After reading all the message threads on this topic and devouring the how-to videos on YouTube, I'm more confused than ever about upgrading my AVX mount to obtain better hassle-free alignment and guiding accuracy.
I do both short exposure EAA and long-exposure guiding from the light-pollution of my yard in populated Southern California. I'm looking for an upgrade in the $1500 to $3000 range to carry my Celestron C8, ZWO ASI294 Pro, Orion guide camera and scope, and any and all necessary extenders, electronic focusers, computers and reducers/barlows depending on planetary or DSO targets.
I also want enough headroom for future-proofing, should I want a beefier scope. And I'm no expert on mount mechanics, RA error, stepper vs whatever motors, Chinese manufacturing vs Japanese vs German vs Domestic. I'm just looking for a consensus on mounts in my radar:
- Celestron CGX
- iOptron CEM40 and CEM70
- Losmandy G8, G811
- Any others I may have missed in my price and capability range
I'm disappointed that few if any mounts have upgraded to USB3.0 connectivity. USB2 doesn't cut it with today's 4k CMOS cameras. I'm also concerned about initial quality. A read a lot of complaints on this forum about issues with brand-new mounts coming from the manufacturer. And then there's the goto software and internal elecronics. I use Celestron drivers, CPWI and Starsense, and while not perfect, there are frequent upgrades to fix issues. I've never used EQMOD, so no nothing about it's capabilities nor how well it interfaces with third-party astro-imaging software. Losmandy's Gemini II, I'm told, has the feel of an add-on to a fine piece of mechanical engineering, which to me is not a good overall endorsement.
So, which mount is it, that gets the overall good-housekeeping seal of approval. Help me to decide.