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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Eyepiece Hooligan

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGE misbehaving new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5912851 - 06/10/13 11:31 AM

Yep. Stiff cables, a weak, poorly supported junction with the PCB in the pier and a less than ideally secure socket junction/type, are the bane of these mounts. I think that if you observe in very cold climates, these probably aren't the mounts for you even with a cable swap, whether Marty cables or the Bennett mod.

I presently use Marty cables but most of my observing is done in moderate to warm weather. I use a different mount on very cold nights. Thus far, they have worked for me. But I do have the Bennett kit on the shelf for if and when the Marty solution no longer works for me. I'm also considering either picking up a low mileage "donor" CGE or a full set of replacement components from Celestron, or both. I do like the mount, and it's a shame that Synta cheaped out on the QC improvement cycles over the life of the design. It has brilliantly decent quality components, with a few pieces of junky compnents/casting and a couple of glaringly poor engineering design bits. This could have been a glorious mount that would have rendered Losmandy irrelevant prevented the slew of flaky Synta/Celestron mounts that followed, and provided users with a truly made in USA option with up to date, non buggy (*cough* Gemini II *cough*) electronics and software. But no. Penny wise and pound foolish won the day. The bronze gears in the CGE alone are worth more than all of the pot meal used in the CGE Pro combined.

I picked up a good condition AP900 QMD last week that I am cleaning and restoring. It will be revamped tested for a few weeks and then...go on the shelf for the day when my CGE can no longer be easily massaged back into working shape (or I get an observatory property, whichever comes first).

The key to any successful mission is redundancy of essential systems.



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Thread Killer

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: CGE misbehaving new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5913164 - 06/10/13 01:56 PM


I'm with you on the general comments ... but I don't think there's much of any cold weather issues with Gary's cable upgrade. My CGE has been bullet proof over two winters since I did Gary's drill less cable upgrade (mount is in a POD). It was also pretty darn good using the Marty cables over the previous winters, one here in Canada and two more in Colorado (always stored in unheated garages). I upgraded to the Marty cables shortly after getting the mount ... even before I had any issues.

I don't think I've heard of any cold weather specific issues with Gary's upgrade from anyone else either. I guess it's possible, but with the connectors being threaded together and the lack of pulling on the boards most of the potential issues have been addressed. It would be cool if Gary B used a high silicone content cable to keep it more flexible in the serious cold ... but I don't know what the cost/benefit trade off might be for that type of change.

I'm not sure how many CGEs are operational here in the great white north but I don't hear about many folks complaining about cold weather issues with the few I know about (all have Gary's cable upgrade).

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Reged: 04/26/08

Re: CGE misbehaving new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5913197 - 06/10/13 02:08 PM Attachment (4 downloads)

On the other hand, speaking not in general, but specifically about the one I own; over the last 10 years, I've only had one minor glitch with my CGE. One of the limit switches did not switch cleanly, which confused the control board. Fixed with a replacement switch from Radio Shack.

It has had no modifications. It has carried a variety of scopes and performed well. It has also endured hot and cold conditions including this one. After the snow and ice melted, it worked, and still does work fine.

I recently sold an A-P 900QMD (not to Jim) due to lack of use.

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scholastic sledgehammer

Reged: 03/22/07

Loc: Bluegrass Region, Kentucky
Re: CGE misbehaving new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5913855 - 06/10/13 07:41 PM

Hi Mark and thanks for the link. I've had no issues with the stock cables, but can see the benefit of replacing with more flexible ones that will place less stress on the receptacles.


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Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: CGE misbehaving new [Re: payner]
      #5914831 - 06/11/13 10:58 AM

During the time I owned the CGE the issues I experienced were either from the cables or the home/limit switches without exception. Working on it and replacing parts was really quite easy. I agree with Jim about the mount and missing the boat. When it worked, it worked like a champ. Watching it 'whirl-o-matic' with my TEC160 just wore on my nerves too much.

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Post Laureate

Reged: 01/14/05

Loc: coastline of Belgium
Re: CGE misbehaving new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5918312 - 06/13/13 07:57 AM

@ jrbarnett
You use a different mount on very cold nights... what's the main reason... if I may ask ?

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Post Laureate

Reged: 01/14/05

Loc: coastline of Belgium
Re: CGE misbehaving new [Re: PhilCo126]
      #5918492 - 06/13/13 10:25 AM

Another form of misbehaving... current onto the pier ?
yellow-green earthing cable connection:

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