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cgepro or losmandy titan

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#1 kbastro

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 01:35 AM

Hi all;

I need and honest opinion and a non bias one

I am interested in one of these 2 mounts,, Losmandy titan or celestron cge pro
and no I am not interested in a AP 900 or any tak mounts

does anyone have either of these mounts and are you interest in sharing some of your thoughts on which one would be a better way to go and why?

I have a g11 gemini mount and am familiar with the workings of the gemini system.

So please help with any info on these 2 mounts and an honest one

kb
 

#2 Phil Cowell

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 02:17 AM

I went through this myself in March/April. I have Celestron NexStar 11 GPS and an older CI mount with Gemini. All being equal I don't like the Gemini system and feel its primative. A lot of folks will go on about what it can and can't do but to me if you have to change chips to upgrade it's primative.
For me the CGEPro was the answer and I'm very happy with it.

Phil
 

#3 Charlie Hein

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 06:03 AM

I had a chance to look at both mounts at the WSP (I currently own a G-11 myself) and to be frank I thought that the Titan felt noticeably more "solid" to me under a load - two of my fellow club members agreed with this assessment. I wish I had some personal experience with operating the mount but you can read a review here that should be helpful. I know and understand Phil's distaste for controllers that can't be flash updated, but to me that wouldn't be a show stopper - especially since you already know the Gemini and would have no "learning curve" at all to speak of with the Titan.
 

#4 Phil Cowell

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 07:07 AM

I also own a Gemini and another for me was a show stopper. The learning curve on the CGEPro especially with the new alignment routines would be very short. I would recommend your reading through the Titan Yahoo group, things have not been smooth sailing with the Titan as of late with a few issues discussed.
The reason for my picking up the CGEPro is to hopefully put a 16" RC on it later this year (economy and availability co-operating).
Phil
 

#5 GShaffer

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 10:10 AM

No experience with either of them. BUT I can tell you what I have gleaned from looking into them and ownership of a GM-8 and G-11

Titan Pro's

1. Been around a while.

2. Replacement parts can be ordered

CGEPro Pro's

1. New design latest technology

2. ?

Titan Con's

1. Some feel the gemini is outdated because upgrades require a plug and play chip. My take on that is why fix what isnt broken :)

2. I have read of some issues of late.

GGEPro Con's

1. Just released - may find issues may not

2. Seem to recall seeing there has been one recall already

3. Cant just order replacement parts for it, have to ship whole thing to repair much like Meade and Orion.

I suppose I could be considered biased since I already own two losmandy products and am VERY happy with them but the parts issue alone is enough to push me over the edge. Performance wise I would have to say they appear to be equally capable based on what I read.
 

#6 blueman

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 12:19 PM

The CGEPro is probably a good mount, but there have been issues with them out of the box too.
The mount has not proved itself yet, no one has had them long enough to know what they will be like in a few years. Celestron is pretty good about repairs, but I bought the Nextstar 8GPS model when it was new and the first two were defective. It took two replacements before I got one that did not have some weird slewing or other problems.
The Titan is a very solid mount. It works well and though the Gemini may not be state of the art, it is very good system.
The other mount you might consider is the MT-250, it too uses Gemini and is a great mount.
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#7 Joe Bruessow

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 01:20 PM

I had an HGM Titan... and regret selling it. Beautifully made... in appearance, strength, and tracking. I highly recommend it. I might love the CGE pro too, but I have not had the chance to see or try one. The Gemini system is easy to learn although maybe not as "slick looking" as the Nexstar hand controller.

BTW, if you know the G11... the Titan is much, much larger.

Good luck!
 

#8 Phil Cowell

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 02:18 PM

The CGEPro is probably a good mount, but there have been issues with them out of the box too.
Blueman


I assume you haven't been reading the Titan Yahoo group lately? The Celestron doesn't have the risk of Electro Static Discharge damage during an upgrade that the Gemini does, an old problem not new. There are also less problems getting configuration data to take with the Celestron check the Gemini Yahoo group (turning it off and on seems to be the domain of Gemini and Windows systems).

Yes there was a loctite issue with the CGE but that seems like trivia compared to what has been listed on the group.
I'm also guessing you haven't tried the new Celestron polar alignment routines?
Before you ask I also do own a Gemini it is capapble but it is a VERY dated system. It's the reason I didn't buy the Titan or the MI-250.
To me the it works and has been around a long time can also be applied to trepanning but I'll pass on that too ;-).

Phil
 

#9 GShaffer

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 04:14 PM

I suspect this comes from the "I can do this without observing proper protocol" crowd.....Wearing and properly using a grounding wrist strap when changing out EPROMS is not really a suggestion, it is a requirement if you want to be assured of a good end result. Those that dont take their chances....grounding wrist straps are cheap and readily available at any radio shack or equivilent.

Done correctly swapping EPROM's is just as if not more reliable than flashing via a computer. Back in the day I swapped more than a few BIOS chips on motherboards and using a ground strap never had a problem.....I cannot say the same for flashing BIOS chips.....Just recently I upgraded my Vixen SS2K to the last EPROM version that was released....it was quick simple and I WORE a ground strap :)

I suppose it boils down to what an individual is comfortable with.....some are intimidated by opening things electronic....On the other hand I am intimidated by the power company deciding to spike or glitch while I am in the middle of a flash.....which has happened to me more than once but addmittedly my career at the time had me exposed to such things more than the average person so I was fighting higher odds lol

The CGEPro is probably a good mount, but there have been issues with them out of the box too.
Blueman


I assume you haven't been reading the Titan Yahoo group lately? The Celestron doesn't have the risk of Electro Static Discharge damage during an upgrade that the Gemini does, an old problem not new. There are also less problems getting configuration data to take with the Celestron check the Gemini Yahoo group (turning it off and on seems to be the domain of Gemini and Windows systems).

Yes there was a loctite issue with the CGE but that seems like trivia compared to what has been listed on the group.
I'm also guessing you haven't tried the new Celestron polar alignment routines?
Before you ask I also do own a Gemini it is capapble but it is a VERY dated system. It's the reason I didn't buy the Titan or the MI-250.
To me the it works and has been around a long time can also be applied to trepanning but I'll pass on that too ;-).

Phil


 

#10 Luigi

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 04:51 PM

I'd like to point out that wearing a "grounding" strap is only useful if the object you're working is referenced to the same ground. Otherwise it achieves nothing. Better is to electically connect yourself to the ground of the object your working on. I have successfully worked on lots of electronics without ever using a grounding strap by observing this simple principle. Now, back to Gemini: The design is dated, feature poor, and having to swap out a chip is archaic, IMHO. You can get a Celestron SLT mount for $260 with a controller that's more feature rich and updateable via download. Funky old Gemini adds over $1000 to the price of the mount.
 

#11 kbastro

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 04:58 PM

I have had my G11 since 1994 the old cg-11 and have upgtaded the unit to the gemini system a few years back and have more recently upgraded the eprom from lvl 3 to lvl 4.
Uhmm I have used my g11 all the way from northern canada to the far southwest arizona and never had a problem with static electricity and or heat or cold operation problems.

what sort of problems exsist with the Titan???? on the user groups???
is it mechanical problem or is it electrical problem?

static shock?
bad build quality?
poor Quality control?
terrible tracking?

with the CGE pro... 75lbs on one lift seems heavy where the titan breaks down into 2 36lbs pieces is this good???

I like the looks of both mounts and like celestron and have had a very good many problem free years with my current g-11/cg11

All I am asking would I be happy with either mount? and when I make my choice,,, would I wish I had chose the other?

I will be putting a Parks 10" newt with rotating ring system + guide scope and ccd camera and finder scope and also at other times I will mount a big SCT or RC (when I buy one 12 to 16" range)

all of these scopes are a little too heavy for my current G11 mount though I do occasionally put the parks 10" f5 newt on the g11!!! but not for photographic useage!

anyway, PLEASE continue to help me make up my mind by sharing your thoughts on the subject as well as the pro's and con's of both mounts

Thank you all!

kb
 

#12 Charlie Hein

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:04 PM

I assume you haven't been reading the Titan Yahoo group lately? The Celestron doesn't have the risk of Electro Static Discharge damage during an upgrade that the Gemini does, an old problem not new. There are also less problems getting configuration data to take with the Celestron check the Gemini Yahoo group (turning it off and on seems to be the domain of Gemini and Windows systems).

Yes there was a loctite issue with the CGE but that seems like trivia compared to what has been listed on the group.
I'm also guessing you haven't tried the new Celestron polar alignment routines? Before you ask I also do own a Gemini it is capapble but it is a VERY dated system. It's the reason I didn't buy the Titan or the MI-250.


Now, back to Gemini: The design is dated, feature poor, and having to swap out a chip is archaic, IMHO. You can get a Celestron SLT mount for $260 with a controller that's more feature rich and updateable via download. Funky old Gemini adds over $1000 to the price of the mount.


So gentlemen, I'm with kbastro on this one... would it be a correct statement that your only complaint about the Titan is the Gemini system? No issues that you'd bring up of with respect to the mechanicals?
 

#13 Phil Cowell

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:11 PM

I also hope you had the equipment grounded and a bench mat with it. The flash method is much less prone to error than device replacement (I'm a EE). Flash errors tend to be recoveable fried/degraded devices are not.
The Gemini yahoo group had a few folks who had defective EEPROMS.

All being equal flashing is much safer than replacing a device (the computer I flash from is on an UPS as are all my computers).

One question the Vixen SS2K is also old technology. Vixen have also dropped replacable devices and moved on to flash upgrades with the Starbooks.

Phil
 

#14 Phil Cowell

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:16 PM

what sort of problems exsist with the Titan???? on the user groups???
is it mechanical problem or is it electrical problem?

with the CGE pro... 75lbs on one lift seems heavy where the titan breaks down into 2 36lbs pieces is this good???

All I am asking would I be happy with either mount? and when I make my choice,,, would I wish I had chose the other?

I will be putting a Parks 10" newt with rotating ring system + guide scope and ccd camera and finder scope and also at other times I will mount a big SCT or RC (when I buy one 12 to 16" range)

all of these scopes are a little too heavy for my current G11 mount though I do occasionally put the parks 10" f5 newt on the g11!!! but not for photographic useage!

anyway, PLEASE continue to help me make up my mind by sharing your thoughts on the subject as well as the pro's and con's of both mounts

Thank you all!

kb


Neither of the mounts listed is portable. You can also tear the Celestron down to three pieces plus tripod.

Have a look at the new polar alignment routines the Celestron has (you don't need to buy a polar alignment scope).

Phil
 

#15 Phil Cowell

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:20 PM

So gentlemen, I'm with kbastro on this one... would it be a correct statement that your only complaint about the Titan is the Gemini system? No issues that you'd bring up of with respect to the mechanicals?


I suggest reading the messages for information on mechanical problems users have had in the last year. The Yahoo Titan Losmandy group covers this very well. Also the speed of contact and vendor response as well if my memory serves me well.

Phil
 

#16 David Pavlich

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:21 PM

Gemini is fine with me. I set the mount for the object and let it track. It does just fine. Having 3-5 arcseconds uncorrected out of the box has absolutely NOTHING to do with the operating system. If all one does is slew around the sky all night, then maybe the more modern systems are fine. But for me, it's the mount's performance. My pointing models are fine. Anyway, it would be a boring place if everyone owned the same thing.

The Pro hasn't been around long enough for a true comparison. I just hope Celestron doesn't have the same nick-nack type problems faced by CGE owners, me being one of them.

For, me the big problem with the Titan is that unless you find a used one, you'll have at least a 6 month wait for new and probably more like 8 months.

Which brings me to another point; why is it that you almost never see a Titan on A-mart? Could it be that the owners don't want to sell them? Just a thought...

David
 

#17 Trebor777

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:29 PM

Have a look at the new polar alignment routines the Celestron has (you don't need to buy a polar alignment scope).Phil


I have a CGE, not sure if it's the "new polar alignment routine" but once I get a 2 star align and 4 calibration stars I go to Utilities, Polar align, press enter and then the mount slews the scope to where it "thinks" Polaris should be. Then you manually adjust the mount to get Polaris in the center of the EP (illuminated recticle in my case). No Polar alignment scope needed :bow:

Is that the "new" Polar alignment rountine?

Then I have to do a 2 star/4 calibration star alignment again and I'm golden.

But if I were the original poster I'd get the Titan or MI-250. Longer track record being the main reason. Gemini being outdated, well it's a lot better then what Galileo had. :grin:
 

#18 GShaffer

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:31 PM

That would be why you ground yourself TO IT :)

Bells and whistles have never gotten me very excited....give me simple, reliable and functional.....Different strokes for different folks lol

I'd like to point out that wearing a "grounding" strap is only useful if the object you're working is referenced to the same ground. Otherwise it achieves nothing. Better is to electically connect yourself to the ground of the object your working on. I have successfully worked on lots of electronics without ever using a grounding strap by observing this simple principle. Now, back to Gemini: The design is dated, feature poor, and having to swap out a chip is archaic, IMHO. You can get a Celestron SLT mount for $260 with a controller that's more feature rich and updateable via download. Funky old Gemini adds over $1000 to the price of the mount.


 

#19 Phil Cowell

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:36 PM

Well you'll also be paying an additional $2300 (tripod + Polar scope) above the Celestron price for an older designed system with the risks mentioned.
I own a CGEPro and it's well made and works fine for me. Compared to the Gemini (latest release) on my CI-700 the control system on my CGEPro is orders of magnitude more functional and for over $2K less than the Titan.
Oh and the Celestron has a year longer coverage period.

You do see the occasional Titan on A-Mart. Maybe the numbers are low because market penetration is also low, just a thought.....
Phil
 

#20 Bowmoreman

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:46 PM

Here is one observation from someone who, until VERY recently thought the Celestron was "the bees knees" (and it is GOOD)...

The handcontroller of the Gemini system will function IN THE COLD. The Celestron WILL NOT.

Yes, you could lash up a heating system (believe me, I had to)... but it's something to keep in mind.

Is Gemini "archaic", the EE in me says, maybe... but... but...

I not only made the transition, I'm loving it. Frankly, I don't know enough about the CGE Pro. I think it is quite nice, and may have gone that route (for $5K), had I not been able/fortunate enough to go the MI-250 route for $5.6K...

I have no doubts that the MI-250 is better than the CGE Pro, but you can't score an MI-250 at that pricing every day. I have NO knowledge of the Titan.

But, I would personally NOT use the "arcanity/elderliness" of Gemini be a decision factor/point in this; IMHO its finding a "problem" where there really isn't one.

It's the MOUNT more than the SW system (in that I agree with David)...

But, given that OP is in upstate NY, don't underestimate what PITA the Celestron HC display/HC system can be in cold conditions. Now, I observe in even the coldest weather (now, since I have my heated clothing!); if one doesn't do that, then this is a non-issue...

But, OP wanted all perspectives... ;)

clear enough skies
 

#21 GShaffer

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:47 PM

I see a lot of folks that dont appreciate the Starbook, display too bright, doesnt save your setup from use to use, etc etc....but then the point was EPROM vs FLASH.....not to argue the merits of SS2k vs Starbook.....having played with the Starbook I will keep the SS2k though.

True sometimes bad flashes are recoverable. Properly swapped EPROMS dont need recovery :) Bottom line it is truely a matter of personal choice. Call me old school if ya like. I tend to prefer the tried and proven, the less complicated the better.

Others obviously have a different opinion. Wonder how many of those "problem" titans there have been? Perhaps a handfull? Just like the "recall" on the CGEPro things do happen and mistakes are made. The real story lies in how are they were resolved.

I also hope you had the equipment grounded and a bench mat with it. The flash method is much less prone to error than device replacement (I'm a EE). Flash errors tend to be recoveable fried/degraded devices are not.
The Gemini yahoo group had a few folks who had defective EEPROMS.

All being equal flashing is much safer than replacing a device (the computer I flash from is on an UPS as are all my computers).

One question the Vixen SS2K is also old technology. Vixen have also dropped replacable devices and moved on to flash upgrades with the Starbooks.

Phil


 

#22 Trebor777

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 05:59 PM

The handcontroller of the Gemini system will function IN THE COLD. The Celestron WILL NOT.


So, I should figure something out before next December?...lol.
 

#23 GShaffer

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 06:02 PM

Personally I think you would be happy with either.....until there is a problem with which ever one you choose if there is one. Whether you remained happy would be a question of how many hoops you have to jump thru and/or what it cost you out of pocket to resolve it either under warrenty or out of warrenty.

I can only tell you what made my mind up when I bought my G11 as it was a choice between that and a CGE. Both are great mounts with good reputations and performance at their price points. If something goes wrong with my G11 I can get the part itself and fix it myself, not so with the CGE. Celestron doesnt give you a choice, send it back or it stays broke. I didnt need to know anything else other than either would do the job. At that point whether it was modern or archaic didnt really enter in to the equation. The answer lies in what I own :)
 

#24 Phil Cowell

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 06:37 PM

Things don't tend to have too much of a problem with temp in an observatory and both are observarory class mounts.
I live in Upsate NY and haven't had a problem keeping controllers warm in a $50 Kendrick pouch designed for the task.

The MI-250 is a good mount but to me the Gemini was a deal breaker. To each their own.
Phil
 

#25 Phil Cowell

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 06:40 PM

Getting parts from Losmandy or sending a mount back for repair based on my experience take about the same amount of time. Losmandy are not fast. Neither are Celestron.
Phil
 






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