If you are a customer and wish to add your testimonial please contact me. Chad
Tich a user in the UK wrote:
I was very sceptical about buying the Onstep kit as my mount was already dead when I acquired it so I had no idea how the mount would perform. I now think it’s had some sort of tune up in the past as both axis are buttery smooth in their operation, there seems to be no backlash in either axis either & my mount is the early version with the spring tensioner on the dec only. I thought about it long & hard & Chad was very patient with all my questions I kept asking about it. Onstep itself is a whole new learning curve of which I’m not very familiar with. However, I’ve only used Skywatcher mounts in the past so a Celestron mount would probably be pretty alien to me anyway. I finally decided to purchase the kit early in the year as if I had waited any longer, I think the mount would have been pulled apart sold as spares or worse junked as it had sat in my living room for over two years & it were getting in the way. I placed my order & within three days it arrived to me in the UK. A few days later I fitted it to my mount & done some bench testing first by using the handset & the app then finally connecting the kit to a computer via ASCOM & running the mount with NINA, again with Chad’s help who was always there & happy to help with any questions. I finally bought myself a pier adapter from First light optics for the CGE pro as there’s not many out there now & fitted it in the observatory which gave myself quite a workout carrying & lifting everything in there but now it’s installed it wont be coming out of there any time soon. I polar aligned it & there it sat for a few weeks because of course the clouds descended here for weeks. I finally managed a first light using the RASA 11 on M51 & the guiding I were getting was totalling 0.27 which wasn’t too bad for a first run & I hadn’t got the rig balanced properly on that night. I balanced it & tried again & I’ve never seen guiding like it before since doing astro photography.
So am I pleased I hit the buy it now button? You bet I am I’ve now got a mount that can take a high payload for the price of a second hand HEQ5. I’ll probably do a second write up after two years of using it just as a follow up about its performance. Many thanks again Chad I couldn’t be happier with the kit it’s the best thing I’ve done depending on seeing my guide graph goes between 0.15 or lower.
Pablo in California wrote on CloudyNights.com:
Hi and thank you for reading this.
Just like some of you and eventually all of you have and will experience, the RA CGE-Pro motor will eventually fail. The reason being (apparently) is the faulty design by Celestron using a low voltage motor with very high amperage which eventually cooks the brushes. This wouldn’t be a problem if Celestron did the right thing and supported their product but not only they don’t support their flagship mount but they don’t even sell or procure the parts and motors for you to fix the darn thing.
Looking around for motors I came across several “vendors” who offered the same faulty motor for anywhere from 450 to over 600 dollars with no guarantee that it’s not going to fail again….the company that manufactured these motors require a 6 month lead and a minimum order of 10 motors (all which would eventually fail of course)
I tried ordering other mounts but because of the pandemic, wars and excuses we’re talking about the end of the year at least…(I need a heavy duty at least 70 lbs and higher payload).
Check Mate…but wait!
After some research online I came across the Onstep movement and through them, I contacted Chad Gray of https://graydigitalarts.com/. He offered to help and I purchased his complete CGE Pro Onstep conversion system (brackets,enclosures, motors, hand controller computer..everything!) for the price of ONE Celestron faulty motor and now I’m fully back in business and better!.
I received tremendous help from Chad who supports his system fully and even a couple of Zoom sessions helping me setup the software.
I have very little mechanical skills I am mainly a Telescope operator and I would never have dared get “inside” the mount before this but his system is very easy to install and the computer is pre programmed so it’s mainly a mechanical exercise.
Here’s the video of my experience installing the system. I didn’t even have to remove the mount or the scope to install the conversion kit and the enclosures look professional and neat.
Up until recently I used Sequence Generator Pro but now I use N.I.N.A and the ASCOM driver works great with both.
So, since there’s no YELP for Astronomers, I thought this would be a great place to voice my thanks to Gray Digital Arts and Chad Gray for his system and to give kudos to the Onstep community for stepping up (pun intended) to the challenge.
The Maury Lewin Astronomical Observatory
Glendora, CA. USA