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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Sharkman
super member


Reged: 08/12/06

Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: skybsd]
      #4322096 - 01/18/11 04:37 AM

Quote:

"photometry / astrometry"? Will you be performing these as part of a research or an educational organization? Or you undertaking this path as a personal, private endeavour?



Personal / private, though in coordination with the MPC and other similar groups.

Quote:

I note you didn't mention the budget you have to work with - for some of these choices, accessorizing to set up readiness comes with additional costs.



Well, I was originally hoping to keep mount + scope under $11K or so, but I'm willing to increase that if the benefits are significant. A more expensive mount would for sure keep me with the 11" EdgeHD.

Quote:

Getting away from how you came about your information, if you're concerned about QA issues surrounding the Losmandy G11 ("I also recently heard that Losmandy is now shipping their mounts without being tested after assembly"), I'm curious why you'd still have the Losmandy Titan on your list of candidate mounts.., It is, after all, made in the same shop, made and QA'd by the same people as the G11, you see.



I've mostly heard bad things about the G11; I'm not sure if the Titan has the same problems, hence its inclusion on my list.

Quote:

Have a think about what I've said here - particularly about your expected start up be end-game payloads as well as budget, okay?



In addition to the OTA and the stock finder scope, the only other things I anticipate needing are a dovetail, perhaps a Robofocus, and camera (leaning toward the ST-8XME); the latter weighs about 2 lbs.

I should add that the source for my info about Losmandy, as well as for a positive recommendation for the CGE Pro, was Dr Clay Sherrod (the Supercharge guy). He also doesn't like the Gemini controller, and pointed out that the Paramount requires the TheSkyX.

If I rule out the Pro, the Titan and the MX, that leaves the AP and Tak. The AP is $8750 vs. $9195 for the Tak, plus appx. $1300 for a tripod -- so more than twice the cost of the CGE Pro.

Edited by Sharkman (01/18/11 04:50 AM)


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LLEEGE
True Blue
*****

Reged: 03/03/05

Loc: Cloud-chester,NY
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: Sharkman]
      #4322237 - 01/18/11 07:48 AM

And more then twice the performance.

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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: LLEEGE]
      #4322284 - 01/18/11 08:32 AM

AP and TAK are in a different league altogether from the others. Either one is worth the $$$ The titan is a good mount but everyone agrees the electronics is the weak link right now.

AP can be used without a computer if you want to, I like not depending on a computer if I don't want to. AP can have PEC programed, but my errors are so smooth I don't use it when I am guiding. Many adpaters available for different pier/tripod mounting options. Price for accessories are reasonable, and most ship immediately.

Tak is suppose to have a better polar aligment scope, although I never have problems with my AP polar scopes. Tak parts are expensive, at least here.

I think you will find that owners of each mount are pretty loyal, and happy with their choice. Can't go wrong with either.


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Mirzam
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: DeanS]
      #4322336 - 01/18/11 09:01 AM

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Mathis Instruments fork mounts. Or do we need portability here?

Fork mounts allow tracking through the meridian without flipping--which is useful for photometry for a variety of reasons.

JimC


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Mirzam
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: Mirzam]
      #4322345 - 01/18/11 09:07 AM

If portability is required, why not just get a CPC-11 with a wedge? Put the rest of the budget into an SBIG self-guiding camera.

JimC


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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: Mirzam]
      #4322369 - 01/18/11 09:15 AM

Our local university has a Mathis fork mount and are not happy with it at all. Manily due to the electronics which is the same as the paramount. These guys are not stupid and just can't get it to work consistantly. The mount itself is nice but the interface is their issue. It also is very large, I think it is the 500, but could be a 750. They have a 20" DK on it.

They also do a lot of public programs and it would be so much easier if they had the AstroPhysics electronics where they could control the mount from the handbox. I showed the director how I start up and run both my AP mounts and he is amazed at how easy and accurately I get up and running. Not sure what the fork does to change start up but I know they must do a homing each time where I can stop anywhere, and start back up from there. Their's just seem way to complicated for some reason.


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Mirzam
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/01/08

Loc: Lovettsville, VA
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: DeanS]
      #4322379 - 01/18/11 09:20 AM

Hmmm. Sorry to hear about that. If they decide to sell the Mathis on Ebay, please let us know!

JimC


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kolsen
member


Reged: 11/05/08

Loc: IL
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: Sharkman]
      #4322435 - 01/18/11 09:53 AM

Quote:


I've mostly heard bad things about the G11; I'm not sure if the Titan has the same problems, hence its inclusion on my list.





Hi Sharkman,
I'm interested in buying the G11. What are some of the things you've heard? Any big issues?


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zawijava
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/06/07

Loc: Wells, Maine 04090
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: kolsen]
      #4322597 - 01/18/11 11:18 AM

How'bout a Tak NJP Temma? There is one for sale on AM for $5K, it would certainly carry a C-11+gear.

Tim


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: zawijava]
      #4322702 - 01/18/11 12:13 PM

Just a note - depending on object arc in sky path, the A-P ( at least my CP3 H/C version)allows for tracking past Meridian... the reason I say 'depending' is that your scope could hit the pier if not careful - but the capability is there in the hand controller. Nice that it 'zeroes it out' when you power down, so you have to invoke it when desired - good for safety.

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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #4323015 - 01/18/11 02:37 PM

Good point Jim forgot to mention that, I use the Meridian delay feature often when imaging. I can go upside down for a couple hours before the meridian when I start imaging, this way I do not have a flip during the sequence. How early I can go depends on if the scope clears the pier.

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gdd
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: kolsen]
      #4323079 - 01/18/11 03:11 PM

Quote:



Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I've mostly heard bad things about the G11; I'm not sure if the Titan has the same problems, hence its inclusion on my list.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Hi Sharkman,
I'm interested in buying the G11. What are some of the things you've heard? Any big issues?

--------------------
Keith






Hi Keith,

I am also interested in the G11 and what Sharkman has to say. The biggest problem I am aware of for the G11 is the dual worm block design flaw causing the "76 second error". That is correctable at additional cost by Losmandy or 3rd parties for the G11. The problem should not exist for the Titan which has the corrected design standard.

I have no idea what the QA process is for Losmandy, but no doubt it is not as extensive as for the top-tier mounts.

Gale


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skybsd
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/01/08

Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: Sharkman]
      #4323167 - 01/18/11 03:56 PM

Hello,
Good to hear from you - thanks for taking the time respond to the questions I had..,

Quote:

Quote:

"photometry / astrometry"? Will you be performing these as part of a research or an educational organization? Or you undertaking this path as a personal, private endeavour?



Personal / private, though in coordination with the MPC and other similar groups.





Ahh.., I understand. The reason for my asking is the fact that most research and educational institutions tend to use rather complex (and heavy) equipment.

So there's absolutely no chance that you might be tempted to head off onto another photography direction that requires the addition of other equipment later on?


Quote:

Quote:

I note you didn't mention the budget you have to work with - for some of these choices, accessorizing to set up readiness comes with additional costs.



Well, I was originally hoping to keep mount + scope under $11K or so, but I'm willing to increase that if the benefits are significant. A more expensive mount would for sure keep me with the 11" EdgeHD.





Does that budget apply only to the mount solution - and that you've budgeted for shipping, etc elsewhere?


Quote:

Quote:

Getting away from how you came about your information, if you're concerned about QA issues surrounding the Losmandy G11 ("I also recently heard that Losmandy is now shipping their mounts without being tested after assembly"), I'm curious why you'd still have the Losmandy Titan on your list of candidate mounts.., It is, after all, made in the same shop, made and QA'd by the same people as the G11, you see.



I've mostly heard bad things about the G11; I'm not sure if the Titan has the same problems, hence its inclusion on my list.





I see. The Titan would suffer from the same support delivery and availability problems as the G11 - let's just say that Losmandy isn't known for fast turnaround on support issues. Its less that ideal here in Europe, I can't imagine what it'd be like in NZ.


Quote:

Quote:

Have a think about what I've said here - particularly about your expected start up be end-game payloads as well as budget, okay?



In addition to the OTA and the stock finder scope, the only other things I anticipate needing are a dovetail, perhaps a Robofocus, and camera (leaning toward the ST-8XME); the latter weighs about 2 lbs.

If I rule out the Pro, the Titan and the MX, that leaves the AP and Tak. The AP is $8750 vs. $9195 for the Tak, plus appx. $1300 for a tripod -- so more than twice the cost of the CGE Pro.




If a C11 is able to meet your needs for photometry and astrometry, what exactly are the reasons for considering the C14? If there were no material difference in results to be expected in choosing the C14 over the C11, then I'd suggest you look at the C11 / AP900GTO platform, rather going with the C14.

With the lighter OTA, you leave additional growth for additional equipment later on, should things or your photography direction changes..,

Thanks again.., Hope that helps some..,

Regards,

skybsd

Regards,

skybsd


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro new [Re: Sharkman]
      #4323418 - 01/18/11 05:37 PM

I question your decision of selecting the EdgeHD over the ACF or the AstroTech/GSO RC for photometry. Less refractive elements the better photometry. As to the G11, there are many happy users out there, same probably applies to the CGE Pro even to the CGE. The more important issue though is if you are willing to ship your mount back to Celestron if the need arises and wait many months for it to come back, or you would rather call Losmandy and ask for parts and advice how to fix your mount. Toss a coin. One more thing, if you’re a science guy, the Gemini controller will serve you better than a fairly basic Celestron controller. I found the GoTo target synchronization between the Gemini controller and a planetarium software very helpful. Another issue very important for precision photometry is how far a mount can track pass the meridian. It is quite difficult and time consuming to consolidate/reconcile data acquisition before and after the meridian flip.

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freestar8n
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/12/07

Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro [Re: Alph]
      #4323451 - 01/18/11 05:54 PM

If stars are slightly bloated at all due to field curvature in RC or ACF, Edge will have a distinct win in SNR in comparison to any negligible loss due to its extra lenses.

The CGE Pro goes 20 degrees before or past the meridian.

With AllStar polar alignment and PEC, you may be able to do a quick setup and polar alignment that then lets you do unguided exposures adequate for photometry - depending on the length of your exposures.

The celestron controller works well by itself and also works fine with software - in terms of synching or whatever. Plus, you have the option of dispensing with the handcontrol and just using NexRemote - and other software can then talk through NexRemote. The synch. you describe with Gemini is no different with a celestron mount - using TheSky, Maxim, or whatever.

I'm not sure how long the exposures will be or how/if they will be guided - but if guiding isn't too critical then for all sky photometry a fork mount does have advantages - which would point to CPC for example.

Frank


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro [Re: freestar8n]
      #4323480 - 01/18/11 06:11 PM

Quote:

The celestron controller works well by itself and also works fine with software - in terms of synching or whatever



The ‘whatever’ is a thingy called PC object in the Gemini terminology. The target of the GoTo issued by a planetarium software is captured and saved by the Gemini controller for future reference as the PC object. This is just one of many features that makes the Gemini controller a better choice for an advanced user.


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JAT Observatory
NOT a Wimp
*****

Reged: 02/20/05

Loc: In the Primordial Soup
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro [Re: DeanS]
      #4323637 - 01/18/11 07:25 PM

Quote:

Our local university has a Mathis fork mount and are not happy with it at all. Manily due to the electronics which is the same as the paramount. These guys are not stupid and just can't get it to work consistantly. The mount itself is nice but the interface is their issue.




I am becoming less and less of a fan of the Software Bisque, but not because of their hardware but because of their business practice. I have found their electronics (the Bisque TCS System) to be very reliable especially the MKS-3000 system. The TCS system is one of the key feature of the Paramount and one of the reason I purchased a Paramount. I upgraded my Paramount to the MKS-4000 and haven't had an issue. I am actually surprised to hear there are unresolved issues especially with their older proven hardware.

I would think Bisque would be eager to help get the root of the problem.


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Phil Cowell
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/24/07

Loc: Southern Tier NY
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro [Re: Alph]
      #4323641 - 01/18/11 07:26 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The celestron controller works well by itself and also works fine with software - in terms of synching or whatever



The ‘whatever’ is a thingy called PC object in the Gemini terminology. The target of the GoTo issued by a planetarium software is captured and saved by the Gemini controller for future reference as the PC object. This is just one of many features that makes the Gemini controller a better choice for an advanced user.



And there have been no Gemini units since June I think. So advanced it's made with unobtainium as are some critical spare parts.


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DeanS
Post Laureate
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Reged: 07/12/05

Loc: Central Kentucky
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro [Re: JAT Observatory]
      #4323650 - 01/18/11 07:32 PM

Quote:

I would think Bisque would be eager to help get the root of the problem.




Yes one would think


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kohudson
sage


Reged: 01/21/09

Loc: Mayhill, NM
Re: Titan vs. MX vs. 900GTO vs. EM-400 vs. CGE Pro [Re: DeanS]
      #4323690 - 01/18/11 07:50 PM

I think the Tak, AP or Paramount would all work. If you are going to operate your scope remotely I would definitely go with the Paramount MX. However, you'll have to wait until it comes out and there is always the possibility of "growing pains" at first. Those "growing pains" may be tricky to deal with so far away...

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