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looking for advice on a sub $1000 goto mount

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#1 Chauncey

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:11 PM

I have an omni xlt 150 and was thinking about upgrading the mount to a goto capable mount.

I've looked at the CG5 and the LX80 but cant really decide on either. I almost think it may be better to increase my budget and just wait a little longer to get a newer mount (moving up to the CGEM price range).

What do you guys think?

#2 orlyandico

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:22 PM

used atlas? 800.

#3 Chauncey

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:33 PM

any suggestions on where to look? Ive been poking around craigslist and havnt seen any decent mounts of for sell here in denver/boulder.

#4 DaveJ

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:50 PM

any suggestions on where to look? Ive been poking around craigslist and havnt seen any decent mounts of for sell here in denver/boulder.


Both CloudyNights Classifieds and Astromart are the two most often suggested.

#5 Pauls72

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:38 PM

Also look at CloudyNights Swap & Shop Mounts in the forums area. The Swap & Shop is different than the classifieds. Sometimes the ad's are in both places other times they are only in one or the other.

#6 Jim-M

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:21 AM

Unless you are planning astrophotography, you should consider the CG-5. The go-to's are very good, it is lighter than a CGEM or Atlas, and it will leave a few $ for other ungrades.

#7 rmollise

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:45 AM

Stay away from the LX80. It MAY prove to be a nice mount someday. But not this day. ;)

A CG5 would be nice, but if you are not planning on imaging, one of the single arm forks like Celestron uses on the NS 8/5 would be just perfect.

#8 EFT

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:30 AM

Used CGEM and Atlas mounts can be had for $1000 or less (I buy used whenever I can). That would be my recommendation. Either would carry the 150 without trouble and leave you some room to grow. Forget the LX80.

#9 David Pavlich

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:15 AM

Stay away from the LX80. It MAY prove to be a nice mount someday. But not this day. ;)

A CG5 would be nice, but if you are not planning on imaging, one of the single arm forks like Celestron uses on the NS 8/5 would be just perfect.


What Rod said. I have a CG5-GT and it works very well, especially at the pricepoint. However, the best visual setup with your budget in mind is a goto Alt/Az like the single fork Celestron makes. Simple to operate and the eyepiece is never in a really bad position.

David

#10 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:38 AM

+2 on the CG5-GT mount. Carries my 4.72" refractor with ease, even when loaded with a binoviewer, and the gotos are deadly accurate when I perform the two star alignment/two star calibration routine.

#11 Sean13

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

I recently purchased a used cg-5gt myself with a 6" ASGT scope on it and am very happy with it. I did have to replace the motor control board on it but for the price I paid it was still a good deal. Check your local craigslist for one you can pickup and save some shipping costs. I do use it for photography and it am pretty pleased with its performance. The worm gears may need some tweaking to get just perfect but once properly aligned its suitable for photography with a small scope.

#12 ghataa

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:42 PM

I got a used CG-5 as well and sent it off to be hypertuned by Ed Thomas. I struggled a little bit guiding in declination but have been able to achieve 8 min subs with ease at 500mm focal length.

George

#13 fuzzystuff4ever

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:34 AM

Another thumbs-up for the CG5 (AS-GT or whatever they're calling it nowadays). I use it for all my scopes including a C8 and a 6" F6 refractor (which is at about the mount's limit). A member of my club got a new LX-80 a few weeks ago; it worked for only a few hours before the declination drive quit. I'm no Meade hater, but I'd be terrified to buy anything from them that had any moving parts.

#14 David Pavlich

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:39 AM

My CG5 is way overloaded, even for visual. I have a 10" Meade R with a Crayford focuser and a 9X50 finder. It takes 4 eleven pound counterweights on it, yet with proper balance and a good alignment, it performs quite well the whole evening.

David

#15 fuzzystuff4ever

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:08 PM

David;

44 lbs. of counterweights?!!! That is WAY overloaded. A CGEM is only rated for 40 lbs. of equipment, so a CG5 must be considerably below that.

Brian

#16 brokenwave

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

After a rough start with mine, the LX80 is fine if you get a good one, visually it is great as long as you don't load it to what Meade advertises, load of 1/2 or less works better. My LX80 vibration dampens after 1 to 1.5 seconds using a 102mm RF, it minimal RA slop.
If the LX80 was that bad I am surprised there haven't been any LX80's for sale here or Astromart. There are people using them, but for AP the LX80 hasn't shown it is viable yet.
Speaking with a major scope shop in California, sales person who is very straight on what is good or not has said they have had some returns because of defects, small percentage of what has gone out the door.
Bottom line it is better than the some of stories here and not as good as Meade thinks it is, IMHO!
If you want a better mount, get a CGEM, not perfect but better.

#17 mega256

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:34 PM

A used ATLAS/EQ6 can be found for that price ...even a cgem..
But the Atlas/EQ6 can use eqmod a great controll program...That is the best under 1k$ mount value..
And one you can grow with!

For $1400 you can (now)get a new IEQ45,,,i just did and its a great mount! Alot lighter than the others...

I wantted a LX80......But too many problems,,,right now and I want it to handle a C9.25 at least. So with camera gear..
thats about 30 lbs,,,So Atlas/Eq6-CGEM-IEQ45m...for video or CCD.....
The CG5 is a good begining mount,But if you can swing it the others will make you happer...IMHO
CS

#18 fuzzystuff4ever

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:55 PM

If the LX80 was that bad I am surprised there haven't been any LX80's for sale here or Astromart.

As you said, probably most of them work fine; the ones which don't are DOA or close to it, so back to Meade they go. It's certainly a beautiful looking mount if they can get the bugs exterminated.

Brian

#19 David Pavlich

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:35 PM

David;

44 lbs. of counterweights?!!! That is WAY overloaded. A CGEM is only rated for 40 lbs. of equipment, so a CG5 must be considerably below that.

Brian


Well, because the balance is good, when it slews, there is not strain in the motors. I wouldn't count on it for good tracking for imaging, but for visual, it does very well. A simple starter pack runs it for 4 hours without a hiccup.

David

#20 Mkofski

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:03 PM

I've had great luck with my LX80 from the start. Wouldn't look to it for AP but for visual with 2 scopes and less than 25 or 30 pounds total I think it is a great mount.

For visual under $1000 I don't think you can do better than a CG5 and if you want to try AP, you have a mount that you can start off with. I like the Celestron software better than Meade's and a new CG5, with DeepSpace Products' hypertune service, would still be at about $1000.

#21 Adam E

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:53 PM

I would vote for a used Atlas as others here have said. In fact, I, myself, just picked up a used Atlas a few weeks ago and am thrilled. I have owned both a CGEM and a CG-5 / ASGT, and my vote goes for the Atlas.

Mine has been handling 40 pounds worth of 12inch Meade SCT very respectably for visual fun and planetary AP.

#22 mega256

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:44 PM

I have owned 2 Atlas mounts,,,at the same time and liked them very much....But I realy like my iEQ45 better !
Its much lighter,and easy to setup....And for me so far better tracking...Whith a one star alignment and level and
polar aligned (very easy) All my targets were in the EP
and close to center..and the gps is nice.
But if you can get any of the 40-45 lb class mounts,you may be doing the right thing in the long run..
But new CG5s can be had at under 700,and they are a good value,but the others might be with you for a longer time..
Dampining times on the LX80 scare me away from them.10 seconds is just too long(25-30 lbs load)....1-2 seconds would be ok..

#23 David Pavlich

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:49 PM

Remember, this is a sub-$1000 mount the OP is looking for. Finding used Atlas mounts under $1000 is not easy. They tend to hold their price fairly well. And an IEQ45 used under $1000, I'd run away from like it had ebola!

David

#24 orlyandico

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:51 AM

I've seen used Atlas mounts at $800. CGEM's at $1100. A little bit of dickering ought to get it to $1000.

The only challenge with a used CGEM is that it might be problematic. Mine was, and it took over a year of head-scratching (no cost - except I bought a used old AP mount out of frustration in the meantime) before I fixed it. Works great now, though.

#25 Raginar

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:13 AM

CGEMs are usually in the 1100 range. There is even a hyper-tuned model on AM right now that's 1200 bucks! Good deal. Atlas mounts seems to go used for around 8-900 bucks; I wouldn't say their value.

If he's not looking for high capacity but wants a quality mount, G-8s sometimes tip into the 1k range.






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