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Celestrons C10 N-GT
Written: Feb 12, 2006
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Big tube, good mount, good eyepiece & so far, great customer service
Cons:Big, a Newtonian Reflector with maintenance needs, relativley heavy at 93lbs
The Bottom Line: If you want a big scope, are ready for the needs of a newtonian, buy it!
This product is everything I expected from it, doing my research beforehand has proven to be very useful as I have not run into anything that that had not been discussed in detail.
Ordering and shipping:
I ordered the product from Digital Foto Club (http://www.digitalfotoclub.com/) and they drop shipped it from Celestron directly. Shipping was 6 days, much less than the 9 quoted. The boxes were damaged in transit by UPS and a pair of counter weights had been lost in transit. Digital Photo were great, and organized a pair of replacement weights that same day. They did give me the option of an entire exchange, but everything else looked ok. Great Customer Service!.
One thing, I think Celestron share some common components between mounts, so for this telescope, a larger box was part of the collection that had two very small items in it and space for a number of other items that weren't include. This appears to be normal but caused some concern during unpacking.
This scope is large. The pictures really do not convey he scale of the telescope and when you get the whole thing out and set it up, you will be impressed by the scale of the whole assembly. Assembly is straight forward and took less than 20 minutes following the instructions.
The OTA is pretty heavy (36lbs), although relatively easy to install on the mount, once mounted and balanced, the relative positions should be marked with something permanent to make this process easier going forward.
In total the whole assembly comes in at around 93lbs, although the largest individual component is only 36lbs on the tripod, I have it in my garage and can move the whole thing in and out without too much effort.
I have had the telescope outside a couple of nights now and have found that it is easy to use, the mount handles the weight of the telescope well and in practice is very solid. The controller takes a little getting used to and doesn't appear to be that intuitive without reference to the manual.
The nights have been pretty good and my location is actually quite dark, the views through this telescope are great, as good as I expected and I know that have I to do the fine setup on the collimation etc.
The scope is easy to polar align, it has a bore hole site for rough alignment and then either a two or three star alignment routine for the configuration of the "GOTO" System.
In all reality, the Goto system is only going to be good if:
1. You take the time and care to balance the scope correctly
2. Level the scope correctly (there is a bubble level built into the mount)
3. Polar align the scope correctly and then do a two/three star alignment centering the stars that are called out (which means centering the CORRECT star in the eyepiece)
Then the Goto system is also great and will put the object in the eyepiece every time.
I am discovering the reality of owning a Newtonian Reflector telescope and that is the need for certain maintenance of the optics. At higher magnifications, I see that I have a collimation problem, and apparently, with this type of telescope, Collimation is something that every telescope owner has to learn how to complete to maintain a good instrument and get good use out of the optics.
To this end, you will need to purchase the tool to complete this process. They range from a cheap "Collimation Cap" for around $10 to a "Collimation Eyepiece" for around $40 or a "Laser Collimator" for $100 . You will also need to read and understand the process in detail.
The second point that is probably worthy of note here, is that the eyepiece for the OTA is located on the side of the tube at the very end (if you look at the picture, you know what I mean). This has a couple of implications, the first if you are looking at something high overhead, you may need a step ladder to look into the eyepiece. I am 5' 4" and with the tripod collapsed, observing anything above 50' I need a step stool. Also, as the Goto mount swings around to the targets that you select, the tube is logically rotated around the mount, which means you may have to pull some contortions to look into the eyepiece after the slew or understand how the mount is going to end up after the slew and adjust the tube in the rings beforehand.
Finally, again, this is a big tube, when you are slewing around, you need to be careful of the tripod legs with the bottom of the tube, when observing objects high overhead, it is possible to connect to two, again an understanding of where the target is in relation to the tube, eyepiece and tripod will help with this.
Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase, customer service from both the dealer DigitalFotoClub (http://www.digitalfotoclub.com/) and Celestron (http://www.celestron.com/) has been great. The telescope is everything that I expected and I look forward to many years of service from this instrument.
You can see more details of my exploits with my telescopes and observations, I will also publish updated reports on my experiences with the C10 N-GT here http://www.coombs-online.net/astronomy.html
If you buy thins instrument, enjoy your new scope and clear skies!
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