As you may have read in the other recent post, once I add my guidescope to my telescope, then I will exceed the load capacity of my EXOS-2 mount. Also, as it stands at the moment, without the guidescope, I am operating at the upper end of the EXOS-2 mount limits, and the scope does noticeably wobble.
I decided that I was going to purchase another mount, one that would give me years of service and would also give me room to grow further with load capacity etc.
Having scouted around and looked at many reviews online, watched numerous Youtube videos. I had made my choice.
One of the suppliers in Germany had it in stock, so placed the order and waited for its arrival.
What did I order?
I went with a Celestron CGX.
A German Equatorial mount with full computerised GoTo capability, 25kg load capacity, belt drive system, which reduces backlash on movement. 2" tripod legs, and supplied with 2x 5kg counterweights.
Being a heavy unit, it was shipped out in two parcel. Unfortunately they didn't arrive together, the parcel containing the tripod and counterweights arrived on the Thursday and the main head unit arrived on the Monday.
Opened up the boxes and set it all up, pictures below without the counterweights or bar.
It comes supplied with a 12v cigarette light type plug, so I also ordered up the associated suitable mains power supply for the unit.
I downloaded the software from Celestron's website and went about updating the mounts firmware to the latest versions. The mount doesn't come with a USB-A to USB-B cable or a USB-A to mini-usb cable, but fortunately had both of these already in a drawer.
The USB-B cable attaches to the head, and alternatively the mini-usb can be connected to the handset.
Firmware Update Issue - Thankfully resolved!
I updated the firmware successfully via the USB-B cable to the mount, and then I am not quite sure what I did, but managed to get the mount stuck in a boot loop, saying it didn't recognise one of the packages. I thought I had bricked the mount software as couldn't get it to do anything past the error message on startup. I did a search online, and came across a post that said to perform another update, but this time connected via the handset mini-usb. Fortunately that did the trick, and all was working again.
I waited for dusk and weather was favourable, so I took everything outside and setup. I roughly aligned the mount to north, and then did a two star align via the handset controller. I wasn't really sure what I was doing at this stage, because didn't read the manual! I took a photo of the sky and tried to plate solve at Polaris, using SharpCap Polar Align, as this is how I had always done things with my old mount. It didn't solve, so I knew I was out with the alignment, wasn't really bothered at this stage as this was just a quick run to see how everything was.
Slewing, fully loaded was silky smooth, and a lot quieter than the previous mount.
I went to a few random targets and took a few single shots just to see if everything was working.
Setting Up For Imaging Run.....and Disaster Follows
All was good, so I picked off a target I was going to image set up a 120 exposure imaging plan in APT hit start and off it went took the first image so I went inside and left it to do its thing.
I went back outside when the imaging plan was scheduled to be complete. Looked at the screen and noticed it was still sitting on 2/120, in initially thought that it had 2 left to do, but then it dawned on me that it was stuck on 2, the camera and the mount and disconnected from the laptop.
What has happened? Well, the dogs were both outside, and I think they had knocked a cable, as the USB was sitting on the ground and it had pulled the cable enough out of the laptop USB socket that it disconnected.
Unfortunately the camera battery was now flat, so that brought the end of the session for the night. Only thing left to do was haul everything back inside for the night.
On a finishing note, here is a 3rd Party review of the mount by Maximum Astronomy channel over on YouTube if you want a more detailed look at the mounts features.
Here's to the next clear skies night, hopefully tomorrow!
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