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)
KDizzle
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/12/08

Loc: Woodinville, WA
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5358660 - 08/08/12 07:19 PM

Well, to be honest, I don't run it unguided. It is so easy to set up and start imaging with either OAG, 80mm guidescope, or the AOL that I can even do alignments half the time using just the finder and get great results. Yes I said that. Alignment with the 50mm finder.

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: gnowellsct]
      #5358955 - 08/08/12 11:07 PM

Quote:

Contrary to what I read someone on one of the CN fora, the AP900GTO is not going away.




Yes it is. Astro-Physics has been very clear that the stock of AP900s that they have on hand are the last of the line.

There was a post today in the AP users group where someone asked if AP was going to continue to offer a mount between the Mach1 and the AP1600. Roland answered that, yes, they would continue to offer something.

What he did not say in this instance (but has said in the past) is that the continued offering will not be the AP900, but something new. In the same way that the AP1200 was retired in favor of the 1600, the AP900 is retired in favor of some new, as of yet unnamed mount. The new mount will have the same basic features of the AP1600 (ie. through the mount cable routing, optional encoders, etc.)

-Wade


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? new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5358999 - 08/08/12 11:59 PM

"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."

Ah, but the difference is that if I had just one costly mount rather than a half-dozen inexpensive ones, I could only use one OTA at a time. Multiple mounts allow not only the redundancy/fail-over option, but also the simultaneous fielding of a plethora of different OTAs.

And actually, all of my mounts together don't add up to the cost of a single A-P 900 once I factor in the required ala carte accessories on the A-P (counterweights, shaft, tripod/pier, etc.). I do think about consolidation sometimes, but I'd probably also need to downsize on the OTA front a bit if I did that.

So, I guess what I really need are a pair of A-P 900s and a pair of Mach 1s.



- Jim


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5359017 - 08/09/12 12:13 AM

Quote:

So, I guess what I really need are a pair of A-P 900s and a pair of Mach 1s.



- Jim




Don't we all.


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

Reged: 02/03/07

Loc: just outside of Toronto
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5359045 - 08/09/12 12:30 AM

Quote:

"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."

Ah, but the difference is that if I had just one costly mount rather than a half-dozen inexpensive ones, I could only use one OTA at a time. Multiple mounts allow not only the redundancy/fail-over option, but also the simultaneous fielding of a plethora of different OTAs.

And actually, all of my mounts together don't add up to the cost of a single A-P 900 once I factor in the required ala carte accessories on the A-P (counterweights, shaft, tripod/pier, etc.). I do think about consolidation sometimes, but I'd probably also need to downsize on the OTA front a bit if I did that.

So, I guess what I really need are a pair of A-P 900s and a pair of Mach 1s.



- Jim




I'll keep your spares at a secure location at a distance from yours, tested and ready to go...


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? new [Re: bilgebay]
      #5359050 - 08/09/12 12:36 AM

I love your patio. What a great view. It seems like our climates and tastes in stonework are not all that different.



I concur that the Vixen US practice of stating capacity with CWs included is a bit misleading, especially since the mother ship in Japan does not rate the mounts that way. Though I will say that Losmandy states capacity both ways - with and without CWs, so it's not entirely unprecedented. And Starbook is stupid. I wish the Starbook mounts were Sky Wire compatible. Still, if it tracks smoothly it's not all bad.

- Jim


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

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: WadeH237]
      #5359060 - 08/09/12 12:48 AM

Quote:



Yes it is. Astro-Physics has been very clear that the stock of AP900s that they have on hand are the last of the line.

There was a post today in the AP users group where someone asked if AP was going to continue to offer a mount between the Mach1 and the AP1600. Roland answered that, yes, they would continue to offer something.

What he did not say in this instance (but has said in the past) is that the continued offering will not be the AP900, but something new. In the same way that the AP1200 was retired in favor of the 1600, the AP900 is retired in favor of some new, as of yet unnamed mount. The new mount will have the same basic features of the AP1600 (ie. through the mount cable routing, optional encoders, etc.)

-Wade




You are correct. A "900 size mount," not the 900GTO.

Greg N


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: jrbarnett]
      #5359079 - 08/09/12 01:15 AM

Thank you Jim. Your place is beautiful too. When I visited Berkeley, Napa Valley, Point Reyes and many other places last year, I came to the same conclusion. I felt very much at home in your country.

Quote:

I wish the Starbook mounts were Sky Wire compatible.




Starbook is compatible with SkyFi. I have used my mount with Sky Safari (then Sky Voyager) in that configuration like 8-9 months prior to switching to the NexAtlux board. The subject was discussed here. You would only need a wireless router, preferably an Airport Express, for connecting Starbook to your home network. However, any router, if you already have one, should also work.

I am not sure if I was able to use it with Sky Wire as well..but I don't think so. It requires a serial connection IIRC whereas Starbook connects through TCPIP protocol.

If you need any help just let me know.

Clear skies

Edited by bilgebay (08/09/12 01:29 AM)


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

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5359089 - 08/09/12 01:21 AM

You cannot do TDM-style control from the drive servos.

Because it doesn't take into account gear backlash in the drive, backlash from the servo gearhead and the worm, some cable dragging on the OTA, wind.....

All of which can be compensated by a TDM (or SiTech tick management.. or Littlefoot Encoder-Assisted PEC) because these solutions are reading the RA axis directly.


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

Reged: 10/12/07

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: EFT]
      #5359195 - 08/09/12 04:00 AM

Quote:

There is a certain amount (maybe a lot) of snobbery involved here (e.g., my triplet's better than your doublet, my PE is lower than your PE) that completely ignores the end result. Everyone is looking for the easy answer in regards to equipment but in the end is forgetting about the actual performance of the equipment (i.e., can't see the forest for the trees).




I think a related question is - why aren't more people asking the same question you're asking - and with the same clarity of thought?

I think there are many factors involved, but mainly it is an issue of massive groupthink in which autoguiding amateurs have latched onto sub-optimal methodology coupled with a lack of appreciation for good performance metrics that keeps them in a rut of contented mediocrity.

There are several compounding factors:

1) Good results *can* be bought in the form of a high end mount with expensive bearings and gearbox - coupled with low PE. This leads to a strong correlation between good results and low PE - which gives the impression that lowering PE in a mid-range mount will dramatically improve results - but correlation is not causality.

2) "Experts" in autoguiding usually graduate to high end equipment that yields good results and gives an impression they have also acquired expertise with mid-range equipment - but unless they have actually demonstrated good results with mid-range equipment, their advice and methodology are unverified. Thus, much of the theory and craft advocated on the web is simply bad advice not backed by relevant results. This same advice is ok for high end equipment simply because it is more forgiving and can even yield good results with no guiding at all.

3) There is a normal "photography" mode of assessing astrophotography results - just by qualitative assessment of appearance and sharpness of processed images and saying, "That's a great image! Good guiding!". But in astronomy all the objects are at infinity and moving at the same rate - so you can have objective measures of sharpness - mainly fwhm in arc-seconds. People can't differentiate a good result from a bad one, and therefore can't distinguish methods that work well from those that don't.

4) There is a lack of any sense of proportion of all the errors involved - mainly centroid accuracy, periodic error, gearbox error, bearing noise, and seeing. Somehow the centroid error is considered negligible while periodic error dominates - but there is no empirical basis for this and simple calculations show that typical periodic error between guide exposures is a small fraction of an arc-second - and would not explain the measured bloating of the star fwhm.

5) There is a fundamental lack of interest in emulating good scientific and engineering practice by trying different approaches and empirically comparing results by relevant objective metrics.

I don't expect a change to happen easily and it may never happen because it would require such a paradigm shift. But I see people switching to OAG more and more since the improvement in results is dramatic and immediate, although it does require more effort. It is easier to be content with a little guidescope, thinking there is no need to try harder because everything is already optimal.

I do occasionally see people asking questions like the one you asked - and that is encouraging.

On the topic of cge-pro vs. high end - the difference in price is dramatic - but the results obtained by good guiding are not. Most high end results with sct's are guided with oag or dual-chip anyway - so there is little difference in that regard.

Frank


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]
      #5359217 - 08/09/12 04:30 AM

I agree with you and Ed Frank. For me what matters is the transparency of the mount. In my case, I don't even know that my mount exists at all. It does its job perfectly in co-operation with the OAG or guidescope plus the guide camera and the guiding software. I would notice the mount only when it doesn't do its job properly, ie elongated stars or off gotos.

When we go out and spend our time in the cold or hot and sleepless nights, our main goal is to concentrate on observing or imaging, not taking care of a certain problem with one of the equipments we deploy.

So, I really don't care what brand or make the mount is as long as it is reliably doing its job.

By the way, I have a question that I have been delaying to ask for a very long time:

How on earth is a mount able to (or, is expected to) track both a star close to the celestial equator and a star in near polar regions ? Does the mount controllers have an algorithm and calculate the speed required for that certain declination ?

Am I missing something here ? Because if such a speed adjustment is not made, we shouldn't be able to track precisely no matter how perfect the gears are how small the PE is. Maybe this is a stupid question but here is me, asking it


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

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: bilgebay]
      #5359236 - 08/09/12 04:50 AM

hi Sedat,
all stars whether close to the equator or near the pole, rotate at the same (angular) rate.

so the sidereal constant rate is fine. it is true that the (arc distance) is less closer to the pole - but since the declination is also greater, the distance traversed is cosine (declination). so there's no mount algorithm at all, it's just that as the declination axis moves to greater declination, the arc traversed through the sky is also less.


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: orlyandico]
      #5359257 - 08/09/12 05:42 AM

Was a stupid question indeed Thank you Orlando

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: bilgebay]
      #5359335 - 08/09/12 07:33 AM

So, can we agree that CGE Pro would be good for 30 min subs with refractor up to 6", <900mm FL, max 20-25 kg weight(OTA + rest gear)?
Never mind cables and other less convenient stuff, I'll deal with that.

Knez


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? [Re: orion69]
      #5359726 - 08/09/12 11:38 AM

Quote:

I'll deal with that.



Like shipping it to Celestron across the pond just to adjust gear meshing. Are you serious? Why would anyone in Europe consider the CGE Pro is beyond my comprehension.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: Alph]
      #5359738 - 08/09/12 11:50 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I'll deal with that.



Like shipping it to Celestron across the pond just to adjust gear meshing. Are you serious? Why would anyone in Europe consider the CGE Pro is beyond my comprehension.




What mount would you recommend to people living in Europe?

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: Alph]
      #5359785 - 08/09/12 12:20 PM

Quote:

Like shipping it to Celestron across the pond just to adjust gear meshing. Are you serious? Why would anyone in Europe consider the CGE Pro is beyond my comprehension.




There is a risk with every mount that it might have a problem that requires shipment to the manufacturer. Gear mesh adjustment should not be one of those problems but for some people it is. You can usually find someone more local or at least information on line to take care of adjustment issues. But repair issues are another matter.

How many telescope/mount companies do you know of that have authorized service centers, domestically or internationally? None that I know of. For the big companies I think that this is the wrong way to do things, but for the small companies it is simply a fact of life due to logistics and costs. You are probably always best to buy from a company that is local enough that you can return the equipment for repair, but if that was your only choice, you might be severely limited in what you could buy. There are some good mount manufacturers in Europe, but they are all high end, high cost, without large numbers of units in the field. There are risks associated with that of course.

I know of one person outside of the US that has been forced to send a CGE Pro back and forth to the US for repair and that was not pretty and that is a risk that you have to contemplate. But that was one person and where he was located meant that anything he bought would have the same problem if a repair were necessary. A repair might be less likely with a higher end mount and some companies are more willing to simply send replacement parts than others, but there is nonetheless a risk in any equipment that you buy. The potential risks have to be balanced with the potential costs in each case.


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


Reged: 09/12/08

Loc: Woodinville, WA
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: EFT]
      #5359897 - 08/09/12 01:12 PM

When my CGE Pro went back (twice), despite the inconvenience, Celestron paid the shipping three ways and I paid once (the first time). I don't know if anyone else will have a similar experience esp. in Europe, but there's at least some indication they stand by their product even if there is an issue.

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: Alph]
      #5360162 - 08/09/12 03:37 PM

Quote:


Like shipping it to Celestron across the pond just to adjust gear meshing. Are you serious? Why would anyone in Europe consider the CGE Pro is beyond my comprehension.




Alph, when I asked if CGE Pro is good for AP I didn't meant defective mount.
Also, there was similar comments (I should say biased) like yours when I was buying CGEM...

Knez


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

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: orion69]
      #5360329 - 08/09/12 05:25 PM

Quote:

So, can we agree that CGE Pro would be good for 30 min subs with refractor up to 6", <900mm FL, max 20-25 kg weight(OTA + rest gear)?
Never mind cables and other less convenient stuff, I'll deal with that.

Knez




No we can't. Among the other intangibles on which we have no data is variability in production. When you buy AP or Paramount you get very tight production specs with very little variance: in English, one is pretty much as good as another.

Lower quality does not mean that there is no good quality in the line. It means that there is wider variance in the units produced. In English, getting a "good one" becomes more of a kuhrap shoot.

Greg N


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


Extra information
17 registered and 34 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: 9254

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics