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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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ctjer
member


Reged: 04/04/11

Loc: Ledyard, CT
Do I have this more or less right?
      #4534106 - 04/21/11 11:45 AM

Hello all,
I am looking to step up from my Zhumell 8 Dob to a C11 - for primarily visual use. In a year or so I would like to use the mount for an AP scope like an ES ED 127. I've learned from numerous posters that the CG-5 is a marginally adequate mate for the C11 - even for purely visual purposes. Further, I had concluded, from reviews and CN posts the CGEM would be the most economical suitable mount for a C11 OTA - used for my purposes. I have liked the idea of using the mount for more than one scope. My problem is that just prior to making the purchase I started reading the Yahoo CGEM group and was astonished at the litany of complaints about how the thing performed, or more to the point, failed to perform. More alarming to me was the requirement to be a major gear head trying to get the thing fixed by yourself. One more data point: I spoke with a presenter from Arizona at NEAF at some length about his service rehabilitating brand new CGEMs to increase the likelihood they might give trouble free service - for only $500-$600 dollars with shipping. I found his pitch to be fairly credible, given that I have never owned a mount, aside from the Dob, and have no experience with them.
So, on the cusp of buying a C11/CGEM package for $3099, I find myself pulling back and rethinking my options. Getting an iOptron iQE45 as a mount is a consideration. A very helpful member of my local astronomy group suggested this. It costs more and is not packaged with a C11, but I would pay a bit more for reliability. Or, I could just go with a CPC 1100 and forget the future use of an ES 127 (unless I bought still another mount for AP).
I write this post to query the forum on the soundness of my conclusions and inclinations. I am guessing from the Yahoo and CN archives that the CPC is way less complicated to use and more reliable than the CGEM. On another tack, I am guessing the iOptron is more reliable than the CGEM and might be a good way to go for someone who will be challenged to his technical max just getting an EQ set up and working. If the hunch about the iOptron is correct, I would prefer to go that way. If not, I might go with the CPC (or other avenue that might be recommended). Thanks so much for any help.
Carl


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Do I have this more or less right? new [Re: ctjer]
      #4534154 - 04/21/11 12:04 PM

Hi Carl:

I just picked up an iEQ45 at NEAF. It seems like a great mount, but I haven't really had a chance to use it yet. One thing I would say about it is that buying one right now is a bit of a leap of faith. There really is no one that can say it is more or less reliable than a CGEM because it is very new on the market.

Note that the iEQ45 is rated at 45 pounds payload, which means that for best AP performance you should load it at about 25 pounds, 30 at most. Since the C11 weighs in at around 27 pounds, you've nearly used up your capacity with the OTA alone. You'll also need to add a camera, guiding scope, guider, mounting hardware, finder, etc. which will probably end up putting your load at close to 40 pounds. I'm sure you can still use it for AP with that load, but your results will be limited. The C11 is a big scope and using it with AP gear will stretch the limits of most reasonably priced mounts.

Also, with the long focal length, it will be very challenging to get good images with long exposures. That's why most people start with smaller scopes and work their way up to a reasonable limit for the mount. Fundamentally, you don't really need large aperture for AP as much as you need it for visual. With AP, you can compensate with longer exposures.

The CPC1100 is highly regarded by its owners, but would require a heavy duty wedge to use for AP. That certainly is an option though. As you state, it would not provide a platform for other scopes unless they are small/lightweight and can be piggybacked on the CPC.

-Dan


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LouP
super member
*****

Reged: 12/27/09

Re: Do I have this more or less right? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #4534223 - 04/21/11 12:32 PM

Hi Carl,

Another point as I mentioned in another thread. Seems like iOptron has receievd mixed reviews in the customer service area but I can't say enough good things about them. I also purchased an iEQ45 at NEAF but mine was one of the units on display and I got a very nice price because of that. Well, when they packed the unit up for me, the crew left all the wiring out of the box by mistake. I can fully understand how this happened as they were trying to pack it all up as quickly as possible for me and I think that there were just were too many people trying to help out. That combined with the hectic atmosphere at NEAF made it perfectly understandable to me. Well here is the part that is really impressive to me, this morning one of the iOptron reps drove to where I work and hand delivered a package to me with all of my wiring because I was hoping to get some observing in tomorrow. This seems to fall in line with some other positive comments I've read about their customer service. So I am in the camp that these guys will go the extra mile for you and stand behing their products if you should run into any problems.

Now the reason I got the iEQ45 was because it only weighs 25 pounds yet is rated to carry 45. Very nice feature for me where I need to travel to my club's observing field to get dark skies. My current plans are to carry an 8" SCT along with an 80mm refractor side by side but I wanted a little wiggle room so the 45lbs payload should be more than enough for me right now.

I hope this helps.

LouP


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Tom Andrews
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/25/07

Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Re: Do I have this more or less right? new [Re: LouP]
      #4535396 - 04/21/11 09:21 PM

My response is very limited. I have a CG-5 with a C11 on it. I am strictly a visual observer but I have no complaints about this setup. I don't know what the 127 weighs and how much weight you have to add to that for the extra equipment to do AP and if the CG-5 would still handle it. I know nothing about AP except what I've read on CN. I just wanted to say that the C11 on the CG-5 is very usable visually in my opinion.

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clchildress
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/10

Loc: NW Georgia, USA
Re: Do I have this more or less right? new [Re: ctjer]
      #4536417 - 04/22/11 11:51 AM

Quote:

Hello all,
I am looking to step up from my Zhumell 8 Dob to a C11 - for primarily visual use. In a year or so I would like to use the mount for an AP scope like an ES ED 127. I've learned from numerous posters that the CG-5 is a marginally adequate mate for the C11 - even for purely visual purposes. Further, I had concluded, from reviews and CN posts the CGEM would be the most economical suitable mount for a C11 OTA - used for my purposes. I have liked the idea of using the mount for more than one scope. My problem is that just prior to making the purchase I started reading the Yahoo CGEM group and was astonished at the litany of complaints about how the thing performed, or more to the point, failed to perform. More alarming to me was the requirement to be a major gear head trying to get the thing fixed by yourself. One more data point: I spoke with a presenter from Arizona at NEAF at some length about his service rehabilitating brand new CGEMs to increase the likelihood they might give trouble free service - for only $500-$600 dollars with shipping. I found his pitch to be fairly credible, given that I have never owned a mount, aside from the Dob, and have no experience with them.
So, on the cusp of buying a C11/CGEM package for $3099, I find myself pulling back and rethinking my options. Getting an iOptron iQE45 as a mount is a consideration. A very helpful member of my local astronomy group suggested this. It costs more and is not packaged with a C11, but I would pay a bit more for reliability. Or, I could just go with a CPC 1100 and forget the future use of an ES 127 (unless I bought still another mount for AP).
I write this post to query the forum on the soundness of my conclusions and inclinations. I am guessing from the Yahoo and CN archives that the CPC is way less complicated to use and more reliable than the CGEM. On another tack, I am guessing the iOptron is more reliable than the CGEM and might be a good way to go for someone who will be challenged to his technical max just getting an EQ set up and working. If the hunch about the iOptron is correct, I would prefer to go that way. If not, I might go with the CPC (or other avenue that might be recommended). Thanks so much for any help.
Carl




I'm very curious about what specific complaints you've been reading about? Were they resolved to the users' satisfaction?


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