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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: pfile]
      #5653186 - 01/30/13 08:53 PM

An option for non-Gemini users is the German Littlefoot stepper controller.

It also supports encoders. Cost about $800 (plus motors). I have one on my AP600 GoTo conversion. I know folks in Europe are using it with G11's.

http://orlygoingthirty.blogspot.sg/2012/08/astro-physics-600e-qmd-go-to-conve...

The Littlefoot is actually a cheaper GoTo conversion for non-GoTo G11's than buying a Gemini 2. The developer (Rajiva) is fairly active and there is an active (mostly German) forum. My GoTo conversion cost about $100 more for the motors (surplus) - same motors used in the Tak NJP Temma.

The big drawback is the primitive GoTo alignment model (single star, just like the AP GTO and Tak Temma).


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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5653198 - 01/30/13 08:56 PM

Yep... I had one on back order with Astronomics back 2011 for about 4 months. Finally cancelled. Hope to have this one by next week.

Are the boards made in Japan?


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5653200 - 01/30/13 08:56 PM

Ah - and there (ought to be) another option for servo mounts.. the AP GTO CP3 and hand controller.

I am fairly sure that AP doesn't manufacture them in-house. So the big mystery.. who makes the things? I know that some companies such as Planewave use the AP motor controller and handset, so OEM'ing them for non-AP mounts is possible.

AP does want $2000 for the motor controller and handset, so even pricier than the Gemini 2.


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Billydee
professor emeritus
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Winter Haven, FL
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5653237 - 01/30/13 09:21 PM

John C. & pfile,

Losmandy does not make the Gemini II and it does not own the software, firmware or the actual Gemini electronics design. Rene' owns the software and he has not released it when it was requested in the past. I think the hardware is make by a German company and Losmandy just sells it. Losmandy makes the mount and adds outsourced electronics and software. The same can be said for the motors and gearboxes.

Losmandy mounts are a secondary production line to the major product the company makes which is equipment for the movie industry. We are lucky they make a product that the ASTRO users can enjoy. Their method allows a $3500 mount that really should sell for about $7000.

Luck, Bill


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: Billydee]
      #5653270 - 01/30/13 09:48 PM

Quote:

John C. & pfile,

Losmandy does not make the Gemini II and it does not own the software, firmware or the actual Gemini electronics design.




Yes, that was my point. I've always felt that locating an alternate controller source would help Losmandy.


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orlyandico
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5653306 - 01/30/13 10:03 PM

I'm not so sure the $3500 G11 is worth $7000.

AP makes a profit selling the Mach1 for $7000.


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Billydee
professor emeritus
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Winter Haven, FL
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5653307 - 01/30/13 10:03 PM

John C.,

Here is Rene' Gorlich's Gemini I website. He makes reference to Losmandy putting the Gemini system in a nice case and using it on his mount. I am sure that Rene' has major connections to the design of the board and HC as well as design of the software. He probably has a connection to the company that makes the hardware (PC board and HC).

There are other sources for telescope control but there cost is much higher than Gemini (take AP, he designed his own system and does all the software at $7,000 to $12,000 per mount with a 2 year wait time). It is a small market and design cost and equipment production does not make many companies wild to enter it. Losmandy, MI and Celestron all use or used Gemini on their mounts.

http://www.docgoerlich.de/Gemini.html

Bill

Edited by Billydee (01/30/13 10:05 PM)


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Billydee
professor emeritus
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Winter Haven, FL
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: Billydee]
      #5653317 - 01/30/13 10:08 PM

Orlyandico,

O.K. lets say $5,500.

Bill


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Bowmoreman
Clear enough skies
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Reged: 09/11/06

Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5653697 - 01/31/13 06:54 AM

Quote:

Quote:

unless they think someone would try to undercut them with cheap gemini-2 compatible hardware, this is one way to avoid the bottleneck of a single guy as the sole software developer.




Cheap Gemini-2 compatible hardware would be a great benefit to Losmandy. Their reliance on a single, small, foreign source for controllers has always seemed to me to be a major disadvantage. It caused a substantial period of unavailability only recently. The only other substantial producer who relied on that source ended up dropping mounts entirely rather than trying to ramp up production again when controllers became available.




It is also arguably the thing that put the nail in the coffin of Mountain Instruments, or at a minimum was a major contributing factor... Larry couldn't start a new run cause there were no Geminis available, during a key part of his business cycle...

It'd welcome it of course...


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Startraffic
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Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Lat. 39.143345, Long. -77.1748...
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: Billydee]
      #5653824 - 01/31/13 08:46 AM

BillyDee,
There is no development cost. The encoders are made with a CNC machine that HGM owns. The program for the milling is already done. Losmandy owns the patents on the encoder housings. The encoders could be put back on the market for the typical costs. i.e. materials+labor+machiningx3
I don't have a vested interest in getting them back in production. I have a set on my G11 that work just fine with either my SkyCommander or Gemini-1. My interest is that other G8 & G11 owners that have the DDS or G1 systems can use them & get a 2nd or more accurate pointing model on their mount.

Clear Dark Skies
Startraffic
39.138274 -77.168898


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Billydee
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Winter Haven, FL
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: Startraffic]
      #5654554 - 01/31/13 03:35 PM

Startraffic,

I am told that Losmandy has removed the mounting points as well as the flat milling from all new G-11s. This means he does not want to have them as an option. You still have the Gemini software issue and getting power to the encoder. If he does add them he probably will change the type or design. The way to go would be optical encoders instead of mechanical ones. The major optical encoder used today is the optical computer mouse and you know how cheap they are (even a cordless one costs under $20). I still don't see Losmandy adding them for two to three years.

Bill


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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: Billydee]
      #5655155 - 01/31/13 09:56 PM

You guys know way about this stuff than I ever thought was involved. Thats VERY interesting about the mouse encoders. Never thought about something like that. Has someone already built a system with them?

Almost seems like a good software engineer could build some drivers to make them work with existing computer software?


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Billydee
professor emeritus
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Winter Haven, FL
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5655290 - 01/31/13 11:15 PM

Berlinstar,

I saw a person plan on using a mouse electronics but to get the number of clicks for that are needed by Gemini the scan area would be a circle about 3 ft across and to have two of those hanging on your mount would be a sight.

JMI's Losmandy system used optical off-the-shelf encoders and were very close to Losmandy sized encoders. I see no problem with building an optical encoder for the Gemini I system that uses the Gemini I software. The problem is building a system for Gemini II because Rene' has not been able to get to doing the code for the software. You would have problems because Gemini system software is not open to the public and the code is owned by Rene'.

Bill


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Geo.
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: Billydee]
      #5656092 - 02/01/13 10:44 AM

I have a set of G11 encoders and hardware I'm not using. I'm working on fitting Meade LX90 drives on the G11. Let me know if interested.

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: Geo.]
      #5656194 - 02/01/13 11:37 AM

Wow... You have a thread going on that project? That's a burr about the encoder hardware. Shoot me a PM on what you'd want for them if you don't mind.

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netwolf
super member
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Reged: 09/03/05

Loc: NSW, Australia
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5659605 - 02/03/13 09:38 AM

There is another goto system out there also for Losmandy. And it cane be used with the existing Losmandy Servo Motors.

Sitech Servo from Sidereal Technolgy.

http://siderealtechnology.com/
I have used this on my G11 and it works a treat. You can used it without a computer but only for Slew and Track. For goto you need a computer or some folks use it with SkyFI and Skysafari on a Tablet.

A few MI250 users have switched to Sitech also. The best thing is that the firmware is very mature. And updates are regular. Also a very live community on yahoo for it.

One very cool feature is the support for Hi-Res Gurley and Reinshaw encoders.
Some results
https://sites.google.com/a/sitechservo.info/chuck-shaw-s-site/Home/g-11-gurle...

I also own the G1 Gemini controller, but its still sitting on the shelf. Meant to use it as a standalone system but have not as yet got around to it.
I am waiting to see the G2 mature some more and I really hope Rene gets it there soon, especially waiting to see the Hi-res encoder support.

I also have been following Rajiva work on the littlefoot and its predecessors. This has many many many features the list is just outstanding. Not to mention the recent news of Direct Drive with Nema 23-24 motors on the G11. No backlash as there is no gearbox. Also this unit is meant to support hi-res encoders so pottentially you could use a gurley or reinshaw encoders with it.

I am still waiting to see more data from the G11 direct drive version. Some PE images, and PE graphs would be nice.

Over all what I like best is that Losmandy mount has lots of options, and is very easy to retrofit many Goto solutions. And generally its a mount which is very easy to service yourself, with most all parts still avaialble. For a product that is not Losmandy's major earner, it does provide a very good mount for your buck.

Indeed as someone mentioned this could easily be sold for a lot more money. Fortunately for us Hollywood keeps Scott busy.


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Billydee
professor emeritus
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Winter Haven, FL
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: netwolf]
      #5660740 - 02/03/13 09:08 PM

The Questar 7 Encoder Kit on eBay did not sell. I did some checking on the person that made it, "Jim's Mobile". The instruction sheet that came with the Q7 kit says it is a JMI kit (now that is interesting). That probably means Jim's Mobile is JMI. The below reference was made in some of my prior Posts.

"Call Jim's Mobile (303-233-5353) for their compatible Computer Models etc."


Maybe Jim might give us some information as to an avenue for encoder packages for the Losmandy G-11 seeing that he also produced them in the past.

There is a posting on Yahoo about Rene' waiting for information on the motor encoders to allow him to max the torque on all three Losmandy motor types. The name "Aveox" was in the Post. That means Aveox is probably the producer of the new Losmandy motors. They also make gearboxes. I've seen many of their motors on electric RC model airplanes. Please note that these are not the encoders that show mount position but are used in the actual drive motors on the mount.

Bill

Edited by Billydee (02/03/13 09:13 PM)


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netwolf
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Reged: 09/03/05

Loc: NSW, Australia
Re: Losmandy Encoders new [Re: Billydee]
      #5660814 - 02/03/13 10:10 PM

You can also try Wild Card Invoations in Australia, they are the makers and sellers of ArgoNavis. They sell kits for a lot of mounts.

http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au/


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