- learning curve
Celestron CGX-L Mount
I’ve only had the mount for a short time but so far everything about it is excellent. I only have a light load on it but I needed a very stable mount because I have wind often and I didn’t want that to prohibit astrophotography. I’m impressed that there is nearly no backlash. Dec reversal is nearly instantaneous. There is no slop in the gears so the spring loaded worm gears are working. I looked at periodic error and I estimate that it’s about 10 arcseconds. A smaller number would have been nice but it’s very smooth, no erratic movement, so an autoguider would have no issue guiding it out. I performed drift alignment on the mount and it was a breeze. The az/el movements are smooth and precise. I’ve had a number of mounts and some of them have had issues with reversing the Dec causing movement in RA. No trace of that with mount. I’ve found a bit of a learning curve with the hand controller as the way the functions are implemented are a bit different from other hand controllers. So far I have no reason to think the CGX-L won’t be a great mount for astrophotography.
Polar Alignment is Critical
Great, but it took a while for me to get it going for Astrophotography. I did only visual for about a year using the 14 edge hd and was satisfied with the tracking but I did not have much success getting more than 4 second exposures, as the stars became elongated and the DSO's were blurry. I even ordered another GEM because I thought that I had a lemon mount for astrophotography. Thank goodness the mount I ordered was on back order, so while I was waiting for my new mount to replace the CGX-L, I ordered the Celestron polar alignment scope. WOW!!!!, once I polar aligned my scope I was getting 2 minute exposures and every aspect of the mount improved over 100%!!! I use a live video stacking Mallincam camera and use my system as a travel scope so I was not interested in doing long exposures and the 2 minute exposure is plenty of time to get fantastic videos and live stack images. The bottom line is be SURE to POLAR ALIGN before each imaging session and you will have a mount that WILL meet your needs at the best price available. So I cancelled my order for the new GEM that I do not need and saved $5000, in the process. So the malfunction was not the CGX-L, it was my fault for not following recommendations to Polar Align!!! OPT did refund my order on the GEM I did not need. I can say with joy, that OPT and Celestron are a Great Bunch to purchase from, obtain information from, and maintain a customer/vendor friendship with. Thanks Again OPT and Celestron!!!!!!!!
CGXL the ultimate mount?
I've run a CGE mount for 15 years pushing the load limits, held out as mounts come and go, and then the CGXL came out, heard a lot of good things about it, time to step it up. WOW! Last night I rough aligned towards North and set altitude using the gauge on the mount nothing fancy, performed a two-star alignment, the moon was super bright it was late done for the night. Today I used 'last alignment' to see if I could find any planets during the day. I was stunned to see Mercury, Venus, and Sirius slewed almost directly centered in the eyepiece first time! Amazing! This mount far exceeds expectations ! The feel, the sound, 'Go to' accurate tracking everything about this mount is all business, looking forward to imaging stay tuned for an update. Note: If you have an observatory you will need an adapter plate to attach the mount to the pier, should be mentioned if purchasing w/out the tripod? The 110-volt power supply does not come with it. The manual is a PDF file, would prefer a hard copy. Cheers!
Dead on tracking and pointing.
Easy to use and VERY accurate. Manual, precise polar alignment doesn't really take that long and with a high power reticle eyepiece very accurate. Doing high power solar and lunar I can walk away for half an hour and its still right on feature I was observing. I'm sure it would require little or no adjustment after an hour. Every thing high quality. Well worth the wait the recent wait.. I have two. One for 6" refractor and one for 14" SCT. Strongly recommend GPS unit. Adds significantly to accuracy and makes startup fast. Also dead centers Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn after sunrise and midday.
Good Combination of EQuipment
Delivery was as expected as to length, arrived undamaged and still in collimation. Mount is larger than expected, if you haven't seen the CGX-L in the field take a close look at the dimensions and weight. Breaks down into heavy, but manageable pieces. After a learning curve, the bundle works better than I expected.
I was not expecting it until the end of January due to COVID slowing down or outright stopping supply chain activity. Actually received it before xmas! Also received the equatorial mount early, also slumbering in its shipping crate. I have not opened either box yet, as they are most safe where they are. Should probably open, inspect and re-seal both. Will be happy to review both when my concrete slab is poured, observatory (SKYSHED) is assembled, and we get to polar alignment, First Light, etc.