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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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orlyandico
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: psu_13]
      #5372249 - 08/16/12 10:18 PM

I think Ed's caution about hard-to-use mounts would apply most to the Paramounts and the ASA DDM mounts.

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jmiele
Patron Saint?
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Reged: 12/04/10

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5372270 - 08/16/12 10:39 PM

Quote:

I think Ed's caution about hard-to-use mounts would apply most to the Paramounts and the ASA DDM mounts.




I don't agree with that at all. While the ASA mounts have lacked software maturity such is not the case with the Bisque Paramounts. That said, if you are buying one of these mounts you know whats involved. Don't let price (close or far) confuse you. If one considers a Paramount a complex mount to use - they never needed it to begin with.

Joe


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Peter in Reno
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Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: jmiele]
      #5372294 - 08/16/12 11:03 PM

Astro-Physics mounts are very easy to use with hand controller or computer. I personally find my A-P Mach1 GEM easier to use than my previous Celestron CPC0800.

Peter


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psu_13
sage


Reged: 05/30/10

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5372302 - 08/16/12 11:09 PM

Oh, one thing I forgot. The "ease of use" of the consumer mounts is somewhat compromised by their inconsistent and sometimes erratic mechanical behavior even when you do the same setup routine every night.

I lost multiple nights with my CG-5 when it would just go off into never-never land for reasons that were never clear.

Probably the best aspect of the high end mounts is that they are absolutely consistent and predictable in their behavior. You polar align, you point at things and you get on with your life. There is never any question.


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orlyandico
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Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5372303 - 08/16/12 11:10 PM

That's what I meant - I have never used an AP GTO mount, but I understand that it's easy enough to use.

Joe - I didn't mean the Paramounts are immature - but my understanding is you need to build a pointing model to use them to the fullest, and that's not something that the typical beginning user would necessarily understand well.

Now the ASA's would be tougher because in addition to the pointing model the servo circuit would also need to be calibrated..

So - premium mount that's not hard to use - AP, or Tak.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5372320 - 08/16/12 11:21 PM

Quote:

Astro-Physics mounts are very easy to use with hand controller or computer. I personally find my A-P Mach1 GEM easier to use than my previous Celestron CPC0800.

Peter




While that is probably true, would it be as true if the AP was the first mount you ever had? By starting with a Nexstar you were able to learn a lot without having to worry as much about how to use the hardware. Once you have that down, going to a more complicated controller/mount is nowhere near as difficult. From a friend's experience (not mine), the ASA is a good example. An excellent, high precision mount that was simply so difficult to use that it was more frustrating than enjoyable. That's OK when you understand that going in, but unlike many other electronics and gadgets today, telescope mounts do not necessarily get easier to use the more money you spend. Designing a mount that is not only very high precision but can be easily used by anyone with very little knowledge and experience requires some very diverse expertise this is often not found under the same roof. Probably the reason that some manufactures make mounts but use electronics and control systems that are made by a completely different company.

In the long run, I think that the point in this discussion is that if the OP thinks that he can simply spend more money in order to jump into astrophotography with equipment that is simple and intuitive to use, he may be frustrated with the results (but I do know people that ramped up to $50K plus setups in a very short amount of time and are now producing publication-quality images in an amazingly short time). It may be better to start with "relatively" less-expensive but more beginner-friendly equipment rather than jumping in on the high end only to find it an unenjoyable experience.


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KietTran
member


Reged: 05/14/12

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5372337 - 08/16/12 11:31 PM

So far, unless I missed it, no one has said the CGE Pro is easier to use than some high-end mounts.

I tried to download the user manual for the Paramount to see what I would be getting into and it requires a login to get at any of their documents. I hate companies that do that. The Astro-Physics site allowed me to get to their manuals and download them without any logins. I didn't check Takahashi or ASA yet.

So what's support like for Celestron mounts versus the high end mounts like Paramount's, Astro-Physics, and Takahashi? Is it a wrong assumption that I would get better support from the higher-end mount companies?


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5372344 - 08/16/12 11:36 PM

Quote:

my understanding is you need to build a pointing model to use them to the fullest, and that's not something that the typical beginning user would necessarily understand well.




That should not be read to mean that a Bisque mount or any other precision mount requires a pointing model to provide the precision of a CGE Pro. To achieve the performance delivered by a pointing model, ANY mount requires one. Some lesser mounts won't be truly precise even with one, due to variable mechanical errors, but any mount will benefit.

If doing a model is too complicated, just skip it. Because of the very precise orthogonality of premium mounts, and the good polar alignment any imager is going to do anyway, you'll have at least the precision of any other unmodeled mount (including a Celestron setup aligned with 2 + 4) - probably greater precision. The model takes you to the next level if you want to go there.


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Peter in Reno
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Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: KietTran]
      #5372352 - 08/16/12 11:43 PM

At first I found Celestron NexStar a little confusing but didn't take long to figure it out. Every once in a while I would accidentally cut power and I would have to do the alignment procedures all over again. Not so with Astro-Physics mounts. As long as it was already polar aligned, you are pretty much ready to go after powering it up.

Celestron service is not as good as Astro-Physics. If a part breaks and you know exactly which part you need to replace, Celestron will not sell you the part. They require you ship the whole thang just to replace a simple part. They used to sell spare parts but I no longer see spare parts section in their web site. Celestron operating manuals are somewhat sub-par, confusing and poorly formatted.

Astro-Physics service and support is top notch. They still make and sell spare parts for discontinued A-P products. You can't beat that.

No wrong assumptions about getting better support from higher end mount companies.

Bottom line, I believe A-P mounts are the simplest high end mounts in the market for both portable or permanent setup. Their operating manuals are the best. It should be a textbook for astronomy schools.

Peter


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: KietTran]
      #5372361 - 08/16/12 11:47 PM

Quote:

So far, unless I missed it, no one has said the CGE Pro is easier to use than some high-end mounts.

I tried to download the user manual for the Paramount to see what I would be getting into and it requires a login to get at any of their documents. I hate companies that do that. The Astro-Physics site allowed me to get to their manuals and download them without any logins. I didn't check Takahashi or ASA yet.

So what's support like for Celestron mounts versus the high end mounts like Paramount's, Astro-Physics, and Takahashi? Is it a wrong assumption that I would get better support from the higher-end mount companies?




OK. Maybe we are not sure what exactly you are looking for us to say and maybe it is not something that can be easily said. Direct comparisons between mounts from different manufacturers is difficult and must be qualified in many ways (e.g., company A's mount maybe easier to use than company B's mount if both are good examples but the opposite may be true if company A's mount is not a good example and consistency is one of the issues that has been discussed).

However, I will say that the Nexstar hand controller is one of the most advanced and easy to use hand controllers out there and that, in combination with the mount, make the system (in relative terms) easier to use than many other mounts (given a good working example in the first place). There are other good hand controllers out their as well as computer programs that can run mounts without hand controllers. If this will be your first mount and your first attempted at AP, I would still conclude that the CGE Pro is not necessarily a good place to start, not because of the mount but because of your experience level.

User manuals are frequently hash when it comes down to it, especially on imported equipment. Some very well know mounts out there don't even come with one.

I think you may be looking for the magic bullet answer to tell you exactly what to buy (e.g., this mount has X arc sec PE so it must be the one to buy), but the reality is that there are not clear cut answers like that is a relatively small manufacturing sector like astronomy. It's not like saying that a BMW is always going to be better than a Saturn and the price reflects that.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

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Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5372371 - 08/16/12 11:53 PM

Quote:

Celestron service is not as good as Astro-Physics. If a part breaks and you know exactly which part you need to replace, Celestron will not sell you the part. They require you ship the whole thang just to replace a simple part. They used to sell spare parts but I no longer see spare parts section in their web site.




Celestron actually sells more parts than ever now. They just keep moving the parts section around on the website so that it is hard to find. It is now located under the "Support" section. It was down for a little while and it took me some time to find it when it finally came back up again. Of course, it's still not like getting a part from AP.

Of course, product support is yet another difference between mounts and the companies that manufacture them that can take, and has taken, up many threads.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: EFT]
      #5372377 - 08/16/12 11:58 PM

Quote:

In the long run, I think that the point in this discussion is that if the OP thinks that he can simply spend more money in order to jump into astrophotography with equipment that is simple and intuitive to use, he may be frustrated with the results (but I do know people that ramped up to $50K plus setups in a very short amount of time and are now producing publication-quality images in an amazingly short time). It may be better to start with "relatively" less-expensive but more beginner-friendly equipment rather than jumping in on the high end only to find it an unenjoyable experience.




The op was asking about visual use, which is why I've stayed out of the thread. I believe the topic has veered onto imaging, though, and there's an obvious answer to ease of use in that context. I don't believe that anyone who has imaging experience with a variety of mounts would dispute that it is FAR EASIER to achieve good results with a premium mount. It's not the buttons on the handbox, or the software - it's the performance. I would never say that one can't image well with lesser mounts - and I have done plenty of that myself. I can report (as can many others) that getting mount problems out of the way and concentrating on other issues makes everything more pleasant and productive. And enjoyable.

Visual use? I use a CGE. It's all I need for that.

Edited by jrcrilly (08/16/12 11:59 PM)


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Peter in Reno
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Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: EFT]
      #5372381 - 08/17/12 12:03 AM

Good for Celestron. I hope they continue to stay like this and sell spare parts. It makes it a lot easier for many people who can tinker with their products and save big bucks on shipping a heavy package back to Celestron.

Peter


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Peter in Reno
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Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5372387 - 08/17/12 12:06 AM

Quote:

Quote:

In the long run, I think that the point in this discussion is that if the OP thinks that he can simply spend more money in order to jump into astrophotography with equipment that is simple and intuitive to use, he may be frustrated with the results (but I do know people that ramped up to $50K plus setups in a very short amount of time and are now producing publication-quality images in an amazingly short time). It may be better to start with "relatively" less-expensive but more beginner-friendly equipment rather than jumping in on the high end only to find it an unenjoyable experience.




The op was asking about visual use, which is why I've stayed out of the thread. I believe the topic has veered onto imaging, though, and there's an obvious answer to ease of use in that context. I don't believe that anyone who has imaging experience with a variety of mounts would dispute that it is FAR EASIER to achieve good results with a premium mount. It's not the buttons on the handbox, or the software - it's the performance. I would never say that one can't image well with lesser mounts - and I have done plenty of that myself. I can report (as can many others) that getting mount problems out of the way and concentrating on other issues makes everything more pleasant and productive. And enjoyable.

Visual use? I use a CGE. It's all I need for that.




Well said, John. I could not have said it better.

Peter


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5372439 - 08/17/12 12:49 AM

Everyone has made excellent points, the depth of knowledge and frankly, hands on experience coupled with common sense is what makes these forums so valuable. To KT (not the OP, who needs no introduction), the key factor many people looking for advice on equipment tend to overlook is the experience needed to use the higher end equipment. For most of us, that experience comes from paying our dues learning and using the entry level and mid-range equipment. It's a case of learning to walk before you can run. This is not meant to discourage you. It's meant to make you aware that the higher end equipment requires some essential knowledge to get the most out of it. For example, The AP GTO firmware does not build complex pointing models to increase their accuracy or improve the gotos. People who buy these mounts understand this. You don't typically spend this kind of money without doing significant research as to its features and capabilities.

My apologies to the Mods, yes this thread has run the DNA helix shuffle ...


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: BlueGrass]
      #5372450 - 08/17/12 01:02 AM

Quote:

Everyone has made excellent points, the depth of knowledge and frankly, hands on experience coupled with common sense is what makes these forums so valuable. To KT (not the OP, who needs no introduction), the key factor many people looking for advice on equipment tend to overlook is the experience needed to use the higher end equipment. For most of us, that experience comes from paying our dues learning and using the entry level and mid-range equipment. It's a case of learning to walk before you can run. This is not meant to discourage you. It's meant to make you aware that the higher end equipment requires some essential knowledge to get the most out of it. For example, The AP GTO firmware does not build complex pointing models to increase their accuracy or improve the gotos. People who buy these mounts understand this. You don't typically spend this kind of money without doing significant research as to its features and capabilities.

My apologies to the Mods, yes this thread has run the DNA helix shuffle ...




Well said.

I have to appologize for confusing the OP with KT. The thread has been going on so long I forgot who was who.


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: psu_13]
      #5372684 - 08/17/12 07:45 AM

Depends on your perspective. There is no doubt a CGEM or Atlas is _worlds_ better than a CG5 for imaging. One will work very well for many purposes, and, as you observe, not everybody needs, wants, or can afford a 7K+ mount.

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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: EFT]
      #5372702 - 08/17/12 08:05 AM

[quote
I think you may be looking for the magic bullet answer to tell you exactly what to buy (e.g., this mount has X arc sec PE so it must be the one to buy), but the reality is that there are not clear cut answers like that is a relatively small manufacturing sector like astronomy.




Perhaps instead of throwing around PE numbers we should talk second derivatives which would reveal how smooth the PE is and ease of guiding. hey thanks again BTW


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Eric Gage
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 12/13/05

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? new [Re: EFT]
      #5372928 - 08/17/12 10:47 AM

Quote:

Quote:

From what I have read there seems to be a tremendous variation in mounts, even in the same model from the same manufacturer. It seems the more you spend the greater the chance that you won't get a lemon and the less effort you have to put into getting a mount to work well.




This is actually only partly true. Higher end mounts may be more consistent in quality but they are notoriously more difficult to use.





My EM-200 is incredibly easy to use, and I have yet to hear a report from a Mach 1 owner who found that mount difficult in any way.


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Nezar H
member


Reged: 08/11/11

Re: CGE Pro: Anyone have a good one? [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6129574 - 10/10/13 05:46 PM

Quote:

had it (a) operate correctly out of the box and (b) continue to operate correctly for an extended period of time (at least 12 months) after purchase?
Jim




A) mine came with GPS problem after trying to solve the problem they giveup and they advice me to send back the mount which was not easy! So every time I switch on the mount I have to enter the date+time .

B) yes , it work fine for visual use almost 3 years , goto is very good , but I need to fine tune the mount on summer! Play little bit with the gearbox !.


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