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 | (show all)
NightRyder
sage


Reged: 12/24/09

Loc: Miami FL aka Light Pollution, ...
??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ???
      #6357229 - 02/05/14 09:16 AM

What say the masses? I feel its time to upgrade my mount. I place myself in an Intermediate level of AP and started out with a CG-5 several years ago. About two years ago, I upgraded to a CGEM and it has served me well. However, after a recent self performed "Hypertuning", I came to the conclusion that if I truly want to advance myself in this hobby, then a new mount will be needed. Though I currently have the CGEM performing better than ever! (On a quick separate note, I will not be purchasing any Celestron products in the future due to my discoveries inside of the mount. Cakes of thick brown grease everywhere, large scrapes from tool slips during assembly, over-tightened everything, POOR quality aluminum used in the body of the mount) But thats for another post.

My question is this. I will soon be in the market for a new mount. My primary focus is DSO AP and my heaviest scope currently is my 8" Newt Astrograph, which fully equipt with all imaging accesories comes in at about 27 lbs. With this said, I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the new iOptron CEM60. This mount looks very promising. I am on the list and decided to upgrade from the CGEM to the CEM60EC with High Precision Encoders (HPE). I would of course be waiting a few months to allow the kinks (that can be expected with most new releases) to work out...

Then I got to thinkin... Will I buy the CEM60 only to seek an upgrade in another couple years? Possibly. That would all depend on the quality and results of the CEM60. It may turn out to be an exceptional mount, especially with the HPE.

However, if I were to save for another 18-24 months, the AstroPhysics Mach1GTO would be within my budget... Although it has a reduced weight capacity when compared to the CEM60 (45lbs for the AP compared to the 60lbs of the CEM60) I think the quality and precision in production differences leans heavy in favor of AP.

So what would you do? Make the leap and upgrade to a CEM60 this year (early 2014) or wait it out with the CGEM until perhaps late 2015 for a Astro-Physics mount?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Wembley2000
sage
*****

Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: NightRyder]
      #6357272 - 02/05/14 09:40 AM

I was pretty sure in another thread that someone stated that the cem60 was rated for 45lbs for ap 60lbs for visual. If you can wait I would wait for a year until the cem60 gets some time under its belt, the mach one is already proven. For the kind of money you will be spending you want to be sure.

Wem


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Astronewb
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 09/19/11

Loc: Connecticut
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: NightRyder]
      #6357288 - 02/05/14 09:48 AM

Quote:

Will I buy the CEM60 only to seek an upgrade in another couple years?




Will you buy the Mach 1 only to seek an upgrade in another couple of years?

I think you should wait a couple of months, to see what the initial reports on the CEM60 EC produce. With a 60 pound payload, the mount will hold up to a 12" truss tube RC easily, so it should satisfy most people's needs?

The CEM mounts arrive in Los Angeles this coming Sunday, and should be in the hands of the initial ordering group soon. Expect a flurry of reports by the end of that week..:)

Clear skies...Paul


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #6357290 - 02/05/14 09:48 AM

Not so sure about the CEM60 rating. Since only one person has one so far and that person has been sidelined by a bug in the firmware, we simply do not know enough about the CEM60 at this point. The rule of thumb is that when a manufacturer states an instrument capacity for visual you don't want to go over 50% of that weight for AP and expect good results. That would put the CEM60 in the 30lbs for AP category while the Mach1GTO is at 45lbs. You can also find used Mach1's from time to time in the classified for a little more than the CEM60 with encoder.

Also there has simply not been much information about the dependability of the CEM60. The only thing I've seen is a few photos and a few PEC graphs of sample units.

I would say if you are in a hurry you should try to find a Mach1GTO and move on with your life. If you can wait 6 months then there may be enough information about the CEM60 by that point to make a decision on it.


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

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Wembley2000]
      #6357296 - 02/05/14 09:50 AM

The cem60ec @ 4000 is quite expensive.

In your place I'd wait and be darn sure it performs up to spec before paying $4000.

The mach1 costs more but there's no gambling or uncertainty involved. Also I'm dubious about the 60 lb rating considering how optimistically rated the iEQ45 is.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NightRyder
sage


Reged: 12/24/09

Loc: Miami FL aka Light Pollution, ...
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6357385 - 02/05/14 10:37 AM

Thanks for all the good advice. I have always been affected by IGS aka "Instant Gratification Syndrome" But one thing I have learned in AstroPhotography over the years is there is NO ROOM for IGS. And as most of you have pointed out, especially at the kind of money we are talking about. I am leaning towards the AP-Mach1GTO, but since that is still a ways off financially, I guess I'll be waiting to see what the CEM60 results are looking like before finalizing my decision. Thanks to all that chipped it their

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

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: NightRyder]
      #6357425 - 02/05/14 11:01 AM

Quote:

So what would you do? Make the leap and upgrade to a CEM60 this year (early 2014) or wait it out with the CGEM until perhaps late 2015 for a Astro-Physics mount?




Make the leap and upgrade to a CEM60 this year (early 2014)...

Astro-Physics has nothing but raised prices in astronomy; CEM60 seems like a wakeup call for Astro-Physics if not a slap in the face!



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

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: mmalik]
      #6357484 - 02/05/14 11:28 AM

I find the above statement to be a sweeping generalization.

I don't think AP mounts are overpriced, in fact based on my own calculations, any competitor would have to charge as much (or more) for equivalent performance.

Let's not get too excited about iOptron. Initial reports are that the build quality is not comparable; and the iEQ45 has not been everything it claims to be. Specifications are just that - specifications. So making such spreadsheets is misleading at best.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6357522 - 02/05/14 11:44 AM

Quote:

I find the above statement to be a sweeping generalization.




The day may come when a Chinese mount can rival the performance of the best top-end US manufacturers. It may have already come - but I see no indication of that yet. If/when it does happen, the prices will probably reflect the improved quality.

Many of us used to think that there would never be a top performing Chinese apo triplet. At least one importer insists that his current Chinese line is superior to the LZOS optics he used to buy. They aren't any less expensive, though.


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

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6357550 - 02/05/14 12:04 PM

Correct. I am in no way saying that Chinese = inferior.

It is evident that the Chinese can produce gear that is equal to any produced in the west. Just look at the iPhone for one.

But quality doesn't come cheap, and for the price iOptron is charging for the CEM60, I am very doubtful that it can match the Mach1 in all respects. Quality costs, and in the Mach1 it's obvious where the money went.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6357561 - 02/05/14 12:08 PM

While dreaming may as well include the Avalon Linear Fast Reverse:
"a weight capacity around 20-25 kg (44 – 55 lb), imaging and visual observing, respectively."
Toothed belt drive, no worm - $5910
I have only found very positive reviews on the web.
Pretty too.

Avalon Linear Fast Reverse


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: rkayakr]
      #6357582 - 02/05/14 12:22 PM

Quote:

While dreaming may as well include the Avalon Linear Fast Reverse:
"a weight capacity around 20-25 kg (44 – 55 lb), imaging and visual observing, respectively."
Toothed belt drive, no worm - $5910
I have only found very positive reviews on the web.
Pretty too.

Avalon Linear Fast Reverse




That price is mount head only. No counterweights, no tripod, no neat mount case, etc.

The CEM60 includes everything except tripod. Although to be fair you would probably need an extra counter weight or two. The good news is I believe the CWS diameter makes it compatible with some of the cheaper counterweights manufactured by others.

I am personally looking forward to the CEM60 testing and results. Having recently sold my entire system I am shopping for a mid-range system and the CEM60 (new with encoder) and the Mach1GTO (used with all accessories) are on my list.

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (02/05/14 12:48 PM)


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

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6357588 - 02/05/14 12:24 PM

IMHO the real disruptive mount today is 10Micron.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tazer
super member


Reged: 12/22/11

Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6357609 - 02/05/14 12:34 PM

Quote:

The rule of thumb is that when a manufacturer states an instrument capacity for visual you don't want to go over 50% of that weight for AP and expect good results. That would put the CEM60 in the 30lbs for AP category while the Mach1GTO is at 45lbs.




The Mach1GTO is rated by AP at 45lbs, so wouldn't the 50% rule would put the AP payload at 22.5lbs? I don't know if it's been established to be able to carry a higher weight for AP use or not, but their rating for the mount has the caveat "Remember also that imaging requirements are more rigid than visual observation."


Quote:

Initial reports are that the build quality is not comparable




Can you elaborate on that? Are you implying performance quality, longevity, or cosmetic appearance? I know the AP mounts are machined while the iOptron mounts are die cast which presents a tangible quality difference.

I'm in the same position as the NightRyder. I've had an ASGT for 3 years or so and am ready for something that can handle a heavier load and will give me a better imaging experience (e.g., less uncorrectable PE, etc.) The potential next steps (for me) are Atlas/CGEM ($1500-1900), CEM60/G11GTO ($2500-3200), or Mach1GTO ($6400).

While we can't know the actual performance characteristics (good or bad) of the CEM60, if we assume the best (for the sake of argument) then what would the extra $3,900 get me or NightRyder if either of us went with a Mach1GTO instead?


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

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6357611 - 02/05/14 12:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:

While dreaming may as well include the Avalon Linear Fast Reverse:
"a weight capacity around 20-25 kg (44 – 55 lb), imaging and visual observing, respectively."
Toothed belt drive, no worm - $5910
I have only found very positive reviews on the web.
Pretty too.

Avalon Linear Fast Reverse




That price is mount head only. No counterweights, no tripod, no case, no saddle etc..

The CEM60 includes everything except tripod. Although to be fair you would probably need an extra counter weight or two. The good news is I believe the CWS diameter makes it compatible with some of the cheaper counterweights manufactured by others.

I am personally looking forward to the CEM60 testing and results. Having recently sold my entire system I am shopping for a mid-range system and the CEM60 (new with encoder) and the Mach1GTO (used with all accessories) are on my list.




A D-series saddle is included, but the price quoted in the post above is the a la carte (i.e., mount head only) price. You can select a complete kit or build your own from there.


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

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6357617 - 02/05/14 12:36 PM

Quote:

Having recently sold my entire system...




That caught my attention Michael; was it LX850 and how did it pan out if you can sum up in one sentence since I have not kept up on that chapter? Unless you mean something else. Regards


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: EFT]
      #6357626 - 02/05/14 12:40 PM

Ed
I thought that the "a la cart" option includes a 13.2 lb counterweight.

" The LINEAR A la Carte Option begins with the following:

LINEAR Fast Reverse German Equatorial Mount
STARGO GoTo system
Manual hand paddle
Mount carrying handle
D-series dovetail saddle
Polar finder
One (1) 13.2 lbs. (6 kg) counterweights"


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


Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: East S.F.Bay, CA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6357627 - 02/05/14 12:41 PM

Seems to me the operative word where the CEM60 is concerned is 'if'. If it can match it's advertized specs in field use by regular hobbyists... If the vendor can keep the price point where it is now and establish/maintain good QA... If the vendor can provide superb customer service... Those are all pretty big "if"'s, and it'll take time, a considerable amount of time before they're answered definitively.

Were I the OP, I'd wait, saving my pennies in the meantime, to see how things shake out. By the time he's got enough money in the till to go either AP something-or-other or CEM60, the answers should be in and the decision can be an informed one.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: EFT]
      #6357633 - 02/05/14 12:42 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

While dreaming may as well include the Avalon Linear Fast Reverse:
"a weight capacity around 20-25 kg (44 – 55 lb), imaging and visual observing, respectively."
Toothed belt drive, no worm - $5910
I have only found very positive reviews on the web.
Pretty too.

Avalon Linear Fast Reverse




That price is mount head only. No counterweights, no tripod, no case, no saddle etc..

The CEM60 includes everything except tripod. Although to be fair you would probably need an extra counter weight or two. The good news is I believe the CWS diameter makes it compatible with some of the cheaper counterweights manufactured by others.

I am personally looking forward to the CEM60 testing and results. Having recently sold my entire system I am shopping for a mid-range system and the CEM60 (new with encoder) and the Mach1GTO (used with all accessories) are on my list.




A D-series saddle is included, but the price quoted in the post above is the a la carte (i.e., mount head only) price. You can select a complete kit or build your own from there.




My mistake. I'll edit my post. Regardless that option is way out of my budget unfortunately. I am going to save though and eventually I'll buy the 10-micron from you.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: mmalik]
      #6357639 - 02/05/14 12:45 PM

Quote:

Astro-Physics has nothing but raised prices in astronomy




Only if you live by spec sheets alone.

If you look at the people that own Astro-Physics mounts, you will have a very hard time finding one that is not completely satisfied with their purchase. (Ok, so there's that guy all bent out of shape that APCC hasn't shipped yet...)

You absolutely do get something for the additional cost. It may not show up in the spec sheet, and it may be hard to get if you've never used one. But once you've spent some time with one, you'll understand.

And it's not just true of Astro-Physics. While I've never used a Paramount or ASA or 10Micron, I see the same kind of customer satisfaction with people who own them.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: tazer]
      #6357642 - 02/05/14 12:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The rule of thumb is that when a manufacturer states an instrument capacity for visual you don't want to go over 50% of that weight for AP and expect good results. That would put the CEM60 in the 30lbs for AP category while the Mach1GTO is at 45lbs.




The Mach1GTO is rated by AP at 45lbs, so wouldn't the 50% rule would put the AP payload at 22.5lbs? I don't know if it's been established to be able to carry a higher weight for AP use or not, but their rating for the mount has the caveat "Remember also that imaging requirements are more rigid than visual observation."





AP is very very conservative with their capacity estimates. The 45lbs is actually their spec for photography as it can easily handle much much more for visual. When Astro Physics makes a weight claim you can count on it being valid for long exposure deep sky astro photography.


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

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: rkayakr]
      #6357644 - 02/05/14 12:47 PM

Quote:

Ed
I thought that the "a la cart" option includes a 13.2 lb counterweight.

" The LINEAR A la Carte Option begins with the following:

LINEAR Fast Reverse German Equatorial Mount
STARGO GoTo system
Manual hand paddle
Mount carrying handle
D-series dovetail saddle
Polar finder
One (1) 13.2 lbs. (6 kg) counterweights"




Yes, you are correct. I just reacted to the no saddle statement without thinking.

Thanks,
Ed.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6357649 - 02/05/14 12:48 PM

Quote:

IMHO the real disruptive mount today is 10Micron.




BINGO - ain't that the truth! It is likely to change my purchasing decision on the high end.


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

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6357654 - 02/05/14 12:50 PM

Quote:

My mistake. I'll edit my post. Regardless that option is way out of my budget unfortunately. I am going to save though and eventually I'll buy the 10-micron from you.




Someone else already took care of it better than I did. Nothing cheap about these little red Ferrari, but at least they are in the small group below $10.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6357656 - 02/05/14 12:51 PM

Quote:

Quote:

IMHO the real disruptive mount today is 10Micron.




BINGO - ain't that the truth! It is likely to change my purchasing decision on the high end.




Wait what? But don't you have an LX850? What is "high end" if not the LX850? What would the 10-micron offer that is an improvement? Are you planning on going with a 20" CDK?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: mmalik]
      #6357665 - 02/05/14 12:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Having recently sold my entire system...




That caught my attention Michael; was it LX850 and how did it pan out if you can sum up in one sentence since I have not kept up on that chapter? Unless you mean something else. Regards




No I meant the LX850. Time to move on.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: tazer]
      #6357667 - 02/05/14 12:54 PM

Quote:

The Mach1GTO is rated by AP at 45lbs, so wouldn't the 50% rule would put the AP payload at 22.5lbs? I don't know if it's been established to be able to carry a higher weight for AP use or not, but their rating for the mount has the caveat "Remember also that imaging requirements are more rigid than visual observation."




Astro-Physics is extremely conservative with their capacity recommendations. If they say that the Mach1 will handle 45lb, it will do so for imaging and with ease.

I have a CGE that is rated for 60lb, and the Mach1 is substantially more stable.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6357684 - 02/05/14 01:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

IMHO the real disruptive mount today is 10Micron.




BINGO - ain't that the truth! It is likely to change my purchasing decision on the high end.




Wait what? But don't you have an LX850? What is "high end" if not the LX850? What would the 10-micron offer that is an improvement? Are you planning on going with a 20" CDK?





Yes I have the LX850 and it is a wonderful mount/system/optics! Top notch, the real deal and people ignoring this mount for this range are really missing out. It works 100% as advertised and then some. It won't post process your pictures for you, and you do have think a bit, but it is as close to turnkey for imaging as you can get out of the box. I love it!

Yes, I am adding a few more systems to the inventory for other uses beyond the limits of the LX850. Likely a few 0.5 m class or larger. Probably 2-4 LX600s initially, more LX850s, and then a number of 10 Micron larger based systems. We are sorting that all out. I am also looking at a light weight precision mount/system for the field and going remote. LX850 is not that light.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
calypsob
sage
*****

Reged: 04/20/13

Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6357703 - 02/05/14 01:15 PM

I think ioptron quality control may take a long time to catch up with AP. however it is not necessarily the quality of the mount that could push ioptron beyond the astrophotography capabilities of an AP mach 1, but rather the innovation and design of the z-mount that will drive superiority if it functions the way it is supposed to. T

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

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: calypsob]
      #6357775 - 02/05/14 01:59 PM

Seriously... we are comparing a brand new, unproven, mass-produced, Chinese-made mount to a long time well-regarded, high-end, hand-made American mount?

Why is this even a question?

Buy the Mach 1. I've seen this thing in person and in action and it is a work of art that you will never be dissatisfied with. This goes well beyond PE numbers and conservative weight limits. It is pure high-quality fabrication, backed by superior customer service, a vast catalog of high-end accessories and a large and very happy user base.

From what I have read and seen of the new CEM60, it looks on par with most mid to high-end range Chinese mass market mounts. It will probably be good, but it very probably will NOT come close to the performance and frustration free experience of an Astro-Physics, 10 Micron or Software Bisque mount.

And being in the same price range as the Mach 1, this is a no-brainer decision to me.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: WesC]
      #6357783 - 02/05/14 02:02 PM

Quote:

Seriously... we are comparing a brand new, unproven, mass-produced, Chinese-made mount to a long time well-regarded, high-end, hand-made American mount?

...




Yes we are. Funny isn't it, lol.

It must be a really long, cold dark winter here in the United States!



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: WesC]
      #6357796 - 02/05/14 02:10 PM

Quote:



And being in the same price range as the Mach 1, this is a no-brainer decision to me.




I agreed with everything you said until this last sentence. The Mach1GTO runs about $5K (mount only) and as high as $6K for all the extras on the *USED* market.

While I fully endorse the idea of getting the Mach1GTO and also buying used, I would also say you get what you pay for. If a brand new iOptron CEM60 is 1K less than a used (if you can find it) Mach1GTO, that may be the difference for some people.

Now we just need to see 1) how production units of the CEM60 perform? 2) How do they hold up over time?

IF iOptron can keep the price low and offer a mount that holds up well enough to be of good value on the second hand market in 5 years, then they will put a dent in the sales of their competitors mounts.

Never pay to be a beta tester. A lesson I learned the hard way. Let early adopters work the bugs out and revisit in a year.


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

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6357802 - 02/05/14 02:15 PM

Quote:


Yes we are. Funny isn't it, lol.

It must be a really long, cold dark winter here in the United States!







I really is. I've been out twice in the last 2 months. So sad.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tazer
super member


Reged: 12/22/11

Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6357826 - 02/05/14 02:28 PM

Quote:

d being in the same price range as the Mach 1, this is a no-brainer decision to me.




The Mach1 is $1,500 more than the CEM60EC which is a 23% increase in cost (not negligible for those on a tight budget, of which I am one.) Assuming the CEM60EC lives up to its advertised specs/performance/price then what does that extra $1,500 for an AP mount get you?

I'm not questioning AP's products but honestly looking for an answer as to the added value of that extra expenditure.


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

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6357828 - 02/05/14 02:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:



And being in the same price range as the Mach 1, this is a no-brainer decision to me.




I agreed with everything you said until this last sentence. The Mach1GTO runs about $5K (mount only) and as high as $6K for all the extras on the *USED* market.

While I fully endorse the idea of getting the Mach1GTO and also buying used, I would also say you get what you pay for. If a brand new iOptron CEM60 is 1K less than a used (if you can find it) Mach1GTO, that may be the difference for some people.

Now we just need to see 1) how production units of the CEM60 perform? 2) How do they hold up over time?

IF iOptron can keep the price low and offer a mount that holds up well enough to be of good value on the second hand market in 5 years, then they will put a dent in the sales of their competitors mounts.

Never pay to be a beta tester. A lesson I learned the hard way. Let early adopters work the bugs out and revisit in a year.





Good points and great advice. I was basing that remark on the $4500 Mach 1 rig I saw used on Astromart last month (that was quickly snatched up, BTW).

That being said I still strongly believe it is well worth the extra cost, even at $6350.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rkayakr
sage
*****

Reged: 10/27/10

Loc: Northeast Ohio
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6357830 - 02/05/14 02:31 PM

Quote:



Yes we are. Funny isn't it, lol.

It must be a really long, cold dark winter here in the United States!






Yes - freezing rain, followed by 6" of snow, followed by more freezing rain, here today with a forecast of a plunge back down toward zero in the next few days and staying there for a week.

It's good to warm your hands by a nice, cracking ventilation about gear.


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

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: rkayakr]
      #6357833 - 02/05/14 02:34 PM

LOL!.. and I didn't do my weather fortunes any favors buy upgrading my CGEM with ADM parts the other night!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tazer
super member


Reged: 12/22/11

Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6357840 - 02/05/14 02:38 PM

Quote:

IF iOptron can keep the price low...




I emailed iOptron a couple of weeks ago and the mounts were supposed to ship in January but were delayed due to problems with the worm manufacturer. They rejected about 20% of the initial batch and about 90% of the second batch. They indicated that they would stand by their advertised PE specs and pricing.

If they don't then that will cause a number of people to recalculate their next mount purchase.


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

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: tazer]
      #6357915 - 02/05/14 03:23 PM

Whoa... 90% rejection!? That is so not good.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: tazer]
      #6357981 - 02/05/14 03:55 PM

Quote:

The Mach1 is $1,500 more than the CEM60EC which is a 23% increase in cost (not negligible for those on a tight budget, of which I am one.) Assuming the CEM60EC lives up to its advertised specs/performance/price then what does that extra $1,500 for an AP mount get you?




This is a genuinely hard question to answer.

Speaking for myself, I imaged with Celestron mounts for 15 years. In that time, I feel like I got everything out of them that I could. I learned their quirks. I figured out how to make them work well. I even reached a state of full automation on one of my CGEs. I was a happy and satisfied customer.

...Or at least I thought I was.

Eventually, I got an Astro-Physics mount. After just a couple of nights out with it, I was slapping myself in the forehead and wondering why I didn't by an AP mount years in the beginning. I could have actually saved money when you account for all the stuff I tried while getting everything I could get out of the Celestron mounts.

The thing is, that I *needed* the experience of the Celestron (and I also tried Meade) mounts in order to fully appreciate the AP mount.

Note that, at all times, the Celestron mounts were living up to their specs. It's just that all the little things *mattered* with the Celestron mounts. You know all those settings you can play with in the guider software? Well, they actually changed the effectiveness of guiding with the Celestron mounts. Balance mattered. Sometimes different conditions would call for tweaking those things.

With the AP mount, those things just don't matter any more. Longer or shorter guide exposures? It doesn't matter. Setting the correct minimum and maximum correction amounts? Doesn't matter. Tweaking the aggressiveness? Doesn't matter. Changing the guide rate? Doesn't matter. Balance slightly east heavy? Doesn't matter. A breezy night? Doesn't matter. The AP mount just works. All the time.

And beyond the quality of the hardware, you would be hard pressed to match the service and support from Astro-Physics. They are interacting with their customers every day. We all know their owners and staff by name, not because we need their help, but because they're fully engaged in the community all the time.

Here's a short story from just this week. The owner of an AP refractor took his scope to do outreach with some high school students. While the scope was there, some of the kids vandalized the scope by peeling off some of the logo from the tube. While he was telling this story (with pictures) on the user group, one of the owners of AP jumped and said not to worry about it; that they'd take care of him. Without his even asking, they sent him a replacement for the vandalized part.

I've also seen them help customers with products 20 years out of production (not always for free, of course). When you buy an Astro-Physics product, you buy it for life.

It will be cool to see how the CEM60 fares when it comes out. From what I hear, the iOptron guys are innovative and responsive to their customers. I wish them all the best. And who knows, it's possible that the CEM60 hits a home run and owns its market segment. But you'd be betting the long shot to assume that they'll match the ownership experience of an AP mount.

And just to keep this at least a little bit on topic, here's my suggestion to the OP: The CEM60 looks like a very interesting option, especially with the encoders. If you enjoy being an early adopter and doing some level of troubleshooting, I say go for it. If, on the other hand, you want a product to just work, then you have two choices: Buy the Mach1 now, or wait for the CEM60 to get a year or so in the market. After that time, we will know if these two mounts should be compared to each other at all.

As always, this is just my two cents,
-Wade


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

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: WesC]
      #6357992 - 02/05/14 04:02 PM

I'm afraid any Ioptron solution for me relies on the non encoder version. $4000 is just more than I'm willing to risk on a asian mount. For that amount I'd would require 100% assurance of not getting a defective mount. I'm not willing to to take the risk of getting burned again. At least not for $4000. If the non encorder version gets good reports and with extremely low defect rates, I may be willing to risk the $2500. If at that time I lose the lottery again, I'm never going to buy another Chinese mount.

I hope Ioptron can keep the quality control at a high level, and steal away all those Synta, and Sunny customers! They just have to prove they really care! We'll see.....

Edited by Wmacky (02/05/14 04:14 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Ranger Tim
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/25/08

Loc: SE Idaho, USA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6358232 - 02/05/14 06:09 PM

Wmacky said it all for me. +1

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tazer
super member


Reged: 12/22/11

Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Ranger Tim]
      #6358290 - 02/05/14 06:38 PM

Wade, thank you very much for that explanation. I was looking for some tangible differences in this thread but your response was in a language I understand. All I've got is a CG5-ASGT and truly know every single frustration you mentioned. It is my goal to purchase an imaging mount that will eliminate (as nearly as possible) those issues so I can spend those precious clear nights imaging instead of troubleshooting/tinkering.

Looks like I might need to consider putting my tax refund in the bank and getting on the Mach1 waiting list.

Mark


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

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Ranger Tim]
      #6358377 - 02/05/14 07:22 PM

Me too... +1

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


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: WesC]
      #6358436 - 02/05/14 07:57 PM

Quote:

Whoa... 90% rejection!? That is so not good.





In a way it is good. It means Ioptron is doing the QA and holding the suppliers accountable.

Gale


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


Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: East S.F.Bay, CA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: WadeH237]
      #6358488 - 02/05/14 08:27 PM

I really don't see what all the point of all this angst. The CEM60 could be a game changer, but we don't know that yet, do we? Track records, credible track record, take a loooong time to build, and iOptron is just getting started. It's gonna be quite a while before anyone can say anything definitive about it's value.

As to the price difference between the CEM60 and anything sporting an Astro-Physics name plate, well folks, A-P has the track record. In spades... Yeah, you'll pay $1K, maybe even $2K more for a sure thing, but for my money, a $4K *BLEEP* shoot is no bargain when, if it doesn't work out, it mean I'll be out $4K plus whatever it costs to get something that lives up to published spec's and will continue to for as long as you live. Now I understand there are people who think a tip to Reno or Los Wages is a great idea. I'm not one of them. 'Course I am an official old fart, So I guess I have an excuse for being risk intolerant.

Like I said earlier in this thread. If you have the patience, then use the time it takes the CEM60 to reveal it's true nature to save enough money to buy the AP alternative if the CEM80 turns out to be a goat. If it proves to be the next big thing, then you've still got some cash to spend on some good optics or a high end camera. If you don't have the patience, then for pity sake, go with the sure thing. Either way, don't gamble with that much of your own money on the table. With other folk's cash, sure, why not.


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

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: WadeH237]
      #6358609 - 02/05/14 09:49 PM

Quote:

The thing is, that I *needed* the experience of the Celestron (and I also tried Meade) mounts in order to fully appreciate the AP mount.




+1

If you've spent a year (or two, or three) with the substandard stuff, it will make the AP ownership experience that much sweeter.

On the other hand you'll be blaming yourself for those wasted years. I know I did.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6358732 - 02/05/14 11:21 PM

It's all about the benjamins for me. I simply can not currently afford a top-tier mount. So I can either do without for several years while I save and then dump it all on a great mount or I can buy the best I can afford now and then start saving from scratch again. This is the route I've chosen to go.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6358788 - 02/05/14 11:59 PM

There are so many ways to lose money in this hobby. There are few ways to save money. One of the best ways to save money in the end is to buy a GREAT mount and then keep it for life. I have had a few mounts, some were pretty good and others not so much. I have lost money on every one I ever bought and sold. Some I lost a lot and others only a smaller percentage. But if I were to add up the amount that I lost and added that to the most expensive mount that I bought and sold, I could have had an AP mount. It took me a while to finally figure it out, most of use do not understand in the beginning. But if I had listened to the more experiences photographers I would have had my AP900 years ago. Expensive, yeah I guess, but where is the saving in the end?
Blueman


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
LPA
newbie


Reged: 01/28/14

Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6358837 - 02/06/14 12:35 AM

Re whichwayisnorth: My situation as well. It's not all about the money, it's also about time. The question for me is, do I significantly enhance my enjoyment of this hobby now while saving for a higher capacity mount to buy later, or do I forgo buying a CEM60 now and lose that much time and experiences while waiting? Those AP supporters in this thread make it sound like there are lots of Mach 1's for sale out there. So where are they?

LPA


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

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: LPA]
      #6358868 - 02/06/14 12:59 AM

I guess you have to get an astromart account, because they sure aren't offered on this forum!

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


Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: East S.F.Bay, CA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6358900 - 02/06/14 01:31 AM

Look folks, it comes down to this... How many times do you want to cry?

Either way, you'll spend the money. The only question is how much risk are you willing to tolerate? Seems to me those who are willing to gamble on a $4K on a complete unknown are more adventurous than I am. I tip my hat to your spirit, but having been down that path, I would not follow your example.

Blueman said it all. You'd be well advised to listen to Floyd's advice. He knows whereof he speaks.

Edited by bseltzer (02/06/14 01:38 AM)


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

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: bseltzer]
      #6358911 - 02/06/14 01:47 AM

If you want a Mach1 now a quick wanted on astromart will get you one.

I had 3 offers when I put up my want ad and could afford to choose the best option.

There's also that AP900 right now for 5.5k.....


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

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6358956 - 02/06/14 02:17 AM

Yeah... That's tempting. But I'm saving for an AP1100GTO.

I've gone through this with many things in life. Cars, guitars, wives...

What I learned was that if you're serious about something, spend the money and do it right or you'll only be frustrated and give it up. Then why do I have a CGEM, you ask? Simple. It came with my Edge 11 for an extra $150... and is an excellent visual use mount. Hard to turn that down.

But when I get into imaging, I'm going with Astro-Physics.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
calypsob
sage
*****

Reged: 04/20/13

Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: tazer]
      #6360570 - 02/06/14 08:03 PM

Quote:

Quote:

IF iOptron can keep the price low...




I emailed iOptron a couple of weeks ago and the mounts were supposed to ship in January but were delayed due to problems with the worm manufacturer. They rejected about 20% of the initial batch and about 90% of the second batch. They indicated that they would stand by their advertised PE specs and pricing.

If they don't then that will cause a number of people to recalculate their next mount purchase.




Annoying news for early adopters, bad news for competitors. This signifies that iOptron is amping up it's quality control. ISO9000 standards are a difficult thing to implement with Chinese manufacturers, but when they actually go through.. giants are made.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
NightRyder
sage


Reged: 12/24/09

Loc: Miami FL aka Light Pollution, ...
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: calypsob]
      #6361659 - 02/07/14 10:55 AM

Lots of great advice here! When I started the post, I had no idea of what I was starting... hahahaha After more research and thought (some influenced by this post) I have decided to wait on the AP Mach1. The CEM60 may indeed prove to be a solid mount, but I can just see the quality oozing out of the AP Mounts. The milled aluminum opposed to cast is one of the biggest quality factors in my decision. Recent issues with a CGEM's cast aluminum completely turns me off from similarly produced mounts. Not to mention the whole American made deal... I'm saving and an AP Mount is definitely in my future.

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

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: ??? iOptron CEM60 or Save for an AP Mach1GTO ??? new [Re: NightRyder]
      #6362189 - 02/07/14 03:14 PM

You won't regret it.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)


Extra information
7 registered and 38 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Dave M, richard7, bilgebay, iceblaze 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 1221

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics