Jump to content


Photo

CGE Pro Review

  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Olivier Biot

Olivier Biot

    Amused

  • *****
  • Posts: 24946
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2005
  • Loc: 51°N (Belgium)

Posted 17 January 2011 - 05:49 PM

CGE Pro Review

By Jim Welisek.

#2 gio24

gio24

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2011

Posted 27 January 2011 - 03:25 AM

hello!
I'm writing to you because I have a very big problem with my cge pro that anybody can solve.
as you can see form this video ( http://www.youtube.c...?v=Y-eAqRxzU5Y) have problem with motors and the mount can't be used.
All is properly balanced and this is the second mount that i change for the same problem, of course in warranty.
Before shipping the mount in california (i'm writing you from italy) i would like to know your opinion about this.
Thank you very much

#3 Snaproll

Snaproll

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5095
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2004
  • Loc: Green Bay

Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:20 AM

Wow, interesting video. Has it always been that way? Or did it just start? It sounds like the gears are binding. It is my understanding that the RA motor housing pivots to engage the gears. I was told that there are a couple bolts on the side that can be loosened and the engagement pressure between the gears changed. I have not tried it or looked at it so I don't know if this is true. It sounds like the motor is okm but just powering through an area where the gears are binding.

Hopefully there is a solution without sending it back to Celestron. The service experience I had with them with the original CGE was disturbing.

#4 gio24

gio24

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2011

Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:12 AM

thanks a lot for your kind answer.
I would like to try also to have more amps in order to give to the motors more power.
If it is possible can you detail what you where explaining about the bolts or tell where i can search?

#5 gio24

gio24

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2011

Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:16 AM

another question if i can...
which maximum weight to you recommend should have a guiding scope in order to avoid problem to the mount during astrophotography sessions?
thank you again

#6 Snaproll

Snaproll

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5095
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2004
  • Loc: Green Bay

Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:46 AM

I was told by one of the vendors that the RA worm may bind and that the housing can be moved by loosening two bolts. He suggested loosening one at a time. It was during a phone conversation and I never did try to adjust the motor housing so that is as much as I know. I don't know which two bolts he is talking about, I never looked closely at the mount to find them. I'm just passing on what I heard but have no first hand knowledge of.

The mount is rated for 90 lbs but a good rule of thumb is to only put 2/3rds the amount of weight which would be 60 lbs. I am running a C14 with a 100mm f9 guidescope. The mount seems to handle the weight fairly well.

The mount is a good mount from a tracking standpoint, it does very well. When I got the mount it had two serious problems right out of the box. Once I got those solved and figured out how to run the cabling without getting it snagged up on all the knobs the rount is doing ok.

I also posted in the Mounts forum do direct those that may be able to help to this thread.

#7 gio24

gio24

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2011

Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:16 AM

thank you so much!!!!

#8 WayneJ

WayneJ

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2909
  • Joined: 20 Aug 2009
  • Loc: West Chester, PA

Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:17 AM

Excellent review and very, very accurate. I've had my CGE Pro for a year now and have suffered through the same head-scratching gaps in QC and questionable design choices regarding the knobs. On the flip side, this does seem to be a pretty solid mount that tracks as well as can be expected.

My *only* note is that you cannot properly evaluate the goto performance of the mount if you aligned it through the C14. I also run a C14 on mine and the alignment/goto performance is ok, but nothing special. However, when aligned through my refractor, the goto performance is spot-on. The mirror flop in the C14 seems to limit the accuracy of the pointing model to a small area around the target. I overcame this with the "Precise Goto" function... which works remarkably well.

Regards,

Wayne

#9 Snaproll

Snaproll

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5095
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2004
  • Loc: Green Bay

Posted 27 January 2011 - 03:45 PM

Yeah, besides mirror flop there are flexture issues as well (saddle plate etc). Plus the C14 has such a long focal length and narrow field of view. Still, the accuracy does appear to "drift". I can do a goto on a star, slew off of it, then a goto right back to the same star and it will be "off". The repeatability of the encoders seems ok, in other words repeatedly slewing back to the same star after a sync and the error seems to be repeatable, it misses the target by the same amount each time. (Mount calibration etc done).

To be honest, the few CGE Pro folks that I have talked to, (don't know many) but every one of them has some "problem" with the mount right out of the box.

Candidly I asked a vendor friend of mine that sells them, "What's the real failure rate on the Pros?". He told me what he has experienced, and then said, "... and that's not for publication...".

I can only go on my own exerience, but it really gets me wondering if Celestron is going the same route as Meade. I sure hope they get a handle on customer service and ditch the "we're too big to fail" mentality. I had a lot of issues with getting the old CGE repaired. You have to pay up front for the repairs and there is no real 'delivery date' until you start procedings to get your money back. That tells me they either don't have enough people hired and trained, they are overloaded with warrantee repairs or they are having cashflow problems. It really concerns me once the Pro is out of warrantee. I certainly hope that they have straightened out their issues by then and/or are still in business.

#10 jrbarnett

jrbarnett

    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 20504
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Petaluma, CA

Posted 27 January 2011 - 04:52 PM

Great, fair and balanced review Jim.

Thanks for posting it!

Regards,

(another) Jim

#11 scope dog

scope dog

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1501
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2004
  • Loc: USA

Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:28 PM

Sounds like the encoder. Hunting. Half way through the pulse begins to break up. "either the encoder lead is being pinched or something and the connection is broken on one of the encoder leads." when this occurs the computer will hunt and rev up to max speed looking for a pulse. Your job is to look and track the encoder lead from the RA motor" I believe it's just the RA motor". If you can plug the DEC into the RA motor and see if it does it. I don't have this mount but here is some info to try and track the problem down.

#12 Snaproll

Snaproll

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5095
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2004
  • Loc: Green Bay

Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:42 PM

Good thought Jim.

#13 frolinmod

frolinmod

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1897
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2010
  • Loc: Southern California

Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:02 PM

The Pro with this collar on the power cord eliminates this issue. It also makes it a little more difficult to replace the power cord with a shorter, heavy duty one unless you want butt-splice the original “M” connector and collar on it.

I'm not sure if these are what you are referring to, but you can buy size "M" (2.1mm x 5.5mm) DC coaxial plugs with locking collars from Mouser Electronics. They are part number 171-7391. I bought a bunch of these for use with my Paramount ME -- before I switched over to using separate through the mount wiring with Anderson power pole connectors.

#14 KDizzle

KDizzle

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 758
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Woodinville, WA

Posted 29 January 2011 - 02:52 AM

hello!
I'm writing to you because I have a very big problem with my cge pro that anybody can solve.
as you can see form this video ( http://www.youtube.c...?v=Y-eAqRxzU5Y) have problem with motors and the mount can't be used.
All is properly balanced and this is the second mount that i change for the same problem, of course in warranty.
Before shipping the mount in california (i'm writing you from italy) i would like to know your opinion about this.
Thank you very much


I had a very similar issue (both ra and dec):

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=qnTCU3BEBok
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=tuEUiNuydTQ

I contacted the vendor who had a celestron rep call me the same day. they arranged for it to be shipped back. I was told it arrived there and was further damaged in shipping about three weeks ago... still waiting to hear back.

Luckily, it's pretty much been cloudy for the past to months anyway, so i'm not yet ready to complain and I have high hopes. I know sometimes things go wrong and so far the service and response has been great; so i have high hopes for getting it back and having it happily function when it does!

I'd recommend you contact you vendor and/or celestron. Dinkering around with the worm will probably impact your warranty.

#15 Snaproll

Snaproll

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5095
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2004
  • Loc: Green Bay

Posted 29 January 2011 - 09:45 AM

Dinkering around with the worm will probably impact your warranty.


What you say is probably true about possibly voiding the warranty. Unless it's a simple fix or you know what you are doing, I would consider returning it, but there are risks there too.

The folks I know that have had Pros and problems got good service fairly quickly. My concern is for out of warranty repairs. What happens when the $5,000 dollar mount needs to be repaired out of warranty? I really got the impression "out of warranty, out of mind". That concerns me.

#16 KDizzle

KDizzle

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 758
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2008
  • Loc: Woodinville, WA

Posted 10 February 2011 - 03:08 AM

For what it's worth, I received my CGE Pro back today from Celestron. Everything seems to be running just fine on it now. I can't speak as far as the frequency of issue or anything like that -- but I own several Celestron products, and the this is my first issue with any of them. The service seemed great - several phone calls to let me know what the status was and everything seems to be in working order again!

#17 Snaproll

Snaproll

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5095
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2004
  • Loc: Green Bay

Posted 10 February 2011 - 08:44 AM

The service seemed great - several phone calls to let me know what the status was and everything seems to be in working order again!


I hope you find the same level of service when your Pro needs to be repaired out of warranty.

#18 alrosm

alrosm

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 713
  • Joined: 27 Jul 2010

Posted 12 February 2011 - 04:30 PM

Great review.

#19 Tony Bonanno

Tony Bonanno

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 71
  • Joined: 03 Apr 2007
  • Loc: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:30 PM

Very good review Jim. Balanced and honest. These are the kinds of reviews I like. I'm currently running a CGE and a CGEM (and a DOB too). My CGE seems to be working OK for my needs (10" Vixen VMC-260L). I've modified a couple of things on the CGE (cables, Casady saddle, etc.). I looked at the CGE PRO at the TSP a couple of years ago when it first came out. It really was TALL (I'm not). I still thought about it. But hearing about the QC problems and some of the design issues from a real user like yourself has reinforced my decision to stay clear of it for now.

#20 JS999R

JS999R

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 124
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011

Posted 16 January 2012 - 04:37 AM

Excellent review. I recently bought a CG5 demo and it was defective. Basically stopped mid slew for no apparent reason. I exchanged it for a new one, paying the difference and it was at that time the vendor told me the ratio of failure out of the box for these units. I almost requested a refund after hearing the number. I can't recall the number, but it was unacceptable in anyone's book. That simply tells me Celestron's final check-out in manufacturing is non existent. Fortunately there is a warranty period, but as the OP stated, what happens after the warranty expires? Another indication that concerns me is the fact you have to pay up front before the service can be commenced, whats up with that? Is it good faith money or has Celestron experienced a great number of walk aways? I'm a pessimist so the cash flow suggestion is also a possibility. In my case during start up and afterwards I had issues getting the mount to align properly and I believe at this point it was nothing more than human error on my part. I've had two alignments in a row that were correct after doing the two star with four calibration stars using targets I pre-selected from Stellarium that I made sure were on both sides of the Meridian. I lost alignment another time when the scope ran into the controller holder, apparently the stepper motors stepped on themselves as a result. I got it back on track after repeating the two star alignment, but without calibration stars. Lastly, I agree with not overloading any mount, but there was a review posted on the CG5 where the mount was loaded down with 34 lbs of gear and according to the owner had no problems at all with it. The advanced GT CG5 is rated at 35 lbs, my point being maybe the numbers are on the conservative side just in case. Granted, I would like to know if the mount is still happy with 34 lbs on it's back a year from now. I have a plan to upgrade to a larger refractor and expect a max weight of 25-27 lbs, I think that will be under my own limit of how much weight to put on it with some room to spare if I ever wanted to attach a DSLR to it down the road.

BTW, this is the first time I've heard the term "fair and balanced" used in a factual context, if you catch my drift.

#21 JS999R

JS999R

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 124
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011

Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:13 AM

Not that I know anything about electrical issues but after watching our fellow member's video a couple things come to mind. As others have alluded to already, a steady and consistent power flow is important, I believe the motors are sensitive to this. I had problems with my first scope, a Craigslist Nexstar 3.1. I ran it on batteries at first and soon discovered they had no longivity and once they degraded the symptoms were similar during slewing. Except in my case the controller's lights would flicker as well. Another possible issue is the fact the two electrical systems between here and what is used in Europe is different, something like 110 vs 140 or is it 240? I wonder if Celestron has made the correct adjustments in view of this. Another factor might be related and that is the wire gauge thickness of the power cord. I'm reminded of that because I've owned several older Ducati motorcycles and they were very sensitive to under gauged wiring. This manifested itself in burning out connectors and rectifiers. Not saying something will burn up in the unit, but it could have a bearing on intermittent power surges as demonstrated by the video. One last thing, I don't know if it applies but this asks the OP directly, is your set up fully balanced? I would guess that it is and this doesn't have anything to do with the problem at hand, I was just wondering.

What is upsetting and I sympathize with the OP greatly on this, if the problem is deemed a mechanical defect why wasn't it caught before being shipped all the way to Italy? When we ship products overseas we know once it leaves, its expensive and a hassle to bring it back. So we make sure everything is right before shipping. This is where QC has to be at it's very best, no excuse if the problem could have been caught beforehand.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics