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cgem upgrades by ADM and saddle replacement

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#1 achronut

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:55 AM

Hi everyone. This is my first post. I'm basically doing visual using my XT10i and seriously thinking of going equatorial with a SV115EDT and later AP.

I've been reading good reviews so far with the CGEM except for a few remarks regarding the hand control. At $1400 it fits my bill.

My questions are :
1. Are the CGEM knob upgrades by ADM worth it? Do the stock knobs have some kind of 'flaw' that requires them to be upgraded?

2. Has anyone tried the 22" long counterweight shaft? It may be an option to just move the 17lb counterweight instead of using additional weights to balance heavier loads. What is the disadvantage of using a longer shaft?

3. It is my knowledge that the CGEM is vixen style. Can the vixen-style stock saddle of the CGEM be removed? Is there any vendor selling a losmandy-style saddle that directly replaces the CGEM vixen-style saddle (if it is removable at all) instead of ADM's vixen-to-losmandy saddle that uses an adapter. I'm thinking of saving a little weight and a shorter moment arm of one that directly replaces the stock saddle.

Clear skies to you.

#2 AntarcticDave

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:41 AM

I can't answer the 1st two questions having not tried them yet, though I don't find the stock knobs unusable, just a bit hard to grip at times. The stock saddle uses the Losmandy dovetail, not the Vixen. If you don't want the stock saddle, ADM makes a dual saddle that takes both Losmandy and Vixen dovetails ( DUAL CGEM SADDLE ). I'm quite happy with my CGEM.

#3 Lane

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 11:52 AM

The mount works just fine the way it is and it comes with a D-Series (losmandy) style saddle.

The only thing I replaced was the saddle with the ADM Dual CGEM saddle, just to give me the option to mount either V-series or D-series dovetails.

The longer counterweight bar might be ok if you want to carry fewer weights. I use the 11 lb and 7.5 lb orion counterweights on mine and not the weight that came with the mount and five 11 lb weights will fit on the existing bar and balance a dual mount setup including the C11 and the ED80.

#4 stevecoe

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 11:57 AM

Achronut;

Welcome to Cloudy Nights, glad to have you here.

I replaced the handles on my CGEM because the stock ones are too slippery for me. I like the new handles much better, the machined aluminum is much easier to handle. I have had no trouble with my CGEM. Once I got it up and working it has performed very well.

Clear skies;
Steve Coe

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#5 waassaabee

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 02:55 PM

Welcome to CN!! You'll find the friendliest folks on the planet here...

I've changed nothing on my CGEM, and it's fine the way it is! Yeah if you crank the saddle down it's tough to loosen, but not impossible. Mine has had a couple of 'No response' errors over the past month or so, so I'm sending it in for a checkout, but overall... it's the best bang for your buck! The hand control software is incredible, the tracking is fantastic, and its very portable.

#6 achronut

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 04:29 AM

Thanks a lot for your responses Dave, Lane, Steve, and Gary! Its good to hear that you validate what I think is a good value for the money. Also for clarifying that the existing saddle is already Losmandy-style.

Irving

#7 Kolenka

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 12:19 PM

Achronut;

Welcome to Cloudy Nights, glad to have you here.

I replaced the handles on my CGEM because the stock ones are too slippery for me. I like the new handles much better, the machined aluminum is much easier to handle. I have had no trouble with my CGEM. Once I got it up and working it has performed very well.

Clear skies;
Steve Coe


Out of curiosity, where was that photo taken. It seems familiar. :question:

#8 averen

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 03:17 PM

I replaced the saddle with the ADM Dual saddle (I have mostly vixen rails) and also the azimuth knobs. In retrospect the existing azimuth knobs are just fine. The ADM ones are a little short and don't allow for as much adjustment, so you need to be pretty accurately setup initially.

Jared

#9 MrKrink

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 04:08 PM

I recently got a CGEM and like you and what everyone else is saying, it seems to be the best bang for the buck!! I get a slightly used one off the S&S here and I am going to get to use it for the first time tomorrow night(hopefully. Going to a private star party and have some great guys to help me learn it. It seems very easy to learn but I am as green as they come!!

#10 Jeff55

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 09:27 PM

I've got the 22 inch CW shaft from Criterion Machine and have found it to be a great purchase. I carry about 32 pounds of hardware on my CGEM and the extra length allows far more flexability. I've seen no disadvantages. I was concerned about bending or torquing but that has not been a problem.

#11 achronut

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 05:15 AM

I've got the 22 inch CW shaft from Criterion Machine and have found it to be a great purchase. I carry about 32 pounds of hardware on my CGEM and the extra length allows far more flexability. I've seen no disadvantages. I was concerned about bending or torquing but that has not been a problem.


Thanks Jeff. Good to know that a longer shaft still works well instead of adding more weights. But i might need to fabricate an extension of some sort because if live in Manila latitude N14.5deg. The 22" shaft will definitely hit the tripod.

#12 Bob Rumfield

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 08:27 AM

I went crazy when I rec'd my CGEM in August and added about all of ADM's upgrades. I like the saddle replacement that can carry both the Losmandy and Vixen mounts. I also found that the ADM knobs make it easier to to loosen the saddle when it is over tightened. I do need to add a longer counter weight shaft. Something I did not do yet.

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#13 rsraney

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 04:19 AM

Can I ask what type upgrades you have there? I am looking to do the same guide scope configuration you have set up there for my CGEM.

#14 dkb

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:11 PM

He most likely has the CGEM-OR-S.

I myself have had issues with the ADM replacement clutch lever knobs. I had a lot of trouble installing it correctly since the dimples in the brass threaded insert that the set screw is supposed to set inside wore out when I tried to tighten the clutch. I must not have had the set screw positioned exactly in a dimple to begin with but to me it seems there are two flaws in the design; one, the dimples should not have been dimples at all but flat bottomed holes to prevent the set screws from being able to slip out if they aren't tight enough, and two, it would have been nice if the set screws were a little bigger. It was difficult tightening 1/16" set screw which results in it wearing out the dimple as I mentioned above. Perhaps there is some technical reason for using dimples but this is my observation.

If you are looking more for functionality then simply looks, the CGEM-SAD-OR are helpful since the stock knobs for that don't give you much gripping power. Some may suggest the DUAL-CGEM-SAD-OR which not only has the new knobs but the entire saddle which supports both Losmandy and Vixen style dovetails.

The CGEM-PL-OR is cheap and replaces the black plastic plug on the mount now. Besides the nice color it does have a rubber O ring to make a tight fit and help keep moisture out.

The other knob upgrades I could almost do without. They look nice but don't think they add much functionality.

I would use the rest of the upgrade money instead of replacing the other knobs for a nice spreader like the one sold by TPI Astro unless you just want to make a spreader yourself. The spreader I think will add a lot more usefulness to the mount especially if you are imaging.

#15 EFT

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 09:56 AM

Most of the ADM upgrades in the CGEM-OR-S are cosmetic however, there are significant improvements to the azimuth and latitude knobs. The DUAL-CGEM-SAD-OR is one of my favorite upgrades. It is much better than the original saddle and has the added functionality of allowing you to mount scopes with either Losmandy or Vixen saddles.

Ed Thomas
Deep Space Products

#16 RTLR 12

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 10:36 AM

I purchased the ADM clutch levers for the extra leverage provided by their longer length. I was having trouble with the clutches sliping and couldn't get them tight enough with the stock levers. As for the saddle and azm knobs I just purchased them from Granger's with Stainless steel hardware for $18.00.

Stan

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#17 DLB242

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 10:48 AM

Hi everyone. This is my first post. I'm basically doing visual using my XT10i and seriously thinking of going equatorial with a SV115EDT and later AP.

I've been reading good reviews so far with the CGEM except for a few remarks regarding the hand control. At $1400 it fits my bill.

My questions are :
1. Are the CGEM knob upgrades by ADM worth it? Do the stock knobs have some kind of 'flaw' that requires them to be upgraded?

2. Has anyone tried the 22" long counterweight shaft? It may be an option to just move the 17lb counterweight instead of using additional weights to balance heavier loads. What is the disadvantage of using a longer shaft?

3. It is my knowledge that the CGEM is vixen style. Can the vixen-style stock saddle of the CGEM be removed? Is there any vendor selling a losmandy-style saddle that directly replaces the CGEM vixen-style saddle (if it is removable at all) instead of ADM's vixen-to-losmandy saddle that uses an adapter. I'm thinking of saving a little weight and a shorter moment arm of one that directly replaces the stock saddle.

Clear skies to you.


The CGEM comes with a Losmandy style wide saddle I bought the ADM D Series to V Series Adapter for my CGEM link

I went with the Orange Anodized ScopeStuff replacements for the adjustment bolts link only because I bent one of the stock azimuth bolts one night and had to cut it to remove it from the head. The ScopeStuff bolts are easier to grip and I think they are a worthwhile upgrade but the best upgrade is the extension cable link

You can stick with the stock bolts and if you use Losmandy plates on you scope the stock saddle is fine, get the extension though. :waytogo:

#18 rsraney

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 11:20 PM

Where did you get your case? OR what Pelican case is t

#19 RTLR 12

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 12:11 AM

Shane,

It's a Pelican #1600. I buy mine here: http://www.boss-safe...oam-p-1681.html

Stan

#20 rsraney

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 12:49 AM

Thanks! I have been looking for a good case. :roflmao:

#21 PhilCo126

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 01:00 PM

Same difficulties as dkb and RTLR12 mentioned to get the orange DEC & RA clutch knobs correctly installed.

The brass stem has dimples which should be lined up with the tiny set screw. Not such a close fit as the original black Celestron clutch knobs as You can see a bit of the brass stem between the orange knob and the black body of the mount itself. The original black Celestron fitted tighter to the mount body...

IMHO each ADM clutch knobs upgrade set should come with some extra set screws as these tiny parts are the weakness of the whole set... More an aesthetic upgrade if You ask me!

Hint: keep the original Celestron black knobs just in case... :graduate:






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