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New Endeavour - Purchasing a Telescope

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#1 backinblak


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Posted 30 November 2020 - 11:48 PM

Hello I'm Ryan, and I have been looking into purchasing a telescope. I've wanted one for years, and 

am ready to pull the trigger. I'm a bit of a go big or go home type personality, and have set my eyes 

on the Celestron CPC Deluxe 1100 HD. 


Admittedly, I have a ton of learning to do. What are must have accessories? Is $3,800 around the going 

price for this telescope? I noticed the CPC 1100 HD has been out for some time, are the lifespans pretty long for models before

new ones come out? 


Any advice to help propel me into this hobby would be much appreciated!


Thank You




#2 Lee D

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 12:05 AM

Folks here could maybe help more (and they are a helpful bunch) if you explain what you want to do with a telescope and how you chose the CPC 1100 HD.


#3 trigger


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Posted 01 December 2020 - 12:05 AM

https://www.celestro...dgehd-telescope is my suggestion.

Edited by trigger, 01 December 2020 - 12:06 AM.


#4 ShaulaB



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Posted 01 December 2020 - 12:09 AM

"Go big or go home." Perhaps a Go-to Dobsonian in the 14 yo 16 inch range might be a fun choice in your price range. There is a saying you will see posted a lot here at Cloudy Nights: "Aperture is king."


Since astronomy is a smaller niche hobby, designs do not change much from year to year.


#5 Justin Fuller

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 01:00 AM

Hi Ryan, welcome to a ton of learning. As Lee D asks, why the CPC 1100HD? I personally really like Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes so I think the 1100 HD is a fine pick for a general purpose telescope, but it may not be the scope for you depending on what you expect to get out of a telescope.

As far as must have accessories;

1) More eyepieces to give a wide range of magnifications for looking at different objects. 3 or 4 eyepieces (including what comes with the telescope) with a range of magnifications from ~50x to 300x will be able to show about anything the scope is capable of.

2) A heating strap is essential for SCT correctors, so you'll need to get or make a strap and controller.

3) A power source for both the telescope mount and heating controller,AC adapter or battery depending on whether you observe from home or travel. another essential.

4) an adjustable chair an essential for comfortable observing.

You'll end up collecting far more accessories, but I consider the top 4 the most essential.

A new CPC 1100 HD goes for about $3900, new, that's fairly typical for a telescope of that type/size with a go-to mount.

I think the CPC 1100 has been out for about 12 years give or take and I don't see any reason why it won't be around for at least another 12...however you may have noticed the severe shortage of Celestron (and all other brands) telescopes, due to covid strains on the industry.

Edited by Justin Fuller, 01 December 2020 - 01:07 AM.


#6 MJB87



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Posted 01 December 2020 - 08:04 AM



Welcome to Cloudy Nights! I've moved your question to the general Equipment forum since the advice you seek may not be limited in the end just to Celestron computerized telescopes.


It would help the group address your questions if you could provide some additional information:

- What is the intended use of the telescope, i.e., visual or imaging?

- How mobile does it have to be? Do you plan on a permanent setup?

- What are your intended targets, i.e., planets, narrow-FOV deep sky objects or wide-FOV deep sky objects?

- What is your general budget?


This will help a lot. For example, if you were looking for a telescope to perform astrophotography of wide-FOV deep-sky objects on a  permanent setup you might get very different recommendations than if you wanted just to look at planets once in a while on a mobile setup.




#7 alphatripleplus


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Posted 01 December 2020 - 08:27 AM

Yes, once we have some answers to the questions in the last post, people can make recommendations.


Two disadvantages starting off "big" with a CPC1100HD are 1) setting up a heavy fork mounted scope can damp your enthusiasm (I know that it was a struggle for me with just a 8inch LX200 back in the day), and 2) If you later realize a different scope and mount are better for your interests, you will have wasted a chunk of change figuring that out if you jump in with that set-up.


#8 Justin Fuller

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Posted 01 December 2020 - 11:51 AM

Hi Ryan,

To paraphrase my previous response:

The CPC 1100HD is a very good general purpose telescope. Being a fan of Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, for that reason I'm a bit biased though and you'll get plenty of other recommendations for different sizes/other types of telescopes.

Must have accessories:

1) Two or three additional eyepieces from the included one that provide a spread of magnifications from ~50x to 300x. This will give you coverage of just about anything you'll be able to see in the 11". What eyepieces in particular are a separate discussion.

2) Heater straps and a Heater controller to control dew formation on the front corrector lens. Make your own, or buy the dew heater straps and dew controller. Others will say a dew shield/cap is more important, in my experience a heater alone is better than the shield for preventing dew. A shield seems to be more of a psychological accessory as it seems to protect the front corrector lens which seems so exposed out at the front of the scope.

3) Power supplies, one for the telescope mount and one for the dew controller/heater. Either AC power adapter (scope usually comes with one) or Batteries like a PowerTank.

4) An adjustable chair for observing at the scope

5) A case to hold eyepieces, etc.

Those things will get you up and running for basic observing, all other accessories are just nice to have and enhance your experience.

$3900 is a pretty standard price for the CPC 1100 HD; note that little to none are available at the moment because of covids effects on the supply chain.

The CPC 1100 HD has been around for about 12 years I think, and likely will be around for at least 12 more. It's a good solid design with tried and true go-to electronics and optics that please most amateurs. Unless Celestron finds a way to make a more robust scope with drastically better electronics and optics and do all of that cheaper than they are now, I think the CPC HD line will be around for a while.

Edited by Justin Fuller, 01 December 2020 - 12:00 PM.


#9 SanjeevJoshi



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Posted 01 December 2020 - 01:49 PM

My only input to OP is this.   It is vital to be clear about how you plan to observe, and under what conditions.   The choice of what you do and how you do it may be very different than what you imagine.


In my case for example -- after a few months of getting back into the hobby (after 17 year break), I have realized with the urban environment I have, light pollution will be a big hindrance for visual.   I am going to enjoy planets visually - to a limited extent.   I can likely see faint fuzzies, perhaps a few galaxies.   A truly dark site is roughly 4 hours away so I am not doing it with any predictable frequency.


I dove into the hobby and spend several thousand dollars buying visual stuff - a couple of OTA's, mounts (for different reasons), etc etc,


Then the second realization that although its awesome to go to a dark location (even a dark field or parking lot) to observe, its not likely to happen very frequently with my schedule.  And its cold outside where I am.


So whats an urban person to do?


Luckily I discovered what others on CN discovered years ago.   The concept of using cameras instead of eye pieces and viewing on a laptop or a TV screen instead of peering thru an eye piece standing outside for hours in the cold.  And the ability to do this from your backyard (as long as less than say 50% obstructed) without having to pack and lug and unpack, and repack, and lug and load and unload.   Not to mention, in your backyard you dont have to worry about impossible power requirements - or those that can realistically only be filled by heavy duty marine / auto batteries etc.


In my case I believe (at least for now) my astronomy experience is best served by EAA and some visual flexibility.   I am not in this (yet) to take the best photographs - just enjoying the wonders of the sky as I hunt them.   Cameras can see so much more than my eyes and the entire family is having fun.


This above is a realization that would make a big difference in what I buy.


In my case, I have ended up with a very fast RASA 8 OTA which is amazing for large and medium sized deep sky objects.   I have a second OTA Celestron Edge 8 that I am planning to use for the small (a few mins) deep sky objects plus planetary for visual and EAA.


Your own lifestyle, hobby interest, location, weather conditions, etc will drive your perspective on what is ideal for you.   Everyone's situation is unique.  Jumping into a big purchase is certainly a way into it but its also worthwhile to what will be the most sustainable way you will enjoy the hobby.

Edited by SanjeevJoshi, 01 December 2020 - 01:50 PM.


#10 backinblak


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Posted 01 December 2020 - 09:02 PM

Hi All,


Thanks a lot for the replies. I had posted again in the beginners forum before seeing that there were comments here.


I'd mainly be viewing from my backyard, although it would be nice to get up in the mountains from time to time with it. 

I understand they can get heavy, I'm able to lift a bit so fitting it in the car would be the bigger concern. 


I have a pretty nice DSLR camera that I plan on taking pictures with, and would like to use my computer. 

I live in Denver, so there's light pollution. Weather is generally pretty mild, and I'm fine being patient if it doesn't permit for comfortable viewing. 


As far as the Celestron 1100 HD, that one popped out to me however I'm open to any other model suggestions, bigger or smaller.

For viewing, I pretty much want to be able to see anything and everything:

-As up close to moons/planets as possible, surface detail. 

-Deep star gazing, galaxy clusters. 



Edited by backinblak, 01 December 2020 - 09:17 PM.


#11 backinblak


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Posted 01 December 2020 - 09:15 PM

Again, can't thank all of you enough for the detailed and informative responses. 


#12 SanjeevJoshi



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Posted 01 December 2020 - 09:28 PM

Its heavy, figuring out power supply can be tricky based on what all you want to do, fitting in the car, occasionally permits to be in places these days, etc etc.    


I started with an assumption of carrying things back and forth about 20 years ago, as did my brother who lives not far from Denver.   Over time, his scopes are in in his garage - a large Dob, Meade MC 9 inch, etc.    Mine (not so heavy) also ended up being part of every house move but getting used less and less.  It was not the ability to carry - just the sheer convenience of it all and what you get for it.


Now that i found my sustainable use case  (EAA with a dash of visual), mine gets out to the backyard multiple times every week smile.gif   Due to light pollution and seeing conditions, I quickly realized visual was not going to keep me entertained for very long unless i was willing to travel regularly and be happy to be outside in the cold.  I lived in Boston for a long time, so I am not averse to cold weather, but if I had a choice - I would rather not be cold at night for many nights.


Cloudy Nights forums are fantastic for a quick tour.   Look thru the Astrophotography forums which have wealth of info on DSLR.   Look at the EAA section which has links to many youtube recordings and experiences from many amateurs. 


There are websites which allow you to simulate the view thru a scope based on seeing conditions - or at least have examples of that. If memory serves right, the primary drivers of your visual experience (within reason) are the light pollution and seeing conditions.  Seeing conditions seem to matter more than aperture, within reason.


Good luck!

Edited by SanjeevJoshi, 01 December 2020 - 09:31 PM.


#13 Astrophotonics



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Posted 01 December 2020 - 10:07 PM

Nice scope, but i would go a different route, because eventually you'll end up jumping into Astrophotography, with a fork mount you limited by field rotation, i'm sure a wedge is not available for those models. I would grab a Edge HD 9.25" and slap on a  Skywatcher EQ- 6..way more capabilities.


#14 flyingcougar


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Posted 03 December 2020 - 12:57 PM

Apologies for the technical mishap that occurred earlier in the topic.blush.gif


The continuing discussion can be found here, New Endeavour - Purchasing a Telescope...


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