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So my wife came home today and offered me five thousand dollars to put toward an observatory . What do i do ?

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I got the cge pro. Massive upgrade over cgem. No issues to report here, works well at about fifty lbs.
I've been wondering about the motors in the CGE Pro. Have you taken a peek at them?
I love Losmandy's G11 can go to 60 lbs at about $3K with Gemini. Its a high quality mount. Might be able to get used for $2k or so.
I used to have a Losmandy GM-8 and liked it a lot, except for the load capacity. So the G11 was a natural choice for me, but my research into it returned very mixed results, with some people very happy and others very disappointed. The issue is pretty much always how well it tracks and the unhappy users claim that the rate of change in RA motion is too large to overcome by auto-guiding. I have to conclude that these mounts are inconsistent, with some good ones and some bad ones.

Of course, the other thing about Losmandy mounts that most people agree on is that the software and user interface are very outdated. But I heard that an update to the Gemini system was in the works. Do you know if that's true?
Based on starting from scratch, (ballpark #'s) CGEM or Atlas $1600,- a 100-110 apo $2000, -oag (good one) and ssag $700 given I high balled, probably enough left for Can 1000d (w/mod?). Sam you got an angel wife. Marc PS me, I'd get a Losmandy or CGE
Thanks Marc , All of my gear is entry level stuff so I think distributing the moneys throughout the system , mount , optics , camera , ect. might be the way to go .
What do you have now Samiam?
Cg-5 gt , omni 150 n , ssag , orion 80m , nikon d50 no mod , and a netbook .
hmmmm... If I had to start all over again I would focus on the mount, and the CCD camera first. CGE pro is overkill for the 80mm but it would be something you grow into with all your purchases over time. You could use the cGEM, I could sell you mine as I'm retiring it. You could also go losmandy G11. Damned if I were you I'd focus on the mount, then the CCD, then everything else.
I still have a ton of research to do but if I was to decide today I think I would do Orion 10" astrograph, Cgem , AT66 , and nikon D90 . Then have my D50 modded.
Hi Sam, For the five thousand dollars I would invest most of the money into a mount and a good mono CCD camera.If you have the best optics in the world and your mount isn't up to the task, you will end up very very frustrated. If you work with a very good mount and have average optics, you'll still have fun! With the CCD camera I would go with some sort of a mono camera as most people start with a OSC and then eventually (And sometimes sooner than later) sell it and go to a mono based chip. If you think the funds will continue you might want to refine this a bit. If the funds dry up you might not be able to get what you really wanted. I think others have posted the same advise.
put one of these in the backyard
skypod

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