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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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gonzosc1
sage


Reged: 11/08/12

Loc: South Carolina
help picking a mount
      #5514075 - 11/11/12 08:21 AM

Hi everyone, I have been without a scope for 10-12 years and I'm ready to jump back into one.. last scope I had was 10" lx200 and for what I did it was fine. I'm 95% visual and had a little fun with shooting vids.

One thing I remember and hated about the lx200 was hoisting the thing up onto the tripod and fearing what could happen, lol so this time around I'm am looking at EQ mounts so I can handle smaller peices.

anyway, after looking around the past month or so and what my wallet dictates. I'm down to the Atlas EQ6 and the CGEM.
I tryed to find all the pros and cons of these mounts and it seems that they are about equal in both departments.
so IMO for me I think it may come down to parts and service after I buy one.
in the past I have been lucky with my scopes in the fact that I didn't get factory lemons and tune-ups were easy enough to do myself. so I'm not worried about cracking some equipment open and digging in! but don't want to if not needed.
so as black friday is near and I'm waiting to see if some sales will appear I need a final yea or nay on one of these mounts from those who know. which do you think would be the most problem free mount? and which would have better after the sale parts and service if needed?

Thanks
Robert


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rigel123
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/29/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5514132 - 11/11/12 09:21 AM

You will probably end up with about 50/50 on this one with regards to replies. Here is one vote for the EQ-G (6 if it's white!) I have not owned the CGEM. My EQ-G worked out of the box, and works great for me and I am 95% AP, so for visual it will be more than up to the challenge. As to parts and service, I can't say since I haven't had to think about that for the 2 years I have owned mine.

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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: rigel123]
      #5514205 - 11/11/12 10:29 AM

I'm a CGEM owner (3.5 years) and overall have been fairly happy. In the first year mine was back for repairs 2 times at about 4-6 weeks each time. At that time QC at the factory was poor. Judging by trafic on the CGEM Yahoo site http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/CelestronCGEM/ it may have improved. Be aware that there are people there that will claim every issue with the mount to be 'operator failure'. Replacement parts http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/parts.html (narrow results to CGEM) are nearly non-existant. The hand controller software is very good and goto accuracy is too. Mine is pier mounted and exhibits some quirks that I've never been able to sort out (sometimes the restart alignment is off far enough that I need to re-align). Just passing along some info, hope it helps you decide.

Al


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gonzosc1
sage


Reged: 11/08/12

Loc: South Carolina
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: mich_al]
      #5514259 - 11/11/12 11:02 AM

thanks for the replies guys. all info is welcome on these.
it does look like that both mounts may also be tied in the parts and serice departments also.... maybe I need to look at this from a different POV somehow?? how and what? LOL

maybe looking at it from a growing POV. which will allow me to grow with less pain LOL. would buy different OTA's. as a visual user will I move into AP? maybe. never thought about it while I had the lx200?

Edited by gonzosc1 (11/11/12 11:08 AM)


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5514272 - 11/11/12 11:12 AM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights! I'm an Atlas fan, but it seems that Celestron has pretty much worked through the bugs that plagued early CGEM models. I like Celestrons hand controller better, but the Atlas has been around forever and is as solid as it gets.

David


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Startraffic
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Lat. 39.143345, Long. -77.1748...
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5516522 - 11/12/12 06:55 PM

Robert,
I'm a Losmandy fan, so I'll throw the G8 with Gemini-2 into the mix. I have a G11 & the HGM-200 that are awesome mounts. Best of all if they break they don't have to go back to the factory for maintenance or repairs, most of them you can DIY with simple hand tools.

Clear Dark Skies
Startraffic
39.138274 -77.168898
Alt 518ft ASL


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: Startraffic]
      #5516690 - 11/12/12 08:34 PM

I don't have any experience with the CGEM but I had an Atlas and I was very happy with it. My vote goes to the Atlas, it's been around for a very long time, it has a huge user base, plenty of resources online and EQMOD if you ever want to get more into imaging or if you have a more permanent setup.
I read a while ago the the CGEM motors had cogging issues, probably not an issue for purely visual but still something to research a little more.
I would also look at resale value, do your own survey and see which mount better holds its value.
Furthermore, my experience with Orion's customer service has always been very positive.
One thing that needs improvement on the Atlas is the tripod and I heard people complaining about the hand controller and it's limited number of features when compared to Celestron.

Andy


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waassaabee
Postmaster
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Reged: 11/26/07

Loc: Central California Coast
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: andysea]
      #5517029 - 11/12/12 11:10 PM

Find a good, used, Deep Space Products Hypertuned CGEM. All the bugs will be gone, and you'll be happy (and $$ ahead...)
Or buy a used CGEM and send it in... it makes all the difference in the world.
-Happy CGEM owner


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snommisbor
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 06/15/09

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: waassaabee]
      #5518726 - 11/13/12 09:24 PM

I had a CGEM for 3 plus years and it was great. Never had a problem with it. Just sold it after upgrading to a TAK EM200. But one thing I loved about the CGEM is the All Star Polar Align. Awesome for if you dont have a view of Polaris or dont have a polar scope. Once you get use to the Hand controller you can practically run it with your eyes closed. So I would think you would not be disappointed with a CGEM.

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chboss
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/24/08

Loc: Zurich Switzerland
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: snommisbor]
      #5518865 - 11/13/12 10:59 PM

In this class you should also consider the iOptron iEQ45, especially or mobile use it has an advantage due to its lower weight.

best regards
Chris


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gonzosc1
sage


Reged: 11/08/12

Loc: South Carolina
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: chboss]
      #5519851 - 11/14/12 05:36 PM

I have been looking at some used mounts but it seems there are more cgem then atlas on the used market. have not seen enough to come up with an average used priced on one. not sure if I want to give up CS from orion or celestron if I go used. what would be a good used price on these 2 mounts?

have not seen much of the Ioptron mounts but have been on the group page reading. seems most of the talk there is about the mini tower and its problems. I will look at the ieq45 and see if I can find some reviews.


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gonzosc1
sage


Reged: 11/08/12

Loc: South Carolina
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5519856 - 11/14/12 05:39 PM

another question for all here if they know.
will a hypertune on the mount void the warranty??


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Lane
Post Laureate


Reged: 11/19/07

Loc: Frisco, Texas
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5519882 - 11/14/12 06:04 PM

It will probably void the warranty.

I have owned the CGEM since it came out and have no problems at all, it does have the better hand controller software and pointing accuracy is better because of that, but it is also very noisy when doing a GOTO or just Slewing at a normal speed.

I think if I was choosing today I would get the Atlas just because of the noise issue. Some would say this is no big deal but it can be if you have neighbors and your are trying to do a GOTO at 2am. I also have a Sirius mount with the same hand controller so I can compare directly and to me the better hand controller of the CGEM does not outweigh the noise issue.


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gonzosc1
sage


Reged: 11/08/12

Loc: South Carolina
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: Lane]
      #5519951 - 11/14/12 06:44 PM

thanks lane,
just did some reading on the Ioptron ieq45. wow thats a mount with bang for the buck. the extra money spent on the mount package would more then equal the extras I would have to buy if I went with the atlas.. thinking!!
more reading!!


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Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5520748 - 11/15/12 08:43 AM

I liked my CGEM. It was great for visual; hypertuning and being realistic about the weight it can manage (50% of its rated capacity will get you good results). I did have nearly 35lbs on it and managed to image; definitely threw away more subs. However, it worked just fine visually.

Hypertuning made a huge difference from balancing and a GOTO perspective. The mount was more accurate upon return; the declination issue in guiding was marginalized, and it was smoother balancing. The ADM dual-saddle was a huge improvement over the original saddle.

The good: you can get a used CGEM for around ~1k on AM. Another 4-500 bucks and you can have it hypertuned/upgraded via DSP. The HC is more user-friendly than the other options... I've switched to a Gemini 2 now however I haven't had a chance to use it so I can't really comment on its capabilities.

Good luck,
Chris


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: gonzosc1]
      #5520769 - 11/15/12 09:03 AM

Quote:

another question for all here if they know.
will a hypertune on the mount void the warranty??





Technically, yes, it would void the warranty. Realistically, it's unlikely Celestron would even know the hypertune had been performed. The hypertune deals mostly with correcting tolerances of mechanical parts. Many of the CGEMS warranty issues deal with electrical components. Mine failed 2 times and went back for repairs. Both times it was cables, pc board, motor issues. Unless a bunch of damage is done by a hamfisted hypertuner it will be undetectable IMO.

Al


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: mich_al]
      #5520881 - 11/15/12 10:09 AM

Quote:

Quote:

another question for all here if they know.
will a hypertune on the mount void the warranty??





Technically, yes, it would void the warranty. Realistically, it's unlikely Celestron would even know the hypertune had been performed. The hypertune deals mostly with correcting tolerances of mechanical parts. Many of the CGEMS warranty issues deal with electrical components. Mine failed 2 times and went back for repairs. Both times it was cables, pc board, motor issues. Unless a bunch of damage is done by a hamfisted hypertuner it will be undetectable IMO.

Al






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TxStars
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/01/05

Loc: Lost In Space
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: EFT]
      #5522729 - 11/16/12 11:26 AM

The one big problem you could run into is this.
You have the mount tuned up.
Then the electronics go out so you send it in.
Instead of just replacing the eletronics they send you a different mount back.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: help picking a mount new [Re: TxStars]
      #5522812 - 11/16/12 12:17 PM

Quote:

The one big problem you could run into is this.
You have the mount tuned up.
Then the electronics go out so you send it in.
Instead of just replacing the eletronics they send you a different mount back.




One thing that I advise people is to specifically tell them that you want the same mount back, not a new mount, and mark the mount on the bottom so that you know you have gotten the same one back. The same issue comes up when you add aftermarket saddles and knobs to the mount. If the problem is electronic, then all that should need to be done is replacement of the board or motor(s) to fix it. If a mount has a mechanical problem after tuning, it can either be sent back to the company that tuned it, or it can be fixed yourself if you did a DIY tuneup. In general, this has not be a problem.


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