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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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amys
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/12/06

Loc: Groton, CT
CGEM -- first impressions
      #4557565 - 05/02/11 05:05 PM

A fellow club member just got a new CGEM last week and I got to help him set it up and assist him in his first 2-star alignment. I have a CG-5, which I haven't used in a few years, so I was familiar with the basic desgin and the software.

I have to say that I was quite impressed with the mount. It's quiet, fast and our first 2-star align with only 1 calibration star produced very good go-tos. Right out of the box. Our polar alignment consisted of our setting the tripod down and eyeballing true north with my compass in my hand, offset for our declination. We did not go through the polar alignment routine. It's a good thing the mount is too heavy for me or I'd be tempted to sell my Vixen SXW and buy one.

It does have me seriously considering ordering the NexSXW board so that I can use the Celestron software and CG-5 hand controller with my Sphinx. While I really like the design of the Sphinx (the hardware is much more solid than the CG-5), the Celestron software is clearly superior.


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BCB
Undercover Saboteur
*****

Reged: 11/24/03

Loc: Look over your shoulder
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: amys]
      #4557825 - 05/02/11 07:52 PM

Next go round, do a three star with one calibration star.. It'll work even better.. LOVE mine..

Three star removes cone error..


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amys
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/12/06

Loc: Groton, CT
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: BCB]
      #4557876 - 05/02/11 08:24 PM

I'll remember that. And I'll pass it along to the owner.

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deepskyguy
member


Reged: 12/16/09

Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: amys]
      #4558206 - 05/02/11 11:46 PM

Sorry if this is common knowledge but how do you do 3 star alignment? I can only find info on 2 star plus calibration. I looked through the manual and couldn't find it...

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clchildress
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/10

Loc: NW Georgia, USA
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: deepskyguy]
      #4558489 - 05/03/11 07:01 AM

I found that a two-star alignment with three calibration stars produced deadly accurate go-to performance for me. Glad you like the CGEM; I'm absolutely loving mine so far.

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Javier
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: 15 Minutes west of the Manhatt...
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: clchildress]
      #4558854 - 05/03/11 11:16 AM

I'm looking forward to buying one as well for my C6R.

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biggles
sage


Reged: 10/12/06

Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: Javier]
      #4559165 - 05/03/11 01:45 PM

Loved my MeadeLX90 10" so much I bought it a CGEM for it's birthday!!

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Helcarexe
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/24/10

Loc: Des Moines, Iowa
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: Javier]
      #4559212 - 05/03/11 02:07 PM

Quote:

I'm looking forward to buying one as well for my C6R.




+1 for a C6R also


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: amys]
      #4559430 - 05/03/11 03:43 PM

I had a chance to play with a CGEM at the last club star party. I fielded an Atlas. It was nice to see both mounts in action at the same time.

The CGEM is better finished, and much more ergonomic than the Atlas. It goes without saying that the Nexstar firmware is light years ahead of Synscan on the feature front. The CGEM also slews to targets MUCH faster than the Atlas (I'd estimate >2x the slew rate).

On the other hand, the CGEM is much noisier in operation than the CGEM, and the particular unit we were using suddenly bound up in its declination axis during the session. It had been "hypertuned" professionally, and I suspect something had been either meshed too tightly or left too loose. By the cold light of day the owner discovered that the declination worm adjustment screws were loose, and tightening them fixed the glitch. Whew!

My Atlas hasn't missed a day of school since I bought it many years ago.

I really liked the CGEM and if I was going to refresh my aging Atlas, I'd definitely consider it. My only misgiving is the less than stellar reliability reports and my own observed failure of the unit I had the opportunity to use.

Regards,

Jim


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #4559450 - 05/03/11 03:53 PM

I have the CGEM and while the first one was defective the second has worked very well. I am even able to image with the 9.25 which in itself is a large feat considering with cameras, guide scope etc. I am pushing 35lbs.

Mark (BCB),

How do you do 3 star alingment?


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BCB
Undercover Saboteur
*****

Reged: 11/24/03

Loc: Look over your shoulder
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #4559488 - 05/03/11 04:04 PM

It's been awhile since I've fired mine up.. I MAY be thinking of a two star plus calibration.. I wasn't 100% certain when i posted that.. With the weather we've gotten up her (as you well know Helder) I haven't had many opportunities to actually use the darn thing..

I CAN say adding more calibration stars does make the alignment deadly accurate.


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: BCB]
      #4559509 - 05/03/11 04:14 PM

I use 2 star alingment and 4 star calibration but thats becuase when imaging having the DSO in the center of FOV is much easier to image when you don't have an eyepiece to look through

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amys
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/12/06

Loc: Groton, CT
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #4559733 - 05/03/11 05:59 PM

Quote:

I have the CGEM and while the first one was defective the second has worked very well.

Mark (BCB),




Mark:

What kind of issues did you have with the first one?


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mistyridge
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/28/05

Loc: Loomis, CA
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: amys]
      #4559879 - 05/03/11 07:06 PM

I liked mine so much I am selling it to share the wealth.

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BCB
Undercover Saboteur
*****

Reged: 11/24/03

Loc: Look over your shoulder
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: amys]
      #4560667 - 05/04/11 05:35 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I have the CGEM and while the first one was defective the second has worked very well.

Mark (BCB),




Mark:

What kind of issues did you have with the first one?




It was actually hfjacinto who posted that.. I was sitting here trying to figure out WHERE i put that in this post and had to re-read the whole thing to find it.

For me, the biggest thing that popped up was one error 17 that happened the second night i used it.. I was able to back out of it completely (undo key), and the mount kept the alignment and never skipped a beat.

I'm not completely sure, but I think he suffered from the dreaded error 17 issue as well..


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amys
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/12/06

Loc: Groton, CT
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: BCB]
      #4560703 - 05/04/11 06:36 AM

Sorry 'bout that.

An issue developed the other night after I left where the mount stopped finding objects and responding to the directional arrows. They ultimately got it going again. I was just curious to know if there are certain common issues that tend to crop up with these mounts.

I didn't run into any problems at all using my CG-5 except for my bonehead tendency to hit the "enter" key instead of the "align" key while doing my alignment.


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Swamp Fox
sage
*****

Reged: 12/26/06

Loc: South Carolina
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: amys]
      #4560748 - 05/04/11 07:35 AM

Another satisfied customer here! I have had my CGEM for less than 2 weeks and have used it 5 nights with both the 4” and 9-1/4”. So far using 2-star alignment +1 calibration star, it is dead on when moving from object to object.

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Bart
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/28/06

Loc: Somewhere near Charlottesville...
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: Swamp Fox]
      #4560825 - 05/04/11 08:52 AM

Which brings me to my conundrum. Should I upgrade to the CGEM DX or the Losmandy G11/G2? I'd save 1200 bucks going with the CGEM, but I'd gain 10 more pounds of weight capacity if I went with the G11. This is a Buridan's @ss dilemma for me.

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gdd
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: Bart]
      #4560875 - 05/04/11 09:25 AM

Quote:

Which brings me to my conundrum. Should I upgrade to the CGEM DX or the Losmandy G11/G2? I'd save 1200 bucks going with the CGEM, but I'd gain 10 more pounds of weight capacity if I went with the G11. This is a Buridan's @ss dilemma for me.





You would also gain more precision with the G11. How do you plan to use it? That would determine whether it is worth it to spend more.

Gale


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: CGEM -- first impressions new [Re: gdd]
      #4560887 - 05/04/11 09:30 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Which brings me to my conundrum. Should I upgrade to the CGEM DX or the Losmandy G11/G2? I'd save 1200 bucks going with the CGEM, but I'd gain 10 more pounds of weight capacity if I went with the G11. This is a Buridan's @ss dilemma for me.





You would also gain more precision with the G11. How do you plan to use it? That would determine whether it is worth it to spend more.

Gale




Yup. I'd rather image with the G11 but I'd prefer to carry a CGEM around for visual use in the field.


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