14 on a marginal mount. A c14 on a solid mount is a pleasure to use.

Edited by gnowellsct, 07 September 2019 - 12:25 PM.

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#54 Jeffmar

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 04:00 PM

Back about 10 years ago I had my very old C11 mounted on a CG5. It shook and shimmied at every touch. Sometimes I was afraid the whole thing would collapse. A few years later I bought a CGEM which was a pretty good upgrade. The C11 was pretty stable and I could actually do some astrophography. I noticed that Celestron had a mount called the CGEM DX. The main difference was a much heavier tripod and the thicker counterweight shaft. Some people said the DX model had more current going to the motors but no one seemed to have any real proof that it was true. I found a CGE Pro tripod for sale and adapted my CGEM to it. It was an instant stability improvement. After tightening some gears and getting rid of gear lash on my mount I had a quite a decent platform for my C11 plus add-ons. I now have a CGX on my CGE Pro tripod and it works beautifully. If it turns out that it doesn't work well with my C14 I will save my pennies for a while, get a CGX-L mount and stick that on my big tripod. 
 

 

At a star party at Bryce Canyon last year the guy next to me had his loaded up C14 a camera, a focal reducer, and a guide scope on a regular CGEM. He had 11 pound counterweights taking up nearly all of the space on the counter shaft. Later that night when most of the public left he was doing 2 minute exposures, a bit of stacking, and getting some nice images on his computer. There are quite a few people I know of who do astrophotography on mounts that are considered to be too small, especially on Cloudy Nights Forums. They quietly do their hobby and get a lot of satisfaction from their results. Most of the people in my astronomy club can't afford a G11 nor any other higher end mount. They make do with what they have. Really, I get it that a Software Bisque mount would do a better job. I certainly can't argue that fact, but I still have other expenses in my life, like food, gas, insurance, etc. When my rich uncle dies and I inherit millions that UPS truck will be delivering lots of expensive, heavy objects to my house.


Edited by Jeffmar, 07 September 2019 - 04:58 PM.

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#55 Jeffmar

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 02:04 PM

New scope!

 

My C14 arrived today. I wasn't quite prepared for how big it looks. It makes my C11 look kind of wimpy. 

 

It is going to be my primary star party scope.

 

Clouds are coming in today, go figure.

 

I don't know if my wife will be happy with me leaving it in the living room for a week.


Edited by Jeffmar, 16 September 2019 - 02:10 PM.

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#56 choward94002

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 04:44 PM

One other option to consider with a C14 if youve got a pier is to use a hitch mounted winch like this [https://www.amazon.c...e5-d88c33035f32] ... you get a hitch receiver mounted to the pier (I have one cast into the piers), it make putting up/ tearing down a C14 with mount a pretty easy operation (with practice and two garden wagons, takes me about 4 min start to finish to set up, 2 min to tear down per scope)

 

You mentioned a star party, and have a tripod for that ... in that case I would suggest getting a high vertical engine lift like this [https://www.amazon.c...tomotive&sr=1-2], replace the stock wheels with sand buggy wheels [https://www.amazon.com/StoreYourBoard-Replacement-Balloon-Wheels-Inflatable/dp/B077Y38R4Q/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_468_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=EKQW0YEJBC30BSH3ZJF5] and use that to transport the heavy things (mount, OTA) to the setup site ...

 

Using a tripod your biggest problems are going to be the high center of gravity of the mount/ OTA on the tripod and the difficulty in jockying things around in the near dark getting things put together safely.  The cost of the engine lift and such may seem high, but compared to the cost of the OTA and mount it's well worth it ... 

 

Something to consider!


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#57 Jeffmar

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 06:00 PM

When I put my new C14 on my mount today I was a little paranoid about how big the scope is and how cumbersome it will be. What I found was it was more difficult dealing with my C11 but not nearly as bad as I thought. I am fairly fit and tall so for me it was okay. If there is an incentive to keep exercising this is a pretty good one. I have had back issues in the past so I am aware of how hard it can be to lift things with the center of mass far away from my body. The lift you are talking about could be an option if my back gets squirrely again.

I tried loading my big scope with the stool method and it is pretty slick. It is a little slower but it takes away the fear of tripping with a big scope on my shoulder.



#58 Paul Hyndman

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 06:18 PM

When I put my new C14 on my mount today I was a little paranoid about how big the scope is and how cumbersome it will be. What I found was it was more difficult dealing with my C11 but not nearly as bad as I thought. I am fairly fit and tall so for me it was okay. If there is an incentive to keep exercising this is a pretty good one. I have had back issues in the past so I am aware of how hard it can be to lift things with the center of mass far away from my body. The lift you are talking about could be an option if my back gets squirrely again.

I tried loading my big scope with the stool method and it is pretty slick. It is a little slower but it takes away the fear of tripping with a big scope on my shoulder.

 

 

I've been thinking about one as well. But now with my C-11's dew problems conquered via Reflectix, its go-to capabilities on the G-11 mount make for a nice experience. While my 10-inch Dob has DSCs, the eyepiece position is not as user friendly as the SCT. There are trade-offs with different designs.

 

I was considering a C14 about 10 years ago. So I loaded up a tool box with 45 lbs. of tools. One try at hefting that to shoulder height convinced me to get the C-11. Add another 11 years age (now 73), I was considering getting rid of the C-11. Then I watched one of Greg's videos of the easy way to mount a large SCT. I'm so pleased to still have the C-11 in my stable of telescopes. It even has a 115 mm APO on top.

 

Russ

Congrats on the new setup, Jeff!

 

As Russ pointed out, Greg's method is a winner. My smaller/lighter 10" AP Mak-Cass is near my schlep limit (geezer), so easier and safer methods are always appreciated


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