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Ode to the CG-5GT

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#1 Domerman

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 10:19 PM

This mount is simply spectacular. Before I had this mount, I had never ever used any type of gem mount or made exposures longer than 30 seconds. Now I am able to image up to 20 minutes guided and probably much longer with ease thanks to the "all-star" polar alignment routine. I never once drift align or do ANY type of polar alignment routine aside for the all star alignment (which takes about 2 minutes). I figured I would only be able to track for 2-5minutes using this method, but I never thought I can go this deep. I guess the short focal length of my 80ED doesn't hurt ;) Anyone who is hesitating to buy this mount should just buy it! :cool: At this price point and it's weight class it is truly amazing. I'm in love lol. I never thought I would get my whole setup to work. It looked good to me on paper, but getting it to work is a whole nother story, but it works and I can't be happier. Sorry for my randomness. I'm just so darn happy!

#2 sang33ta

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 10:30 PM

Noisy but nice :D

#3 rmollise

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 08:17 AM

This mount is simply spectacular.


Yep...great little mount. While I've got an Atlas here, I still find myself draggin' out the CG5 instead...light, easy to polar align (I never drift anymore either), and capable of takin' sweet pix with my C8.

#4 rmollise

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 08:19 AM

Noisy but nice :D


Yeah, I'll admit it grinds a little coffee durin' go-tos (not enough to wake the neighbors despite what some folks say), nice and quiet while trackin', though.

#5 letimotif

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 08:23 AM

(not enough to wake the neighbors despite what some folks say), nice and quiet while trackin', though.


Yeahbut . . . at home the best views are outside under the master bedroom. Wife Acceptance Factor is not optimum. Darn woman has ears like a bat. ;)

#6 wsuriano

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 09:41 AM

Great to hear because I'm having a new one delivered on Wednesday. Couldn't resist $560 price, including shipment. I've got to move everything from my basement to the back yard each time I want to image so I appreciate the weight and quick setup. Is the All Star Polar Alignment the same as on the CGEM?

#7 Jim Romanski

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 09:48 AM

Wow! Who has it for $560? I got mine from High Point for $599 incl Shipping.

#8 rmollise

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:34 AM

Yeahbut . . . at home the best views are outside under the master bedroom. Wife Acceptance Factor is not optimum. Darn woman has ears like a bat. ;)


You mean she ain't out there observin' _with you_? What's up with that? My EX wife never liked to observe, either. :lol:

#9 rmollise

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:35 AM

Great to hear because I'm having a new one delivered on Wednesday. Couldn't resist $560 price, including shipment. I've got to move everything from my basement to the back yard each time I want to image so I appreciate the weight and quick setup. Is the All Star Polar Alignment the same as on the CGEM?


Yes, but you may need to update the HC to get it (easy).

#10 letimotif

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 10:50 AM

You mean she ain't out there observin' _with you_? What's up with that? My EX wife never liked to observe, either. :lol:


Naw, she was up 'til 4AM w/me at one site Friday, and 1AM last night at another. But, like right now, she needs a little more sleep than I do. Which reminds me, time to go make some coffee for my best observing buddy. :jump:

#11 wsuriano

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 01:26 PM

Woodland Hills has them for $525 with a flat $35 shipping. OPT matched their price. Apparently, Celestron has removed temporarily the pricing restrictions on some products, the CG-5 being one of them.

#12 wsuriano

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 02:03 PM

Uncle Rod:

I should have read your January 2009 Blog Post before asking whether the All Star polar alignment was the same as the CGEM. I'll catch up eventually.

Bill

#13 Jim Romanski

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 07:13 PM

Great to hear because I'm having a new one delivered on Wednesday. Couldn't resist $560 price, including shipment. I've got to move everything from my basement to the back yard each time I want to image so I appreciate the weight and quick setup. Is the All Star Polar Alignment the same as on the CGEM?


Yes, but you may need to update the HC to get it (easy).

I just picked up a CG5-GT. Do you have a linky on how to update?

#14 larryo

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 06:28 AM

I'm with you on the CG5. Just purchased one from Woodland Hills at their price of $525, and got an additional 9.25% off thru their "stimulus" program :jump: :jump: :jump:. Heckuva price! Should be here on Thursday... as should the clouds. Can't wait.

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#15 rmollise

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 07:14 AM

I just picked up a CG5-GT. Do you have a linky on how to update?


http://nexstarsite.c...pgradeHowTo.htm

http://nexstarsite.c...pgradeHowTo.htm

;)

#16 mclewis1

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:58 AM

I just picked up a CG5-GT. Do you have a linky on how to update?

Jim, Uncle Rod got you the info on the how but since you just got the mount you should ask "why"? If it's a new mount don't bother with a firmware upgrade at all especially if it's already at 4.15 (4.16 does nothing for you). If it's below 4.15 then I'd suggest using the mount for a while, getting used to it and only then consider doing the upgrade. Too many folks IMHO rush to change things just because they are "newer" and then spend extra time trying to figure everything out. Build up your experience level, then any changes will usually work out much better.

#17 rmollise

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 12:28 PM

Jim, Uncle Rod got you the info on the how but since you just got the mount you should ask "why"? If it's a new mount don't bother with a firmware upgrade at all especially if it's already at 4.15


I agree, but there is a good chance it will not be 4.15...

#18 Jim Romanski

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 02:46 PM

Jim, Uncle Rod got you the info on the how but since you just got the mount you should ask "why"? If it's a new mount don't bother with a firmware upgrade at all especially if it's already at 4.15


I agree, but there is a good chance it will not be 4.15...

I checked the firmware version last night and it's version 4.13.

Mark - I'm with you. I don't usually run out and flash my PC bios or other firmware just to do it. The main reason I'd like to upgrade it to get the All Star Polar Alignment feature. This is one of the reasons I bought the mount.

I guess I'll have to find some explanation of how to use the All Star Polar Alignment once I upgrade.

#19 mclewis1

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 03:18 PM

Jim, the user manual for the 4.15 firmware is the CGEM installation guide. Link For the All Star Alignment you just have to ignore the comments about the CGEM hardware and substitute the equivalent ones for the CG5. The mounts are so close that this is hardly an issue.

#20 Jim Romanski

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 03:46 PM

Thanks Mark

And Thanks Rod for the links. I went to the Celestron website and got the file but I was at a loss for how to connect my hand controller to a serial connector. I know I have some old serial cables hanging around but the connector at the bottom of the hand controller is a phone connector. Now I see what I have to get.

#21 Wave Vector

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 04:00 PM

Yes I too am happy with my CG-ASGT :jump:

#22 rmollise

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 04:53 PM

Thanks Mark

And Thanks Rod for the links. I went to the Celestron website and got the file but I was at a loss for how to connect my hand controller to a serial connector. I know I have some old serial cables hanging around but the connector at the bottom of the hand controller is a phone connector. Now I see what I have to get.


You'll need to buy or make a serial cable for the Celestron. Go on back to Mike Swanson's Nexstarsite.com for instructions if "build" sounds good.

;)

#23 Starhawk

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 08:47 AM

OK, I'll bite- what's so special about All Star Polar Alignment? I'm still a bit annoyed by the disasterous Nexstar polar alignment where it was supposed to get an alignment on Polaris, but in fact resulted in being several degrees from true alignment, but y'all seem to think this is as good as a drift alignment. Can someone please describe what happens?

-Rich

#24 Domerman

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 09:12 AM

You go through the regular two star alignment routine. Then you set the calibration stars. I usually set about three calibration stars. Then select polar align on the HC after the calibration is complete. Pick any star that is not near the pole or any of the horizons or zenith and align that star using the manual controls on the mount. This creates an accurate polar alignment. For me and my setup this procedure allows me to take images of exposures greater than 20 minutes (guided) without a problem. The whole procedure takes about 10 minutes tops when you get acclimated with it. So far I'm very happy with it and it's proven to be very accurate.

And consider that before this mount I never once used a gem mount or was able to get a scope polar aligned. I had an LX90 on a wedge before this. Was quite the pain in the behind to try and polar align.

#25 rmollise

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 09:13 AM

OK, I'll bite- what's so special about All Star Polar Alignment? I'm still a bit annoyed by the disasterous Nexstar polar alignment where it was supposed to get an alignment on Polaris, but in fact resulted in being several degrees from true alignment, but y'all seem to think this is as good as a drift alignment. Can someone please describe what happens?

-Rich


The advantage is that you can use any star (away from the horizon) to perform the polar alignment, not just Polaris.

If the original polar alignment utility is producing alignments "several degrees" off, then I gotta say "prob'ly pilot error," as I've used it for years with good success:

1. Remember, once you start the polar align procedure, you do NOT move the scope in declination or RA. You center Polaris using _only_ the mount altitude and azimuth adjusters. IOW, follow the on-screen prompts.

2. Naturally lat/lon, date, time-zone, DST must all be correct in the HC.

3. Remember to redo the go-to alignment following the polar alignment procedure. Early mounts needed to have their power cycled following polar alignment.






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