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By Cosmic Geoff
I recently acquired a used CPC800 SCT. I thought a 'First Light' report might be of interest.
First impressions: the tripod is a heavy duty affair with thick legs, a folding lower spreader and a big cast alloy eyepiece tray/steady. The OTA/fork assembly (not separable) is very heavy (21Kg/44lbs) but has a couple of grab handles. You need to be fit to handle this. 😕 (I was seriously tempted not to go ahead with the purchase after trying the weight.)
With the legs retracted it is just possible to pass the tripod through a standard doorway, but it is just as easy to pull up the lower spreader and carry it folded. It is much heavier than a C8SE tripod but more comparable with a EQ5 tripod in weight. Once in position, I checked the level with the handy built-in bubble level and left it. I forgot to screw up the eyepiece tray/upper spreader but I don't think this made any difference.
Scope stored on a table with faceplate down and rear handle uppermost. Took the weight with my left arm, elbow fully bent, forearm vertical. Got it on the tripod which took the weight till I got the base to drop over the centre pin, spun it till something clicked into place and then did up the three thumbscrews. I would not try this with an equatorial wedge unless I had a helper. Celestron also sell a CPC 9.25 and CPC1100 - if I had one of those I'd need a sheerlegs or a brawny assistant.😲
Fitted the visual back (same as C8 SE), prism diagonal (same as C8 SE), straight-thru 50mm finder, handset (Nexstar+) and handset bracket which holds it facing rearwards (a handy feature not implemented on the C8 SE). Fitted a 25mm X-Cel LX that came as an extra.
Connected my new lithium powertank and its DC cable, and powered up. It comes ready (CPC Ready) very quickly. Selected 2-star auto align - it whizzed past a time display showing the time ahead of my watch by 1 hour - more on this later. Aimed at Arcturus and afjusted the finder aim. Selected Capella - it nearly got there and then blackout! The cable had snagged and pulled on the plug. I ran the cable through the side handle on the fork and tried again. (It appears that the CPC's supplied cable has a locking ring and the other end has a cigarette lighter style plug.) Capella ... Arcturus .. aligned. Told it to find Mizar (named star menu). It did.
Also found M48, the Ghost of Jupiter planetary, Gamma Leo (split ), 54 leo, 88 Leo, 90Leo. The scope appears to be collimated and resolution OK. GoTo is just accurate enough to drop doubles into the bottom of 9mm X-Cel Lx field. Even at 200x and a gusty night the view is rock steady. A pier mount could hardly be stiffer than this! And no obvious backlash in use (unlike C8 SE).
Fiddled with the menu, found the GPS is obviously working, and the time set for daylight saving. Corrected it to standard time. GoTo still works.
Teardown: tube horizontal, power off, tube cap on, diagonal off, handset and bracket off, left visual back on and capped it, loosened clutch to point tube straight down. Got OTA/fork assembly off and back indoors on table, twirled it into position. Folded up tripod and carried it indoors. I would not try carrying the tripod and scope together.
Verdict: Very solid mount should be good for planetary imaging. Some nice features not on C8 SE, otherwise same optical performance. Alarming weight.
I bought my first telescope last year (Celestron Nextar Evo 8), I've used it several times already and never had any problem with moving it/putting it together.
Last night I was out doing some photography with my scope and at one point my glove came in contact with the corrector plate. I noticed a small smudge when I came back in.
As it's my first scope I've tried to be very careful and got a little scared that it would affect the performance of it. Looking for a professional opinion on this. Does this need to be cleaned? Will it make a difference in my photography/visual?
Added two pictures.
Celestron C9.25 OTA with ADM Losmandy dovetail
Everything in very good optical and mechanical condition
Cosmetically, there are the usual few small scratches on the paintwork, but no significant damage.
ADM Losmandy dovetail was £84 new 18 months ago
Reason for sale is recent upgrade of OTA.
Collection from Worcester, or Kelling Heath or SGL star parties, or could possibly meet halfway.
Anybody from the UK ever buy a Feathertouch Microfocuser from the US? I’m considering replacing my Baader Steeltrack with the Feathertouch. Comparing prices in the UK against suppliers in the US it seems that it might be beneficial to buy direct from the US, especially considering that as a CN member you get 10% discount from Astronomics. If the package is small enough it might just get by customs as well 🙂