Jump to content


Photo

CGEM or Atlas EQ-G for a C11?

  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 RaptorJoc

RaptorJoc

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 07 Feb 2009

Posted 08 February 2009 - 11:35 PM

The subject speaks for itself. I am buying my first scope and mount. After many hours of research and a few trips out with the local club, I have decided on a C11. Both the CGEM and Altas have a lot of fans. Anyone with experience with either of these setups please feel free to lend advise. Buying the CGEM 1100 package is about $500 cheaper than just the OTA and separate Atlas for it to ride on. Is it worth an additional $500?

I do intend to eventually get into Astrophotography but for now I just what to look deep into space and see what is out there.

Thanks in advance

#2 Kolenka

Kolenka

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1181
  • Joined: 01 Jun 2008
  • Loc: Seattle Area, WA, USA

Posted 09 February 2009 - 01:59 AM

Well, the Atlas and the CGEM are similar mount designs. The CGEM does have a couple nice options that the Atlas doesn't yet have in the software (All-Star Alignment, for example).

If you went into AP, I'd hope you weren't expecting to use the C11 as an imaging scope on a CGEM or Atlas. The C11 won't make a very good AP scope for a beginner just starting out, and would be taxing on that mount. Expect frustration at first trying to get it to not vibrate, track poorly and various other issues that could put off a beginning photographer.

Visually, it seems like a good pair, and one advantage is that you can pick up a nice refractor down the road for AP and swap the tubes based on what you want to do (light-bucket viewing versus AP).

#3 TheMenace

TheMenace

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 424
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2008

Posted 09 February 2009 - 08:10 AM

Welcome to cloudy nights!

I chose the eqg for a few reasons.
Proven performance,quiet operation,and available on the used market.
The cgem is a new product and most likely will have a few gremlins to work out.

The cgem does come with a warranty,better software,better mounting saddle,and probably a better price.

I don't think you could go wrong with either choice,buy the best deal available from a dealer who stands behind the product.

#4 kaaikop

kaaikop

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 948
  • Joined: 13 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Val-David, QC

Posted 09 February 2009 - 08:22 AM

I had to return a Celestron mount (CG5) when I got my 9.25 (too many problems).
Got an EQ6-Pro (same as Atlas) for a premium price difference, and never looked back...
Does not have all the "bells & whistles" of the Celestron, but it's not a toy, it just plain works.
Besides, you wont attract your neighbour's attention with the coffee grinder noise :grin:

As far as C11? I know the Atlas is up to it. The Celestron Im not sure...

#5 TheMenace

TheMenace

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 424
  • Joined: 21 Oct 2008

Posted 09 February 2009 - 08:40 AM

I do have to admit,the near silent operation of the atlas,and the simple menu of the hc,makes using the unit extremely easy.

:applause:

What kills me is the shipping charges on the atlas.

:flame:

#6 Sundown6

Sundown6

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Palo Alto, Ca

Posted 09 February 2009 - 10:50 AM

Atlas is a big mount when I upgraded from the CG5 I was like what the hell did I just buy when I saw it. But after using it I'm in love... I must say that I am looking at changing to a CGEM for some of the nice toys it has (All-Star Alignment) but I'm holding off till they have all the bugs worked out and hoping that EQMOD comes up with the same things so that way I don't have to change.

#7 Dave H.

Dave H.

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 220
  • Joined: 29 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Northern Virginia

Posted 09 February 2009 - 12:18 PM

Hi,
I have previously owned a C11 and Atlas mount, and when the CGEM was announced, I quickly sold my Atlas mount in favor of acquiring the new CGEM. Now a few folks have had a few issues with the new mount that seem to be getting addressed quickly by Celestron, but so far mine has worked just as expected.

IMHO, the Nexstar software of the CGEM is a bit easier to operate than the Atlas software and that was part of my thought process in making the switch from the Atlas, but the main reason for my decision was the All Star Polar Alignment which I really need for my location.

The mount construction of each is really pretty similar and both are quite heavy using robust EQ heads, and they each use the same 2" SS tripod. Frankly these mounts are so similar I'm pretty certain either mount would handle the C11 payload almost identically. I can tell you that with a C11, 50 mm finder, 2" SCT crayford focuser, 2" diagonal, and 2" eyepiece it takes 33 pounds of counter weight to balance the scope. I would think the advertised payload of 40 pounds is very realistic for these mounts, but with a C11 it might be pretty close for a stable astro imaging platform.

Hope this helps.

#8 yg1968

yg1968

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1929
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posted 09 February 2009 - 12:31 PM

hoping that EQMOD comes up with the same things so that way I don't have to change.



The EQMOD software will not work out with the CGEM. The maker of EQMOD has no intention of making an equivalent software for the CGEM. From what I have read on the EQMOD Yahoo group, the software would be fairly different as the CGEM uses different motors than the Atlas.

#9 Lane

Lane

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • Posts: 3586
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Frisco, Texas

Posted 09 February 2009 - 12:53 PM

Atlas and CGEM are both good choices, but just to clear up any confusion, there are no bugs with the cgem. Two people on this forum had a problem, one admitted it was his own fault and corrected the issue and the other had to return the mount for a replacement. I don't think one bad mount constitutes a serious issue. When the ATLAS first appeared many of them had gear meshing problems that required some adjustments but that problem has not been seen in later models or in the CGEM. The CGEM is louder that is true but only because it slews faster and you can adjust slewing speed down if you want. When it slews at the same speed as the ATLAS there isn't much difference in the noise level. The CGEM has not been used yet by many people doing astrophotography so there is no track record, but as others have pointed out, you will not be doing AP with a C11 on either mount. If you want to do AP get the 8" because it is steady as a rock on top of the CGEM and ATLAS mounts. I have the Sirius which has the same hand control as the Atlas and I have the CGEM. If hand controller ease of use and features are important to you then the CGEM is way ahead on that front.

#10 Sundown6

Sundown6

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Palo Alto, Ca

Posted 09 February 2009 - 03:40 PM

hoping that EQMOD comes up with the same things so that way I don't have to change.



The EQMOD software will not work out with the CGEM. The maker of EQMOD has no intention of making an equivalent software for the CGEM. From what I have read on the EQMOD Yahoo group, the software would be fairly different as the CGEM uses different motors than the Atlas.


Sorry I don't think you got what I was saying... I was saying that I hope the guys who make eqmod add stuff like the All-Star Alignment and some of the other cool things the CGEM can do that the atlas can't at this point.
Not that I hope they make eqmod for the CGEM. That is why at the end I was wishing not to change.

#11 RaptorJoc

RaptorJoc

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 07 Feb 2009

Posted 09 February 2009 - 08:16 PM

Thanks for all the input, I'm not hearing anything to justify the additional $500 for the Atlas. It sounds like CGEM is the way to go. As far as AP goes, if I decide to get serious about it I will most probably look for a 120mm APO but that may be a while.

#12 Lane

Lane

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • Posts: 3586
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2007
  • Loc: Frisco, Texas

Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:17 PM

Get the vibration suppression pads! According to OPT the damping time on the CGEM with a C11 is slightly over 3 seconds. With the pads it goes to less than 2 seconds.

#13 CounterWeight

CounterWeight

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8101
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Palo alto, CA.

Posted 10 February 2009 - 03:19 PM

Last October I was in the exact same quandry (though far from my first scope, my first GEM goto mount). I mean as far as a good mount scope combo in the range. My take was that I was at some point going to go into ap but am at heart a visual observer.

Unless you get a self guiding camera, or only take short unguided shots, you'll need to use a little guide scope and that will definately take you past what either mount will do for AP (I know there are some that can and have used that setup)

Looking through all the variables and choices I decided to spend the extra $$ and get a CGE1100. It is now 5 months later and I have never regretted getting the CGE mount (except for the 'runaway' episode cured by changing to a different style interconnect cable for the RA and DEC connx) It holds the C11 like a rock and even have good things to say about it with my FS-102 on top :)

As far as refractors go, having a sturdy mount is even more an issue - the weight moment / fulcrum issues are even more pronounced, and then there is windage and sail area vs. an SCT. I've found that the refractors are especially succeptable to wind, and the CGE did fine with my FS-128 and a guide scope.

Having a bit more mount than you think you need isn't a bad idea, and you wont be limited as to what you do, or when. I know it's a lot more money - but I think - starting with the C11 there are many issues you just wont have. Also - the CGE has all the ports you need in the column, no additional accy's needed to hook up anything, computer, satnav, autoguider, handset... When you think of imaging with these mounts some recommend going by 1/2 the rated weight, or the 'middle third', some will say they load to the max and no problem. Keep in mind the payload specs are for what the mount can carry, only some actually publish an 'imaging weight'. But if your starting out, the mount can make it easy or difficult - I think far more than the OTA used.

:tonofbricks:

#14 jcrew

jcrew

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 392
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2008
  • Loc: Mechanicsville, VA.

Posted 10 February 2009 - 04:00 PM

I thought the Atlas was only a $100.00 more?

#15 mclewis1

mclewis1

    Thread Killer

  • *****
  • Posts: 10742
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2006
  • Loc: New Brunswick, Canada

Posted 10 February 2009 - 05:18 PM

Brad ... I believe that Jim's referring to his CGE ($2800) not the new CGEM ($1400) vs. the Atlas at $1500.

#16 watcher

watcher

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2120
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2007
  • Loc: St. Louis, MO

Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:20 PM

If you want a CGE, get it fast, they're discontinued, and the CGE Pro is a more expensive option.

Joe

#17 RaptorJoc

RaptorJoc

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 07 Feb 2009

Posted 11 February 2009 - 05:51 PM

The advertised price for the CGEM 1100 package, that is the OTA and Mount together is $2,999. Bought seperately it comes to $3,599, $2,100 for the scope and $1,499 for the mount. The Atlas is advertised for $1,399, as I would obviously have to buy the OTA seperately at $2,100 it is considerablly more.

#18 RaptorJoc

RaptorJoc

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 07 Feb 2009

Posted 11 February 2009 - 05:59 PM

I must say Orion is really blowing it by not offering the Atlas as a package with their most popular scopes. All the packages I see come with the Sirius or Sphinx.

#19 Alan S

Alan S

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 715
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2007

Posted 12 February 2009 - 10:57 AM

I have a CGEM, and am a visual observer with about 18 lbs. on the mount. Mine has worked flawlessly. It is not as quiet as an Atlas, but is not as loud as my former ASGT. I also considered buying an atlas, but have not regretted my decision. The accuaracy of the goto's and the ease of polar alignment are *far* superior to my former ASGT (which was fairly old). One nice feature is that the mount can track up to 20 degrees past the meridian (this is user adjustable)...I am not sure about the Atlas in this regard.

Alan

#20 Charlie Hein

Charlie Hein

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 12307
  • Joined: 02 Nov 2003
  • Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W

Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:58 PM

The subject speaks for itself. I am buying my first scope and mount. After many hours of research and a few trips out with the local club, I have decided on a C11. Both the CGEM and Altas have a lot of fans. Anyone with experience with either of these setups please feel free to lend advise. Buying the CGEM 1100 package is about $500 cheaper than just the OTA and separate Atlas for it to ride on. Is it worth an additional $500?

I do intend to eventually get into Astrophotography but for now I just what to look deep into space and see what is out there.

Thanks in advance


I checked a couple of places for pricing and there's actually only about $250.00 in price difference between the CGEM 11 and the Atlas 11...

#21 Charlie Hein

Charlie Hein

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 12307
  • Joined: 02 Nov 2003
  • Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W

Posted 12 February 2009 - 01:05 PM

I must say Orion is really blowing it by not offering the Atlas as a package with their most popular scopes. All the packages I see come with the Sirius or Sphinx.



I understand your point although I would have been a bit more diplomatic on phrasing it. I got a 9.25 for my Atlas and I really liked that combination very much. A couple of guys in my club have C-8's with small refractors riding on top and that is a very stable imaging setup.

#22 Sundown6

Sundown6

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Palo Alto, Ca

Posted 12 February 2009 - 03:30 PM

No not all they have whats basiclly a C10N,C11, and a 190mm Maksutov-Newtonian that come with a Atlas...

#23 RaptorJoc

RaptorJoc

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 07 Feb 2009

Posted 12 February 2009 - 10:08 PM

I didn't realize that the Orion SCTs were made by Celestron. Thanks for pointing that out.

#24 RaptorJoc

RaptorJoc

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 8
  • Joined: 07 Feb 2009

Posted 12 February 2009 - 10:36 PM

My point was aimed at their marketing strategy. Competing with Celestron which offers 3 SCTs on 3 different mounts with significant discounts for buying the package over the individual components giving them 9 price points spanning from $1500 to $4400.

#25 Charlie Hein

Charlie Hein

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 12307
  • Joined: 02 Nov 2003
  • Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W

Posted 13 February 2009 - 06:46 AM

My point was aimed at their marketing strategy. Competing with Celestron which offers 3 SCTs on 3 different mounts with significant discounts for buying the package over the individual components giving them 9 price points spanning from $1500 to $4400.


Yes, it's a shame that they haven't rolled up the Atlas in more varied configurations... as I mentioned earlier the 9.25 and 8" SCT's would make excellent packages with the Atlas. Almost any of the "astrophotography" packages they sell would really benefit from riding on an Atlas too.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics