Posted 20 January 2011 - 11:31 AM
Thanks for any info
Posted 20 January 2011 - 11:38 AM
Posted 20 January 2011 - 01:12 PM
I'll be 62 next month and I have had my CGEM for over a year now. I have set it up at home and in the field at least 50+ times. When I first got the mount I was concerned as to just how heavy it was. (40+lbs.) I was use to using my CG-5 which can be carried around in one hand. I was wondering that as time goes on, will I be able to handle this mount? Well, now that I have had some fair amount of practice, I don't think I'll have a problem for a long time. I can assemble the mount in about 10 minutes. Other than the weight difference it sets up the same as my CG-5. No harder, no easier. The OTA I use are lighter than your 9.25, (I use a C8 and an SV115T) but I can 'one hand' them. Just as a side note; I have never had any trouble with this mount at all. It balances well, tracks well, it's accurate and I think it's whisper quite. I really have enjoyed using it.
Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:05 PM
Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:28 PM
Posted 20 January 2011 - 03:49 PM
Posted 20 January 2011 - 04:32 PM
Curiously, I found that the CGEM head at 41# was almost as heavy as my NJP head at 51#....lifting the NJP head is great training for the CGEM, but a set of weights is cheaper!
Posted 20 January 2011 - 09:36 PM
I just turned 64 and recently purchased the CGEM with the 9.25 SCT. I have not had any trouble setting it up and breaking it down, each takes about 15 minutes with laying out all the other accesories. I have only done it a dozen times or so, but each time gets quicker. I store the mount in a large plastic tool box, with wheels, so I can roll it from the shed to the patio for setup. I store it in the box in the oder of assembly, legs on top, etc. the mount is held in the bottom in the original foam packing. I did cut open the foam to make it easier to lift out and put back. I agree in tightening the screws before lifting, you don't want a twisting mount when you lift it.
Posted 20 January 2011 - 09:53 PM
I set the tripod up, getting it level ( I use a torpedo level since the bubble level for the CGEM is on the mount itself, so I level the tripod top as it is easier to adjust the legs without the mount on it). I aim it north, or close enough that I will be able to make the necessary adjustments once the mount is in place using the mount polar alignment screws (loosening these as suggested earlier is the right idea).
Doing it in steps means not having to lift anything that is too heavy. Some people keep the tripod and mount on a set of wheels, this would certainly make life easier if you have a place to store it that way.
I love the scope and so far my mount has worked very well. I have not tried AP with it yet, but I left it on tracking while looking at Jupiter and it stayed right on target for a half hour or more.
cheers and good seeing
Posted 20 January 2011 - 10:24 PM
Posted 21 January 2011 - 02:42 AM
Posted 21 January 2011 - 06:50 PM
Posted 22 January 2011 - 03:35 AM
Posted 22 January 2011 - 10:35 AM
I carry my CGEM head in a Pelican 1600 case (yes a bit pricey ), and carry a portable table that can hold about 50lbs. while being only a bit shaky. This allows me to have the mount head at about waist height for taking it out for mounting and dismounting to put it back in the case. Once in the case, I use the handle. I have found this much easier on my back. I can get it to the car upright then use the handle to gently lay it down.
Posted 30 January 2011 - 01:04 AM
Just need some opinions of CGEM users in the 60+ age. Do you find the mount set up and weight manageable for somone in my early 60's age group. How long is set up time? I'm thinking of purchasing one for 9.25 OTA
I can relate. I'm 74 and at 155 lbs on the small side. I had a fork-mounted Nexstar8GPS with the fork+OTA as configured right around 50 lbs. Used it up to about five years ago, then found it was just not being used. The problem is that an OTA in a dual fork is not a friendly configuration for the weight challenged
A GEM with dismountable OTA makes much more sense, since the heaviest single element is probably the OTA (unless you have a really robust mount).
After some thought I recently acquired a Nexstar 8SE, a single-arm fork configuration with the OTA mounted via a Vixen-type dovetail. It breaks down into three reasonably sized compontents: Tripod, Drive and OTA. At home I leave the tripod and drive assembled and just add the OTA when I get ready to observe.
My main interest is visual. But if I get the AP bug beyond the planets and moon I can mount the same OTA on a CG-5/AGST or, with an adapter for the dovetail, on some other mount.
Posted 30 January 2011 - 11:17 AM
and using a piece of HDPE between the mount and the tripod hub to allow smooth azimuth adjustments.
From someone who can't tell the difference between LDPE, HDPE, or any other plastic for that matter...what did you use for this?
Posted 30 January 2011 - 03:15 PM
ScopeStuff (a CN vendor) carries 1/16" sheet polyethylene. With the CGEM tripod set up and the azimuth peg removed, one can trace a pattern for a 'donut' which can function as a slipsheet. If one makes the hole for the azimuth peg square, the plastic doesn't tend to rotate off center. In my case, I used a band saw to cut the outside circle, a hole saw to cut the inside circle, and a HS drill bit and a rasp to rough out the azimuth peg hole.
It takes less than an hour, and if the finished piece isn't the prettiest thing you ever made, remember, once the mount head is on top, you can't see it.
Posted 31 January 2011 - 08:29 AM
Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:25 AM
The payload is pretty much the same as the CGEM.
Posted 31 January 2011 - 08:13 PM
Posted 02 February 2011 - 02:40 PM
...or, you could just take an empty 1 gallon plastic milk jug, cut a flat side off and trim it to the size you need to make the donut for the top of the tripod. It functions very well as a slipsheet, costs you nothing, and you recycled!
+1 for recycling the HDPE in milk jugs! Cheap, available, rugged, easily replaced.