I used my set up for observing over the past few months. I learned that what you see in the eyepiece doesn’t look anything like the pictures I’ve seen on the web. I had to learn what to look for and techniques like averted vision, which enables to to see faint objects.
I yearned to take pictures of the objects, so I started researching everything I could. Being retired, I had the time. I learned how to hook the rig up to the computer and the various programs needed to control the mount, camera, and other accessories. I knew that I needed one of two things, a mount with at least 65# payload capacity or a much lighter telescope. Mounts of that size cost many thousands of dollars and most were beyond my budget.
Celestron made a mount, CGE, in the 1990’s that was rugged, had a 65# payload, low inherent errors, and could be had for less than $1000. The only real problem with the CGE design is the kind of cables that are used to connect the motors to the “brains”. I started actively looking for one.
I answered an ad in Craigslist for two telescopes with mounts. It was a divorcee, selling off her ex-husband’s equipment. She didn’t know anything about them, but I knew they were CGE’s by the way she described them. She was located in a rural part of Georgia and I took the chance of driving up there,based on verbal description only.
Imagine my joy at acquiring not one, but two working CGE’s, a 5″ refractor, a 12″ SCT, and various eyepieces and imaging accessories all for the price of two CGE’s alone! I was finally on my way, or so I thought.