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New CGE Arrives! Questions...

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#1 jrbarnett

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 09:14 PM

Hi.

I have a brand spanking new CGE mount sitting in boxes (now opened) on my porch. I'll set it up inside tonight, but have a couple of questions.

I also received the ADM no-tool knob set, but recall reading on this forum about good replacement cables for the mount. I can't recall what they were and wondered if anyone could post their replacement cable preferences. I see Scopestuff offers some, but I'm thinking another source was recommended.

The only mishap thus far is that one of the plastic thumb knobs on the counterweight set screw was shattered in shipment. I ordered a second 25# counterweight and really only need one counterweight at present, so not a big deal.

Also, beyond replacement cables, are there any other upgrades you can recommend for the CGE?

Thanks!

- Jim

#2 jrcrilly

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 09:26 PM

The only mishap thus far is that one of the plastic thumb knobs on the counterweight set screw was shattered in shipment.


I'm sorry to hear that. I pre-ordered a CGE-1100 when they were announced so I had one of the very first ones shipped. The counterweight suffered the same damage. They promptly sent me one, but I guess they haven't fixed the packaging problem!

Necessary upgrades? Just the cables, really. I found the Scopestuff cables to be just fine but some folks have found higher-quality cables elsewhere. If nobody pops in with a source for those I'll go dig it up.

I'll offer one hint - it's easy to get the RA and DEC cables swapped the first time one assembles a CGE. :o

#3 LLEEGE

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 09:37 PM

Or the 10th.

#4 jrbarnett

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 10:10 PM

Thanks guys. For the money it's a really nice mount. I'm pleasantly surprised.

What Pelican case is the one that fits the EQ head foam?

Thanks!

- Jim

#5 jrcrilly

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 10:13 PM

What Pelican case is the one that fits the EQ head foam?


1650

#6 David Pavlich

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 10:18 PM

Make sure that you order 2 sets of Marty Cables! Scroll down the page. There are 2 styles of cables. The bottom cable, CAT5E-SF-xx-SHLD-IND, is the one you want. 3 ft for the Dec axis, 2 ft for the RA axis. If you start using these from the beginning, you'll never have to do this.

David

#7 Trebor777

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 10:34 PM

Thanks guys. For the money it's a really nice mount. I'm pleasantly surprised.

What Pelican case is the one that fits the EQ head foam?

Thanks!

- Jim


I use the Storm iM2950 from cases4less. $166 + shipping. Without the foam. Use the foam from the box it was shipped in.

Cables: http://www.vpi.us/cable-sf-shld.html

#8 jrbarnett

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 10:42 PM

Thanks again guys. I'll order the Pelican 1650 tomorrow (found one for $145 without foam) and the Marty's Cables.

I see that several changes were implemented in the mount from when the manual was created. The RA and Dec clutch knobs on mine are machined, anodized aluminum rather than bare metal pins in the picture. The rear cap on the RA housing is conical rather than rounded. There's a stopper that looks like it clamps onto the dovetail bar and keeps the OTA from sliding in the saddle, which isn't mentioned in the manual.

The mount head and tripod are "Made in the U.S.A." I will power it up tonight, though first light will wait until the weekend probably. Very cool. Embrace your orange. :lol:

Regards,

Jim

#9 jrbarnett

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 10:55 PM

Update: I had a Kendrick 17AH battery in the study so I powered it up. Both motors work and the hand controller works. I hope the EQ head fits back in the foal with the altitude set to 37N. Adjusting it is a pain.

Regards,

Jim

#10 varmint

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 10:57 PM

Jim,

Don't forget that the manual also neglects to mention the Altitude Locking Set Screws...don't forget about those (though I think we've discussed this a few times in the past at an OFLI outing...)

Did they revamp the CGE in any way, or will this one be pretty much identical to mine?

I'm trying to get to Dan's OFLI party on the 20th but we're starting to get booked heavily in June...

#11 jrbarnett

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 11:03 PM

David:

I can only get the CAT5E-SF-xx-SHLD-IND model in 3' as the shortest. Can I use 2x 3' or ought the RA to be a 2'. The cheaper cable comes in a 2' length.

Thanks!

- Jim

#12 jrbarnett

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 11:09 PM

Jimbo:

Are the locking screws the ones on the center of the part that has the altitude markings etched on it?

Mine looks like yours, which doesn't look like the pictures in the manual in a couple of regards.

Cheers!

- Jim

#13 varmint

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 11:13 PM

David:

I can only get the CAT5E-SF-xx-SHLD-IND model in 3' as the shortest. Can I use 2x 3' or ought the RA to be a 2'. The cheaper cable comes in a 2' length.

Thanks!

- Jim


Jim, I just took a quick measurement. My RA cable (short one) is ~14 inches, fits somewhat snug, not too tight. My DEC cable is longer (but I didn't measure it), and it could use a little more length.

I'm still using the originally supplied cables, nothing new and fancy. You could measure from the one's supplied, the RA cable is the shorter one.

#14 varmint

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 11:15 PM

Jimbo:

Are the locking screws the ones on the center of the part that has the altitude markings etched on it?

Mine looks like yours, which doesn't look like the pictures in the manual in a couple of regards.

Cheers!

- Jim


Jim, I admit I got lazy (I had to look up my previous thread with pics... here it is for your enjoyment).

About 2/3rds of the way down are pics I took that ID'd everything, but from what you mention about I think you've found them correctly.

#15 jrcrilly

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 11:20 PM

There's a stopper that looks like it clamps onto the dovetail bar and keeps the OTA from sliding in the saddle, which isn't mentioned in the manual.


That's always been there, though neglected in the manual. We used to spend a lot of time here explaining what it was! ;)

#16 Trebor777

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:49 AM

The CGE has a manual? :grin:

#17 David Pavlich

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 07:54 AM

David:

I can only get the CAT5E-SF-xx-SHLD-IND model in 3' as the shortest. Can I use 2x 3' or ought the RA to be a 2'. The cheaper cable comes in a 2' length.

Thanks!

- Jim


Having the extra length, especially on the Dec axis, is a good thing. The stock cables are very stiff. This is the reason that so many end up having problems with the Dec axis. The Marty cables are very pliable which just about eliminates any stress on the Dec cable socket. I had to replace a socket as you probably read in my little tutorial.

David

#18 jrbarnett

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 09:16 AM

Okay, cables and case on the way.

As for polar alignment for purely visual use, I assume it will be sufficient to put Polaris in the center of an aligned finder scope on the main OTA, with the mount in rough polar rest position. It seems that the optional polar scope for the CGE isn't in stock anywhere and likely has been discontinued (as I has been suggested the current iteration of the mount will be as well).

As for longevity, have any of you been using this mount for 4 or 5 years without problems? It seems fairly well made. Better than a CG5 and perhaps a hair better made than the Atlas/EQ6, with a much better built tripod. Which reminds me that I should check all of my tripod hardware for tightness today.

Regards,

Jim

#19 EddWen

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 09:46 AM

"....As for longevity, have any of you been using this mount for 4 or 5 years without problems? "

I've had mine since 2003 I believe. Used to carry my A-P 155 EDF, now carries my SolarMax 90. Been rained on, snowed on and continues to work fine (visual). I've never upgraded the hand controller or firmware. I've never had a problem with the cables.

Good luck,

#20 Alph

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:40 PM

Also, beyond replacement cables, are there any other upgrades


Where did you hear that? There is no need to replace cables. Think in terms of connectors instead.

#21 jouster

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:27 PM

I'll offer one hint - it's easy to get the RA and DEC cables swapped the first time one assembles a CGE. :o


It's easy on a GM-8 too. At least, so I've been told. Wouldn't know myself. At all. :whistle:

#22 Trebor777

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 07:33 PM

Jim, you forgot to post something: Pictures ;)

But here's a pic of an eyepiece tray I made for mine. Lowe's has 18" table tops. 1/2" hole in the middle, a couple (or a lot, like me) 1.25" & 2" holes, sand and finish. Easy. A lot better then the spreader. I didn't cut the leg grooves. I didn't see a need to. It wedges in there good and is secured beneath w/ a washer and the stock knob - and the side of the table top is curved and it almost matches the angle of the tripod leg. And plus, Celestron wanted $60 for the spreader (I didn't have one) - so I spent $10 at Lowe's and made myself something functional.

The Tripod for the CGE is solid.

Attached Files



#23 Trebor777

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 07:34 PM

Another:

Attached Files



#24 jrbarnett

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 08:14 PM

Very nice, functional, good-looking spreader.

Thanks for the pics.

- Jim

#25 ZakAttack

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 12:11 PM

Just wondering about CGE availability these days. How long did it take you to get it from the time you ordered it? Where did you order it from?

Dean






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