NexStar Resource Site

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Basic Information about the Celestron CPC Series

In January of 2005, Celestron introduced a new line of computerized scopes - the CPC.  Utilizing a new upgradeable NexStar hand control, the CPC series is quite similar to the NexStar GPS series.   The CPC is offered in 8, 9 1/4 and 11 inch SCT models - all available with Celestron's standard or XLT Starbright coatings.  Introductory prices range from $1,899 for a NexStar 8 CPC with standard Starbright coatings up to $2,799 for a NexStar 11 CPC with XLT Starbright.  Optical performance is identical to corresponding NexStar GPS models and mechanically they are quite similar, making the CPC a good choice for serious astrophotography.

The new hand control sports the latest version of the NexStar firmware.  This includes features such as Precise GoTo, Identify and Constellation Tour - all of which were introduced with the NexStar hand control on the Celestron CGE mount.  This hand control responds to the same PC commands (via the RS-232 port on the bottom) as the NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS, so programs compatible with the NexStar GPS are compatible with the CPC.

The biggest news regarding the new hand control is user upgradeability and the new alignment methods.  Future upgrades to the hand control firmware will be available for download via the Internet and owners can apply the upgrades themselves.  The new alignment methods are SkyAlign, Auto Two Star Align (first available on the NexStar 8i Special Edition), Solar System Align and One Star Align.  In addition to the new alignment methods, the new hand control still has Two Star Align, EQ North/South Auto Align and EQ North/South Two Star Align.  Removed since the NexStar GPS are Quick Align, Auto Align and GPS Align.  See the Alignment Guides section of this web site for details on the new alignment methods.

Other notable features include a new bracket that keeps the hand control facing you during use, a new tripod, a quick-release bracket for the finderscope and an internal GPS receiver for automatic entry of date, time and location information during the alignment process.

Additional information is found here on Celestron's web site.

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Michael Swanson
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