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CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc.

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#1 spongebob@55

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:13 PM

I am seriously thinking of going C14 on a CGE Pro. BUT, it must go in and out of the house, down 4 steps and an occasional trip to a dark site 1x / month. I'm 57 and still can carry stuff. I move my CPC1100 in and out and the scope/arm assembly is 65 lbs. But its not as fun (?) as it used to be. I just got a 5" refractor and Atlas EQ-G mount and love the ability to take the tripod and head and scope off into very manageable parts and weights. So I thought, hmmm, how about a c14 on a EQ mount. Watched the videos and read the info out there, but I haven't seen or read anything about someone actually breaking it down regularly.

Does anyone have REAL experience with doing this?

Evidently, when broken down, the heaviest part is 45 lbs......which, if true, is a lot lighter than the 65 lb CPC1100 assembly.
I go out and observe in the yard usually for hours at a time, and I plan to use the 'resting on a chair' 1 person mounting method.
So what is your experience with breaking this mount down say 5-7 times a month (if lucky)?
Also, I notice that this sucker is TALL with a c14. I'm 6' tall, and I like to use my Stardust observing chair. Will that even be possible with this set up even looking at 45 degrees and above to the zenith?
I have no chance for a permanent observatory. I have an unheated/uncooled detached garage, but it gets 1" of water in it every now and then when we have a very heavy rain, so that moisture level scares me. That's why I keep my stuff inside the house. Too bad, because I have that pneumatic wheeled dolly that would probably work.....I'm in NJ btw. 95 and humid in the summer and maybe -3 in the winter with occasional snow.
Anyway, I'd love to hear your experiences. Thanks everyone! And Happy New Year.
Sbob

#2 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:10 PM

Your assembly/disassemble time would be longer than your viewing time..probably.. The pro is a beast of a mount. It's probably too tall for you to sit down.. well maybe at zenith it would be ok...

I'm 6 feet as well.. 39.. A few weeks of lugging it in and out of the house to either observe or astrophoto and then to be killed by humitidy and dew quickly gave way to an observatory..

Put it in a separate Rubbermaid shed raised off the ground with a small ramp and use the dolly...

#3 orlyandico

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:10 AM

an AP900 splits into two parts both of which are under 30lb..

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:25 AM

I have a CGE PRO, though I have a C11 mounted on it. For several months I did exactly as you describe above. Total setup time for me was 30-40 minutes. Add in 2+4 star alignment and the whole process was probably about an hour. I didn't find it to be that bad. My guess is that the most difficult part will be mounting the OTA, but if you use this trick: ("small portable scope") it shouldn't be that big of a deal. One hour is a lot less than my typical viewing time!

Having said that, I have switched to a situation where I leave the scope out 24/7 with a Telegizmos 365 cover. It works really well and eliminates much of the work of setting up. Between this and a small heater (in my case a lightbulb), the scope stays dry and aligned even through driving rain. I highly recommend it!!

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:37 AM

an AP900 splits into two parts both of which are under 30lb..


The AP900 is a fantastic mount, but the cost is about double a CGE PRO. If you buy the CGE PRO with the 14" OTA as part of the usual Celestron bundle the cost comparison is even worse for the AP900. On the other hand, if the price difference isn't an obstacle, or if you can find a good price on a used one, by all means consider it instead!

#6 gdd

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:38 AM

an AP900 splits into two parts both of which are under 30lb..



The Losmandy Titan is closer in price to the CGE Pro. It splits into two 35 pound parts.

Gale

#7 orlyandico

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

yup, but for me (considering the Titan cost less than the 1/4-capacity Mach1 that I ended up with) the problem with the Titan is the eye-popping weight.

#8 TxStars

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

Put a Pier in the back yard and buy a used AP900.
For the dark site get a Heavy Miller tripod or use the AP portable pier.

#9 WadeH237

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:04 PM

I think that you are looking at the wrong specs.

The original CGE is 45lb. The CGE Pro is 75lb for just the mount head, and I do not think it can be broken down into smaller parts.

I own a CGE, and it is pretty easy to work with. I have limited experience with a CGE Pro, but it is a completely different beast. That mount head is a beast to deal with.

I've recently upgraded to an AP1600. While it is a *much* larger mount that an CGE Pro, the RA and dec assemblies separate and it turns out to be much easier for a single person to manage than a CGE Pro.

Just to be clear, the CGE Pro impressed me with its performance on the few nights that I got to use one. My normal visual setup is a C14 on an original CGE, which puts the mount right at its limits. The CGE Pro carries a C14 quite a bit more gracefully than the CGE. The only down sides I remember to the Pro were the weight and the height.

-Wade

#10 spongebob@55

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:15 PM

Unfortunately, I couldn't do a rubbermaid shed. The burglars around here would laugh themselves to death as the broke into it. But maybe a modifiation to the garage's side door. Hmmm.... Regardless, let me think about those ideas. See, I have to be able to move it to different locations because of trees and lights. Thanks..

#11 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

The pro mount head can be split into 2 separate pieces..

My Cge-Pro eats AP900's for lunch...

:p

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:23 PM

When I first got my CGE PRO, I wrote up this short initial impressions review, here: CGE PRO which might be worth looking at. One of the things I did when I got it was weigh each part. The GEM head comes apart into two pieces: a 57 pound top half and an 18 pound bottom half. The top part which contains both DEC and RA axis motors is the heaviest single part.

#13 spongebob@55

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:23 PM

No, according to this link http://www.celestron...-pro-mount.html the head breaks down into a 45 and 30 lbs components. Just how easy/not easy that is is another thing. I'll check out our other suggestions....

#14 spongebob@55

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

Can't do a pier. Small yard and trees and lights make me have to be mobile...

#15 spongebob@55

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:36 PM

would you explain a bit more... I guess you're not worried about thieves. I would here. Do you leave the whole OTA and mount outside too? Or just the mount? Do you secure the mount down as an anti theft device?
The light bulb for heat, why do you do that? thanks
Bob

#16 spongebob@55

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:58 PM

When I first got my CGE PRO, I wrote up this short initial impressions review, here: CGE PRO which might be worth looking at. One of the things I did when I got it was weigh each part. The GEM head comes apart into two pieces: a 57 pound top half and an 18 pound bottom half. The top part which contains both DEC and RA axis motors is the heaviest single part.



that's a very helpful write up, especially on the component wieghts. do you move it in and out and if you do, what are the components which you keep together in order to move?

Very helpful and glad you did this for us.
Regards,
Bob

#17 spongebob@55

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

Just another question, why is this mount so tall?
Is there some company out there that machines or modifies down the legs by any chance or lowers the height in some other way?

#18 WadeH237

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:42 PM

No, according to this link http://www.celestron...-pro-mount.html the head breaks down into a 45 and 30 lbs components. Just how easy/not easy that is is another thing. I'll check out our other suggestions....


Thanks for the clarification on the mount breakdown. The link in the post by end shows how he's broken it down, but he's claiming that the combined breakdown (which does not separate the two axes) still has a piece well over 50lb.

I looked everywhere on the link at Celestron and I can't find where it claims that the mount head breaks down into pieces of 45lb and 30lb.

-Wade

#19 Alph

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

Just another question, whay is this mount so tall?


I put this question to the Celestron staff many times. The answer was some people have long refractors. That's a darn stupid answer if you consider that the tripod has extendable legs. I grew tired of that nonsense and decided to spend twice as much money on a portable and high quality mount. If you want portability look elsewhere. A used CGE will do an excellent job with the C14 for visual observing.

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:33 PM

No, according to this link http://www.celestron...-pro-mount.html the head breaks down into a 45 and 30 lbs components. Just how easy/not easy that is is another thing. I'll check out our other suggestions....


Thanks for the clarification on the mount breakdown. The link in the post by end shows how he's broken it down, but he's claiming that the combined breakdown (which does not separate the two axes) still has a piece well over 50lb.

I looked everywhere on the link at Celestron and I can't find where it claims that the mount head breaks down into pieces of 45lb and 30lb.

-Wade


In just over a week I'll have an opportunity to re-weigh all the components so I'll double check that 57 pound number, but I don't have any real reason to doubt it.

Regarding the height, I made a small modification to my CGE PRO tripod to lower it, and more importantly widen the stance of the tripod. I posted a thread on it here: thread. Basically what I did was replace the bottom aluminum spreaders with slightly longer ones. It was a pretty easy and cheap modification. The key before and after photo is here:

Posted Image

#21 spongebob@55

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:46 PM

No, according to this link http://www.celestron...-pro-mount.html the head breaks down into a 45 and 30 lbs components. Just how easy/not easy that is is another thing. I'll check out our other suggestions....


Thanks for the clarification on the mount breakdown. The link in the post by end shows how he's broken it down, but he's claiming that the combined breakdown (which does not separate the two axes) still has a piece well over 50lb.

I looked everywhere on the link at Celestron and I can't find where it claims that the mount head breaks down into pieces of 45lb and 30lb.

-Wade


In just over a week I'll have an opportunity to re-weigh all the components so I'll double check that 57 pound number, but I don't have any real reason to doubt it.

Regarding the height, I made a small modification to my CGE PRO tripod to lower it, and more importantly widen the stance of the tripod. I posted a thread on it here: thread. Basically what I did was replace the bottom aluminum spreaders with slightly longer ones. It was a pretty easy and cheap modification. The key before and after photo is here:

Posted Image


FANTASTIC!!! I was just on my hands and knees, looking at my CPC1100 and Atlas EQ-G tripod. I had loosened the hex locking set screws and was able to pull out the stainless steel legs. I was thinking of just cutting maybe 1 or 2" off the top and reinserting the leg. I could move the 3 clamps for the 3 armed stabilizer up or down depending. But I noticed that If I move it up too much, when folded, the center disk hits the bottom center bolt stopping it from completely folding. Now I haven't yet read your link yet, but my way would make the footprint smaller, and I dont think thats the best way to go. Now on to reading your link. Thanks very much!! :jump: Bob

#22 WadeH237

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:05 PM

In just over a week I'll have an opportunity to re-weigh all the components so I'll double check that 57 pound number, but I don't have any real reason to doubt it.


I'm not skeptical of your numbers. They make sense for what you show in your pictures. I am skeptical of the claim that Celestron says that the mount breaks down into two pieces of 45lb and 30lb. I haven't been able to find any reference to this.

Oh, and the tripod modification is awesome. I came away really impressed with the CGE Pro after I had a chance to use one for a bit. You've addressed the two issues that I had with it. It's still a bit heavy at 57lb, but that's far more manageable than 75lb.

#23 spongebob@55

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:06 PM

No, according to this link http://www.celestron...-pro-mount.html the head breaks down into a 45 and 30 lbs components. Just how easy/not easy that is is another thing. I'll check out our other suggestions....


Thanks for the clarification on the mount breakdown. The link in the post by end shows how he's broken it down, but he's claiming that the combined breakdown (which does not separate the two axes) still has a piece well over 50lb.

I looked everywhere on the link at Celestron and I can't find where it claims that the mount head breaks down into pieces of 45lb and 30lb.

-Wade


In just over a week I'll have an opportunity to re-weigh all the components so I'll double check that 57 pound number, but I don't have any real reason to doubt it.

Regarding the height, I made a small modification to my CGE PRO tripod to lower it, and more importantly widen the stance of the tripod. I posted a thread on it here: thread. Basically what I did was replace the bottom aluminum spreaders with slightly longer ones. It was a pretty easy and cheap modification. The key before and after photo is here:

Posted Image


FANTASTIC!!! I was just on my hands and knees, looking at my CPC1100 and Atlas EQ-G tripod. I had loosened the hex locking set screws and was able to pull out the stainless steel legs. I was thinking of just cutting maybe 1 or 2" off the top and reinserting the leg. I could move the 3 clamps for the 3 armed stabilizer up or down depending. But I noticed that If I move it up too much, when folded, the center disk hits the bottom center bolt stopping it from completely folding. Now I haven't yet read your link yet, but my way would make the footprint smaller, and I dont think thats the best way to go. Now on to reading your link. Thanks very much!! :jump: Bob



Looks great. A question, the 3 arm stabilizer, do you fold that up, or down? The picture looks like the central disc is upside down. Now to see if this would work with a CGE PRO. Many thanks for the link, END. :bow:

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:49 PM

Looks great. A question, the 3 arm stabilizer, do you fold that up, or down? The picture looks like the central disc is upside down. Now to see if this would work with a CGE PRO. Many thanks for the link, END. :bow:

It folds up when you collapse the tripod. The central disk has little cut-outs under each cross bar to allow it to move up. However, I've only collapsed the tripod a few times. Even when transporting the entire rig to a remote dark site I usually put the tripod into the back of the minivan in its spread configuration.

#25 spongebob@55

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:04 PM

In just over a week I'll have an opportunity to re-weigh all the components so I'll double check that 57 pound number, but I don't have any real reason to doubt it.


I'm not skeptical of your numbers. They make sense for what you show in your pictures. I am skeptical of the claim that Celestron says that the mount breaks down into two pieces of 45lb and 30lb. I haven't been able to find any reference to this.

Oh, and the tripod modification is awesome. I came away really impressed with the CGE Pro after I had a chance to use one for a bit. You've addressed the two issues that I had with it. It's still a bit heavy at 57lb, but that's far more manageable than 75lb.



Wade , in the celestron mount video, it shows the pro breaking apart and. They show the weights in the video graphically






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