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CG-5GT prepurchase

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#1 FlyBD5

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:45 AM

What should I look for when inspecting a used CG-5GT mount that I am interested in purchasing?

#2 pjensen

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 11:36 AM

What should I look for when inspecting a used CG-5GT mount that I am interested in purchasing?


If it is possible, do a 2 star + 4 alignment and see how good the goto is. Try a couple of double stars - are they in the eyepiece field of view?

This will bring out any problems, if there are any.

#3 FlyBD5

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:40 PM

Okdok. Thanks!

#4 frito

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:50 PM

also flip over the hand control and make sure it has a little phone jack at the bottom. it is a serial interface so you can upgrade the HC and MC firmwares if needed and also control with computers etc. the earliest versions of the mount had non upgradable HC's with no port.

lastly don't be alarmed if it sounds like its dying while slewing! it's simply just singing to you while it moves :)

#5 jrcrilly

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:58 PM

also flip over the hand control and make sure it has a little phone jack at the bottom. it is a serial interface so you can upgrade the HC and MC firmwares if needed and also control with computers etc. the earliest versions of the mount had non upgradable HC's with no port.


Nexstar handboxes have always had that port, even in models long before the CG-5GT came out - but in early versions it was used only for PC control of the mount. The later, upgradable handboxes are much to be preferred over the older, non-upgradable models (some very powerful and desirable features are available only on the later model) but you can't tell them apart by looking at them. If you power the mount up, you can check the installed firmware revision and that will tell the tale but I don't remember what version was first implemented on the upgradable hardware. I can check that unless someone here remembers it.

#6 Fred1

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:05 PM

- but I don't remember what version was first implemented on the upgradable hardware. I can check that unless someone here remembers it.


4.xxx is the upgradeable version. If it says 3.xxx then its isn't upgradeable.

#7 jrcrilly

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:13 PM

4.xxx is the upgradeable version. If it says 3.xxx then its isn't upgradeable.


Thanks! :jump: I've owned both, but not recently.

#8 frito

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:15 PM

well there you go, ignore me. i for some reason thought the non-upgradeable ones had no port, not sure where i got that from.

#9 jrcrilly

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:22 PM

well there you go, ignore me. i for some reason thought the non-upgradeable ones had no port, not sure where i got that from.


Still, you raised an excellent point. ASPA alone makes the later version far more capable. ;)

#10 FlyBD5

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:33 PM

True, I should still check for the port and the version. I'm looking at two, one is new, still in the box, the other is used, about 18 mos old, all firmware upgraded for HC and MC, -and- proven good results in astrophotography.

#11 rmollise

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:21 PM

also flip over the hand control and make sure it has a little phone jack at the bottom. it is a serial interface so you can upgrade the HC and MC firmwares if needed and also control with computers etc. the earliest versions of the mount had non upgradable HC's with no port.

lastly don't be alarmed if it sounds like its dying while slewing! it's simply just singing to you while it moves :)


Well..not exactly...since the original non-upgradeable HC also has the serial port on the bottom that allows control with a laptop. The only way to tell is by checking the firmware version (in the HC menus). If it is 4.x, it is upgradeable. 3.x? Uh-uh.

#12 jrbarnett

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 06:32 PM

How much you paying?

You can get a brand new one on clearance with the latest hardware and firmware for $549.

- Jim

#13 FlyBD5

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 07:32 PM

Just picked up for $420, new in the box, unused. Firmware is easy to update, it's got the right hand control (NexStar, not NexStar+, makes no difference to me and I can upgrade the hand control later if I want to.) I'm pleased. Thanks, folks! Much obliged for the help! :)

#14 FlyBD5

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 11:11 PM

Posted Image

#15 frito

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 12:52 AM

congrats.

i was going to say, at those ages they will be newer versions. i'm the third owner of my CG-5. the non-upgradable firmware ones are not very common and are pretty darn old.

#16 frito

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 12:53 AM

well there you go, ignore me. i for some reason thought the non-upgradeable ones had no port, not sure where i got that from.


Still, you raised an excellent point. ASPA alone makes the later version far more capable. ;)


yes, i love the ASPA, i'd probably be frustrated as hell trying to image with my CG-5 unguided with no polar scope without it. :)

#17 FlyBD5

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:53 AM

What a difference in the motors and stability. Wow. It's all set and ready to go for a family Father's Day star party. :)

#18 munchmeister

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 11:05 AM

PMJI, do any of you guys know how to upgrade an HC so that the All Star alignment procedure is available? TIA.

#19 RTLR 12

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 11:08 AM

Here you go...

http://www.celestron...se&_a=viewar...,255

#20 FlyBD5

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 11:39 AM

Here you go...

http://www.celestron...se&_a=viewar...,255


Add to that =patience= as the process takes a bit of time, and make sure the mount is plugged into AC power while you are upgrading the firmware. Failure to complete the update correctly may cause self-inflicted premature hair loss. :)

#21 RTLR 12

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:36 PM

The whole process takes less than 30 minutes. I have never had a problem doing an update and I have done many. I also have never used AC power with my mounts.

Stan

#22 FlyBD5

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:53 PM

The whole process takes less than 30 minutes. I have never had a problem doing an update and I have done many. I also have never used AC power with my mounts.

Stan


Be that as it may, updating firmware on anything on battery power is an unnecessary risk when AC power is available. Take it from someone who has worked as a firmware development engineer.

#23 RTLR 12

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 04:21 PM

That's very true. Some people just aren't properly prepared.
I, however, know my equipment and it's capabilities.

Stan

#24 DaveJ

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 04:58 PM

That's very true. Some people just aren't properly prepared.
I, however, know my equipment and its capabilities.


I wholeheartedly agree with Stan on this one. I've used batteries during firmware updating for the past eleven years. With occasional AC power outages (even though they're rare), batteries are significantly safer than AC. I've never had any kind of problem. I always use a laptop to do the updating and it's on a separate external battery, as well.

#25 FlyBD5

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 05:57 PM

I will meet both of you in the middle and strongly suggest fresh batteries and AC power. At the same time. :)






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