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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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James_826
member
*****

Reged: 02/09/12

Loc: Beggs, Ok
Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories?
      #5673876 - 02/11/13 11:29 AM

I am getting ready to order the CGEM DX this week from Astronomics. I noticed they are currently out of stock on the Celestron C8 dovetail so I am holding off till that is in stock. Are there any other accessories that I should order now that I am not thinking about? My understanding is the mount comes with a power cable that uses a cigarette lighter on one end, I am going to mod that with Anderson power poles. I am little confused, what cable do I need to control the mount from my pc, is that included? I am also tempted to get either a SkyQ Link or a SkyFi, I can't decide. I like SkyFi because I already own Sky Safari. Can either control the scope via ASCOM over the wifi? I am forgetting something to make the first couple nights out with the new mount more fun and easy?

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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: James_826]
      #5673934 - 02/11/13 12:05 PM

Regarding power, i suggest you get the 5 amps AC power supply. At least if you operate in your backyard, you won't get any issue with low batteries anymore.

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James_826
member
*****

Reged: 02/09/12

Loc: Beggs, Ok
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: dickbill]
      #5674027 - 02/11/13 01:02 PM

I happen to be a ham radio guy too, so I have a 12 amp 12v AC/DC convert I can use while at the house. But thank you for the heads up.

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Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: James_826]
      #5674113 - 02/11/13 01:55 PM

Awesome! I liked the polar scope. Not required, but cheap enough to make it useful for quick setups.

Consider getting an ADM dual-saddle and upgraded knobs. The knobs throughout the mount are shoddy and hard to use. The azimuth knobs made the biggest improvement.



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Fred1
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/19/07

Loc: Somewhere in the Orion Spur
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5674381 - 02/11/13 04:32 PM

Quote:

Awesome! I liked the polar scope. Not required, but cheap enough to make it useful for quick setups.

Consider getting an ADM dual-saddle and upgraded knobs. The knobs throughout the mount are shoddy and hard to use. The azimuth knobs made the biggest improvement.






Second that. When I had my CGEM the ADM upgrades added much ease and comfort to setting up.


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TimP
member


Reged: 02/24/09

Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: Fred1]
      #5674616 - 02/11/13 06:52 PM

Consider Hyper Tuning the mount first thing. It will save you a lot of trouble.

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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: TimP]
      #5674698 - 02/11/13 07:47 PM

Quote:

Consider Hyper Tuning the mount first thing. It will save you a lot of trouble.




And separate you from a lot of $$$ probably for no reason at all...
Don't you think he should first see if mount is working correctly?


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Jim Romanski
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/02/05

Loc: Guilford, Connecticut
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: James_826]
      #5674812 - 02/11/13 09:11 PM

I bought a CGEM DX a while back and I like it quite a bit. Be fore warned that this mount is very heavy. That said it's a rock out there holding the scope. I would not go off and have it hyper tuned unless you don't like the way it works. People have had problems with the CGEM but not so much with the DX.

I bought the ADM dual saddle. I needed something since all of my scopes were mounted with the narrower vixen dovetails and the DX comes setup for the larger losmandy style dovetail. I think the stock knobs are jusr fine although they are plastic. The ADM are a little rough on my hands but are nice pieces. My ADM dual saddle needed some work. One of the studs were bent so I replaced it with some threaded rod stock that I had. Also, the saddle didn't close tightly enough on my dovetail and I ended up filing down some metal flashing that was preventing it from closing tightly. Works nice now.

This mount uses a 1.25" diameter counterweight shaft so you won't be able to use the standard size counterweight. If you have a small scope the standard 22lb weight may be too much and you won't be able to balance it. New 1.25" diameter weights are pricey so I had to wait around (no pun intended) in order to get an 11 pound weight for 40 bucks.

The polar scope is really nice and easy to align. Also, you probably want to buy the AC power adapter (I don't remember if it comes with one).

I bought the SkyQ. I like the campanion software but I've had difficulty setting it up.

What scope(s) do you plan to use it with?


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TimP
member


Reged: 02/24/09

Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: orion69]
      #5674932 - 02/11/13 10:38 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Consider Hyper Tuning the mount first thing. It will save you a lot of trouble.




And separate you from a lot of $$$ probably for no reason at all...
Don't you think he should first see if mount is working correctly?




By all means check it out but I am speaking from experience . I'm on my 2nd DX mount. The one I have is a replacement. They tend to be a little stiff and hard to balance. I ordered the kit and did it myself. Now it's smooth and moves freely. It is much more of a joy to use. I don't want to generalize and say all of them are stiff. I'm just saying the 2 I had were.

Tim


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turtledude1
member
*****

Reged: 10/08/08

Loc: SW Fla.& SW. NM
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: TimP]
      #5674960 - 02/11/13 11:03 PM

I've had the DX since it first came out over a year ago. I guess I got a lemon because mine is as smooth as glass and extremely easy to balance. I use the Robin Cassidy counter weights and I have the 5# through 15#, their pricey but well worth the money. I can balance my SV 70mm right up to my 12" Meade with no problems. Tracking is spot on also.

I hypertuned my five year old Atlas and bought the bearings for the DX when I got the mount. Their still sitting in the shipping box un-opened.

Spend your money on the ADM toys and a polar scope. Think about a hypertune after your two year warranty runs out.
Russ


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TimP
member


Reged: 02/24/09

Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: turtledude1]
      #5674980 - 02/11/13 11:24 PM

I am glad to hear you are one of the lucky ones but there is plenty of content out there to back me up. I agree that the ADM gear is a good investment. The dual saddle is a must have. I also installed the replacement knobs. They are functional plus they look good.

Tim


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WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: TimP]
      #5675167 - 02/12/13 02:02 AM

If you decide NOT to get the ADM knobs then always bring some lock pliers with you. The tiny, nearly round knobs that come with the mount can get stuck and you will have no way to remove your telescope from the mount unless you brought pliers with you. Otherwise you will have to leave the scope out in the desert, drive home to get the pliers, and hope nobody takes your stuff while you're gone.

+1 on the knobs/dual saddle and +1 on the polar alignment scope.


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5675179 - 02/12/13 02:27 AM

From my experience I don't recommend buying accessories at all except good regulated 5A power supply, save your money. Polar scope is completely unnecessary, you have ASPA.
As for knobs problem (which really exists) just use rubber gloves like ones doctors use, you'll have no problem unlocking knobs.
Also, I apply WD40 from time to time on azimuth knobs.


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WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: orion69]
      #5675181 - 02/12/13 02:35 AM

To get good polar alignment I use All Star Polar Align (ASPA). I do two alignment stars and four calibration stars. Then I look at the polar alignment. Then I do ASPA. Then I turn it off and repeat. I keep doing this until the errors are small enough. By using the polar align scope I can eliminate at least one iteration.

If you stop after the first ASPA the hand controller will report zero error. This is in fact a lie but it has to assume you did everything perfectly (what else can it do?)

No matter what level of accuracy you want the polar alignment scope will save you time.


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snowcrow
sage


Reged: 10/21/12

Loc: Vermont
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5675277 - 02/12/13 05:26 AM

A SkySync GPS unit might be handy to have.

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James_826
member
*****

Reged: 02/09/12

Loc: Beggs, Ok
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: Jim Romanski]
      #5675568 - 02/12/13 10:44 AM

Quote:

I bought a CGEM DX a while back and I like it quite a bit. Be fore warned that this mount is very heavy. That said it's a rock out there holding the scope. I would not go off and have it hyper tuned unless you don't like the way it works. People have had problems with the CGEM but not so much with the DX.

I bought the ADM dual saddle. I needed something since all of my scopes were mounted with the narrower vixen dovetails and the DX comes setup for the larger losmandy style dovetail. I think the stock knobs are jusr fine although they are plastic. The ADM are a little rough on my hands but are nice pieces. My ADM dual saddle needed some work. One of the studs were bent so I replaced it with some threaded rod stock that I had. Also, the saddle didn't close tightly enough on my dovetail and I ended up filing down some metal flashing that was preventing it from closing tightly. Works nice now.

This mount uses a 1.25" diameter counterweight shaft so you won't be able to use the standard size counterweight. If you have a small scope the standard 22lb weight may be too much and you won't be able to balance it. New 1.25" diameter weights are pricey so I had to wait around (no pun intended) in order to get an 11 pound weight for 40 bucks.

The polar scope is really nice and easy to align. Also, you probably want to buy the AC power adapter (I don't remember if it comes with one).

I bought the SkyQ. I like the campanion software but I've had difficulty setting it up.

What scope(s) do you plan to use it with?



I will start off with the c8 till I complete the restoration on my Meade 826. I have some solid steel stock about 6" in diameter I can turn on my lathe if I need a smaller counter wieght. I will install the skyq software on the iPad and lay with it, if I like it I will order the hardware for it. Thx.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: orion69]
      #5675626 - 02/12/13 11:20 AM

Where you are located, you are lucky that you apparently got a very good example.

Tuning will almost always benefit these mounts. However, it may not always benefit the user. In most cases I do recommend that people use the mount for a while before tuning it up, especially if they are not very familiar with GEMs or this mount in particular. However, some people do send them in for work right from the vendor which is fine since the only problems you are likely to experience after that would be with the electronics, not the mechanics. Doing so can also save on shipping costs in the long run.

In most respects the person's intended use for the mount will dictate whether or not they will benefit greatly from tuning (done by themselves or someone else) and whether the amount spent is worth it. A strictly visual user may never find it necessary to do much to a mount since many mounts can struggle through the worst of performance for visual use without rendering them unuseable. However, someone planning on astrophotography is generally in a different situation where the mount needs to be performing well for tracking and guiding. That is where mounts in this category tend to benefit from some work. These mounts usually work "correctly" but that may not mean that they perform at their best and in a fashion that the owner needs them to. But the owner must determine the level of performance they need. These mounts are a compromise based on price. Their level of performance is less of a problem than their lack of consistency in performance from one mount to the next.


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Pak
super member
*****

Reged: 09/15/12

Loc: The Great Arc
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: EFT]
      #5675707 - 02/12/13 12:06 PM

I'd order the Starsense, skip the polar scope, skip the gps unit. Don't get SkyQ if you have Sky Safari. Get the skyfi adapter instead. Orion has theirs too. ADM dual saddle is a must have. Enjoy!

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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: EFT]
      #5677023 - 02/13/13 04:30 AM

Quote:

Where you are located, you are lucky that you apparently got a very good example.

Tuning will almost always benefit these mounts. However, it may not always benefit the user. In most cases I do recommend that people use the mount for a while before tuning it up, especially if they are not very familiar with GEMs or this mount in particular. However, some people do send them in for work right from the vendor which is fine since the only problems you are likely to experience after that would be with the electronics, not the mechanics. Doing so can also save on shipping costs in the long run.

In most respects the person's intended use for the mount will dictate whether or not they will benefit greatly from tuning (done by themselves or someone else) and whether the amount spent is worth it. A strictly visual user may never find it necessary to do much to a mount since many mounts can struggle through the worst of performance for visual use without rendering them unuseable. However, someone planning on astrophotography is generally in a different situation where the mount needs to be performing well for tracking and guiding. That is where mounts in this category tend to benefit from some work. These mounts usually work "correctly" but that may not mean that they perform at their best and in a fashion that the owner needs them to. But the owner must determine the level of performance they need. These mounts are a compromise based on price. Their level of performance is less of a problem than their lack of consistency in performance from one mount to the next.




Since I have experience with only one CGEM mount my perspective is of course limited. If in your opinion CGEM DX needs to be hypertuned before actual use then I would stay far away from this mount.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Going to order my CGEM DX this week, accessories? new [Re: orion69]
      #5677240 - 02/13/13 08:57 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Where you are located, you are lucky that you apparently got a very good example.

Tuning will almost always benefit these mounts. However, it may not always benefit the user. In most cases I do recommend that people use the mount for a while before tuning it up, especially if they are not very familiar with GEMs or this mount in particular. However, some people do send them in for work right from the vendor which is fine since the only problems you are likely to experience after that would be with the electronics, not the mechanics. Doing so can also save on shipping costs in the long run.

In most respects the person's intended use for the mount will dictate whether or not they will benefit greatly from tuning (done by themselves or someone else) and whether the amount spent is worth it. A strictly visual user may never find it necessary to do much to a mount since many mounts can struggle through the worst of performance for visual use without rendering them unuseable. However, someone planning on astrophotography is generally in a different situation where the mount needs to be performing well for tracking and guiding. That is where mounts in this category tend to benefit from some work. These mounts usually work "correctly" but that may not mean that they perform at their best and in a fashion that the owner needs them to. But the owner must determine the level of performance they need. These mounts are a compromise based on price. Their level of performance is less of a problem than their lack of consistency in performance from one mount to the next.




Since I have experience with only one CGEM mount my perspective is of course limited. If in your opinion CGEM DX needs to be hypertuned before actual use then I would stay far away from this mount.




No, my point was that the mount may often benefit from tuning, even straight out of the box, but in most cases I consider it better to use the mount first. If for no other reason, using it first gives you a perspective on the improvement that is achieved by tuning. This is true with all of the mounts in this range including the CGEM, CGEM DX, Atlas, etc. and is a result of the compromises of cost, design and manufacture. It just means that in most cases there is room for improvement and the good news is that improvement is possible without spending what it costs to move up to the next level of mount.


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