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Home > Reviews > Mounts > Equatorial > Celestron CGE mount

Celestron CGE mount
By john dull - 7/6/2006

I have been into astronomy most of my life, although my life's work was in computers. I really took the hobby in earnest after I lost the use of my arm and had to give up many of my hobbys. Flying my plane, Water, Snow skiing, Motorcycling, and my side career as a professional guitar/keyboard player.

I bought many telescopes thru the last 10 years, 2 Meade SCT'S a couple of refractors 80mm to 152mm and most goto's but after my disability it became too hard to carry telescopes around, I had friends construct a dome for me to set up perminately. After checking the market and prices I decided to purchase a new C1400 CGE from celestron, the reviews of the long lived C14 were very glowing. I almost got a Meade 16 but price and fork mounts were no filling my bill.

The C14 is everything they say it is, although pinpoint stars with a SBIG camera have so far eluded me, although I think I am on a learning curve and it may be my adjustments or beginning skills, still I have taken very nice pictures so far.

As for the mount, which this article is about, I have had some disappointments. First when I received it 2 years ago, it had problems, celestron sent me new cables, then I had to send the computer pier and motors, which I had to get help as I only have 1 arm, Celestron support was very nice and replaced the motor control board. Over the last 2 years the CGE was mounted on a pier and cameras added, but due to surgerys and treatments I have only used this setup a very little after the repairs.

Two months ago I had my 5th spinal surgery and the last month I have been feeling better and been able to use the scope and mount, between crummy pittsburgh weather more than the last 2 years. This mount is very accurate, I have been able to goto any object and put it on the Ccd camera everytime, of course I polar aligned with a crosshair 12mm illuminated eyepiece, perfect leveling on the pier and the new upgradeable hand controller helps as you can add alignment stars on startup. I usually use 5, I find I have also been able to take 5 minute unguided pictures without smearing stars, that suprized me. So far I have not discovered any problems with median flip, all in all I think the mount is a steal, but yesterday after I turned on the CGE for another night of pictures, the hand controller came up with "NO RESPONSE" 16/17. I checked all connections, I tried the programming cables to use Nexremote for computer control, which is nice for using with programs like The Sky 6. But it appears the motor control board went dead again. 2 boards, 2 years, not used more than 50 nights total

Celestron support was very kind, even after all my ranting and raving about the hardship it is to get someone to dismantle this and pack it for return. they offered to extend the warrenty for this repair, and I give them A+++ for patience in dealing with my problem. I am disappointed, and I think the CGE mount is a high performance mount that has had the best accuracy of any fork or GEM mount I have seen, and it can carry a lot of weight. But the nagging question to me is why is it dead again. With no manual controls the scope is useless.

Click here for more about this subject. -Ed.

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