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Question About the Celestron ASGT-5

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#1 CarolG

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 12:20 PM

I have been reading about this mount, and for the most part, it gets good reviews. I'm looking for an inexpensive,grab n go, go to, and tracking mount for my TV 85 and my Lunt solar scope. I plan to use it with my Mallincam, so I basically will use it for visual. Both scopes already have a Losmandy "D" dovetail mounted for use on my DM4. What type of mounting bracket does the CG5 have? Is it still a Vixen type bracket? If so, can that bracket be removed and replaced with a D style saddle plate? I've never actually seen the CG5, and the pictures don't show how the saddle plate is mounted. Thanks for your help!

#2 FiniteIntellect

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 12:35 PM

CG5 is vixen, you can get vixen to losmandy from adm accessories

#3 CarolG

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 12:47 PM

Thanks for your fast reply. I thought it probably was a vixen. Is this adapter what you are talking about? I would like to be able to mount the saddle directly to the mount itself and avoid mounting an adapter to the Vixen saddle that comes with the CG5, if that makes sense.

#4 jrbarnett

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 02:02 PM

It's a fine mount for the $590 street price, new, and would likely be perfect for your intended uses. It retains the Vixen-compatible saddle. To use Losmandy style dovetails you'll need an adapter. ADM makes excellent Vixen-to-Losmandy adapters.

Regards,

Jim

#5 Eddgie

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 03:19 PM

To my knowledge, no one makes a replacement plate like for the Atlas, where you completly remove the Vixen type saddle and replace it with a Losmanday type saddle.

This is because on the CG5, the Dec motor is attached to the mount via a tab that is cast into the side of the saddle. If you removed the saddle casting, you would have to remove the Dec motor, and of course this would mean the mount would not work.

So, for a CG5, you are stuck with the adapter solution.

This isn't a big deal though. It adds minimal weight and height.

You may find the CG5 to actually be rather a bit of overkill. The mount itself is fine, but the heavy steel tripod really adds a lot of weight, and for a small refractor, just isn't that necessary.

You may want to shop around for a set of inexpensive old style aluminim legs too. Maybe you can sell the tripod that comes with the mount and replace it with something like a Vixen AL-130, or better yet, a Vixen HAL-130. These are outstanding, light weight tripods.

I use a Vixen HAL 110 on my Vixen original Polaris mount for my Vixen 100ED f/9. It is MORE than enough, and I can actually lift the entire mount with weights and telescope for repositioning. I can slip off the scope OTA and the entire tripod and mount with counterweight can easily be carried outside.

So, if your only intention is to mount a small refractor, you will find the tripod to be quite heavy for the task, but used aluminum tripods are cheap. You can paint the hub using Hammered Black paint and get a good match.

Good luck.

#6 Al Canarelli

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 04:16 PM

I have been reading about this mount, and for the most part, it gets good reviews. I'm looking for an inexpensive,grab n go, go to, and tracking mount for my TV 85 and my Lunt solar scope. I plan to use it with my Mallincam, so I basically will use it for visual. Both scopes already have a Losmandy "D" dovetail mounted for use on my DM4. What type of mounting bracket does the CG5 have? Is it still a Vixen type bracket? If so, can that bracket be removed and replaced with a D style saddle plate? I've never actually seen the CG5, and the pictures don't show how the saddle plate is mounted. Thanks for your help!


I own one of these mounts and use it with my 60mm Lunt and several other scopes up to a C8. I find that it serves fairly well for AP as well. Unfortunately I think it's a little too heavy to be considered a grab and go mount. Unless you're a linebacker for the Giants, the mount, weights and tripod must weigh in at close to 50 lbs. Nevertheless, I love the mount and believe it to be one of the best buys in astronomy. Finally, if you don't mind spending $800 for a mount, you may want to consider the Ioptron Mini Tower. This mount IS grab and go. The mount comes in a sturdy case and the tripod is more compact than the ASGT-5 tripod, although it has a lesser payload.

#7 CarolG

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:14 PM

Thanks, Jim, Eddgie and Al, for your suggestions. I have an old Celestron alt-az mount and tripod. The mount itself is not very good, but the tripod is like the tripod that came on the old CG4. It is lightweight and may be perfect if I find the setup is a bit too heavy. It sounds like the ADM Vixen to D saddle adapter is the only option I have. That is good to know. I can get it when I get the mount. There's nothing more frustrating to me that getting a new piece of equipment and not being able to use it right away because you don't have a necessary part or adapter.

When the Ioptron Mini Tower first came out, I was very interested in it and almost bought one, but for the money, the CG5 seems to be the way to go. I used to lug around my Nexstar 11 before I permanently mounted it in my observatory, so 50 pounds doesn't sound too bad. Also, if I need to, I can put it on my Scopebuggy.

#8 Terrance

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:44 PM

I have a the CG-5 goto, and use it with a C11 SCT that has a Losmandy size dovetail (I bought it used and it came with the wider dovetail) I then bought an ADM adapter. I added the adapter to the mount and then thread the Losmandy dovetail on the scope,into the adapter.

I see no reason in theory why you could not attach the adapter to the scope 1st, and then try to put the vixen dovetail underneath the adapter into the mount's Vixen saddle directly. However I have not tried it. Since the vixen rail under the adapter is smaller than the adapter itself, you might not be as able to easily see where you want to put the scope. I suspect that would make it less easy to do, but I have not tried to do it that way yet.

#9 CarolG

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:30 PM

Terrance, have you had any problems with the screws on the mount's vixen saddle securely holding the ADM adapter? Those 2 little screws on the vixen saddle seem to be the weak link in the chain, but maybe I am worrying for no good reason.

#10 7331Peg

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 01:14 AM

I'm not Terrance :grin: but yes, I have had that problem. :bangbangbang:

I tried both a C9.25 and a Meade AR-6 (separately) with the ADM adapter in the CG5. When I had either of the scopes over on the west side of the mount, the adapter would slowly shift out of the CG5 saddle on the side opposite the screws - not a lot, but enough that I could see daylight under the adapter on that side of the mount. When I realized what was happening, I tried longer and heavier duty screws on the CG-5 saddle, but it didn't make any difference. I even had Anthony at ADM modify the bottom of the adapter with a couple of notches for the CG-5 screws, and it still did it.

At that point, I gave up. In the daylight, I could see it happening - in the dark, I would have been totally caught by surprise if it shifted far enough to break loose. If you're only putting a TV85 on it, or just the Lunt scope, you should be OK because the weight is a whole lot less than what I had on it. On the other hand, if you want to put both scopes on the CG5 at the same time - piggyback or side by side - I would be very careful about checking for that. Not sure how much weight the Mallincam adds, so I'll leave it at that.

But you might want to consider putting Vixen style dovetails on those two scopes to avoid the problem entirely. You could buy a Losmandy to Vixen style adapter from ADM instead, which would then let you use both Vixen-equipped scopes on the DM Losmandy style saddle.


John :refractor:

#11 Eddgie

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 09:07 AM

Excellent if you have the tripod already!

As Al and I both pointed out, the CG5 Tripod IS very heavy, which is good if you are putting a bigger scope on it, but it is way overkill for a small refractor. IN fact, I used to use a C8 on a CG5 with older aluminum legs and loved it. Was sufficent even for a C8.

I think that the CG5 on the aliminum legs may weigh LESS than the Mini-Tower.

So, if you already have a lightweight tripod (and it is tall enough), you are set. You'll have a relativly light weight mount that is quick to set out.

Also, Vixen makes the smallest counterweigts, but if you look around, Orion used to make some small weights too.

The nice thing about the Vixen weights is that they have a hole on one side that is bigger on the other so that the weight can actually ride so low that it overhangs the safety screws at the end of the CW shaft. This allows you to get the very lightest weight possible and still have balance.

Good luck.

#12 MikeBOKC

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 09:28 AM

Carol I would guess that the easiest thing would be to put Vixen style dovetails on the scopes rather than try to mess with the mount.

As noted I suspect this mount might be bigger than you need for those two scopes. I have been considering getting a Lunt 60 solar scope and was looking at the Celestron SLT or Nexstar mounts for a dedicated mount for it, which you might also find more than adequate.

I have the CG5 that came with my C6R refractor, plus an extra dovetail that could be swapped onto your scopes, if you want to set up somewhere around OKC and try them out on my mount. We could even do it daytime with your solar scope. Just PM me and we might be able to set some time next week or the week after Chritman, as I am off starting this Friday for the entire holiday period.

MB

#13 CarolG

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:52 PM

John, is THIS the type of adapter you're talking about? Would I also need to get a Vixen dovetail bar?

#14 Falcon-

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 01:20 PM

John, is THIS the type of adapter you're talking about? Would I also need to get a Vixen dovetail bar?


No, I *think* they are talking about this adaptor rather then the one you linked.

#15 CarolG

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 02:52 PM

Falcon, I may be mistaken, but I thought the adapter in your post was the one John was talking about that was a little unsteady. Perhaps John (7331Peg) could post a link to the adapter he was talking about in his post. I would like to use an adapter(s) that would enable me to keep the D style adapters already on my 2 scopes in place. Using This Dovetail with This Adapter would seem to work, but I'm not sure.

#16 Falcon-

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 06:32 PM

I think the problem he was talking about was with the mating of the vixen dovetail to the stock saddle. If that is so then it would not matter if it was a double-sided one like the one you linked or one built in like the one I linked. Your way just adds another connection in to the equation for no real gain (as far as I can tell).

Of course he is also using a big heavy C9.25 and also heavy AR-6. Your two scopes are lighter weight so should put less stress on the vixen dovetail connection to the CG-5's saddle.

With my own limited experience I got myself a used 6" mak-cas that came with a Losmandy D plate. I simply removed it and installed a Vixen dovetail and have had no issues as far as the mount connection goes. :shrug:

#17 7331Peg

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 07:10 PM

Carol, if you want to leave the Losmandy style dovetails on your scopes and try an adapter on the CG-5, then you would use the adapter Falcon shows in his link.

If you attach Vixen-style dovetails to the TV85 and the Lunt scope in order to avoid having to use an adapter on the CG-5 --- and still want to be able to use the scopes on the DM-4 with it's Losmandy style saddle --- then you'll need the adapter you showed in your link. In order for it to work, you would slide a Losmandy style dovetail into the DM4 saddle, then attach the adapter in your link to that dovetail, and then attach your scopes with the Vixen style dovetails.

Hope that's not as muddy as mud! :grin:


John :refractor:

#18 CarolG

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 08:10 PM

Thanks, Falcon and John. I want to leave my Losmandy "D" dovetails on each of my scopes for a couple of reasons. In order to use the Televue and Lunt tube rings, I had to have special holes drilled in each dovetail to match the tube ring mounting holes, but more importantly, each scope has had its dovetail adapter specially shimmed to make each orthogonal with the DM4. Getting each orthogonal takes a little time, and it would be so much easier to be able to quickly move them from one mount to the other if I just kept the Losmandy dovetails attached to the scopes. It sounds like the ADM adapter that you referred to, Falcon, is the easiest way to go with the least number of separate connections. Thanks for your help!

#19 7331Peg

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:26 AM

Carol, as long as you're only putting one of those two scopes on the CG-5 at a time, you shouldn't have any problem. I would be really amazed if the weight of either of those scopes is enough to cause the problem I had with the heavier ones.

John :refractor:

#20 CarolG

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 10:12 AM

Well, I took the plunge and ordered an open box ASGT5 from OPT yesterday. Since it was an open box item and OPT is offering free shipping, it was a deal I couldn't pass up. I also Contacted Anthony at ADM, and he has developed a new Vixen/Losmandy mounting system for the ASGT5. It isn't on his web site yet, but he said he had them available. Can't wait to try them both!

I do have a question. I've read so much about the grease in these mounts not liking cold weather. Do you all think I should just go ahead and put in new grease? I have several tubes of Super Lube lying around. What do you think I should do? The temps around here lately have been getting down into the +20's F. Will those temps affect the factory installed grease?

#21 Tim C

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 10:37 AM

I haven't had any problems in the 20's with my CG5-ASGT.

#22 rmollise

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 11:24 AM

Well, I took the plunge and ordered an open box ASGT5 from OPT yesterday. Since it was an open box item and OPT is offering free shipping, it was a deal I couldn't pass up. I also Contacted Anthony at ADM, and he has developed a new Vixen/Losmandy mounting system for the ASGT5. It isn't on his web site yet, but he said he had them available. Can't wait to try them both!

I do have a question. I've read so much about the grease in these mounts not liking cold weather. Do you all think I should just go ahead and put in new grease? I have several tubes of Super Lube lying around. What do you think I should do? The temps around here lately have been getting down into the +20's F. Will those temps affect the factory installed grease?


No. Leave it alone.

#23 rdandrea

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 11:34 AM

I've used mine in the '20s with no problems.

I wouldn't start messing with it until your warranty expires.

#24 CarolG

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 11:18 PM

Well, I finally got my new CG5 yesterday. I've never had or used a GEM mount, so I've been busy setting it up and learning about it. One of the first things I did was change the factory V style saddle plate. I contacted Anthony Davoli at ADM to see what he recommended and he said he had developed a new adapter. I ordered the one with the dual saddle. It was so easy to install and is rock solid. The workmanship is superb, as I'm sure all ADM products are. You can see what I installed by looking at this ADM link . If I ever have something on a V style dovetail, I'm good to go.

Mr. Davoli told me he is also interested in keeping a growing list of all possible mounts that use the same type of saddle.

Here's a picture of what it looks like installed with telescope attached.

Attached Files



#25 mclewis1

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:10 AM

Very nice ... thanks for the link Carol.

Another "must have" ADM product for me ... sigh. I wonder if I can just name Anthony as a dependent and get some tax relief.

:grin:






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