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blueman
Vendor Blue Sky Accessories


Reged: 07/20/07
Posts: 4303
Loc: California
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: w orchid]
      #3079436 - 05/01/09 04:46 PM Attachment (45 downloads)

I also went through this and I bought the G-11 Gemini.

I have a few reasons, but one of them is user friendly as far as maintenance is concerned. You can get the parts and replace them yourself when it is out of warranty. You can buy aftermarket upgrades for it for the worm and motors as well as gearboxes to improve the already great PE.

With the CGE, you have to send it in for just about anything. It does not track past Meridian and my G-11 will do about 2 hours past Meridian which to me is important.

Yes, there is the 76 sec error which is totally overstated and for most is not a problem. But if you want you can add the OVision worm and block and have performance that is as good as many mount costing 2-3x more. My mount (with the OVision) has 4.5" PE peak to peak uncorrected and is not a problem to guide out. Others are reporting as low a 3" peak to peak with the OVision.

The G-11 has been around a long time and parts are available that will fit any of them. This is important over time as you will likely own the mount for many years.

The tripod is like a pier it is so solid. The adjustments for Polar Alignment are simple to use and reach. It has a good Polar Scope available as well as great Polar Align Correction or Assistance routines in the Gemini to refine the Polar Alignment in just a few minutes.

Plus it is all CNC machined aluminum with no cast parts. It has stood the test of time and is a great mount.
Blueman

Attachment

--------------------
14.5" Starmaster with ServoCat and Argo Navis
1966 Unitron 4" Model 152 EQ
Tec 140
TV NP101 f/5.4 APO Telvue .8 Focal Reducer
FLI ML8300 and CFW-2-7 filter wheel
Astrodon Gen2 RGBL 2" filters
Baader 2" Narrow Band Filters
Borg 50mm Guide Scope/ATIK Titan Guide Camera
AstroPhysics AP900
Losmandy GM-8 Gemini


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kbastro
sage


Reged: 04/20/08
Posts: 480
Loc: Running from Clouds
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: blueman]
      #3079562 - 05/01/09 05:53 PM

Quote:

I also went through this and I bought the G-11 Gemini.


Good choice Blueman I have used my g11 since 1994 when it was know as the cg11 built for celestron by losmandy and couldn't be happier.
The mount has performed extremely well and the only thing I did to it was order the gemini upgrade about 4 years ago!

kbastro

--------------------
Lots of scopes
Lots of cameras
Lots of mounts
A couple CCD's
and finally just a few eyepieces


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan


Reged: 02/28/06
Posts: 15373
Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: blueman]
      #3079563 - 05/01/09 05:55 PM

I do like the looks of it too, Floyd. A very nice looking mount. Isn't it hard to level the standard tripod though?

Regards,

Jim

--------------------
I observe vicariously, through myself. When I purchase a new telescope, it's value increases. At star parties, attendees line up to observe me. My observing philosophy: Find out what it is that your telescope doesn't do well, then don't do those things. At historic observatories I am allowed to touch the equipment. My legend precedes me the way the Big Bang precedes everything else.

- The Most Interesting Astronomer in the Universe


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blueman
Vendor Blue Sky Accessories


Reged: 07/20/07
Posts: 4303
Loc: California
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #3079790 - 05/01/09 08:11 PM Attachment (43 downloads)

Hi JR,
Not really, you can loosen the clamp and due to the angle of the leg it will hold until you grab it and pull it in or out. I do not find it had to level compared to any other tripod I have used. It is very solid and sits nicely in gravel, sand or even grass. You can get some nice boots for the leg ends too, if you like that sort of thing.
I just really like everything about the G-11. Sure, it is not perfect, but what mount really is unless you spend $10,000+!

My PE before the OVision was about 10" peak to peak, more or less. But I bought the OVision Worm and Block and the MClennan gearboxes because I wanted to make it work the best it could possibly work. The cost was about $600 for the mods, but add that to the $3200 of the mount and you have $3800 in a mount with PE that is under 5" peak to peak with nice smooth tracking. It was not really necessary, but to get the same performance I would have had to buy an AP900, which would have cost me $9,500-10,500 for the complete setup. So I figure I am in it pretty cheap really.

I get good results with a nice quiet mount with great Go-To and tacking as well as good looks and reasonable weight. It will handle 60 lbs no problem and will track an object for 6+ hours without a Meridian flip, depending on its position of course.
It is easy to work on and maintain, with quick removal of motors or gearboxes with minimum tools. The whole thing can be disassembled for cleaning and lubing in a short time without special tools too.
This is a PHD guiding graph before the mods.
Blueman

Attachment

--------------------
14.5" Starmaster with ServoCat and Argo Navis
1966 Unitron 4" Model 152 EQ
Tec 140
TV NP101 f/5.4 APO Telvue .8 Focal Reducer
FLI ML8300 and CFW-2-7 filter wheel
Astrodon Gen2 RGBL 2" filters
Baader 2" Narrow Band Filters
Borg 50mm Guide Scope/ATIK Titan Guide Camera
AstroPhysics AP900
Losmandy GM-8 Gemini


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greekoh
sage


Reged: 03/12/06
Posts: 444
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: blueman]
      #3079916 - 05/01/09 09:26 PM

Blueman
Wow thats pretty good tracking before the mods.
Where do you buy the upgrades from?

EVen though the Gemini is a little more I like the flexibility to upgrade.
Also I need a solution that is rock solid if I need to setup outside my observatory a few hundred yards from the house.

My FOV is limited in the southern sky
Troy

--------------------
Troy Tsounis

www.charlotteskies.com

Edited by greekoh (05/01/09 09:33 PM)


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied


Reged: 05/18/05
Posts: 21117
Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: greekoh]
      #3080025 - 05/01/09 10:36 PM

I'm not sure of his price now, but you can send a CGE to Doc Clay and have the PE dropped substantially.

David

--------------------
Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.



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blueman
Vendor Blue Sky Accessories


Reged: 07/20/07
Posts: 4303
Loc: California
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #3080237 - 05/02/09 12:51 AM

This is true, you can get the CGE optimized. But you can not get parts to work on it yourself, though I realize that many would not wish to anyway, but the option is there with the G-11. Having to ship the mount in for service is not a good thing for me, but I like to tinker too.
I think they are both good mounts and comparable in price. So, the real question is, which would fit your needs better perhaps.
Blueman

--------------------
14.5" Starmaster with ServoCat and Argo Navis
1966 Unitron 4" Model 152 EQ
Tec 140
TV NP101 f/5.4 APO Telvue .8 Focal Reducer
FLI ML8300 and CFW-2-7 filter wheel
Astrodon Gen2 RGBL 2" filters
Baader 2" Narrow Band Filters
Borg 50mm Guide Scope/ATIK Titan Guide Camera
AstroPhysics AP900
Losmandy GM-8 Gemini


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Charlie HeinAdministrator
Postmaster


Reged: 11/02/03
Posts: 11211
Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: blueman]
      #3080520 - 05/02/09 07:59 AM

Quote:

...You can get the parts and replace them yourself when it is out of warranty...




This was the eventual tipping point for me. Every part for the G-11 is available as a spare part, and repair of the mount seems to be well within the capabilities of pretty much anyone with a minimum of savvy in this area - taking the mount apart wouldn't scare me a bit.

Upgrades to the mount design can be retrofitted simply by buying the new parts and replacing the old ones, so there's no reason at all for a G-11 of any age to not be 100% up to current design specs (or perhaps even better with the addition of an aftermarket worm and monolithic worm block) aside from the lack of desire to keep it up to date.

The CGE is a very good mount as well and should perform very well for you if you choose it, but the serviceability factor of the G-11 mount can't be overstated.

--------------------
Weston CSC:


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Phil Cowell
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 05/24/07
Posts: 1442
Loc: Southern Tier NY
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: Charlie Hein]
      #3080559 - 05/02/09 08:26 AM

Quote:


Upgrades to the mount design can be retrofitted simply by buying the new parts and replacing the old ones, so there's no reason at all for a G-11 of any age to not be 100% up to current design specs




Agreed on the mount it's the Gemini system that's outdated. Updates via EPROM are very 80's. It's the one area that would stop me getting a G11. A new version that was user upgradable like even the cheapest goto mount now adays might have made me consider a G11 or Titan. It seems to indicate user upgradability on the electronics is the opposite of the mount even if it is capable.
Phil

--------------------
Amicitia don't permissum amicitia utor a beta ratio
I had a fortune cookie once that said "That wasn't chicken"


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Charlie HeinAdministrator
Postmaster


Reged: 11/02/03
Posts: 11211
Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: Phil Cowell]
      #3080624 - 05/02/09 09:11 AM

Quote:

Quote:


Upgrades to the mount design can be retrofitted simply by buying the new parts and replacing the old ones, so there's no reason at all for a G-11 of any age to not be 100% up to current design specs




Agreed on the mount it's the Gemini system that's outdated. Updates via EPROM are very 80's. It's the one area that would stop me getting a G11. A new version that was user upgradable like even the cheapest goto mount now adays might have made me consider a G11 or Titan. It seems to indicate user upgradability on the electronics is the opposite of the mount even if it is capable.
Phil




Hi Phil - I understand your point completely. At some point in the future just the availability of parts is going to drive a change in the electronics hardware of the Gemini controller, but in all honesty that day really has not arrived yet and probably won't for a very long time.

To be sure, updates to the Gemini are not as easy to accomplish as it would be for a flash-upgradable unit. That said, replacing the ROM on the Gemini is certainly not a difficult task at all to accomplish and the ROMs are readily available and inexpensive. If you have the capability to burn your own ROMs the Gemini software is freely available and this reduces the cost even more.

More to the point, IMO the Gemini software is extremely capable and very stable - it's not like there are continual updates to the software required to fix things that don't work right. It may not run on cutting edge hardware, but it's *really really good stuff*. This means that updates don't really need to be done very often.

One thing that you also have to take into account is that redesigning the Gemini for flash upgrade would likely require the complete replacement of the Gemini controller board at the very least, which would probably not be a cheap option at all for those of us who already own one.

If you put all this together my guess is that the design team probably is of the mindset that as long as the parts are readily available they will be sticking with the ROM based software design for as long as it is prudent to do so.

--------------------
Weston CSC:


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GShaffer
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/28/09
Posts: 1560
Loc: Bogart, Ga USA
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: Phil Cowell]
      #3080651 - 05/02/09 09:32 AM

replacing the eproms is VERY easy to do, I just did this with my Vixen Skysensor 2000 PC and it really is simple plug and play.....sorry I cant view that as a drawback.

given the horror stories I have read about having to pay shipping both ways for the entire mount for a simple bolt on part replacement with the CGE I cant quite wrap my head around owning one.....thats not to say it isnt a FINE mount.

Quote:

Quote:


Upgrades to the mount design can be retrofitted simply by buying the new parts and replacing the old ones, so there's no reason at all for a G-11 of any age to not be 100% up to current design specs




Agreed on the mount it's the Gemini system that's outdated. Updates via EPROM are very 80's. It's the one area that would stop me getting a G11. A new version that was user upgradable like even the cheapest goto mount now adays might have made me consider a G11 or Titan. It seems to indicate user upgradability on the electronics is the opposite of the mount even if it is capable.
Phil




--------------------
20" MidnighTelescope f/5
8" f/15 Achro(project),AR6, C11, Parallax PI-250
ED102SS, FL102S,NA140SS,R200SS, 80mm NighthawkII w/TMB Fluorite Optics, SV70ED, AT66ED
LXD75, Mini-tower, GPDX, ASGT, LXD650, GM-8, GM-100,GM-150EX, G11, GM-200, Gemini G40
4" portable AP convertable 44" or 70" pier
MidnighTelescope 12.5" F/5 Dob

Bogart GA


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Phil Cowell
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 05/24/07
Posts: 1442
Loc: Southern Tier NY
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: GShaffer]
      #3080852 - 05/02/09 11:06 AM

Quote:

replacing the eproms is VERY easy to do, I just did this with my Vixen Skysensor 2000 PC and it really is simple plug and play.....sorry I cant view that as a drawback.




I'm a EE and for a consumer product to require EPROMs with the current state of technology is very primative. Also each time you open up and mess with the board you are introducing the possibility of ESD damage. Sorry but that's the reason I went with the CGE Pro over the Titan. The Gemini would be like going back to DOS in a GUI era.
Phil

--------------------
Amicitia don't permissum amicitia utor a beta ratio
I had a fortune cookie once that said "That wasn't chicken"


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Eddgie
Postmaster


Reged: 02/01/06
Posts: 7951
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: w orchid]
      #3080972 - 05/02/09 12:06 PM

I prefer the Tripod on the Celestron in some ways.. I don't think it is QUITE as stiff, but for a 4 or 5 inch refractor it is easily "Stiff Enough".

Why I prefer the CGE tripod though is that the tripod on the Losmandy doesn't fold. It has to be dis-assembled to transport. And erecting it seems a bit more fussy.

With the CGE, you simply pull up on the tripod and it folds up. To erect it, you simply spread and go.

The Losmandy by comparison makes you remove and re-attach each leg.

I also like the packaging on the CGE. It is just much tidier, and when you are moving it around, I fell like there is less to bang up. The Losmandy has motors that stick out oddly from the frame. I always worryied about my Losmandy motors being whacked (I did not have the Gemini, but rather the standard motor package).

One thing I DO like about the Gemini is the way the clutches work. Manual movement is far easier. And it even has really nice engraved setting circles. You COULD use this mount manually.

The CGE by comparison is only electronic. doesn't even HAVE setting circles.

Both of these are GREAT mounts though, and in the end, I think you will find the capabilites FAR, FAR more similar than different. The price is similar, the capacity is similar, and the performance is similer.

Flip a coin.. Call heads, and take the one you THINK you will like best. And my bet is that after you get it, you will say "Yes, I made the right choice, and anyone that buys the "Other" kind is missing out!"

--------------------
Celestron CGE 1400
Astro-Physics 6" f/8
Celestron EdgeHD C8
Antik AR1/Revenge Plates/Heartless Voodoos



The night sky is my mistress. She seduces me away from all other lovers.


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Charlie HeinAdministrator
Postmaster


Reged: 11/02/03
Posts: 11211
Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: Phil Cowell]
      #3080976 - 05/02/09 12:11 PM

Quote:

Quote:

replacing the eproms is VERY easy to do, I just did this with my Vixen Skysensor 2000 PC and it really is simple plug and play.....sorry I cant view that as a drawback.




I'm a EE and for a consumer product to require EPROMs with the current state of technology is very primative. Also each time you open up and mess with the board you are introducing the possibility of ESD damage. Sorry but that's the reason I went with the CGE Pro over the Titan. The Gemini would be like going back to DOS in a GUI era.
Phil




Hi Phil - as I said earlier, I do completely understand your position. At the end of the day it wasn't anywhere near the deal breaker for me that it was for you.

--------------------
Weston CSC:


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Charlie HeinAdministrator
Postmaster


Reged: 11/02/03
Posts: 11211
Loc: 26.06.08N, +80.23.08W
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: Eddgie]
      #3080979 - 05/02/09 12:12 PM

Quote:

Flip a coin.. Call heads, and take the one you THINK you will like best. And my bet is that after you get it, you will say "Yes, I made the right choice, and anyone that buys the "Other" kind is missing out!"




There's a lot of truth to that!

--------------------
Weston CSC:


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blueman
Vendor Blue Sky Accessories


Reged: 07/20/07
Posts: 4303
Loc: California
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: greekoh]
      #3081193 - 05/02/09 02:28 PM Attachment (32 downloads)

Hi Troy,
Yes, the mount tracked well when new, the Mods just made the PE smoother and smaller, but it guided out fine before the Mods. I felt that the Mods were a worthwhile investment, but certainly they are not required to get a good image.
I now take 10 minute exposures normally. I can take much longer ones, but I find that 10 minutes is about right. Then if I did get a bad one due to some problem, there is only 10 minutes lost.
This is the link to OVision for the Worm and Block in English.

http://www.ovision.com/Losmandy_PresentationNS_english.html

This is a link to an American distributor of the MClennan Gearboxes.
http://www.alliedelec.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?SKU=090SPEC&MPN=P5-G11L82&R=090SPEC&SEARCH=090SPEC&DESC=P5-G11L82

On the Yahoo Losmandy Users Forum in the files section I have posted a "How To' for doing the gearbox mod.

This graph is an unguided raw PE of my mount after Mods, showing two worm cycles. No smoothing or algorithms used, just the actual PE as logged during the run.
Blueman

Attachment

--------------------
14.5" Starmaster with ServoCat and Argo Navis
1966 Unitron 4" Model 152 EQ
Tec 140
TV NP101 f/5.4 APO Telvue .8 Focal Reducer
FLI ML8300 and CFW-2-7 filter wheel
Astrodon Gen2 RGBL 2" filters
Baader 2" Narrow Band Filters
Borg 50mm Guide Scope/ATIK Titan Guide Camera
AstroPhysics AP900
Losmandy GM-8 Gemini


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Arbacia
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/18/07
Posts: 1057
Loc: Madrid, Spain
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: Eddgie]
      #3082398 - 05/03/09 09:10 AM

Quote:

I prefer the Tripod on the Celestron in some ways..




As Edggie, I prefer the CGE tripod. Easier to set up and easy to pack than G11. Moreover the tips of the legs of the CGE are better in soft or irregular grounds.

Respect to the very mount I love both, probably I preffer G11, but I own a CGE. The internal motors of CGE are a good point.

--------------------
LightBridge 12", LB16", 70s C8, C11. CGE.
Set of Takahashi LE EPs; Ethos; DMK 31AF03.AS
CN image gallery
http://www.astrohenares.org
http://www.asociacionhubble.org
Tres Juncos Observatory


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SteveC
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/15/06
Posts: 2734
Loc: The Garden State & Ocean State
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: blueman]
      #3083206 - 05/03/09 05:42 PM

Having to send in a mount to the manufacturer and being without a mount for three months was a major eye openner. That's why I opted for the G11 over the CGE. I'm not the least bit concerned about my ability to replace parts on the G11.

I thought there would be an AP mount in my future, but I'm not sure about their ability to track and locate well without polar alignment before every use. I won't have my scope set up on a permanent pier and I'll have to wheel the mount around to access various parts of the sky.

--------------------
SteveC


TEC 140
Intes Micro 715 deluxe
TEC 110
SolarMax 40

Losmandy G-11 w/Gemini, DM-4 w/Sky Commander on SV wood tripod, Vixen Skypod

TEC EP Turret, AP Maxbright, Denk P/S Diagonal, TMB Supermonos, ZAO IIs, Zeiss Monocentrics, Naglers, 32mm Konig, 24mm Panoptics, 14mm Meade UWA, 5mm Pentax XO, and 2.9mm, 4.4mm, 5.9mm, 7.4mm Couture (ball)


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GShaffer
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/28/09
Posts: 1560
Loc: Bogart, Ga USA
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: SteveC]
      #3083540 - 05/03/09 08:39 PM

I have no doubt that the CGE is a fine mount....matter of fact the ones I have personally seen were impressive....however like you that ship it back and do without for the simplest repairs/parts etc is a deal breaker for me.....Unless that policy changes I will never own one.....Not when a mount of the same capacity/quality/appeal etc is available for roughly the same money and doesnt have that limitation ie the G11.

Pretty much a no brainer for me.....

Quote:

Having to send in a mount to the manufacturer and being without a mount for three months was a major eye openner. That's why I opted for the G11 over the CGE. I'm not the least bit concerned about my ability to replace parts on the G11.

I thought there would be an AP mount in my future, but I'm not sure about their ability to track and locate well without polar alignment before every use. I won't have my scope set up on a permanent pier and I'll have to wheel the mount around to access various parts of the sky.




--------------------
20" MidnighTelescope f/5
8" f/15 Achro(project),AR6, C11, Parallax PI-250
ED102SS, FL102S,NA140SS,R200SS, 80mm NighthawkII w/TMB Fluorite Optics, SV70ED, AT66ED
LXD75, Mini-tower, GPDX, ASGT, LXD650, GM-8, GM-100,GM-150EX, G11, GM-200, Gemini G40
4" portable AP convertable 44" or 70" pier
MidnighTelescope 12.5" F/5 Dob

Bogart GA


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greekoh
sage


Reged: 03/12/06
Posts: 444
Re: G11 vs CGE new [Re: GShaffer]
      #3083581 - 05/03/09 08:52 PM

Lots of good feedback.
CGE pricing is appealing however the Losmandy G11 appears more appropriate for my needs.

I have a fixed pier but also require a good tripod which would allow me to setup a few hundred yards from the house to image those DSO's in the southern sky which escape my FOV.

Troy

--------------------
Troy Tsounis

www.charlotteskies.com


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