Performance with Hyperstar is the ultimate system
After purchasing Hyperstar and using it with my C-14 Edge, I am getting 2 minute unguided exposures yet I very seldom need more than 40 seconds to get outstanding images. Before you consider spend over $10,000 for an equatorial mount think about the fact that I am getting great images using the CGX-L mount and Hyperstar. So far, I have not run into a situation where I needed a guide scope or a super expensive mount to obtain premium astro photos. I also suggest purchasing the IDAS Nebula Booster filter, as well, and your should be able to maximize your needs without depleting your savings account. I have spent hours looking at all brands of equatorial mounts and using the system I am using is a fantastic economical system where you need not look any further. I am not a person who wants to stack images more than 1 hour on a single image, and this system along with the Mallincam 26ctec camera allows me to optimize my time and effort for the results I am satisfied with. I wanted to provide this information for those who would rather have less expense, more time, and a successful night of deep sky imaging.
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.
CGX-L first test.
So far I love it. No backlash! It works well with the external GPS and star sync. It would be nice if they built in a USB hub. It would also be nice if it had a built in GPS. Having the power and hand pad plug in stationary was a huge improvement. Shipping by OPT was fast.