Advanced Series mount review

A review of the Celestron heavy duty CG-5A Advanced Series computerized German equatorial mount in Sky & Telescope magazine said, "When the mount was fitted with a short-tube 90-millimeter refractor, vibrations damped out in just 1 to 1½ seconds after I gave a sharp rap to the tube. When I placed vibration-suppression pads (a Celestron option) under each leg, the damping time was cut in half. This is performance as good as by any mount I've seen at any price."

The Sky & Tel review added, "The Advanced Series CG-5 mount is an ideal platform for a 3- to 5-inch refractor, a 4- to 6-inch Newtonian reflector or Maksutov-Cassegrain, or a 5- to 9¼-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain. The smaller, shorter, and lighter the optical tube assembly, the sturdier the combination will be. When mated to a 4-inch short focus refractor or a compact 5-inch Maksutov or Schmidt-Cassegrain, the Advanced Series mount forms an amazingly solid platform that is virtually insensitive to vibration. Yet the complete package is light enough to be carried outside fully assembled."

It should be noted that periodic drive speed errors are a problem with all worm gear telescope drives, no matter what size the telescope or what its cost. Due to the relatively small size of the drive gears in the Advanced Series mount, periodic error may be noticeable during long exposure astrophotography in the form of stars that look like short streaks in your images, rather than points of light. Since automatic periodic error correction is not available in the Advanced Series mount, long exposure astrophotography will require careful manual guiding if it is to be successful. Lunar and planetary exposures are all very short, so guiding is not required during this type of photography. Visual observing is not affected by periodic drive errors.

Because of the possibility of periodic drive errors during long exposure imaging, the Sky & Telescope review cautioned that, "The Advanced Series' strength is serving as a mount for a telescope used visually and for snapshots or webcam imaging of the Moon and planets."

Despite the long exposure imaging caution, Sky & Tel concluded that "for an affordable customized telescope with Go To capability the Celestron Advanced Series mount is a great choice."

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