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C8 plus an Orion 80mm ED refractor on a CGX-L

JeffMarston
17 Mar, 2020 20:00
In September I bought a C14 and then a CGX-L mount, because the C14 was a little bit hefty for my CGX mount. I tried some imaging with the C14/CGX-L combination, and it worked pretty well until anything more intense than a gentle breeze came along. The big C14 acts like a big sail and everything moves.

A few nights ago I was doing some unguided imaging with my 80mm ED doublet on top of my C8 mounted on the CGX-L. The first thing I noticed was I was getting round stars with exposure times up to 90 seconds. The other interesting thing was the moderate wind was not moving the setup at all. I was still getting round stars. In a previous session, when there was not wind, I was getting round stars with my C14 up to 30 seconds at a 3910mm focal length. I didn’t try longer exposure times that night.

I no longer do any imaging in my light polluted neighborhood  because it takes more effort and a lot more time to get decent data. I have a dark site 50 minutes away I drive to for any kind of realistic imaging or viewing. I  haven’t been setting up all the equipment I have for guided imaging and I often leave my laptop, guide camera, and guide scope at home. It takes long enough just for my basic setup and drive time. If I had a permanent observatory it would be different. I have learned to do a very accurate polar alignment while using my CGX-L and so far it works better than with any mount I have owned previously.

The CGX-L/C8 combination seems to be a sweet combination. It just doesn’t move even with a refractor on top of my sct. I have yet to try imaging with my C11 on my mount, but on the next clear night I will be traveling to a dark place again to try out that combination.

I thought about getting a much more expensive mount after I bought my C14 but the C14 Edge/CGX-L combination was already costing me over 8000 dollars with a few add-ons. I dreamed about getting an AP1100 but I am doing quite well with what I have, so why worry?

I am not giving up on auto guiding. It is still kind of new for me and I am sure I will need it for those dim targets I want to image. It will be interesting to see how well my CGX-L does using a guide scope and camera.
Rich-sky
17 Mar, 2020 20:56
Jeff,
Thank you for sharing your experience with the CGX-L C14. The equipment you have is massive and probably hard to transport.

I have a cgx and a rasa 8 and that is probably my limit.  I will probably go smaller with a refractor instead of larger SCT.

I also have a sct 9'25 and in LP area, it is not the best. Will you put the hyperstar system on your c14 and do narrowband ?

If you go in that direction, you will have a nice setup.

Clear skies smile
JeffMarston
18 Mar, 2020 00:07
Rich Sky
Jeff,Thank you for sharing your experience with the CGX-L C14. The equipment you have is massive and probably hard to transport.

I have a cgx and a rasa 8 and that is probably my limit.  I will probably go smaller with a refractor instead of larger SCT.

I also have a sct 9'25 and in LP area, it is not the best. Will you put the hyperstar system on your c14 and do narrowband ?

If you go in that direction, you will have a nice setup.

Clear skies smile

You are right. The tripod is 45 pounds, the mount is 50+ pounds, my three counterweights are 22 pounds each, and even the counter weight shaft weighs more than a lot of small refractors. My C14 is around 50 pounds with the lens cover, and mounting rail. 50 pounds isn’t that heavy for me, but it is a bit awkward to get that scope on my mount. I sort of count it as part of my fitness routine :

I put my C11 on my CGX and it's very stable. The caveat is I use the same heavy tripod for both my CGX and CGX-L. Those 2.75 inch legs and the much heavier joints can make a significant difference. This tripod originally came with a CGE pro mount. It is nearly identical to the CGX-L tripod. I have no plans to use the hyper star system mainly because I am using a Sony mirrorless camera,  and not a little round Zwo. I usually use a .7 focal reducer on my SCT’s for imaging. I am hoping Starizona has their .4 focal reducer for Edge scopes available soon. I also don’t have plans to do narrow band imaging as long as I have a dark place to go.

I have noticed that imaging with a small refractor is a significantly easier way to go. I just can’t get around the fact that my C11 and C14 scopes pull in much more detail and can reach those far away, small targets. This year I am going after some galaxies, not just relatively big fat nebulae.

Have a great week,

Jeff
 
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