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Stick with CGX for 1100 Edge or consider something else?

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#1 Starsandstripes

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 07:39 PM

I'm looking at Celestron scopes and like what the CGX 1100 Edge HD has to offer. I enjoy viewing and while I have attempted AP in the distant past, it's not a must but the CGX will allow me to do AP, not as good as some of you with very expensive setups (and time in the saddle) but it will suffice. I've read quite a few of the comments about which mount one might use for such a scope and have some questions, hoping to get some comments and details about what mount you use.

 

The 1100 tube weight is 28 lbs and more than likely I'd only used CCD cams not an DSLR. The CGX Edge will handle my needs just fine. But the comments I've read from users of "other" mounts has me questioning how well the CGX will track. I get the impression (from posts) that (some of the) Losmandy will track better than the CGX. Mount weights are not that different but I do realize that for some of you every ounce less of weight is appreciated. Perhaps the key word here is portability. Even a folding tripod will be appreciated by some if it makes life easier.

 

A real issue for most of us is air and light pollution. Having an average mount that can handle 2 min guides in your location may be more than enough if taking longer exposures with a great mount is somewhat defeated by light pollution. The money not spent on the great mount could be used for other accessories. How many of you use additional tracking correction gear to make sure you guiding is the best you can get with what you have? As sensors get better, that hopefully will pardon some sins of mounts that aren't as good as others, less exposure times. (Just a bit curious, is anyone using Hyperstar?)

 

I'm sure some of you have clear skies so the money spent on better gear is money well spent. Clear skies for me would be 3-4 hrs driving into NY State where a buddy has a cabin but it's been yrs since I've been there and I'm sure viewing conditions have deteriorated as nearby construction has added light pollution.

 

While it seems that when you look up reviews of "anything" you are considering buying, you might find more people complaining rather than praising what you're looking at. Common sense seems to say that if it works and we're happy we don't always shout that fact out to the world around us. If it doesn't work well we'll seek help to solve the problem or maybe just vent. Complaints can be legit so I welcome personal experiences you may have with your gear, stock or aftermarket.

 

Also, not just thinking Celestron CGX, Losmandy GM811GHD, G11G, looked at others but if something will require a yr wait to get hold of, that's not good. Ask questions, I'll respond when I can get the chance.



#2 YAOG

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 08:21 PM

I'm looking at Celestron scopes and like what the CGX 1100 Edge HD has to offer. I enjoy viewing and while I have attempted AP in the distant past, it's not a must but the CGX will allow me to do AP, not as good as some of you with very expensive setups (and time in the saddle) but it will suffice. I've read quite a few of the comments about which mount one might use for such a scope and have some questions, hoping to get some comments and details about what mount you use.

 

The 1100 tube weight is 28 lbs and more than likely I'd only used CCD cams not an DSLR. The CGX Edge will handle my needs just fine. But the comments I've read from users of "other" mounts has me questioning how well the CGX will track. I get the impression (from posts) that (some of the) Losmandy will track better than the CGX. Mount weights are not that different but I do realize that for some of you every ounce less of weight is appreciated. Perhaps the key word here is portability. Even a folding tripod will be appreciated by some if it makes life easier.

 

A real issue for most of us is air and light pollution. Having an average mount that can handle 2 min guides in your location may be more than enough if taking longer exposures with a great mount is somewhat defeated by light pollution. The money not spent on the great mount could be used for other accessories. How many of you use additional tracking correction gear to make sure you guiding is the best you can get with what you have? As sensors get better, that hopefully will pardon some sins of mounts that aren't as good as others, less exposure times. (Just a bit curious, is anyone using Hyperstar?)

 

I'm sure some of you have clear skies so the money spent on better gear is money well spent. Clear skies for me would be 3-4 hrs driving into NY State where a buddy has a cabin but it's been yrs since I've been there and I'm sure viewing conditions have deteriorated as nearby construction has added light pollution.

 

While it seems that when you look up reviews of "anything" you are considering buying, you might find more people complaining rather than praising what you're looking at. Common sense seems to say that if it works and we're happy we don't always shout that fact out to the world around us. If it doesn't work well we'll seek help to solve the problem or maybe just vent. Complaints can be legit so I welcome personal experiences you may have with your gear, stock or aftermarket.

 

Also, not just thinking Celestron CGX, Losmandy GM811GHD, G11G, looked at others but if something will require a yr wait to get hold of, that's not good. Ask questions, I'll respond when I can get the chance.

Realistically unless you have a serious budget imaging with a C11 is a non-starter. You will want/need a good reducer/flattener, the best I've seen is the Starizona large format SCT reducer/corrector @ $600 plus the required adapters to get the correct backspacing for the camera. You will need an OAG and an autoguider camera which will run about $300, plus additional adapter to mount the camera, a camera etc. etc.  You will spend as much on the imaging stuff as the C11 and that is without an autofocuser. For new gear purchase a nice mid-focal ratio 80mm-100mm FCD100 or FPL-53 apo triplet is more realistic for imaging and gives better views in light polluted areas. 

 

That said for realist visual work or imaging with a small 80mm-100mm refractor an iOptron GEM45 is an excellent with a specified PE that is very good. The iOptron GEM45 at 15 pounds weighs only about 1/3 of what a CGX head weighs. 


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#3 moonrider

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 09:41 PM

I've had my CGX since January 2017 and despite having some hiccups,I really like this mount. I purchased it as an upgrade to dabble in AP. Celestron user controls, i.e.: gotos are easy and spot on. I have to admit I am so comfortable using the HC ,I never have to look at it any more except when entering new data. That said, the mount works great for visual. For AP, out of the box is good, but not perfect. There are some tweaking to do to get it better and some upgrading in parts to get it very good. At this price point, you cannot expect the same performance in higher price/quality mounts. 

 

Now my mount worked great out of the box, after a year or so when I got more heavily into AP, I began to see some of the issues others have experienced, so I began to tweak/adjust and improve the performance. Some have had terrible experiences with their CGX and had to have C repair or replace them. I believe during the rollout of the mount there were a lot of QC issues. It did seem like there was a significant amount of complaints. What I have seen with my mount is it is susceptible to temperature changes that affect the backlash. This is something that can be easily adjusted. Also, there are some design issues with the gearbox that after some time (warranty) expires can easily and inexpensively be fixed. I agree there are better mounts out there ,but not at this price point. Even with the other mounts, you will here that some have had issues with those too. I don't believe there is a perfect , maintenance, problem free mount out there. At least none that I would be willing to spend a small fortune for( unless $ was no object). All in all I would buy another knowing what I know, except I would opt for the CGX-L. 


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#4 Michael Harris

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 11:01 PM

The Losmandy G11 was designed for the Celestron 11” tubes (hence the name) and mine tracks beautifully and smoothly. I am getting ready to put an older C11 tube on it in a month or so but with my current C8 setup, heavily loaded with a Moonlite focuser, dew shield, extra dovetail, Hyperstar, and camera, the weight is not a problem. The G11 and its cousins have somehow acquired a reputation as “fussy” or “need lots of tinkering” but this has never been true for mine, accurate and smooth right out of the crates. Heavy too, so it stays set up in the yard with a Telegizmos all-weather cover. Five minutes to start up and I am imaging. When it’s clear, unlike tonight.

 

The mount in its current state:

https://www.cloudyni...75_1152870.jpeg

An image taken without tracking (keep in mind this is fast f/2 not the native f/10):

https://www.cloudyni...75_1952708.jpeg



#5 montejw360

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 05:51 PM

I know of 1 u tuber that has 2 of his 3 NASA APOD's from his CGX. With a refractor, but still. Guided with a guide scope and all that. 

 

I have a C11 EdgeHD and CGX. Still haven't gotten my first images. They are heavy, it takes time to set them up. Hoping to get an observatory someday soon....



#6 Starsandstripes

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:34 PM

The Losmandy G11 was designed for the Celestron 11” tubes (hence the name) and mine tracks beautifully and smoothly. I am getting ready to put an older C11 tube on it in a month or so but with my current C8 setup, heavily loaded with a Moonlite focuser, dew shield, extra dovetail, Hyperstar, and camera, the weight is not a problem. The G11 and its cousins have somehow acquired a reputation as “fussy” or “need lots of tinkering” but this has never been true for mine, accurate and smooth right out of the crates. Heavy too, so it stays set up in the yard with a Telegizmos all-weather cover. Five minutes to start up and I am imaging. When it’s clear, unlike tonight.

 

The mount in its current state:

https://www.cloudyni...75_1152870.jpeg

An image taken without tracking (keep in mind this is fast f/2 not the native f/10):

https://www.cloudyni...75_1952708.jpeg

Just looked Losmandy site for the G11G, GM811G, GM811GHD. The GM811GHD has a waiting list, unknown wait time w/o contacting Losmandy. Think the 811GHD or G will do, less weight than the G11G. The HD tripod is not really an issue and perhaps the extra wt may come in handy for stabization. Will have to research posts to see why others chose it over the LW.

 

Yes Hyperstar adds co$t but can be acquired further down the road as can any other materials like YAOG mentioned above. AP is not an immediate need just something I'd like to do eventually. I do realize our toys can add up to serious $$$ eventually.

 

Slowly making decisions, no need to rush and buy it yesterday. Tons of old posts to read, this will take time. Do appreciate all comments from all members since one size does not fit all and I haven't made up my mind about which equipment to buy yet, open to suggestions, thanks.



#7 YAOG

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 08:51 PM

As a Lomandy mount owner and imager any fully updated G11G will make an excellent imaging mount. For imaging with a G11 you will want to buy the FHD tripod with the mount because even if you sell it later the FHD is a lot cheaper to buy with the mount.

 

I suggest buyng the mount with FHD and selling the new FHD and buying a Berlebach Planet to use under the G11G. You can sell the FHD for more than the cost of the FHD and it almost covers the Berlebach. Imaging from a Lomandy LWT is not going to make you happy, it is a lot lighter but will be much less stable the the folding HD. 

 

I have to ask, why a C11? I mean I have a C11 and a C14 but these are very specialized scopes with very long focal lengths and narrow fields of view. Are you a very experienced observer? Do you have other scopes to use that will allow you to see larger objects? Just curious.



#8 freestar8n

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 03:21 AM

As a Lomandy mount owner and imager any fully updated G11G will make an excellent imaging mount. For imaging with a G11 you will want to buy the FHD tripod with the mount because even if you sell it later the FHD is a lot cheaper to buy with the mount.

 

I suggest buyng the mount with FHD and selling the new FHD and buying a Berlebach Planet to use under the G11G. You can sell the FHD for more than the cost of the FHD and it almost covers the Berlebach. Imaging from a Lomandy LWT is not going to make you happy, it is a lot lighter but will be much less stable the the folding HD. 

 

I have to ask, why a C11? I mean I have a C11 and a C14 but these are very specialized scopes with very long focal lengths and narrow fields of view. Are you a very experienced observer? Do you have other scopes to use that will allow you to see larger objects? Just curious.

You are asking the OP about C11.  The OP is interested in EdgeHD11.  It does not need a reducer or flattener.  It does have a reducer as an option - but it is the one designed specifically for it.

 

I am not sure how well a CGX would work for imaging with the EdgeHD11 - but the CGX-L is certainly a good match.

 

For examples of CGE-Pro with EdgeHD11, EdgeHD14 and CDK12.5 see

 

https://www.astrobin...ers/Freestar8n/

 

and

 

https://www.astrobin...sers/apaquette/

 

I am currently using cgx-L and so far it is an improvement over the cge-pro with EdgeHD11 - but I don't have any images posted with it yet.

 

Frank



#9 YAOG

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 11:37 AM

You are asking the OP about C11.  The OP is interested in EdgeHD11.  It does not need a reducer or flattener.  It does have a reducer as an option - but it is the one designed specifically for it.

 

I am not sure how well a CGX would work for imaging with the EdgeHD11 - but the CGX-L is certainly a good match.

 

For examples of CGE-Pro with EdgeHD11, EdgeHD14 and CDK12.5 see

 

https://www.astrobin...ers/Freestar8n/

 

and

 

https://www.astrobin...sers/apaquette/

 

I am currently using cgx-L and so far it is an improvement over the cge-pro with EdgeHD11 - but I don't have any images posted with it yet.

 

Frank

Hi Frank,

 

The standard C11 is IMO and the growing concensus of many others a more versatile scope without the cooling issues the Edge scopes have. In my earlier post I recommend the Starizona large format SCT corrector because it has a much larger fully illuminated field that is more highly corrected than the Edge HD. Granted it is a reducer but for many objects with an 11" SCT a reducer is more desirable. 



#10 freestar8n

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 05:20 PM

Hi Frank,

 

The standard C11 is IMO and the growing concensus of many others a more versatile scope without the cooling issues the Edge scopes have. In my earlier post I recommend the Starizona large format SCT corrector because it has a much larger fully illuminated field that is more highly corrected than the Edge HD. Granted it is a reducer but for many objects with an 11" SCT a reducer is more desirable. 

I don't agree there's a growing consensus that would prefer a C11 over EdgeHD11 - and I certainly don't have that preference having imaged with both.  People seem to have strong opinions about how to insulate and how to cool and so forth.  To me the images speak for themselves and I am getting long exposure deep sky images with stars in the low 1" fwhm across a sensor - while at the same time planetary imagers are getting excellent results - and all with EdgeHD.

 

It's somewhat moot anyway since the OP is asking about a mount for EdgeHD11 - not C11.

 

On that topic, some people are saying Losmandy would guide better - or smoother - than Celestron mounts - and I don't see evidence for that given the two links I provided above that use cge-pro.

 

The only thing I'm not clear on is how well the CGX would work with EdgeHD11 vs. CGX-L.  It may be that the weight is enough that the CGX-L would be needed for good imaging results.

 

Frank



#11 YAOG

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:47 PM

I don't agree there's a growing consensus that would prefer a C11 over EdgeHD11 - and I certainly don't have that preference having imaged with both.  People seem to have strong opinions about how to insulate and how to cool and so forth.  To me the images speak for themselves and I am getting long exposure deep sky images with stars in the low 1" fwhm across a sensor - while at the same time planetary imagers are getting excellent results - and all with EdgeHD.

 

It's somewhat moot anyway since the OP is asking about a mount for EdgeHD11 - not C11.

 

On that topic, some people are saying Losmandy would guide better - or smoother - than Celestron mounts - and I don't see evidence for that given the two links I provided above that use cge-pro.

 

The only thing I'm not clear on is how well the CGX would work with EdgeHD11 vs. CGX-L.  It may be that the weight is enough that the CGX-L would be needed for good imaging results.

 

Frank

Frank,

 

In a C11 vs HD11 comparison you can get a better correction with the Starizona large format SCT .72 reducer coma corrector with a large fully illuminated image circle 2,000mm fl @ f/7.2 . If you need more reduction the Starizona SCT II .63 reducer corrector gives you 1,760mm fl @ f/6.3 with a 27mm image circle and the Starizona Night Owl gives you an 1,120mm fl @ f/4 with a 16mm image circle.

 

If you are not imaging you can run the C11 without the central baffle tube obstruction to improve cooling. You can speed up cooling without adding fans by simply opening the rear port and pointing it up 45 degrees. 

 

The Starizona SCT reducer coma correctors are a large part of why I and others think a standard C11 is more versatile for imaging and with the $1,700 savings you can pick and choose what reducers and cameras you want to buy with the difference. For visual use the standard C11 can provide excellent high mag images without the heat plumes that plague the closed Edge HD tubes. The heat plumes are why I sold my Edge HD8 even with the DSP fans installed it was chasing equilibrium as the temps fell all night. 



#12 freestar8n

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 08:35 PM



Frank,

 

In a C11 vs HD11 comparison you can get a better correction with the Starizona large format SCT .72 reducer coma corrector with a large fully illuminated image circle 2,000mm fl @ f/7.2 . If you need more reduction the Starizona SCT II .63 reducer corrector gives you 1,760mm fl @ f/6.3 with a 27mm image circle and the Starizona Night Owl gives you an 1,120mm fl @ f/4 with a 16mm image circle.

 

If you are not imaging you can run the C11 without the central baffle tube obstruction to improve cooling. You can speed up cooling without adding fans by simply opening the rear port and pointing it up 45 degrees. 

 

The Starizona SCT reducer coma correctors are a large part of why I and others think a standard C11 is more versatile for imaging and with the $1,700 savings you can pick and choose what reducers and cameras you want to buy with the difference. For visual use the standard C11 can provide excellent high mag images without the heat plumes that plague the closed Edge HD tubes. The heat plumes are why I sold my Edge HD8 even with the DSP fans installed it was chasing equilibrium as the temps fell all night. 

Again - I certainly disagree and don't know what you are basing this on.  And - again - it is off topic since the OP is asking about EdgeHD.

 

Here is an uncropped and unprocessed - other than levels - image with EdgeHD11 and reducer on cge-pro with tight stars across the field around 1.6" fwhm:

 

get.jpg?insecure

 

That image was taken with no special cooling steps or insulation.  I simply uncover the telescope from the telegizmos365 cover - and image.

 

If you have examples of better results with C11 I would be interested to see them - but again it is off topic.

 

More on topic is that this was guided with a celestron mount (cge-pro) - and I don't see why Losmandy is expected to perform better.  CGX-L should do just as well - and I don't know about CGX.

 

Frank



#13 Starsandstripes

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 04:44 PM

Realistically unless you have a serious budget imaging with a C11 is a non-starter. You will want/need a good reducer/flattener, the best I've seen is the Starizona large format SCT reducer/corrector @ $600 plus the required adapters to get the correct backspacing for the camera. You will need an OAG and an autoguider camera which will run about $300, plus additional adapter to mount the camera, a camera etc. etc.  You will spend as much on the imaging stuff as the C11 and that is without an autofocuser. For new gear purchase a nice mid-focal ratio 80mm-100mm FCD100 or FPL-53 apo triplet is more realistic for imaging and gives better views in light polluted areas. 

 

That said for realist visual work or imaging with a small 80mm-100mm refractor an iOptron GEM45 is an excellent with a specified PE that is very good. The iOptron GEM45 at 15 pounds weighs only about 1/3 of what a CGX head weighs. 

 

Are you a very experienced observer? Do you have other scopes to use that will allow you to see larger objects? Just curious?

A few yrs back I started looking at refractors as a way to take AP. I never completed the search to see what was recommended or consider the price range I could work with.In the mean time I've saved a lot over the yrs, lots of overtime which makes it easier to buy pretty much anything I wish, w/i limit$. I am looking at refractors again after reading yours and some of the other posts I've found. I also considered adding a refractor later, after the 1100 purchase. I do see some AP folks buy one sturdy mount and switch between scopes, others buy two mounts. One scope for observing, one for AP, interesting.

 

Very limited experience. All I've used is a Meade 826 and a friends C14 over the yrs. Some AP with a SLR, mostly observations though.

 

freestar8n stated: "You are asking the OP about C11.  The OP is interested in EdgeHD11.  It does not need a reducer or flattener.  It does have a reducer as an option - but it is the one designed specifically for it."

 

Please keep in mind that I do appreciate everyones comments. I thought the edge HD would be better with the mirror lock. Have not consider the issue of cooling on the Edge HD.

 

freestar8n stated: "I don't agree there's a growing consensus that would prefer a C11 over EdgeHD11 - and I certainly don't have that preference having imaged with both.  People seem to have strong opinions about how to insulate and how to cool and so forth."

 

I need to do more research here. I always left my scope outside in the garage hrs before using it. I can leave it outside loosely tented but if temps continue to drop is this an issue? For observation it probably isn't but for AP it should be.

 

As for weight issues. This is why I'd buy the Losmandy mount, just in case I load the scope up with more gear. I'd have a proven sturdy mount that can handle the weight.

 

It seems that experience has enabled some to use any scope iany fashion and achieve nice results, observation or AP. Maybe I should say having a turn key setup to start with is the better way to go. And make changes over time, a bit more expensive but if you don't know what you need to start with, learning curve



#14 freestar8n

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 05:02 PM

With my EdgeHD11 I have it in a semi-permanent backyard setup under a telegizmos 365 cover - and I uncover it once there is no sunlight hitting it directly.  The images I linked to above had no active cooling involved - and on a clear night in Melbourne Australia the temperature can drop appreciably.  I have a short dew shield and a dew strap in the front, just below the corrector.  For deep sky imaging this combination shows no ill effects caused by temperature drop.

 

In the past I used a C11 with carbon fiber tube and no vents.  I wanted to improve planetary imaging so I cut holes for fans and measured temperature to see if it would make for more steady viewing.  I wrote it up here:

 

http://www.astrogeek...gFreestar8n.pdf

 

In short - even though I had a torrent of wind inside for several hours keeping the temperature uniform, when I turned it off I still had mediocre planetary views and I think my main problem was low altitude atmospherics in the lower Hudson valley.

 

And that original C11 had no vents at all, whereas the EdgeHD11 has two side vents - and you can get small fans to help circulate the air more.  This isn't an option with the earlier C11's that have no vents - but you can insert a cooling fan into the OTA.  But for imaging work that requires removing the imaging train - which isn't a viable option for me.  

 

And nowadays we have people developing strong opinions that the OTA should be tightly sealed and insulated for best result - in which case the corrector lenses in EdgeHD should only help things.  But there are very few actual imaging results to allow comparison and see which approach works better.  For deep sky imaging you can look at my images, with small fwhm and no processing other than levels - and that will tell you how well it works for imaging with no special fans or insulation involved - just uncovering the scope in late afternoon prior to imaging.

 

Frank




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