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CGX as 100% portable mount

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8 replies to this topic

#1 jseivert

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 05:02 PM

I have to setup and tear down every time I go out.  I do mainly astrophotography with a midsized refractor and CCD camera, about 25lbs.  

 

I'm wondering how easy/hard it is to set up the mount each time.  Literally the nuts and bolts of it.  Is it a pain to attach the mount to the tripod?  Polar align?  Does it fit well in a Pelican case?

Do you wish for knobs instead of hex bolts? (or the other way around)

 

Any input is appreciated.

 

Jeff



#2 dr.who

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 05:10 PM

Easy as far as mounts go. The answers from my perspective to your questions are:

Yes. Hex bolt suck. Plan to replace them this weekend with something else)

No, use ASPA. It is very straight forward and easy to work with

I don't know

Yes I wish it were knobs



#3 junomike

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 05:10 PM

Although not the CGX I set up/tear down my CGE every outing.  Mine has the after-market hand knobs which makes things a little easier but in general it's still a fair amount of work and I wouldn't want it s my only option (as some days I''m just not in the mood).

 

Carrying the necessary pieces (Tripod, Head, Counter-weights) is probably the worst followed by the set up and then Polar Align (although for AP it may be a bigger task).

 

Mine is in a Pelican 1650 which is nice as it saves trips but the downfall is it's heavy (80lbs in my case).

 

You'll also have to contend with the slew of wires/cables associated with AP.  A freind that goes to my local dark site has a system for this.

 

I think the CGX isn't as bad as the CGE but every one is different so you won't kno



#4 Stargezzer

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 06:01 PM

Jeff if you are taking the mount to a dark site then the CGX is not the most portable. It's a bit heavy. It isn't that hard to setup however. As for polar alignment like dr. who says use the 2+4 and ASPA and you are ready to go. I can be in business in 10 minutes most of the time. I don't go to a dark site 99% of the time. I made a dolly and leave the scope and mount setup (minus the counterweight) . It is very easy to roll out of my garage lift it off to the tripod markers in my driveway, attach the counterweight then level mount and balance the OTA . When I'm done just one lift up and roll back to the garage. Makes life easy so I get out more.

 

George



#5 droe

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 10:12 PM

I setup and tear down every time I go out. It is heavy but with the handles it does make it easy. It is easier to set it up in the light but I have set it up many time in the dark with no problems. After setup the alignment process is quick and easy. This is my first GOTO mount and I had no problems learning the 2-4 star alignment and All-Star polar alignment process.

 

To setup you first setup the tripod then set the mount on the tripod. The mount slides on the tripod easy and only 3 bolts holds it on. The bolts are tightened with an allen wrench that is attached to the mount handle. Add the balance weight and bar and you are done. Setup the frig stocked with beer and a grill for steaks and (oops, not required)

 

I am 57 so I was worried about the weight as I get older but so far it is no problem.

 

Good Luck



#6 Greg M

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 11:20 PM

Here's my 2¢ worth.

 

Grab yourself an 8mm T-handle wrench and the bolts are not an issue.

To make it a tiny bit easier I took the small metal washer and the larger, thicker rubber washer and super-glued them together and then glued them onto the bolt so now I don't have to worry about dropping a washer.

I've thought about ordering three knobs from McMaster-Carr but there may be an interference issue with two of the knobs and the two AZ adjuster knobs on the rear of the mount.

 

As for the Pelican case question, here's what I've come across so far.

I had a Pelican 1610 that I was using but with the latitude set to my area, 36°, it was just a tad too big for the case. If I lowered the alt adjuster all the way it would squeeze into the case with a small amount of foam around the edges.  The 1620 doesn't help because the length and width are the same for both. The only difference is the depth, not the issue.

I ended up picking up a 1630 off LetGo for $100 and that's what I'm using now.

Plenty of room for the CGX set to 36° so that now saves me a minute or two at setup and strike. I'll post a pic if you like?

 

Regarding polar alignment, as others have mentioned, do the 2 star alignment followed by the 4 star calibration then the All Star Polar Alignment and you'll have dso's centered at 150x.


Edited by Greg M, 22 February 2018 - 11:23 PM.


#7 glend

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 12:33 AM

I agree with Greg that the hex bolts are not a problem. The mount head has two good handles and is easy to manage ( and i am nearly 70yo). I don't bother with a case at all, i made a mount head holder out of plywood (sort of like a pier top adaptor) that sits on my rear cargo area, the mount is held vertically as if on the tripod with a flat base, and bolts to three brackets. The square base is wide enough that it can sit on the rear cargo floor of my 4wd without danger of falling over, and with tie down straps securing it to the cargo barrier. Very easy to move because you can use the handles and it takes up far less space sitting vertically than lying down. You do have to unscrew the counterweight bar but that would be the case in any transport solution.

I always use Sharcap to do an initial polar alignment, its very precise and only takes a few minutes to get very close. After that normal alignment using the HC centers everything perfectly.


Edited by glend, 23 February 2018 - 12:34 AM.


#8 jseivert

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 08:41 AM

Thanks for all the info!  I like the ideas of gluing the washers to the bolts and the T-handle wrench.  I'd be moving from an Atlas EQ-G so the weight isn't an issue.  Handles will be nice though.  



#9 jseivert

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 08:42 AM

Thanks for all the info!  I like the ideas of gluing the washers to the bolts and the T-handle wrench.  I'd be moving from an Atlas EQ-G so the weight isn't an issue.  Handles will be nice though.  




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