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Does anyone take CEM 120's to dark sky locations?

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17 replies to this topic

#1 Ballyhoo

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 07:12 PM

It seems to me this is a dream mount, and, why ever get a Titan? Well I am sure many will always choose a USA brand but,  Wow, one could can really put a large load on this mount, maybe even a 16" Meade SCT.        But does this mount require a fixed site?  Many people own Dobs that are much heaver and take them to dark sites. But does this mount come apart at all for easier movement?   



#2 bobzeq25

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 07:17 PM

The Hulk?  <grin>.

 

No, it doesn't come apart.



#3 ImNewHere

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 07:18 PM

I haven't even taken my LX850 mount to a dark site. The CEM60 is about as heavy as I want to haul.



#4 Ballyhoo

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 07:30 PM

Then someone needs to come up with a wheelbarrow handles mod like for Dobs. People fit 20" plus Dobs in their coupes. 



#5 WadeH237

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 08:05 PM

It's not just the weight of the mount.  If you are running a high capacity mount, often times you are carrying a big payload.

 

I'm probably at the far end of the scale of taking big gear.  At a large star party, I'll take both my AP1100 and AP1600 in the field.  The AP1100 breaks down into small enough pieces, that I consider it to be quite portable.  The AP1600 not so much.  Even though it separates into multiple pieces, the declination assembly is 40 lb by itself, and the RA is 57 lb.  The biggest scope that I generally image with in the field is an EdgeHD 8, which is ridiculously over mounted on either of these.  I have imaged with my 80mm F/6 refractor on the AP1600 - and heard some humorous comments in the vicinity.  If I had a Mach1, the AP1600 would never leave home (but I'm not sure that I would survive the conversation with my wife explaining that I'm buying another Astro-Physics mount...)

 

I've not looked at the weight of the CEM120, but I suspect that it's close to the weight of my AP1600 RA assembly.  And it's probably more awkward to carry than the AP1600 RA assembly.  The CEM60 is probably a far more appropriate travel mount for most people.


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#6 Richoff

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 08:52 PM

If I had a Mach1, the AP1600 would never leave home (but I'm not sure that I would survive the conversation with my wife explaining that I'm buying another Astro-Physics mount...)

 

 

#WadH237... My gently used, less than 1 year old Mach1 but be going up for sale, when the Mach2 goes on sale ;)


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#7 cloudywest

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 01:38 AM

It's not just the weight of the mount.  If you are running a high capacity mount, often times you are carrying a big payload.

 

I'm probably at the far end of the scale of taking big gear.  At a large star party, I'll take both my AP1100 and AP1600 in the field.  The AP1100 breaks down into small enough pieces, that I consider it to be quite portable.  The AP1600 not so much.  Even though it separates into multiple pieces, the declination assembly is 40 lb by itself, and the RA is 57 lb.  The biggest scope that I generally image with in the field is an EdgeHD 8, which is ridiculously over mounted on either of these.  I have imaged with my 80mm F/6 refractor on the AP1600 - and heard some humorous comments in the vicinity.  If I had a Mach1, the AP1600 would never leave home (but I'm not sure that I would survive the conversation with my wife explaining that I'm buying another Astro-Physics mount...)

 

I've not looked at the weight of the CEM120, but I suspect that it's close to the weight of my AP1600 RA assembly.  And it's probably more awkward to carry than the AP1600 RA assembly.  The CEM60 is probably a far more appropriate travel mount for most people.

CEM120 is 57 lbs, same as the weight of the RA unit of AP1600. By the way, EQ8 is 55 lbs.



#8 gotak

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 08:32 AM

I believe Al takes his cem120 to mountain tops.

#9 psandelle

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 09:34 AM

I'm strictly mobile, and I always like to point out that it's NOT setting up a big mount and rig that's the thing to think through -- if you have a healthy back, that's not such a big deal -- it's at 4am, when the temperatures are below freezing, gloves on, and you're tired and yawning and you have to breakdown and load out everything, that you have to seriously consider the weight and size of your gear. That's where one misstep can send a massive mount spilling to the ground, where a lighter mount you can muscle to safety. Seriously, think long and hard, as the moment that puppy hits the ground and you hear that horribly expensive metal-bending sound, you'll curse yourself for that sleepy misstep and the fact you chose your muscles-limited mount-size.

 

Paul


Edited by psandelle, 12 July 2019 - 09:35 AM.

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#10 amoncayo

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 10:21 AM

I believe Al takes his cem120 to mountain tops.

 

I do indeed. Here's a picture of one setup that I carry out. Total weight of everything I haul up to the mountains is well over 1,000 lbs to spend 3-4 days in dark skies. It is a chore.

 

Regarding the CEM120, the locking pins on the axes are the lifesaver. It makes it easier to strong-arm the mount. Although it appears awkward, handling it for carrying is actually straightforward. There's several spots to get a good grip. I just pull it up against my torso once I've lifted it then walk carefully and steadily. The 12" RC is actually more difficult to carry!

 

Al

 

IMG_8195s.jpg


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#11 CharlesW

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 12:37 PM

It seems to me this is a dream mount, and, why ever get a Titan? Well I am sure many will always choose a USA brand but,  Wow, one could can really put a large load on this mount, maybe even a 16" Meade SCT.        But does this mount require a fixed site?  Many people own Dobs that are much heaver and take them to dark sites. But does this mount come apart at all for easier movement?   

The mount itself is easily transportable. It only weighs 57 lbs. but I’m guessing that you’ve never seen a 16” SCT in person? They aren’t a little bigger than a 14”, they are an order of magnitude bigger. It’s at least a two person job. In my learned opinion, because I was portable with a C14 Edge, a 14” SCT is the largest scope you can transport to a dark site. Big dobs are a different story. The primary mirror box is often a separate unit and you don’t have to lift it very high. But you still might need help getting it out of your car. But take that same mirror box and require that it be lifted up to shoulder height, and the biggest transportable dob will suddenly be a 14”.

 

 

I would also be a little leery of mounts that have “astronomical” load ratings. The AP1100 and MX+ cost twice as much and aren’t rated as high as this mount. Why is that? There is more to it than a manufacturer loading up a mount and driving it until the motors fail. Again, keep in mind that if you put a 115 lb optical system in the saddle, you are going to put at least 115 lbs of counterweight on the shaft. It’s kind of like loading bricks into the back of an F150 until the tires fail and then using that as the load rating. No one would drive down the highway like that. Not saying it isn’t a great mount at a more modest load, but 115, I don’t think so.


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#12 HxPI

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 03:25 PM

I do indeed. Here's a picture of one setup that I carry out. Total weight of everything I haul up to the mountains is well over 1,000 lbs to spend 3-4 days in dark skies. It is a chore.

 

Regarding the CEM120, the locking pins on the axes are the lifesaver. It makes it easier to strong-arm the mount. Although it appears awkward, handling it for carrying is actually straightforward. There's several spots to get a good grip. I just pull it up against my torso once I've lifted it then walk carefully and steadily. The 12" RC is actually more difficult to carry!

 

Al

 

attachicon.gif IMG_8195s.jpg

This is my dream setup! I’m curious how do you transport/store the 12” RC.

 

Ciao,

Mel



#13 amoncayo

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 05:48 PM

This is my dream setup! I’m curious how do you transport/store the 12” RC.

 

 

Hi Mel,

 

I carry it by the thick aluminum frame plates, using the openings to stick my fingers in..

 

I create a cradle out of a down comforter (old beat up one) and pillows in the back of my SUV. I place it there, snug up the pillows, and hope for the best. wink.gif

 

I've been super happy that collimation has held up well the to handling and bumps and bruises of the long trips to the mountains. I have had it for nearly one year and have only adjusted the secondary once, within the first few weeks of having it. I suppose that if I was a stickler, I'd tweak it each time after transport.

 

(We are diverging from the topic of the mount, FYI.)

 

Al


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#14 Ballyhoo

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 11:37 AM

I do indeed. Here's a picture of one setup that I carry out. Total weight of everything I haul up to the mountains is well over 1,000 lbs to spend 3-4 days in dark skies. It is a chore.

 

Regarding the CEM120, the locking pins on the axes are the lifesaver. It makes it easier to strong-arm the mount. Although it appears awkward, handling it for carrying is actually straightforward. There's several spots to get a good grip. I just pull it up against my torso once I've lifted it then walk carefully and steadily. The 12" RC is actually more difficult to carry!

 

Al

 

attachicon.gif IMG_8195s.jpg

it just seems like it would be more doable with a partner for sure. 



#15 Ballyhoo

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 11:44 AM

The mount itself is easily transportable. It only weighs 57 lbs. but I’m guessing that you’ve never seen a 16” SCT in person? They aren’t a little bigger than a 14”, they are an order of magnitude bigger. It’s at least a two person job. In my learned opinion, because I was portable with a C14 Edge, a 14” SCT is the largest scope you can transport to a dark site. Big dobs are a different story. The primary mirror box is often a separate unit and you don’t have to lift it very high. But you still might need help getting it out of your car. But take that same mirror box and require that it be lifted up to shoulder height, and the biggest transportable dob will suddenly be a 14”.

 

 

I would also be a little leery of mounts that have “astronomical” load ratings. The AP1100 and MX+ cost twice as much and aren’t rated as high as this mount. Why is that? There is more to it than a manufacturer loading up a mount and driving it until the motors fail. Again, keep in mind that if you put a 115 lb optical system in the saddle, you are going to put at least 115 lbs of counterweight on the shaft. It’s kind of like loading bricks into the back of an F150 until the tires fail and then using that as the load rating. No one would drive down the highway like that. Not saying it isn’t a great mount at a more modest load, but 115, I don’t think so.

Yes I have seen a 16" Meade SCT.  There is a guy in San Diego County names George Dudash who upgrades the Meade software and he has a few at home. The Meade mount for the 16" looks like an Altar of the Gods. I mean, it is huge. But the CEM120 is much smaller than that enormous Meade mount and seems a lot more practical. 

 

Why put the Meade 16" on its native mount when there is the CEM 120?  But then you bring up the point of the counterweight, etc, now it is not a chore, but a grown up job like at a construction site. but if the OTA is 67 Lb , the mount is 57Lb and each counterweight is 30Lb I can see a grown man convincing himself that a one man team could get it done. But has anyone seen one person bring a 16" like that to a star party?


Edited by Ballyhoo, 13 July 2019 - 11:46 AM.


#16 dapalmer

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 12:07 PM

Why not? Is picking up a hundred pounds really all that hard for someone your age? I am 59 years old and do it regularly at work. It would certainly help to have some help for tightening things up as you may not have enough hands, but these weights are not that huge. If you go to the gym regularly you probably can handle it. If not, you should start. My wife would probably lift the 57 lb mount by herself, she 5'4 and 135 lbs. (Note I said would, not could.) We just put some paver stones down that weigh about 35 lbs each. She prefers to carry 2 at a time to make fewer trips, just the same as me.   Bottom line, exercise and you won't have to worry about this stuff. Now if you were older or have an injury, things can be different.



#17 Ballyhoo

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 09:08 PM

Why not? Is picking up a hundred pounds really all that hard for someone your age? I am 59 years old and do it regularly at work. It would certainly help to have some help for tightening things up as you may not have enough hands, but these weights are not that huge. If you go to the gym regularly you probably can handle it. If not, you should start. My wife would probably lift the 57 lb mount by herself, she 5'4 and 135 lbs. (Note I said would, not could.) We just put some paver stones down that weigh about 35 lbs each. She prefers to carry 2 at a time to make fewer trips, just the same as me.   Bottom line, exercise and you won't have to worry about this stuff. Now if you were older or have an injury, things can be different.

that is quite a wife you got. Mine makes sure I am the one who takes out the trash. 



#18 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 01:20 PM

I've seen one or two out at my clubs dark sky site.  BTW, in one case the owner had only used it for the first time that weekend and the first night was taking very very nice pictures with a C14 Edge on it *@f/7.  I guess they are super easy to use.




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