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#1 JeffBosworth

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:50 AM

Does anyone out there have a new(er) CGE Pro mount? I've only been able to find one extensive review of this mount that is somewhat negative but is also a year old. I'm debating between buying a G11 or the CGE Pro. I currently have a CGEM that is OK but the OTA is a bit too heavy for astrophotography on that mount. I just saw a retailer selling the CGE Pro (usually ~$5K) for $4K. I have a quote for a G11 with the worm upgrade for ~$4K. So, price-wise they are on equal footing.

So, tell me which would be the better mount? With the CGE Pro all the NexRemote stuff I have for the CGEM should work with minor adjustments so it might likely be an easy transition. I have no idea how well the G11 software works.

Ideas to help the decision?

#2 rmollise

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:57 AM

The CGE Pro is an excellent mount BUT... There is that huge, tall electronics pier. If you contemplate using this mount in portable fashion, make sure you will want to/be able to deal with it. Given the traffic on my CGE Pro Yahoogroup, it has been substantially improved (PE wise) in its latest incarnation...

#3 jrcrilly

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 10:00 AM

$4K will buy pretty good quality and modest capacity, or modest quality and pretty good capacity. If your load requirements exceed what a G-11 can manage well then a CGE Pro makes sense. If you don't need the extra capacity then the better but smaller mount would be worthwhile. For imaging, the breakpoint is probably somewhere around 45 pounds.

#4 JeffBosworth

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 10:15 AM

Uncle Rod, I have a permanent roll-off roof observatory I just finished building. It has 6' walls so mount height is important. The higher the better - to a point. I do like the electronics pier - keeps cables away from the moving parts. G11 has a panel instead.

All: Why is G11 better than CGE Pro? What are the primary points that determine the rating you give?

Thanks!

#5 rmollise

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:36 PM

Who said it was? The CGE Pro is more comparable to the Losmandy Titan...

#6 jrcrilly

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 01:37 PM

The CGE Pro is more comparable to the Losmandy Titan...


Well, yes - in capacity. If you pay the higher price of the Titan, you can get the quality of the G-11 with the capacity of the CGE Pro. If you don't need the increased capacity, though, why pay for it? I'd rather move up a notch in quality if a smaller mount meets my needs.

That said, the OP hasn't been specific about load requirements. If it's 40-45 pounds then a used EM-200 can be had for the price of a G-11 or a CGE Pro and will handily outperform either one within its load ratings.

#7 rmollise

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 02:20 PM

That's fine...except...in my experience with the Losmandy mounts is that they and the CGE Pro (NOT CGEM) are very comparable in quality. With the edge in some respects going to the Celestron. ;)

#8 JeffBosworth

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 02:22 PM

What I hear being said is that the G11 is higher quality than the CGE Pro but lower capacity, right? On the other hand, I've read several reviews that state neither one is exceptional in quality.

I'm guessing but the CGE Pro is likely made in China and the G11 is USA made. I have one on order that is simply awaiting a tripod before shipping. I don't yet have a pier so a tripod is required for either mount. But if I can get a $5K CGE Pro for just $4K, isn't that a pretty good deal? Only one vendor is selling it at $4K and I don't know how they can knock a thousand bucks off the going price. Seems maybe I should snatch that up just on principle... :o)

#9 JeffBosworth

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 02:26 PM

Also, I do like the quality and build of the CGEM. It is a substantial mount and seems to track well. If the CGE Pro has quality anywhere near that, I'd go with it. Celestron has been a very supportive company, too.

#10 Alph

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 02:52 PM

Only one vendor is selling it at $4K and I don't know how they can knock a thousand bucks off the going price.


Are you sure whether it is not an opened box price? What's the link?

#11 Alph

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 02:54 PM

Also, I do like the quality and build of the CGEM.


:funny:

#12 oldstargazer

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:08 PM

I hear people cutting down the celestron mounts all the time and my little CG5-gta does what everyone seems to thing it couldn't possibly do. So I say if you found a good deal might as well get it. With proper setup I bet that mount will serve you very well.

#13 JeffBosworth

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:21 PM

Ralph, agreed. Anyone who mocks something like the CGEM or CGE Pro simply hasn't tried one. My CGEM is remarkably sturdy and does what I want it to do when I want it to do it. I use Starry Night to drive it and it goes where it's pointed. It is on the tripod it came with and even fully extended, is incredibly stable. If anything will disturb imaging, it is my observatory floor's flexure. But the CGEM is just overloaded now (for AP) with the 120mm SkyWatcher, an 80mm Orion short tube guide scope, a massive 2.5" Moonlight focuser with digital motor on the Skywatcher and a 2" Moonlight focuser with motor on the Orion.

If I were just doing visual, the CGEM would be fine but I am a perfectionist when it comes to CCD imaging and I'm also thinking about the future of my hobby. I may want to put a bigger OTA on the mount someday and that will likely break the CGEM's stability.

The problem is whether I can convince the wife to let me spend this kind of money even though it is a huge savings over usual price. I may have to sell my LS-8 ACF AND the CGEM to convince her. :)

#14 rmollise

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:49 PM

What I hear being said is that the G11 is higher quality than the CGE Pro but lower capacity, right? On the other hand, I've read several reviews that state neither one is exceptional in quality.

I'm guessing but the CGE Pro is likely made in China and the G11 is USA made. I have one on order that is simply awaiting a tripod before shipping. I don't yet have a pier so a tripod is required for either mount. But if I can get a $5K CGE Pro for just $4K, isn't that a pretty good deal? Only one vendor is selling it at $4K and I don't know how they can knock a thousand bucks off the going price. Seems maybe I should snatch that up just on principle... :o)


I'll just say this and leave it alone. I have used all three mounts, the Pro, the G11, and the Titan. All are good mounts and good values and very similar in quality. ;)

#15 rmollise

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 03:52 PM

Also, I do like the quality and build of the CGEM.


:funny:


The CGEM had a (very) rocky introduction. Now? If my Atlas stopped working I'd replace it with a CGEM in a heartbeat. :gramps:

#16 kbastro

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 06:02 PM

I owned both g11 and now a newer Titan 50 and have used a cgem and go out imaging with a friend who bought a Cpro last year..

IMHO.. the Titan has the best build and is a very solid imaging platform, my old g11 was great but like already stated here.. I needed a mount that can carry an ota&acc. near 50# so bye bye g11..

I wouldn't give a cgem another chance seeing how they ran (in the past) and have to rate the Cpro as a nice doable mount.. outside some quirky electronic problems that my buddy experiences from time to time and that he had to send his Cpro back to celestron while it was under warranty to fix a wonky drive motor board and remove some stiction in the RA.

He says the mount is better and he still requires to reboot the mount when it suddenly freezes the odd time..

He also addressed the issue of having the mount so high up by taking the legs to a machine shop and cutting 6" off, making the loading a 12" sct a much easier task.

We both do mobile imaging so hauling a Titan into the field as well as the Cpro take the smae time to setup and dissmantle.

hope this helps...

Kev b

#17 JeffBosworth

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 07:27 PM

Thanks, all. I built my observatory so I wouldn't have to lug the CGEM around. At 50 lbs for the motor head alone, it's just a bit too much to be "portable" - I'm not a big person. The CGE Pro would be even worse and I can't imagine it as a portable mount by any stretch, not to mention the setup and breakdown time.

Frankly, my CGEM is now almost at Celestron warranty repair. Mostly my fault. I did an MC update of the firmware and at the end of the flash the mount tried to slew around with the clutches engaged and the roof of the observatory closed. I was afraid I'd damage the telescope so I shut off the power in a panic. As a result, I lost any ability to communicate with the motor control board on the COM port or the hand controller and reflash the firmware. Only option was to ship it back. They won't even get the mount until tomorrow sometime via UPS (which they paid for). So I'm without a mount and yancy to be imaging.

I think I'll just wait for it to come back and go from there.

Rod, really enjoyed your blogsite. I like the book series you've published with - I'll have to check out your book(s). I got to know Adam Stuart from his book on imaging from the suburbs and he and I regularly communicate via Facebook now.

Later...

#18 BKBrown

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:11 PM

I owned both g11 and now a newer Titan 50 and have used a cgem and go out imaging with a friend who bought a Cpro last year..

IMHO.. the Titan has the best build and is a very solid imaging platform, my old g11 was great but like already stated here.. I needed a mount that can carry an ota&acc. near 50# so bye bye g11...


Hey Kev, here's a quick question for you: Based on your experience do you think the Titan can handle a C11 Edge and a TEC 140 side-by-side for imaging? This would be about a 60 pound payload with everything aboard. Thanks!

Clear Skies,
Brian

#19 kbastro

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:03 PM

Hey Kev, here's a quick question for you: Based on your experience do you think the Titan can handle a C11 Edge and a TEC 140 side-by-side for imaging? This would be about a 60 pound payload with everything aboard. Thanks!

Clear Skies,
Brian


It can handle the weight but balancing a side by side maybe an issue,,, you may want to run the tec on top of the C-11 it is much easier to adjust balance... the Titan is rated for 100lbs of ota's so it can handle the weight but the mount is known for being balance critical...

Personally I have not expirenced that problem as I usually off balance my setup in one direction by a lbs anyway, and almost always shoot an object from 50 to 80 degrees.

Kev b

#20 orlyandico

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 11:38 PM

i screwed up my MC update as well (laptop hibernated). still was able to recover it.

#21 A. Viegas

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:10 AM

Jeff--

There is a seller of a CGEpro on Amart for $2.2k

a half-way solution for you could be to buy a used CGE like this one, save $2-3k and probably be out less than $1k after you sell your CGEM... not a bad trade idea...

Cheers

Al

Other CGEpro here: Amart_CGEpro

#22 EFT

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:13 AM

Being comfortable with the CGEM, I think that you will probably be happier with the CGE Pro than the G11. In addition, the G11 does not really give you much more capacity than the CGEM. Neather are great mounts when it comes down to it but the CGE Pro has clearly seen some improvement. The biggest difference is probably in consistency with the G11 winning there. Fit and finish on the G11 is better, but that doesn't matter when it comes to design issues. If you can get a CGE Pro at $1000 off its normal price and you are permanently mounted, then I would go for it.

#23 DaveJ

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:14 AM

Jeff--

There is a seller of a CGEpro on Amart for $2.2k

a half-way solution for you could be to buy a used CGE like this one, save $2-3k and probably be out less than $1k after you sell your CGEM... not a bad trade idea...
Other CGEpro here: Amart_CGEpro


Sorry, no. The one to which you linked is NOT a CGE Pro but rather a CGE - American made and discontinued some time ago. It's a nice mount. Mine has worked well for nearly six years.

#24 JeffBosworth

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:32 AM

I tried everything to get the COM port to talk to the mount. Finally, I got Celestron support to issue an RA# The senior sales rep for Celestron, Daniel Mounsey, called me not long after and said he'd make sure the mount got priority attention.

Today I bought a brand new Celestron CGE-Pro as I was talking about. YES!!! Can't wait to get it in teh observatory. $3999 with free shipping.

Jeff

#25 LouHalikman

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:50 PM

Mine is about 3 months old and is permanently mounted in an observatory with a C 14 HD and an 80 MM APO on top. It needed 88 pounds of counterweight, but is extremely stable. It is on a 14" concrete pier anchored to 2 1/2 tons of concrete buried below the frost line. It is definitely not portable in my opinion.

Goto is excellent. With a quick polar alignment, it finds targets to within a 200X eyepiece field every time. I have not tried AP yet, but it works just fine with my Mallincam on under 1 minute exposures. The hibernate feature is great and saves time. I have not yet tried high precision pointing.

After some initial alignment difficulty, it has been perfect. Lou






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