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De-anodizing a CGE

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#1 Eddgie

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 03:14 PM

For a variety of reasons, I recently moved from a C14 to a 12" Go-To dob as my primary observing instrument, and I sold the C14.

I had two mounts that would hold my 6" APO, but I only needed one.

I was kind of surprised by the very low resale of CGE mounts, so I decided to keep the CGE and sell the mount that previously had the 6" APO on (though the other mount was in fact a more solid mount).

Anyway, after it was done, it became very apparent that cosmetically, the CGE was not a very good match for my Emerald Metallic metalflake paint on the 6" APO.

I decided a week ago to remove the anodizing on the CGE so that it would just look less like a Halloween decoration and more like a serious mount (though it looked fine with the C14 on it).

Took about an hour and a half of labor (though the total project took much longer because of waiting around for the anodizing to go away).

It was not necessary to completly dis-assemble the mount.

If you want to do this, here is way you get to the parts.

You will need a variety of Hex wrenches.

Dismount the scope.

Remove the Saddle (two hex head screws)

Remove the cables to the head.

Remove the RA and DEC motor covers.

It will be necessary to loosen the screws holding the position switchs in both the Dec and RA housing.


Remove the five screws that retain the rings.

The Dec ring cover comes off easily, but the RA ring cover has to be manouvered a bit, though you can get it off without taking anything else apart.

First, rotate each ring slightly counterclockwise because the ring goes beneath the position switch in both cases.

On the RA ring, watch that the end does not go behind the circuit board on the RA motor assy.

You will easily manouver the Dec ring off, but the RA ring reguires that you lift it up then tilt it back, then when it is positioned kind of parallel to the RA housing, you can kind of rotate the opening in the C and slip it past the Dec shaft housing. Easy to see once you get there.

The azimuth adjustment ring requires that the top of the Semi-pier be lifted off. If you plan this ahead and have not replaced your battery, you might as well do this while you have the top of the semi pier off.

Anyway, remove the knobs that are used to lock the azimuth adjustment.

At the base of the azimuth ring, you will find a very large hex head screw. I did not have the size wrench, but I was lucky enough to be able to just grab the side wall of this big hex screw with a pair of pliers and was able to get it to come free (in fact, it was not very tight, and I wonder if I was getting some play here, becasue when the CGE, I was always getting some deflection that I could never find).

Anyway, that is all there is to gettin the parts off.

Total time to get everything ready to strip was about 15 minutes.

I stripped using Easy Off. Wear gloves, use proper venting blah blah blah.. I am a good example of stupid but that does not mean you have to be.

It is better to use 5 minute sessions than to try to do it all at once. This allows you to check the progress. I would set a timerf or 5 minutes (you don't want to forget) then rinse everything, and check progress.

The color will come off quickly, but I believe that you don't get the "transition" layer off until you do about three coats.

You can kind of inspect it after each rinse and you will see that it looks like paint being stripped where you still have some layers left. When the metal is mostly dull, you are done, but oven cleaner is a powerful corrosive so you don't want to overdo it.

After your are done, wash everything to get all traces of oven cleaner off.

I used Meguiar's ScratchX as a polish, but that is just because that is what I had.

I did start with an automotive polish but this left black discoloration, so I went to the Meguiar's and that worked fine.

By hand, you will have trouble getting an even, fine finish, so if you know someone with a polishing wheel, if you want a really shiny result, that will be the way to go.

I was going to clear coat my peices, but it is a cold day and my canned alumimum clear coat refused to come out of the can. Instead, I just put a two coats of wax on them. I bet I wind up re-doing that in a year.. Well, I will pick a warm day and clear coat them next time.

Re-assembly is just the reverse of course.

As for the switchs, you HAVE to re-adjust them.

The trick is to try to get the Home Position switch bank on the RA axis to break half way up/down the ramp. Don't let it break to close to the top or bottom because sometimes with a load, you can get flexure and the switch might not break and your mount will stop when slewing past the home position. Easy adjustment, but be careful to test it once you have tightened the screws.

Before pic

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#2 Eddgie

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 03:16 PM

And notice in the pic above how fades the RA gear cover was. The Dec cover was about the same. I would sometimes set the mount out during the afternoon in anticipation of a session. Sun is potent stuff.

After pic...

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#3 Eddgie

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 03:19 PM

And standing back...

I am really pleased with the change. Can't get the feet off, but will do them when I figure that out...

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#4 gosavich

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 01:40 AM

It looks like you did a good job, and I like the end result. IMHO and being a CGE owner myself, however, removing the Celestron orange anodizing can be considered sacrilege. ;)

#5 Eddgie

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:44 AM

Well, not if you have a Green APO on it. Dude, anyone will tell you that green and orange clash!

Actually, the orange looked fine when the C14 was on it, but with the 6" APO, it really looked kind of glaringly ugly.

The assistant astronomer was greatly pleased about the removal. She told me after it was done that the orange had been really bothering her and that she had wished it would go away.

And the first time she saw it, she liked it so much better.

ANyway, may not be something for everyone, but for those not using orange trimmed telescopes that want to remove it, it really does make the mount look I think a bit more elegant.

#6 Joe Bergeron

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:37 PM

Well, not if you have a Green APO on it. Dude, anyone will tell you that green and orange clash!


Don't let Aquaman hear you saying that.

#7 austin.grant

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:29 PM

Well, not if you have a Green APO on it. Dude, anyone will tell you that green and orange clash!


Don't let Aquaman hear you saying that.


Or Dan Marino!

#8 HowardK

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 10:46 AM

Boy Ed..

Is there anything you can't do?

#9 SteveG

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 01:32 PM

Nice job! Looks much better without the orange.

#10 Eddgie

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 02:25 PM


Is there anything you can't do?



Make women happy... Heck, even lots and lots of money doesn't help...

:roflmao:

The list of things that I can't do is of course sooooo much longer than this, but this is just a typical example.

Heck, I can't do much.

I am fearless about stuff like this though because hey, once you have had a lot of people shooting at you, risk is all relative, know what I mean?

I figured it would turn out OK. Heck, I saw someone de-anodize stuff on You Tube!!!

And armed with the vast knowledge that is contained in the infinite entity that is the internat, and knowing that not one of them is shooting at me, I watch and learn to build my confidence that I can be successful at stuff like this.

#11 Eddgie

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 02:31 PM

I generally am pretty pragmatic about stuff like this and not prone to fuss with visual concerns all that much, but this was kind of a special case.

The scope is in the house, and when I have guests, it is very much in the open.

I put a lot of time and effort into getting the old A-P looking good, and the one thing that was laking was the right Feng shui.

And you know what they say... Your Feng Shui is part of your aura, and if you don't want to have a lot of chromatic aberration around your Aura, you can't have Halloween Orange within 50 yards of you AP refractor.

Heck, they don't really say that.. I just made it up..

I like it too.. Thanks!!!

And my Aura is free of all chromatic aberration now, so I sleep particulary well because of this change...

#12 HowardK

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 07:00 PM

You really are losing it ED

Time to go put those Baader zooms in the MK V Bino in the 8" Edge and give us all a proper review.

#13 Eddgie

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 07:40 PM

Well, honestly, I have not had the EdgeHD 8" out in months and months.

All of my night-time observing lately has been with a 12" dob.

It is actually quicker and easier for me to set up the dob than the EdgeHD, and I can get a wider true field with Binoviewers on the dob. Just got new Binotrons for it too. Fantastic combiniation. Really fantastic.

No more eyepiece cases, no more cords, no shaky tripods. Go-to dob is simply fantastic.

I keep the EdgeHD 8" primarly for auto trips where space is at a premium. I can't fit even a 12" truss into either of my travel cars. 65 MPG means sacrificing a lot of cargo space.

#14 HowardK

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 05:49 AM

Not interested in using the Baader Zooms in the Dob...with no power switch fiddling.....just to review...or did u do this already?

#15 Eddgie

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:30 AM

Well, I am not using the Baader zOOms in the dob either. Only the Binotron with Denkmeier D21s.

Did I review the 12" yet?

I have posted several time on it.

I love it. Mine had really nice mirrors, and I adore the Go-To.

My biggest complaint was the weight of the base unit, but even there, it is not a big deal for me personally because I keep it on a covered patio fully assembled and use a hand truck to move it in and out.

Setup time is sooooo quick and easy, and Go-To alignment is a super snap.

I can get it up and running faster than I can get my SV110ED out and mounted on a Vixen Polaris.

Views have been nothing short of outstanding. I was worried that I would have to haul out the 6" APO for planets, but that has not been the case. Jupiter and the moon have both been terrific in the 12", and general viewing has been extremely satisfying.

I love it. I love it love it love it.

I had waited for years for a good Go-To dob to come out because I did not want to build my own or pay for a very expensive premium brand with an added Go-To system.

When the Orions came out, I did not rush in, but rather waited for the initial design issues to be tweaked out so that by the time I bought one, all of big deisgn issues would have been discovered and dealt with already.

And this appears to be the case. There are some quirks with the software that I don't like (though I am getting used to), but there are also many features that I really love about the software/Handset.

For example, Celestron dumped shortcut keys on the handset and now require you to go to menus and scroll through catagories. The Orion still has short cut keys! Yipee!

Performance has been better than I had hoped though.

It is an amazing amount of telescope and technology for $2300 (which includes shipping).

I really love mine, and with the Binotron and D21s, I have been in hog heaven. Most productive observing ever. I use a rooted Nook Color ($50 from CL) with Sky Safari now (I can do Bluetooth control, but normally don't bother because of some software issues in Sky Safari I think) and this means that I have dumped the eyepiece case, charts, computers, cords on the ground and everything else.

Fantastic views, and the quickest and easiest setup of any bigger scope than I have ever owned. Heck, easier to get up and running than my EdgeHD 8" on an 8SE mount!!!!

Love it. Just love it to pieces.






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