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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . .
      #4155762 - 11/01/10 06:40 AM

Getting close to order time . . . VERY close!

Orion is selling the Atlas GoTo for $1249. For how long I don't know. Wouldn't want to miss the sale.

BUT . . . I still have a couple of concerns.

1/ The CGEM can be polar aligned without access to Polaris.
Can the Atlas?
2/ I have a Losmondy type dovetail. Think I will need a new saddle plate like this one.
3/ I will be mounting a C11. Will I need an extra counterweight. It comes with two 11 pounders.

Any advice from Atlas or CGEM owners much appreciated. Reasons for turning this sale down and ponying up $1399 for a CGEM instead would also be appreciated.


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mtibor
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/02/10

Loc: Central Pa
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #4155795 - 11/01/10 07:28 AM

I just recently got my used Atlas,for polar-alignment you will need Polaris in order to get the polar-alignment done.Don't know anything about the CGEM,but it seems to me the Atlas owners are happy with the mount.I know I am:)
I'm not sure what is the weight of your C11,my 10"Newt is about 30lb.Right now I'm using 32lb.of weight and I can just barely balance it out...

Tibor,


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Patrick
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #4155804 - 11/01/10 07:40 AM

Wow, that's a great price for a new Atlas! I think the Celestron All Star Polar Alignment (ASPA) routine is exclusive to Celestron scopes. I took a look at EQMOD which is a third party open source application for driving an Atlas, and didn't see any similar routine for polar aligning an Atlas. There may be some shortcuts for doing it, but the ASPA routine is pretty hard to beat. Others may have more insight on the Atlas than I.

Lots of folks use the Atlas successfully for AP and they have to get their mounts polar aligned somehow. I personally wouldn't buy a mount without the ASPA routine simply because I don't like taking 45 minutes to polar align. It can be quite tiresome.

If the ASPA software sold separately, I'd willing pay $150 for it. (How's that for an endorsement?)

Patrick


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RTLR 12
Post Laureate
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Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: mtibor]
      #4155812 - 11/01/10 07:48 AM

I have had my CGEM for a year now and have had no trouble with it at all. The 'All Star' Alignment is soooooooo much easier than using a polar scope. It's fast and accurate and no realignment needed afterwards. I have no experience with the Atlas, but have heard the only real difference is in the software.
As for you questions;

#1: Yes (just answered that one)
#2: You don't need to change the saddle on the CGEM. It comes with the Losmandy style. (saves $90 to $150)
#3: You will need 2 17lb counterweights.

Stan


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #4155822 - 11/01/10 08:01 AM

Quote:

Getting close to order time . . . VERY close!

Orion is selling the Atlas GoTo for $1249. For how long I don't know. Wouldn't want to miss the sale.

BUT . . . I still have a couple of concerns.

1/ The CGEM can be polar aligned without access to Polaris.
Can the Atlas?
2/ I have a Losmondy type dovetail.




1. There is no built-in polar alignment software in the Atlas or in EQMOD (though it does have a utility to help you with the polar scope). It's polar scope all the way. There are ways to align without Polaris (as in a drift alignment), but some may be rather time consuming.

2. Yes, if you want to mount a Losmandy D equipped scope on the Atlas, you will need a new saddle plate.

3. Yeah, you may need a third weight.


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bardo
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/13/09

Loc: US
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: rmollise]
      #4155857 - 11/01/10 08:34 AM

i dont own one (yet) but im almost certain eqmod for the atlas can walk you through the same process the cgem does. that is if you're going to have a laptop with you.

im going to get a new one sometime in the next few months. but im holding out right now to see some more hard testing on the IEQ45. if it has the PE thats being reported i'll probablly go with that...might be something for you to consider as well.

but if i had to have one now it would be no question about the atlas. its tried and true, solid as a rock in QC and it has eqmod. which has so many goodies.


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: rmollise]
      #4155860 - 11/01/10 08:36 AM

Many thanks for the timely replies. After due consideration, I find my enthusiasm for the Atlas waning somewhat even considering the sale price.
Aligning without access to Polaris would be very helpful to me as a pesky spruce tree has grown very large and denied me access from about the only site I have left.
No extra saddle cost to accommodate the Losmondy plate is a bonus.
Think I'll go with CGEM and an extra counterweight.


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #4155875 - 11/01/10 08:51 AM

If you're using this for visual only, you have no need to polar align other than starting with the scope pointing north and that can be done using a compass.

However, for imaging, polar aligning is essential. So....there's something else to consider.

David


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mtibor
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 05/02/10

Loc: Central Pa
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #4156238 - 11/01/10 12:27 PM

"I personally wouldn't buy a mount without the ASPA routine simply because I don't like taking 45 minutes to polar align. It can be quite tiresome."

I'm not sure what you talking about here Patrick,the Atlas don't have the so called"ASPA"but once the mount is setup and pointed to north,I do the polar alignment in about 5-6 minutes,using just the "2 star alignment"after that I fire up PHD,and I'm ready to go.Never did "drift align"either.Keep in mind I'm new to the Atlas,just got it(used)a few weeks ago.When you talking 45 minutes for polar alignment,well in 45 minutes I'm done with PA,PHD calibration,and probably another 20 minutes shots are bagged already...
And yes,with the "2 star alignment"I'm guiding" long exposures.I don't really do long-long exposures because the LP and the fast scope I have,but the other night just for the hell of it I let the Atlas go for 10 minutes @1200mm FL
the shot came back perfect as far as the "roundness of the stars"
And I don't have EQMOD or anything,just a plain old ATLAS!
Tibor,


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j.w.white
sage


Reged: 07/18/09

Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: mtibor]
      #4156445 - 11/01/10 02:23 PM

AstroPlanner has a function that is very much like Celestron's ASPA called Iterative Polar Alignment. It of course requires a laptop, but if you are running EQMOD then that requirement is taken care of. PEMPro is another option for PA.

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Patrick
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: mtibor]
      #4156499 - 11/01/10 02:45 PM

Quote:

I'm not sure what you talking about here Patrick




I'm talking about the time it takes to polar align a scope without being able to see Polaris. If you can see Polaris and have a decent polar alignment scope, then it's fairly straight forward to get a half way decent polar alignment starting out. If you can't see Polaris, then you're forced into some kind of iterative alignment procedure which can be time consuming. The OP stated he did not have ready access to Polaris.

I'm not knocking the Atlas because it's a very nice mount. The CGEM is essentially the same mount, but comes with a more robust hand controller and the Celestron firmware.

Patrick


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Skylook123
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: j.w.white]
      #4156506 - 11/01/10 02:47 PM

EQMOD needs a six star alignment (three on one side of the meridian, then three on the opposite side) to give the user an assessment of the polar alignment. It will return and azimuth and elevation adjustment amount, but the devil is in how to measure the angular movement, especially in azimuth. Way too much time at public events where I set up, so I do it the old fashioned way.

Since I use my Atlas in a different location for each setup (3-5 times a month for public outreach, usually at schools), I have to polar align every time and it goes fairly quickly. I just align the tripod with a good compass and bullseye level, put on the mount head, CWs, and OTA, then do a 1-star align. Do a GOTO Polaris, and adjust out half of the offset with the mount mechanical adjustments. Last night, for Halloween, I was within 1/2 degree of polar aligned right out of the box because I didn't have a crowd wanting to look. I started on Jupiter with no alignment, after about an hour there was no one standing in line so I aligned on Schedar in Cassiopeia and did a GOTO Polaris and it was on the edge of the inner circle of the Telrad. I did a two star alignment and was on The Owl within five minutes of starting the polar alignment.

There is a BIG trick in getting it nailed down so well at the start. During daylight, I set a good home position; tripod level and North pointing, after adding the mount head and CWs set the latitude in the saddle plate using a cheap inclinometer, add the OTA, roll the OTA until the CW shaft is perfectly level using a bullseye level on the side of the mount head and set the RA setting circle to 6, level the OTA in DEC with the level on the side of the tube, set the DEC setting circle to the latitude, roll the OTA vertical to RA = 0 and DEC = 0. Then, the only offset is the true polar offset. The compass, inclinometer, and bubble level really nailed it this time. I went to The Owl, The Ring, The Dumbbell, Jupiter, M13, and The Sculptor galaxy and every one was within 15 arc minutes, easily inside the eyepiece. A good home position to start is gold with this mount, while a bad home position really makes life awfull at the public events.

But, you've GOT to see Polaris.

Edited by Skylook123 (11/01/10 02:48 PM)


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RTLR 12
Post Laureate
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Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: Skylook123]
      #4156542 - 11/01/10 03:11 PM

Jim,

I use the same procedure to set up my CGEM and have gotten very good and fast at doing so. I find this procedure to be so good that at times I don't need to bother with a polar alignment.

Stan


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fetoma
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/26/06

Loc: Southern New Jersey
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #4156749 - 11/01/10 04:54 PM

Quote:

Aligning without access to Polaris would be very helpful to me as a pesky spruce tree has grown very large and denied me access from about the only site I have left.




Can you tie a rope to the top of the tree somehow so you can pull it aside to see Polaris?


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: bardo]
      #4157071 - 11/01/10 07:38 PM

Quote:

i dont own one (yet) but im almost certain eqmod for the atlas can walk you through the same process the cgem does. that is if you're going to have a laptop with you.






If you are talking about polar alignment, the answer is no. That was planned for EQMOD at one time, but never completed. Most folks are happy just using the borescope. As an alternative, there is a shareware program, AlignMaster, that can automate the process.


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swartzfeger
member


Reged: 10/25/10

Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: rmollise]
      #4157274 - 11/01/10 09:02 PM

I've also been considering the Atlas EG-Q vs CGEM and was initially leaning Atlas. But like the OP, the described ASPA feature of the celestron just may seal the deal for me.

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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: fetoma]
      #4157275 - 11/01/10 09:02 PM

Quote:


Can you tie a rope to the top of the tree somehow so you can pull it aside to see Polaris?




Oh, no!
It's a sixty footer or so. I did trim the offending branches
years back but it's much worse now. (I'm much worse too . . .no more tree climbing!)

Thanks to all for the many replies. Don't want anyone to feel somehow their ox is getting gored but, so far, seems to me the only advantage to the Atlas over the CGEM is the sale price and that is partially obviated by the need for a saddle adapter to mount my C11 dovetail plate.

The sole disadvantage to the CGEM is it costs a little more but the software offers me an advantage I can use.

The L screws that adjust and hold the PA altitude seem flimsy on the Atlas? The CGEM looks a little more robust in that particular? Is that a fair observation?


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #4157299 - 11/01/10 09:16 PM

Gee, with the Atlas at $1249 who's going to bother with the Sirius? It's still $1149.

Both mounts have their pluses and minuses. There are multiple threads in this forum outlining and comparing the pros and cons of each mount.

I think the biggest con of the Atlas is relatively primitive firmware with a more limited feature set. The availability of open source EQMOD partially offsets this weakness *if* you don't mind lugging a laptop into the field.

The biggest con of the CGEM is probably a spotty reliability history coupled with declining customer service quality.

I'd search the terms "Atlas" and "CGEM" in this forum and you'll find more than you ever wanted to know regarding how the two mounts compare.

I should add that I wouldn't be happy with a C11 on either an Atlas or CGEM. The C9.25 is the biggest SCT I'd put on either mount, even for visual use.

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (11/01/10 09:27 PM)


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swartzfeger
member


Reged: 10/25/10

Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4157723 - 11/02/10 01:51 AM

Not sure if this requires a separate thread, so I'm going to just post in here:

Hypertuning: worth it?

The DIY kits are $135/180, the starter service is $315 + shipping and the advanced is $475 + shipping.

Would it be worth just plowing that money into a better mount? I don't see a lot of mounts that are just a notch above the CGEM/EQ-G pricewise, so the hypertuning seems to be an attractive upgrade if it really does offer a significantly smoother/more precise mount.

My only hesitation in getting this is paying $1300 for a mount and then turning around and blowing another couple of hundred on a mount that may be necessary.


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j.w.white
sage


Reged: 07/18/09

Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: swartzfeger]
      #4157741 - 11/02/10 02:10 AM

"The biggest con of the CGEM is probably a spotty reliability history coupled with declining customer service quality."

Boy, I ABSOLUTELY agree with that statement!!!! I'm in the middle of Hypertuning my CGEM right now because Celestron didn't fix the stiction problem in both RA and DEC axes. I think it will be worth it since the "nominal" amount of extra cash still leaves you far short of what's needed to reach the next level of mount (what I tell myself anyway......).


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Pauls72
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: LaPorte, IN
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4157771 - 11/02/10 02:40 AM

As has already been stated yes, yes and definitely yes.

I use my C11 on my Atlas for visual all the time and am very happy with it. I have never used the C11 for imaging (yet), only my 8 inch reflector or 102mm Mak. At home, I usually set up on the sidewalk in the yard. It runs north/south and the neighbors big old oak tree blocks Polaris. I do basically the same thing as Skylook123. Here are a couple of tips that may help.

Find a runway map for a nearby airport. It will tell you the difference between magnetic north and true north. Here is one for Halifax, NS. The full arrow points to true north, the half arrow points to magnetic north. The map says the difference was 19 degrees back in 2003 and magnetic moves 8.3 minutes to the east every year. So the current difference is about 18 degrees. Use your compass and point your scope 18 degrees east of magnetic north.

I was cheap and made my inclinometer with a plastic half circle protractor, piece of heavy thread and a fishing weight. Total investment was under a $1.

At the end of a session I make sure and park the mount. I painted some marks on the sidewalk where the three legs go. So next time I bring it out, all I have to do is put the 3 legs on the paint marks, do a quick 2 star alignment and I'm good to go. If you are in the grass or dirt you could bury some bricks or blocks at ground level and make your marks on the bricks.

If I take my C11 & Atlas to an outreach event or star party I have to realign it, but it's no big thing for me.

I bought my Atlas just before the CGEM came out. I do not use EQMOD, but I do use PHD and my laptop to guide when I'm imaging. It's no big thing to have the laptop there, because I need the laptop there anyway to drive the camera. Using the ASCOM drivers for either mount, there are quite a few different PC and MAC programs that will drive either mount and give you some additional functionally. I don't think you would be unhappy with either mount.

Both mounts are rated for 40 lbs. capacity. The C11 weighs 27.5 lbs. Even when you add on an eyepiece, diagonal, Crayford focuser and dew shield you are still only at 32-33 lbs. That's well under the mounts capacity.

That's 33 lbs of counter weights, you will never balance a C11 with only 22 lbs.



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Lane
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/19/07

Loc: Frisco, Texas
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4157823 - 11/02/10 04:36 AM

Quote:

Gee, with the Atlas at $1249 who's going to bother with the Sirius? It's still $1149.





I can answer that - WEIGHT

The Sirius is a small mount and can be moved around fully assembled pretty easily. If all you plan to use is a C8 or 4" refractor and you're not into AP then the Sirius is a better choice. Obviously there are other small mounts that are much less expensive, but their not nearly as nice as the Sirius.


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Skylook123
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: Pauls72]
      #4157906 - 11/02/10 06:33 AM

Quote:


.
.
.
I was cheap and made my inclinometer with a plastic half circle protractor, piece of heavy thread and a fishing weight. Total investment was under a $1.
.
.
.







That sure beats my $7 for a Home Depot wall inclinometer!


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NewAstronomer
Post Laureate
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Reged: 09/03/04

Loc: Northeast, PA U.S.A
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: Skylook123]
      #4158095 - 11/02/10 09:36 AM

I'd still opt for the Atlas any day of the week and twice on Tuesday. EQMOD is very powerful, and doubly so if you pier/permanent mount. At its current $1249 price its a no brainer. The EQ45 is 22% more expensive, it will hopefully track as well as the Atlas or better, hold as much as a C11 for visual, but weigh more like a Sirius. If those things are true its price is justified.

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NeoZavier
sage


Reged: 03/22/10

Loc: Puerto Rico
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: j.w.white]
      #4158152 - 11/02/10 10:02 AM

I have the CGEM for over 2 months and I don't regret it. is a great mount a friend of mine has the Atlas and the Sirius mount and the difference is not much:
1. The CGEM has faster tracking over the Atlas.
2. The Atlas is a quieter mount because uses stepper motors.
3. The GCEM has All Star Polar Align for visual use.
4. 5. The Atlas has EQMOD a free program that is great!

This are a few features that can help you make a decision.

-Orlando


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4158296 - 11/02/10 11:18 AM

Quote:


The biggest con of the CGEM is probably a spotty reliability history coupled with declining customer service quality.

I should add that I wouldn't be happy with a C11 on either an Atlas or CGEM. The C9.25 is the biggest SCT I'd put on either mount, even for visual use.
Jim




Jim's first point I have become aware of through this forum and it is troubling indeed. I am unsure what to do about it.
Seems ordering a CGEM is a *BLEEP* shoot. I sort of hope the reliabilty of the CGEMs is getting better after initial teething problems. Wishful thinking?
His second point is the old, never-ending problem of weight, portability and $$$$. Ideally my C11 would be on a pier and in an observatory. There are lots of reasons why this never happened. One is a matter of climate. It is simply too bitterly cold in Canada for too much of the year. This makes observing pretty unattractive to me personally. My C11 sees little use but I still have it. I have SERIOUSLY considered getting a full CGEM 925 and foregoing the C11 entirely. Seems pretty wasteful though. Like all astro types, I fixate on aperture and am very loathe to give it up, especially since I already have it. Who wants less aperture than they already have? And paying for the dubious privilege to boot?

My old fork has gott'a go. Drive corrector is shot in dec and the struggle to mount the thing is another powerful disincentive to use.

So what to do? Yes the C11 is a load for the CGEM. I am not a die-hard imager but, yes, I'd still like to piggyback lenses (including the HEAVY 600/4!)from time to time. I know a heavier mount is really in order for that. And, I'd like to keep imaging options open . . . autoguider capability and the like.

I am rather happy that the next step up in mounts is so high . . .$5000 or so. I am not going there! If it was a progression, rather than a quantum leap, I'd be on the road of ever so slight escalation in costs. Heaven knows where that continuum stops!


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #4158329 - 11/02/10 11:33 AM

"I am rather happy that the next step up in mounts is so high . . .$5000 or so. I am not going there! If it was a progression, rather than a quantum leap, I'd be on the road of ever so slight escalation in costs. Heaven knows where that continuum stops!"

Actually, the next step in mounts is the Losmandy G-11 (~$3000 with Gemini GOTO). There also used to be the Celestron CGE (I have one) in the same "affordable 60# payload" class, but it was dropped by Celestron. Notice "G-11" kind of sounds like..."C11"?

You might be happy with a C11 on an Atlas. Others seem to be. I know that I would not be. My 19# TEC 140 is right at my enjoyment limit for my CGE and it pounds my Atlas into whimpering submission. I like an extremely steady set-up; sub-1-second dampening rates after focusing.

Regards,

Jim


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gillmj24
Post Laureate
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Reged: 12/06/05

Loc: PA
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4158360 - 11/02/10 11:43 AM

Quote:

Gee, with the Atlas at $1249 who's going to bother with the Sirius? It's still $1149.




When I browsed Orion's website it said free shipping on the Sirius. Didn't say anything on the Atlas but if they ship that for free as well it is certainly a good deal!

But if not the difference will be more than just $100.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: Lane]
      #4158404 - 11/02/10 11:57 AM

I know why I want a Sirius; it fits my Vixen-configured piers. The Atlas does not. But I already have an Atlas, and if I were going to have just one, I'd pick the Atlas. I don't find the Atlas to be a particularly heavy mount compared to a CGE or G-11.

I just wish Orion would discount the Sirius to the same degree that they discount the more capable Atlas. I plan on replacing an aging CG5-GT with a Sirius/HEQ-5 should either go on sale (or should the dollar firm up any time soon relative to the Canadian Dollar), but I'd like to spend less than $1000 on a new one.

Regards,

Jim


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tboss70
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Missouri
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4158495 - 11/02/10 12:45 PM

Does this include free shipping? Prior to the sale it had free shipping for $1399. If shipping is not included I wonder how much closer you get to the $1399 price???

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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4158653 - 11/02/10 01:57 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

A Losmondy mount? Well, I dunn'o . . . the old quandry of "where to stop" rears its head.

I will be departing Nova Scotia for Florida in fewer than 48 hours of posting this. The C11 (OTA & dovetail only) WILL be going along for the ride and it WILL gain a new mount soon after our arrival.

What would be a real downer would be spending $1250-$1500 only to find the thing is LESS well mounted than on the old fork and wedge. That would make me very unhappy. A picture of the thing is attached here for those perusing the thread and are unfamiliar with it. I never found the fork/wedge/pod lacking in robustness. After all the 'pod and wedge were meant to carry the C-14.
It would be unhappy for me to find a new mount is worse than the old one.


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dkb
sage


Reged: 07/23/08

Loc: Minnesota
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #4159608 - 11/02/10 09:08 PM

Yes, the Atlas EQ-G is $1249 WITH FREE SHIPPING. It appears that it may be a November only sale since that is what it is listed under. Atlas EQ-G Sale

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: swartzfeger]
      #4159662 - 11/02/10 09:33 PM

Both mounts benefit equally from HyperTuning as they are essentially identical inside. One mount has stepper motors while the other has servos. One mount has a more advanced hand controller while the other relies on the benefits of EQMOD. One mount has better latitude adjustment bolts than the other (I have had to cut them out of a number of mounts after they have been bent). A C11 is pushing the weight envelope on either mount and I would not generally recommend it for astrophotography use with that OTA but some people do it. For a very stable configuration, a C8 with a piggy-backed refractor works better. For the cost, either mount can do very well when tuned up and still cost far less than the next step up.

Ed Thomas.


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bardo
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 09/13/09

Loc: US
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: EFT]
      #4160085 - 11/03/10 02:55 AM

that is one mighty a** lens!

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boardriderz
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Reged: 08/05/10

Loc: Noosavile, QLD, Australia
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: bardo]
      #4235122 - 12/07/10 10:50 PM

I am new to this thread and just read it in the last hour or so, but it seems to me that some people are getting confused with the difference between Polar alignment and go-to alignment. The first of which you need to be able to see Polaris (unless you want to drift align) and is critically important for long period AP, the second of which is more for visual astronomy as your mount can correct for errors in polar alignment by tracking with movement in both RA and DEC.

On the topic of these mounts, I to am looking into both of these and have found the discussion very interesting. Ultimately I am looking at selling my 10" Meade LX200R, which is a great visual scope and getting something a bit better for AP. My question would be, which scope would be better for AP, with no guiding, only good polar alignment and PEC. I wont be using my computer to drive, guide or control my DSLR (that is one of the beauties of them). I am leaning towards the Atlas..... unfortunately the price has gone back to $1399. Have to sell the Meade first. but at least my new AT65EDQ is on the way now for some wide field imaging before I delve into the next topic.... What OTA to piggyback it on.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: boardriderz]
      #4235208 - 12/07/10 11:18 PM

Actually, the CGEM has a routine that helps you polar align when you cannot see Polaris. It's called "All Star Polar Alignment". Perhaps that's what is creating the confusion.

Regards,

Jim


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4235924 - 12/08/10 10:42 AM

Yes, it is the ASPA that I found attractive about CGEM over Atlas. Notice I used the past tense. The killjoys on this forum have ruined me! The CGEM has garnered such a bad rep for QC and reliability, as well as being only marginal in its ability to carry a C11 OTA and piggybacked appurtenances that I am licking my wounds and contemplating a more costly mount. Perhaps a G11 Gemini 2 or something even more costly.

In the interim my C11 is "mountless" and useless as it is with me here in FL while the old fork is in Nova Scotia.


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Kellogg
super member


Reged: 03/17/09

Loc: NS, Canada
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: boardriderz]
      #4236023 - 12/08/10 11:30 AM

If you are still interested in getting the Atlas give them a call, I bought one last week after the promotion ended and they still honoured the sale price.

Mat

Quote:

I am new to this thread and just read it in the last hour or so, but it seems to me that some people are getting confused with the difference between Polar alignment and go-to alignment. The first of which you need to be able to see Polaris (unless you want to drift align) and is critically important for long period AP, the second of which is more for visual astronomy as your mount can correct for errors in polar alignment by tracking with movement in both RA and DEC.

On the topic of these mounts, I to am looking into both of these and have found the discussion very interesting. Ultimately I am looking at selling my 10" Meade LX200R, which is a great visual scope and getting something a bit better for AP. My question would be, which scope would be better for AP, with no guiding, only good polar alignment and PEC. I wont be using my computer to drive, guide or control my DSLR (that is one of the beauties of them). I am leaning towards the Atlas..... unfortunately the price has gone back to $1399. Have to sell the Meade first. but at least my new AT65EDQ is on the way now for some wide field imaging before I delve into the next topic.... What OTA to piggyback it on.




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Bachus
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Nashville,TN.
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: Kellogg]
      #4236315 - 12/08/10 01:40 PM

I bought my Atlas when they offered it with or without the HC opting for the non-HC version. I made a leap of faith and jumped right into using EQMOD and PHD guiding based on what I read and so far pretty happy. Plus I use Cartes du Ceil for my planetarium software and all three work great with the Atlas.

Granted it's not a G11 or Tak but with the EQMOD along with PHD it does a outstanding job. It's pretty solid and can handle the weight. I would opt to change the saddle to a ADM Dual right away and you'll have a nice setup for many scopes out there.


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nemo129
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: WMass
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: dawziecat]
      #4236900 - 12/08/10 06:06 PM

Quote:

Yes, it is the ASPA that I found attractive about CGEM over Atlas. Notice I used the past tense. The killjoys on this forum have ruined me! The CGEM has garnered such a bad rep for QC and reliability, as well as being only marginal in its ability to carry a C11 OTA and piggybacked appurtenances that I am licking my wounds and contemplating a more costly mount. Perhaps a G11 Gemini 2 or something even more costly.




If you can afford it, do the G11 or even a used Mach1. That is a big "if" for most folks, but would be a mount to last a lifetime. That is where I am headed anyway.


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houser23
sage


Reged: 10/26/09

Loc: Rocklin, CA
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: j.w.white]
      #4237272 - 12/08/10 08:59 PM

I find it funny that it takes some people 45 minutes to polar align the Atlas. At most it takes me 3 minutes to polar align my Atlas and It's always dead on for tracking.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: houser23]
      #4237596 - 12/08/10 11:50 PM

It does take me awhile to polar align the Atlas.

Primarily because I observe from different sites and need to adjust the altitude almost every session. The altitude adjustment bolts on the Atlas are extremely poorly designed. They bend easily and aren't ergonomic enough to allow comfortable adjustment with a load in the saddle. If you adjust with the saddle empty, observe on grass, then load the saddle, you'll likely need to re-adjust the altitude.

So yeah, I think the Atlas is deficient in the polar alignment department. The CGEM corrects the Atlas's deficiencies in this regard in two ways. First, it has ergonomically designed altitude knobs. Second, it has an alternative polar alignment mode that does not rely on the polar bore hole/scope.

It's a pity that the CGEM has been so much less reliable than the venerable Atlas. It's also a shame that in all of these years Orion has not bothered to address the few glaring weaknesses of the Atlas to make it an uber mount.

Between the two, I'd still go Atlas, but the polar alignment mechanicals are a sore point.

Regards,

Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: Pauls72]
      #4237607 - 12/08/10 11:54 PM

Switch that polar alignment pin dude. Seriously. Put the mount's "best foot forward" or someone is going to bump it and you'll be very, very sad.

The pin ships on the wrong side. The pin should be aligned with a single leg rather than between two legs, for stability. In other words, the counterweight bar should be in line with the single front north leg when the mount is at polar rest.

Regards,

Jim


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adamsp123
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/20/08

Loc: welshpool mid wales UK
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4238118 - 12/09/10 10:14 AM

Atlas?EQ6 mount, many folk get upgraded bolts for the polar alt adjust.
If you are using PHD you can accurately polar align in a just a few minutes.


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FiniteIntellect
member


Reged: 09/15/10

Loc: Ft. Lauderdale
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: adamsp123]
      #4238216 - 12/09/10 11:03 AM

I just picked up an Atlas EQ-G, well worth it. I can get polar aligned in under a minute. Mind you, the CGEM doesn't come with a polar scope. I also like the 2 11lb counterweights, its better than one 17lb with the CGEM.

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boardriderz
member


Reged: 08/05/10

Loc: Noosavile, QLD, Australia
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: FiniteIntellect]
      #4444739 - 03/12/11 02:56 PM

ok, So it is time to re-visit this discussion, I have finally managed to sell my 10" Meade LX200R and I am in the market for a new mount. The 3 (or 4) on the list are the CGEM, Atlas and the iEQ45 (number 4 would be the Sirius).

I am looking for a mount that can be transported relatively easily (one of the main reasons I sold the LX200... just to big to handle by my self or fit in my car), can handle a reasonable size OTA and has good, accurate tracking for AP (what is the average or stated Periodic error for each of these mounts). Please note that for the time being I will not be guiding the scope and not using a laptop for controll, so the PE of the mount is extreemly important for AP. I am really looing for a mount that can do the job all by it self? Is there any differance between the Altas and the CGEM in this regard?

Yes, the only OTA I currently have is the tiny AT 65-EDQ, but I will be looking for something bigger in the not to distant future.

And one last point, I see now there is a CGEM DX, basically an upgraded tripod and drive motors on the CGEM... is it worth the extra $500?


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nemo129
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: WMass
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: boardriderz]
      #4444860 - 03/12/11 03:53 PM

Quote:

I see now there is a CGEM DX, basically an upgraded tripod and drive motors on the CGEM... is it worth the extra $500?



The tripod is certainly an upgrade and will certainly add to the stability of the mount. From what I have read and seen in videos about the motors, it is an upgraded motor controller chip that improves power management to the motors. The Celestron reps in the videos I saw said nothing about new motors, but then again who knows until someone actually looks at one.


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Phil Sherman
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/07/10

Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: nemo129]
      #4447708 - 03/13/11 09:12 PM

The Sirius - your 4th choice is a great mount but has a much smaller weight capacity than the others. I just had to upgrade my Sirius because, as my 8" Newtonian scope aged, like many people, it gained weight; finally becoming too heavy for the Sirius.

The iEQ45 is a relatively new mount, without any history of long term (5-10 years) reliability. The Atlas can be used with EQMOD, some of the best free software available. Celestron's hand controllers have a wonderful polar alignment routine.

The mounts all have their own strong points; you'll need to decide what's most important to you.

Phil


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nemo129
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Reged: 01/03/10

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Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: boardriderz]
      #4447768 - 03/13/11 09:40 PM

Jimmy,
You might also want to define "reasonable size OTA". That phrase certainly can mean different things to different folks!


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boardriderz
member


Reged: 08/05/10

Loc: Noosavile, QLD, Australia
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: nemo129]
      #4450395 - 03/14/11 10:41 PM

fair call on the "reasonable size" statement, probably nothing bigger than a 10" sct or fast newt. or about 30lb OTA give or take a bit.

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nemo129
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Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: WMass
Re: CGEM vs Atlas EQ-G . . . on the brink . . . new [Re: boardriderz]
      #4452162 - 03/15/11 06:54 PM

IMHO, a 30 lb. OTA on a CGEM or Atlas for any long exposure AP would be difficult, unless you go the hyperstar route on an SCT at ~ f/2. Planetary and lunar would be fine at higher f ratios. YMMV.

For visual you would be fine.


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