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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Nippon
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 10/22/09

Loc: Central Florida
sub $1,000 gem goto
      #4566387 - 05/06/11 10:58 PM

I want to get a German equatorial goto mount but the budget demands that I stay under $1,000. Seems like the only two choices are the Celestron CG5 and the Orion Sky View pro goto. The CG5 appears to be the more popular of the two. Are there any other choices in the sub $1,000 price range?

Thanks, Paul


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Ps191
super member
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Reged: 06/17/09

Loc: E.OR.
Re: sub $1,000 gem goto new [Re: Nippon]
      #4566450 - 05/06/11 11:45 PM

Besides the two you mentioned you can look at the the iOptron SmartStar PR or the numerous Orion options under $1000. If you don't mind going the used route your options expand greatly; with patience I believe it possible to snag a Losmandy GM8, EQ6, certain Vixens or maybe even a CGEM.

Happy GEM hunting. Report back with your find.


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RTLR 12
Post Laureate
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Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: sub $1,000 gem goto new [Re: Ps191]
      #4566482 - 05/07/11 12:20 AM

Paul,

When I upgraded to a gem mount, I went with the CG-5 for the portability, I can still pick it up and move it around, and because the software is almost identical to the SE. I used it for AP and I enjoyed the precision of the CG-5. It makes a good platform for the C8 OTA. For the price it's a great mount. For twice the price you get the CGEM, but that's another story...

Stan


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jgraham
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: sub $1,000 gem goto new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #4566507 - 05/07/11 12:31 AM

The Meade LXD75. Comparable to the CG5. I have two LXD75s and they've proven to be real workhorses.

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letimotif
No Complaints
*****

Reged: 05/20/07

Loc: Actually, right here.
Re: sub $1,000 gem goto new [Re: jgraham]
      #4566530 - 05/07/11 12:47 AM

Hi Paul,

The information you've gotten so far is helpful, but before I suggest something, would you mind my asking:

1. What scope, or scopes, are you planning to use with your mount?

2. Do you want a GEM soley because of the go to functions, or are you thinking about trying some imaging?

Your answers might help to zero in on the best option for your needs.


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clchildress
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 04/22/10

Loc: NW Georgia, USA
Re: sub $1,000 gem goto new [Re: letimotif]
      #4567064 - 05/07/11 10:26 AM

Paul:

In addition to letimotif's questions, is portability an issue, and how much room do you have for storage?


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nemo129
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Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: WMass
Re: sub $1,000 gem goto new [Re: Nippon]
      #4567210 - 05/07/11 11:44 AM

Quote:

Are there any other choices in the sub $1,000 price range?




Check the used market as well. On Astromart I have seen several folks who are upgrading their mounts and selling the CGEM and Atlas class mounts for about $1K. Most of these seem to be well cared for mounts, just the need to upgrade is the reason for the sale. It could not hurt to check and you could get a slightly heavier duty mount for less $$$! Of course it all depends upon what you capacity needs are.


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Eric Gage
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Reged: 12/13/05

Re: sub $1,000 gem goto new [Re: nemo129]
      #4567360 - 05/07/11 01:03 PM

I just sold a Sphinx for $1000 here on CN. You can get some great deals if you're patient.

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Nippon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/22/09

Loc: Central Florida
Re: sub $1,000 gem goto new [Re: Eric Gage]
      #4569876 - 05/08/11 04:50 PM

The scopes I plan to use on it are my NS8SE ota or my TV 85. Imaging is not something I will likely ever do. I am an astro tourist. I have a CG4 mount for my 85 and have used my NexStar ota on it for planets because it is so much more steady than the NexStar mount. But the CG4 does not have goto and I have become really fond of goto since I bought the NexStar 8SE which I love for its light weight and easy set up. I just want a steady durable goto usable with either of my scopes for those long nights and star parties.

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BKBrown
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Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: Northern Virginia, USA
Re: sub $1,000 gem goto new [Re: Nippon]
      #4569944 - 05/08/11 05:23 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

Quote:

The scopes I plan to use on it are my NS8SE ota or my TV 85. Imaging is not something I will likely ever do. I am an astro tourist. I have a CG4 mount for my 85 and have used my NexStar ota on it for planets because it is so much more steady than the NexStar mount. But the CG4 does not have goto and I have become really fond of goto since I bought the NexStar 8SE which I love for its light weight and easy set up. I just want a steady durable goto usable with either of my scopes for those long nights and star parties.




Another entry you might want to check out is the Skywatcher EQ-5P goto GEM. It will handle a 24 pound/20kg load (more than adequate for your OTAs), is very quiet, and has excellent go to capability when properly aligned (easily accomplished with the built in polar scope). Mine has displayed outstanding performance and reliability and I can recommend these mounts without reservation. I am preparing to part with mine, but only because I recently picked up a Sirius for the extra load capacity...so the EQ-5P must go These mounts are occasionally available on the used market for $450 to $550 if you keep your eyes open. Below is a picture of mine carrying a SW100ED, WO ZS66SD, and an Antares 7.5x50 RACI finder...my standard load at about 14 pounds and it doesn't even strain the mount. Good luck!

Clear Skies,
BrianB

Edited by BKBrown (05/08/11 05:26 PM)


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Nippon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/22/09

Loc: Central Florida
Re: sub $1,000 gem goto new [Re: BKBrown]
      #4570620 - 05/08/11 11:55 PM

I'm aware of the Skywatcher EQ-5 but they don't appear to be available new anymore.

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orlyandico
Post Laureate
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: sub $1,000 gem goto new [Re: Nippon]
      #4570743 - 05/09/11 02:53 AM

The Orion Sirius is an "HEQ5-Pro" -- that might be the ticket. A bit over $1100 new though.

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