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CGE Pro vs Losmandy Titan + any owners of CGE Pro?

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#1 Franky

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:13 AM

Hello everyone,

I am thinking about buying CGE Pro (for visual and photographic use, for my C14), but I would like to know how you would compare it to Losmandy Titan :question: From the specs, I can see that Titan's tracking accuracy is +-5 and CGE Pro has +-9. Losmandy also comes with +10 lb payload capacity. But also it is +1000€ for me. Is it worth it? :confused: Are there any other major differences? Also the Geminy controller looks little "out-fashioned". How does it compare to NexStar from Celestron?

I wonder if anyone was lucky and already received Celestron CGE Pro mount. If you received one, what are your impressions? How sturdy is it? What about backlash, periodic error, and new AllStar technology? If you have any links to first reviews from owners of this new mount, please post them here.

Thank you guys for your valuable advice :bow: I want to buy mount that will be a good companion for me and my C14 for many years. When investing so much many, I just don't want go wrong :bawling:

Frank.

#2 David Pavlich

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 07:29 AM

Welcome, Franky! That's a tough one because we have yet to get an in-depth analysis of the CGE Pro. However, the wait time for a new Titan is....who knows? If you aren't in a hurry, the Titan is a proven entity.

David

#3 Franky

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 09:45 AM

Thank you David,
the question is - can I go any wrong with Titan? I have read some reviews and every body is amazed by its quality :drool5: never heard about some disadvantages or drawbacks of this mount - can anyone report some? :shrug: Is Titan all that good? :jawdrop:

However, I am put off by Losmandy's Gemini system. I have downloaded the manual from their website and it looks quite clumpsy and difficult to use. It is not that straight forward and user friendly Celestron's NexStar, that I am used to. Can anyone make a brief comparison of Gemini and NexStar?

I also wonder, how long pass the meridian can Titan track? CGE Pro says 20 in its specs, but I did not find this info about Titan.

It's a tough decision. I basically need some reassurement that Titan is the best way to go :)

Thank you for your advice guys, I really appreciate it, as I have no other source to base my decision on :thanx:

Frank

#4 HunterofPhotons

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 10:39 AM

....However, I am put off by Losmandy's Gemini system. I have downloaded the manual from their website and it looks quite clumpsy (sic) and difficult to use. It is not that straight forward and user friendly Celestron's NexStar, that I am used to. Can anyone make a brief comparison of Gemini and NexStar?

The Gemini is a robust 'professional'-style system. It may seem daunting at first glance, but it is quite easy to use. I've never heard of anyone not being able to master it. <g>
Have you considered an MI-250? It carries heavy loads, has a low, smooth PE, and Larry Myers gives the best customer service a human can give.

dan

#5 Franky

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 10:58 AM

Dan, thank you for your recommendation. I am from Europe, and none of the local distributors sell MI products :( its either celestron or losmandy....

Gosh, how to choose... Titan or CGE Pro?
Do you know about any owner/review of CGE Pro?
Any hints on CGE Pro vs. Titan dilema? :confused:

Thank you guys, once again. Your comments are highly appreciated :bow:

#6 Charlie Hein

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:22 PM

Recently at the Winter Star Party I had the chance to see both the CGE-Pro and the Titan - with nearly identical loads. I really liked the build quality of the CGE-Pro. It is easily the nicest looking mount from a build quality perspective that I've ever seen coming out of Celestron. That said, to my mind the Titan still has it over the CGE-Pro in terms of the workmanship. Both mounts are obviously quality pieces of work, but while the CGE-Pro has a very impressive level of fit and finish that I've not seen from Celestron before (and is just plain "snazzy" looking), the Titan pretty much qualifies as a work of mechanical art in my estimation. I was chatting about this with a couple of fellows who were also at the star party and the verdict was identical from all three of us - both mounts are impressive beasts, but the Titan got the nod without hesitation every time.

Now for the disclaimer - I have been a G-11 owner now for about 5 months, so I may be a bit biased from the standpoint of mount "aesthetics". I cannot speak for either of the other guys but neither one owns either a Losmandy or a Celestron mount.

Speaking of the Gemini system, I want to assure you that while it seems a bit daunting when you're reading the manual, in the context of actual usage I found the system to be very straightforward - very easy to learn and use, and extremely accurate when set up properly. That said, bear in mind that this is really a professional level software set.

The last thing I'd like to share is purely subjective, but in the end it may be very useful info for you. I had the chance to try a "shake test" of both the CGE-Pro with a C-14 mounted and a Titan with a C-14 mounted. The test was very simple - put your hand on the OTA and shake it a bit. There was a clear difference to me in how "solid" the C-14 felt between the two mounts - the C-14 on the Titan seemed to be noticeably more "solid". I would have loved to do this test at night under the stars to check actual damping time but didn't have the opportunity. Even so, if I had to guess I'd feel pretty confident in saying that the scope mounted on the Titan would easily be the first to settle down after similar bumps to the OTA after dark.

Hope this helps...

Charlie

#7 Franky

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:35 PM

Charlie, thank you for your valuable contribution. It is highly appreciated. It actually helped me to settle down the dispute in my mind :applause:

I guess that my mount of preference will be Titan. I hope that the waiting time will not be too long here in Europe. But if it is acceptable, then Titan is the winner :jump:

Thank you all very much. I just can't say how grateful I am :bow: If you have more suggestions, please send them in.

Thank you once again,
Frank :)

#8 Alph

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:57 PM

In real terms you are looking at least at $7500 for the HGM Titan (tripod + shipping) that makes the Titan %50 more expansive than the CGE-Pro – not a small difference. What I don’t like about the Titan is the fact that Losmandy has not made any improvements to it in many, many years. That really bothers me. The MI-250 seems a good alternative to the Titan. Another factor to consider is serviceability which is very important when you don’t live in the US or even in Southern California.

#9 Franky

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 01:10 PM

Hi Alph,
I can order CGE PRO from my local distributor for 5985€. Losmandy Titan costs 6700€. That is price increase of about 12%, which is not bad if Titan is really better than CGE Pro.

Thank you for reminding me about the servicability. Honestly, i did not consider this factor so far. I'll have to check with my distributor on this issue.

As I've said MI is out of game for me - no local distributor offers it...

Thank you so much,
Frank

#10 Strgazr27

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 02:05 PM

You may find the wait time for the Titan to be measured in SEVERAL months if not longer.

If you truly do not need the payload of the CGEPro or Titan than there is only 1 mount in my mind that I would consider and that's the MI-250. Stupidly good tracking, Incredible attention to detail, although clunky, the Gemini GoTo is deadly with a well built alignment model and Larry M. has customer service that cannot be matched by ANYONE in the industry. The worst day for me in this hobby was the day I sold my MI. There WILL be another someday.

#11 Franky

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 02:34 PM

Charlie: Do you think that your friend from the Astroparty might provide us with PE records of CGE Pro? It would be really valuable information!

Bobby: Well, I need the mount for C14 + Meade 80mm for guiding + Sony Alpha + all the other stuff. So I would say the payload of CGE Pro or Titan will be useful. And as I've said, MI is out of consideration, as none of the local dealers offer it.

Charlie, try to ask you friend for those PE records, it would be really helpful.

Thank you,
Frank.

#12 Charlie Hein

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 03:05 PM

Franky - the CGE-Pro was at the Celestron booth at the Winter Star Party. Sorry.

#13 Gord

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:12 PM

I don't have any experience with the Titan, but it looks like an beautiful mount. I did have a chance to talk to someone that had one though, and this person had nothing good to say about it.

It wasn't anything to do with Gemini, and this person whole-heartily recommended the G11. He went from the Titan on to a Paramount, IIRC.

He didn't go into the specifics, but it's possible it was just a bad sample. I seem to see people using them around the net, so it can't be all bad. And I would agree with the other comments made here about Losmandy gear and fine mechanical art. Definitely some of the nicest made stuff around.

Good luck,

-Gord

#14 Alph

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:35 PM

I can order CGE PRO from my local distributor for 5985€. Losmandy Titan costs 6700€.


It seems that the CGE-pro is overpriced in Europe. Does the quoted price of the Titan include the tripod? I think you are almost there - a pre-owned 10 Micron GM2000

#15 Franky

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 03:24 AM

Alph, yes, the price is including tripod.

Gord, thank you for your post. Hope it was only a bad sample. Or maybe your friend has higher expectations than Titan could provide.

Still no owners of CGE Pro who could report their impressions? + more reports on Titan are warmly welcomed :)

Franky

#16 rmollise

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 07:52 AM

Hello everyone,

I am thinking about buying CGE Pro (for visual and photographic use, for my C14), but I would like to know how you would compare it to Losmandy Titan


Impossible to say the CGE Pro just began shipping to buyers week before last. So far, I've heard of one person (on my CGE Pro Uncensored Yahoogroup) who got his. And it is cloudy. Naturally. :lol:

#17 Franky

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 08:20 AM

Oh yes, I did not realize how annoying clouds can be until I took up this astro hobby :)

Anyway, did he mention at least first impressions? Does it have good finish? Is it sturdy enough to support C14? What about the shake test (described by Charlie abowe), does it hold the OTA stably?

BTW, I am joining the yahoo group to find out more information, thank you :jump:

Frank

#18 David Pavlich

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 10:20 AM


However, I am put off by Losmandy's Gemini system. I have downloaded the manual from their website and it looks quite clumpsy and difficult to use. It is not that straight forward and user friendly Celestron's NexStar, that I am used to. Can anyone make a brief comparison of Gemini and NexStar?


I've used goto systems from Celestron, Meade and Orion (Atlas) and I can tell you that once you get the Gemini system figured out, it puts the others in the garage. Celestron's is quite intuitive, however, compared to Gemini it's quite limited, especially when it comes to the alignment routine.

I don't know anyone that hasn't had a bit of frustration with their initial introduction to Gemini, but just about all agree it's a very good system.

David

#19 rmollise

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 02:13 PM

[compared to Gemini it's quite limited, especially when it comes to the alignment routine.


To each her/his own...but I've used both and found that the NexStar system, and, in particular their 2+4 alignment system and All Star blows the doors of Gemini. In fact, that is my only complaint _at all_ with Losmandy...they need to update Gemini or latch onto somethin' new and a wee bit more user friendly (for less than skilled computer users such as myself :lol: )

#20 rmollise

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 02:14 PM

Oh yes, I did not realize how annoying clouds can be until I took up this astro hobby :)

Anyway, did he mention at least first impressions? Does it have good finish? Is it sturdy enough to support C14? What about the shake test (described by Charlie abowe), does it hold the OTA stably?

BTW, I am joining the yahoo group to find out more information, thank you :jump:

Frank


Well, yeah, he was very happy about those things...but the proof is in the pudding: under the stars, that is. ;)

#21 Alph

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 03:17 PM

in particular their 2+4 alignment system and All Star blows the doors of Gemini


Not a chance. The gemini can use up to 256 stars for the mount modeling not just 6. The gemini also models more parameters than the Nexstar and the modeling can be accomplished from any planetarium software.

#22 waassaabee

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 03:57 PM

Not a chance. The gemini can use up to 256 stars for the mount modeling not just 6. The gemini also models more parameters than the Nexstar and the modeling can be accomplished from any planetarium software.

WOW!! How long does it take to align on 256 stars? And what's the gain? I get excellent tracking and 10+ minute frames autoguiding with Nexstar, and I saved a bucket of $$.

#23 rmollise

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 04:57 PM

Not a chance. The gemini can use up to 256 stars for the mount modeling not just 6. The gemini also models more parameters than the Nexstar and the modeling can be accomplished from any planetarium software.


You can do the very same with the Celestron mount using T-point, which _IMHO_ works better than the Gemini's feature. I also note that in _my_ experience (YMMV), the Celestron computer produces more accurate alignments without having to resort to such things...

...but...as I said..."to each her/his own." I like the Losmandy mounts very much...I find Gemini to be awkward to use, but that probably says more about me than it does about the Gemini system. :lol:

;)

#24 blueman

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 09:56 PM

Gemini, 3 star alignment then Polar Align Correction and I can place a star in the cross hair with a 100° slew! That is arc seconds would be my guess. :)
Blueman

#25 David Pavlich

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 10:12 PM

Not a chance. The gemini can use up to 256 stars for the mount modeling not just 6. The gemini also models more parameters than the Nexstar and the modeling can be accomplished from any planetarium software.

WOW!! How long does it take to align on 256 stars? And what's the gain? I get excellent tracking and 10+ minute frames autoguiding with Nexstar, and I saved a bucket of $$.


The modeling has little to do with tracking. You can model with 6000 points, but if you have a poor polar alignment, tracking will be just that; poor.

I haven't messed with T-point, but I believe it's an extra software program that requires another computer, yes? Don't need that with Gemini.

As stated in a prior post, I've found that the Gemini modeling allows for swings from one side of the meridian to the other and the gotos are dead-on.

Having said all of that, I'm still a big fan of the CGE even with its Dec cable (Marty fixed that) hiccups. :ubetcha:

David






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