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What is the difference in a Celestron SP-C8 and a Celestron GP-C8?

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#1 TDunnavant

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 01:08 PM

Hello, all,

 

This is my first-ever post on Cloudy Nights.

 

A widow in my old-folks church group recently (yesterday) gave me her deceased husband's C8.  I've determined that it must be either an SP-C8 or a GP-C8.  How do I determine which it is?  Does it really matter?


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#2 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 01:27 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights!

The Vixen SP (Super Polaris) mount was superceded by the GP (Great Polaris) mount. So a GP C8 is a few years younger than an SP version. The C8 is an industry standard that has been in production for decades. It gets updated from time to time. Modifications have nothing to do with the mount itself.

So your C8 is a good all-rounder scope that will serve you well for years to come. If you have questions or need help, you've come to the right place!

#3 jrcrilly

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 01:47 PM

The primary differences between the SP and GP mounts are mostly internal, with the GP having upgraded bearings and gears but a more obvious (though functionally insignificant) difference is in the OTA mounting arrangement. A C8 set up for an SP mount will have a small clamp attached to accept the dovetail on the SP mount. One set up for a GP mount will be just the reverse; it will have a dovetail mounted on it to go into the saddle clamp on the GP. That will be your clue as to which version you have unless the mounting has been removed or replaced on that one at some point.


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#4 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 03:04 PM

Welcome aboard    you have come to the right place......

The  SP had a different mount dove tail set up as referenced above

I think the GP was a big improvement      and I have had  two different C -8's   they can be fun and gather quite a bit of light



#5 photiost

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 04:10 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights!

 

If possible post some pictures of your mount.



#6 TDunnavant

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 04:42 PM

Thank you all for your replies!

 

I'm heads-down in some work-type stuff for the next day or so.  I'll post some photos of the mount once I'm able to come up for air.

 

 


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#7 jrkorman

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 05:16 PM

Welcome to the "club". I picked up a C8 with the Super Polaris mount a couple of years ago.

 

Since it didn't come up, what sort of lenses did it come with?

 

Also, check out the "Celestron C8 Registry" thread.



#8 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 07:10 PM

GP mount came out around 1993.  The SP mount came out around 1984-85. I love both mounts. At least with the GP it is easy to swap OTA's vs the fixed saddle of the SP. I think the finish looked better on the SP mount.


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#9 photiost

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 07:42 PM

I have a couple of SP mounts and they are simply wonderful.

 

Aside from the cosmetics they are very similar, I believe they also have the same payload capacity ~15 lbs.


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#10 TDunnavant

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Posted 20 December 2021 - 11:42 AM

@Jim Korman,

 

The scope came with a couple of lenses -- a 26-mm Plossl and a 32-mm University Konig.

 

If anyone has recommendations for reasonable arrays of oculars to acquire, I'm all ears and eyes!  I'd like to do some planetary work and also explore some deep-sky objects.  I've never had a telescope before that had a prayer of enabling me to see nebulae and such decently.  I'm interested in exploring this one's capabilities.

 

I've started slow, so far.  Last week I worked up the tripod with some wood oil (the tripod most likely hadn't been wiped down in 35+ years).  Yesterday I assembled the scope and aligned the finder.

 

Here are a couple of photos that I've taken, hopefully they will show up in the post!

 

SP C8 Full
 
SP C8 Closer

 


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#11 TDunnavant

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Posted 20 December 2021 - 12:02 PM

OK, gurus,

 

Now on to another question (I have a million of 'em!)

 

The scope comes with an old-old Skysensor (not Skysensor 2000!) device and a couple of attached motors, which I assume are MT-1s.

 

I hope the motors will still work.  I discovered them after I had moved the scope around a bit on its mount!  I just last night read the instructions for setting up the Skysensor, and noticed the admonition to undo the motors' chucks if I attempt to do manual movement -- or I will destroy the motors :-(

 

I'd like to set the scope up so that I can do some tracking.  The Skysensor evidently is a pointing device, but it isn't a tracking device.  Do you have any recommendations for what to get, to provide both pointing and tracking?  I guess that "Skysensor 2000" is a reasonable answer.  Anything else?  I've seen ads for something called an EQStarVSP.  Do any of you have experience with this?  https://picclick.com...3317544267.html

 

Or -- would you simply drop down to tracking only?



#12 ccwemyss

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Posted 21 December 2021 - 09:10 PM

The Skysensor is supposed to be fine for tracking, and painfully slow for goto slewing. If you want a goto mount, you'd probably be better off with something newer. Just undo the locks, push to your object, and re-engage them. You can then use the slow-motion controls for fine adjustment and to compensate for drift due to errors in polar alignment. 

 

The University 32mm is considered to be a very fine, highly collectible eyepiece. Mine is one of my favorites. Is it the 2" version or the 1.25" version?

 

Chip W. 



#13 Steve_M_M

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Posted 21 December 2021 - 10:44 PM

If you haven't found it yet, there are many scanned pdfs online of the SP-C8/GP-C8 setups.  Here are a couple  https://www.ou.edu/l...anual_black.pdf

 

As noted above, the Sky Sensor is fine for tracking...not much else unless you are loaded with time and patience.  Here's a couple good posts,,

 

https://www.cloudyni...ixen-skysensor/

 

The manual is out there for the Sky Sensor.  I know I posted one 10-15 years ago  smile.gif  I can't find a link to one anywhere.

 

Enjoy your scope.  The SP/GP-C8 is a great combination and easy to use.


Edited by Steve_M_M, 21 December 2021 - 10:58 PM.


#14 photiost

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Posted 21 December 2021 - 11:04 PM

IIRC the original "old-old Skysensor" (not theSkysensor 2000) does not support Y2K ...  

 

Never saw a fix for that.



#15 TDunnavant

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Posted 22 December 2021 - 11:56 AM

@Chip,  I use 1.25-in.  eyepieces.

 

I have a couple of extra ones coming today -- a Celestron 8 mm - to - 28 mm zoom and a Celestron 5 mm. 

 

I've also done some research on GoTo / Guiding controllers for the Vixen Super Polaris mount.  I've decided to go with an EQStarProVSP controller, you can see what the package looks like, here:  This is pretty inexpensive -- including shipping, less than $300 for the controller, two motors, and a number of assorted cables.

 

A couple of reviews and a number of videos by Joey Troy made me comfortable with this decision: 

The controller package is made by a fellow over in Ukraine ("Alex").  He evidently has a number of retrofit packages for other "classic" mounts, as well.  I've yet to read anything negative about him.

 

There are a lot of learning curves that I'm going to be climbing!  My first objective is to get the rig configured to support GoTo capabilities.  Once I get that behind me, the plan is to implement auto-guiding with a guide scope and get set up for some astrophotography, which I suspect will be a major learning experience.

 

I'll keep you fellows posted on the experience with the EQStarProVSP, starting with the installation experience and getting it set up for GoTo.



#16 ccwemyss

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Posted 22 December 2021 - 03:43 PM

The 1.25" version of the UO 32mm Konig won't have quite as wide a view as the 2", but it's still a fine eyepiece. Well worth keeping. 

 

Let's all hope that Ukraine doesn't get invaded (for many more reasons than still being able to get the EQStar controllers).

 

Chip W. 



#17 GalaxyPiper

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Posted 27 December 2021 - 12:01 PM

Vixen Sky Sensor III manual (1984)

 

https://documentclou...5d-d3370e61bbcb

 

Keep in mind, after a year of producing these Sky Sensors, there was a fundamental change in thought in the power connections, Jacks were swapped as indicated in the last pages of the manual.

Be careful if you have one of the earlier models, as you could do some damage. Taking the cover off and peering inside will erase all doubts, and also to correct wiring problems.

 

Also, like all "Legacy" electronics of the last millennium, these had the Y2K error, so even if you can fool it with putting in a pre 2000 year (1999 or older), it will no longer track planets.

 

Bryan



#18 TDunnavant

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Posted 29 December 2021 - 01:41 PM

Hello, fellows,

 

Thanks for your advice!

 

Most of my upcoming work pertains to setting up the mount with the motors for the EQStarProVSP controller and such, so I'll be shifting my questions over to the Mounts forum for a bit.

 

I appreciate your help over here!




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