Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Tracking has been a nightmare with CG-4 + dual axis motors. Does anyone use this setup?

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Aleforge

Aleforge

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 235
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2013
  • Loc: Wentzville, MO

Posted 05 October 2022 - 09:21 AM

I know these mounts aren't exactly the best for tracking in general, but I have seen some people get some decent results with them. Right now I am using the Celestron dual Axis motor kit, which is really "suspect" in it's own right (due to how it looks), but I don't know if there are really other alternatives. However I swear people have tweaked the CG-4 to be a bit more precise, but I can't find any guides around. Does anyone have any experience or information on how to improve it?

 

Side question on motors in general, how tight should the gear meshing be?

 

Thanks for the help! 



#2 SandyHouTex

SandyHouTex

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,992
  • Joined: 02 Jun 2009
  • Loc: Houston, Texas, USA

Posted 05 October 2022 - 09:45 AM

I have two CG-4s with the optional motors, and for visual, they work fine for me.



#3 firemachine69

firemachine69

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,558
  • Joined: 19 May 2021

Posted 05 October 2022 - 09:50 AM

For visual they're fine (adjust as much backlash as you can out of it), for photos they're terrible. 


  • Jon Isaacs and weis14 like this

#4 dhkaiser

dhkaiser

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,906
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2019

Posted 05 October 2022 - 02:11 PM

I tried the Celestron drive system and ended up upgrading to the EQStar system which allows goto capabilities.  The Celestron RA drive was sufficient for solar lucky imaging. The DEC drive had too much backlash and I never used it.  The Celestron system does not allow auto guiding as the EQStar system does.

 

You will want the EQStarEQ3  for the CG4.

 

https://www.cloudyni...ade/?hl= eqstar



#5 Aleforge

Aleforge

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 235
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2013
  • Loc: Wentzville, MO

Posted 05 October 2022 - 02:51 PM

I tried the Celestron drive system and ended up upgrading to the EQStar system which allows goto capabilities.  The Celestron RA drive was sufficient for solar lucky imaging. The DEC drive had too much backlash and I never used it.  The Celestron system does not allow auto guiding as the EQStar system does.

 

You will want the EQStarEQ3  for the CG4.

 

https://www.cloudyni...ade/?hl= eqstar

Wow, thank you so much! I didn't know there was much out there besides the Celestron option. So I guess you can confirm then that this drive is probably making things more frustrating for me. I keep aligning and thinking I am just a tiny bit off, but I don't see it when I go back and re-check. I can only get 30-40 seconds prior to distortion showing up. 

 

I am going to look into picking up the EQStar drive! 



#6 Aleforge

Aleforge

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 235
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2013
  • Loc: Wentzville, MO

Posted 05 October 2022 - 02:52 PM

For visual they're fine (adjust as much backlash as you can out of it), for photos they're terrible. 

Oops missed this, how do you adjust the backlash out of it? I would love to do anything I can to make it more solid. Thanks!



#7 Celerondon

Celerondon

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 139
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2016

Posted 05 October 2022 - 10:17 PM

Aleforge, on 05 Oct 2022 - 12:52 PM, said:

Oops missed this, how do you adjust the backlash out of it? I would love to do anything I can to make it more solid. Thanks!

Here is some guidance regarding the lubrication and adjustment of the CG-4.

https://www.cloudyni...g-4-unveiled/#
https://stargazerslo...3-2-strip-down/

Although a complete teardown and lubrication is fine if you enjoy that sort of thing, it may not be required. Adjustment of the worms is but a small part of the procedure and can be completed in less than an hour with some simple hand tools.

However, any external gear backlash that exists between the motor pinions and the drive gears is no problem with the Astro-Gadget EQStar kits because they use belt drives! The external gears are eliminated by the conversion and installation removes all play from the belt drive system.

BTW, it may seem like a luxury but the Pro versions of the EQStar kits seem well worth it to me. The high-speed slewing alone is worth the $40 (USD) difference in price between the EQStarEQ3 and the EQStarProEQ3. When controlling my mount with an iPad or iPhone running Sky Safari the high-speed slewing takes the experience to another level.


Edited by Celerondon, 05 October 2022 - 10:19 PM.

  • Aleforge likes this

#8 Patrick

Patrick

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,441
  • Joined: 15 May 2003
  • Loc: Franklin, Ohio

Posted 06 October 2022 - 12:44 AM

I know these mounts aren't exactly the best for tracking in general, but I have seen some people get some decent results with them. Right now I am using the Celestron dual Axis motor kit, which is really "suspect" in it's own right (due to how it looks), but I don't know if there are really other alternatives. However I swear people have tweaked the CG-4 to be a bit more precise, but I can't find any guides around. Does anyone have any experience or information on how to improve it?

 

Side question on motors in general, how tight should the gear meshing be?

 

Thanks for the help! 

I would imagine that the average PE on a CG-4 would be in the +/- 20 to 30 arc-second range...not too hot for imaging.  It could be worth the effort to tear the unit down, clean out the grease and gunk, lap the gears, re-grease and try again.  Or not.

 

I think this class of mount is really designed for visual use, and for that, I'm sure it does just fine.

 

Patrick



#9 dhkaiser

dhkaiser

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,906
  • Joined: 23 Dec 2019

Posted 06 October 2022 - 06:32 AM

This video helped me with adjusting the CG4 without tear down.

 

https://www.youtube....wVBIkcCjU&t=10s


  • Celerondon likes this

#10 Aleforge

Aleforge

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 235
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2013
  • Loc: Wentzville, MO

Posted 06 October 2022 - 06:55 AM

Here is some guidance regarding the lubrication and adjustment of the CG-4.

https://www.cloudyni...g-4-unveiled/#
https://stargazerslo...3-2-strip-down/

Although a complete teardown and lubrication is fine if you enjoy that sort of thing, it may not be required. Adjustment of the worms is but a small part of the procedure and can be completed in less than an hour with some simple hand tools.

However, any external gear backlash that exists between the motor pinions and the drive gears is no problem with the Astro-Gadget EQStar kits because they use belt drives! The external gears are eliminated by the conversion and installation removes all play from the belt drive system.

BTW, it may seem like a luxury but the Pro versions of the EQStar kits seem well worth it to me. The high-speed slewing alone is worth the $40 (USD) difference in price between the EQStarEQ3 and the EQStarProEQ3. When controlling my mount with an iPad or iPhone running Sky Safari the high-speed slewing takes the experience to another level.

 

I am 100% going to change the motor over to the EQ kit, and thanks for letting me know about the PRO version. It would be pretty amazing to actually have a bit of speed slewing. And I read through both of your links, it kind of seems like if you have smooth movement it may be not worth doing a tear down. My mount does seem to have very clean movement. It's pretty much brand new still. Thanks again for the help! I am pretty excited to switch over!

 

I would imagine that the average PE on a CG-4 would be in the +/- 20 to 30 arc-second range...not too hot for imaging.  It could be worth the effort to tear the unit down, clean out the grease and gunk, lap the gears, re-grease and try again.  Or not.

 

I think this class of mount is really designed for visual use, and for that, I'm sure it does just fine.

 

Patrick

I wish I could at least just get a few minutes out of it per image. The limitation right now is driving me nuts. My son and I stacked 30 x 20sec (or so) of Andromeda, and as expected it doesn't really cut it. Although we were happy with our first combined effort and it really pushed us to improve. I am hoping the drive Celerondon suggested will help some. 

 

This video helped me with adjusting the CG4 without tear down.

 

https://www.youtube....wVBIkcCjU&t=10s

Thank you, just book marked it. 




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics