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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Peter in Reno
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Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5659196 - 02/03/13 12:31 AM

It was wrong of me to say about Gemini II because I don't have first hand experience. I was referring to that I don't have to do any star alignments with Mach1 because all it takes is get good polar alignment and slew to one star to sync, that's it.

Peter


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pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5659218 - 02/03/13 12:50 AM

alright, i'm going to be as honest as i can here.

i like the mount and i actually like gemini-2 but it does have bugs. the firmware updates come slowly for various reasons. i use astrotortilla and never bother building any models. unfortunately back to back syncs near each other can confuse the gemini-2 and completely trash the pointing model.

mine won't respond to RA commands (from the ST-4 port) if PEC is loaded and running. it forgets the PEC curve all the time, meaning the check box for the PEC goes gray. i have to upload the curve again using PEMPro, which of course i had to purchase separately.

my particular copy has really awful PE. +/- 15 arcsec. and there are some fast spots on the worm that are not guidable.

one night, and i'm not sure whether it was my fault or not, for some reason the G2 kept tracking past it's limits and crashed my STT-8300M into the tripod. there was no damage to the camera, tripod or OTA, but apparently G2 kept supplying current to the RA motor and fried it. not completely, but after that the motor exhibited a really bad jitter. i had to swap the RA and DEC motors.

i knew that using this mount, especially at 2000mm, would be challenging. it does work, and i have been able to get some reasonable images, but i have to throw away many subs and the abovementioned bugs are annoying.

i have remedied the situation by getting a mach1gto. i plan on keeping the G11/G2 for wider-field setups.


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orlyandico
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: pfile]
      #5659232 - 02/03/13 01:05 AM

pfile, that must be one of the worse stories i've heard.. i know hilmi also has some issues but seems he's fixed them (?) and his copy is performing well.

what i can say is the mach1 worked great out of the gate at 2350mm and an indifferent polar alignment and balance.


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Hilmi
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5659245 - 02/03/13 01:23 AM

Let us remember that the question was about the Gemini II not the mount. I'm not fully satisfied with my mount, but the GII system has been very good, if not perfect. There is room for improvement and there are bugs but again in the interest of being fair:

-Firmware releases while not as fast as we would like them to be are faster than any I have seen with any device that I own. My phone, My advanced calculator, my LX200r mount my focus controller, non of these have been getting firmware updates as fast as the Gemini II.
-It is a relatively new system, most people who buy it are aware that it is work in progress and have done their homework in research.
-The only Gemini II specific bugs which I am aware off (Did I tell you I spend more time with the scope than I do with my wife, therefore I feel confident I have run across most of the bugs) are the PEC curve not retained bug and the bug resulting from synchronizing position that was mentioned by pfile.

People using the system on mounts that have no mechanical issues are very happy. Those of us not happy with their mounts mechanical performance are getting rather unrestful and are waiting for our next bonus to come along.


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pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5659257 - 02/03/13 01:39 AM

i only mentioned the G11 itself because it really needs PEC but the G2 problems prevent me from actually using it. if Patrick's mount is similar then it is relevant. to be honest aside from the losmandy mounts and the MI-250, i'm not sure what other mounts are really compatible with the G2. i had assumed Patrick would be looking at a G11 with the G2.

as i said i really do like the controller and the ascom driver for it and have made pretty good use of it. i just feel like the various bugs have cost me quite a bit of time, and clear skies around here are scarce. i need something that "just works".


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5659310 - 02/03/13 02:44 AM

Hi,
My CGEM DX always put stars and deep space objects dead center in the eyepiece and camera chip, the ASPA always got my polar alignments extremely close, I was always able to do guided images 10 minutes with round stars. I never had any problems with the Nexstar.

My 2 month old G11 Gemini 2 has runaway goto slews after the first East model every night. The system freezes up requiring me to restart and realign sometimes. I have trouble getting DEC to calibrate with PHD and after 5 or so images Phd will not guide RA but will guide DEC, most nights this happens. My periodic error is 28 arcseconds. Mine is one of the ones from December with bad worms. Mr. Losmandy is trying to resolve the worm problem.
After making an East model I have to manually slew both RA and DEC to start the West model. It wont do a meridian flip yet.
The PAC on my Gemini doesn't get the Polar alignment as close as Celestrons ASPA.
I am required to make seperate models with many stars on each side and the accuracy does not center anything like the 2+4 on Celestrons Nexstar.
All my images have football shaped stars with my Gemini 2. Yes I drift align. The mount doesn't track very well and the balance is extremely criticle with the Gemini 2.

At this time my opinion is it is ok for visual use and should be permanantly mounted to save the trouble of making models with many stars on both the East and West sides. Unfortunately I mostly do imaging and on a tripod.

The Celestron Nexstar is better in every catagory except that the Gemini 2 can be hooked up through ethernet. I am using the ethernet hookup but USB would of worked fine for my purposes. I had no ideal that this was a work in progress or that it was being written by one man in his spare time. Or that it wasn't done and might be a while longer. (It is impressive that he wrote all the firmware)

I wonder what it would of been like if Losmandy was still teamed up with Celestron and the G11 would of had the nexstar controlling it.


Neilson


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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5659670 - 02/03/13 10:25 AM

I finally turned on my MI250 with a Gemini-2 system installed yesterday. G2 is pretty awesome; built-in webserver, easy to navigate menus, and the hand controller seems functional. Mind you, I didn't do an alignment but I was very pleased to see that it looks usable.

Patrick, have you been to the Gemini-2 website and messed around with their demo? I think it would help you make an informed decision. I found it matched the physical uses to a 'T'.

Good luck!
Chris


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Charlie B
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/22/08

Loc: Sterling, Virginia
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: pfile]
      #5659808 - 02/03/13 11:37 AM

Quote:

it forgets the PEC curve all the time, meaning the check box for the PEC goes gray.




I've had this issue too. I usually do guiding and don't really need the PEC, so it's not been a problem, but, when it gets warmer, I will likely try to track this problem down.

Regards,

Charlie B


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pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5660131 - 02/03/13 02:46 PM

Quote:


Mine is one of the ones from December with bad worms. Mr. Losmandy is trying to resolve the worm problem.

Neilson




this is the first i've heard of this. i don't know when my mount was manufactured, but it had to be prior to march 2012. are you talking about december 2011 or december 2012?

from reading around i thought that +/- 15arcsec was at the outer range of performance for a G11 with the high precision worm and regular worm block, but still within range.

should i be in contact with losmandy regarding the RA performance?


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: pfile]
      #5660191 - 02/03/13 03:24 PM

Hi,
This was Dec 2012. I have been told 10 arc seconds total by many of the big telescopes stores except company 7 who told me 15 arcseconds total PE. Most of the stores told me it would probably be less than 10 total. I have researched it and many people report 5 to 7 arcseconds total on mounts made since 2010. This is with everything adjusted just right and under the best of conditions. Older mounts have higher PE. Losmandy does not list the mounts PE or guarantee it from my understanding. Just on the Titan.

I had spoke with Mr. Losmandy a number of times about my PE. He sent me a second worm back in December and my PE went up to 31 so I put the first one back. He told me he was working on trying to find the problem causing this. I am still waiting. I was under the impression he knew of a problem especially after I was reading several people on another thread complaining about the same poor PE on mounts they got in Dec 2012. I am unable to guide out enough of my PE for imaging. And I specifically bought this mount expecting to do some short unguided imaging.

Neilson


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pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5660587 - 02/03/13 07:09 PM

strange - it seems that when you put in the losmandy "one piece" block, the PE gets better. and it gets better still if you put in the Ovision one piece block and worm. so it kind of seems like there's not a lot of research to do.

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: pfile]
      #5660707 - 02/03/13 08:49 PM

Hi,
Not in my case, The stock worm gave me 28 arcseconds and Scott sent me the OPW complete with a new worm and gear box. I just installed my motor and the OPW setup and my PE went up to 31. I then removed the worm and put the original worm in the OPW and it went back to 28 arc seconds. Each time I tested the PE many times over several days.
The research I was refering to was the PE reported on newer mounts out of the box. And yes installing the OPW should help a little and the Ovision should make a big improvement to about 2 arcseconds they told me. Ovision even sent me a copy of the PE results from the last worm he had sent out to show me how good it was. But the Ovision isn't cheap.
The problem is Losmandy had a batch of worms that were around 30 arcseconds and Scott told me he is trying to figure out why. Then correct it and then he will send me another worm that will give better results.

neilson


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Patrick
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Raginar]
      #5661012 - 02/04/13 12:49 AM

Quote:

Patrick, have you been to the Gemini-2 website and messed around with their demo? I think it would help you make an informed decision. I found it matched the physical uses to a 'T'.




Yes, but I'd have to spend some time with it under the stars to really get a feel for it.

Thanks!

Patrick


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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Patrick]
      #5661513 - 02/04/13 10:52 AM

Patrick, definitely. So far, I've found it 'usable'. I'll be interested to see if I have the PEC forgetting issue... but so far I've found it just as easy to use as my CGEM remote. Some of it might just be I'm getting more 'experienced' at using GOTO mounts too.

BTW, how do people hand the Gemini 2 in the cold? Obviously I'm in a frigid North and I'm worried about the screen being un-responsive.


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pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5661604 - 02/04/13 11:48 AM

Quote:

Hi,
Not in my case, The stock worm gave me 28 arcseconds and Scott sent me the OPW complete with a new worm and gear box. I just installed my motor and the OPW setup and my PE went up to 31. I then removed the worm and put the original worm in the OPW and it went back to 28 arc seconds. Each time I tested the PE many times over several days.
The research I was refering to was the PE reported on newer mounts out of the box. And yes installing the OPW should help a little and the Ovision should make a big improvement to about 2 arcseconds they told me. Ovision even sent me a copy of the PE results from the last worm he had sent out to show me how good it was. But the Ovision isn't cheap.
The problem is Losmandy had a batch of worms that were around 30 arcseconds and Scott told me he is trying to figure out why. Then correct it and then he will send me another worm that will give better results.

neilson




you know, it could be your worm wheel as well... in that case no worm gear is ever going to solve your problem.


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Hilmi
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: pfile]
      #5661716 - 02/04/13 12:48 PM

I have not tried the touch screen in what you would refer to as cold, but I know it will work with gloves because it depends on pressure so it will work without needing direct screen contact. I heard that in what you folk call cold, all forms of LCD screens tend to have sluggish refresh rates, but then again, you'r not going to be watching a movie on this screen.

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Charlie B
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/22/08

Loc: Sterling, Virginia
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Raginar]
      #5662381 - 02/04/13 07:53 PM

Quote:

BTW, how do people hand the Gemini 2 in the cold?




Wirelessly over ethernet, from the toasty warm house. I had one issue where it "froze", but I loosened the case screws and it worked fine again (24 degrees F).

Charlie B


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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Charlie B]
      #5662384 - 02/04/13 07:56 PM

How about in 1F?

Anyone using a heater?


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Raginar]
      #5662752 - 02/05/13 12:24 AM

Hi,
I know most of you don't consider this cold but a few weeks back I was using it outside and the temperature dropped fast down to 34 deg (that's cold for south Texas. The touchscreen froze up. I turned the Gemini off, then on, and it started working for about 1 or 2 minutes then the touch screen froze up again. After it repeated this cycle 3 times I gave up. I was too cold also and I called it a night. I do think that one time was from the cold.
My Gemini 2 screen does freeze up from time to time but it always starts working after I cycle the power once. These other times are not on extreme cold days. I don't know what causes it.
I haven't heard of any one else actually using the handbox outside in the extreme cold that had a touchscreen freeze up. The ones I read about that were operated in the extreme cold were operated remotely from inside so they weren't using their touchscreen handbox.

neilson


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5662806 - 02/05/13 01:16 AM

Hi Patrick,
I don't know if you saw Celestron has just came out with a new accessary called Starsense. It mounts on your Ota and hooks to your mount. It has a built in camera and it will automatically find and center the alignment stars doing a complete alignment automatically. It will even let you add more stars to your model. And it comes with a more advanced replacement handbox. Its about $309. and due to come out in April 2013 I think. It fits almost all Celestron mounts. Wow!

It will not work on a Losmandy Gemini 2 mount. I wish I would have known about this 2 months ago.

neilson


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