Advanced VX Series Go-To German Equatorial Mount

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While the new Celestron Advanced VX go-to mount is superb for visual astronomy with smaller telescopes (30 lbs and under), it was designed specifically to provide exceptionally cost-effective performance for imaging. It’s an ideal platform for beginning and intermediate DSLR and CCD imagers, as it has the imaging-friendly features of Celestron’s larger telescope mounts, but at a fraction of the cost of those larger mounts. For example, it has permanent periodic error correction (PPEC), an autoguider input, and the ability to Image across the meridian without doing a meridian flip, so you can seamlessly image the best part of the night sky. 

Experienced imagers will love taking this portable Celestron VX mount to a dark sky site (the head weighs only 17 lbs, the tripod only 18, plus an 11 lb counterweight), as it provides all the performance of the larger Celestron observatory mounts in a portable package. If you’re new to imaging, the Celestron Advanced VX mount will help you get started with the hobby and keep up with your needs for years to come.

The mount includes dual-axis slewing/tracking low-cog DC servo motors with positioning encoders on each axis for go-to computer control. The new motors provide improved tracking performance and more power to handle an unbalanced load than previous Advanced Series drives. Built-in adjustable backlash compensation and permanent user-programmed periodic error correction (PPEC) permits precise corrections during astrophotography and when observing visually at high powers. There are nine slewing speeds, with a fast maximum slewing rate of 4° per second. Tracking rates include sidereal, solar, and lunar.

The scope is supplied with a car battery cord to operate from the cigarette lighter plug of your car or from a rechargeable 12V battery pack. The mount requires a 12VDC 3.5A power source, so the Celestron 17 amp hour capacity Power Tank #4517V is recommended for extended use in the field. The Power Tank can be recharged hundreds of times and will operate the scope all night long without danger of running out of power. Celestron AC adapter #2338PRO is also available to operate the scope from household AC in your back yard.

A sliding 11 pound counterweight is are locked in place a single hand-tighten thumbscrew. Additional optional counterweights are available, making it easy to rebalance the scope if you add heavy photographic accessories. The mount is easily capable of handling the scope and any reasonable combination of photographic accessories you might want to use. Snap-on covers keep the motor drives free from dust and debris. A set of optional vibration suppression pads #4525 under the tripod feet will improve the telescope damping time for steadier high power observing.

To make a casual polar alignment for visual use quick and easy, there’s a latitude scale and fine adjustment controls in both altitude and azimuth. The scope can be used over a wide 7° to 77° latitude range in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The scope includes Celestron’s unique All-Star computerized polar alignment that lets you do an accurate polar alignment even when Polaris is hidden by trees or buildings.

NexStar+ computer hand control: The supplied NexStar+ computerized hand control has an internal clock and a built-in database of more than 40,000 stars and deep space/solar system objects it can find for you. These include the complete RNGC, Messier, Caldwell, IC, and Abell catalogs; selected SAO stars, such as variables and multiple star systems; the planets, the Moon, and more. There is enhanced information on over 200 of the most note-worthy objects. 

You can also store and edit the right ascension and declination of 100 additional user-defined objects of your own choosing, such as the comet and asteroid coordinates published monthly in Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines. The computer control can find any of those objects with at your command, and accurately track them for visual or photographic application.

All of the database and telescope operation information is displayed on a double line, 16-character, liquid crystal display on the hand control. The NexStar+ hand control offers multiple language programming (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish). There are 19 fiber optic back-lit LED buttons to make it easy for you to control the computer without affecting your dark adapted vision. There are two AUX ports, an autoguider port, and an RS-232 communication port on the hand control that allows you to operate the telescope via a personal computer. The computer hand control software can be upgraded over the Internet from Celestron's website, assuring that you always have the most current software version at your command.

Several different alignment methods are built into the NexStar+ computer, allowing you to choose a level of computer accuracy in automatically finding objects with which you are comfortable. You can choose two-star align, quick align, one-star align, last alignment, or solar system align. Each of these computer-guided alignment methods is easily accomplished in only a few short minutes. You can be observing in less than 15 minutes after you first take your scope outdoors, including telescope assembly time.

In addition, the NexStar+ computer hand control is GPS-compatible (using an optional inexpensive SkySync GPS module) for full GPS (Global Positioning System) satellite accuracy. Adding GPS to the computer is something no competitive scope can do. With the Advanced VX Series go-to mount and the SkySync, orienting the scope in time and space on earth and aligning the scope on the sky becomes almost as easy as simply turning the scope on.

Adjustable height tripod: The tripod has 2” diameter steel legs with a center leg brace for rigidity, with excellent damping characteristics. The center leg brace is drilled to form a convenient accessory tray that holds 1.25" and 2" eyepiece to keep them up out of the dew-soaked grass. The tripod can be adjusted over a 44” to 64” height range.e.

Vixen-style dovetail: The Advanced VX mount has a Vixen-style dovetail slot that will accept any optical tube using a Vixen-style dovetail plate. A single large hand-tighten knob holds your optical tube in place, while a second lock knob prevents the tube from sliding off the mount should the hand-tighten knob loosen.

Two-year warranty: The Celestron Advanced VZ go-to mount has a two-year warranty, double that of most competitive go-to mounts.

Weight:
The weight of this product.
46 lbs.
Warranty:
2 years
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Overall Product Rating: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics(5.00)   # of Ratings: 4   (Only registered customers can rate)

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1. Paul on 5/18/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I have been observing off and on for many years and decided to try astrophotography by upgrading my Celestar 8 (a push-to classic scope) to a go-to mount. With the wealth of information found on the internet and forums, and a budget to keep with, the Celestron AVX seemed to fit not only my urban requirements – but a mount easily transported. Before buying, I tracked down the user manual and spent time reviewing it. The instructions were rather clear and a hidden theme was “patience” when setting up and aligning the scope. I re-read the instructions several times. I placed my order and upon delivery I spent time indoors setting up the tripod and familiarizing myself with each component. The mount is machined well and heavy – good for stability. In the interim my dovetail arrived and the Celestar attached. It turned out that I needed an extra weight (which I had on hand) to balance the scope. Of course the clouds came in, but that gave me the opportunity to dry run the scope (hand controller and laptop connection) in doors. The hand held controller is intuitive to use. I have yet to use the scope outdoors, but with the other reviews I do not think I will be disappointed. In retrospect for a $100 more – I should have considered the mount with the 6” reflector. Would have been nice to have the extra scope.
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2. Jeffrey on 5/16/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
This is my first astrophotography mount. I decided to buy the VX over the discounted CG-5 because of the improvements I have read about. I have NOT been disappointed.

Starting with a 430mm focal length small refractor (72mm aperture), unguided tracking has been very good. At 30 seconds I can get repeatable results and have been able to get up to 2 minutes without tracking errors although not very repeatable at that duration.

I even put my 8 inch Dob tube with 1200mm focal length on it and was able to take 60 25 second shots and only had to reject 6 of them for slight tracking errors.

The alignment process took a bit to learn, but now is second nature to me. The all star polar alignment is a great feature that gets an accurate polar alignment without using Polaris.

The mount comes with a cigarette style 12 volt DC adapter cable that screws into the mount which is a great feature that prevents the mount from rebooting in the middle of a session. I use a 12 volt DC car jumper battery pack to power the mount and have not had any power issues with it.

I am new to astrophotography so there are a lot of features on this mount that I have not used yet. I just purchased autoguiding equipment and look forward to taking longer exposures with it.
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3. Richard on 5/5/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
Finally, an inexpensive GEM that can actually do astroimaging. I've been deep sky imaging for about 5 years, and started with a CG-5. Never could tame that beast to get decent guiding. Now I do most of my imaging on an original (non-DX) CGEM with pretty good results. But that is only after a hypertune and steep learning curve. Got the AVX to use as a more portable setup, and I'm really glad I did.

First of all, this mount is very stable. It appears to use the same tripod from the original CGEM (non-DX) with the 2" legs. While it may have been marginal for the payload of the CGEM, it makes a very stable platform for the AVX. Vibrations quickly dampen, and you can actually focus the scope by hand without causing the image to move all over the eyepiece or CCD. Of course, for imaging, I don't extend the legs, so I can't speak to stability with the legs extended.

As for astroimaging, with good polar alignment, I have been able to achieve excellent guiding with both an AT65EDQ (SBIG ST8300M/Lodestar OAG configuration), and an AT6RC (same camera/autoguider). Of course, more payload and focal length will challenge this mount, but for these configurations, it works surprisingly well.

Fit and finish is very nice, and although the mount features plastic housings on a metal casing, it is well done. It doesn't feel like the plastic housings that were hung like ornaments on the CG-5. This is much nicer.

The goto is the venerable Nextstar+ controller, and once well aligned, is very repeatable. The polar axis alignment routine works well, and is essential for obtaining good guiding (although I haven't tried guiding without a good polar alignment, my guess is that DEC guiding will be much better than in the CGEM).

As much as I like this mount, I want to give a fair review, and there are a couple of cons. First, the telescope saddle features two large bolts that, while holding the telescope very tightly, will dig in and gouge the mounting rail of your telescope. While some may not care about such things, I do. ADM accessories has a non-marring saddle available for the AVX that works great. I recommend it.

My second con involves the stiffness of free rotation around RA and DEC when balancing. Much has been written about how important a good balance is to obtaining quality guiding and imaging, yet Celeston still seems to pack its mounts with mashed potatoes. No solution here yet, but I'm sure a hypertune is on the way and in my mount's future.

So, even though this mount isn't perfect, it is so much mount for such little money, that I rate it Great.
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4. Shane on 4/30/2013, said: AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics
I have had this mount for a couple of months now, and after the first month where the skies were cloudy every night, due to standard astro equipment upgrade protocol,I have finally had a few goes with it. This was my first goto mount so it took sometime to get oriented with all of the allignment process and such but I feel very comfortable with the process now. The main reason why I got this scope is AP. The amount of features that are built into this scope with ap in mind is amazing. It may take me a full year before I truly understand and can utilize all the options. This mount was designed for people who understand all of the minute challenges that ap presents.

I was looking for a reasonably priced mount that I could use distinctively for ap and this is hands down the best mount for the price. The max payload is somewhere around 30lbs according to the specifications, and I am running just under that. I have a 9.25 sct with a canon dslr, and my mount has two dovetails. If I add the barlow and the finder I am probably at 27 to 28lbs. The mount handles it with very little signs of stress. The only times I have felt bad for the mount is when I changed out my attachments without adjusting the dovetail positioning (which is certainly not something I try to do), but the mount still held its positioning well.

I still have a lot to learn about the mount, but it feels and looks heavy duty. If someone took my mount away from me and handed me $1500.00 I would buy the advanced VX all over again and keep the remainder. Have not replenished my bank account enough to buy the autoguider, so I cannot give any statistical analysis. Looking forward to that day though.
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General Accessories
Counterweights (1)
11 pound counterweight for Celestron Advanced VX equatorial mount
by Celestron
Quantity:  
$34.95 
Drive Motors and Drive Accessories (2)
5 Amp AC adapter for Celestron VX, CGEM, and CGE Pro mounts
by Celestron
Quantity:  
$69.95 
Power Tank 17 Amp-hour 12V DC rechargeable battery
by Celestron
Quantity:  
$129.95 
Vibration Dampeners (1)
Vibration Suppression pads, set of 3
by Celestron
Quantity:  
$49.95 
This product does not have supplied accessories... or supplied accessories have not been assigned.
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Advanced VX Computerized Mount Tour
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Advanced VX Series Go-To German Equatorial Mount

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Advanced VX Series Go-To German Equatorial Mount
 AstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomicsAstronomics (Average: 5.00 | Users: 4)  Only registered users can submit ratings - Register Here
Our Product #: AVXEQ
Manufacturer Product #: 91519
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For beginning and intermediate DSLR and CCD imaging, as well as visual astronomy, the 30 pound payload capacity Celestron Advanced VX mount is one of the most advanced and cost-effective go-to equatorial mounts you can find . . .





. . . our 34th year