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Buy a CGEM or wait for the CGEM DX

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#1 Magellan

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:47 PM

I am in the market for a mount. I want a CGEM but I am not sure if I should wait for the DX or not. I am mounting about 30lbs max on it.

Some people say that it will not be out in march considering that the Celestron site says otherwise.

And not to mention the DX is $2250 CAN and the CGEM is $1550 CAN, thats a bit of a hike.

I know this question has likely been answered, I looked around various forums and such, I am just looking for some guidance and I really do trust everyone's opinion on these forums.

thanks,

#2 nemo129

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 08:33 PM

Jeff,
I am not sure anyone can honestly answer your question just yet, as no one (aside from possibly a beta tester) has a CGEM DX, so any answers would be opinion at this point. The CGEM is a good mount for the price as it stands. I think you need to consider if you want to wait 3 to 4 (or more) months (yup its cold up there...will you use it now?) and do you want/need the extra 10lbs of capacity. I have read there are to be some improvements in the electronics that would aid the mount if perfect balance is not achieved. I am not sure how much of a plus that will be, although it sounds encouraging. Are you interested in astrophotography or are you planning to just be a visual observer? 30lbs of gear on the standard CGEM is at or a bit beyond what most experienced AP folks would do...I say most as I am thinking long exposure AP as opposed to planetary or lunar..which would be fine due to the short exposure times involved. Just to throw a wrench in your gears..sorry! :grin: I have seen at least two Vixen SXD's with HAL 130 tripods on Astromart for less than you would pay for a CGEM DX. That is a nice mount for the money as well!

#3 Magellan

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:19 AM

I will be putting an Orion 8" F4 Astrograph, Camera and an Orion F11 80mm Guidescope mainly for AP.

#4 NewAstronomer

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:31 AM

An Atlas would handle that load for AP.

#5 nemo129

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:43 AM

Orion 8" F4 Astrograph, Camera and an Orion F11 80mm Guidescope mainly for AP



So, a standard CGEM or an Atlas would probably handle that, although I would feel more comfortable with a bit more mount, but my wallet woulld not like it as much! :grin: I have seem claims in the CGEM users group on Yahoo of folks using standard CGEMS with well over 30lbs of gear for imaging with good results. My results with a heavier loads have not been that good, but it proves it can be done. Perhaps you may want to wait for the CGEM DX for the extra 10lbs of capacity. IMHO AP should be fun and not hard work, but that's just me!

#6 snommisbor

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:44 PM

Early CGEM's had some bugs from what I read, I got mine probably 6 months after release and have not had a problem but being it is a new mount it could have some bugs, plus it may be hard to get once it is released and you could have a few months to wait. So depending on how soon you want to start could also determine choice. Personally I would get the CGEM and use the savings if you so choose to get whatever other accessories you would like to have i.e. eyepieces or cameras.

#7 Ad Astra

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 02:10 PM

I think the claim of 10 lbs more capacity is dubious - as far as I can tell, this comes stictly from the electronics, not from any substantive structual improvement or improvement in the drive train, gears, etc. And they are asking almost double the price - not a bargain IMHO.

Take the CGEM - get it NOW (Celestron and Meade are notorious for exagerating when new equipment will be widely available) - and then spend the difference on a camera, autoguider, guidescope, filter wheel, etc.

FWIW, I think you will be much happier! I've used a CGEM with a C11 for almost 3 years now - not any problems, but I don't do much astrophotography with it, either.

Dan

#8 nemo129

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 02:19 PM

I think the claim of 10 lbs more capacity is dubious



:shocked: Are you saying Celestron would exaggerate? :lol:

Sorry for the tongue in cheek. :rainbow: So maybe...but like I said above its all just opinion until someone gets one in their hands and lets us all know how it worked out. I would think the extra large tripod would get you something besides a hernia and a thinner wallet! :grin:

#9 Ad Astra

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 04:52 PM

:shocked: Are you saying Celestron would exaggerate? :lol:

Sorry for the tongue in cheek. :rainbow: So maybe...but like I said above its all just opinion until someone gets one in their hands and lets us all know how it worked out. I would think the extra large tripod would get you something besides a hernia and a thinner wallet! :grin:


Heavier duty tripod would help with stability, but I think the true carrying capacity of a mount is pretty much set by the internal mechanics and design. Stability might improve a bit, but carrying capacity isn't really changed by this.

That said, you could buy a CGEM head and use any number of sturdy tripods or piers for a lot less than the DX.

Just my opinion, I'll be waiting for user reports, too!

#10 mak7

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 05:31 PM

From the little research and available info on the CGEM DX I have found so far, it looks like the following are possibilities.

New heavier tripod with a lower leg brace. Should help substantially, it was needed.
Modified mount head base to accomodate the new tripod head.
A $600 price increase for the new mount over current CGEM price. American $.
Potentially a good mount, but subject to Celestron's current lack of Q C.

Since it might be several months before you can actually get your hands on one, there are things you can do to the current model to probably match the new DX for the same money or less.

TPI lower leg brace. Worked wonders to gain a lot of stability to the supplied tripod. It cut my damping time from 6 seconds to about 1 second.

http://www.tpiastro.com/index.htm

Try a current CGEM mount, new or used for less $$$, to check the electronics as well as physical performance. IF the electronics are good, I can almost guarantee that the physical attributes of the mount head can be improved greatly, even if you think it is already top notch. Send it off to Ed Thomas at Deep Space Products for a " Hypertune " and you won't believe the difference when you get it back. Ed suggested to me that my CGEM (which was a dealer replacement unit under warranty) was the best CGEM he ever worked on. I can sure tell the difference now from before and I had a good one.

I won't say it will increase the capacity of the CGEM, but it will make it a lot closer to Celestron's capacity specs of 40 lbs.

http://www.deepspaceproducts.com/

It might take a month to rework your new CGEM, but you would probably have a good mount quicker than waiting on the new version.
Only time will tell how the DX will perform when released. They don't have a good record with the CGEM or the CGE Pro so I don't expect much in the quality control department.

After a lot of modifications (as listed above) I am now extremely happy with my CGEM mount and can get very good guiding. Nice to see round stars finally, even at 30 lb loads.
You will also want to check with ADM Accessories to replace factory knobs. A lot of people find the supplied knobs ackward to use

Great mount, finally.

This all could be wasted effort if Celestron happens to pull it off. I know my bet.
Brad

#11 rmollise

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 06:10 PM

I think the claim of 10 lbs more capacity is dubious - as far as I can tell, this comes stictly from the electronics, not from any substantive structual improvement or improvement in the drive train, gears, etc. And they are asking almost double the price - not a bargain IMHO.


Leaving aside that it's not double the price, or even almost, the improvements go beyond motors/electronics and the counterweight bar to include a CGE Pro type tripod. If you've priced tripods in this class, you'll know how expensive they are. If it works well, it is a bargain, and I believe the tripod will easily up the payload by the amount Celestron cites. Always keeping in mind that payload for visual/video/casual imaging will differ from what you want for "10 hours of integration." ;)

#12 Fred1

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 07:10 PM

There's an interesting thread on the CGEM Yahoo Tech Group titled "CGEM at the 40lb. Limit." Seems at least one owner can image quite well at that weight.

http://tech.groups.y...EM/message/6373

#13 Magellan

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 07:36 AM

I just read that on the Yahoo groups, very interesting. I may just get the regular CGEM. :)

#14 nemo129

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 07:49 AM

Then you could get it right away and have time to do AP in clear(albeit cold) humidity free skies! :cool:
Let us know which way you go!

#15 Ad Astra

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 10:32 AM

There's an interesting thread on the CGEM Yahoo Tech Group titled "CGEM at the 40lb. Limit." Seems at least one owner can image quite well at that weight.

http://tech.groups.y...EM/message/6373


I've put a 40 lb scope on a CGEM (133mm refractor) and it was terribly overloaded. Tracking was not consistent and the stability was just not there. Any touch set up, not just vibration, but actual wobbling.

It was terrible! I don't mate that refractor and mount anymore.

Dan

#16 NewAstronomer

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 10:57 AM

A single componenet, probably very long one, at 40lbs, is probably not a good idea on an Atlas or CGEM. Carefully balacing 35-lbs-40lbs of ALL your gear , rings, finders, guidescope, camera etc, on an Atlas or CGEM is doable. Depends on type of primary scope. Big, long refractor is harder to balance than an 11" SCT (even with its heavy weight at the rear). A big (f/5+) 10" Newt is difficult, because of wind mostly. Many have done it, at least on the Atlas, I know...I have done both. I don't know about the CGEM, but other report the same.

#17 Fred1

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:52 PM

I'm visual only and a not-unusual payload for my CGEM is my EdgeHD11", SV50 finder scope, Virtual View Visual Back, EarthWin Binoviewers with Power Filter Slider with a pair of 24mm Panoptics, dewshield and a ADM counterweight system on the dovetail, all totaling almost 42 lbs. It's steady and takes about 3 seconds to calm down when I finish focusing.

#18 DLB242

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 02:25 PM

I think the claim of 10 lbs more capacity is dubious - as far as I can tell, this comes stictly from the electronics, not from any substantive structual improvement or improvement in the drive train, gears, etc. And they are asking almost double the price - not a bargain IMHO.

Take the CGEM - get it NOW (Celestron and Meade are notorious for exagerating when new equipment will be widely available) - and then spend the difference on a camera, autoguider, guidescope, filter wheel, etc.

FWIW, I think you will be much happier! I've used a CGEM with a C11 for almost 3 years now - not any problems, but I don't do much astrophotography with it, either.

Dan


Dan where did you get the information about the electronics? From what I can tell the CGEM DX has a tripod very close to the one used on the CGE Pro but other than that I don't see a difference between the CGEM I own and the CGEM DX. The upgraded tripod alone would add capacity to the DX. For the $600.00 price difference between the CGEM and the CGEM DX I would expect more than just a heavier tripod. But as Uncle Rod pointed out above quality tripods do cost some coin.

#19 nemo129

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 05:07 PM

Power Management - Redesigned electronics deliver constant regulated power to the motors making them capable of driving the telescope even when not perfectly balanced. This allows the CGEM DX to have the payload capacity of that of much larger mounts without sacrificing smooth tracking motion and pointing accuracy across the entire sky.


Listed here:
Look on the details tab.

This is not a feature listed for the standard CGEM. It implies a new motor controller board/chip. Who knows how much this will help. I guess we will have to wait for the first units to be shipped and see what happens.

#20 DLB242

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 11:15 PM

Power Management - Redesigned electronics deliver constant regulated power to the motors making them capable of driving the telescope even when not perfectly balanced. This allows the CGEM DX to have the payload capacity of that of much larger mounts without sacrificing smooth tracking motion and pointing accuracy across the entire sky.


Listed here:
Look on the details tab.

This is not a feature listed for the standard CGEM. It implies a new motor controller board/chip. Who knows how much this will help. I guess we will have to wait for the first units to be shipped and see what happens.


Missed that info. I'm quite happy with my CGEM so I wasn't looking with the same eyes as someone looking to get a new mount. :foreheadslap:

#21 NewAstronomer

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 12:54 PM

Not just the tripod is better, but the tray , take a look at the pictures on Celestron's site. Looks very nice, big improvment and appears , key word appears, to site flush against the 2.75" legs. The legs also appear to have a better tip as well.

Lots of people here on the boards have taken an Atlas mount, and coupled with a G11 tripod or Super large (forget the name) Meade field tripod and have gotten great results. Celestron appears to be offering that model here for your out of the box.

The G-8 tripod is $450 new, G-11 $700 new, if you want to fold the legs its $1200...for the tripod...and you need a mounting plate for an Atlas, and the tray isn't included.

#22 Jeff55

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 09:59 AM

I am running at about 38 pounds of hardware mounted on my CGEM. I'm strictly a visual observer and the mount has performed perfectly. I have 2 17 pound + 2 11 pound CW's on a 20 inch CW shaft form Criterion Machining.

#23 Jeff55

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:00 AM

Here is pic.

Attached Files



#24 dhaval

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 01:30 PM

How about the new iOptron iEQ45? That sounds like a lot of mount for roughly about the same price. I have never used iOptron before, so can't really comment on their products, but that looks like one good mount.

#25 rmollise

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 05:51 PM

How about the new iOptron iEQ45? That sounds like a lot of mount for roughly about the same price. I have never used iOptron before, so can't really comment on their products, but that looks like one good mount.


There's a thread, a long thread on it on CN. Bottom-line? It's a nice mount if you need light weight. It will not equal the Atlas for payload or certainly the CGEM DX.






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