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CG5 mount as bad as I'm lead to believe?


Bellyeye
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Hello folks

Bit of background first. I'm a long time enthusiast who knows his way around the sky pretty well and Ive got the bug again after a long break.

I have a budget of 1k and am looking to start learning astrophotography with a particular interest in imaging DSOs but would like a scope that is going to perform well visually also.

I intend to use a laptop & guiding.

I've been looking at the Celestron C8 with CG5 mount but have been put off somewhat by stuff I've read about that mount. Has anyone got first hand experience or can offer any advice?

Sorry if this topic has been done to death!

John

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A CG5 is a good mount, but simply not sturdy enough for a C8 (because of its weight and relatively long focal length even if you use a reducer) if you want to do photography. For a small refractor or 150mm Newt it's perfect, though (although obviously a real Vixen GP, the mount it's cloned from, is better).

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Is that just the manual CG-5 mount? If so I've been using one for ages and it's been great in every respect for visual work. I know at some point some apparently crucial inner bits of the mount were improved so maybe criticisms relate to the old-style or for guided use in imaging. Is there anything in particular that concerns you?

edit: sorry, just saw that you mentioned photography. That'll teach me to read before mouthing off.

Edited by PeterM
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Hi Bellyeye,

I recently purchased the C8 SGT for myself and can whole heartedly say it is a fantastic scope. The GOTO motors are a bit noisy but you can reduce the noice and improve the smoothness of the gears with a little DIY. i have done this work myself and it's fairly straight forward.

I have also done some imaging with this scope unguided and have had much much better results than I imagined possible. 90 second exposures are generally no problem with the right polar allignment and callibration of the GOTO.

I would highly reccomment this set up for the budget you have. From all the research I did it appeas to be some of the best "bang for your buck" you can get for that price range.

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The HEQ5Pro and EQ6 models have the ability to use the excellent (and free - always important for a Scotsman like myself!) Eqmod. This allows full computer control of the mount, there is nothing wrong with the CG series (Other than the noise) but an HEQ5Pro/EQ6Pro is even better! IMHO :-)

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The HEQ5Pro and EQ6 models have the ability to use the excellent (and free - always important for a Scotsman like myself!) Eqmod. This allows full computer control of the mount, there is nothing wrong with the CG series (Other than the noise) but an HEQ5Pro/EQ6Pro is even better! IMHO :-)

I downloaded Eqmod and it looks good. For some reason I thought I could use it with the CG5 GT. Doh. I suppose the clue is in the title!

Ideally I would go for the HEQ5 or EQ6pro but can't justify the cost of that and the tube. I've heard it said that an EQ6 is a 'mount for life' but my thinking is that as FLO are offering the C8 CG5GT package for £1015 I'd be getting a good quality scope and that I could upgrade the mount at a future date once I had 'cut my teeth' as it were.

Does that make sense?

Will I be able to use 'Cartes du Ciel' and PHD to control the Celestron mount though?

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FLO are offering the C8 CG5GT package for £1015 I'd be getting a good quality scope and that I could upgrade the mount at a future date once I had 'cut my teeth' as it were.

Just to throw something in the mix

Skymax 7" Mak-Cassagrain on HEQ5 syntrek - £110 more than your budget but in the scheme of things not a lot when spending over a grand on a scope Skymax 180 Pro HEQ5 SynTrek With Free DVD & Bino's | Telescopes | Rother Valley Optics a little more if you want goto.

Must add I don't own one - just that was the nearest I could find to give you similar aperture but on an EQ 5 mount

Edited by malc-c
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I've got a CG-5 with drives(non goto) and I love it. But I don't do AP so can't say how good it would be for that aspect of the hobby.

But also, my CG-5 is on a heavy duty hardwood tripod, and is Rock Solid with my Lomo 6" Mak or Tal 100RS. The standard 2" steel pipe tripod legs are very good, but honestly, they don't compare to the wooden tripod. So I guess that any decent mount will be that much better again with a truly solid tripod or pier to sit on..

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Just to throw something in the mix

Skymax 7" Mak-Cassagrain on HEQ5 syntrek - £110 more than your budget but in the scheme of things not a lot when spending over a grand on a scope Skymax 180 Pro HEQ5 SynTrek With Free DVD & Bino's | Telescopes | Rother Valley Optics a little more if you want goto.

Must add I don't own one - just that was the nearest I could find to give you similar aperture but on an EQ 5 mount

Awwww Malc - you've gone and done it now! Just when I thought I'd settled on the Celestron - that does look ideal.

I'm off on a review hunt.

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I had a CG5 until a couple of months ago - I bought it last May and had many an enjoyable night out in the garden with my DSLR attached (unguided). It was a manual version which I had upgraded with an EQ5 synscan and worked very well (again though, I can't comment about PHD compatibility of the CG5GT).

The tripod was certainly pretty beefy (2"), but the reason I upgraded was because I wanted to move on to guiding, which then meant a guidescope... and the weight got too much for the mount.

It's a difficult choice, especially on a budget - An EQ6 is certainly future proofing, but it is a LOT more. An HEQ5 is a good choice (but again also blows your budget), but with a CG5, if you did want to move into guiding (and assuming the CG5GT is PHD compliant), you always have the potential option of a finderguider to save weight(?)

PS - If going down the finderguider route I personally wouldn't recommend a "stand-alone" guidecam (ie Synguider) - It's almost impossible to bring to focus...

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Dont do imaging but one of the big advantages of the HEQ5/EQ6 is the mounts look neater, less plastic in them and with a bit of juscious tuning are near silent.

As ever it comes down to budget though ans the CG5 on special obviously has to be a real consideration on price.

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A footnote to this thread....... Ended up purchasing a second hand Celestron C9.25 & manual CG5 mount. Got the package for an excellent price and it was an ideal opportunity to give the mount a try. Just started to perform the Astronomyboy overhaul and contemplating installing the Skywatcher GOTO upgrade.

Thanks for the help so far!

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If you do decide to go for the EQ5 Synscan upgrade, you need to be aware that you MAY need to flip the RA drive cog on the synscan. The upgrade is also for the EQ3-2 and mine came as default for that mount - When trying to align it was 90 degrees out each time and therefore wouldn't align... :)

Thankfully a very helpful guy on here had also come across the problem and after I'd flipped it, it worked fine, although the starting position wasn't weights down but 45 degrees East, and after the slew to the first alignment star it was advisable NOT to use the handset to centre but to "manually" use the clutches.

After that, it was a doddle... ;)

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Thanks for the tip Andy. That's probably going to save me weeks of hassle!!

I'm about a quarter of the way through stripping down the CG5 (those plastic washers are a pain!) and if I'm honest I'm quite enjoying myself. It's quite a theraputic passtime on these rainy evenings.

Got my eye on a second hand HEQ5. I'm waiting to see how the mop flops with that before I commit to the EQ5 GOTO upgrade.

Oh - picked up a SW ST80 for guiding also. I was pretty suprised at the quality of that little scope for the price!

Edited by Bellyeye
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I have a manual CG5. And have used it a few times for AP, and it worked a treat, with just polar alignment I managed about 120seconds tops.

But I came across this http://stargazerslounge.com/diy-astronomer/81238-simplegpusb-home-brew-auto-guider.html thread to make your own guiding interface for the standered motors! It was really cheap and simple to make.

I have only tested it as far as seeing the motors turn from the computer control. I have just not had a chance to try the PDH out properly on it yet. But I have heard it can work great.

Might be a nice short term soloution for you :glasses1:

Michael

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Thanks everyone for your input on this.

The mount is now back together and is silky smooth....if anyone is thinking about dismantling their CG5 to clean and re-grease it (and feel confident enough with an allen key that they can get it back together again) you must do it!

Michael that sounds appealing Especially because you used the words "cheap" and "simple" ha! Got to buy the motors first though. And a dewshield. And guidescope rings. And a camera. And everything else. Aaaargh.

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I've had the CG5 (manual drive) for a while now and it's smashing. Fitted motors recently and it tracks silently. But came across a goto version recently with a 6" achro on it (big ota). It's noisy when it slews (hence CG = coffee grinder lol) but silent tracking and stays on the object very accurately for absolutely ages. Smashing mount with a good beefy tripod - no worries :glasses1:

Edited by brantuk
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I've had a small scope for a while but have just purchased a 250mm f5 Newtonian on an EQ5 mount. This is my first foray into the world of 'proper' mounts, compared to the cheapos I had previously.

Anyway, apologies if I'm jumping on board someone else's thread, but I could do with some advice asap about an item I have been offered: and this thread is as close as I can see to what I need to ask . . . . .

I would like to add a goto system. I've been offered a synscan fitted to a CG5 mount, at a reasonable price, but am concerned about the capacity of the mount which I believe is 'similar' to the EQ5.

Although my 250mm is already on an EG5, I've discovered that the main tube weighs in at about 16kg. Clearly it has worked OK like this because the friend I bought it from never had any problems, BUT if I motorize it, is all this weight going to prevent the synscan working properly?

Advice, please?

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The general concensus is that the CG5 mount is equivalent to the EQ5 mount (albeit some CG5's now have thicker tubed (2") steel tripod legs)...

However, a 250mm reflector on an EQ5 (or CG5) is really pushing the max recommended weight for the mount with or without a synscan. If you look on the web at the mount/OTA packages for the 250mm reflector, they usually come on an HEQ5 as a minimum... It might work (for visual only), but if you wanted to try imaging then I'd certainly advise you look at an HEQ5 (or preferably an EQ6 if you can stretch the budget as that way you could also look at guiding)...

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From the impression I got and I might be wrong but Synta are the main manufacturers of Chinese astronomy equipment and no matter what recommended Chinese telescope/mount/ budget EP there is out there they are all out of the same Synta factory. Evostar/Omni, CN8/ Explorer etc, etc ,etc Orion USA, Skywatcher, Celestron are most certainly all Synta and there is a good chance that the WO UWAN is also from this factory. The EQ5/ CG-5 in this case is basically the same mount. They are just 2 different versions when including the GOTO. The CG-5GT could be considered the HD version of the mount offering a stable 2" Stainless steel tripod and "I believe" a more versatile motor & chip set over the Synscan model. This more versatile motor allows for a greater range of slewing speeds but comes at the price of being a (in the dead of the night) VERY loud slewing mount. During normal tracking the mount is reasonably quiet and should not cause any concern. In comparison the EQ5 synscan mount has a much quieter slewing motor and is near silent when tracking but doesn't have the grunt or stability offered by the CG-5GT having only 1.75" Stainless steel tripod legs. I believe that this has now been addressed by the SW brand and they now offer a 2" tripod leg. (may be an upgrade to the 1.75") Either mount you chose you would not be disappointed IMO but regards tripods there is a clear winner... CG-5 or if you can pick up a SW EQ5 on 2" tripod you could consider you have the best of both worlds. I have read that the maximum weight a EQ5/CG-5 will accept is 12kg. You also have to take in to Length of the OTA when choosing what you put on this mount. The most effective mount for a 200p is a HEQ5 but due to the additional cost of such a setup most 200p's will come on an EQ5 for the beginner. Although more than capable for visual work as the OTA weighs in at 8.75kg the Length of the OTA and the natural forces of gravity, leverage etc means that in theory the OTA is too large to offer accurate tracking of an object even though it is 3.25kg under the recommended maximum weight for the mount. You can easily put a larger and heavier OTA on an EQ5 but this is restricted to MAK & SCT designs due to the shorter length of the OTA.

The above is all based on my experience of using both EQ5 & CG-5 mounts with tracking & GT. I have also used and know of people using 200p 8.75kg & TAL 200k 12kg scopes on both these mounts for visual and short exposure imaging.

I hope this helps.

SPACEBOY

Edited by spaceboy
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