Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)
jbattleson
Happily Retired
*****

Reged: 03/02/09

Loc: Nebraska
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #3713414 - 03/29/10 08:19 PM

I bought a CGEM 1100 about 1 1/2 ago and have zero problems.
This is my 2nd scope. The first was an LX200 so have had a little problem getting use to GEM.
I am very happy with the CGEM.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Fred1
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/19/07

Loc: Somewhere in the Orion Spur
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: jbattleson]
      #3713615 - 03/29/10 09:49 PM

I forgot to mention in my earlier post that my CGEM typically carries about a 39lb payload. Yes, I'm visual only.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Locoweed
sage


Reged: 06/27/07

Loc: Texas
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: jbattleson]
      #3713640 - 03/29/10 10:04 PM

Lets ignore the fact that mine is in the shop right now & talk about some niggling details that irritate me. You have probably read about the short cord on the HC, it's also very stiff in cold weather. I also do not like having the cord come out the back instead of the bottom. Having the connection for the computer routed through the HC means you have 2 cords to deal with when using it.

The instruction manual is something I would expect from a really cheap setup from Wally World.

The adjustment for Dec sux big time if your down around 30 degrees like I am.

On the other side, it has some neat features & if they can get my problem (Gear mesh I think)fixed I will be satisfied with it.

I guess what bugs me the most is that I would have been happy to spend a couple of hundred more on the mount if they would have fixed these & some other minor issues that would not have cost them much to have done right the first time.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ScoJo
member


Reged: 11/17/09

Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: Locoweed]
      #3714026 - 03/30/10 02:28 AM

I loved my CGEM for the two months it worked properly. It's at Celstron for repair now.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mak7
sage
*****

Reged: 09/29/07

Loc: light polluted Phoenix AZ
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: ScoJo]
      #3714042 - 03/30/10 02:41 AM

I have had mine for 6 days. When I set it up inside to just check function ( without an OTA ) I did a false alignment and got one 16 error and one 17 error. I repeatedly hit undo and luckily was able to continue. I have had the mount out twice loaded with an OTA and observed for many hours without a problem. Maybe the weight was needed for the encoders ? I pre spread the center contact in the power connector before it came out of the shipping foam. I read the threads !!! Thus far, the weak link appears to me to be the tripod, not very robust at all for the size of the GEM head. More time will tell.
Brad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: ScoJo]
      #3714051 - 03/30/10 02:56 AM

I've had my CGEM for 6 months and it is a very stable, accurate mount. I still use my CG5 for visual but when I want to do imaging, I use the CGEM. It IS a heavy mount and requires some strength to lift the head onto a fully extended tripod. You won't be carrying the tripod and head assembled very far. I've found once you do the 2+4 alignment and PA routine, my CGEM repeatedly puts the DSO targets on the CCD with only a minor adjustment necessary for centering. Once aligned, I use my laptop to control the mount with Cartes. I've only had one problem with my mount this past winter due to cold temps. I got the 17 error code twice but that was fixed by reseating the internal motor connectors attached to the control panel. I made my own HC extension (a must upgrade) and replaced the stock saddle with the ADM dual saddle. IMHO, the dual saddle is also a must upgrade. It's well crafted with typical ADM quality. Overall, I have to say with the HC firmware and the tracking performance, the CGEM is an excellent mount. I thought seriously about the Atlas before purchasing the CGEM, but the HC firmware made the decision for me.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
AntarcticDave
sage


Reged: 02/03/09

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #3714454 - 03/30/10 10:56 AM

I bought mine about 14 months ago, and it has perfomed very well. I have been impressed with the pointing accuracy and love the All Star polar alignment routine. Once they became available I added an extra 11 lb CGEM weight, as I have about 32 lbs on mine (before that I used an extra weight I had around from my old CG3).

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: AntarcticDave]
      #3715359 - 03/30/10 06:44 PM

I have had mine for 6 months or so. The hand controller died after 3 days. The new had to be updated but worked fine. The controller had to be reset to factory settinge when the mount started thinking down was up. it gave a error 16 once but a power down and back up seems to have solved the problem. I agree that a few hundred more for a few small fixes would have been nice.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
R Nitzel
member


Reged: 01/14/09

Loc: Owasso, OK
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: Stew57]
      #3715554 - 03/30/10 08:16 PM

I received mine back from the shop on Friday. Last night, it, after 1 1/2 nights of imaging, it quit AGAIN. Talking to Celestron tech support manager, so we'll see what they offer up this time. Even though it has spent 4 of the last 12 months (approximately) in the shop, over 4 trips, I really can't find a mount I like better without having to take out a small loan. When it works, it works really well, and when it quits, it quits all the way. I'm looking around for something different, but I really like the polar-alignment routine, the easy setup, and the solid feel. The tracking is pretty smooth. I keep hoping/thinking that if I hang onto it long enough, eventually all the parts will get replaced by warranty.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tedbnh
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: New Hampshire
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: Stew57]
      #3715555 - 03/30/10 08:18 PM

I bought mine used and had it out twice, once for myself and once at a star party. It worked fine both times, even without using the all star polar alignment process. But I found myself unhappy with the slop in the gears, which made for too much vibration when I focused. Called Celestron - tough luck, warranty applies only to original purchaser. They would let me ship it back to them pre-paid both ways and then once they got it they'd tell me if they could tighten it up and quote me a price. Well, I figured if anybody is going on vacation to California it's going to be me, not my mount!

So, I shipped it off to Tom Hadoulias at Astro Motion Technologies for his tighten-up tune-up. When I add his price to the price of the used mount, I will have paid just factory price but will have a zero-backlash mount with all new lube. Should be back next week. (ADM knobs on order too, hope they get here before the mount).


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: tedbnh]
      #3716810 - 03/31/10 01:35 PM

Interesting posts folks. It seems like there are still some teething pains with the mount. Issues with Celestron hand controllers aren't unique to the CGEM; the same issues have plagued recent CPC scopes too using the same controller. Those issues should be easy to sort out (by getting the supplier of the faulty HC parts to replace them). The other issues, however, are a little more disconcerting. Hopefully in another 6 months Celestron will have the kinks straightened out.

Regards,

Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
glennstevens
member


Reged: 05/08/09

Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: tedbnh]
      #3716836 - 03/31/10 01:44 PM

I owned my CGEM 9 months. It has been set up at least 50 times. No problems. I'm using it with a C8 and I find the set up real stable. I was thinking of going to a C11. I have heard the mount isn't stable enough for the C11. Those of you that have a C11 on a CGEM do you find the mount capable? chip

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
gatsbyiv
sage


Reged: 03/29/09

Loc: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: tedbnh]
      #3716845 - 03/31/10 01:48 PM

I bought mine used on a-mart, and I love it. Specifically:

- I'm set up and polar aligned in 15 minutes. The All-Star polar alignment alone is worth the price of admission. By the third night out, I had settled into a routine and understood the controller and options available reasonably well.

- Gotos are dead-on.

- The improvement in my imaging (autoguided) was dramatic (upgrading from LXD75), not only in terms of tighter stars, but also in terms of less subs thrown out.

- I've had no glitches or error messages in three months of use.

- The ability to guide past the meridian is a plus, since I'm usually long asleep by this time, and it gets me 40 minutes or so of additional exposures.

- As for upgrades, I got the scopestuff Losmandy adapter. The ADM saddle is surely nice, but extremely expensive.

- I don't see what all the complaints about the CGEM's knobs are about. They work fine for me; sure, they could be improved, but it hardly seems like a priority upgrade.

I'd be *BLEEP* too if mine had some of the glitches I've heard others here complain about, but so far, mine has been a real workhorse.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
RTLR 12
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: gatsbyiv]
      #3717175 - 03/31/10 04:25 PM

I've had mine for 5 months now and average 10 to 15 nights a month viewing. For a $1300.00 mount I am pleased and I have not had any surprises nor do I have any complaints. I have set up in the field for as long as 10 days and only had to tweek the alignment because the go to's weren't quite centered in a 6mm EP after 4 days. If I had spent $6000.00 on a mount I would expect it to peform like $6000.00. The CGEM performs as it should.

Stan


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
bob midiri
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/17/04

Loc: pa 19320
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: gatsbyiv]
      #3717674 - 03/31/10 09:09 PM

Yeh I decided to do the same and get the Scope-stuff adapter and the extended chord for the HC. Like you the nobs don't bother me a bit. Bob

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jbattleson
Happily Retired
*****

Reged: 03/02/09

Loc: Nebraska
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: glennstevens]
      #3717728 - 03/31/10 09:55 PM

I have the C11 on mine and it is very stable. I have even done some AP with it but think the C8 would be better choice if AP was your main objective.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
microstar
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/05/08

Loc: Canada
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: jbattleson]
      #3718399 - 04/01/10 09:44 AM

Great thread, as I am looking to replace the frustration level of my LXD75. A few imaging questions that haven't been asked:

1. What is the periodic error, and how smooth is it (i.e. is it easily guided out)?

2. What is the maximum load for imaging? My SN8 with piggy-backed ZS66 and camera gear is pushing the 40lb limit. Can it really image with a 40lb load and still track smoothly, or would that require the big bucks for a CGEpro?

...Keith


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
SanDiegoPaul
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/22/05

Loc: San Diego
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: microstar]
      #3719257 - 04/01/10 04:21 PM

Quote:

Great thread, as I am looking to replace the frustration level of my LXD75. A few imaging questions that haven't been asked:

1. What is the periodic error, and how smooth is it (i.e. is it easily guided out)?

2. What is the maximum load for imaging? My SN8 with piggy-backed ZS66 and camera gear is pushing the 40lb limit. Can it really image with a 40lb load and still track smoothly, or would that require the big bucks for a CGEpro?

...Keith




RE: Periodic Error = my CGEM had 13 or so out of the box. PemPRO knocked that down to 2.5 Arc Seconds in one swoop.

RE: Max Load for photography - the general rule is to use a mount at half it's rated capacity if you are imaging. So that would put us at a 20# rating for photog work.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
RobertinTucson
newbie


Reged: 04/01/10

Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: R Nitzel]
      #3719930 - 04/01/10 11:50 PM

I feel your pain. The new CGEM I just ordered arrived Tuesday this week, only not to work straight out of the box. Later that night I was able to trace the problem to a bad encoder board on the dec motor. (BTW - if the mount periodically slews on a particular axis, or if you can't get the slew rate to slow down on a particular axis, suspect a loss of encoder signal). I've contacted Celestron to see if they'll send me a new dec motor assembly, but haven't heard back from them after the initial call. I like the mount mechanically, but at the moment I've got an 80-pound boat anchor.

Best of luck to you.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lane
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/19/07

Loc: Frisco, Texas
Re: CGEM: What's the truth? new [Re: JadeSmith]
      #3720152 - 04/02/10 05:00 AM

Love my CGEM. Now 15 months old. The saddle is the real weak point on the mount and I replaced mine with the ADM version made specifically for the CGEM.

I had one minor issue with mine not finding alignment stars on a night a few months ago. It didn't even point to the right constellation, but it only happened that one time and the solution was just to use the arrow keys to point the scope to the correct stars and all was fine after that.

Another issue I have seen reported and experienced myself a few times is the run-away declination problem where the mount seems to get confused and one of the motors continues to slowly move the scope and does not stop after a GOTO command. It happens only when the object is near the meridian and in the southern direction. The problem is that the electronics should have moved the ota to the other side of the mount during the GOTO, but they don't and then the OTA cannot reach the object because of the slewing limits that protect the OTA from hitting the mount. The solution is just to cancel to GOTO and use the arrows to move the ota to the other side of the mount manually then repeat the original GOTO. Works fine after that. This can also happen when an object is well past the meridian if it has been several hours since you aligned the mount. Apparently it does not keep track of the meridian very well as the night progresses unless you re-align or replace the alignment and calibration stars after about 4 hours of use.

The CGEM is pretty stable with a C11 on board and even works well in mild windy conditions. The C8 is a ROCK on the CGEM, even strong wind hitting the OTA has little effect.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)


Extra information
18 registered and 26 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Dave M, richard7, bilgebay, iceblaze 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 6471

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics