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Please share CGE Pro Experiences - Good or Bad!

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#1 jrbarnett

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 01:24 PM

On online gear forums there's a tendency for unhappy users to be overrepresented in threads. Most often this is because a person with gear issues is more likely to turn to online forums for help than a happy user is to volunteer a "still happy" post.

For that reason, many moons ago, I started a thread soliciting CGEM experiences, both positive and negative. My goal in that thread was to obtain a more realistic picture of CGEM mount reliability. The results were surprising. At last tally approximately 40% of respondents reported problems with their CGEM mount.

I would like to do the same things here for the CGE Pro mount. Specifically I ask that CGE Pro owners share their experieneces with their mounts, including folks who have been trouble-free and folks who have had problems.

If you've been trouble free, please post when you obtained your mount.

If you've had a problem, please share your start date with the mount and also the nature of the problem and your path to correction/remedy.

Thanks!

- Jim

#2 HowardK

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 03:48 PM

When I first got my CGE PRO in March 2010 within 45 minutes the RA motor failed completely and I had to send the mount back to Celestron in the UK...........2 months later I got it back and it has worked very well.....the only worry I have is the slight play in DEC that has been talked about in another thread.......maybe though this is a feature of the spring loaded worm....no one seems to know for sure.......i do recommend
buying the great tool from Doug on Astromart that allows you to tighten the RA and DEC knobs as well as the saddle knobs tightly......I load my
mount with about 80 lbs of gear and use 4 of the 22lb weights to balance but it handles this with no problem......I use a Mallincam and must say
am very happy........the whole thing rides on a wheelie which I roll out to my deck and then after aligning on 2 and calibrating on 4 I perform the
PA routine then realign on 2 and re calibrate on 4 to give me great gotos and tracking.....this takes me about 25 minutes!....the object always appearing on the Mallincam's tiny chip.....precise goto puts it dead center...........guiding works great and I have just used Celestron's PEC TOOL to do a batch train of 8 runs with the guider and this worked out well as far as uploading the corrections to the mount......I will see how the PEC improves the tracking next time out

#3 Peter in Reno

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 04:29 PM

CGE Pro payload capacity is 90lbs which is not necessarily imaging capacity. The imaging capacity is typically half of that.

Astro-Physics Mach1GTO is probaly the most reliable mount in the world and costs a little more than CGE Pro. AP mounts probably lasts a lifetime or much longer than any Celestron mounts. Also it has a capacity of 45lbs for imaging which is close to CGE Pro and it weighs MUCH MUCH less than CGE Pro. It's great for portable as well as permanent use.

If you are concerned about reliability in the long term, have you considered AP Mach1GTO mount? It's probably cheaper in the long run and much easier to maintain.

Peter

#4 WayneJ

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 04:52 PM

CGE Pro payload capacity is 90lbs which is not necessarily imaging capacity. The imaging capacity is typically half of that.


I've used the Mach1. The CGE Pro is a much beefier mount, capacity-wise. I've run it with over 60lbs for guided photography and it's done fine. I'd guess that it could handle about 75-80, depending on the configuration, before the settling times would be problematic.

The CGE Pro is a nice mount for $5k. It has a few kinks to work out, but it's built like a tank and the gear boxes are pretty well engineered. They should last a while. It's nowhere near as graceful, precise, or refined as an Astro Physics mount.. but for astrophotography capacity, it's more in a league with the AP900 than the Mach 1. That's about as far as the similarities go, but the AP mount costs nearly $4k more than the CGE Pro. It's the difference between a Ford and a Ferrari. Sometimes the Ford can get you there, too ;)

Regards,

Wayne

#5 Bart

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:04 PM

For that reason, many moons ago, I started a thread soliciting CGEM experiences, both positive and negative. My goal in that thread was to obtain a more realistic picture of CGEM mount reliability.
- Jim


Jim, can you supply a link to the CGEM thread that your quote refers to?

Thanks

#6 LLEEGE

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:09 PM

I picked up a pro at NEAF last April. In that time it has been back twice for the same problem. I'm still not satisfied with it as it still has DEC slop. I just got it back and haven't fully tested it yet. I would not recommend this mount to anyone. It may be rated for more then a Mach1, but it isn't in the same league.

#7 BWAZ

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:32 PM

I've got a CGE Pro since Dec 2009 and it has been serving me well without any problem. Though I'm a visual observer only and the max payload I put on top of the mount is a TEC160FL plus the accessories (35#).

#8 Peter in Reno

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:34 PM

In the past, Celestron have exaggerated payload capacities of lower end mounts so I assumed the same applied to CGE Pro.

Peter

#9 BWAZ

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 06:37 PM

Yep, I'm quite conservative with the load capacity of a mount. For me the maximum load I'd like to put onto the Pro won't exceed 45#.

#10 Phil Cowell

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 07:13 PM

My experiences have been very positive. No issues to report. I'm visual so can't comment on imaging with it.

#11 ghostrunner007

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 10:34 PM

I have had mine for about a year now with no problems at all yet.I have no slop in either axis and all my gotos and tracking are spot on.

#12 Peter in Reno

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 10:39 PM

It might be a good idea to include scopes used for your CGE Pro mounts. Also include estimated payload weight not including counterweights.

Thanks,
Peter

#13 rmollise

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 05:58 AM

In the past, Celestron have exaggerated payload capacities of lower end mounts so I assumed the same applied to CGE Pro.

Peter


Which mounts have they "exaggerated"?

#14 LLEEGE

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 08:12 AM

I don't think they exaggerated. They just don't state whether the rating is photo or visual.

#15 Peter in Reno

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 10:07 AM

My choice of words was poor. I was referring to imaging rating. CGEM is rated at 40lbs and most people claim that's too heavy for imaging. I had Atlas EQ-G with C-11 and it was rated at 40lbs and I find C-11 too heavy for imaging. It seems that lower priced mounts advertise payload rating for visual use, not imaging. Astro-Physics mounts are rated closer for imaging but cost quite a bit more.

Peter

#16 jrbarnett

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 12:54 PM

Sure, sorry. Had meant to link the CGEM sister thread:

http://tinyurl.com/4jjdzv8

Again, while all of the comparative talk about the CGE Pro versus alternatives is interesting, let's not lose touch with the intent of the thread.

I'm primarily looking for first hand CGE Pro owner reports. Who has one that has been trouble free and who has one that's had issues?

Regards,

Jim

#17 WayneJ

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 01:44 PM

I've had the CGE Pro for a year now. I've had issues with it -- slop in the dec. axis, replaced a hand controller, and the real time clock didn't function when I first purchased it. Neverthless, I was still able to obtain very good results using the mount for its intended purpose.

As discussed in another thread, I recently fixed the cause of the play in the declination axis and the mount functions perfectly now. I'm pretty sure that I caused the slippage in the declination axis early-on though, by accidentally moving the C14 manually (and forcefully) when the clutches were locked down.

I also own an EM200 Temma2. That wasn't perfect out of the box, either. I'd buy the CGE Pro again. I wouldn't buy another Takahashi mount. If I want another "high-end" mount, I'll get an AP.

One of the posters said that the AP900 and CGE Pro aren't in the same class. That's nonsense. They most certainly are. The AP900 is at the head of the class and the CGE Pro is in the back of the class... but the AP mount is nearly $4000 more than the CGE Pro. Most users won't need or appreciate the differences they get for their $4000, other than snob appeal... because neither mount provides an upgrade for the often faulty component that sits behind the eyepiece.

Wayne






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