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C14 Fastar Quality?

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#1 jragsdale

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 01:28 AM

Looking to get a C14 with a fastar secondary, ribbed cell and standard Starbright coatings. Does anyone have any gut feelings or experience on this era C14 and the average quality to expect? I will have to buy it sight unseen.


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#2 ngc7319_20

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 02:14 AM

I own several of them.  Very good optically and mechanically.  A lot of telescope for the money.  You will need a sturdy mount, probably a dew shield and heater strap for the corrector plate.  Maybe need some way to avoid day / night thermal effects and internal tube currents -- fans or insulation or similar...


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#3 jragsdale

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 09:12 AM

I own several of them.  Very good optically and mechanically.

And I'm talking about the 1998-2003 era specifically, is that what you have?



#4 astrofun

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 09:37 AM

Hi,

I have exactly that, 2003, I believe. I bought it from one of our club members about 12 years ago. It is a grey tube with Starbright coatings and a Fastar assembly. It has given me excellent, sharp detailed views of Mars and Jupiter. The great Hercules globular is mind blowing with a binoviewer and 20 mm WA eyepieces.

I mount it on a Losmandy G11 and it is great for visual viewing.

Doug


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#5 ngc7319_20

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 01:48 PM

And I'm talking about the 1998-2003 era specifically, is that what you have?

Sorry I don't have the years of manufacture.  Mine are FaStar, ribbed, Starbright coatings, grey tube.  While my experiences have been really positive, and I haven't yet seen or heard of a bad one, I don't think anyone can promise you 100% odds of getting a "good" one.  Maybe wait for another where you can test it in person?  Or make some agreement with the seller about taking it back?


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#6 carolinaskies

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 02:18 PM

Looking to get a C14 with a fastar secondary, ribbed cell and standard Starbright coatings. Does anyone have any gut feelings or experience on this era C14 and the average quality to expect? I will have to buy it sight unseen.

First, be aware there's a very small vocal contingent on here that like to cast shade on any SCT and some of those seem to really hate C14s.  However take their opinions as owners in distant past and anecdotes rather than proven fact based detail. 

The Hyperstar you purchase will dictate the performance, the newest V4 units provide upgraded optical quality and field of view.  If the telescope you are buying has a Hyperstar included be aware of this fact and which version is being sold to you.  

Now as to quality to expect,  remember that what a Hyperstar does is use the native F/2 of the primary and flattens the image. Whether you use an Edge or a standard XLT there is no advantage when it comes to Hyperstar because the Edge internal flattener has no effect as it's not in the light path.  The effective focal length you will be shooting is 715mm.  The camera you use will dictate the final field of view you will be imaging.  The nice thing about a 14" is that you can use full frame cameras and you can use even filter wheels so you have options as to how to shoot and how much obstruction you allow which will dictate final resolving detail limits.  

If you haven't gone to Astrobin and done a search for the results of Hyperstar equipped C14's you should head over there...  
https://www.astrobin..._max=2021-09-23



#7 jragsdale

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 03:12 PM

Thank you for the insightful answer, I'll remember all that, but I actually don't plan to use this in hyperstar mode, I only mentioned the fastar to get an idea of the average optical quality of C14s from Celestron during this time frame.



#8 carolinaskies

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 05:25 PM

Thank you for the insightful answer, I'll remember all that, but I actually don't plan to use this in hyperstar mode, I only mentioned the fastar to get an idea of the average optical quality of C14s from Celestron during this time frame.

Optical quality improved moving through the 90s into the 2000s as the automation of optics production increased quality control, while final optical matching and secondary figuring continues to this day to improve on the final output. 

We've been having a discussion in another thread about SCT optical quality and about corrector plate matching. And it has been confirmed how this was achieved on the factory floor.  Suffice it to say the corrector and primary and secondary all need to be 'clocked' the same to achieve the optimal performance as the secondary receives the final corrections for the system before it goes out the backend. Also the corrector plate should be well centered in the OTA to ensure proper light wavelength convergence.  

The main difference you will see with an XLT standard vs the Edge is possible curvature of stars at the outer 10% of the field.  This is why both the Edge and the ACF telescopes are improvements on the classic SCTs, because they eliminate this curvature issue.  


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#9 WadeH237

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 08:35 PM

I have a 2003 vintage C14 that I bought as a part of a very early CGE-1400 kit.

 

I have been very happy with the scope.  It's seen lots of duty at large star parties and for outreach.  When acclimated, it puts up a good fight with much larger Dobs for objects like globular clusters.  For most of the time that I had it, it needed many hours of acclimation before it would put up its best views.  A couple of years ago, I made a simple wrap for it out of Reflectix and Velcro.  Since doing that, it puts up great views starting at dusk.

 

The biggest downside is that it's a big scope to heft up onto the mount.  I do not use it for ad-hoc viewing.  I only set it up when I know that I can leave it out for a number of nights.


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#10 jragsdale

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 10:03 PM

I have a 2003 vintage C14 that I bought as a part of a very early CGE-1400 kit.

 

I have been very happy with the scope.  It's seen lots of duty at large star parties and for outreach.  When acclimated, it puts up a good fight with much larger Dobs for objects like globular clusters.  For most of the time that I had it, it needed many hours of acclimation before it would put up its best views.  A couple of years ago, I made a simple wrap for it out of Reflectix and Velcro.  Since doing that, it puts up great views starting at dusk.

 

The biggest downside is that it's a big scope to heft up onto the mount.  I do not use it for ad-hoc viewing.  I only set it up when I know that I can leave it out for a number of nights.

I'm a big fan of reflectix and insulation on my SCTs for the climate I live in. When I get it I will definitely do that!




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