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Ah criminy. Not again - Which Mount? (<$2000)

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#26 BWAZ

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 01:15 AM

Wait for the new AZEQ6, a better mount than either the Orion Altas (NEQ6) or CGEM.


I'm not sure why you would think this when all it will be is an EQ6 with a different base and a slightly modified motor housing. It is obvious from the pictures that none of the fundemental components (like worms and ring gears) will be changed. In addition, they have gone to the network style plug for the hand controller that everyone hates on the Celestron mounts. All the AZEQ6 will be is an Atlas/NEQ6 with an Alt/Az configuration available. That doesn't make it better than the CGEM/Atlas, just different.


I suppose at least lighter weight and more capacity can be classified as "better".

#27 rmollise

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:49 AM

I would say so. I am all for "lighter weight" as compared to the Atlas. :lol:

#28 EFT

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:34 AM

Wait for the new AZEQ6, a better mount than either the Orion Altas (NEQ6) or CGEM.


I'm not sure why you would think this when all it will be is an EQ6 with a different base and a slightly modified motor housing. It is obvious from the pictures that none of the fundemental components (like worms and ring gears) will be changed. In addition, they have gone to the network style plug for the hand controller that everyone hates on the Celestron mounts. All the AZEQ6 will be is an Atlas/NEQ6 with an Alt/Az configuration available. That doesn't make it better than the CGEM/Atlas, just different.


I suppose at least lighter weight and more capacity can be classified as "better".


I think that we all know about the wieght capacities specified for mounts by certain manufacturers. I see nothing in that mount that would suggest that it should carry more than a standard Atlas. In fact, the more open and taller base of the mount might suggest a lower capacity. The only visible improvemet in that regard is an improved counterwieght bar, but that only makes it equal to the CGEM in that regard.

I haven't seen anything to suggest that it is lighter than the Atlas/CGEM even though they have clearly trimmed some of the metal off of the motor housing and base (the motor housing is phyically smaller and the solid metal sides have been replaced with thin metal plates). The wieght I see listed is 20kg (44lbs).

Will this be a nice mount? Probably, if you feel the need for Alt/Az. Will it be a miracle? No. Would I be a first adopter for AP use? No. If I'm really wanting a larger capacity convertable Alt/Az mount for visual use, then I would wait for this one.

#29 Starhawk

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:37 AM

I've found the CGEM to be very willing, easy to set up and use, and just flat-out capable. You may find it needs a small amount of drive adjustment, but there are folks who can help.

-Rich

#30 orlyandico

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 01:46 PM

I've had my CGEM for two years.. and it never behaved properly. Only today (when I was testing it because I was going to sell it) did I finally find what was wrong with it - the encoders were not correctly spaced, causing it to lose ticks.

I notice that one of the things Ed does as part of his hypertune service is check this very thing. I had hauled this CGEM hundreds of miles (twice!) only to have to screw up in the field. If I had known this fix sooner...

My point just is, these things happen. Maybe they are rare, but they do happen. Arguably the Atlas is less prone to these problems because it has no encoders. But CGEM or Atlas, Ed's service seems well worth considering. You could come in at $2000 (ish) with a CGEM or Atlas and send it straight to Ed. Avoid hair loss experiences like mine..

#31 Starhawk

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:11 PM

If you get a happy CGEM, the 2 + 4 aligned GOTOs are scary accurate (like, leave the 3mm eyepiece in and keep going.

And let's face it, Ed isn't hiding; he stands front and center behind his work.

-Rich

#32 FaronD

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 04:19 PM

Hi Dave, I can't comment on the other two mounts you mentioned but I can comment on the EQ6/Atlas. Based on my experience as an imager, the EQ6 is a very capable mount. It is a heavy mount, relatively speaking, I guess it really depends on the individual. For me it isn't that heavy, unless of course you try to move the mount with the tripod and counterweights. The EQ6 has earned it's place in the below 2000.00 mounts for the imaging crowd. The support from users is fantastic as well.
I'm not sure if you plan to use a PC for direct storage and mount control or not. Contrary to what Patrick says, EQmod is quite simple actually. Once you get used to the interface, the involvement of EQmod is merely seconds. Trust me, using a planetarium program is better than any hand controller out there. The EQ6 generally works right out of the box.

If you want to use the hand controller only, the Celestron is a slightly better than the EQ6. I had a CPC1100 once so I have experience with the software. Prior to the CPC1100, I had an Meade LX200 gps. The meade software blows the Celestron away in terms of tours both built in and custom user tours available on many groups.

Back on track, you say you're going to be imaging on an upstairs deck?? That deck better had be solid. If it isn't, then the results will be the same from any mount.

Faron

#33 JoLo

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 03:11 PM

Atlas w/ EQMOD, you will never look back. When i don't want to hassle with the computer (rare) I still use the HC, best of both worlds.

With filters and growing expertise with imaging software, LP is not the issue Mr. Warmweatherguy is making it out to be. Is it a challenge? Yes. Does it require patience? Yes. Can you get great images from light polluted suburbs? Most definitely.

As far as the go big comment is concerned, many of us out here do just fine without a Planewave CDK on a gigantor mount; we also have money left in the bank and our backs aren't sore....

#34 blave

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:26 PM

Folks,

Thanks for all of the replies! Firstly, the only non-goto scope I'll ever deal with again is my Questar 3.5.

re: deck - it's not really a deck (although I think of it as such), it's a well-supported, solid roof (that once held a hot tub) with some of those interlocking square wood things thrown down over the roof sheeting. I've imaged some brighter objects (M42, M81, M82, Saturn, Jupe) with pretty good results for a beginner -- through a 66mm scope on the CG5GT. Example: http://blave.smugmug...o-M42-PS-M.jpg. That's a total of 240 seconds of OSC exposure, which I was happy with at the time. Yup, there's some noise etc. etc. but the point is I got some imaging done, from the roof, with a teeny scope and average mount. I do plan to occasionally drive everything 40 miles south of there for some darker skies, but I'll at least be trying to re-do some of the brigter objects from here.

re: new "AZ" mount -- I'll never buy a brand new model. I was on a waiting list for the Meade LX80 and thank my lucky nebulae that I cancelled the order before it came out. The Ioptron seems to have enough history to be "reasonably good" now, not accounting for the occasional lemon from the slave camps in China.

Re: scope/mount cover -- I have one; it's a nice one (forget the brand) that is intended for extended use. I had it over the CG-5 and ED80 for probably two months and only had a couple of hex screws get a little rusty. It's nice to not have to re-align every night! I would get a Pod dome, if the wife would let me (nope).

Summary: at this point the IEQ45 is still at the top of my list. For a long time I thought I wanted a CGEM but from what I've read the build quality/useability of any one example is all over the map, and the Ioptron seems to get better marks overall.

Again, thanks for taking the time to respond. I love CN!

best,

Dave.

#35 orlyandico

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:42 AM

I just got my CGEM working reliably, and it's great. :)

#36 Phil Wheeler

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:07 PM

Or not. PLENTY of people are doing excellent work without going big (and expensive and heavy). The CGEM can take good pictures. So can the Atlas. Hell, so can the CG5. You get a somewhat jaundiced view reading the posts on these boards...what STILL matters most is the man or woman behind the camera, not the cost or pedigree of the dadgum mount.

As for go-to? One of the best astrophotography aids to ever come down the pike. I'd never buy a mount without go-to nor would I advise anyone else to do so, whether for imaging or visual use. :gramps:


Glad to hear you say some good things about the CG5, Rod. Mine arrived from OPT down the road a piece yesterday. Looks really nice. Hope to have it probing my LP-rich skies next week. Neat thing about GoTo is it can find those faint fuzzies -- which are even fainter, but still findable in many cases, even with LP. That is if go-to works. I had one go-to I started calling the "Went-Where?" mount, because it never got it right.






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