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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc.
      #5598491 - 12/31/12 06:13 PM

I am seriously thinking of going C14 on a CGE Pro. BUT, it must go in and out of the house, down 4 steps and an occasional trip to a dark site 1x / month. I'm 57 and still can carry stuff. I move my CPC1100 in and out and the scope/arm assembly is 65 lbs. But its not as fun (?) as it used to be. I just got a 5" refractor and Atlas EQ-G mount and love the ability to take the tripod and head and scope off into very manageable parts and weights. So I thought, hmmm, how about a c14 on a EQ mount. Watched the videos and read the info out there, but I haven't seen or read anything about someone actually breaking it down regularly.

Does anyone have REAL experience with doing this?

Evidently, when broken down, the heaviest part is 45 lbs......which, if true, is a lot lighter than the 65 lb CPC1100 assembly.
I go out and observe in the yard usually for hours at a time, and I plan to use the 'resting on a chair' 1 person mounting method.
So what is your experience with breaking this mount down say 5-7 times a month (if lucky)?
Also, I notice that this sucker is TALL with a c14. I'm 6' tall, and I like to use my Stardust observing chair. Will that even be possible with this set up even looking at 45 degrees and above to the zenith?
I have no chance for a permanent observatory. I have an unheated/uncooled detached garage, but it gets 1" of water in it every now and then when we have a very heavy rain, so that moisture level scares me. That's why I keep my stuff inside the house. Too bad, because I have that pneumatic wheeled dolly that would probably work.....I'm in NJ btw. 95 and humid in the summer and maybe -3 in the winter with occasional snow.
Anyway, I'd love to hear your experiences. Thanks everyone! And Happy New Year.
Sbob


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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5598827 - 12/31/12 10:10 PM

Your assembly/disassemble time would be longer than your viewing time..probably.. The pro is a beast of a mount. It's probably too tall for you to sit down.. well maybe at zenith it would be ok...

I'm 6 feet as well.. 39.. A few weeks of lugging it in and out of the house to either observe or astrophoto and then to be killed by humitidy and dew quickly gave way to an observatory..

Put it in a separate Rubbermaid shed raised off the ground with a small ramp and use the dolly...


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5598945 - 01/01/13 12:10 AM

an AP900 splits into two parts both of which are under 30lb..

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end
sage


Reged: 08/31/11

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5598960 - 01/01/13 12:25 AM

I have a CGE PRO, though I have a C11 mounted on it. For several months I did exactly as you describe above. Total setup time for me was 30-40 minutes. Add in 2+4 star alignment and the whole process was probably about an hour. I didn't find it to be that bad. My guess is that the most difficult part will be mounting the OTA, but if you use this trick: ("small portable scope") it shouldn't be that big of a deal. One hour is a lot less than my typical viewing time!

Having said that, I have switched to a situation where I leave the scope out 24/7 with a Telegizmos 365 cover. It works really well and eliminates much of the work of setting up. Between this and a small heater (in my case a lightbulb), the scope stays dry and aligned even through driving rain. I highly recommend it!!

Edited by end (01/01/13 12:28 AM)


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end
sage


Reged: 08/31/11

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5598975 - 01/01/13 12:37 AM

Quote:

an AP900 splits into two parts both of which are under 30lb..




The AP900 is a fantastic mount, but the cost is about double a CGE PRO. If you buy the CGE PRO with the 14" OTA as part of the usual Celestron bundle the cost comparison is even worse for the AP900. On the other hand, if the price difference isn't an obstacle, or if you can find a good price on a used one, by all means consider it instead!


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gdd
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5599200 - 01/01/13 08:38 AM

Quote:

an AP900 splits into two parts both of which are under 30lb..






The Losmandy Titan is closer in price to the CGE Pro. It splits into two 35 pound parts.

Gale


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: gdd]
      #5599265 - 01/01/13 09:35 AM

yup, but for me (considering the Titan cost less than the 1/4-capacity Mach1 that I ended up with) the problem with the Titan is the eye-popping weight.

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TxStars
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/01/05

Loc: Lost In Space
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5599362 - 01/01/13 10:54 AM

Put a Pier in the back yard and buy a used AP900.
For the dark site get a Heavy Miller tripod or use the AP portable pier.


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5599460 - 01/01/13 12:04 PM

I think that you are looking at the wrong specs.

The original CGE is 45lb. The CGE Pro is 75lb for just the mount head, and I do not think it can be broken down into smaller parts.

I own a CGE, and it is pretty easy to work with. I have limited experience with a CGE Pro, but it is a completely different beast. That mount head is a beast to deal with.

I've recently upgraded to an AP1600. While it is a *much* larger mount that an CGE Pro, the RA and dec assemblies separate and it turns out to be much easier for a single person to manage than a CGE Pro.

Just to be clear, the CGE Pro impressed me with its performance on the few nights that I got to use one. My normal visual setup is a C14 on an original CGE, which puts the mount right at its limits. The CGE Pro carries a C14 quite a bit more gracefully than the CGE. The only down sides I remember to the Pro were the weight and the height.

-Wade


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: wolfman_4_ever]
      #5599707 - 01/01/13 02:15 PM

Unfortunately, I couldn't do a rubbermaid shed. The burglars around here would laugh themselves to death as the broke into it. But maybe a modifiation to the garage's side door. Hmmm.... Regardless, let me think about those ideas. See, I have to be able to move it to different locations because of trees and lights. Thanks..

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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5599718 - 01/01/13 02:22 PM

The pro mount head can be split into 2 separate pieces..

My Cge-Pro eats AP900's for lunch...



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end
sage


Reged: 08/31/11

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5599719 - 01/01/13 02:23 PM

When I first got my CGE PRO, I wrote up this short initial impressions review, here: CGE PRO which might be worth looking at. One of the things I did when I got it was weigh each part. The GEM head comes apart into two pieces: a 57 pound top half and an 18 pound bottom half. The top part which contains both DEC and RA axis motors is the heaviest single part.

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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5599720 - 01/01/13 02:23 PM

No, according to this link http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-cge-pro-mount.html the head breaks down into a 45 and 30 lbs components. Just how easy/not easy that is is another thing. I'll check out our other suggestions....

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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: TxStars]
      #5599735 - 01/01/13 02:29 PM

Can't do a pier. Small yard and trees and lights make me have to be mobile...

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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: end]
      #5599746 - 01/01/13 02:36 PM

would you explain a bit more... I guess you're not worried about thieves. I would here. Do you leave the whole OTA and mount outside too? Or just the mount? Do you secure the mount down as an anti theft device?
The light bulb for heat, why do you do that? thanks
Bob


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: end]
      #5599777 - 01/01/13 02:58 PM

Quote:

When I first got my CGE PRO, I wrote up this short initial impressions review, here: CGE PRO which might be worth looking at. One of the things I did when I got it was weigh each part. The GEM head comes apart into two pieces: a 57 pound top half and an 18 pound bottom half. The top part which contains both DEC and RA axis motors is the heaviest single part.





that's a very helpful write up, especially on the component wieghts. do you move it in and out and if you do, what are the components which you keep together in order to move?

Very helpful and glad you did this for us.
Regards,
Bob


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5599781 - 01/01/13 03:00 PM

Just another question, why is this mount so tall?
Is there some company out there that machines or modifies down the legs by any chance or lowers the height in some other way?

Edited by spongebob@55 (01/02/13 11:44 AM)


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5599852 - 01/01/13 03:42 PM

Quote:

No, according to this link http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-cge-pro-mount.html the head breaks down into a 45 and 30 lbs components. Just how easy/not easy that is is another thing. I'll check out our other suggestions....




Thanks for the clarification on the mount breakdown. The link in the post by end shows how he's broken it down, but he's claiming that the combined breakdown (which does not separate the two axes) still has a piece well over 50lb.

I looked everywhere on the link at Celestron and I can't find where it claims that the mount head breaks down into pieces of 45lb and 30lb.

-Wade


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5599902 - 01/01/13 04:14 PM

Quote:

Just another question, whay is this mount so tall?



I put this question to the Celestron staff many times. The answer was some people have long refractors. That's a darn stupid answer if you consider that the tripod has extendable legs. I grew tired of that nonsense and decided to spend twice as much money on a portable and high quality mount. If you want portability look elsewhere. A used CGE will do an excellent job with the C14 for visual observing.


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end
sage


Reged: 08/31/11

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: CGE Pro 'portability', repeated dis assembly, etc. new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5599930 - 01/01/13 04:33 PM

Quote:

Quote:

No, according to this link http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-cge-pro-mount.html the head breaks down into a 45 and 30 lbs components. Just how easy/not easy that is is another thing. I'll check out our other suggestions....




Thanks for the clarification on the mount breakdown. The link in the post by end shows how he's broken it down, but he's claiming that the combined breakdown (which does not separate the two axes) still has a piece well over 50lb.

I looked everywhere on the link at Celestron and I can't find where it claims that the mount head breaks down into pieces of 45lb and 30lb.

-Wade




In just over a week I'll have an opportunity to re-weigh all the components so I'll double check that 57 pound number, but I don't have any real reason to doubt it.

Regarding the height, I made a small modification to my CGE PRO tripod to lower it, and more importantly widen the stance of the tripod. I posted a thread on it here: thread. Basically what I did was replace the bottom aluminum spreaders with slightly longer ones. It was a pretty easy and cheap modification. The key before and after photo is here:



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