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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Psyire
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/24/07

Loc: 55* North
Paramount MX or CGE PRO ?
      #5700819 - 02/25/13 11:54 PM

Well like a few people around here I'm considering upgrading to the Paramount MX due to the sale going on right now. However I wouldn't mind a few opinions on the matter before dropping $8K+ on what for me is a 'hobby'.

I'm currently using a wedge mounted CPC1100 and I've been getting some decent images with this setup. (or at least what I would call decent) You can check out my astrobin site in my sig. if you want to see some of them. My scopes include the C11, 120ED & 80ED. The problem I'm having is when the weather (seeing) isn't up to imaging with the C11, then I still have to lug it around due to it being mounted to the CPC. I also can't use the 120ED for imaging because it's just too much weight for the CPC+C11 to handle well. As you can imagine this just isn't optimal and leads to me foregoing imaging on quite a few nights due to 'the hassle'.

So my original thought was to upgrade my mount to the CGE Pro and solve the problem. I would defork the C11(as I've extensively modified it) and either sell the forks or keep them until I decide to sell the C11 someday. With the current PMX sale going on I'm really stuck on whether it would be a good idea to bite the bullet and go straight for what I would call a 'premium' mount. I've pretty much ruled out all the others in this price range. I originally thought I would go with an AP mount, but with the sale on the PMX it's just much more attractive than the 900 and too far away from the 1600 to consider. (I don't want to go used as I want full warranty/support from the manufacturer) My $$ limit is definately 10K or preferably less.

So having never used an equatorial mount I'm a bit nervous to be spending this much on one.. I'm interested in expanding my image portfolio with higher quality images that are easier to obtain. (Galaxies, Nebula, Clusters, Etc) Is there anybody who has personal experience with both the Pro and PMX? I have a pier and plan to leave either one semi-permanently mounted outside.

I know the easy answer is to buy the PMX and forget about the CGEPRO because it's better in every way shape and form. BUT part of me wonders if I would be just as happy with the CGEPRO and $3K in my pocket... (or an upgraded camera, lol)


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Joe C
sage
*****

Reged: 11/29/08

Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: Psyire]
      #5700831 - 02/26/13 12:06 AM

Personally, with the current track record, I would stay away from the CGE. I would spend the extra and go with a MX. Sure it will gost a few grand more but what you will have is a lifetime mount that will perform without issue.

Another in the price range that will give great performance and for a bit less than the MX is the Losmandy Titan. I can say first hand that this mount performs far above its cost. Mine has a corrected PE of 1.6.


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: Joe C]
      #5700917 - 02/26/13 02:07 AM

Oh how we agonize over these decisions, but this honestly isn't a difficult decision to make. The mount is the most important part of the system. Get the better mount.

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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5700949 - 02/26/13 02:39 AM

+1

Unlike luxury goods (where say a Rolex doesn't buy you better performance than a Casio) with mounts you DO get what you pay for.

Had I known this I could have saved a lot of money by NOT buying lower-tier mounts.


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5701516 - 02/26/13 12:01 PM

The MX is a much better mount but the 8K doesn't include a tripod. If you happen to need a tripod I believe they are 2K more from Bisque or a little more than half that from 3rd party. Also as I am sure you are aware you need a computer attached at all times to the ParamountMX whereas the CGE-PRO is standalone.

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Calypte
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/20/07

Loc: Anza, California
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5701640 - 02/26/13 01:05 PM

For me this would be a no-brainer. Go with the paramount.

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jarin
sage


Reged: 10/03/09

Loc: Northern VA
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: Calypte]
      #5701671 - 02/26/13 01:20 PM

I had a CGE-Pro for 1.5 years, and have now owned the MX for exactly one year. The MX is the better mount, no doubt. However, (maybe I was one of the few) - I really had no problems with the Pro, and imaged many successful targets in the time I had it. I would say mine was worth the money I paid for it, so I don't have any regrets. All that being said - if you can afford it get the MX (and an equally as nice tripod, Rob Miller if/when he surfaces again, or the Bisque one).

Jeff


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: jarin]
      #5701789 - 02/26/13 02:29 PM

From the opening post:

Quote:

I have a pier and plan to leave either one semi-permanently mounted outside.



Which is perfect for either mount. The MX is highly portable, but doesn't have to be used in that mode. Not putting a polar scope in also opens up more room for through the mount cabling.


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PhilCo126
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/14/05

Loc: coastline of Belgium
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5701870 - 02/26/13 03:23 PM

Another Paramount vote here, although it might be interesting to wait how the EQ-8 will perform...

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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: jarin]
      #5701886 - 02/26/13 03:36 PM

Quote:

I had a CGE-Pro for 1.5 years, and have now owned the MX for exactly one year. The MX is the better mount, no doubt. However, (maybe I was one of the few) - I really had no problems with the Pro, and imaged many successful targets in the time I had it. I would say mine was worth the money I paid for it, so I don't have any regrets. All that being said - if you can afford it get the MX (and an equally as nice tripod, Rob Miller if/when he surfaces again, or the Bisque one).

Jeff




This is probably the only post that is relevant.. He has had both mounts.. But I guess you did ask for "opinions"..

I've said it before and i'll say it again, for the 4th time, I will smoke any gear driven mount with my pro.. but with the money I saved switching to Geico, I was able to upgrade the mount with a TDM and aeroquest/deepspace products TLC...


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5701926 - 02/26/13 03:56 PM

Jeff, you had a CGE PRO and now have an MX. Why did you upgrade to the MX?

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jarin
sage


Reged: 10/03/09

Loc: Northern VA
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5702060 - 02/26/13 04:51 PM

Quote:

Jeff, you had a CGE PRO and now have an MX. Why did you upgrade to the MX?




It was a lot of little things more than any one thing.

In no particular order, in rough-form and off the top of my head:

- Pro is very heavy
- Pro is bulky
- Pro's dovetail is small, and the clutch knobs are placed in a bad spot and are hard to turn
- Pro's tripod (I'm a remote drive-to/setup/teardown user) is ginormous. No idea why they made it so tall
- The PE on mine wasn't bad (2.5 with PemPRO), but I knew I could do better
- The 3 or 4 people I knew that had one just had the best things to say about Paramounts (that was about 35% of my decision)
- Bisque's cust service (positive)
- SkyX's constant development (positive) - eventually using one program for everything
- I started to get worried about failures on the mount. Multiple reports of RA drives failing, circuit boards, etc
- A few times I did have issues guiding in DEC, unexplained, and from what I heard afterwards, a firmware issue

Plus, the MX just looked so damned cool. Which honestly was about 15/20% of it. :-)

Jeff


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Psyire
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/24/07

Loc: 55* North
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: jarin]
      #5702179 - 02/26/13 06:01 PM

Well.. all this talk definately isn't helping me save any money. lol It's good though, this is exactly what I was looking to hear. Thanks for the comparison info Jeff, some of what your saying is exactly what I was thinking when deciding to maybe make the jump up to the PMX. I'm not 100% sure that I'm going to purchase, but I feel better about being more informed about the differences between the two mounts.

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kbastro
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/20/08

Loc: Running from Clouds
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: Psyire]
      #5702773 - 02/27/13 12:23 AM

the 2 mounts are not in the same league,,,
the cge pro is an ok mount in all....
but it does run a distant 2nd compared to an MX

kb


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: kbastro]
      #5703915 - 02/27/13 05:42 PM

The CGEM is a distant second in price as well.

If money is a consideration - and it almost always is - then the difference may be between a CGE Pro and a decent OTA and/or camera and a MX with nothing left to buy anything to put on it.

I would try to get some hands on experience with the CGE Pro, even if it means a bit of travelling. I'd also join a CGE Pro group and talk to people with real world experience with using it.

Chris


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Psyire
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/24/07

Loc: 55* North
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5704355 - 02/27/13 09:54 PM

Thanks for the continued comments. Chris, although the CGEM has tempted me as a 2nd mount to my CPC, I don't think it would be an upgrade of sorts. It would allow me to image with the 120ED but I think a lot of the tracking challenges I face with my current mount would be evident in the CGEM as well. (ie. 10-15min sub exposures with a low discard rate)

My current mount performance is noted here: http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/3720564


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: Psyire]
      #5704701 - 02/28/13 02:35 AM

so your CPC is giving 5" peak-to-peak with PEC enabled.

the CGE Pro won't be substantially better. Although the raw PE is guaranteed to be 10" p-p (vs 25" for your CPC) according to Celestron's own data the PE with PEC enabled is about 5" p-p (0.91" rms) - much better that the CPC but still not mind-blowing.

http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-cge-pro-mount.html

if the MX is anywhere like an AP (and I assume it is) you can expect 2" to 3" p-p uncorrected and sub 0.5" with PEM enabled.


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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5705058 - 02/28/13 10:29 AM

The value of PE is not really important for imaging in the range where CGE Pro is spec'd at. Autoguiding is required for serious DSO imaging (yes even PMX) for *best* results, and the smoothness of PE is really what one needs to worry about.
The CGE Pro is worth a serious look for 3k less.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: Psyire]
      #5705807 - 02/28/13 05:33 PM

If you're looking for people who will help you justify spending more this is the place to come

Is the extra justified? I'd love to be able to find out - or better still not to care. But it's the same as with all high end equipment, the extra 20% performance costs 80% more.

Chris


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Matt Houston
member


Reged: 02/08/13

Loc: Florida
Re: Paramount MX or CGE PRO ? new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5707036 - 03/01/13 11:41 AM

I owned a CGE-Pro for a short period when they first came out. I'm 6 ft 1 tall and the mount was quite high. I found it challenging to lift my 14" scope up that high. I could just imagine someone under 6 ft. If you can go to the gym and lift a 45 pound Olympic plate above your head then you'll be fine.

Secondly, it weighs a ton. When I take a scope and set it up, I prefer to set up the tripod/pier first, then bring the mount in it's entirety and connect it, then lastly bring the scope out and connect it to the mount. With the CGE-Pro, the mount weighs I think around 75 pounds. It was a bit much to carry so I had to disconnect the DEC/RA pieces and carry them individually. I didn't like that. Just my two cents.


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