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Losmandy G11 past and present

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#1 aa6ww

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:00 AM

I have an original Celestron CG-11 G11 from when Celestron use to sell the G11 with their C14. Compared to the current G11's I've seen, noting three G11's I'm referring to, two older Gemini G11's, and one newer Gemini G11. My G11 is substantially heavier and more solid than the current G11's Ive seen on the market. Has anyone noticed this? My G11 is sturdy enough to support my C14 along with a Celestron Omni 150 F/5 on top, using a lightweight aluminum bracket to support the refractor. I use 84 pounds of counterweights and although this seems very substantial, it holds the two scopes very steady and balances perfectly so much so, i keep the clutches unlocked so I can swing the scopes around with no issues. All tracking and slow motions work smoothly. Surprisingly, the newer Gemini G11's become wobbly holding a LX-200 12" with an 80mm refractor, with 63 pounds of counterweights.
Holding my G11 Equatorial head and the Gemini Equatorial head seems worlds apart in how much heavier my equatorial head is. Not weighing both mounts, mine seems to weight about 7 to 8 pounds more.
Has anyone ever heard of this before? My Normal set up is my C14 with a Orion ST-120 on it and its absolutely rock solid for stability with no vibration during focusing. I recently have been using my 150 F/5 on my mount and surprisingly, its still very stable.
Does anyone know if these original G11's from the Celestron CG series were heavier than the current crop of G11's currently being sold. I really never noticed this till I started carrying my friends G11 Equatorial heads, and then noticed they were substantially lighter which to me, accounts for why they don't seen to be a solid as mine is?
Anyone ever hear of this? I noticed my setting circles are set up differently and seems to be larger diameter, at least in the RA axis. I haven't measured this but visually, the setting circles on my mount seem to be a larger diameter and are marked differently, since I use my setting circles to find objects in the night sky.
Anyone ever hear of this?

Thanks..

...Ralph in Sacramento.

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#2 dobsoscope

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:30 AM

this is news to me.. i always thought the CG-14's G-11 was actually less 'refined' than the current G-11's design ie. the curretn one being capable of carrying more weight.. not less!

#3 aa6ww

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:40 AM

I plan to weight my G11 equatorial head vs the Gemini version of the G11 and measure the size differences with a micrometer and see what I come up with. I was surprised also, until I noticed my mount was noticeably heavier and more stable than the current Gemini version.

#4 Gord

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:04 PM

I have the same version that carries my C14 Edge. I don't have anything newer to compare it to, but I will concur that it has no issues at all with the C14. Everyone has a different tolerance level, but as much as I keep wanting to get a "big" mount for the 14, the G11 does such a good job I can't really rationalize it. This is for visual.

Clear skies,

#5 tboss70

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:13 PM

Gord, is that with stock motors?

#6 Gord

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:25 PM

Todd,

I believe so. Hurst's I think is what they were when I added the machined covers. The RA one has an occasional "rattle" or clicking when driving. Never had an issue with tracking though.

Clear skies,

#7 aa6ww

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:27 AM

The G11 visually is a very nice mount for the C14. Its smooth and easy to balance, with a 120ST on top. I thought it would be too top heavy with my 6" F/5 Celestron on top but it seems to do work beautifully and the 6" F/5 makes for a fantastic wide field scope when I wanna look at the larger objects in the sky like the dual or triple galaxy systems or wide open clusters, or even the big objects like M31 and the Pleiades. Ive had a C14 on my G11 for 10 years, and also use a C11 and two of my larger refractors on it when I just wanna use it with a refractor. Ive been having lots of fun using the setting circles to find my way around the sky. They work really well once you get use to using them.

....Ralph

#8 PaulEK

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:34 PM

Ralph:

I'm thinking about getting a G-11, and would be very interested to know if what you suspect is true, and if so, by how much. Have you taken any measurements yet?

I'm much more interested in having carrying capacity than goto.

#9 DaveJ

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:43 AM

I'm thinking about getting a G-11, and would be very interested to know if what you suspect is true, and if so, by how much. Have you taken any measurements yet?


Why don't you call Scott Losmandy and ask him? He's an honest guy and will gladly let you know.

#10 vahe

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

I have one of the very earliest G11 versions with non adjustable 42” legs, this one is from CG11 with Celestron label on it, right about 20 years old.

Shortly after I got this version another G11 showed up on the market with C14 mounted on it, I did not think that my G11 was sturdy enough to support the larger SCT, no way, so I called Scott to see what was going on, he said the CG14 was in fact the same mount with beefed up bearings, a bit stronger in his words, asked him if I could get mine upgraded, he said it is just a matter of replacing various bearings.

So I sent the G11 head and got it upgraded, at the time my main and only scope was AP 155F9 EDT which I used for visual and always with binoviewr, the bottom line, after the upgrade I did not notice any improvement.

For me the main weakness of this mount is its clutch design, too weak to hold unbalanced refractor, despite the fact that I take it apart and clean the clutch disk at least once every two months, it is a weak design for the advertised load limit.

The heaviest load that rides on my G11 is a 10” TEC Mak, it requires 4-11 pound weights, it is right at the load limit for this mount, pretty much equal of a C14 in weight ots + rings, I know that the original saddle need to be replaced as it gets pretty scary with the big Mak facing straight up.

I have three Maks, 6”, 8” & 10”, the G11 tripod is just too tall for these cats, so I just received a Rob Miller Tri36M tripod with G11 adapter, this thing is a masterpiece and is so strong and lightweight, the tripod should lower the cats a by about 12” for more comfortable viewing, the original tall tripod will be used for the refractor.

Vahe

#11 PaulEK

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:23 PM

Dave:

I've talked to Scott Losmandy in the past, about the GM-100 I used to own. I agree that he is honest and up front. Frankly, I just didn't want to bother him, and I was just responding to the OP. I see now that my post might have been interpreted to suggest I was suspicious of shenanigans.






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