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Replacement CGEM delayed (again) I'm turning blue!

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#51 Skip


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Posted 13 April 2009 - 06:24 PM

PM me when you get a chance. I want to discuss what I'm planning and get your take on it. Thanks, buddy,

#52 Dr Benway

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:20 PM

I cancelled my order with Telescopes.com today. The crummy dovetail fit and dented legs, plus the waiting since February 3, was enough for me to call in an order for a Losmandy GM-8 which will be waiting for me when I arrive at the TSP on Sunday. Ta-dah!


#53 jrbarnett


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Posted 14 April 2009 - 07:32 PM

Dovetail bars are designed to be divoted, marred and dimpled. I wouldn't give a fig about abusing a dovetail bar. In fact, a dovetail bar that was impervious to divoting, scuffing and dimpling would likely be less secure. Friction is your friend.

I think some folks have AP-900 expectations for what is in truth a cheap imported GEM. So far, the quality seems to be exactly what folks who have owned similar mounts such as the Orion Atlas have experienced. Not perfect but good enough for the price. That's why the Atlas is a perrenial best seller and the CGEM seems to be sold out frequently.

I have both and Atlas and a Losmandy GM-8. The Atlas has a much larger capacity than does the GM-8. I'd rate the GM-8 as a CG5 class mount in fact. It struggles with my 127ED whereas the Atlas handles it without a whimper. The Losmandy has nice machining work for its price, but nothing close to the A-P mounts.

IMO really good mounts generally cost more than $6k. Since I don't image, I am willing to put up with good enough and forego really good. :grin:



#54 Lane



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Posted 14 April 2009 - 07:48 PM

There is no real problem with the cgem saddle but if you want to be able to put both kinds of dovetails on the mount without a conversion plate then for about $180 (which includes shipping cost) you can get the ADM cgem dual saddle as I just did. Here is a pic I posted for someone else. The arrow is just showing the bolt that is removed to switch them out. There are 3 of those bolts.

Attached Files

#55 mclewis1


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Posted 14 April 2009 - 08:28 PM


I agree that friction is your friend and in the case of a saddle and dovetail bar the amount of friction is dependent on the fit between the two components. A poor fit between them puts less surface area in contact and therefore reduces the potential amount of friction (and therefore the holding force) between the two pieces. I don't think anyone is overly concerned about cosmetic damage to a dovetail bar or what the CGEM saddle looks like. Most of the conversation has been about the concerns over the fit of Losmandy D type plates in the CGEM's stock saddle or what Celestron calls a "mounting platform".

Interestingly Celestron makes no mention of D sized plate compatibility, in fact there doesn't seem to be any information on the saddle itself (including any statement about it even being CGE dovetail compatible) in the marketing info, product specifications, or the installation manual. Astronomics does however make a specific statement about the mount head accepting either type of dovetail. The CGE saddle on the other hand is a nicely machined unit that grips either type of dovetail very well.

The CGEM saddle doesn't seem to fit Losmandy D plates quite as well as the CGE saddle does. The angles of the sides of the saddle also seem to be a bit different and the corners of the CGEM saddle don't fit into the 3rd party D sized dovetail bar/plates quite as deeply as they do on the CGE or 3rd party D saddles. The assumption is that this is all due to the fact that the CGEM saddle is a casting that isn't created to the same tolerances as if it had been machined.

Is this really a problem? I'm not sure but I do know that if I owned a CGEM I would be concerned about the fit of a Losmandy D compatible plate in the stock saddle. The visuals would make me a bit uncomfortable and I would be extra careful every time I mounted a scope on the mount.

#56 donsinger1


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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:18 AM

From what I could see, I would not worry too much...once clamped down, everything is in very solid. However, I went for the ADM Dual saddle also as it then entails one less piece to deal with when using a Vixen style dovetail, and is also lighter.


#57 Trebor777



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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:01 AM

Celestron customer service is a PITA. Especially for replacement parts. I called (and emailed) last Wednesday, they called me back today (Tues) and told me to sed them a check and then they'll send me my replacement part (CGE tripod spreader)

Now, that's 6 days for a response...5 days for my check to get from CT to CA...5 days for the replacement part to be shipped back to me in CT....

16 DAYS for a simple replacement part (that they have in stock) that would take literally 2 minutes to order and another 2 for a human being to package and put a shipping label on it. That's ridculous.

Needless to say I'm not doing it.

I needed a plastic tripod spreader for the CGE. Celestron wants $55 shipped for it. I went to Lowe's (That's Lane) and got a round 18" table top and I'm making a tripod eyepiece tray/extender. Total cost $9.99.

#58 gsmblue


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Posted 17 April 2009 - 08:58 PM

Hi there, I have been lurking on this site for years..... but first post :)

I ordered my CGEM today. I am sure I won't see it for a long time, but the shop lent me a CG5 in the meantime, very decent of them!!!

Can anyone point me in the direction of a "first look" article on the CGEM?


#59 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 11:06 AM

Welcome GSMBlue! Glad you decided to post. There are a number of threads here with some useful information. Here's a thread I did in January when my original CGEM came in. I captured most of the dimensions of the CGEM to give you an idea what you're getting into. There are a number of other good threads on here too. You can also join the Yahoo CGEM group for more info.


#60 gsmblue


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Posted 18 April 2009 - 12:49 PM

Thanks Beo, looking forward to you updates!

#61 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 02:44 PM

Well, I finally received an e-mail from a supervisor at Celestron tech support and he's taking some steps to help remedy the issues I've encountered to date. So, in the interest of sharing the good with the bad, I wanted to share a positive response. So while it's been a frustrating ride up to now, I finally managed to get someone who's going to try to make it right.


#62 waassaabee


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Posted 18 April 2009 - 07:58 PM


#63 Jeff55


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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:36 AM

Was at the Celestron booth yesterday at NEAF. I was surprised how much "air" will be under the Losmandy "D" dovetail with the stock saddle. I have a Casady 12 inch drop-in saddle that I plan to mount on a CGEM (want to wait another couple months to get past "teething problems before ordering) using an ADM collar into which Anthony will machine new holes for use on the CGEM. I'll be approaching 37 pounds of equipment that I'll be mounting so I feel this is that small bit of extra insurance. BTW the mount with his Orange (not my favorite color) knob set looks fantastic in person and really adds to the appearance of the mount.

#64 Gerry S.

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 09:39 AM

This is my first post though I have been lingering in the background reading and learning for quite awhile. There is a lot of knowledge to be gleaned here and for that I'm thankful. I do have something I'd like to offer up along with one question so here I am. About two weeks ago I finally decided after a great deal of research to purchase my first scope. I placed the order with astronomics.com over the phone while travelling and literally had my CGEM 9.25 with a few added accessories delivered to my door at 3pm the next day.
I really liked the astronomics.com experience and the 5% cloudynights.com discount doesn’t hurt either. I saved $98.00. My first light experience was the Beehive and the second was Saturn... moons and all recorded in my observation log. Clouds rolled in and now alas I'm on the road again. While away, I am in the process of ordering cases for my "stuff" and thanks to Lord Beowulf’s measurements I’m leaning towards a pair of Pelican 1630 cases. One case for the OTA and the other case for the CGEM head delivered for $200.20 each. Now for my question before I pull the trigger please. Will they work? Thank you all.

#65 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 08:43 PM

Hey Gerry, a big Cloudy Nights welcome to you! I can't tell you for sure how well those will work, but I can show you what I came up with here. The foam block you see there is about 17.5x24x9" (LxWxH) with 2.5" of foam under the mount and about the 1.5-2.5" all the way around. The two saddle knobs stick up above the top by about 1". I could poke holes and leave them face down with bare clearance from the bottom, but since I'm probably going to switch to an ADM saddle before long, I don't think it's worth the trouble.


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