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#1 SDStargazer

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:04 PM

Looking for EQ mount for imaging under $2000.
I have a CG5 now but my equipment is pushing the payload limit.

#2 jrcrilly

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:07 PM

Do you need goto capability? Is second-hand equipment acceptable?

#3 SDStargazer

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:10 PM

Definitely need goto (sky to light polluted for star hopping. 2nd hand is always a consideration.

#4 nmoushon

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:14 PM

If the largest scope you are going to ever use is the 8" Newt you have then I think a Orion Sirius or Atlas second hand would be a good fit. You might be able to go up to a CGEM or CGEM Pro used to if you plan to upgrade in the future.

#5 jrcrilly

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:16 PM

Definitely need goto (sky to light polluted for star hopping. 2nd hand is always a consideration.


OK. To gain capacity AND improve imaging performance in a goto mount at that price point yields a short list, but there is a list. Best bet is probably a used CGE (usually $1700-$2200). You might find a G-11/Genesis for $2K but they usually go for more. An encoder-equipped G-11 without goto would avoid starhopping and those can be found for under $2000. Both are US-made mounts rather than imports like the CG-5.

#6 Falcon-

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 06:25 PM

I disagree a bit with John, the move from a CG5 to an Atlas/CGEM/iEQ45 type mount *will* be a significant improvement in imaging performance so I do think those mounts should be under consideration. All three of those mounts are more robust then the CG5 and mechanically better (easier to guide).

That said, John is of course correct that if you can find a used CGE or G11-Gemini within budget they would be even better. It is a rare thing but if you find a CI-700 with Gemini go-to that would be another good option. That would be a mount mechanically similar to a CGE but with Losmandy's go-to system.


For myself when faced with a similar need to upgrade from a CG5 for imaging performance I ended up with a used Celeston CI-700 (without Gemini). I got it for a good price and this has been a good mount for me but the lack of go-to does make it harder to use.

#7 payner

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 06:32 PM

I agree with the suggestions that a CGE in good condition would make an excellent mount for your application.

Best,
Randy

#8 epdreher

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 07:28 PM

http://www.telescope.../Orion-Atlas...

#9 jrcrilly

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 07:35 PM

It is a rare thing but if you find a CI-700 with Gemini go-to that would be another good option. That would be a mount mechanically similar to a CGE but with Losmandy's go-to system.


Good point; I haven't seen a CI-700 for a while but they are out there. Quite a few were equipped with encoders, too (mine was) for an extremely economical non-star hopping setup. They are between the G-11 and CGE mechanically (each was developed from the previous design) and their market value is very low, making them a very good buy.

#10 dragonslayer1

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:39 PM

I have a GC-5 and recently upgraded to a CGEM and love it, Kasey

#11 Carl N

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 12:52 AM

You are in luck. Only here in San Diego, Go talk to the manager at FRYs off Aero Drive and I-15. They have new old stock CGEs in the back brand new still in box. Last month they were offering them for $2200. Right now on line they show for $3900 again, but if you talk to the manager he'll discount it to the $2200 to get rid of them.

#12 SDStargazer

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 01:44 AM

Thanks Carl I will check it out!

#13 SDStargazer

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 11:34 AM

is the ioptron iEQ45 not a good mount? nobody so far has mentioned it.

#14 Falcon-

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 12:01 PM

is the ioptron iEQ45 not a good mount? nobody so far has mentioned it.


Actually I did mention it. :)

The iEQ45 appears to be in approximately the same category in terms of performance as the Orion Atlas (also called the Skywatcher EQ6) and the Celestron CGEM. I have not used the iEQ45 myself but my impression is that of the three the iEQ45 may be the best for imaging (though I am sure opinions on that would be divided). Certainly it is the physically lightest of the three.

If it was me with your budget, and a good deal on a used CGE or the like did not show up, then I would seriously consider an iEQ45.

#15 Per Frejvall

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 03:29 PM

NEQ6, or as they call it state-side, Atlas... Can't beat that.

/per

#16 karambit27

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:36 PM

is the ioptron iEQ45 not a good mount? nobody so far has mentioned it.


Haven't used it myself but read in several places that the payload capacity of 45lbs. is an overstatement as the mount begins to have issues past 30lbs.

#17 Falcon-

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 07:55 PM

is the ioptron iEQ45 not a good mount? nobody so far has mentioned it.


Haven't used it myself but read in several places that the payload capacity of 45lbs. is an overstatement as the mount begins to have issues past 30lbs.


Undoubtedly true for imaging.

But of course none of the mounts in this price range should be used at their "full" rated capacity. An iEQ45, Atlas, NEQ6, or CGEM operating at 25 lb or so would be significantly better then a CG5 operating at the same weights, and that is the whole point of the new mount for the OP in the first place.

#18 Erik30

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:25 PM

is the ioptron iEQ45 not a good mount? nobody so far has mentioned it.


Haven't used it myself but read in several places that the payload capacity of 45lbs. is an overstatement as the mount begins to have issues past 30lbs.


Absolutely wrong in my book. I had the CG-5 and went to iEQ45. I image at 41 lbs without a problem even at -5 below temps.

#19 rgsalinger

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:12 PM

Having owned and used both a CGE and an iEQ45, I would strongly recommend the iOptron as the superior mount unless you need to carry much more than 35 pounds or so. I would love :) to know how anyone got 41 pounds on that mount and was successful in imaging. I know that I couldn't load much above 30 pounds and get round stars no matter how hard I tried. That included having iOptron install the precision worm for me. When I got beyond thirty pounds I couldn't get guiding reliably below 1.2 or so arc seconds. But, again, within the weight limitations this is just a terrific mount - easy to set up and use with good results for imaging or visual, much better than a CGE. I found at 1625mm that I could do a one star alignment and get anything I wanted in the FOV at about 40x every time. The CGE needed a tedious 6 star alignment, and needed a complicated polar alignment procedure. Plus iOptron support is superb, much better than Celestron (IMHO).
Rgrds-Ross

#20 orlyandico

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 03:49 AM

must have been a very old CGE firmware. In my experience with my CGEM the Nexstar does very accurate GoTo pointing even after only 3 stars. But always end alignment moves with UP and RIGHT.

The Nexstar pointing blows my Mach1 out of the water.. (the Mach1 must be absolutely precisely polar-aligned in order for pointing to be accurate). With my polar alignment (about 8' off the pole in ALT, 2' off the pole in AZ) my pointing can be up to 40' off if I do a meridian flip, although it's more like 2' to 5' on the same side of the meridian.

#21 rgsalinger

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 06:22 PM

Well the CGE firmware would have been uptodate as of two years ago. Didn't think they released anything after that. The pointing in the iEQ45 with one star was as good as the pointing with the CGE after the 6 star alignment process. There's something wrong with your Mach 1 - but I use the RAPAS which has been drift aligned so it's meridian flips seem to be OK - still need to re-center when imaging but why bother to do a flip at all - just keep tracking with either mount - the firmware/software makes it easy.
Rgrds-Ross

#22 DDavid1771

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 06:34 PM

I just got an C-11 Edge HD which I plan to use for AP, possibly w/ an ATIK 383L or similar CCD setup. I was considering the iEQ45, but with an OAG, tele-compressor, a finder scope and/or a couple of laser devices added on, I could be pushing 40lbs. Thus, I have concerns with it handling this amount of load while still providing good imaging. While price, reviews at lower payloads and just really nice appearance are all inviting, I would probably move to either an Atlas EQ-G or CGEM-DX if necessary.
BTW, is the payload spec given with the ads including the counterweight as part of it or can you exclude them in the stated load?

Thanks in advance for any feedback! :bow:

#23 orlyandico

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 07:13 PM

Ross, it's possible that my tube is flexing when I do a flip, which causes the pointing to be off (reflector).

DDavid1771, the counterweights are not included in the payload however 40lb total payload is IMHO over the limit for an Atlas, although some people have success at that weight. With the EDGE though that is a very long focal length and I am unoptimistic you would be successful with an Atlas/EQ6 or CGEM. Unless you put a 0.5X reducer (or Hyperstar) or an adaptive optics unit.

#24 DDavid1771

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 02:50 PM

Thanks for your timely response and help, it is trly appreciated!
Whatever mount I decide on, I'll probably use the Optec Lepus HD Telecompressor – Celestron C11 EdgeHD Edition Lepus 0.62X Telecompressor lens system mounted in 3-1/4”x24tpi threaded mount for direct attachment to Celestron 1100 EdgeHD SCT. The back-focus distance is reduced to 100mm on-axis and maintained by a camera specific mount. (please excuse the blatent cut and paste plagiarism here!). There may be other add ons or substitutes involved to make all the right magic happen by showtime, but obviously the mount is my main concern at this point. And this may not be much different, but its the CGEM-"DX" version in the group consideration not the standard, which I'm led to believe has even more load capability. If however, a beefier mount is required, I will just simply have to pony-up and bite the preverbal bullet here. The mission results are the critical bottom line here that I'm committed to accomplish this(mercifully w/o heavy medication or Vaseline!). At any rate, as is the case with most newbs, I too am trying to get the most bang for the buck while maintaining a minimum standard sufficient for the task that will produce good, consistent results. I hope that I'm not being overly naive or optimistic here, but I hope and trust that I will get that all sorted out here with the invaluable help of all you fine folks here, before my first outing, with high hopes and reasonable expectations, based on prudent research having paved the way.

Ciao.

PS: Any and all other suggestions and/or recommendations greatly appreciated here, thanks again! :bow:

#25 rgsalinger

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 09:07 PM

If you're going to put 40 pounds on an iOptron 45 you will be unhappy. Mine worked fine with my TV127 plus an SBIG camera, filter wheel and OAG for a weight of about 30 pounds. When I went to around 37 pounds to accommodate an Optec TCFSi and a finder/guide camera solution it wouldn't track reliably. I had exactly the same experience with my ATRC8 with parallax rings and the TCFSi and a very similar weithg. Got some good subs but lots of bad ones. Had the precision worm installed, tried lowering the mount, tried different guiding software, PEC on/off, backlash on/off, etc. Sometimes I'd get a ten minute sub with .8" RMS but usually they'd be around 1.1 and the pictures showed it. My calibrations were always a little off as well.

I use MaximDL but PHD was no better (1.4 and 2.0). It was weight that was the culprit. Because the problem occurred at short focal lengths (660mm) as well as 1625mm I concluded that it was simply weight that was the problem. When I switched a month ago to my Mach1, all problems disappeared. This further convinced me that it was weight as I kept thinking I was missing some setting or lacked some knowledge. Now if only I get get some clear skies! So, for 40 pounds, get that CGE, it will handle it.
Rgrds-Ross






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