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CG-5 ASGT First Use

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#1 wsuriano

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 01:06 PM

I got my CG-5 ASGT last week and, of course, it has rained since. Last night we had about a two hour break in the clouds predicted so I set everything up just to see what I could learn. This is my first GEM, having played with an LX-90 fork mount for a couple of years, and been frustrated more than once.
On the CG-5, I stuck my 80 mm Meade 5000 APO to image with through a DSI-II Pro and attached a Meade ETX90 in guide rings to guide through a DSI Pro. My Orion 80mm ST guide scope won't ship for another month so I'm stuck with the ETX90 for a bit. I planned to guide with PHD and image with Nebulosity, if I could get that far.

The real goal for the night was to see if I could get a decent polar alignment. After dealing with a poorly thought out plan for using a cheesy finder scope with both cameras already in place, I removed the DSI-II Pro stuck in a 26mm eyepiece, set my index markers, sighted Polaris through the Polar Scope hole and went through a 2-star alignment with just 2 calibration stars. (I was impatient and the clouds were moving in.) I then did the All Star Polar Alignment routine and it told me I was extremely close. I slewed to Saturn and it was right in the center of the FOV. Tried a few other stars and they were spot on as well. I didn't bother with re-syncing on my alignment or calibration stars because I was dead on anyway and didn't have the time.

So, I removed the eyepiece, stuck the DSI-II Pro back in, and thought, what the heck, let's see what M51 looks like. I fired up Nebulosity and PHD, did some fine focusing and then did a precision slew to M51. There it was just a bit east of center in Nebulosity. Next I did a guide calibration in PHD. I had to play with the brain settings a bit, but eventually got things to calibrate in about 12 steps. I watched the guiding and it was making few and small corrections. The bad news was that the sky was closing in fast. I tried a couple 2 minute previews and had nice round stars and good detail. Then I lost my guide star in the clouds.

Bottom line: I'm looking forward to a clear night. I was impressed with the accuracy of this low-priced mount and how well it seemed to guide, albiet for all of about 10 minutes. A GEM convert? Probably. I'm still confused by imaging around a meridian flip, but the preliminary results were more than satisfying.

Bill

#2 antilles72

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 01:23 PM

Sounds great so far Bill. I am looking forward to your pictures.

#3 waassaabee

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 01:57 PM

Excellent report Bill, and I'm sure the GEM will grow on you! The CG5 is truly an amazing mount, and coupled with the new firmware, an absolute winner.

Amazing how simple, yet accurate it is...

#4 dobsoscope

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:18 PM

When was the 'new' firmware issued please?

#5 rmollise

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 08:24 AM

When was the 'new' firmware issued please?


As in AllStar? Some months back with the CGEM. The newest version 4.16 has been out for a couple of months, but is mainly of interest to Southern Hemisphere observers.

#6 dobsoscope

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 11:46 AM

Thanks Rod,
I bought a CG-5 ASGT back in October 2008 but never really used it since then as it needed a second counterweight which I am getting only now.
So in order not to put undue stress on the motor bearings I have never switched on the mount.
So I would like to ask:
- is my HC upgradeable to the 4.1* version? How do I check what version is currently on the mount?
- when switching on the mount do you have to give it time/latitude/longitude data every time or does it have some sort of memory?
- if I do not want to use GOTO features (ie. just want tracking for say a casual observation of the moon/planets), can I just switch on the mount and that's it? Obviously after it is aligned due north.
- is there anywhere with a step-by-step guide online? I know there are many posts in here but most are quite complicated for one who has yet to switch on the mount for the first time.

Many thanks!

#7 rmollise

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 01:39 PM

Thanks Rod,
I bought a CG-5 ASGT back in October 2008 but never really used it since then as it needed a second counterweight which I am getting only now.
So in order not to put undue stress on the motor bearings I have never switched on the mount.
So I would like to ask:
- is my HC upgradeable to the 4.1* version? How do I check what version is currently on the mount?
- when switching on the mount do you have to give it time/latitude/longitude data every time or does it have some sort of memory?
- if I do not want to use GOTO features (ie. just want tracking for say a casual observation of the moon/planets), can I just switch on the mount and that's it? Obviously after it is aligned due north.
- is there anywhere with a step-by-step guide online? I know there are many posts in here but most are quite complicated for one who has yet to switch on the mount for the first time.

Many thanks!


If your current firmware is at least v4.0, your HC is upgradeable.

There's no memory; it defaults to the last entered data.

The easiest way is just by using "Quick Align." You should enter date and time, but you can just use the defaults if you are not going to do any go-tos.

The best site for all things NexStar: http://nexstarsite.com/

#8 dobsoscope

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 06:03 AM

thanks!

#9 johnfdean

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 10:23 PM

Thanks for the report. I am hunting for a new mount, but have been shying away from the CG5. Of course, that then throws me into a price range I am not happy with. I am looking forward to future updates.






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