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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: CGEM-DX vs. Atlas new [Re: ur7x]
      #6172643 - 11/02/13 09:32 PM

i find noting extreme by taking a postition ,with reason towards a mount choice urx7x.Plus that remains my personal opinion only and it is always open for debate. I was blunt regarding the mount and nothing else.I wouldn't even dream to be blunt towards a fellow astrophotographer or observer.
I would be and I am always happy to discuss and exchange opinions regarding astrophotography techniques but this would be by far off topic on this thread.
I find the same extreme to put on the same basis the needs of everyone that buys a mount of 1200 $ and say ..." Hey ...after all 90% of us live in urban locations..it's alright even if the mount is not working properly...I will find another way around by reducing my exposures,avoiding guiding in dec ,changing my targets or even accepting the fact that that the sky has only 110 objects and a few solar system objects....

I don't throw out extreme arguments and I'm always ready to accept I'm wrong but isn't it extreme too to keep denying the most evident thing?
The Cgem had design flaws ,some got probably fixed by the beta patch ( i guess the cogging) released recently and some still have to be solved ( the 8/3 error).
Flaws that for some are less important than others.
After all this is a forum,we are here to discuss we have nothing to divide.

Here is an example with my mount if it can help make underhand what I try to say regarding the mount.

My azeq6 has a power leakage when powered with a ac/dc adapter.It still works fine , tracks perfectly and points like a charm..but hey..it shouldn't do that! Maybe I am doing something wrong, maybe the mount has an issue.With some friends we tested several mounts, even with the dealer here in Rome, all presented the same issue....
If we power up the mount with a battery ...of course there is no leakage...but that doesn't means is a solution or that the mount doesn't has an issue ..since it is designed to work even if powered by an adapter.It is only a remedy, just like reducing the exposures or keeping guiding in dec to a minimum or zero.

I don't know maybe it is my fault that I can't explain myself ,it is evident that my English is poor but please understand that I don't seek any kind of argument.iT has no sense to argue over a piece of equipment .

PS .and of course I would love to discuss with you about astrophotography techniques and exchange opinions whenever and occasion will be presented

Edited by Mike X. (11/02/13 09:39 PM)


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: CGEM-DX vs. Atlas new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6172992 - 11/03/13 01:56 AM

Mike, actually it seems to me there is nothing wrong with your mount regarding the power leakeage because at the bottom of page 17 of AZ-EQ6 manual (not Synscan manual) is written:
- " Do not use an un-regulated AC-to-DC adapter. When choosing an AC adapter, it is recommended to use a switching power supply with 15V output voltage and at least 3A output current."


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Mike X.
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 06/28/10

Loc: Greece-Athens and Rome-Italy
Re: CGEM-DX vs. Atlas new [Re: Moromete]
      #6173148 - 11/03/13 04:50 AM

Hello Moromete i think too this is the case at the end.I am also waiting confirm from the importer just to be sure,I believe in a few days to have it,and of course I will let you know;)

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ScenicCityPhoto
member


Reged: 10/17/13

Loc: Chattanooga Tennessee
Re: CGEM-DX vs. Atlas new [Re: Mike X.]
      #6178968 - 11/06/13 10:44 AM

So I had a unique opportunity to use the Atlas at a friend of an acquaintance's house, I know right?!?. And the best part? I also got to try out the CGEM a week ago as well at another persons house (read- see it guide, operate, take an image at 3min).

Unfortunately, I came away like the exposure I took on the CGEM better. Admittedly, there was better seeing with the CGEM, but the single exposure was better in detail (same scope on both). The setup was way faster and both persons had to setup from scratch. I think the CGEM user was definitely more tech friendly, but total time to imaging was around 30-45min I'd guess. The Atlas user had stated he was having trouble with the alignment and that it was tricky for him as he could not see the Northern star, save for through the trees which made me wonder if he even aligned on Polaris and maybe not another star. It took around an hour and a half to get in tracking and guiding and he had software issues again because of Windows 7 wanted to update. lol. Both users told me they have imaged for 3-5 minutes, but the Atlas user said he usually just did around 1-2 minutes and stacked them. He showed me some of his work, great stuff.

I walked away feeling the CGEM was the mount for me once again. Even though I didn't want to even consider it with all the issues. So I called my buddy who manages Best Buy and can order the CGEM DX and inquired as to return policy, should there be an issue and was told it would be covered by the "marketplace vendor" they use for 14 days. Another awesome thing is that it's on sale. The DX is $1699 on amazon & best buy, that's $500 cheaper than it was last week and $500 cheaper than the Atlas. :/ Oh man, not making it easy.

So now I'm wrestling with the issue again, despite all of this good info on the issues, I'm wondering if I might hit the lottery or reap the whirlwind.

Man, I'm torn. I don't need convincing, I'm going to make up my own mind. I appreciate all of your help in my decision and I feel at this point, I'm making a very informed decision either way. Looks like I'll just be taking my chances.

One question I do have is, WHERE DO YOU GUYS get your gear? Who is the best with customer service and help when there is an issue?

In the mean time, here is my SWAN SONG from my astrotrac and DSLR. She was a gateway drug for me. I feel I have taken it to the VERY limit of what it can do!




Edited by ScenicCityPhoto (11/06/13 10:51 AM)


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: CGEM-DX vs. Atlas new [Re: ScenicCityPhoto]
      #6179011 - 11/06/13 11:13 AM

The atlas probably had less good results due to poorer polar alignment... That said the newest synscan firmware also has an all star polar align routine.

If I were you, wait till Christmas. Who knows, a CGEM AVX might be announced and all the CGEMs will lose half their value.


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dragonslayer1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/25/12

Loc: SLC, UT
Re: CGEM-DX vs. Atlas new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6179129 - 11/06/13 12:23 PM

I have another input.. I just bought a CGEM and love it,,,, I saw them on sale and waited uggghhhhh, missed the sale and bought full price,,,,, a week or two later they are on sale LOL,,, "get while the gettings good",
Kasey


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DaveJ
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/07/05

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: CGEM-DX vs. Atlas [Re: ScenicCityPhoto]
      #6179457 - 11/06/13 03:08 PM

Quote:

The DX is $1699 on amazon & best buy, that's $500 cheaper than it was last week and $500 cheaper than the Atlas...
One question I do have is, WHERE DO YOU GUYS get your gear? Who is the best with customer service and help when there is an issue?




Here's where I got mine: Link. I've always had great service from Astronomics. Same price, free shipping and a full two year warranty.


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ScenicCityPhoto
member


Reged: 10/17/13

Loc: Chattanooga Tennessee
Re: CGEM-DX vs. Atlas new [Re: DaveJ]
      #6275424 - 12/27/13 01:54 PM

Well guys, I'm back.

I always like to come back and give info on what I've discovered for folks who actually use the "Search" feature.

So, two months now with a used CGEM DX and I couldn't be happier.

I'm imaging for 3 minutes at 550mm with a Skywatcher 100mm ESPRIT. I bought a used setup with a broken focuser and while I'm very happy with optics of my 100mm ESPRIT, the bent focuser leaves much to be desired. After the new moon in January, it's going to moonlight to be customized. It is serviceable now, but a pain.

The CGEM DX I got was one with the newer electronics and could track for 3 minutes unguided with NO ISSUE. The guy I got it from was convinced it had a terrible 8/3 issue, but I've seen no issue with it. I think he had too much weight on it with a giant reflector and a refractor. What I paid was ridiculous so I jumped on it. I feel very lucky as I did take a chance, but I also believe had I not been a fairly "tech-oriented person" I would have been lost fixing the few things wrong with my used setup. The tripod had taken a spill and the previous owner had managed to slew the telescope so far it snapped the power connector from the board damaging the coupler. Easy fixes with the right parts. The motors were LOUD and I was worried one was about to fail as it sounds precarious, but it's held out like a champ.

Anyway, here's my latest photo from the Horse Head & Flame Nebula.

41 lights & 41 darks @ 3 minutes each, ISO 800 on a Hap Griffin modified 60d. Around 2 hours total integration. Taken with a CGEM Mount & a Skywatcher 100mm Esprit. Edited in Deep Sky Stacker, & PS.



And my personal review of the CGEM DX:

PROS-
- GREAT software and support
- Controlling with iPad & Surface tablets are awesome!
- Easy setup
- parts readily available
- Easily handles my 20lb scope
- Provided you get a good one, it's relatively simple to get it going

CONS
- Saddle is suspect- I upgraded to ADM saddle
- Provided weight is too freaking heavy. Need two smaller weights to balance correctly
- Doesn't come with a polar scope and it really should
- Hand controller cord is way short
- Chance of getting one with BAD 8/3 error as described in this thread


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scopenitout
member


Reged: 08/24/13

Loc: Mt. Belzoni
Re: CGEM-DX vs. Atlas new [Re: ScenicCityPhoto]
      #6275830 - 12/27/13 06:03 PM

Cons?
-Never had any issues with the saddle other than wishing it was "Dual V & D". And yes, an ADM could take care of that.
-Heavy for sure. And it's very stable. I'm 64 and can handle it just fine. Bought an extra CW for the C-11 Edge and full load of AP gear it has to carry.
-Polar scope? A waste of money when you can use ASPA and your camera for excellent PA's.
-The short HC cord is a damn nuisance. "Scope Stuff" makes an inexpensive extension. A must.
-8/3 error non-existent in my example and I suspect in the majority of the thousands made.


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