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If you are considering the Celestron Wedge then this review and guide will help you decide whether or not you should get it for your Celestron NexStar 6/8SE or NexStar Evolution Alt-Azimuth mounted computerized telescope.
Here, we will take a look at the specification, what it will enable you to do and the main pros and cons behind using it.
The Celestron Wedge is required to take longer exposure images, or to advance further and use an auotguider. Personally, I’ve managed to up my exposures from around 10 seconds to 5 minutes. It combines premium Celestron technology keeping it light and portable yet sturdy and offering extra support. And it does this at an affordable price point (best price on Amazon). With the Wedge you’ll be able to take long exposure Astrophotos because it your will allow your mount to track equatorially, and eliminate any field rotation. When you consider its applications, light yet stable frame, you’re not going to find many better wedges for your Celestron 6SE/8SE/Evolution than this.
Celestron Wedge Review
(Click picture to see more images on Amazon)
What Is a Telescope Wedge?
A telescope wedge or equatorial wedge is a component that you can place between your fork-mounted telescope and its tripod. This will adapt your Alt-Azimuth mount and turn it into an equatorial mount.
Telescope wedges are set to a specific latitude range, the Celestron Wedge being 0-70° so you will need to be aware of your location beforehand.
The main benefit of an equatorial mount (whether a fork on a wedge, a GEM, or any other design) is that you can track objects across the sky with a single motor and, more importantly, with no field rotation.
Field of Rotation is the spin of objects in your telescope relative to the orientation of the location of your telescope and where you are observing from. Over a long exposure, for example 5 hours… an object (e.g. a Nebula) will be pointing in a completely different direction. So with no Field of Rotation, you’ll be tracking the object in perfect alignment for the entire 5 hours. It will not move.
This makes it an ideal instrument if you’re into, or want to get into Astrophotgraphy.
Features of Good Telescope Wedge
If you are considering the Celestron Wedge, then its good to know some of the best features to look out for:
The Load capacity simply refers to the weight that the wedge can take without performance being affected. Its actually a very important aspect to consider because if your wedge cannot support the telescope you intend on using, you risk damaging your telescope and you’ll also have purchased a wedge that you can no longer use.
In the case of the Celestron Wedge, it has a load capacity of 36 lbs which is a considerable amount of weight. This therefore provides a solid base for your 6SE/8SE or Celestron Evolution.
Construction and Design
Following on from Load Capacity, you want your wedge to be solidly constructed and intuitively designed. This makes it durable, a lot easier to install and far more effective to use.
The Celestron Wedge is a well built, very solid wedge. The anodized parts add a nice touch of color and make it look aesthetically pleasing. You will just need to ensure you tighten down everything after polar alignment has been achieved.
Weight and Portability
The relative size and weight of a wedge affect its overall portability. This wedge, despite being very solid and sturdy is only 15 lbs. This is not overly heavy ensuring you will be able to take it with you on the go.
Celestron Wedge Performance
I purchased and use the Celestron Wedge on my Celestron NexStar 6SE. Its a very solid, sturdy wedge with allows me to now follow objects with no Field of Rotation which is my primary reason for purchasing it to begin with.
Without the wedge I was typically getting only about 5-10 second exposures before I started to see star trails. Now, with this wedge I am experiencing 5 minute + exposures. I should be able to improve this further once I upgrade my camera.
When the wedge was first delivered one of my initial concerns was setting it up and configuring it – the Instruction Manual and PDF helped greatly with this. The altitude adjuster was installed easily but it did take me some time with the Alzimuth Knob.
One of the main concerns from other users of the Celestron Wedge is that there is not enough space around the Collar and that the mounting bolts provided are too long affecting the motor and ability to pivot. When the bolts are tightened, this ensures the handle remains close to the inside edge of the wedge enabling the Block assembly to move freely backward and forward. While other users resort to filing the bolts to enable rotation, I simply removed the e-ring on each bolt and added a washer near the knob to shorten the bolts and this solved the issue. I’d suggest you do the same.
When it comes to actually using the Wedge, the entire align process is very easy, altitude adjustments work brilliantly and the Azimuth knob works freely with the adjustments to the bolts.
This is one of the best wedges on the the market for the price point. If you want to pursue astroimaging and have 6/8SE or Evolution, then this is in my opinion a must by. With its sturdiness, ease of use, portability and sleek design this a brilliant wedge to get.
Pricing and Where to Buy
The Celestron Wedge is available for a great price over at Amazon.