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Basic Information about the CGE Series

Manual Available Online Here

In the fall of 2002, Celestron introduced a new line of computerized scopes - the CGE series.  Utilizing a NexStar hand control, the CGE series consists of a heavy-duty German equatorial mount (GEM) on a heavy-duty tripod.  The series includes 8, 9 1/4, 11 and 14 inch SCT models and the mount is also sold without an optical tube.  Initial reports indicate it is very stable, with the weight of the 14 inch optical tube being right at the limit of the mount's capabilities.

While the NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS are excellent scopes for imaging and all-around use, the GEM format has certain advantages over the fork-mount of the NexStar scopes.  First, GEMs are much easier to balance than fork-mounted scopes and thus potentially provide smoother tracking.  Second, the entire setup breaks down into 3 pieces - optical tube, GEM mount and tripod.  This allows for easier setup and transport of larger sized scopes.  In fact, the 14-inch CGE is the most portable computerized scope of its size.  With a fork-mounted scope the mount (fork arms and base) are permanently attached to the optical tube at a cost of weight and portability.  Plus with a GEM, you don't need the optional wedge (required for fork-mounted scopes) for long-exposure astrophotography.

The computerized hand control is a version of the NexStar hand control made specifically for the CGE.  This hand control responds to the same PC commands (via the RS-232 port on the bottom) as the NexStar 8/9.25/11 GPS, so programs compatible with the N8/9.25/11GPS are compatible with the CGE.  The mount includes the ability to use the CN-16 GPS module for precise time and location information and also includes an autoguider port.

Following are the basic statistics for the series:

 

CGE 800

CGE 925

CGE 1100

CGE 1400

Aperture

8" (203mm)

9.25" (235mm)

11" (279mm)

14" (355.6mm)

Focal Length

2032mm

2350mm

2800mm

3910mm

Focal Ratio

f/10

f/10

f/10

f/11

Eyepiece

25mm Plössl

25mm Plössl

40mm Plössl

40mm, 2" barrel

Max Mag

400x

470x

550x

710x

Max FOV

0.9°

0.74°

0.6°

0.56°

Magnitude Limit

13.3

13.5

14

14.6

Resolution Limit

0.7 arcsec

0.6 arcsec

0.5 arcsec

0.4 arcsec

Finder

6x30

6x30

9x50

9x50

Optical Tube

Carbon Fiber

Aluminum

Carbon Fiber

Aluminum

Fastar

Yes

No

Yes *

Yes *

Tube Weight

12.5 lbs.
(5.7 kg)

20 lbs.
(9.1 kg)

27.5 lbs.
(12.5 kg)

45 lbs.
(20.5 kg)

EQ Mount Weight

42 lbs. (19.1 kg)

Tripod Weight

41.5 lbs. (18.9 kg)

* Fastar for the CGE 1100 and 1400 is only available via Starizona.

Additional information is found here on Celestron's web site.


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