Celestron ASCM w/ GOTO


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image
Brand and Model:Celestron ASCM w/ GOTO
Price ($USD):$699.00
Type:Equatorial
Attributes:checkedMotorized un-checkedPEC checkedGoto
Electric Power:12V DC
Weight (lbs.):
Description:Our new German Equatorial mount has precision worm gears on both axes for extremely smooth stability. The key element that makes this system the most stable in its class is the NEW heavy-duty tripod with larger and more substantial legs that offer excellent damping characteristics for more stable views. The CG-5 also has a convenient latitude scale for easier alignment and an optional polar finder scope for the ultimate in precision alignments.

Celestron Advanced Series

Vote Highlights Vote
Celestron ASCM w/ GOTO
Probably the best value out there, unless your willing to spend $2500. The mount is stable, goto's are accurate, and the electronics are simple. Not much more to say except I'm satisfied with my purchase.

Overall Rating: 9
Performance:9 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: JasonF
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=408325


Celestron ASCM w/ GOTO
I bought this mount in early November, 2003, to replace a Meade LXD55 mount which was junk. The AS-GT mount does the job right out of the box. The only real issues I've had with it was re-adjusting the worm gears and moving the mounting peg on the base to a different hole so that the counterweight is over a tripod leg for greater stability. I found that the NexStar Hand Controller software does some weird things once in awhile, but overall works pretty well. I'm concerned that the firmware is not upgradeable by the user like the Meade AutoStar. I think that was a big mistake on Celestron's part, but time will tell. Also, don't waste your money on Celestron's polar scope or their GPS add-on. The GPS add-on doesn't interface with this model (at least not as of this writing) and the polar scope is junk and not worth the effort. Fortunately, most users of this mount find the polar scope is not needed. Just eyeballing polaris through the RA axis bore works fine for good GOTO's and there is also a polar align utility in the Hand Controller that seems to work pretty well if you want to improve tracking.

This mount appears to be a "synta" chinese CG-5 that has a significantly upgraded tripod base and tripod (2" tubular steel legs) which results in excellent stability. Celestron seems to have also upgraded the specs in other regards, especially the GOTO motors, encoders, etc. I think Celestron got this mount RIGHT, probably knowing full well the disaster that Meade was having with their LXD55 mount. The unit seems to work well in cold weather as long as your power source is up to par. I use a 7 amp/hr battery pack. The mount does not come with any battery pack, only a 12V cigarette lighter type power cord. The lubricant on the bearings looks to be a conventional, good quality grease, not the "glue" that plagued older CG-5 mounts.

I've found that the mount performs very well whether using my 22 lb. 6" mak-newt or my 12.5 lb. 6" mak-cass. Dampening times are incredibly fast for a mount in this price range - usually between 1 and 2 seconds with either of my mak OTA's. Focusing is "jiggle free". The mount appears to track well, at least for visual use (I've not tried to do any imaging). The mount does have an autoguider port and it will be interesting to see how it works for astro-imagers.

Each time I've set this mount up, the GOTO electronics has always put the target in the FOV of a 60x eyepiece. For the price, I'm not sure there is anything else on the market that gives you the combination of a stable, solid platform for OTA's up to 25lbs, good GOTO performance, reasonable portability, and a two year warranty. The fit, finish, and materials are not in the Losmandy class, but overall, an excellent value.

Tony Bonanno

Overall Rating: 9
Performance:9 Ease of Use:8 Value:9
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: tbonanno
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=323089

>I bought this mount in early November, 2003, to replace a Meade LXD55 mount which was junk.  The AS-GT mount does the job right out of the box.  The only real issues I've had with it was re-adjusting the worm gears and moving the mounting peg on the base to a different hole so that the counterweight is over a tripod leg for greater stability.  I found that the NexStar Hand Controller software does some weird things once in awhile, but overall works pretty well.  I'm concerned that the firmware is not upgradeable by the user like the Meade AutoStar.  I think that was a big mistake on Celestron's part, but time will tell.  Also, don't waste your money on Celestron's polar scope or their GPS add-on.  The GPS add-on doesn't interface with this model (at least not as of this writing) and the polar scope is junk and not worth the effort.  Fortunately, most users of this mount find the polar scope is not needed.  Just eyeballing polaris through the RA axis bore works fine for good GOTO's and there is also a polar align utility in the Hand Controller that seems to work pretty well if you want to improve tracking.
>
>This mount appears to be a "synta" chinese CG-5 that has a significantly upgraded tripod base and tripod (2" tubular steel legs) which results in excellent stability.   Celestron seems to have also upgraded the specs in other regards, especially the GOTO motors, encoders, etc.  I think Celestron got this mount RIGHT, probably knowing full well the disaster that Meade was having with their LXD55 mount.  The unit seems to work well in cold weather as long as your power source is up to par.  I use a 7 amp/hr battery pack.  The mount does not come with any battery pack, only a 12V cigarette lighter type power cord.  The lubricant on the bearings looks to be a conventional, good quality grease, not the "glue" that plagued older CG-5 mounts.
>
>I've found that the mount performs very well whether using my 22 lb. 6" mak-newt or my 12.5 lb. 6" mak-cass.  Dampening times are incredibly fast for a mount in this price range - usually between 1 and 2 seconds with either of my mak OTA's.  Focusing is "jiggle free".   The mount appears to track well, at least for visual use (I've not tried to do any imaging).  The mount does have an autoguider port and it will be interesting to see how it works for astro-imagers.  
>
>Each time I've set this mount up, the GOTO electronics has always put the target in the FOV of a 60x eyepiece.  For the price, I'm not sure there is anything else on the market that gives you the combination of a stable, solid platform for OTA's up to 25lbs, good GOTO performance, reasonable portability, and a two year warranty.  The fit, finish, and materials are not in the Losmandy class, but overall, an excellent value.
>
>Tony Bonanno
Tony I bought this mount some months ago and agree with you this is an all around good mount, with good goto abilities.I love using it with my TV102(they seem to be made for each other). I have an eight inch F4.5 Cave, but with the extra 21Lbs of counter weights needed I feel it is to much for the mount.I stick with the Teleview and always have a good time!I contacted Celestron about the GPS problem . They told me to use a 6 prong line splitter, that you would use on a high speed conection not a 4 for a phone. IT WORKS!!! I have GPS now all I need do is align three stars. There is one ceveat,when going to an object north of the zenith you must watch that the declination housing does not hit the line splitter. I have also found that Orions polar scope fits #7330 in their catalog. AS you said it is not necessary.

John Kenney

Celestron ASCM w/ GOTO
I have used the mount several times now. Generally I am pleased with the mount....

Alignment - Initial alignment is fairly straightforward - its a three star alignment, two must be in the Western Hemisphere and 1 in the Eastern Hemisphere. The initial index marks are not square with the North Celestial pole. The original index marks point the OTA about 10 deg DEC (to the East) and about 5 deg RA from the vertical. After truing up the index marks, the initial alignment stars are well in the finderscope. (I usually do a polar align of the mount with the polar scope first - the accuracy on the first alignment stars will of course be dependent on your mount placement).

Goto Accuracy - After initial alignment goto accuracy is such that an object will be found within about 15 arc min of center. Some objects near the NCP (88deg DEC or greater) will not be located at all. (scope can point to the ground or other such nonsense). Generally this is not a problem since you are not trying to goto objects in that general area.

Tripod - This tripod is very stable - a really outstanding part of this mount. I use damping pads and any oscillations die out much less than a second.

Hand control features - I have found that Precise Goto performs as advertized and centers the object quite precisely - for those objects it works for. I have had repeated no finds on M11 and M51.

Stability - My PE measurements indicate a PE of about +/- 15 arc seconds. The motion in general is very smooth with very little vibration. This mount has an Autoguide port which I have used with K3CCDTools and a webcam to guide with a +/- 1.5 arc sec accuracy. So overall, I am pleased with the tracking.

Misc Issues - This mount has motor covers that can be problematic. The RA cover will prevent locking the head at latitudes under 24-28 deg. There is interference with the latitude adjustment screw. Also you do have to watch the cables while slewing to make sure thay don't get jammed into anything. Asmuth adjusting motion is somewhat rough when polar aligning - its best to do with the head a little loose - but too loose will confuse the latitude adjustment. All of these issues have acceptable work arounds.

Overall - I got a complete C8 system for about $1,400 USD. I am extremely pleased to get the performance I have described at this price plus the C8 OTA. Lowest rating on ease of use for the issues I described; Highest rating on value

Overall Rating: 9
Performance:8 Ease of Use:6 Value:10
Weight: 5 (Veritable Vote)
Date:
By: jthommes
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=298395


Celestron ASCM w/ GOTO
About the AuthorMein Name ist . Ich habe im Jahr 2009 mit Bloggen begonnen. Da ich sehr gerne an Geiswnnpielen teilnehme und diese in meinem privaten Blog langsam Ãœberhand nahmen, habe ich mich entschlossen, diesen Blog ins Leben zu rufen.

Overall Rating: 0
Performance:10 Ease of Use:5 Value:8
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.232.32)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=611332


Celestron ASCM w/ GOTO
I'm coming to the ASGT from a fork mount ALTAZ and I've found using a GEM more difficult overall. However, once the initial hump is crossed, this mount has met my expectations. While the backlash makes it difficult to guide, the scope can be guided (autoguided, I mean) to produce decent images. Celestron released an auxilliary port "expander" which includes a splitter (two "aux" ports -- one for the hand control, and one for the GPS unit if you buy one) and a PC port for programming the motor control boards. As of this date they haven't released updated firmware but rumour has it that it will be released eventually. When this happens, I think the performance of the scope will be much better. But as it is, GOTOs are good, and the polar alignment routine makes it easy for novices to get a decent polar alignment. The mount and tripod are very sturdy. And there is an active user community on Yahoo to answer questions. So there is good peer support. Overall, I can't complain. I bought the mount used, below cost, and it is worth the money I spent.

Overall Rating: 9
Performance:9 Ease of Use:8 Value:9
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.73.80)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=391194


Celestron ASCM w/ GOTO
So far I have not been able to find anything with ascm w/ go to. Once roughly polar aligned ( the polar finder scope is a cheap piece of crap) the auto align misses the stars it is supposed to go to 10 degrees. Then after it is calibrated it doesn't even come close to what you look for. The control is very poorly designed as it is on a different slew speed each time I try to align an object. I've been very diappointed so far and Celestrons technical support has been non existent.

Overall Rating: 2
Performance:0 Ease of Use:2 Value:5
Weight: 1 (Unreliable Vote)
Date:
By: Anonymous (xxx.xxx.52.77)
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=365692

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