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Updated opinions on CPC 1100 GPS vs LX200 10” GPS

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#1 Enigma1290

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 05:15 PM

Hello folks, I am re-entering the hobby and I find myself dealing with a conundrum, I am unsure of if which telescope to choose. As of now I am torn between choosing a CPC 1100 GPS or a 10” LX200 GPS. Although I know that this has been discussed before I am looking for more up to date and current opinions. I am leaning primarily towards visual observing with a possibility of dabbling in AP in the very near future. Any and all opinions would be welcomed but I do ask that they are limited specifically towards CPC 1100 VS LX200 10” because these are the only two scopes that I am currently considering. 
 

-Thanks


Edited by Enigma1290, 15 July 2020 - 12:03 AM.


#2 junomike

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 05:18 PM

I like the electronics/HC better on the Celestron but If the 10" LX200 is an ACF, that's worth taking into consideration also.

For me I'd probably go the CPC1100 but if the Meade is cheaper then maybe go with that.



#3 Enigma1290

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 05:20 PM

I like the electronics/HC better on the Celestron but If the 10" LX200 is an ACF, that's worth taking into consideration also.

For me I'd probably go the CPC1100 but if the Meade is cheaper then maybe go with that.

The Meade IS indeed an ACF and they are both about the same price 



#4 Migwan

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 05:32 PM

My personal opinion, if your thinking about dabbling in AP, then the ACF makes more sense.   Otherwise, the CPC1100. 

 

jd



#5 Enigma1290

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 05:42 PM

My personal opinion, if your thinking about dabbling in AP, then the ACF makes more sense.   Otherwise, the CPC1100. 

 

jd

Would the differences be that substantial?



#6 junomike

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 08:04 PM

The Meade IS indeed an ACF and they are both about the same price 

Tough call.



#7 Echolight

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 08:59 PM

Either or would be fine by me.



#8 gnowellsct

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 10:24 PM

I just can't imagine getting a mount made by either company.   The optical tube, yes, I have gotten value from those.

 

The two companies sell a lot of these mounts though, and such complete systems are part of the bread and butter of the industry. 

 

But they're not for me.

 

Greg N



#9 Enigma1290

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 01:29 AM

Should I extend my considerations to an LX 90 10 inch ACF? Or would save me some cash I think but I am unsure id it would be worth it. 



#10 Migwan

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 07:47 AM

Would the differences be that substantial?

For AP you would probably want a reducer/corrector for the C11 or a reducer for the ACF, so probably not.  

 

Don't really know difference between LX200 and 90.

 

jd
 



#11 Enigma1290

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 09:51 AM

Thank you for the advice so far folks! The indecision is real here lol.gif



#12 junomike

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 04:47 PM

Recent sale has swayed my decision.  Adding $100 gets you this

 

Better OTA (than ACF IMO).

Better Electronics (although still sketchy IMO).

Vents for fast cooling and potentially adding Tempest Fans.



#13 Enigma1290

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 05:52 PM

Recent sale has swayed my decision.  Adding $100 gets you this

 

Better OTA (than ACF IMO).

Better Electronics (although still sketchy IMO).

Vents for fast cooling and potentially adding Tempest Fans.

Now that you mention cooling and fans I have always been confused about that. Would these fans eliminate the need for a dew shield and heater? 



#14 junomike

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 05:57 PM

Now that you mention cooling and fans I have always been confused about that. Would these fans eliminate the need for a dew shield and heater? 

No they help acclimate the OTA temperature to prevent heat plumes and  allow the OTA to perform as it normally would when the temperature of the OTA

is the same as it is outside (rare for me aside from Summer)


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#15 KTAZ

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 06:01 PM

I’m just stepping in to offer the obligatory “don’t buy Meade products”. They are in bankruptcy and future support is in question.

 

Full disclosure; I don’t like Meade lol.gif



#16 Mitchell M.

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 06:21 PM

Should I extend my considerations to an LX 90 10 inch ACF?

As I understand it, the tube/optics for both the lx90 and lx200 are the same. But I think the lx200 does come with a mirror lock whereas the lx90 doesn't.



#17 Enigma1290

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 06:40 PM

I’m just stepping in to offer the obligatory “don’t buy Meade products”. They are in bankruptcy and future support is in question.

 

Full disclosure; I don’t like Meade lol.gif

Whoa really? I did  not know  that at all...last time I dabbled in the astro hobby Meade was the go to brand and celestron was more or less second place. Is this no longer accurate?



#18 Enigma1290

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 06:41 PM

As I understand it, the tube/optics for both the lx90 and lx200 are the same. But I think the lx200 does come with a mirror lock whereas the lx90 doesn't.

What would be the benefit of a mirror lock? 



#19 carolinaskies

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 06:42 PM

I currently own an LX200GPS 10" and sold an CPC1100 last year.  The LX90 is akin to the CPC1100 XLT, but with better optics. Both house all connections on the swivelling mount.  The LX200 seperates the connections at the base for power and control so cord wrap(power & control box) isn't an issue.   

The ACF has nice round stars and though people claim it isn't a flat field like the Edge the reality in visual use you couldn't tell the difference and even in a photograph unless you did some fancy imaging you wouldn't be particularly issue.  At your level there is no valid reason to pay for an Edge in my opinion.

Mount wise the LX200 has better precision motor system and stronger fork arm, though at the 8" and 10" size it's really a toss-up whether it's an issue. (At 12" it definitely can be).   The database for the LX200 is more extensive if you're only using the mount, but hooked up to a computer/tablet via WIFI/cable it really wouldn't matter.   Speaking of which, if you go with the LX90 or CPC1100 go for WIFI dongle, you'll enjoy using it immensely on a tablet. 

The advantages of the CPC1100 are the built in micro-USB connector on the bottom of the hand control, Meade never filtered USB into it's mounts (Had it on the RCX400 line which got axed many years ago).  Also Celestron has Starsense module for alignment accuracty (overpriced accessory really but a neat piece of kit if price were no object).  They also have an electronic focus motor which is nice for automating focusing with AP, not really needed for visual IMHO.  

Personally in your case I think the best fit would be an LX90 10" w/Wifi dongle.  It's actually reasonable weight, bit better optically. 

Bad things to know -  LX90/CPC do experience issues with cord wrap, it's the nature of having everything connect to a fully rotating assembly.  CPC switches and power connectors are notorious for long term having issues.  The switch they use is garbage (replaced mine and the old one fell apart!) and uses a non-standard 4-pole connector unlike any standard 4 pole switch you can buy at electronics stores.  The power port is prone to the center pin collapsing leaving you wondering why the mount all the sudden turns off during a slew.  While the LX90/CPC1100 have onboard battery compartments, they are gimicky and useless if you're always having to replace batteries... not sure why neither company has made a lithium battery pack to simply go in this location with good capacity.  

The LX200 is made for AP, but you have to buy a wedge to really take advantage of EQ imaging.  And these days most people simply buy an EQ mount for AP rather than fork mounts.  

 


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#20 carolinaskies

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 06:46 PM

Whoa really? I did  not know  that at all...last time I dabbled in the astro hobby Meade was the go to brand and celestron was more or less second place. Is this no longer accurate?

The bankruptzy is due to a lawsuit against them by Orion that California put a high 52 million dollar price tag... the Chapter 11 though isn't stopping Meade from still selling a lot of equipment.  And BTW, Celestron is now also facing a similar lawsuit (file end of June 2020) so don't think their clear of having issues.  

 

 

What would be the benefit of a mirror lock? 

For AP a mirror lock is used to lock in focus which mainly is useful for when a target is moving across the meridian when the mirror 'might' slightly move due to gravity's pull on it.   During the film days this was really necessary.  Today with electronic focusers this is actually not as necessary as a refocus sequence can be added in to most AP programs.  And today most AP is short enough exposure that losing a frame or two isn't that big of a deal.  In the film days it was because we had know way of knowing if focus shifted without manually trying to site through the camera or a flip mirror. 



#21 Enigma1290

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 06:56 PM

I currently own an LX200GPS 10" and sold an CPC1100 last year.  The LX90 is akin to the CPC1100 XLT, but with better optics. Both house all connections on the swivelling mount.  The LX200 seperates the connections at the base for power and control so cord wrap(power & control box) isn't an issue.   

The ACF has nice round stars and though people claim it isn't a flat field like the Edge the reality in visual use you couldn't tell the difference and even in a photograph unless you did some fancy imaging you wouldn't be particularly issue.  At your level there is no valid reason to pay for an Edge in my opinion.

Mount wise the LX200 has better precision motor system and stronger fork arm, though at the 8" and 10" size it's really a toss-up whether it's an issue. (At 12" it definitely can be).   The database for the LX200 is more extensive if you're only using the mount, but hooked up to a computer/tablet via WIFI/cable it really wouldn't matter.   Speaking of which, if you go with the LX90 or CPC1100 go for WIFI dongle, you'll enjoy using it immensely on a tablet. 

The advantages of the CPC1100 are the built in micro-USB connector on the bottom of the hand control, Meade never filtered USB into it's mounts (Had it on the RCX400 line which got axed many years ago).  Also Celestron has Starsense module for alignment accuracty (overpriced accessory really but a neat piece of kit if price were no object).  They also have an electronic focus motor which is nice for automating focusing with AP, not really needed for visual IMHO.  

Personally in your case I think the best fit would be an LX90 10" w/Wifi dongle.  It's actually reasonable weight, bit better optically. 

Bad things to know -  LX90/CPC do experience issues with cord wrap, it's the nature of having everything connect to a fully rotating assembly.  CPC switches and power connectors are notorious for long term having issues.  The switch they use is garbage (replaced mine and the old one fell apart!) and uses a non-standard 4-pole connector unlike any standard 4 pole switch you can buy at electronics stores.  The power port is prone to the center pin collapsing leaving you wondering why the mount all the sudden turns off during a slew.  While the LX90/CPC1100 have onboard battery compartments, they are gimicky and useless if you're always having to replace batteries... not sure why neither company has made a lithium battery pack to simply go in this location with good capacity.  

The LX200 is made for AP, but you have to buy a wedge to really take advantage of EQ imaging.  And these days most people simply buy an EQ mount for AP rather than fork mounts.  

 

Should I be concerned with Meade going out of business? Also the CPC I was considering was indeed an Edge 1100. Carolinaskies, given your very recent first hand experience if you had to choose which one would you go for? 


Edited by Enigma1290, 15 July 2020 - 06:59 PM.


#22 carolinaskies

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 07:18 PM

Should I be concerned with Meade going out of business? Also the CPC I was considering was indeed an Edge 1100. Carolinaskies, given your very recent first hand experience if you had to choose which one would you go for? 

No, Meade is still chugging along.  And FYI, not the first time Meade has had financial issues in the past 20 years.  They are simply looking for a new owner... and they are one of the two biggest brands in the industry so reality is they will continue... at worst Orion will buy them (they wanted to in 2013). 

I don't think the Edge is worth the money... the negatives of the CPC1100 also fall on the Edge version.  The main difference is the Edge OTA and an improved RA bearing system.  Be aware the Edge MUST use a specific focal reducer for that size because internally it has a field flatner that requires a specific spacing. That flatner also require the vent holes otherwise the sealed tube would never cool down at all.  Go price all the extras you'll need with the edge to tally the real cost of owning one that will be able to do the standard things all SCT owners do.  The flat field of the Edge is only relative to the outer 15% or so of the FOV and visually is a toss up against an ACF for pinpoint stars.  Again visually you will not notice the flatness of the field for most eyepieces unless you're buying the 100 degree FOV models.  

By the time you outfit a CPC1100 for top performance you'll have spent and extral couple thousand to get the advantage it is supposedly delivering.  

And the only outstanding advantage (at a cost once again) is the removable secondary allowing the use of a Hyperstar for imaging.  Again $$$  $1000 for the hyperstar $$ for filter drawer $$$ filters for the F/2 so you won't get weird images.   

Honestly that's all AP related expenses that unless you can spend 100 days a year imaging you're never going to see a good return on it.  

Remember, you started the topic with "I am leaning primarily towards visual observing with a possibility of dabbling in AP"  A Edge isn't necessary for visual compared to an ACF which can accomplish visually the same thing.  And unless you're thinking of going for really serious AP the Edge is a waste of your money you could use to by good eyepieces, and other helpful accessories.   BTW, mounted on a wedge a small refractor can be piggybacked for widefield imaging, and the LX200 has the better reputation for supporting extra weight (along with the advantages of where all the wires connect at the base).  

The 10" is going to be an exceptional performer vs the standard CPC and an ON-PAR performer with the Edge visually, and for AP unless you're willing to spend tons more money you'll get quite satisfying images from the 10" ACF.  The main detractors of Meade fail to recall that it's always been a Ford-Chevy type of fight over which performs better.  And the reality like I said in the previous post is not likely to be noticed in any AP you do.  The guys who tend to notice such differences are super sticklers for total perfection... and the reality is why even choose Meade-Celestron when for that performance you could choose more expensive mounts and telescopes...  it's a rabbit hole that I don't recommend treading lightly. 



#23 Enigma1290

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 07:26 PM

No, Meade is still chugging along.  And FYI, not the first time Meade has had financial issues in the past 20 years.  They are simply looking for a new owner... and they are one of the two biggest brands in the industry so reality is they will continue... at worst Orion will buy them (they wanted to in 2013). 

I don't think the Edge is worth the money... the negatives of the CPC1100 also fall on the Edge version.  The main difference is the Edge OTA and an improved RA bearing system.  Be aware the Edge MUST use a specific focal reducer for that size because internally it has a field flatner that requires a specific spacing. That flatner also require the vent holes otherwise the sealed tube would never cool down at all.  Go price all the extras you'll need with the edge to tally the real cost of owning one that will be able to do the standard things all SCT owners do.  The flat field of the Edge is only relative to the outer 15% or so of the FOV and visually is a toss up against an ACF for pinpoint stars.  Again visually you will not notice the flatness of the field for most eyepieces unless you're buying the 100 degree FOV models.  

By the time you outfit a CPC1100 for top performance you'll have spent and extral couple thousand to get the advantage it is supposedly delivering.  

And the only outstanding advantage (at a cost once again) is the removable secondary allowing the use of a Hyperstar for imaging.  Again $$$  $1000 for the hyperstar $$ for filter drawer $$$ filters for the F/2 so you won't get weird images.   

Honestly that's all AP related expenses that unless you can spend 100 days a year imaging you're never going to see a good return on it.  

Remember, you started the topic with "I am leaning primarily towards visual observing with a possibility of dabbling in AP"  A Edge isn't necessary for visual compared to an ACF which can accomplish visually the same thing.  And unless you're thinking of going for really serious AP the Edge is a waste of your money you could use to by good eyepieces, and other helpful accessories.   BTW, mounted on a wedge a small refractor can be piggybacked for widefield imaging, and the LX200 has the better reputation for supporting extra weight (along with the advantages of where all the wires connect at the base).  

The 10" is going to be an exceptional performer vs the standard CPC and an ON-PAR performer with the Edge visually, and for AP unless you're willing to spend tons more money you'll get quite satisfying images from the 10" ACF.  The main detractors of Meade fail to recall that it's always been a Ford-Chevy type of fight over which performs better.  And the reality like I said in the previous post is not likely to be noticed in any AP you do.  The guys who tend to notice such differences are super sticklers for total perfection... and the reality is why even choose Meade-Celestron when for that performance you could choose more expensive mounts and telescopes...  it's a rabbit hole that I don't recommend treading lightly. 

Thank you for that advice! So I am re working my conundrum towards LX200 vs LX90. In the case that I go with either would the difference between an 8” be that substantial compared to a 10”? My only other experience has been with the ETX 125 PE and a Nexstar 6SE many years ago. 



#24 carolinaskies

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 09:11 PM

What you get with aperture is better resolution of whatever you're looking at. For open clusters or globular clusters you'll resolve Stars more with a 10 inch than an 8. When you're looking at the planets you'll see more detail through a 10in than an eight and likewise with galaxies you'll see more detail with a 10in then an eight.

I've got an 8in F 6.3 lx200 Eide Ford recently to do after photography on an equatorial mount. And the difference between that and my 10 in GPS which is an F10 is the resolution. The 6.3 will show targets a little brighter because of the faster focal ratio but the ten still pulls in more detail

#25 Enigma1290

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Posted 15 July 2020 - 10:35 PM

Well someone is also offering a 10” lx200 gps non acf for about 1200 bucks. Would that be worth considering?


Edited by Enigma1290, 16 July 2020 - 12:32 AM.



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