I will be looking for a new mount (or two) in the next year when I get an observatory. Need to have go to, good to excellent guiding, accurate go to. Have been looking at the Orion HDX110EQ-G and the iOptron CEM 60. Need the pros and cons from anyone using these mounts. Heaviest OTA will be an 11 or 14 inch Celestron SCT. I had an iOptron 45 pro which I wasn't very happy with ( go to was all over the place at times) but am willing to try iOptron again. Any thoughts???????
Posted 14 August 2019 - 02:45 PM
I am in the same boat, looking at a new mount for a Meade 14. I think you want to look at the iOptron CEM120 instead of the CEM60 for the weight of your scope.
Posted 14 August 2019 - 02:59 PM
My 11" fully loaded with guide scope and camera, telrad and finder, a DSLR is 40 lbs. If I used the cooler It's 45lbs. My G11 can handle it great. So I think the CEM 60 being center weighted could handle that. If I go the 14 add another 10 lbs. I would be pushing it. The other OTA's are a tach TSA 120, Skywatcher 8" newt, 9.25 SCT. All of which are under 20 lbs. But I have considered the CEM 120.
Posted 14 August 2019 - 03:00 PM
A good friend of mine has his C14 on the 120 and is very happy with it and it's performance. I just recently put my C14 on an AP1200 and am super happy with that setup, albeit more $ then the 120 mount.
Posted 14 August 2019 - 04:20 PM
Currently there is a problem with iOptron encoders where the control software oscillates under heavier loads. There is a new beta firmware that fixes it seem all the problems but hadn't been formally released yet. Until the fix is released and confirmed to be what it promises to be it would be prudent to avoid the EC versions.
Posted 14 August 2019 - 04:31 PM
Haven't been thinking of the EC models. That's just more things that can go wrong. Anything over a 30lbs OTA would definitely go with the 120.
Posted 14 August 2019 - 05:29 PM
The CEM60/CEM120 NON-EC for observatory really the only unknown factor on these is long-term wear and tear. However iOptron is well known for offering upgrade paths on their mounts so I think it's clear unless some severe long term defect is found these are going to be winners. One great advantage is they are currently some of the most forward looking designs from wiring ergonomics compared to their competitors who seem to still be slacking off.
Meade LX850 w/starlock - Essentially this will handle all the way to the 14" model and anything less. With Starlock it's become a proven mount as early issues seem to have been well addressed. The 850 would be at home in an observatory or on the road.
The CGX-L from Celestron is of course designed with the 14" in mind at the outset. For an observatory the weight of the mount is unimportant but if you plan to go on the road this is definitely a think twice about it.
The HDX110 has carved out it's own niche though there are reports of some cycling issues, again a mount for permanence not on the road. Compared to the 120 it's a step down in ergonomics of wiring.
I won't mention Losmandy mounts or other more exotic mounts as I'm sure others will chime in their 2 cents on those.
Posted 15 August 2019 - 01:33 AM
Without a budget it's hard to know what to suggest. There is a hole of mounts out there that will do well with a C14HD but there are a lot more that won't. The amount you want to spend makes a big difference between getting a mount that might handle the load and one that will handle the load and perform and the level you are looking for.
Posted 15 August 2019 - 09:12 AM
To EFT: looking to spend 2-4K . The C14 is a maybe. Have to see how much money is left after the mount and the observatory. May just stick with the C11 on the G11 G2 setup. I'm leaning towards two CEM 60's for the TSA 120 and the Newt.
Posted 17 August 2019 - 12:59 AM
Realistically, you won't get a mount that will really handle the C14HD (you will need an HD if you want to imaging much of anything other than planets) in the price range you are looking at. You are just as well off with the C11 on the G11G2 as anything else at this point. While not perfect, the G11 is a far better quality mount than the others. The TSA120 and Newt are far easier prospects as far as mounts go, but I would not suggest letting yourself get bitten twice when there are other options available.
Posted 17 August 2019 - 09:57 AM
The best way to choose is to take a weekend and go out to a big star party and watch people set up and image with the mounts. What I keep seeing is that the G11 owners struggle to get going at night. The mounts do seem to last forever but I just don't see many new ones anymore. (Others say that they sell like hotcakes.)
I had the iOptron iEQ45 and mine was amazing. However, I am an imager and I just plate solve if I need to and that's that. What I think is that the mass produced mounts have at best mediocre quality control. I don't think it matters what brand you buy - Synta, iOptron, Meade, Celestron - are all the same - mediocre quality control. So, with any of those brands buy it and test it and send it back if it doesn't work.
- F.Meiresonne likes this