It took a little while to work out how to set the CGE1400 up by myself. The problem is not that it is particularly heavy, it is just awkward, and the telescope can start to feel heavy if things do not go smoothly. Below is a description of how I set the telescope up, taking it down is the reverse procedure. It is definitely safer to get help if you can, but sometimes that is just not possible.
The next step is to get hold of the optical tube in the right way. First I crouch down next to the telescope mount and balance the tube on my leg, shift my right hand so that it is forward on the rail and comfortable, and I hold the far left handle with my left hand, arm under the visual back. I then stand up, and as I do this I tip the telescope tube upwards and slide my left arm over the visual back. This position is comfortable and feels "safe". If it starts to feel too heavy you can always crouch down again and rest the tube on your leg.
Finally, when the tube is in the correct position, lock the saddle plate and put the safety bracket in place. It is now ready for use....although now it will be cloudy!
After sliding the rail up the saddle plate a short way, you can get your shoulder under the optical tube. This then allows you to take the weight comfortably and prevents accidents before you have locked the rail in place. Key to this step is to not try and slide the rail up the saddle plate too fast and get the angle wrong. If you keep the angle of the rail in the saddle plate correct, then it slides smoothly up without much effort.
The first step is to set the mount up following the instructions in the hand book. I have three red dots that I have previously painted on the ground which give me an approximate polar alignment. At night you can align it surprisingly well just be looking along the grove in the saddle plate and lining it up with Polaris. I have a polar axis finder on order, but I have been waiting for eleven months now (November 2008) and it still has not arrived....Celestron really need to sort out their supply issues to the UK. November 2008- given up on ever getting the polar axis finder, cancelled order.
It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to get the mount set up.
A key point here is to make sure that you have set the mount up high enough. This allows you to look round the optical tube and see the saddle plate when you have the tube in your arms. It is very, very difficult to get the rail into the saddle plate if you can not see it.
Next is the tricky part. Hook the far side of the rail into the far side saddle lip, you can not see this but it is feels clear when you have done it. Then rotate the near side, which you can see, round into the near side lip of the saddle plate. Then gently side it upwards.