I currently own and have been using an EXOS2 PMC8 mount (paired with a C8 w/ Celestron 0.63FR, ASI385MC) over the much of the last year, primarily for EAA. The EXOS2 was my first GEM mount (so I am relatively new to equatorial mounts overall), and my experience with it over the last year was phenomenal. I've used the mount extensively with ASCOM, SharpCap, ASPS, etc...
Last week I had the chance to buy a used C8 and CGEM (the original model, about 5 years old, not the newer CGEM II) for a very good price. I bought this primarily for the C8 which is newer than my current one - and my plan was to sell my old C8 and one of the extra mounts.
So here is the question: should I keep the EXOS2 PMC8 or the CGEM?
Here are some of my current thoughts:
- While the CGEM is definitely a heavier mount, I would have no problem assembling or using it. The weight is not a huge problem.
- My primary workflow is EAA, though I would love to keep the door open to future astrophotography
- My intention would be to primarily drive the mount via ASCOM / SharpCap
- The EXOS2 has a belt system vs. the CGEM gear system - is this a huge difference?
- EXOS2 is rated for 40b visual 28lb astrophotography; the CGEM is also rated for 40lb visual. That being said the CGEM is definitely much heavier and more solid - does this make a huge difference?
Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated!