I looked at several dealers before deciding on Optics Planet, their customer support was outstanding, they handled all my questions. They also fixed a small shipping problem with a telescope accessory. The focus motor was not shipped with the order; when I brought this to their attention the motor was sent the next day from now on Optics Planet will be the only company I deal with for my telescope.
The CPC 1100 GPS (XLT) is the finest astronomy instrument I've ever owned or used. Setting up the CPC 1100 is incredibly easy, when I first opened the box, I felt intimated by the size of the scope, and the telescope does weigh 65 pounds. However, after lifting it I immediately noticed one very curious thing: it seems to weigh much less then 65 lbs this is because, on one fork is a heavy duty, side mounted cabinet handle and on the opposite fork is a hand slot near the base of the fork. This design allows for correct posture when lifting and forces the telescope to your center of mass making it easy to lift and move around even in the dark. The setup process wasn’t too difficult; I just placed the base on the tripod and aligned it with the tripod’s central indexing post. Once the base is centered on the post, you simply rotate the base until the three spring-loaded locking screws pop into place. Then I just pushed the screws upwards and tighten down the base. The tripod is as well-designed as the rest of the scope. All of its parts are permanently attached, with nothing to lose. The alignment process was just as easy, when I powered up the CPC it linked up with the GPS satellites, it then asked me to select an alignment method. The CPC offers many alignment methods to choose from. I decided on SkyAlign. I just pointed to telescope at three stars and the scope was aligned. The whole process from setup to ready to view took 15 min. The views through the telescope are spectator. The Orion Nebula was festooned with curtain like folds; around M87 I could see many tiny satellite galaxies. The only problem I could find was the placement of the power light. The light affected my night vision. However I placed the finder scope lens cover over the switch, and problem solved. I would highly recommend the CPC 1100 XLT, Its near-flawless go-to and sharp, bright views made observing a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
Pros: Superior 11" SCT optics with XLT coatings
Cons: Bright red "power on" LED built into the power switch
This review was written in the old system and had content requirements that are different than reviews written today.