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CGEM vs. Skywatcher EQ6 PRO

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#1 aljo

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 06:26 AM

Hello,

as I intend to replace my mount (Skywatcher EQ5) with something bigger, better and sturdier. I have 2 candidates:

- Celestron CGEM (price: 1700 eur (Teleskop service))
- Skywatcher EQ6 skyscan PRO (price: 1200 eur (teleskop service))

What to choose? Is CGEM worth the 500 eur difference? I don't intend to use it for astrophoto for now, but that could change in the future, as I will keep the mount for quite a long time I hope (that's why going for goto also). For some time I think I will keep my Meade AR5 refractor, but later I intend to upgrade to C8, C9.25 or something similar.

So, what to choose? Perhaps even something not mentioned here. I am seeking for GoTo, something apropriate for astrophoto, easy to use and good price/performance ratio. I know I won't get Losmandy or Astro physics build quality, but I think you got the point.

I am in no hurry, but I think the time has come, to do some thorough research on this matter.

#2 johnfdean

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:24 PM

Thanks for posting this question. I have been working on the same problem with Vixen thrown into the mix.

#3 rmollise

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 07:00 AM

Hello,

as I intend to replace my mount (Skywatcher EQ5) with something bigger, better and sturdier. I have 2 candidates:

- Celestron CGEM (price: 1700 eur (Teleskop service))
- Skywatcher EQ6 skyscan PRO (price: 1200 eur (teleskop service))

What to choose? Is CGEM worth the 500 eur difference? I don't intend to use it for astrophoto for now, but that could change in the future, as I will keep the mount for quite a long time I hope (that's why going for goto also). For some time I think I will keep my Meade AR5 refractor, but later I intend to upgrade to C8, C9.25 or something similar.

So, what to choose? Perhaps even something not mentioned here. I am seeking for GoTo, something apropriate for astrophoto, easy to use and good price/performance ratio. I know I won't get Losmandy or Astro physics build quality, but I think you got the point.

I am in no hurry, but I think the time has come, to do some thorough research on this matter.


At heart, they are very similar mounts. The CGEM is mostly an update of the good, ol' EQ6

CGEM Pluses:

--Celestron NexStar HC. Looks a lot like the Synscan, but with considerably more features and capabilities. AllStar polar alignment, for example.

--Ability to run NexRemote software.

--The mount uses servo motors, which some folks think are "better."

--It looks cooler than the EQ6.

Atlas/EQ6 advantages:

--This mount can be run by the excellent EQMOD software. That is enough for some people to choose the Atlas right there. With EQMOD (like NexRemote) you can leave the HC at home.

--This mount has been around for quite a while, so there are plenty of hacks/mods for it, and a large knowledge-base.

--The mount's stepper motors work fine and are quieter than the CGEM's servos.

;)

#4 Luigi

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 08:51 AM

I believe CGEM has a better saddle dovetail. Atlas's Vixen style is a weak point that introduces considerable flex in the setups I've seen.

#5 aljo

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 10:48 AM

So, is CGEM worth 500 eur difference or are they virtually same mounts? What about build quality? My EQ 5 lacks build quality in all aspects. After regreasing it is a little better, but still not very good. I guess that's the price, if you buy a 200 eur mount.

I think EQ 6 pro and CGEM would both be good choice, but as I intend to buy for a long period, I want to buy the best price/performance mount

#6 Peds

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 01:07 PM

I had to decide between the two mounts recently and opted for the Atlas EQ-G (same as the EQ6). The CGEM initially looked better due to the AllStar polar alignment routine Uncle Rod mentioned, but a few reports on the periodic error of the first samples shipped were higher than the current Atlas EQ-G. Perhaps the two will (or have already) even out in time.

The main deciding factor for me, however, was the latitude range. I reside in 15' S and thought the greater range of the Atlas EQ-G would be safer for me. This should not be a great concern for you, I imagine. Another pro for the Atlas would be the polar alignment scope it comes with, but some claim the AllStar routine on the CGEM doesn't even need a polar scope. I also like how quiet the mount operates!

Connection with TheSky6 and EQMOD was effortless and I can operate the mount through the hand controller or my computer easily. With the current hand controller software version, I simply connect the hand controller directly to my laptop with no need for an EQDIR module for EQMOD.

The EQ-6 has been a proven performer in astrophoto and both mounts are hard to beat for price/performance. I believe in the end, you will be happy with either mount. However, I am not sure if I would pay 500 eur for the difference of an AllStar polar alignment routine.

Regards,
P.

#7 Steve Fisher

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 03:58 PM

I have just returned from RTMC for 2009 and paid very close attention to the Celestron mounts.

I am currently using the CGE "classic" but I owned the EQ6-Pro last year and LOVED it. All of the above posts I would generally agree with and more. I also upgraded the saddle to the Losmandy style and the mount needs this modification.

The EQ6-Pro is quiet!!!!! Virtually silent for all intent and purposes. I could operate it under the neighbors bedroom window in the summer and they would never hear it.

The CGEM is noisier! Not as loud as a Meade SCT or LX-75 both of which I have owned but it does make more noise and I would not want to use it around the corner from my neighbors window as it would be heard.

While there are obvious differences in the electronics, I could not tell you that I prefered SynScan over NexStar only because they both do what I require.

This is my opinion only but if I were going to order a mount today, and I should note I am a visual observer only, I would order the EQ6-Pro again. I'd even pay a small premium if were more for shipping or whatever.

#8 aljo

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 05:03 PM

Hm, I just got an update on prices. CGEM is 1600 EUR, while EQ 6 PRO remains at 1300 EUR (I wrote 1200 EUR, but it was 1280 all the time). The plot thickens... Now the price difference has reduced to 300 EUR. I think I will go for CGEM. I don't know why, but I think it's the look ;)

#9 rmollise

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 05:52 PM

Hm, I just got an update on prices. CGEM is 1600 EUR, while EQ 6 PRO remains at 1300 EUR (I wrote 1200 EUR, but it was 1280 all the time). The plot thickens... Now the price difference has reduced to 300 EUR. I think I will go for CGEM. I don't know why, but I think it's the look ;)


I really don't think you can go wrong with either. I'll be lookin' forward to hearin' all about your CGEM...

:cool:






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