CPC 1100 Scope
Very nice scope. I love it. My only beef is I wish there were another handle on the other arm. The scope is heavy for one person. Also I wish that for 3 grand they would have included a CD of stary night or something. I love the way I can do tour's with it. Galileo would have been in total awe at the way it slews to the object of your desire. This will probable be my last scope for the rest of my life, so I think I picked the right one.
Great scope. Mounted on a permanent pier within an observatory. Upgraded to 2 diag., 17mm Ethos, 40mm Pentax, 2x Powermate and a right-angle diag. finder. Bottom counter-weight (Starizona is a must). Customer service at OPI was also a 5/5.
Great first scope
I have had a fascination for astronomy since I was a little kid and so purchasing my first real telescope was a serious matter. I painstakingly researched all my options and settled on the CPC 1100 GPS (XLT and I have to say it was the right choice. It was easy to set up, though the mount/OTA assembly was slightly heavy and awkward to carry. But that aside I was very happy with all the rest of the feature. The tripod was of sturdy design and the mount fit snug and firmly. All the locking bolts were well crafted and secured the Scope on the mount. The supplied finder-scope came with a quick release mount that was easy to put on. I purchased the 17amp hour Powertank that was very convenient to use with telescope. The two altitude/azimuth cluthes are sturdy and lock down the scope well. I wish it was designed in a way that made it easy to know which way to turn for locking/unlocking, but after a few times i got now. The hand controller was of typical light weight plastic design and was easy to operate, other than I wish there was a separate page up down button as it's a little weird that it's part of the number pad. I also wish the cord for the hand controller was maybe 1 foot longer as it stretches a bit to reach where it needs to plug in. It was very easy to use the built in SkyAlignment to get setup for GOTO operation. The internal GPS would find your location, then all you had to do was point the scope/finderscope at 3 bright objects. You didn't even need to know what the objects were as the internal computer would figure it out. The hand controller was very easy to do everything you wanted to do with the telescope and find great sky objects quick. I ended up hooking to my laptop and I primarily use a planetarium software now to do my goto stuff, but I find the hand controller still useful all the time. The 40mm eyepiece that comes with the telescope is very good quality. The only problem is it's a 1.25 along with a 1.25 star diagnal. I recommend you immediately buy a 2 star diagonal with 1.25 adapter. Even if you don't want to throw down on a 2 eyepiece right away (which I did you'll surely be upgrading your eyepiece soon! I also recommend you buy the dew shade for the telescope to prevent dew from collecting on the corrector lens. The last thing I wanted to do(pardon the pun was get all sorts of condensation on the mirror my first night out. You will also want to buy a serial to USB adapter so incase you decide to hook up you laptop you can. Most modern laptops don't have serial ports. So I haven't commented on the optics yet? Well it's hard for me to say since this is my first real telescope and I don't have anything to compare it to (other than my ****** tasco telescope I hade when I was 8. But it is nothing short of stunning to me. I live in an area with significant light pollution, but even so I get great views. Beatiful pinpoint stars and star fields, faint views of the hot spots of andromeda, amazing detail of the moon, fairly good images of Jupiter and her moons, the phases of Venus, and so much more. The focuser is pretty good, but there is a bit of play and it causes a slight amount of image shift or mirror flop which is common in SCT design. If you are planning on doing astrophotography you can do 'a little', but you really need a EQ mount. All in all I'm VERY happy with my telescope. I regret nothing and would do it all again given the choice. I recommed this telescope to anyone starting out, but already knows they'll have a passion doing this (as its not cheap. Now I'm looking to buy my next one so I can do more astrophotography!
A Year with the CPC 1100
I have had this scope for over a year now and its doing very well. I love how well it hold collimation and its ease of use. I updated it 1.25 visual back with a AT 2 enhanced diagonal. The optics are the best I've seen in a large SCT like this one. The views of Orion, Lagoon, and M-17, M,-16, The Bubble nebula and the veil nebulas are all very spectacular. For lunar work it shows great detail and I use this scope all the time for public outreach programs through my Astronomy Club BBAA in Virginia Beach. The scope itself held up and the only complaint is the power cord itself had to be repaired twice due to excited children : easy fix and no big deal. The scope is easy to set up with one person and I use both the 17 Amp hr. pack and a 50 Amp hour gel cell to power the scope the power tank for the scope and the gel cell for the dew system which is home built. Its a great scope and I have had noting but good luck with the scope and the quality is better than Meade in my opinion. Keep up the good work Celestron!!!
This is an excellent scope. Its go to feature is very accurate. The optics are very clear. We looked a long time before getting this one. We wanted something that we could use with our children and that would last a lifetime. It is heavy and it would be useful to have something like a scope buggy. We also mount a Celestron Onyx for rich field views. A real joy to use.
very good quality telescope; other features needed attention
Documentation: The documentation is minimal and obviously written by a person whose native language is other than English. Tripod: The tripod is well built, of high quality, and very stable. The level in the tripod is a good idea, but it would have been located on rather than under the base. The shelf has an awkward design. The covers of the mounting bolts are small, making threading unnecessarily difficult. Finder scope: The finder scope was very difficult to use, and I replaced it with a Telrad unit. Given the warning on page 9, the telescope should NEVER HAVE BEEN EQUIPPED with screws which might damage the primary mirror. THE INCLUSION OF LONG SCREWS WAS AN ERROR. Hand control: The hand control was designed for a person with small hands, and the holder is feeble. The default setting of the Cord Control described on page 24 of the booklet should be ON, not OFF; NOT KNOWING THIS FACT RESULTED IN CORD BREAKAGE. The hand control is equipped with an RS232 port to make a computer connection; which were eliminated from all notebook computers in the year 2004. Yoke: The audible click that occurs when the yoke is properly positioned was a very good idea. The yoke was well built and of high quality. The program for the tracking was well designed and functioned very well. The autocompensation for the momentum of the tube was a professional touch. Power tank: The leaflet which accompanied the Power Tank was minimal with no description about the correct function of the indicator lights.. The initial charge required almost 48 hours. The power cable was very light and did not fit snugly in the port on the power tank, and it was replaced. Once it was fully charged, the power tank worked perfectly. Telescope: The power indicator light on the base of the telescope shines directly into the face of the user; I use a lens cap to cover the light. The main assembly was of high quality and excellent construction. The optics are very good. Computer program: There is no list of the stars and objects included in the booklet; scrolling through the list is the only way to know if an item is available. The only way to return to a previous choice is to use the “UNDO” button, a confusing expression when “Go back” is meant. The “hibernation” feature is useless if the telescope is moved, and all of the setup information must be entered again. Overall, the program is relatively easy to use.