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Chomping at the Bit: New CGE Awaiting First Light

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#1 jrbarnett

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 11:15 AM

I've now finished "fully accessorizing" my new Celestron CGE by adding Martys cables, ADM no-tool knobs and a Pelican 1650 case. Unfortunately we're still socked in. In the study the hand controller and motors work fine, but I am dying to get this puppy out under the stars.

According to Accuwether.com, it looks like next Wednesday will be my first clear night. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The mount will variously carry a TEC 140 and a Mewlon 210 (the latter is on order), and will be used for visual observation only, including lots of double stars. My goal for the next 12 months is to "run the table" of every double star visible from my site that is listed in Sissy Haas' double star book and is within the reach of the TEC 140.

I went with the CGE after much deliberation. Mainly Nexstar and my familiarity with it plus the very low clearance price tipped the balance toward the CGE. Nexstar is simple to use and has a slew-to RA and Dec feature that makes working from a tabular field guide like Burnham's Celestial Handbook or Sissy's double star book a breeze.

So for now, I am just biding my time...*big sigh*

- Jim

#2 jacktechie

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 11:28 AM

I just sent my CGE back to Torrance to fix a +50/-20 PE. Details in Yahoo CGE Group. Yesterday in Sunnyvale, it was absolutely clear, so I put my Nexstar 8 GPS on my modified c11/c14 wedge on tripod and did an equatorial alignment. Yes, a chance of rain for the next few days. If not, then clouds. But it never rains in June here. Never, never ...
Jack

#3 red

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 11:41 AM

It has been a weird year for weather, thats for sure. I can't really complain though, it should be in the upper 80's in the tri-valley area, but its only 70 at most.

#4 GaryML

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 12:27 PM

Down here on the Southern California coast we've had low clouds and fog every night for at least 4 weeks straight. So far in June my total viewing has been about 10 minutes with the binoculars before the fog rolled it.

At least I'm not missing much as my mount sits in the warranty repair queue at Celestron in Torrance. :mad:

#5 jrbarnett

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 06:30 PM

Yikes! Two out of three posters with (presumably) new CGEs at Celestron for warranty repairs. Makes me want to first light mine even more. :praying:

Regards,

Jim

#6 GaryML

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 07:23 PM

Yikes! Two out of three posters with (presumably) new CGEs at Celestron for warranty repairs. Makes me want to first light mine even more. :praying:

Regards,

Jim


Mine is not a CGE; just a lowly CG-5 ASGT. But still a "Celestron." So much for "the quality goes in before the name goes on." Oh wait, that was Zenith. :foreheadslap:

#7 jacktechie

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 09:19 PM

Jim -
I have learned to test everything. It's tough if you don't have the required gear though. Bought a refurbished Sony 12" laptop almost 8 years ago. Didn't have a firewire device to test. Bought a D8 camcorder to replace a dead Hi8 one. Hooked it up to the laptop and no response, but the firewire port on the docking station worked. I tested it 2 weeks before the 90 day warranty expired. When I asked tech support why a refurb did not work fully initially, he simply replied that "they are fully tested." Even if you don't use it for AP, put a camera on the scope and measure the amplitude of the wiggles and calculate the PE.

Prior to the purchase, I thought of AP with the c14. With my Onyx, ADM rings, another dovetail, it's pushing it. I'll do AP with the c11 or c8 and use the c14 visually.
Jack
Now this is solid! Damps out in less than 1 second. Nexstar 8 GPS on modified c11/c14 wedge

#8 payner

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 10:14 PM

I am on my second CGE (bought new about 1 month ago) and have never had the first problem with my early version or this one. I know something could go wrong tonight, but so far the CGE is my favorite mount.

Oh, hopefully you'll get clear skies soon, it has been the cloudiest spring in KY I can remember, but it seems we're getting in that thunderstorm pattern of summer with clearing skies in the evening.

Randy

#9 Steve Fisher

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 06:20 PM

I bought my CGE used, "very used" last September. It is a real workhorse. I love this mount and if I could I would buy another one just to have it around should I ever need it.

At RTMC this year the guys from Celestron were very reluctant to even mention the CGE "classic" as one salesman called it.

If production ends I would like to have an extra.

#10 7331Peg

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 12:29 AM

At RTMC this year the guys from Celestron were very reluctant to even mention the CGE "classic" as one salesman called it.


I'm still not clear on whether they really intend to stop production on the CGE or not, but if they do, it will be a real shame and a big mistake. There is nothing like it in that price range. I agree, it's a real workhorse, and very dependable. It has more capacity than the CGEM and is much easier to set up than the CGE Pro, which is really an observatory mount. What few problems the CGE has had have been well addressed on CN and relatively easy to correct.

John

#11 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 04:43 AM

I recieved my new CGE in April. It has since seen 6 imaging sessions and I can not speak highly enough of it. I purchased it after having the CG5 for three years. My CG5 was seriously overloaded. It still works great. It will remain at my home as a backup if I ever have CGE problems.

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#12 Luigi

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 05:47 AM

One very minor point. That'd be "champing at the bit", not "chomping". A very common error.

http://www.merriam-w...ionary/champing

#13 jrbarnett

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 05:36 PM

Actually, I debated "champing" versus "chomping" and per Webster's, "chomping" is a derivative and through use has become correct. I figured that if I wrote "champing" I'd get posts "correcting" my title rather than commiserating with my predicament. :lol:

http://www.merriam-w...ictionary/chomp

"
chomp
One entry found.

Main Entry:
chomp Listen to the pronunciation of chomp
Pronunciation:
\ˈchämp, ˈchȯmp\
Function:
verb
Etymology:
alteration of champ
Date:
1581

intransitive verb 1 : to chew or bite on something 2 : champ 2 —usually used in the phrase chomping at the bit transitive verb : to chew or bite on
— chomp noun"

- Jim

#14 NHRob

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 05:07 AM

you guys have too much free time!
: )

Rob

#15 Luigi

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:38 AM

>>>you guys have too much free time!<<<

Tell me about it. Are you getting weather in NH than I'm getting in MA?

#16 NHRob

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 09:51 AM

Too much weather here in cloud-hampshire!
When its clear out, I usually have to work late.

Rob

#17 jrbarnett

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 08:05 PM

*sobbing*

Guy's it's mid-June in Calfornia and the weather is lousy!

I have still not first-lighted the CGE. Very, very distressing...

I may have to plan an impromptu road trip to the desert if things don't change here.

Regards,

Jim

#18 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 10:06 PM

It's mid june here in OKLA also.

#19 GaryML

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 12:28 AM


Guy's it's mid-June in Calfornia and the weather is lousy!


We actually had some rain this morning, but we have a very nice sky tonight down here in So Cal for the first time in a very long time. Even though my mount is still lost in the black hole of Celestron's repair department, I used the opportunity to enjoy the early summer skies through my binoculars.

Your forecast looks promising for tomorrow night. :fingerscrossed:

#20 DanB

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 12:34 AM

LOL:-) Petaluma.. I grew up in Santa Rosa, I can feel ya. I'm In the high desert in Oregon these days but still, rain rain rain for the last few weeks. New equipment awaiting first light as well.. new imagers, new secondary, new software, autoguiding and no joy at all.. Someone stop the rain please :bigshock:
Dan

#21 SteveC

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:46 AM

*sobbing*

Guy's it's mid-June in Calfornia and the weather is lousy!

I have still not first-lighted the CGE. Very, very distressing...

I may have to plan an impromptu road trip to the desert if things don't change here.

Regards,

Jim


I'm sure the desert could use the rain.

#22 GaryML

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 03:12 PM

LOL:-) Petaluma.. I grew up in Santa Rosa, I can feel ya. I'm In the high desert in Oregon these days but still, rain rain rain for the last few weeks.


I lived in San Francisco for three years, and for the last year I lived in the Outer Sunset. I think I saw the Sun once during that year. But you do expect some clear days in Petaluma in the summer. In any event, given the drought in the Western U.S. I'm happy to see any rain in the Colorado Basin. But fog without rain is the worst of both worlds.

#23 scout72

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 03:01 PM

Hey- it was pretty clear here in the Bay Area last night- were you able to get this puppy out under the stars? I just got my new to me used CGE yesterday, but I had to spend the time getting my equipment area moved around and unboxing and setting up the mount....and if you did get the mount out..were you able to do your Ortho comparison as well? inquiring minds want to know!

:jump:

#24 scout72

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 03:06 PM

ah- just saw your update over on the EP forum that the ortho comparison will have to wait until the weekend.

#25 jrbarnett

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 11:55 AM

Okay, first light accomplished. I used a 2-star alignment and 3 calibration stars. The mount's GOTOs were excellent, putting objects near center of a half-degree field of view all evening long. Unfortunately the seeing was some of the worst we've had recently so no critical eyepiece testing was possible really.

It's a very heavy mount and I would really tire of using it had I not purchased the Pelican rolling case and ADM knobs for it. Were I using a tooled set-up and the original box, the hassle factor in the form of long set-up, take-down and packing times would be too high for me.

All in all, I would say that for ~$2700 the "Made in USA" CGE is a bargain for its capacity and savvy, user-friendly electronics.

Regards,

Jim






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