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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Eric Gage
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/13/05

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: rmollise]
      #5360364 - 08/09/12 05:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The more I read about Celestron mounts, the more happy I am that I sprung for a Takahashi.




Don't believe everything you read on the cotton picking Internets.

If nothing else, the mucho more expensive Tak mounts can't hold a candle to the much better software/HCs of the very cheapest Celestrons.




Perhaps not, but once you're committed to a laptop (AP), the HC becomes irrelevant. I bought my mount because of its hardware quality, not its software, and it has never disappointed. It's an amazing performer.


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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]
      #5360582 - 08/09/12 07:48 PM

So AP's and Paramounts don't have an issues because of QA and production specs?

Last I checked people were still po'ed that Bisque makes them buy replacement MKS boards... That are always blowing..


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Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5360636 - 08/09/12 08:25 PM

Since the OP mentioned liking the fact that the mount's tripod is a bit tall, I remembered one more thing about the mount's tripod that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere. While it's true you can extend the legs if you're 12 feet tall or are mounting a huge refractor, I ought to mention that the legs, at least on my tripod, do not remain like to extended. This can be a problem very quickly if you're mounting 130 pounds of gear and counterweights. I had once raised the mount by 6 or so inches (long story on why) and when I went to put the OTA on the mount the pressure of me sliding my C14 into the dovetail became too much and the northern leg just slid down and the whole thing fell over. As luck would have it, the mount fell onto my bed, as it was a dry run and my gear was in my bedroom... no damage done. But I will NEVER extend the legs again.

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5360640 - 08/09/12 08:28 PM

Quote:

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




In my opinion, it is the consistency in quality of more expensive mounts that you really are paying for and is worth paying for, not the level of PE. If someone produces a mount that consistently performs well regardless of the PE or at least performs very consistently in light of the PE, then that mount should be worth more than a mount that is highly variable in its performance. Low PE and consisten production and performance may often be seen together, but as suggested by freestar8n, they are not necessarily related and one cannot guarantee the other.


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: EFT]
      #5360649 - 08/09/12 08:33 PM

There's a +- 3" PE CGEM on a-mart. While Mark / stew57 has a famous arc-minute PE CGEM. So that variability can be good.. or bad.

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gnowellsct
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5360700 - 08/09/12 09:15 PM

Quote:

So AP's and Paramounts don't have an issues because of QA and production specs?

Last I checked people were still po'ed that Bisque makes them buy replacement MKS boards... That are always blowing..




Of course they have issues. What you are buying is a lower probability of an issue. If you ask around a lot you can find people who have owned Toyota lemons. They are harder to find than people who have owned GM lemons.

There is a well developed literature on qc/qa in manufacturing and tolerance controls are one of the first things that were introduced in my stat textbook.

The standard deviation is denoted by the greek letter sigma and six sigma production standards is the dream goal of most manufacturing. In some situations even six sigma may not be enough if you have a massive interplanetary probe with 5 million parts made at six sigma standards then you are going to have some parts failures. Furthermore there are many variables such as the whether a component will work at all just off the production line, and, a different matter, whether the components that *do* work will meet the target specification for durability.

read more here

Now both Astro-Physics and Software Bisque are craft production shops and they do well in comparison to Fordism. If you want my guesstimates, I would say that AP and Software Bisque are probably operating at or near a 3 sigma and Celestron and Meade are probably operating more on a 1.5 sigma. On this link, think of AP and Paramount as the red distribution and Celestron and Meade as the blue.

You will find far more dogs in the blue population but some of them will be very good. The tighter production standards implied by the red distribution mean that very few examples of the produced units fall outside the desired specs, even so, some will probably have something like 3 arc seconds error peak to peak, and others will have 8 or 9. Among refractor lens makers the problem is well known and that's why they don't like people getting into a frenzy over whether the apo is 96 strehl or 98 since both values are excellent and within the targeted spec.

So if you go to the AP show room and twenty mounts on display maybe one will have issues. Twenty celestron mounts might have five to eight with issues.

The best way to go to get to six sigma is through what is called lean production where every worker is intimately involved in the qc/qa process. There is a very good analysis of production techniques and history in the automobile industry which lays all this stuff out: it is Womack et al's Machine That Changed the World.

Lean production requires larger production runs than craft production so you can get really tight production specs on such things as cameras and camera lenses; and eyepiece lenses (sold to the whole population of telescopes) can be made to tighter specs than the scopes that they are used on.

Greg N


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: orlyandico]
      #5360711 - 08/09/12 09:21 PM

Quote:

There's a +- 3" PE CGEM on a-mart. While Mark / stew57 has a famous arc-minute PE CGEM. So that variability can be good.. or bad.




Thankfully, Mark/stew57 is finally past that problem, but it was not an easy journey.


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freestar8n
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/12/07

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: orion69]
      #5361070 - 08/10/12 03:15 AM

Quote:

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)?




This is a hard question to answer without more details on what "good" means and how the image is captured, but I would say the following:

1) In terms of payload and torque it should be no problem.

2) A refractor like that can do well on a high end mount with long, unguided shots if the mount is very carefully aligned - i.e. in a permanent setup. Otherwise guiding would be needed.

3) Unguided long exposure images with a high end mount on a permanent pier would probably have higher fwhm (worse) than well guided images in a system quickly setup and aligned with a cge-pro. This is not just due to mount imperfections but changing atmospheric refraction, flexure, etc.

4) Well guided images with a small guidescope on a high end mount would be worse than tightly guided OAG images on a cge-pro.

5) Tightly guided OAG images with a high end mount would not be much different from those on a cge-pro, and would require about the same effort to acquire. The main difference would be the optimal update (correction) rate on the two mounts.

Frank


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alrosm
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/27/10

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: freestar8n]
      #5361087 - 08/10/12 03:55 AM

When I bought my Titan, I saw few posts or reviews for the CGE-Pro, today 1.5 years later, I got the same feeling.
I see this mount available online everywhere but not that many reviews.


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: freestar8n]
      #5361093 - 08/10/12 04:06 AM

Quote:


This is a hard question to answer without more details on what "good" means and how the image is captured, but I would say the following:

1) In terms of payload and torque it should be no problem.

2) A refractor like that can do well on a high end mount with long, unguided shots if the mount is very carefully aligned - i.e. in a permanent setup. Otherwise guiding would be needed.

3) Unguided long exposure images with a high end mount on a permanent pier would probably have higher fwhm (worse) than well guided images in a system quickly setup and aligned with a cge-pro. This is not just due to mount imperfections but changing atmospheric refraction, flexure, etc.

4) Well guided images with a small guidescope on a high end mount would be worse than tightly guided OAG images on a cge-pro.

5) Tightly guided OAG images with a high end mount would not be much different from those on a cge-pro, and would require about the same effort to acquire. The main difference would be the optimal update (correction) rate on the two mounts.

Frank




I meant of course OAG guided images. By "good" guiding I mean like this:



This was shot with CGEM, while this mount guides perfectly, it has limited AP weight capacity and because I'm thinking about upgrading to larger and much heavier refractor, CGE Pro seams like a nice option so far. Another would be ASA DDM60...

Thanks for info.

Knez


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gnowellsct
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/24/09

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: alrosm]
      #5361491 - 08/10/12 10:52 AM

Quote:

When I bought my Titan, I saw few posts or reviews for the CGE-Pro, today 1.5 years later, I got the same feeling.
I see this mount available online everywhere but not that many reviews.




How's the Titan and the folding HD working out. When you say folding HD do you mean a folding version of the Titan tripod or a folding version of the G11/HD tripod.

Greg N


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: orion69]
      #5361587 - 08/10/12 11:53 AM

Knez, IDK what FL you shot that at, but it is nicely done..

Best, Joe


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: jmiele]
      #5361931 - 08/10/12 03:10 PM

Quote:

Knez, IDK what FL you shot that at, but it is nicely done..

Best, Joe




Thanks, it was shot at 765 mm (Equinox 120ED, 900mm with 0.85x FF/FR)

Knez

Edited by orion69 (08/10/12 03:13 PM)


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5363133 - 08/11/12 10:42 AM

I think that there's maybe an easier way to describe the scenario. If having as smooth a mount as possible didn't matter, why would manufacturers bother to invest the time and effort required to make mounts as smooth as possible? Why experiment with novel gear-less drivetrains at great R&D expense to get away from PE altogether?

I don't think "snobbery" explains why such manufacturing investments are made, nor why folks pay a huge premium to get them. Instead I think some manufacturers take pride in their quality and workmanship, and some consumers value quality. I'm the Synta mount poster child, and I don't have a single Synta mount that I do not believe to be a ticking time bomb. These mounts are built to a price in every respect. It's only a matter of time before it's going to die and require diagnosis and repair. They're almost built to be "disposable". Now granted, they are cheap, cheap, cheap for their capacities, and if you get a good one the useful life will be long enough that when it does give up its ghost, you'll have extracted reasonable value out of the mount, but the opposite is also possible - you could get a problem mount that requires many trips back to the manufacturer.

"Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

I've repeatedly felt lucky and gone for the cheaper mount, and been right for the most part (I got 7 years out of a CG5 before it blew a board; my Atlas is still kicking after 7 years). On the other hand, several club mates have not been so lucky with their Synta mount purchases, in one case even after after-market hypertuning. As Greg says, some folks aren't gamblers and don't want to take the kuhrap shoot.

- Jim


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: Tori]
      #5363464 - 08/11/12 02:58 PM

Quote:

I ought to mention that the legs, at least on my tripod, do not remain like to extended.



This is also a problem with the CGE tripod. I suppose making the tripod very tall was the Celestron's answer to the problem.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: Alph]
      #5363488 - 08/11/12 03:17 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I ought to mention that the legs, at least on my tripod, do not remain like to extended.



This is also a problem with the CGE tripod. I suppose making the tripod very tall was the Celestron's answer to the problem.




No doubt! And that old CGE Pro probably has COOTIES too, right?


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5363507 - 08/11/12 03:33 PM

Quote:


I don't think "snobbery" explains why such manufacturing investments are made, nor why folks pay a huge premium to get them. Instead I think some manufacturers take pride in their quality and workmanship, and some consumers value quality. I'm the Synta mount poster child, and I don't have a single Synta mount that I do not believe to be a ticking time bomb.




I used to worry about that, but one of my Syntas has now been ticking for seven years and the other is going on five. If one of them detonated, I'd just hop out and get another one.

AP makes mechanically wonderful mounts and so does Tak. BUT... Most folks' requirements would be just as well served with a Synta or a Losmandy. But then it wouldn't say "Tak" or "AP" on it, would it? Like me, most of us don't have the skies, the telescope, and the skills that require a 10K and up mount. Not that I have anything against the dude next to me and my Atlas with his EM500. If they are having fun, well, that's what it is all about.

I do think some of the folks around here spend more time worrying about what might or might not work than actually getting out and working it, however. My recent philosophy has been that if the Atlas wouldn't do what I needed it to do, I would upgrade. A testament to my laughably modest skills and needs is that that has yet to happen.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: Eric Gage]
      #5363528 - 08/11/12 03:44 PM

Quote:



Perhaps not, but once you're committed to a laptop (AP), the HC becomes irrelevant. I bought my mount because of its hardware quality, not its software, and it has never disappointed. It's an amazing performer.




What if you don't want to use a laptop, or run t-point every time even if you have a laptop with you? The Taks may be machanical marvels, but they need a decent HC or a laptop program that makes up for the lack.

Edited by rmollise (08/11/12 03:45 PM)


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freestar8n
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/12/07

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5365143 - 08/12/12 06:01 PM

Quote:

If having as smooth a mount as possible didn't matter, why would manufacturers bother to invest the time and effort required to make mounts as smooth as possible? Why experiment with novel gear-less drivetrains at great R&D expense to get away from PE altogether?




Smooth mounts are great - but the issue in this thread is that "PE" is not a measure of smoothness - it's a measure of the amplitude of the slow and repeatable motion associated with the worm/gear.

A high end mount is "smooth" because it has high grade and expensive bearings, a beefy and expensive gearbox, and an expensive worm/gear set. Only the last component plays a role in "PE", while the others contribute smaller but faster terms in the 1-20s realm. No one is talking about those terms when they either compare one mount to another, or when they take steps to lower "PE."

But as long as these faster terms can be corrected quickly enough with low latency guiding and an accurate OAG centroid, the more expensive and higher grade components need not be essential to obtaining small fwhm.

Putting it all together, lowering PE may not improve guiding because it leaves the faster terms unchanged; comparing mounts based only on PE ignores these faster terms; high end mounts are easier to guide well because you can be more casual about it since they truly are smoother; but even if a mid-range mount isn't smooth to the level of a high end mount, it may still provide similar guided results if the guiding is good.

Frank


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KDizzle
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/12/08

Loc: Woodinville, WA
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5365210 - 08/12/12 06:44 PM

Every time these PE discussions come up, AO never seems to enter the discussion. Doesn't it make sense to move a tiny refractive element super fast without a giant pile of weight on it? Or still everyone thinks it's best to move a huge mass ever-so-slightly while combating the manufacturing challenges of pi?

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