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Losmandy G11 with Gemini

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#1 deSitter

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:05 PM

I was sure I was going to settle my new 10" Newtonian onto an Atlas, but the top-rate mirror got me to thinking that she belonged on a "real" mount, that is, one that is carefully machined and looks it. Now I realize that the Atlas can be fine tuned and is no slouch itself in machining, but - you know..

So I was looking closely at the G11 - and I think - it looks too good. It's by far the most beautiful mount, at least to me, and can carry more weight than I will ever throw onto it, and will even serve as a good imaging platform should I ever want to do that, but still, is it worth $2000 more than an Atlas, which will do just fine for my needs?

What are my needs? Do I need to admire the beautiful machining of this mount? I love doing that, just admiring the skill and precision of a well-made thing. But in reality, I am very minimalist when it comes to equipment, and not subject to fevers. I could easily be happy with the Atlas, but, you know..

I keep thinking about the G11 and how nice it would be and how simple it is and how it reminds me of a Unitron mount in modern life and how..

Well then I think about scuffing the anodizing and how that would just kill me and make me worry and fret about really nothing, and I know even though I am extremely gentle with precision equipment it is inevitable that I would scuff it..and so back to the Atlas..

Well has anyone been through this? No doubt I want a Losmandy. What's $2000 anyway? I don't want to fall into equipment lust. But why lie to myself?

I wish I could just machine my own mount. All I need is some metal tools and hunks of metal.

Oh that G11 sure is a fine piece of work. It's the setting circles and engraved trademarks that make is so beautiful. It's all business.

-drl

#2 skyler

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:29 PM

Sounds like you already know what you will be getting. :)

It is a great mount and when you start to get into the 2K+ range of mounts, that is where you start to really get the value what you are paying for.

Wish I had learned this early and I would have saved a bundle not just creeping up to the next level to find I was not satisfied and then moved on to something else. I know the feeling since I started out with CG5s, LXDs, Atlas's, Sphinxs, CGE, Losmandy, and finally Taks. If you can go with a quality mount that you know will handle your needs for some time to come, that is the smartest thing to do. That is not to say that none of the first mounts were not good, but I just outgrew them and some just because of load capacity and not quality or performance.

Anyhow, sounds like you have done your homework and now some of your thoughts are just to appreciate the aesthetics. Sure indulge yourself since there is nothing wrong with that; if it does not appeal to your senses, then why do it? I think you will be extremely happy with your choice as it is something that will keep your load cap in check until you decide one day what Planewave or RC Optical scope you want to mount up.

Good Luck,
S

#3 BRCoz

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:42 PM

I love mine. First I got the GM8 and then after a few years I needed a bigger mount, I went with the G11. I don’t do as much AP as I did and some day I’ll get back into it. I enjoy viewing more these days. Get the G11 and enjoy it.

Bruce

#4 Nebhunter

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 10:54 PM

It's too late for you. You're done - like diner. No amount of justification will let you settle for the Atlas. Every time you look at it, and those castings, you will think about the beauty in the G11.

The reality is simple. This hobby is one of enjoyment. Our scopes match our needs, but also our personality. The mount is no different. We all go through this process, and typically buy the lesser mount - then end up buying the one we really wanted - costing more money in the end.

I used an Atlas for 2 years, and got by with it even for visual. Tuned it up and it tracked very well using an auto guider with my Pentax camera and lenses. Then I saw a G11. It was game over. A joy to look at, and use, and easy to dial it in for exceptional results. If the money is not a serious issue - do it. BTW - there was a great G11 - Gemini plus encoders listed in the CN Classifieds. PM sent.

#5 mike bacanin

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 01:31 AM

if funds allowed it the G11 would be my choice,after the issues i'm experiencing with my std EQ6.(Atlas) Its obvious the G11 is in a different level of manufacture quality.

mike

#6 Kaizu

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 07:01 AM

The G11 is my workhorse when I image with 10" TAL250K or 10"F5 astrograph. The uncorrected PE is less than 5"
(I think that it often is the goal for the Chinese mounts and their autoguiders). I bought the G11 because I wanted to image instead of adjust the mount.
I know that it's beautifull but I can't see it because it's dark when we work together.

Kaizu

#7 deSitter

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 07:25 AM

Kaizu, where I live, not only can you see it, you can fix it at night :/

Apparently the old polar scopes are 1x - is this still so? The design of the reticle is very clever but I'd have a hard time seeing the ancillary stars without glasses.

-drl

#8 deSitter

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 08:23 AM

More questions..

The GM-11 tripod is too much - and frankly sort of ugly! What are the tripod options for this mount? I prefer wood - this will be used mostly with legs as short as possible with a stout Newtonian. The legs should fold without ruining the finish of the leg bosses. The tripod head should match the finish of the GM-11. There should be a stout tray/spreader that is easy to affix in the field. I would think up to $500 will be budgeted for the tripod. Thanks!

-drl

#9 Danno2006

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 08:51 AM

The G11 tripod is a good reason the G11 works so well. It is rated to +300 lbs IIRC, which is what you need for AP. You would be wise to use the stock tripod. It simply works extremely well.

#10 GShaffer

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:02 AM

A Berlebach "PLANET" is what you are looking for.....Though unless you find a used one somewhere you arent going to do it for $500....More like $890 if you go with new. See links below for tripod and the losmandy adapter. Note the adapter has the tabs for mounting the drive box also....Makes for a exceptionally steady and attactive setup. Too much $$ for me but I have played with one and it is a fine tripod.

http://www.tetontele...products_id=326

http://www.tetontele...products_id=366

#11 Charlie Hein

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:48 AM

I'll drop another enthusiastic "thumbs up" for the stock Losmandy tripod - like its looks or not, it is without a doubt your sturdiest option out there short of a permanent pier.

#12 deSitter

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:04 AM

A Berlebach "PLANET" is what you are looking for.....Though unless you find a used one somewhere you arent going to do it for $500....More like $890 if you go with new. See links below for tripod and the losmandy adapter. Note the adapter has the tabs for mounting the drive box also....Makes for a exceptionally steady and attactive setup. Too much $$ for me but I have played with one and it is a fine tripod.

http://www.tetontele...products_id=326

http://www.tetontele...products_id=366


That's exactly what I was imagining :) Thanks.

-drl

#13 blueman

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 12:14 PM

The G-11 tripod is VERY solid and it is more stable than a regular tripod. The thing is made with 1/4" thick tubing, giving it mass and making it very stiff. It does not rely on spreader bars or hinged legs, but rather is like a pier with legs instead of a platform.
It breaks down quickly and assembles just a quickly.
To each his own, but I for one like the G-11 tripod. :)
Blueman

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#14 blueman

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 12:17 PM

Buy a good mount and it will serve you forever. Buy a mount that you can work on and get parts for and you can service it forever. Buy a mount that is more than you need and you will not need more later. :cool:
Blueman

#15 deSitter

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 12:35 PM

The G-11 tripod is VERY solid and it is more stable than a regular tripod. The thing is made with 1/4" thick tubing, giving it mass and making it very stiff. It does not rely on spreader bars or hinged legs, but rather is like a pier with legs instead of a platform.
It breaks down quickly and assembles just a quickly.
To each his own, but I for one like the G-11 tripod. :)
Blueman


Blueman,

Oh it looks sturdy as h..all getout. I just prefer a more traditional dirt-friendly tripod with a BIG tray, which I cannot live without. And I like wood. I think I can probably get by with the UNI14 considering my weight and tripod height requirements. I would sure like to see the G11 mated to in outside my mind's eye..

Is that purple color a fading or uneven anodizing or just a flash effect?

I'd say you were running what about 45 pounds here? Is that a 10" RC or so? Nice rig.

-drl

#16 blueman

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 01:48 PM

Hi DRL,
Yeah, everything is a personally preference in the end, no real absolutes. :) You can always sell the tripod for $450-500 new and then get another that you like better. But, a tray can always be made to fit it too. I made one from wood for another mount that worked nicely.
The purple is probably as much flash as anything, but possibly some fading. The color has always been pretty much the same as I remember.
Hmm, the load is around 30-35 lbs I think, though I have not confirmed that by using a scale on everything.
The scope is an 8"RC with an Orion ST80 guide scope.
Blueman

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#17 7331Peg

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 06:50 PM

The amazing thing about the G11 tripod is how light it is. I had a CGE, which did a great job, but lugging that @#$@@#$ tripod out every time I set up was a chore. My back thanks Losmandy a million times over.
As far as the look and feel, it's a pleasure. It is simplicity itself - accurate, easy to operate, and pleasing to the eye. I used the setting circles the second time out with it and after spending some time researching how to use the vernier scales, I put M92 and the nearby NGC globular right in the center of a 20mm Nagler on the first try.
I love the thing.

John

#18 deSitter

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:47 PM

I think I will also find some squared-off counterweights that will take a gloss white finish, like my telescope tube. I prefer a stouter, squarer, less pancake-like counterweight. I can see this scope in my mind's eye, it will be a real beauty if I do say so :) Sort of a "Unitronian".

One consideration I have is storage. I can't leave the G-11 tripod set up and would have to assemble it every time I use it.

What about third-party polar scopes? I haven't found any.

-drl

#19 blueman

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:02 PM

The tripod takes less time to setup than many others that I have had and is lighter than many also. It breaks down into pretty manageable pieces and will fit in any trunk or back seat.
You can always drill out a counter weight if it does not fit, so you can adapt some that are more acceptable to you.

Blueman

#20 gnowellsct

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 12:10 PM

You can buy a tool apron at home depot or similar and put it around any tripod that doesn't have a tray, such as the G11. regards Greg N

#21 gnowellsct

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 12:20 PM

You should read this about the Losmandy G11. It answers two questions. One, that it is easy to get the G11 from very good performance to excellent performance (with the Ovision). That's an option down the road for when your imaging demands get tougher.

Two, as you can see from the picture, this G11 is on a wooden Berlebach tripod. In fact is is on the first Losmandy compatible Berlebach tripod every made, because I approached them with the idea!!

Losmandy G11 turbocharged, with Berlebach

However, the default Losmandy tripod is one of the best default tripods in the business.

Some people have custom designed trays for the inside of the Losmandy tripod, it's not hard to do. But in these sorts of situations a tool bag provides plenty of spaces to store stuff. For example, on my ATS pier. I find that the tool apron around the tripod or pier is actually better than a tray. Things fall off trays (I do use the tray on the Berlebach) and it's not a good place for eyepieces because they will dew and chill down leading to eyepiece fogging.

regards Greg N

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#22 blueman

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 01:01 PM

Of course the mount pictured in your post is very nice too! :grin:
Blueman

#23 deSitter

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 02:04 PM

That's a great article, thanks for pointing it out. I forget that Astromart has reviews and reports.

-drl

You should read this about the Losmandy G11. It answers two questions. One, that it is easy to get the G11 from very good performance to excellent performance (with the Ovision). That's an option down the road for when your imaging demands get tougher.

Two, as you can see from the picture, this G11 is on a wooden Berlebach tripod. In fact is is on the first Losmandy compatible Berlebach tripod every made, because I approached them with the idea!!

Losmandy G11 turbocharged, with Berlebach

However, the default Losmandy tripod is one of the best default tripods in the business.

Some people have custom designed trays for the inside of the Losmandy tripod, it's not hard to do. But in these sorts of situations a tool bag provides plenty of spaces to store stuff. For example, on my ATS pier. I find that the tool apron around the tripod or pier is actually better than a tray. Things fall off trays (I do use the tray on the Berlebach) and it's not a good place for eyepieces because they will dew and chill down leading to eyepiece fogging.

regards Greg N



#24 gnowellsct

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 07:18 PM

Of course the mount pictured in your post is very nice too! :grin:
Blueman


Thank you. It is a 900QMD, not a go-to unit. So I saved some bucks but it is still pricey relative to a lot of what is out there. I found that with the refractor on the c14 I needed more stability than in the years when I just used the C14 on the G11.

I am very fortunate to have two completely independent telescope rigs of very good quality. They ain't cheap if you add 'em up. And yet there is a method to the madness: a doublet ED instead of a triplet APO, a QMD900 instead of the go-to version; a push-to G11 instead of go-to, etc. And I use an FS128 on the G11 instead of a triplet like TEC 140.

So this very high end stuff is, somehow, second rate economy models compared to the top tier options out there!

regards
Greg N

#25 Joselo

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 12:07 PM

Buy the G11, DO IT. I had an Atlas for a year, and this mount has it's limits. A G11 will satisfy you for a long time, plus, it is very easy to service, and upgrade.






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