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CGEM Dimensions and Packaging Guide

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#1 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 11:58 AM

In the process of receiving, unpacking, and assembling my CGEM, I have taken pictures of every step of the process. I've also taken pictures of specific orientation to allow me to dimension them for use. I'm going to start with one of those photos here first to give people some workable dimensions. I'll work on extending this over the next few days with the remainder of the photos and a description of the process and any issues I encountered.

I would ask that readers comment or ask questions in a separate thread CGEM Dimensions and Packaging Guide Comments so that this can remain contiguous as a guide. Thanks for your assistance with that.

It should be noted that all dimensions should be considered approximate!

Beo

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#2 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 12:21 PM

The CGEM arrives in two boxes. The photo shows them against a tile grid of 13" tiles for size reference. The long box contains the tripod and counterweight and is 43x11x11 inches. The large rectangular box contains the mount and controller with mounting bracket. It measures 28.5x20x13 inches. (My apologies to our metric brethren, but I'm going to let you do the conversions!)

Beo

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#3 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 12:24 PM

The tripod box, showing the two internal boxes (counterweight on left, tripod on right). The contents of the tripod box and counterweight box are shown below. You can see the leg spreader leaning against the tripod, and the nice packaging for the counterweight to protect the knob.

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#4 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 01:05 PM

The attached photo shows the tripod in various stages, as well as the counterweight. From upper left going clockwise you see the counterweight, the spreader (same as that for the 8se), the foam packaging that was on the counterweight side of the box between the counterweight and tripod head (foam failed, but protected tripod), tripod top (dimensions to follow later), locking arm for tripod legs (same as used on the mount; ~1/4 turn to lock), tripod upright, and (center) tripod spread but not extended.

Beo

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#5 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 03:36 PM

Here's the CGEM mount box. Upon opening the first thing you see is the manual and CD. A rather obvious "Read Me First!" indication, although they should probably add the words! At a minimum they should be flipping this bag over so that the CD has a bit more protection between the outside of the box and the foam, but more importantly so that the Attention! notice on the first addendum is clearly visible when you open the box. More on the addendums later. Removing the foam layer (inset) shows the mount and accessories, all well padded and protected. Parts are labeled in the figure.

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#6 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 03:47 PM

Now, about the addendums. The first is that "Attention!" notice I mentioned. You should be able to read it in the pic, but basically it just indicates that the mount ships with the clutches loose and it'll be easier to get it out of the box if you tighten them first. Great idea. Only problem is, the clutch knobs are both on the BOTTOM of the GEM! You'd have to lift it out first to get to them! I have a better way of orienting the mount that I plan to use when I store it (picture to follow). It resolves this issue and reduces the overall footprint considerably.

The second page adds info that they're shipping the mount without the azimuth adjustment knobs installed. These are long ~3/8" diameter knobs that push against the square post on the tripod to adjust your polar alignment. It's easy to see how those could bend or break in shipping if they mount shifted in the packaging with them instealled. And finally, the manual makes no mention of the counterweight bar locking nut that covers the bottom bearing of the DEC axis. I was a bit disconcerted to see the exposed bearing (pictures to follow) and am not overly happy about the thought of that remaining exposed when I pack the CGEM. At any rate, this addendum also describes the proper installation of the lock nut that covers the tail end of the DEC axis.

Beo

EDIT: Can't post the manual pages without explicit permission from Celestron. Sorry. CH



#7 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 04:33 PM

Attached is a shot of the CGEM with the plastic pulled back. As you can see, the clutch knobs are nowhere to be seen. The plastic bag isn't strong enough to support the weight either, or it would be easy enough to lift it out with the bag an set it down on a flat surface before removing the bag and locking the clutches.

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#8 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 04:42 PM

As a comparison, here's how I plan to store my mount later. It means I won't be able to use the original packing material, but it'll take up a fraction of the space. The mount is currently packed "vertical" as though it were mounted on the tripod with a scope on top as shown to the left. While this may be good to let people know how it should look, it's not the most efficient. They also ship it with the DEC axis rotated knobs down (opposite this picture), meaning the clutch knob also faces down. My orientation on the right reduces the overall footprint and brings both clutch knobs to the top, while still keeping the control panel on top too. Thus, you can leave the knobs loose for shipping/storage, but easily tighten them to lift it out and put it on the mount.

Beo

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#9 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 10:52 PM

Continuing with some dimensional information, the attached shows the approximate dimensions of the tripod mount and base. The screw is the same size as that for the 8SE tripod. Hopefully this will help those trying to decide about pier mounting, etc.

While I'm at it, here are the weights of the various components as determined by my digital bathroom scale (so again, take them as approximate values):

Mount only as shipped (no counterweight rod/nut or azimuth bolts): 38.4 lbs
Rod & Nut: 2.4 lbs
AZ bolts: 0.6 lbs (scale results questionable at this low weight)
Counterweight: 17.6 lbs
Tripod w/ hand controller: 17.6 lbs.

Beo

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#10 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 11:31 PM

And here are the approximate dimensions of the saddle.

Beo

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#11 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 12:07 AM

And here are the tripod height dimensions.

Beo

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