Celestron CGEM DX 1100 EdgeHD Computerised Telescope
- New CGEM DX Computerized Equatorial Mount
- Premium StarBright XLT coatings
- 9x50 finderscope
- Ultra sturdy 2.75" steel tripod with Accessory Tray
- FASTAR Compatible
- Mirror locks that reduce image shifts during imaging.
- Tube Vents with micromesh filters
- Meridian Tracking
- All-Star Polar Alignment System
Special order - Ship in 6-8 weeks, call us for stock status
Retail Price $8425
|User Level||For Advanced|
|Highest Practical Magnification||661x|
|Mount Type||Computerized Mount|
|Warranty||2 Years Limited Warranty|
- Fantastic scope
The optics are beautifully sharp and clear across the whole field of view. Even under light polluted skies this scope gives incredible views. I've only had it a couple of weeks but I've had the best ever views of the Orion nebula, Saturn and numerous clusters. I've never had a scope I could split double stars with before, but with this they seperate beautifully.
The mount has both auxillary and autoguide inputs so its ready for me to build in the future. The tripod is very solid too (its the reason I went with this model and not the 9.25"). When assembled the highest point of the scope is around 7ft off the grouns (and the tripod still has another 50cm or so of leg extensions tucked away if needed).
The main drawnback (though obviously expected) is the weight. Assembled you're looking at around 70kg with around 25kg being the heaviest single part (of four) to carry. The optical tube is around 15kg and mounts the dovetails around eye height. So make sure you can handle assembly or have assistance.
The focuser is only a single rate type without a secondary fine tune feathertouch. There is also some backlash in the focuser and even with the solid build of the whole setup there is still plenty of wobble in the eyepiece when trying to focus. So yet again fanastic optics are let down by cost saving on the focuser which does detract from the experience. Aftermarket focusers are not going to be cheap and this scope package is really overpriced. The eyepiece supplied is massive and very impressive but I prefer my smaller Hyperions which seem to give better quality for me (the OTA is very rear-heavy so losing another half kilo helps the motors).
The other little gripe which was unexpected for me is the star alignment. The handset picks particular stars to align off, so you must have some knowledge of the major stars in the night sky (or be confident to use a star map of some sort to find them). Other star alignment options from Celestron allow you to just arbitrarily align the scope/mount off any bright stars you point it at and it'll work out what they are. I was expecting this mount to do the same, so set up time and alignment takes longer than I expected (15min from packed away indoors to being assembled and aligned ready for viewing).
Just on assembly, this scope would be very much at home in a home observatory. But if you are going to keep it inside and assemble it on use you're going to need a bit of space to put the parts. I wouldn't recommend storing it assembled, I'm using large storage tubs I've lined with foam to look after the mount and optical tubes with the tripod assembled near the back door for the short jounry outside. The counterweight/bar assembly I keep on the floor under the tripod. The tripod can "collapse" its legs together (and comes with a heavy duty velcro strap to keep it together built onto the tripod and the accessory trays rotates out of the way but stays in place. While the weight of the parts may not sound too bad the bulk and awkwardness of the parts can make it difficult to live with (the 11" tube is actually 14" in diameter, plus add the finderscope (and I recommend replacing with a telrad ASAP) and only one carry handle at the rear and its tricky, especially if you have stairs to deal with). The front "lens cap" is very easy to knock off, it only takes a small jolt to spin it off the front of the scope, so be warned if you want a portable setup and intend to sit the OTA on a car seat!
Oh yeah. It comes boxed up on a shipping pallet and you WILL need to find some way of powering the mount...there is nothing supplied with it, not even a wall wart. I bought the 7A Celestron power pack unit which works well for me, though I'm sure there are much more cost effective solutions out there (its not like the Celestron power pack is a custom made unit, its a rebadged emergency power pack and again overpriced).
Overall this is a rock solid package to (hopefully) last a lifetime. It has the stability and features in the tripod/mount essential to astrophotography. You'll be able to pop on a good refractor or astrograph along with a GPS and autoguider and get great images. The 11" HD optics are superb and for visual astronomy its an amazingly good performer. While the customer service with OzScopes was good the price is still more than it should be (which is what you get when buying Celestron or Meade, others make better optics and mounts so if you're experienced with this level of scope you can assemble something better for less). The EdgeHD optics and the solid mount/tripod were the big deal clinchers for me and I don't (yet) regret this scope. I do with they'd done this scope justice by using a dual speed focuser though instead of cutting corners. (Posted on 6/10/2017)