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Thread: Upgrading my mount. CG-4?

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    Default Upgrading my mount. CG-4?



    I have a pretty entry-level reflector (Orion SpaceProbe 130EQ; 5.1", f/6.9, optical tube is 9.7lbs) and I'm looking to upgrade my mount and tripod. The stock mount/tripod it came with is an equatorial mount, but as expected, it's cheap and shakes enough for it to be a real pain.

    I've been looking around and seem to have settled on a Celestron CG-4. But before pulling the trigger, I want to know: is it worth it? Are there any accessories that I need to get so that the tube will fit on the mount?

    I'm looking for stability and maybe some room to add a motor in the future, but my budget is currently limited to <$300.

    Thanks.

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    Lowjiber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upgrading my mount. CG-4?

    The CG-4 is a pretty good mount. I keep one outside (aligned and covered) 24/7/365, but I'm in the desert and not Massachusetts.

    I looked at a picture of your scope on the Orion site. You already have the obligatory "rings", but it looks like you're going to need a vixen-style dovetail… very common. I suggest a fairly long one to make overall balance much easier.

    The CG-4 accepts a polar alignment scope. When the budget allows, that is a nice addition.

    I have an RA drive motor for mine that I'll use occasionally, especially if we're having friends over and I don't want to have to keep putting, say Saturn, back in the eyepiece.

    The tripod itself is pretty darn stable, even with the legs extended. You've likely already discovered that by "hugging" your reflector and turning the tube in the rings there is little need to raise a tripod beyond slight leg adjustments to level the mount. However, I have three scopes that I stick on the mount… two refractors and a 150mm Newt. With refractors, it's much more comfortable to raise the tripod up for most viewing. Orion (yes, Orion) makes a 16" pier extension that is built like a tank and allows the user to elevate the mount while keeping the legs retracted… very nice in case you decide to add a refractor to your arsenal. (Picture of one below.)

    The second pic is a refractor pointed south at a target that is almost at zenith. I included it so you could see the counterbalance weights almost parallel to the ground. Note: the polar alignment scope in the first pic.

    Clear Skies
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    Last edited by Lowjiber; 05-17-2014 at 11:27 AM.
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    Default Re: Upgrading my mount. CG-4?

    The CG-4 is a fantastic solid mount and works very well with an aftermarket RA drive. I absolutely love mine. It is easy to operate and has very good clutch releases. It will also teach you a lot about eq mount operation and make you a better astronomer in the process.
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    Default Re: Upgrading my mount. CG-4?

    Hi HurryAndTheHarm. I have a Celestron XLT150R refractor on my CG4 mount. And even with the pier extension, GSO Crayford focuser, 2" Orion dielectric diagonal, and an Orion 9X50 RACI finder scope, this workhorse mount still performs amazingly well. I have also added the dual axis motor drives, and I can tell you, that I pull this telescope out of the garage more often than any of my other telescopes. It sets up quickly, and is a joy to use. I hope that this helps HurryAndTheHarm, and best wishes on your new mount decision.
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    Default Re: Upgrading my mount. CG-4?

    Thanks for the advice, everybody. I think I'm going to get the CG-4. One last question: is there a specific place that sells vixen dovetails? I'm not very familiar with what they are or what sort of length I need (Lowjiber recommends a longer one).

 

 

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