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LXD-75 or CG-5?

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#1 TileArt

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:23 PM

Hello everyone! I'm Roger and I've lurked here forever, but at kind of a crossroads at present so I've finally crawled out of the woodwork. Been into astronomy for about 10 years and fairly happy with my little 90mm refractor with goto (alt/az) for simple observing.

Recently purchased a T3i for work purposes and (naturally) started taking photos in the dark. I suck at it. :grin: I'd like to slowly work up to just mildly sucking at it and am looking for a medium sized driven eq mount. My main desire is fair accuracy and the ability to hold my 90mm with the camera and the c90 spotting scope I just ordered piggybacked on it. I would also like to have one that I could put something a bit larger on, if I ever get around to pulling the trigger on something worthwhile.

I don't want to cheap out on the mount, but I do have three kids, so can't drop a lot of cash at present on one. I've narrowed it down (additional suggestions welcome) to the LXD 75 or the CG 5, either of which would work for what I'm looking for now. I've read what I can find here, but would love additional opinions on which others prefer.

Thanks!

#2 Patrick

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:40 PM

I'm partial to Celestron mainly because I like the hand controller and firmware better. I also tend to think the CG-5 is a little more robust than the LXD75 but that could just be my bias. I've seen and looked through scopes on several LXD75's and noted the mount shake present. But they could have been older units or not that well maintained. I've owned 3 CG-5's and have mounted scopes as large as a 6" f/8 Newt with no problem. A friend of mine mounts his C11 on a CG-5 and still likes it. :smirk:

Patrick

#3 rico10

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:41 PM

Hello Tile, Richard Vey here as an owner of the LXD75 mount I should be supportive of this unit but unfortunately it's time has come and gone. While they look like a new production run their on the way out. Software is outdated, and to run a guide scope you need an adapter to plug into the hand controller. This is unacceptable in this day and age. I decided to replace it and went with the next step up from the CG5, the CGEM and it is outstanding. Modern software with a dedicated auto-guider port, not to mention it is a fine looking and solidly made piece of gear. Best GEM mount I ever owned. This is all found on the CG5, in a slightly more compact package. If I were to re-buy at this weight capacity I would buy the CG5. That said were you aware that the modern version of the LXD75 is skywatchers EQ3, if this mount was in the similar price range and had a dedicated auto-guider port I may consider this but that would only be because of familiarity with the mount. All in all I would suggest the CG5 due to its modern construction and software.

#4 jblaschke

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:44 PM

The LXD75 should be just fine for your needs, but Meade has discontinued them and no longer supports or services that mount as far as I know. Celestron will service the CG-5 and if you buy new, there's the warranty.

I've always liked Meade, but am wary of orphaned mounts and the electronics that go with them. OTAs will function regardless, but electronics can be problematic.

#5 TileArt

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:52 PM

Thanks! I did not know they were no longer making the lxd mounts. The reason it was an option was simply because I'm used to the meade system and the 497. I'm not against learning celestron's system, though.

Only use the autoguide about 1/3 of the time anyway, normally just push and stare. :grin: Taking pictures is a whole different animal for me, though.

#6 Mkofski

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:26 PM

Rodger,

I suck at it too! Not a lot of experience but between the 2 mounts you listed, I'd take a CG5 because they are still in production and the LXD75 has been discontinued. Also, if you want to pick up a used mount, the CG5's come up a lot here on CN.

#7 RTLR 12

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 02:41 AM

I currently have 3 CG-5s and they seem to do the job for me. I have my CGEM if I feel the need, but the CG-5S are just as accurate, lighter and with a bit of work will do the AP work I need done.

Stan

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#8 rmollise

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 06:46 AM

The LXD 75 is out of production,and I would be surprised if Meade supported it for long.

#9 MikeBOKC

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:13 AM

At the recent Astronomics grand opening I had a chance to chat with a Celestron rep and he told me that Celestron is preparing to roll out an upgrade to the CG-5 very soon, which means a lot of decent used CG-5s will be available on the used market. It is a proven and versatile mid-cost EQ mount and should be supported by Celestron for some years to come; the Meade mount is now obsolete and would only ber available used. With the CG-5 you can choose the enw upgrade or the current model in used or new.

#10 rico10

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:52 AM

Once again I remind all that the LXD75 mount is not out of production, it is marketed by Synta as their Skywatcher EQ3 mount, it is just not being sold by Meade any more as the LXD75. That said they are available right now usually attached to a 6" f5 Newt. that as I remember suffered from an absolutely terrible focuser. Mechanically the EQ3 is identical right down to the counterweight. The software would be a modern firmware. That said as an owner of an LXD75 mount I feel the CG5 is a superior product.

#11 simpleisbetter

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 10:26 AM

Huh? Synta doesn't make the Meade LXD mounts, nor did it. Synta and Meade are direct competitors.

The Skywatcher EQ-3 is the same as the Orion Astroview and the Celestron CG-4. The EQ-3 mounts are clones (slightly modified variations) of the original Vixen Polaris.

The LXD-75 was completely different, being an EQ-5 clone (like the CG-5) of the slightly heavier duty Vixen Great Polaris. The LXD-75 is no longer made or supported, which means no more part availability.

As for the OP's earlier comment about the controller differences, I've used both Autostar and Nexstar and prefer Nexstar far more. That said, I almost exclusively run my mount from Skytools on my laptop so controller menu style becomes a moot point.

#12 simpleisbetter

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 10:33 AM

At the recent Astronomics grand opening I had a chance to chat with a Celestron rep and he told me that Celestron is preparing to roll out an upgrade to the CG-5 very soon, which means a lot of decent used CG-5s will be available on the used market. It is a proven and versatile mid-cost EQ mount and should be supported by Celestron for some years to come; the Meade mount is now obsolete and would only ber available used. With the CG-5 you can choose the enw upgrade or the current model in used or new.


I hear this rumor pop up once or twice every year for the last 5 years but still waiting. Is it even true or are they just trying to hype up business? It would be interested to see what they would replace it with and how they would improve on the CG-5, while maintaining the same price point and not go down the same road as the LX80/800 on both price and reliability.

#13 rmollise

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 02:56 PM

Once again I remind all that the LXD75 mount is not out of production, it is marketed by Synta as their Skywatcher EQ3 mount, it is just not being sold by Meade any more as the LXD75. That said they are available right now usually attached to a 6" f5 Newt. that as I remember suffered from an absolutely terrible focuser. Mechanically the EQ3 is identical right down to the counterweight. The software would be a modern firmware. That said as an owner of an LXD75 mount I feel the CG5 is a superior product.


Welll...kinda...sorta...not really. The LXD is not made by Synta, and it is not much like the EQ-3. ;)

#14 rmollise

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 02:59 PM

At the recent Astronomics grand opening I had a chance to chat with a Celestron rep and he told me that Celestron is preparing to roll out an upgrade to the CG-5 very soon, which means a lot of decent used CG-5s will be available on the used market. It is a proven and versatile mid-cost EQ mount and should be supported by Celestron for some years to come; the Meade mount is now obsolete and would only ber available used. With the CG-5 you can choose the enw upgrade or the current model in used or new.


Wouldn't surprise me...but like Steve says, we've heard this one before. Me? I wouldn't mind a CG5 with an improved dec axis with ball bearings, but would that happen or would the mount just be gussied up a little? ;)

#15 jgraham

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:09 PM

Poor li’l LXD75 not gett’n no luv’n. I feel compelled to share my own experiences, which are clearly different than others, just to balance things out a tad. I bought my first LXD75 7 or 8 years ago as my first ‘real’ imaging mount. It had a few growing pains that were easily remedied and ended up giving me many years of excellent service. As my only real mount I used that poor old thing for everything you can imagine. Many different telescopes, cameras, guide scopes, you name it, I did it with that mount. I liked it so much I bought a second one a couple of years ago. (I got tired of being torn whether to put my imaging gear or a visual scope on the mount.) The second mount was modified primarily to carry my AR-6, but it also saw a lot of service as a companion imaging mount to my original LX75. I recently bought an Atlas EQ-G to help take my imaging to the next level. My LXD75s have entered semi-retirement, primarily as visual mounts. My respect and fondness of these mounts has not diminished, and if anything has grown since they are so light and easy to use compared to my Atlas, which is a bit of a beast. And yes, I actually like the Autostar controller. I find it to be very well laid out and easy to navigate. It’s a shame the LXD75 has been retired, but that okay, I’ve got mine and I expect to enjoy using them for many years to come. When they finally die it’ll be more than time to move on.

Gotta run, my LXD75 AR-6 is outside cooling off next to my EQ-G SC8. Gonna be a fun evening!

Enjoy.

P.S.

My babies...

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#16 TileArt

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:38 PM

Thanks guys. Looks like the CG-5 is the way to go. I like the LXD's but if I have problems with it being a discontinued product I'm likely to be SOL. The nice thing about the CG-5 is when I'm ready to upgrade I can simply move up to the CGEMS without too much of a curveball.

Appreciate the help!

#17 MikeBOKC

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 10:39 PM

Rod he didn't get into specifics but did say that it would likely be a fairly similar mount as to weight capacity but with some upgrades. He implied that rollout would be within months rather than years, but again nothing precise.

#18 rmollise

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 06:50 AM

I just hope they will duplicate the success of the CG5, a real classic... :question:

#19 RTLR 12

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 12:03 PM

...The guy was dead when I came into the room...Check's in the mail...and I didn't know she was your sister!!!

Just a few months...Like I believe that!

Stan

#20 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 06:52 PM

One last nail in the LXD-75 coffin: Meade does not have any DEC or RA motor drive assemblies in stock and has no plans to restock. In short if your mount fries a motor controller board, you're done..

I learned about this from the LXD-75 group on Yahoo.

#21 TileArt

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 07:23 PM

Thanks Cliff, that essentially eliminates it then.

#22 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 07:39 PM

Roger:

You're welcome. It kinda sucks 'cause I've become very attached to my LXD-75 and I just dropped $115.00 for a dovetail and rings for my 2080 OTA. Guess I need to start saving up for a CG-5...

#23 Orionis91

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 09:28 PM

I'd have to say CG-5, my is well, the boss to me :)

#24 EFT

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:42 PM

I just hope they will duplicate the success of the CG5, a real classic... :question:


I would love, love, love it if they redesigned the axes to put and additional bearing on the RA and two bearings (rather than none) on the DEC. They could pretty much leave everything else alone (of course motor enclosures that don't amplify noise would be nice). It would be a major upgrade to the quality and performance of the CG-5.

#25 rmollise

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 04:09 PM

I'm with you Ed...and I hope that if/when they do release a replacement, the changes are more than skin deep ;)






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