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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: orion69]
      #5677267 - 02/13/13 09:13 AM

There is a big difference between "will almost always benefit these mounts" and "needs to be hypertuned before actual use".

I've seen many CGEMs and CGEM DXs in the field and have used a few of them. All of them were factory stock and worked just fine.

I've seen a couple of hypertuned mounts. The most noticeable difference is that the hypertuned mounts move more freely when the clutches are released. This makes them easier to balance. I've disassembled my own CG5, and at least in that design, the way that the mount moves with the clutches released gives no indication of how smoothly the mount moves with the clutches engaged.

I've heard only good things about Ed and the service he provides. He claims other benefits from hypertuning and I have no reason to doubt them. I've heard reports from happy customers that describe clear benefits in tracking and guidability. I've not heard from any dissatisfied customers who actually had the tuning performed.

The question of whether to tune a brand new mount is less clear to me. Celestron has a standard to which the mount is supposed to perform, but manufacturing cost is a big part of this. Hypertuning isn't magic. It's basically paying the additional cost to hand inspect and optimize the parts that Celestron can't do and still meet their price point.

I've seen people complain about the price of hypertuning, but in looking at all the work done, it doesn't seem out of line at all. I suspect that if Celestron added all the personal attention that Ed does to each and every mount, Celestron's asking price would rise by more than what Ed charges.

I guess to sum up my opinion, I would say that hypertuning is not necessary for the mounts to work as Celestron intends. Hypertuning is an optional service that raises the standard and helps the mount reach its design potential. The cost for this service seems entirely in line with the work, and the customers who post here seem pretty happy.

To loop this back to the original poster's question, my advice is this: Unless you are planning to push the mount to the edges of its capabilites (such as imaging at ridiculously long focal lengths), I would not personally hypertune it right away. Once you have some experience with the mount, understand how your specific sample performs, and also understand what benefits you would gain from tuning it, that would be the time to consider hypertuning.


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