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Model: Celestron_CGE_PRO_mount-0Part Number: 91529
Increased Payload Capacity - Able to hold our 14" SCT telescope more securely as well as larger optical tubes up to a maximum payload of 90lbs.All-Star Polar Alignment - Choose any bright alignment star for a software assisted alignment of the mounts polar axis that will have you ready for imaging even if you can't see the North Star.No-Tool polar alignment - Larger hand knobs for both Altitude and Azimuth adjustments.Meridian Tracking - Extended tracking pass the Meridian of up to 20 degrees of uninterrupted imaging through the best part of the sky.Faster slew speed - Improved gearing and motors provide faster slew speeds than ever before with a maximum slew rate of over 5°/per second.Power Management - Redesigned electronics deliver constant regulated power to the motor capable of driving the telescope even when not perfectly balanced. This allows the CGE Pro to have the payload capacity of that of much larger (and expensive) mounts without sacrificing smooth tracking motion and pointing accuracy across the entire sky.Accuracy - The hallmark of any telescope mount is its ability to find, center and track celestial objects with the highest degree of accuracy.Pointing - With just a standard hand control alignment, CGE Pro has the ability to center a star in your eyepiece or ccd chip to within 5 arc minutes. Using NexStar's advanced pointing features such as Calibration Stars, Sync and Precise GoTo, further improves the pointing accuracy to as low as 1 arc minute in the desired region of the sky.Tracking - With larger .75" pitch diameter worm, precision made cut-steel gears in gearboxes, and seven slot skewed armature motors the CGE Pro delivers typical tracking performance of +-9 arc seconds, which can be further reduced with the mounts permanent periodic error correction (PPEC).In addition to these improvements, the Celestron line of German Equatorial mounts has long been recognized for features preferred by visual observers and astrophotographer alike. Among them include:Portability - Set up and transportation of the CGE Pro telescopes is made easy by separating the mount into smaller, easy-to-carry components. Unlike fork arm mounted telescopes, the CGE’s optical tubes can be quickly removed from their mounts making even the CGE Pro1400 easily assembled in minutes.Stability - Recognized for superior stability, German Equatorial mounts place the center of gravity directly over the tripod legs and can be easily polar aligned without the use of an optional equatorial wedge. This proven design reduces the “tuning fork” vibration that can be associated with undersized fork mounts. An improved Super HD Tripod supports the CGE Pro mount. This fully extendable tripod is made from the finest 2.75" stainless steel and can be raised to a height of 55". The tripod uses a dual leg support for maximum rigidity with an upper leg brace to provide an outward preload and a lower leg brace providing inward tension.Balance - CGE Pro equatorial mounts can easily be balanced in both axes. Simply sliding the counterweight for Right Ascension and moving the optical tube along its dovetail mounting for Declination accomplish balancing the weight of camera equipment and other visual accessories. This means that no additional weight needs to be added to balance the telescope when additional accessories are added.Clearance - CGE Pro mounts support their tubes at a single contact point allowing the tube to move freely around its polar axis without making contact with the telescope’s mount. Software features allow the user to set the mounts slew limits to guaranty safe motion. This is particularly useful when adding photographic and CCD instruments that extend from the rear of the telescopes.All CGE mounted telescopes are compatible with Celestron’s CN-16 GPS accessory. Combine the GPS and built-in real time clock and these telescopes will keep track and remember their exact location and time without having to enter the information into the hand control.
CGE PRO Tracking DataThe following graphs display R.A. worm gear tracking accuracy of the CGE Pro Equatorial mount in 4 conditions: Figure 1 – Raw unguided tracking that isolates the periodic error; Figure 2 – Tracking with Permanent Periodic Error Correction (PPEC) enabled; Figure 3 – Guided tracking with an autoguider; and Figure 4 – Guided tracking with an autoguider and PPEC enabled. Data was acquired from Celestron’s engineering team using an EdgeHD 800 optical tube and NexImage camera at f/10. This data represents the typical performance of a CGE Pro under average seeing conditions from urban skies in Torrance, CA. Figure 2 has a cubic fit applied to the graph, and Figures 1, 3 and 4 have linear drift removed (to better show repeatable error). All Figures show 22 minutes of tracking, which covers 4 full rotations of the CGE Pro R.A. worm gear.Graph 1. This graph displays the R.A. worm gear tracking accuracy for a typical CGE Pro equatorial mount. The graph shows 4 periods of the worm gear which yields about +/-7 arc seconds of periodic error. The minimal periodic error is both very predictable and gradual, allowing short unguided images to be taken, or much longer exposures with extremely accurate tracking when used with an autoguider.Graph 2. With the CGE Pro’s Permanent Periodic Error Correction (PPEC) enabled, most of the periodic error is eliminated, leaving behind lesser tracking errors caused by atmospheric turbulence, wind, and opto-mechanical flexure. PPEC brings the CGE Pro’s R.A. tracking accuracy to about +/-2 arc seconds, allowing even longer unguided exposures (for uses like Hyperstar imaging).Graph 3. Autoguiding with the CGE Pro provides consistent tracking accuracy to within +/-2 arc seconds under average seeing conditions. Autoguiding provides an easy way to sustain long-exposure astro-images without excessive tracking error or drift.Graph 4. With autoguiding and PPEC enabled, we can take full advantage of the CGE Pro’s stability and tracking accuracy. Even under average seeing conditions, PPEC + autoguiding easily yields tracking accuracy of less than +/-2 arc seconds. Note that tracking errors of the mount have dropped so far below the noise floor set by the seeing conditions that they cannot be quantitatively distinguished from zero. This combination will provide the best tracking accuracy, resulting in sharp, round stars in your astro-images.
MOTOR DRIVE: DC Servo motors with encoders, both axesCOMPUTER HAND CONTROL: Double line, 16 character Liquid Crystal Display; 19 backlit LED buttonsSLEW SPEEDS: Nine slew speeds 5.5 deg/s, 2 deg/s, 0.5 deg/s, 64x, 16x, 8x, 4x, 1x, 0.5xTRACKING RATES: Sidereal, Solar and LunarTRACKING MODES: EQ North and EQ SouthALIGNMENT PROCEDURES: 2-Star Align, Solar System Align, Last Alignment, Quick Align, 1-Star Align.DATABASE: 40,000+ objects, 100 user defined programmable objects. Enhanced information on over 200 objectsPOWER REQUIREMENTS: 12 VDC 2AINTERNAL CLOCK: YesGPS: Optional CN-16 GPS AccessoryTRIPOD AND PIER WEIGHT: 52 lbEQ MOUNT WEIGHT: 75 lbCOUNTERWEIGHT BAR: 5 lbCOUNTERWEIGHTS: 1 x 22 lb
With apologies to Carl Sagan – Extraordinary telescopes require extraordinary mounts! I have a large refractor, and have struggled for many years with inadequate mounts that made my viewing experience less than satisfactory – and astrophotography virtually impossible. One of the great problems with large scopes is very familiar to astrophotographers, both put great demands upon the mount's precision, reliability, and stability. Once one gets into the class of mount that will hold 30-40 kg or more, you enter rather rarefied territory. Names like the Losmandy Titan, and Astrophysics Mach I or 900 series get bandied about often, but the entry level for such a mount can be $10,000 or more even before you add the tripod – and that price puts them well out of reach for the average astronomer!I have tried both the Losmandy Gemini mount (30kg capacity) and the Celestron CGEM mount (25kg capacity) for my 22 kg scope – but neither were satisfactory. Both suffered from insufficient strength and rigidity, and very insufficient clutches on both RA and Dec axes. The result of this is that the scope /mount combination behaved like a rhinoceros in ballet shoes, slewing was very sloppy, pointing errors tended to accumulate over time, and if there was the slightest vibration or wind – the scope became virtually unusable. I purchased the CGE Pro in April of 2011, and I've become an instant fan! The adjustable tripod features 3” stainless steel legs that allow you to adjust the tripod height from approximately 1 – 1.6 meters. At 26kg itself, this is no lightweight piece of kit, but you will never suffer from the wobblies when you set this fellow up and lock it in place. The EQ head comes in two pieces, the lower pier/saddle contains all the electronics internally, and the connections for the hand controller, autoguider, RA and Dec motors are easily available. Another advantage of the electronics pier is that the connections do not move as the scope slews about. Many is the time when the slewing scope has unplugged itself, or wrapped a cord around until it threatened to unbalance everything – there is no problem with these things on the CGE Pro! The EQ head is massive at 25kg, and demands a two-man lift to put it up in the saddle. I suppose one could do it alone, but the weight and height mean that a slip in the dark setting up could easily spell disaster or even personal injury. Much better to be safe and set this one up with a pal. Of course, if you are making a permanent mounting, you needn't worry yourself after the setup is done the first time. Celestron refers to this as a “portable” mount – and I do take mine out rather regularly - but it certainly strains the definition of “portable”. The scope, mount, power tank, eyepiece case and an observer's chair completely fill my mid-size SUV.RA and Dec motor cables are very sturdy, and like the power cable, they attach with captive threaded caps that lock the cables in place and assure a good electronic connection that is sealed against dust, dew and humidity. The only problem with the scope is the hand controller, or rather the very short cord that is supplied. With a larger scope and tripod, you do need more than just 2-feet of cable for the controller, and this is something I shall have to fix in the near future! Alignment is very easy, and for those who are familiar with the Celestron GoTo system, the CGE Pro uses the same familiar One Star, Two Star, or 'Sky-Align' alignment protocol. Unlike lesser mounts however, the Pro has 'backlash control' that you can set to automatically compensate for backlash. Mine works brilliantly at the factory setting! Slewing is a joy, just 5-deg/sec, but without any wobble or untoward vibration. The scope moves quietly, smoothly, and stops on a dime. A HUGE improvement over the lesser mounts I've tried over the years! Tracking is very precise and reliable!In short, if your scope is larger, heavier, or longer than average – you will want to consider this mount carefully. I don't thing there is anything on the market to compare until you are ready to spend twice the asking price.
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