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 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | (show all)
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5354511 - 08/06/12 09:47 AM

Quote:

This is why it's good to go by people who have actually used the dang thing under the skies.

Frank




Right on, Frank. It never fails to amaze me how much gear is tried, found guilty, and condemned to death by folks who've only read about it on the dadgum Internet.

In fact, I think the title of this thread will soon cause it to become common knowledge that "nobody has a good one."


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
gnowellsct
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5354881 - 08/06/12 02:00 PM

There, the cavalry arrived in defense of the CGE Pro. Now things are more Internet-normal. But don't y'all go selling your Taks.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bowmoreman
Clear enough skies
*****

Reged: 09/11/06

Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5354940 - 08/06/12 02:35 PM

My MI-250 isn't for sale, either...



All that said, I had nothing but good experiences with my old CGE (purchased used for $2100, and sold several years later for, $1850 IIRC)... of course I did the "Marty Cables" upgrade (had to, otherwise couldn't image at/below 0F)...

Now, gimme an MI250 build/capacity/quality with NexStar controls... at the CGE Pro pricing, that'd be SWEET... and pretty unbeatable at that price/capacity!

Like others, I "experienced" the CGE Pro at NEAF... and found it too high for my situation, as well as I instinctually hated all those protuberances!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #5354987 - 08/06/12 03:14 PM

Quote:

and found it too high for my situation



Yeah, this and the altitude knob was a show stopper for me. The price is attractive, however ergonomics are really bad.

I am curious to know if someone actually extends tripod legs on that already too tall tripod.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #5354991 - 08/06/12 03:16 PM

If the problems mentioned in this thread are the worst that people can come up with, I think that it speaks pretty well of the CGE Pro.

The knobs are inconvenient? Those are really easy to replace. There have already been references in this thread to some aids to make working with them easier. And if ADM doesn't have a complete replacement set available yet, I'd be surprised.

The altitude adjustment is stiff? For what it's worth, I did find this to be true of the one CGE Pro that I've used, even with the lock knobs loose. I found that applying a bit of pressure on the counterweight shaft with my free hand made the altitude knob turn much better. This certainly would not put me off from buying the mount.

The owner of the mount (who I was helping out) had been previously unable to get it polar aligned. I and the owner live near 47 degrees north latitude. Out of the box, the mount is set to work from 45 degrees and points closer to the equator. When I saw that the altitude bolt was bottomed out, it was pretty clear to me what needed to change to make it work. The owner simply wasn't that familiar with GEMs, so now he knows how it works.

There have been some suggestions that the tripod is too narrow for the mount height. I will say that I did not get this impression using it. With a C14 mounted, it was very solid. (The same owner also had a CGEM DX, and had set it up with the counterweight shaft situated between two legs. I had to show him how to move the azimuth adjustment pin to get the shaft over one of the legs. This seems like a much bigger deal to me than the width of the tripod legs.)

The two bigger issues that I see with the CGE Pro are how tall it is, and the price.

My first impression when the CGE Pro came out is that it was over priced - primarily because it's getting pretty close to the low end of the premium brands. To some degree, I still think that it makes more sense as a $4000 mount. But after watching it handle the C14 like a CG5 handles a C8, I am a believer in its capacity. And if recent reports of 3 arc seconds of smooth periodic error are to be believed, this mount may be for real as a solid imaging platform.

The one thing that I cannot get over is the height thing. With my CGE/C14 pointed above 45 degrees altitude, I can see into the eyepiece from my observing chair. With the CGE Pro and C14, you pretty much have to stand.

No mount is perfect, and this thread mostly zeros in on the things that I noticed when I used one. But honestly, these are pretty minor things. And for imagers, there may be a very good story to tell that's not represented here at all.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5355226 - 08/06/12 06:01 PM

Quote:

I'm surprised no one is jumping in on behalf of the cge pro. I posted a negative impression after seeing it at NEAF when it first came out and got an earful from its supporters. gn




I'm done responding..

If I had a 3600GTO and slapped a celestron logo on the side of it, and called it the new CGE-Pro, someone would have some issue with it cause it says "celestron"

These are the same comments made about "my refractor is better than your SCT's!" "my Tak is better than that Celestron APO octilet that see's not into the past but into the future!" If it says meade or celestron, it has to be sh|t! Someone made a comment about the auto industry.. Ford or chevy? Chevy or ford?? Toyota!!! I really love the video astronomy bickering from the still folks too... I can just stack my stills to make a movie..

Most issues with any mount or tele or any product for that matter comes down to user error..

It's all just lame... Just like me.. I'm a lamer too..

This message will self destruct...



Edited by David Pavlich (08/06/12 06:20 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
gnowellsct
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: WadeH237]
      #5355783 - 08/07/12 12:21 AM

Quote:

But after watching it handle the C14 like a CG5 handles a C8, I am a believer in its capacity. And if recent reports of 3 arc seconds of smooth periodic error are to be believed, this mount may be for real as a solid imaging platform.




Maybe the CGE Pro chased Astro-Physics out of the 900/1200 end of the market????

Greg N


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

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5355801 - 08/07/12 12:37 AM

"Most issues with any mount or tele or any product for that matter comes down to user error..."

You must've been asleep for the CGEM launch, then.

- Jim


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

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: WadeH237]
      #5355817 - 08/07/12 12:48 AM

"To some degree, I still think that it makes more sense as a $4000 mount."

I'd concur. It's getting there; just under $5k currently on sale. The problem is, for visual use a Mach 1 will have little problem with a C14 OTA. For a grand and a half more, you can have A-P quality and reliability, albeit with a reduced capacity, and you don't need to rely on what C says about periodic error improvements, you'll know that for a lighter OTA you have an accurate smooth mount.

What attracts me about the CGE Pro is its height, actually. It should be able to handle the moment arm of a long achromat. The height is a plus with a 8-foot OTA, for example. I'm thinking that it makes a slowish 8" doublet a real possibility. I'm just up to my ears in Celestron mounts (CG5 (second one; first one died of old age), CGE (waiting for socket failure death), Nexstar SE (sounds HORRIBLE in altitude (thump, thump, thump), CPC), and they all feel a little like ticking time bombs. There's something to be said for a mount that you can take out into the bush for a week without once thinking about failure and taking along a Plan B alternative mount.

Dunno, I'm still on the fence over the Pro. If I had an observatory it'd be a no brainer; I'd go for one, but given its size and heft, and my uneasiness in having too many eggs in the Celestron mount basket, and my lack of a permanent location for it, I'm still puzzling.

- Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5356031 - 08/07/12 07:38 AM

Quote:

"Most issues with any mount or tele or any product for that matter comes down to user error..."

You must've been asleep for the CGEM launch, then.

- Jim




Maybe he was and maybe he wasn't. Actually, quite a few CGEM problems _were_ pilot error.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
gnowellsct
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5356256 - 08/07/12 10:37 AM

Quote:


Dunno, I'm still on the fence over the Pro. If I had an observatory it'd be a no brainer; I'd go for one, but given its size and heft, and my uneasiness in having too many eggs in the Celestron mount basket, and my lack of a permanent location for it, I'm still puzzling.

- Jim




Look at all you've spent Jim. Penny wise and pound foolish. A 900GTO would have blown away all the mounts you mention (except the Mach 1) and total cost would have been the same or less--and you'd still be using it, no corpses.

The Parmount MX also looks sweet when you compare it to $5k for a mount that will last five years. Looking over your inventory and as your un-invited financial advisor I'd say sell every mount you have on hand and get a 900GTO while still available, or a Mach 1, or an MX. Any one of those will leave you light years ahead. And they're all portable as well as observatory class. Once you have one you will look at your post and shake your head in disbelief.

Greg N

Edited by gnowellsct (08/07/12 10:40 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
gnowellsct
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5356277 - 08/07/12 10:51 AM

Thought: Nothing in astronomy beats the transition in terms of improving quality of life/equipment/field experience from the comes-with packaged mounts to the premium boutique shops. Getting a 5" apo vs a 9.25 is only a gain in some dimensions. Selling the C14 for an RCOS will gain you some capabilities. But nothing makes astro life sweeter than the transition to a premier mount. And a premier used mount from ten or fifteen years ago will do the trick.

I was also thinking, Jim, that as far as refractor height goes, you can just get the CGE Pro tripod. But refractor height is a known issue. For example you can get the Losmandy HD tripod with the refractor extension and put the AP adapter on it for your GTO and you're in business for both long refractors (with extension) and SCTs (without extension, legs full up) and Newts (minimum leg extension). The HD tripods come up on AM fairly often.


Greg N


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5356317 - 08/07/12 11:27 AM

I've use a C-14 on a Mach 1 and it's fine visually. I do agree with Greg, a 900 or Paramount MX would be a lifetime mount for you Jim. For the same money as the 9000, the PMX comes with two weights. It very portable and accurate. However, given your lack of desire to bring anything more than an IPad (don't blame ya) the AP900 would be the way to go. If fact, as you don't need the enhanced capabilities of the "potentially" too be added absolute encoders on the replacement 900....wait until they announce a replacement and grab a mint used 900 at a bargain price.


Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
freestar8n
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/12/07

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5356602 - 08/07/12 02:39 PM

I should just sell all my stuff right now and forget about GEM's entirely and get a monster DFM fork mount with a 24" CDK on it. All this money spent on GEM's is a waste when you can bounce around the sky at high speed with 0.5" precision - and no meridian flips. One example is the one at Clay Center Observatory. They have done great work with it. Why settle for less?

But if we actually are talking about finite sums of money, and in particular the CGE Pro, which is the subject of this thread, apparently they are on sale now for $4499. You can get one with a C11HD for $7199.

I have no idea what criteria visual users have for a mount - since people are happy with everything from a push-to dobsonian to a giant AP with a little refractor on it. Imaging has more well defined needs, usually measured by the quality of images in long exposures. Somehow this has been morphed into the "PE" of a mount - but you can get excellent results from mid-range mounts such as the CGE and CGE-Pro if you guide right.

For me, in terms of imaging, the biggest change from CGE to CGE-Pro is tracking past the meridian - which has a big effect on productivity and effort involved. The cables are much better (though I never changed the cables on my cge, and it is an early one), the motors are more powerful, and it is much more massive. But it still can be set up pretty quickly by one person - by breaking down into more sub-components than the cge.

For imaging you can guide very well with these mounts and get with them a large aperture, flat field SCT for less than the low side of the high end mount price range. That pushes the priority of expense into the ccd itself - which can grow to match the available field. But prices for big ccd's have come down also - so you can have an entire imaging setup, with a high payload mount, all for less than a high end mount.

Frank


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


Reged: 12/16/04

Loc: Beaverton, OR, USA
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5356635 - 08/07/12 02:57 PM

Quote:

I'd concur. It's getting there; just under $5k currently on sale. The problem is, for visual use a Mach 1 will have little problem with a C14 OTA. For a grand and a half more, you can have A-P quality and reliability, albeit with a reduced capacity, and you don't need to rely on what C says about periodic error improvements, you'll know that for a lighter OTA you have an accurate smooth mount.




I think you're understanding the price difference quite a bit; the price for the CGE Pro includes a bunch of things that are not included in the Mach 1 base price. Of course, you can configure the thing how you want, but the cost for my Mach 1 once I had all of the pieces (the standard pier, a set of counterweights and so on) was around $7500. OPT currently lists the CGE Pro at $4500 including the (mostly) comparable items.

Don't get me wrong: the Mach 1 is a fantastic mount, and I certainly wouldn't trade mine, but it's actually significantly more expensive than the CGE Pro when you include everything.

Regards & Clear Skies
Duncan


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
snommisbor
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: Duncan Kitchin]
      #5356657 - 08/07/12 03:13 PM

I have considered the CGE Pro especially with the sale going on, but it just scares me in regards to the horror stories of months without a mount due to backlogs. Now with that said I have a CGEM and it has been great. I have some guiding errors but I think it has been a fantastic mount for a first mount. But now I think I need to increase my payload capacity and I like the 90 lbs of the CGE Pro, but I have heard that the Mach1 which a friend of mine has says it can go maximum payload and not miss a beat. But man an extra 3K for that. Or the G11 which s 60 lbs payload, always hear good things about it and it is cheaper. But I do love the Nextstar controller of Celestron, that is their shining star. Just awesome.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
bilgebayModerator
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 11/06/08

Loc: Turkiye - Istanbul and Marmari...
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: jmiele]
      #5356720 - 08/07/12 04:05 PM

When I decided to move up from CG5 Goto mount to a high capacity one I was very close to getting a CGE Pro. However, following the complaints in the forums I was not very comfortable with the idea. Then I suddenly noticed Vixen New Atlux with Starbook. Vixen Optics was and still is publishing the Maximum loading weight as 75 lbs. This was less than CGE Pro's 90 lbs. but Atlux had much smoother and smaller PE compared to CGE Pro and the capacity would be good enough for my purposes.

I flew to US, picked the mount and some other stuff and came back to Turkey. The moment I started reading the manual all the blood in my veins rushed to my brain the manual stated that the maximum payload capacity was 45 lbs. only.

As far as I know, no one, but no one, including Vixen Japan themselves, advertise a payload capacity including the counterweights. So this was shock number 1! It took me a few weeks to compromise with this disappointment.

Then shock number 2 arrived when I discovered that that attractive looking Starbook was a very stupid controller which wouldn't even take care of the cone error. The result was awfull gotos. My 6 year old CG5 had near perfect gotos all the time. It took me lots of communications with Vixen US, which was no help to me at all, and 6 months to develop a method of my own to overcome this problem.

However, the mount was designed very robustly and beautifuly and running like a Swiss clock. Tracking was near perfect as promissed So I was a happy camper in spite of the points I have shared above.

Not a single cable was laid outside the mount body. All you had to connect is the power and autoguider cables. Even a cleaner design than A-P. Altitude and Azimuth adjustments are very easy indeed.

Below are some photos of the Atlux next to a A-P 1200.



Larger photo



Larger photo



Larger photo



Sky Safari connection via my iPhone through ethernet (Vixen board allows comms on ethernet) added a great value to the mount. No more was I to enter comets or other objects manually. Sky Safari was doing all for me.

Then, the guys in Spain, who have been building NexSXD cards for Vixen Sphinx mounts produced a similar card for the New Atlux as well. These boards are replacing the Vixen control boards and running the Vixen mounts with Nexstar protocol with Celestron Hand Controller or NexRemote. I did immediately purchased one and replaced the Vixen board on the mount. The mount, now, believes it is a CGE Pro

Since then, I am the happy owner of the best mount in its class. Wonderful mechanics from Vixen and a great and smart controller from Celestron. I am using it upto its full capacity for astrophotography and it never fails me. I believe Vixen, like A-P, is very conservative regarding the payload capacity of their mounts. After all, maybe Vixen USA was right in their capacity assessment

I believe the New Atlux can be purchased for approx $4K these days and can be upraded to NexAtlux for approx $350 including the Celestron HC. Woodland Hills are listing one for $ 3599 but I suspect this is less the tripod --> http://telescopes.net/store/3609u-atlux-mount-with-dp95-tripod-and-starbook.html

So, why did I tell you all this ? I believe the purpose of the thread is to find reliable mount. Here is one albeit with a slightly less capacity.

Clear skies

Sedat


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
bilgebayModerator
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 11/06/08

Loc: Turkiye - Istanbul and Marmari...
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: freestar8n]
      #5356735 - 08/07/12 04:17 PM

Quote:

I should just sell all my stuff right now and forget about GEM's entirely and get a monster DFM fork mount with a 24" CDK on it. All this money spent on GEM's is a waste when you can bounce around the sky at high speed with 0.5" precision - and no meridian flips. One example is the one at Clay Center Observatory. They have done great work with it. Why settle for less?






Frank-

Here is a versatile fork mount you can buy with finite amount of money ( Less than Euros 10K IIRC) --> http://www.astronomy.hu/ENG/mofod_eng.html


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
freestar8n
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/12/07

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: bilgebay]
      #5356773 - 08/07/12 04:52 PM

Thanks for the pointer - I hadn't seen that one before. Good thing there is a 'D' on the end of MoFoD.

If I had a high end setup in a permanent observatory I really would prefer a fork if possible - but for anything that gets set up and taken down I would use a GEM.

Frank


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: freestar8n]
      #5356895 - 08/07/12 06:33 PM

If I buy this mount it will be used for imaging only.
I'll use HC only when turning on and hibernate, for everything else I'll use notebook and probably Maxim DL.
I really don't care if goto is not really dead on, what I care is CGE Pro tracking and guiding.
So how about CGE Pro as imaging mount?

Knez


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | (show all)


Extra information
26 registered and 30 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Dave M, richard7, bilgebay 

Print Thread

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


Thread views: 9215

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics