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Need advice on Equatorial Mounts for Celestron OTA

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#1 Rudra

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:15 PM

Dear Friends,

I apologize if this has been discussed before. I am planning to buy the Celestron CGE PRO 1400 Optical Tube Assembly (OTA). I am looking for pointers to vendors who provide economical, sturdy and motorized EQ mounts for telescopes. I am not really keen to buy "GoTo" mounts, but a motorized mount would be enough for me.

Also, I would like to know, what are the parts included in OTA? I hope, I do not get an OTA without an eye-piece or finder-scope.

Thank you for your valuable advice.

Rudra

#2 mclewis1

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:38 PM

What's parts are included? ... that's a question best answered by your dealer where you're buying your C14. I'm concerned that you are worried about a single eyepiece or finderscope. The C14 is a lot of scope and it would not be one I'd suggest for someone just starting out in this hobby.

A C14 will certainly come with a CGE/CGEpro compatible dovetail plate mounted on the bottom of the scope. This dovetail plate is also Losmandy D compatible so when you are shopping for mounts you are looking for one with a CGE or Losmandy D compatible saddle.

As for what which mounts ... you're looking for at least 40lbs of carrying capacity, and preferably a bit more (50-60lbs). A manual Losmandy G11 is the only one that comes to mind right away. Hopefully other folks will have some other ideas.

A dew shield, 2" diagonal, possibly a dew strip and controller (depending on how bad dew is in your location), and a few eyepieces are the first things that you'll need with your new scope.

#3 skybsd

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:35 PM

Hello Rudra,
Welcome - good to hear from you.,

I am planning to buy the Celestron CGE PRO 1400 Optical Tube Assembly (OTA). I am looking for pointers to vendors who provide economical, sturdy and motorized EQ mounts for telescopes. I am not really keen to buy "GoTo" mounts, but a motorized mount would be enough for me.


What is your budget for such a mount? I only ask as no-one but you really knows what "economical" means to you..,

Also, I would like to know, what are the parts included in OTA? I hope, I do not get an OTA without an eye-piece or finder-scope.


As suggested by another responder, you're better off asking this at your preferred OTA supplier, really.

Hope that helps..,

Regards,

skybsd

#4 Rudra

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:56 PM

Hello mclewis1 and skybsd,

Thank you for your replies. Though, I am new to this wonderful forum but not new to astronomy, though I am trying to catch up on it after a hiatus of several years. I started off with 2.5 inch reflector way back in 1990, when Saturn was in the north east corner of Sagittarius "Kettle" and also observed Mars in retrograde motion near Pleiades star cluster near Aldebaran. I am acquainted with R.A. and Decl. and Hour Angle concepts.

I will have a look at the vendors such as Lonsmandy. Thanks for the pointers and my budget would be somewhere around the range of $1500-2500, but can spend a bit more if I can get a good stable mount.

Thank you again for your answers and I hope I will learn a lot of other things from this forum.

#5 jrcrilly

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:10 PM

I am looking for pointers to vendors who provide economical, sturdy and motorized EQ mounts for telescopes. I am not really keen to buy "GoTo" mounts, but a motorized mount would be enough for me.


The optical tube package as included in the CGE Pro1400 combo includes an eyepiece, finderscope and bracket, an SCT-style diagonal, and the "D" size dovetail. If the seller hasn't removed these items from the package they should be there.

A bare minimum manual mount would be a G-11. For similar money you should be able to get a used CGE which is a little more suitable (much better saddle for a heavy OTA) and has goto capabilities. Bigger (Titan, CGE Pro, MI-250, LXD750) would be better but none of those are offered without goto capabilities.

#6 skybsd

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:38 PM

I am looking for pointers to vendors who provide economical, sturdy and motorized EQ mounts for telescopes. I am not really keen to buy "GoTo" mounts, but a motorized mount would be enough for me.


Bigger (Titan, CGE Pro, MI-250, LXD750) would be better but none of those are offered without goto capabilities.


And would cost that much more ;)

Regards,

skybsd

#7 skybsd

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:43 PM

Hello Rudra,
Good to hear from you again..,

I will have a look at the vendors such as Lonsmandy. Thanks for the pointers and my budget would be somewhere around the range of $1500-2500, but can spend a bit more if I can get a good stable mount.


Its always important to note your budget in these sorts of topics as the tendency for some would be to suggest everything including the kitchen sink to you..,

Another thing that might be worthwhile considering sharing would be your intended usage - as mount requirements for visual observing with this OTA would be quite different to that which applies to photography.

Do you (at all) have any intentions that include photography with your proposed set up?

Regards,

skybsd

#8 Fred1

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 08:29 PM

With the C14 OTA something like $5k+ and the CGE-Pro 1400 combo $9k, new, I suspect that some readjustment of budget vs intentions is necessary. Are you going to be using this in a permanent setup? Must you travel to dark sites? Visual only? How much time do you expect to devote to pursuing its use? Have you met with any local astronomy clubs and gone to their star parties to see what some other scopes offer?

There are many here willing to assist, so more details of your planned usage would be helpful.

#9 Rudra

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:04 PM

Hello jrcrilly,

I checked into Lonsmandy's web site and G-11 coes closest to my budget. I am checking out other vendors/sellers as well. By the way, how much counter-weight do I need to balance/stabilize the 14" Celestron CGE Pro OTA that weighs around 46lbs or 20.87 Kilos? I think, the counter-weights should be equal to the weight of the tube to keep it firmly in balance, please correct me if I am wrong.

Astro-photography is not in the agenda at the moment, maybe that is something I might consider in future, but not for now. Also, the intended use of the telescope is both studying planets, deep sky objects and just for visual fun only. Also, I am not contemplating to fix the telescope at a permanent location, but carry it to the country side and to star parties.

I was at the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton in San Jose for summer visitors program on July 17th 2010 and had the opportunity to talk to many amateur astronomers who had set up their telescopes in the premises of Lick Observatory. They offered many valuable advice apart from brilliant views of the skies above.

#10 David Pavlich

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:15 PM

You'll need at least 50lbs of counterweight as long as you keep the accessories to a minimum on the C14.

David

#11 skybsd

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:28 PM

Hello Rudra,

By the way, how much counter-weight do I need to balance/stabilize the 14" Celestron CGE Pro OTA that weighs around 46lbs or 20.87 Kilos? I think, the counter-weights should be equal to the weight of the tube to keep it firmly in balance, please correct me if I am wrong.


Well., you are, kinda.

First of all, its not just the OTA that needs to be countered - on the OTA side you have: -

The OTA itself
Dovetail bar
Dewshield
Diagonal
Eyepieces - varies depending on which is inserted

They all add up.

I use 63lbs (3 x Casady 21lb) of counterweight for my C14-XLT-Fastar - I do have my weights a few inches up along the counterweight shaft + a few other "stuff" attached to my OTA, though.


Astro-photography is not in the agenda at the moment, maybe that is something I might consider in future, but not for now. Also, the intended use of the telescope is both studying planets, deep sky objects and just for visual fun only. Also, I am not contemplating to fix the telescope at a permanent location, but carry it to the country side and to star parties.


Don't take this the wrong way, but have you personally seen or (better) picked up a C14 OTA? Although there are folks that do what you propose, as someone that owns a C14, I have to say that you're well advised to get a good gander at one of these suckers sooner rather than later, okay?

As far as when you may or may not become interested in photography with a C14, you need to understand that the mounting requirements for photography with a C14 is a very different ballgame altogether.

The general consensus for mount payload requirements for photography suggests that it is advised to stay within 60% MAX of your mount's stated payload capacity. So for example, if any given mount's stated payload capacity is 100lbs, it means that for photographic purposes, its best to make sure that your equipment payload does not exceed 60lbs.

Short version: If you ever decide to get into photography with a C14, you're looking at a_lot_more_mount than a Losmandy G11 or Celestron CGE - more $$$$.

Hope that helps..,

Regards,

skybsd

#12 Fred1

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:12 PM

Frankly, I'd pass on a C14 due to complexity and weight issues and for $10k or more my own personal druthers for going beyond my 11" scope and CGEM mount would be an Obsession UC15" or 18" for its portability and ease of set up. I know of one owner in my club with the 15" and it's a charmer.
http://www.obsession...5_UC/index.html

Basic push-to package is about $6k. A completely tricked out UC15 rig with Argo Navis DSC and Servo-Cat tracking motor, shroud, dewheaters, finderscope, collimator, Paracorr and some other accessories is under $12k total. Heaviest component is 45 lbs. but you don't lift it up onto a mount. You put it on the ground. My :penny: :penny:

#13 Rudra

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:16 PM

Hello David and skybsd,

Thank you again for your kind and valuable responses. I think I am a bit more wiser now as far as telescopes are concerned, than I was, when I first posted my query :-) My sincere thanks to all of you gentlemen here.

Dear skybsd, I thank you for your frank opinion and guidance here. The reason I am planning to buy a scope this big is that I will not be buying, hopefully, a bigger aperture telescope in future. I think 14" is the best aperture to settle down with for life. Regarding the mount for astro-photography, I asked an amateur astronomer at Lick Observatory, who told me that OTA was from Meade and that the EQ mount, a heavy duty one that cost him around $12,000. So, as you say, it is a lot more than G11 or CGE :-)

#14 Eddgie

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 04:56 PM

If you are in the US and are willing to buy used, the Celestron Ci-700 mounts can be purchased for as little as $900 to $1200 (usually the ones equipped with the factory digital setting circles sell for the latter price).

These were the original equipment GEM mounts for the C14 many years ago. They are excellent mounts with the same capacity as the CGE.

Of course you can often find used CGEs for $1800 to $2000 in excellent condition and either of these would be excellent choices.

If you are on a budget though the Ci-700 is the most cost efective heavy mount available.

Regards.

#15 RodgerHouTex

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 08:00 AM

I have a standard C-14 on a non goto Losmandy G11 and it works fine for visual work. I use two of Losmandy's 21 lb. counterweights to balance it. The thing I really like about the G11 is that it comes apart into 2 pieces that I can easily carry out in my backyard when I want to observe. A lot of the larger mounts folks have mentioned are not as portable.

#16 gnowellsct

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 12:48 PM

Dear Friends,

I apologize if this has been discussed before. I am planning to buy the Celestron CGE PRO 1400 Optical Tube Assembly (OTA).

Thank you for your valuable advice.

Rudra


I'd like to point out that the CGE Pro is a mount, not an OTA. It appears that you're buying the EdgeHD 14 inch OTA. The whole CGE 1400 schtick refers to the mount/OTA combination sold as a unit.

If you haven't seen the video, here it is, you can see a C14 hoisted to an AP900QMD and to a Losmandy G11.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=TBawz69qo_A

On the one hand, it would appear that a G11 would be better with a Casady saddle plate retrofit, for a faster hoist. On the other hand, I've gotten some email indicating there is another way to do the up load, where you never raise the tube higher than your stomach, and after I've checked it out, I'll post another video.

I used the G11 (stepper version) for seven years with a c14.

If you have the funds an AP900 GTO and ATS pier would help you handle a refractor when you want to mount it on your C14. I found the G11 was "maxing out" when I added a 102mm refractor top side.

regards Greg N

#17 jrcrilly

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 01:24 PM

Dear Friends,

I apologize if this has been discussed before. I am planning to buy the Celestron CGE PRO 1400 Optical Tube Assembly (OTA).

Thank you for your valuable advice.

Rudra


I'd like to point out that the CGE Pro is a mount, not an OTA. It appears that you're buying the EdgeHD 14 inch OTA.


From his phrasing, I presumed that he was taking advantage of one of the recent closeout offers of new-old-stock non-HD C14 optical tubes split from CGE Pro1400 rigs by various dealers. There have been some amazingly good deals offered while the dealers clear out the old stock in favor of the Edge models.

#18 gnowellsct

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 11:55 PM


From his phrasing, I presumed that he was taking advantage of one of the recent closeout offers of new-old-stock non-HD C14 optical tubes split from CGE Pro1400 rigs by various dealers. There have been some amazingly good deals offered while the dealers clear out the old stock in favor of the Edge models.


Sounds reasonable, but wouldn't that just be a "C14 XLT OTA?" (remembering he is not buying a mount)

regards
Greg N

#19 jrcrilly

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 07:59 AM



From his phrasing, I presumed that he was taking advantage of one of the recent closeout offers of new-old-stock non-HD C14 optical tubes split from CGE Pro1400 rigs by various dealers. There have been some amazingly good deals offered while the dealers clear out the old stock in favor of the Edge models.


Sounds reasonable, but wouldn't that just be a "C14 XLT OTA?" (remembering he is not buying a mount)

regards
Greg N


That's what it is, and it's what you or I would call it - but I believe that the poster's description agrees with what is printed on the box when the tube is shipped as a bundle. That's why I figure he's looking at a split bundle. I have seen some terrific deals on those.

#20 Rudra

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 03:03 PM

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for your answers. When I posted the query, I was looking for the mount for, as one friend here pointed out "C14 XLT OTA". I erroneously thought that C14 CGE...was the actual part number. My apologies if that caused some confusion. I have decided to go for a Celestron C11 but I am wondering if I should take CGEM mount, as it does not have setting circles, though "GoTo" feature is there, but still I think my equipment would be incomplete without setting circles. Please let me know of any mount that has both settings circles and go to feature.

Thank you.

#21 gnowellsct

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 07:26 PM

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for your answers. When I posted the query, I was looking for the mount for, as one friend here pointed out "C14 XLT OTA". I erroneously thought that C14 CGE...was the actual part number. My apologies if that caused some confusion. I have decided to go for a Celestron C11 but I am wondering if I should take CGEM mount, as it does not have setting circles, though "GoTo" feature is there, but still I think my equipment would be incomplete without setting circles. Please let me know of any mount that has both settings circles and go to feature.

Thank you.


Well if you want setting circles you're looking at a Losmandy G11 or an AP900.

regards
Greg N






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