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Considering starting with a Celestron 8

Started by ArthurDent6X7, 03/27/2011 07:05AM
Posted 03/27/2011 07:05AM Opening Post
My first concerns with such a maneuver were differences in quality. I later read that Torrence, CA usually did a ban up job building scopes. Then the finer differences between Equatorial & fork-mount-with-wedge (factory?), then I saw that they have a fine adjustment from underneath. Now I'm at a place where the reliability of the drive system comes to the front. Are they easy to repair as I do have an oscilloscope and a soldering iron. Or are parts still available. And then there's the hand controller. Also, I've read that many Celestron fork mount OTA's can be mounted on newer equatorial mounts. This being true, I'm sure somebody here has already done that.

Thanks in advance
Posted 03/27/2011 07:27AM #1
Richard Grace said:

My first concerns with such a maneuver were differences in quality. I later read that Torrence, CA usually did a ban up job building scopes. Then the finer differences between Equatorial & fork-mount-with-wedge (factory?), then I saw that they have a fine adjustment from underneath. Now I'm at a place where the reliability of the drive system comes to the front. Are they easy to repair as I do have an oscilloscope and a soldering iron. Or are parts still available. And then there's the hand controller. Also, I've read that many Celestron fork mount OTA's can be mounted on newer equatorial mounts. This being true, I'm sure somebody here has already done that.

Thanks in advance

Richard,

I'm sure others will chime in with a more complete answer but a C8 is a wonderful starting point IMO. If you can't resist the urge to do photography, get a simple wedge and piggyback an SRL on to of the scope. In dark sky's you can get amazing results. The wedge turns the scope into an equatorial mount and works fine.

A C8 with goto capabilities is something I would recommend to any person who wants so seriously get started in Astronomy.

Good Luck,

Russ

PS I have had both Celestron and Meade cats since 1986 and have never had to repair them once.
Posted 03/27/2011 12:06PM #2
Richard: If you are looking at an older Celestron C-8, a fork mounted scope with a wedge, I would recommend caution. Those can be quite awkward to use. The modern alt-az GOTO versions like the Nexstar 8SE provide much more comfortable viewing.

When it comes to SCTs, "Uncle Rod" Mollise is the man, he is the author of the two definitive books on the subject and has extensive experience with the various versions. He is a member of Astromart, hopefully he will stop by and add his wisdom.

He does have an extensive website along with an 100page PDF devoted to the older models...

http://skywatch.brainiac.com/astroland/

http://skywatch.brainiac.com/used/index.htm

He is also the moderator of the Yahoo SCT users group.

When I have a question an SCT, I just ask Rod.

Jon
Posted 03/27/2011 09:38PM #3
I have had the same C8 for almost 10 years...great scope. Kind of like a small block chevy, plenty of accessories avalable and a good all around scope. It started as a Celestar, the tube then migrated to Ultima forks and now rides an ASGT CG5. Never had a problem with reliablilty on any of the mounts, though the CG5 was less than stellar on quality control.

It is what it is...
Posted 03/28/2011 03:32PM #4
I agree that a nexstar or other alt az goto might be best. I just sold my
Classic 8 on an ultima mount and got a nexstar 8 se and it's great. Easy to set up and optics are very good. A dual fork mount or gem would be better if you want to do serious imaging. Also, invest in a good eyepiece or two - this is important. I used a crappy 25 mm kellner for over a year before getting a decent eyepiece and wow what a difference!

I wouldn't worry too much about reliability, most people have very little trouble with these types of mounts failing.

Definitely read rod's publications to get all the info you'll ever want about choosing an sct.
Posted 03/28/2011 05:22PM #5
It is a great scope to start with. Old mounts are OK; new ones a little nicer. I would not choose less aperture; 8 inches is still pretty portable but the views are very good. If you can get a good price for a whole system, add one or two EPs and a Barlow....you will be good for quite awhile.

Roland

Roland Beard
site: www.christworksministries.org
blog: www.rolandlinda3.wordpress.com
Posted 03/29/2011 04:08AM #6
I am not nearly as experienced as the other responders but have found the C8/CG5 combination very easy to work with. One accessory I would recommend though is either a Starizona rotatable visual back or focuser with the same feature. Having the eyepiece in a comfortable viewing position is critical to me.
Posted 03/30/2011 07:07PM #7
Is Magellan II still available for the LX50, or will another hand computer work on it?
Posted 04/01/2011 10:45AM #8
I found the Celestron 8" GPS to be a great scope. Yes, 8" aperture is limited, but it gave very nice views and was quick to set up. Great Go-To and performance made it enjoyable to use. The only thing that did bother me was dew on the front plate, this happened anytime dew was an issue. A dew heater would have possibly cured this.


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Posted 04/01/2011 10:45AM #9
I found the Celestron 8" GPS to be a great scope. Yes, 8" aperture is limited, but it gave very nice views and was quick to set up. Great Go-To and performance made it enjoyable to use. The only thing that did bother me was dew on the front plate, this happened anytime dew was an issue. A dew heater would have possibly cured this.


Attached Image:

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[SIZE="Large"][/SIZE][COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR] Floyd Blue grin
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