Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | (show all)
Patrick
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM
      #5655232 - 01/31/13 10:40 PM

Anyone out there using this goto system? I'm interested in hearing how well it works, if it has any quirks, and how accurate it is. How does it compare to the Celestron Nexstar firmware?

Thanks for any and all comments.

Patrick


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Patrick]
      #5655285 - 01/31/13 11:12 PM

There is a pretty active yahoo group http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Gemini-II/
I followed it while they where getting it all to work. It seemed like it was getting pretty well sorted out some months back. I haven't been tracking it lately.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mega256
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: N of Tampa
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: mich_al]
      #5655330 - 01/31/13 11:39 PM

Mine works GREAT...no problems
had it for the last18 mo....the software has been stable for at least the last 9mo+..
Realy like the touch screen,,,and I understand the new ones are shippng with the new HD motors,,,I bought one to replace and have a spare,,,very nice and better than any other they had...I use the web interface...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: mega256]
      #5655447 - 02/01/13 01:27 AM

It now works as advertised. The developer is great as he has added two features at my request and the 3rd one "electronically assisted mount balancing" is on it's way. There is only one minor bug I know off that is pending a fix. After synchronizing dec axis guiding starts running away out of control. There is an easy workaround till the bug is fixed. Move slightly north then south after performing sync. Other than that I dont know of any bugs.

In short it works great.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
SMigol
sage


Reged: 07/30/10

Loc: California, USA
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5655473 - 02/01/13 01:48 AM

I use it on my mount and have learned a few quirks it has.

First, if you take the time to really polar align, then it will reward you with great gotos. There are some model building scripts that will greatly help with selecting the stars for you.

Second, the accuracy that you put into building the model will help. I personally will build a model of 3-5 stars per side of the meridian. This will hold for several nights and all I have to do when starting a new night is point to a star, slew to fix it, and then sync on the position. After that, it's good to go.

Also, if you take the time to park the scope between flips to shift the counter weight and then do the same effort to sync on a star on the new side, it will have the same level of precision that you'd want. The reason for this extra step is because I run with a little slack in the gears and the reposition of the weight helps keep them meshed.

These are the peculiarities of the system as I use it now. I'm sure that others have found solutions that work for them.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Patrick]
      #5656086 - 02/01/13 10:43 AM

The Gemini 2 is a great improvement over the old, memorize the menu structure, system. The screen could definitely be bigger. I have no idea how someone would use the hand controller somewhere cold. It is still not as friendly as the Nexstar, but it has come a long ways since the Gemini 1 days and would make me consider a Losmandy mount where I probably wouldn't have in the past.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Startraffic
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Lat. 39.143345, Long. -77.1748...
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Patrick]
      #5656465 - 02/01/13 02:22 PM

Patrick,
I have a G1 & G2. Both are very good systems. The G2 is a menu driven got that is still evolving. There are features that are not yet implemented but are being worked on by Rene' Gorlich. He's in Germany and is doing most of the software development. As it sits right now is a very functional Goto, Periodic Error Correction, Polar Alignment Correction (Cone Error), Polar Alignment Assist. The firmware is easily updated via a website download. A major PITA until you learn how to do it, & is VASTLY better than when it 1st came out. I moved mine for my G11 over to my HGM-200 about 4 months ago & it only required a mount type change & PEC. I keep dialing in the polar alignment (drift align) because the plan is for AP. I'm totally confident the mount & G2 can do that.

Clear Dark Skies
Startraffic
39.138274 -77.168898


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Patrick
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Patrick]
      #5657370 - 02/01/13 11:27 PM

You guys aren't giving me the warm fuzzies here. It sounds like the software is not fully developed yet and that makes me nervous. I really like the Nexstar software as it seems well designed, is stable and user friendly. Goto accuracy is spot on, too. Why should I switch to a system that is not full featured yet? It also sounds like aligning the mount (10 stars on each side?) would be a PITA. Am I missing something?

Patrick

Edited by Patrick (02/02/13 07:42 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Charlie B
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/22/08

Loc: Sterling, Virginia
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Patrick]
      #5657722 - 02/02/13 09:00 AM

I have both the CGEM and the G11. The CGEM is a good mount but, does not handle my heaviest OTA for astrophotography. The Gemini 2 and G11 do, with better guiding than the CGEM with lesser weight. The Gemini 2 software is being developed and has bugs, but no more than the CGEM has had. The best part of the Gemini is that it can use Ethernet and act as a pass through for any ASCOM compliant software using the native drivers. The CGEM can also, by using the virtual port, but requires a POTH hub and ASCOM drivers.

Charlie B


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Phil Cowell
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/24/07

Loc: Southern Tier NY
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Patrick]
      #5657724 - 02/02/13 09:01 AM

Patrick,
No you hit the nail on the head.
Phil


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Charlie B]
      #5657788 - 02/02/13 09:38 AM

Quote:

I have both the CGEM and the G11. The CGEM is a good mount but, does not handle my heaviest OTA for astrophotography. The Gemini 2 and G11 do, with better guiding than the CGEM with lesser weight. The Gemini 2 software is being developed and has bugs, but no more than the CGEM has had. The best part of the Gemini is that it can use Ethernet and act as a pass through for any ASCOM compliant software using the native drivers. The CGEM can also, by using the virtual port, but requires a POTH hub and ASCOM drivers.

Charlie B




I agree with Charlie. Yes, Patrick, it's definitely more complicated than Nextar .


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
gdd
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Patrick]
      #5658174 - 02/02/13 01:39 PM

Quote:

It also sounds like aligning the mount (10 stars on each side?) would be a PITA. Am I missing something?





I'm not sure how sophisticated the CGEM alignment software is, but the G11/Gemini may be doing more. The more stars used for the modeling, the more accurate the model which not only includes cone error but flex in both the mount and the OTA.

Gale


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Patrick
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/16/03

Loc: Franklin, Ohio
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: gdd]
      #5659067 - 02/02/13 10:54 PM

The CGEM uses up to 6 stars for alignment.

Here's the dilema...I'd like the tracking accuracy of the Losmandy with the user friendliness of the CGEM.

Patrick


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Patrick]
      #5659080 - 02/02/13 11:01 PM

If money was no object, A-P Mach1GTO would be nice. It's much easier to use than NexStar or Losmandy. Even though it does not have pointing models in the hand controller, the GoTo is excellent. The tracking is super smooth that I can guide up to 5 seconds guide exposure. The polar alignment for Mach1 is very easy and quick. After setting up the equipment, I then can get polar aligned within 15 minutes and can guide up to 30 minutes per sub with NB filters.

I was skeptical about Mach1 not having pointing models but it's not really needed once a good polar alignment is done. The Mach1 mount head weighs only 28lbs without counterweight shaft and has imaging carrying capacity of 45lbs.

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Patrick]
      #5659093 - 02/02/13 11:07 PM

Quote:

The CGEM uses up to 6 stars for alignment.

Here's the dilema...I'd like the tracking accuracy of the Losmandy with the user friendliness of the CGEM.

Patrick




Tis always the problem. The consumer mount companies spend a lot of time making their control systems very user friendly while the high end mount companies spend more time on the mount mechanics. The Gemini 2 is probably the first higher end controller that has the chance to become more user friendly, it just may not be there yet.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: EFT]
      #5659120 - 02/02/13 11:30 PM

heck.. i'd like the tracking accuracy of the Mach1 with the user friendliness of the CGEM

the 1-star align leaves something to be desired.. goto accuracy is completely dependent on how accurate the polar alignment is.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5659133 - 02/02/13 11:39 PM

I use A-P Quick Drift Alignment (QDA) using cool Meridian Delay feature for polar alignment. This usually requires a right angle finder scope so that you align the finder scope to be orthogonal with the mount. Once orthogonal, the polar alignment is pretty dead accurate. With experience, it takes less than 15 minutes. Use Keypad Version 4.17 supplemental manual instead of Keypad Version 4.12 operating manual for QDA.

Sorry about hijacking this thread since this is about Losmandy mounts.

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5659155 - 02/03/13 12:00 AM

there's a G11 G2 in the classifieds for $2K!!!

that's the price of a new G11 non Gemini... a huge depreciation of almost 50%

that kind of says something about the G11... doesn't it?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5659181 - 02/03/13 12:21 AM

Honestly, I did not find the Gemini II difficult to use. It could be easier to use, but I definitely would not classify it as difficult to use

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5659194 - 02/03/13 12:31 AM

Quote:

there's a G11 G2 in the classifieds for $2K!!!

that's the price of a new G11 non Gemini... a huge depreciation of almost 50%

that kind of says something about the G11... doesn't it?




Of course that would appear to be no spring chicken of a G11. I don't think I have seen one quite that eggplant purple before.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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".


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Patrick
Postmaster
*****

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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

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.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

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?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
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


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5663271 - 02/05/13 10:22 AM

Neilson,

Starsense is a gimmick like adding GPS to your scope. I could align my CGEM (2+4) and get an ASPA completed with another alignment (2+4) in about 15 minutes. 300 bucks is alot of money to automate your alignment routine and really once you get it down, it's easy. If you have a CCD, take a look at Astrotortilla. It allows you to do platesolving for free (as in beer) if you're looking for something similar.

One other thing that G2 has built into it is a pointing model (assuming you're permanently mounted). Spend a few minutes added 10-15 stars on each side of the meridian and it should get you fairly precise .


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5663540 - 02/05/13 12:49 PM

supposedly the problem with the hand controller can be mechanical in nature. if the temperature changes and the box expands/contracts, it can put pressure on the touchscreen and cause the computer to think that your finger is being held on the display.

some people have loosened the screws a little bit and the problem goes away... i have never had that problem with temperatures down to about 34F.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: pfile]
      #5663774 - 02/05/13 03:25 PM

Hi Pfile,
Thanks for the advice on the handbox. I will definately give that a try. I appreciate the help.

Hi Raginar,
I know it's just a gimmick but I like things like that.
My G11 G2 is not permanently mounted so going through all the trouble of making a 10 star model of the East then manualy slewing the RA and DEC to the other side and making a 10 star model of the West every day gets old fast.
I definately feel the G2 was designed mostly for those who are permanently mounted. It would have been nice if it had the 2+4 like Celestrons. Its very accurate with 2+4 and if you want you can add more stars to the model. My CGEM DX always put the item dead center in my eyepiece with the 2+4. With my G2 I do a 10 + 10 and it never gets the item centered, Its in my eyepiece but off to the side every time. I mostly image DSO's and getting them centered would be nice.

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tboss70
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/25/05

Loc: Missouri
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5664183 - 02/05/13 07:10 PM

I've had my G11G2 out in 12F. No issues.

I am very happy with my G11G2. I've always read about the "difficulty" of Gemini but when I first received mine I had trouble understanding what people were talking about. Keep in mind my only other mount was a Celestron ASGT. Still, I find Gemini II easy to work with...even in the dark.

I might also mention i added the Ovision worm to mine. When I first received my mount I didnt take a PEC curve. My first photos had the football shapes after 1-2 minute exposures. This was at 900mm FL. I adjusted the mount multiple times and finally got my best, +-7 peak to peak.

the football shapes only came about once per worm rotation.
After the ovision upgrade, I have not seen this issue. Now I get +-3 peak to peak.

So while it did take a little patience and fiddling, I am happy where I am at with it now.

Lastly, and back to Gemini, Here is my method for aligning every night.

Point mount to north star; enter polar scope and get it close; take polar scope out. Perform PAA between two stars then go to modeling. I only have access to the north and east skies so I just model the east side (about 3 or 4 stars) then go to PAC. After that I build another model of about 3-4 stars and I am done. Then i just autoguide.

I have used metaguide, PHD, and Pempro without issue. I have also use Cartes with Gemini without issue.

The only intermittent issue I still get today is occasionally after PAC the hand controller will freeze and i need to unplug it, then plug it back in. I loose about 10 seconds doing this and again, it doesnt happen all the time or that often.

Thus far, I am a happy owner and I dont find Gemini difficult at all.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
wasyoungonce
sage


Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: Land Downunder
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: tboss70]
      #5664460 - 02/05/13 10:57 PM

Jeez I don't know what the fuss is.

I've been using a G11 with a G1 for a few years but are secretly hoping it'll die and I'll be definitely be replacing it with a G2. I'd kill for OEM LAN, USB and wireless capability.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: wasyoungonce]
      #5664970 - 02/06/13 10:51 AM

Well, it doesn't have built-in wireless capability. But you can add a wireless adapter and make it happen pretty easy .

12F, good to know. I was looking around for some type of heater case, and couldn't find one.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: wasyoungonce]
      #5665091 - 02/06/13 12:00 PM

Quote:

Jeez I don't know what the fuss is.

I've been using a G11 with a G1 for a few years but are secretly hoping it'll die and I'll be definitely be replacing it with a G2. I'd kill for OEM LAN, USB and wireless capability.




you'll figure out what the fuss is when you start using it and encounter a bunch of bugs.

the features of the hardware are very nice but unfortunately the firmware still needs help.

by the way, PEMPro might have been the culprit in the pier crash (it definitely unparks the mount when it first connects to the mount, and it was the only "new" software i had running on the night of the pier crash.) to be safe from now on i disconnect and quit PEMPro after i'm done with it.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
nganga
super member


Reged: 03/16/08

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5665939 - 02/06/13 08:03 PM

Quote:

It now works as advertised. The developer is great as he has added two features at my request and the 3rd one "electronically assisted mount balancing" is on it's way. There is only one minor bug I know off that is pending a fix. After synchronizing dec axis guiding starts running away out of control. There is an easy workaround till the bug is fixed. Move slightly north then south after performing sync. Other than that I dont know of any bugs.

In short it works great.




Hello Hilmi,

Does the runaway DEC guiding occur with ST4 guiding too, or just ASCOM guiding?

Clem


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: nganga]
      #5666304 - 02/07/13 12:20 AM

Havent tried with st4 guiding

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5666353 - 02/07/13 01:14 AM

OK, first night out with the G2 and I thought everyone would love to hear what I thought. First, not as easy as I thought it would be. I hit a safety limit from a bad slew before I powered down last time... and for some reason I couldn't get it to think it wasn't hitting that slew. Finally, after getting pretty frustrated, I manually moved the mount around and that seemed to clear it.

Second, aligning isn't 'great'. Especially when you don't have a polar scope or any really good way to wag your alignment. My mount doesn't have a polar finder nor does it have latitude marks on it... so I have to take a guess and use something electronically (or drift align) to figure it out. My first 'guess' was woefully off! So the first few GOTOs were very poor out of the box. In fact, it wouldn't let me select some of the stars because they were (according to it) below the horizon.

But, as I added stars to the pointing model, it did get better. Was it great? Nope. Was it as good as my CGEM? No. Even after adding 5-6 stars on each side, It was 'close enough' to plate solve but not putting the object on the chip. I'll have to see if there is some way to make this easier. In addition, I didn't have the Semi Automatic Alignment option for some reason... either I missed it or something, but I think that might make it easier and I'll go digging for that tomorrow.

Finally, the last thing I really checked was the Polar Alignment function. Mind you, this is based on your pointing model, so it's only so accurate... It's definitely NOT as good as ASPA. However, I think that is driven by the relatively shoddy pointing model I built randomly as I found stars I knew I could ID in my sky. It did get it accurate enough that I could guide; however it wasn't enough to let me take even 30 second exposures @ 600mm.

So, what do I think of G2? I have alot to learn before I can really make that judgement. I was super-comfortable with Nexstar; it definitely doesn't make sense... yet. I know it took me a few months with my CGEM before I really felt I understood what it wanted me to do too.

Hope this helps.

Chris


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Raginar]
      #5666385 - 02/07/13 01:53 AM

Chris,

I think there is some user error here. Let me guide you through the steps.

1) Before power on, make sure the mount is physically set up with the counter weight down and pointing straight ahead. The more accurately you do this to start with, the easier the later steps will become.

2) Power on mount and once all powered up, set up location coordinates, time zone and time and date. exact instructions are on the gemini II site, I'm out of country so cant refer to my mount now.

3) Make sure the mount is set up to ask you which start up mount you want. If the is is a set up that you set up and tear down every night just let it default to cold start. I like the setting that says ask if possible.

4) Restart mount in cold start mode. It should ask you if you want to model. If you dont get this screen then you are using very old firmware. Please update firmware.

5) Build model. It should work more easily now.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5666586 - 02/07/13 07:44 AM

It's hard to hold my tongue in this thread. I have used Gemini 2 likely as much as anyone although I have not used its full set of features.
I have owned, and used for AP, the G11 Gemini 2 since early 2011. Back then the FW was very rudimentary and there was cause for disappointment, yea, even consternation, among users who had no idea just how incomplete the software was when they purchased.

All that changed by the early summer of 2011. Since that time, Gemini 2 has been eminently useable and has improved, albeit in fits and starts, since then.

I don't get the complaints voiced here. My GOTOs are just fine and I rarely bother with more than 2-3 stars on one side of the meridian and NONE on the other! When it comes time to flip, I add 1-2 stars on the other side and, certainly at FLs up to 600mm or so, I have no trouble finding my target. And I don't model build often either, even if I have moved the mount. A simple synch seems to work just fine. My problem in model building is lack of stars due to trees, not Gemini 2.

Runaway slews? I never had one that was not attributable to the sticky soft key "feature" that I hated. Provision was made some time ago to lock that feature out and I have not had a runaway slew since.

The biggest problem I see with Gemini 2 is the lack of a manual. It is a wonderfully complete system and has more features than most of us will ever use. But it is tough to figure all those features out with no manual.

That new bugs pop up with new FW releases is not surprising. I am not sure Gemini 2 will EVER be truly "finished." It will continue to evolve until it is supplanted by Gemini 3 at some time in the future. I hardly see this as a bad thing. I have had no reason to update my FW since last summer. So, I'll allow some things may have "run amok" since that time.

But, I have to wonder at the discontent expressed here.


I have seen hardly any of the problems people are reporting here!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bart
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/28/06

Loc: Somewhere near Charlottesville...
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5666653 - 02/07/13 08:54 AM

Quote:

The biggest problem I see with Gemini 2 is the lack of a manual. It is a wonderfully complete system and has more features than most of us will ever use. But it is tough to figure all those features out with no manual.




Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5666669 - 02/07/13 09:07 AM

I've had my GM-8 since last March and it worked flawlessly for me until recently when it started stuttering while slewing in RA. I traced it to the gearbox and when I removed it, the box was apart slightly, causing problems with the motor shaft gear engaging correctly with the one in the gearbox. It snapped back together but I'd already talked to Scott Losmandy and he'd told me to return it for replacement. Last Tuesday, Jan 29, I sent it off and got the replacement yesterday, Feb 6. It was delivered to them on Friday so they must have sent the replacement out immediately.
I installed it last night but it was cloudy. When I got up this morning it was clear so I did a polar alignment with the scope and slewed to Vega which was just off center in my 20mm eyepiece. The same with Altair. Arcturus wasn't as close to the center but still was very good. I did not build a model, just synchronized on each of them. I did experience the runaway slew problem, which is an annoyance.
I purchased this mount because it is quality, easy to work on if necessary and parts are readily available. It took a couple of days for Scott Losmandy to get back with me, but he did call me which I thought was very good. Replacing the gearbox was super simple too.
I understand that people have issues with gear at times It happens. But I also think these mounts are a heck of a deal and as the owner of a Synta mount too, there really is no comparison.

Edit: Before this problem I was getting great 20 minute subs.I haven't tried anything longer yet.

Edited by terry59 (02/07/13 09:57 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: terry59]
      #5666719 - 02/07/13 09:43 AM

Terry
The runaway slews---
Have you tuned off the sticky key feature?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
terry59
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 07/18/11

Loc: Colorado, USA
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5666730 - 02/07/13 09:52 AM

Hi Terry. No...how do you do that? I'll do it right away!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Bart
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/28/06

Loc: Somewhere near Charlottesville...
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: terry59]
      #5666773 - 02/07/13 10:18 AM

Is it true that if you use a good third party PC based guiding software, for example SkyX, none of these problems manifest themselves?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Bart]
      #5666988 - 02/07/13 12:15 PM

Bart, I spent all last night guiding via PHD over ASCOM and had no issues. Mind you, it's a small sample. I think I'll lock on the back buttons too.

Terry, thanks for your take on everything. I agree that we're probably being overly harsh on the G2 and that much of it is probably user error at this point.

Hilmi, thanks for the walk through bro . Very helpful!

Obligatory picture:


Not bad for a first light!

Edited by Raginar (02/07/13 04:57 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5667052 - 02/07/13 01:01 PM

Hi Terry D.
You stated your using fl up to 600mm. There's a big difference when your imaging DSO's at 3250mm fl. I need my goto's to be dead on. At up to 600mm is so wide field you might not even notice it being off a little but at 3250mm fl. it becomes a problem.

I'm glad your Gemini 2 has no issues.



Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: terry59]
      #5667168 - 02/07/13 02:11 PM

Quote:

Hi Terry. No...how do you do that? I'll do it right away!




Menu-HC-Buttons Then uncheck 'Persistant Diamonds,' IIRC.

I am using an unfamiliar Android tablet right now and can't figure out how to send a link here.
Try
www.gemini-2.com/stickybuttons.php

I was probably the worst offender of the stickies and was forever having runaways. Even after abandoning the membrane keys entirely for scope movement, it was easy to accidentally initiate a runaway by holding the HC and inadvertently pressing and holding a membrane key on the backside. After the feature was made user selectable in response to complaints, I deselected 'persistant diamonds' and have not had a runaway since.

Edited by dawziecat (02/07/13 02:27 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mistyridge
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/28/05

Loc: Loomis, CA
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5667615 - 02/07/13 06:23 PM

I have not updated my firmware since July 2012. I just use the mount visually. Are the changes since then sigificant?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: mistyridge]
      #5667724 - 02/07/13 07:37 PM

No.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
nemo129
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: WMass
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5667781 - 02/07/13 08:17 PM

Quote:

Hi Terry D.
You stated your using fl up to 600mm. There's a big difference when your imaging DSO's at 3250mm fl. I need my goto's to be dead on. At up to 600mm is so wide field you might not even notice it being off a little but at 3250mm fl. it becomes a problem.

I'm glad your Gemini 2 has no issues.



Neilson




Hi Neilson,

While I am not currently using the huge fl you are using, I routinely use an AT8RC at 1625mm and like Terry I only use 3 or 4 alignment stars and the G11-Gemini 2 combo puts my targets on my ST8300 chip every time. Before I sold it, I did image with an 11" EdgeHD at 2800mm with a Canon 450d and my goto's were similarly as accurate. My experience with the Gemini 2 has been very positive in the 2 years I have been imagining with it so I have to give it a positive vote.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: nemo129]
      #5667929 - 02/07/13 09:56 PM

Hi Kirk,
Were they dead center every time all over the sky. My CGEM DX was dead center in the eyepiece and imaging chip every time. My G11 has yet to give me even one item dead center. I can even sync. then slew away then tell it to go back to the star and it will always be off from center or to the edge. Tonight I tried only a 4 star model after a polar alignment but my slews were off to the edge, even Jupiter was off.
I do have to say one thing, the moon has been centered most of the times perfectly. I would of expected it to be the opposite.

I know this is being nit pickey since at least a part of each DSO is in the eyepiece. But I feel since I paid over $1,000. more for the G11 than my CGEM DX it should be at least as accurate as Celestrons Nexstar. The goto accuracy was the one thing that impressed me the most on my DX. I read about others pointing out how their Celestron mounts puts targets dead center every time too. Even My Meade LXD75 and LX200R are both more accurate than my G11. I notice quit a few people using expensive goto software on their G11's. I wouldn't doubt they were wanting more accurate goto's as one reason. And if your mount does get every target centered every time all over the sky then that is great. But mine does not and I think it should.
This is not a deal breaker item but I think it should be addressed and corrected. Having goto's that are fine or ok or just good doesn't cut it after using much cheaper mounts with consitant excellent goto's.

I can't say Gemini 2 is better than Nexstar or even as good as it is when it comes to goto's.

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5667940 - 02/07/13 10:02 PM

Quote:

I can even sync. then slew away then tell it to go back to the star and it will always be off from center or to the edge.




That's usually a symptom of a slipping clutch. A less common cause is bad encoder reads.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5667996 - 02/07/13 10:35 PM

Hi John,
My new mount's clutches were slipping bad. I called Scott and he told me that I had the wrong clutches by mistake. He sent new different ones. Now my mount does not slip. They hold really good now and I am much happier about that. I was expecting this to fix my goto's. I have tested and tested but the problem is still there. I had hoped the clutches were the cause, but they were not.

Thank you for the suggestion.
I dont know how to test the encoders but I have switched the RA with the DEC motors then back hoping it might be a motor. But no luck there.

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5668159 - 02/08/13 12:04 AM

Quote:

I dont know how to test the encoders but I have switched the RA with the DEC motors then back hoping it might be a motor. But no luck there.

neilson




The only other common issues (serious backlash or mechanical slop) are very unlikely in a mount of that class. The test you describe is perfect for diagnosing the problem, as it eliminates alignment errors completely. I'd watch closely to see whether the error on returning to the star is in one or both axes. If it's both, I'd look very closely at the OTA mounting for slop and look for backlash in both axes. If it's only one axis, then the first two I mentioned are still the most likely suspects but you can check backlash as well.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5668232 - 02/08/13 01:29 AM

Hi John,
I have checked those things before but I will go back and check them more carefully tomorrow. I appreciate you helping me. Thank you

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Charlie B
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/22/08

Loc: Sterling, Virginia
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5668490 - 02/08/13 08:49 AM

Quote:

That's usually a symptom of a slipping clutch.




This would be my guess as well. I bought a $4.99 strap wrench from Sears because I could not hand tighten my clutches enough to keep them from slipping. The tri-knobs were too expensive for me but the strap wrench works fine. Even with the strap wrench, I've had slippage if I've not bundled the cables correctly.

Charlie B


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
nemo129
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: WMass
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5668570 - 02/08/13 09:28 AM

Hi neilson,

Quote:

Were they dead center every time all over the sky.




I set up fresh each night that I image, so I build a new model each time. I start (polar align) with getting all 3 stars set up in the PAS. I guess I am lucky as my PAS works very well (verified by occasional drift checks). When I am building my model I used to use a 12mm centering EP. The first star on a given side of the meridian is normally way off excepting a few very lucky times! The second star is usually in the FOV of the 8 x 50 finder and the third is usually very close to the center of my EP. Subsequent stars, if I add them are very close or dead on the center. I recently started using my guidescope (optics aligned to the main OTA) to build my model as it is easier to sit at my laptop and center stars than doing refractor prayers or contorting myself when using my imaging newt. It also saves me from having to rebalance the mount after I add the main imaging camera and filterwheel.

As for imaging, as it pertains to your question; at lower fl like on my 80mm APO at 480mm or my SV105 at 735mm pretty much dead on. No as much at longer focal lengths, but always on the chip. I seldom image what the goto gives me anyway as I am sure most folks like us will frame a shot after they find the object. There have been times that the mount has hit my target perfectly. It is not the rule though!

(Note: I normally only build east models and if I flip at meridian I add two stars in the west and use the bookmark feature to return to my target and do a manual plate solve if needed)

As to why you are seeing targets off center after proper alignment, I cannot explain. I have seen that as well but it always ended up being my own user error. Most commonly I picked the wrong star in the model. I'm not saying you are making mistakes, just commenting on why I think I have seen the issue.

On the subject of the G11/G2 costing $1K more than the CGEM-DX, I think it has a lot to do with mount construction and where it is made. I owned a CGEM before the G11 and IMHO the G11 is a better made mount using machined parts instead of sand cast parts. You certainly have a much better tripod than I had with my CGEM, so I have no comment there, only that the Losmandy HD tripod is much better than the original CGEM tripod. BTW I really loved and miss the Celestron firmware. Simple to use and as you said very accurate. It is certainly an area where Celestron has a clear advantage. Again, just my opinion.

I absolutely agree that you should be able to achieve more accurate goto's than you are currently getting. I would expect better than what you described.

Finally, (sorry for the long post) I am personally not happy about the lack of progress on the Gemini 2 firmware as of late. Sure it is functional and it gets the job done for me right now, but it could be better and there are reported and confirmed issues that need to be addressed as well as features that need to be improved(PAC for one!) and added (electronic assisted axis balancing).


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: nemo129]
      #5668797 - 02/08/13 11:37 AM

Hi Kirk,
To me it sounds like your not getting much better accuracy than I am at longer focal lengths. At 480mm and such light weight mine would probably look somewhat centered just fine too. Its at longer focal lengths where it becomes noticable. I am using the exact OTA setup that I was using up until November on the CGEM DX.
I have a 9.25 Edge with a 2" flip mirror so I don't have to rebalance. I have an orion 80mm short tube on top with a DSI 2c as a guidescope. I use a 12mm illuminated reticule for alignment. I was even able to consitantly get my goto stars on the DX in the center of that reticule.
I level my mount with a nice carpenters level each time. I take time to balance my mount perefectly since its very sensative. I have never had a mount this picky about balance.

When I do my alignment I just use every star that the Gemini 2 gives me. Then I flip to do the West model then go back and redo several of the East model stars. I have marks on the ground to setup my tripods that I have used for years. I use "Polar Finder" software to tell me where in my finder to put Polaris. My PAC's accuracy is off about the same as my goto's. It was much worse before the new clutches. These clutches hold really good now.
I use leather work gloves to tighten them. I will buy the other knobs next month. Some times I do an East model, PAC, Drift, goto CWD, turn mount off then on(cold start) and start East/West models. Sometimes just a drift, CWD, off/on(cold start), then East/West models.

You mentioned that you did plate solving. I'm not experienced with that but it sounds like your using aftermarket software to help with your alignment. If so, Why are you needing that?

This accuracy is fine for wide field but not long focal lengths. It would of been ok 3 or 4 years ago but it's behind Meade and Celestron now. This mounts price point calls for better accuracy.

The Gemini 2 goto sells for $1,595.00 . The entire CGEM mount with goto costs $1,499.00 . The CG-5 is a lot less. That tells me the Gemini 2 costs about 3 times more than Nexstar. I expect it to be at least as good as Nexstar, not just acceptable. You mentioned how the mount is machined instead of cast aluminum. I agree, This is a higher grade mount. I think the firmware should be too. When I image DSO's that I can't even see, it would be nice if the mount centered them on my chip. Especially after all the work and time I spend doing a full East and West alignment. I don't think my mount is performing any worse than anyone elses who are using my fl. I haven't read anywhere that anyone who's using this mount with at least 3250mm fl without other software helping is consistantly getting all their goto's centered on their chip and/or eyepiece of 15 or 20mm. If Nexstar can have that good of accuracy then why can't Gemini 2.

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: nemo129]
      #5668851 - 02/08/13 12:02 PM

Kirk,

Is PAC and axis balancing really that important to you? I think it's a neat 'gee whizz' feature, but there are so many other software options if that's what you're looking for (and doing AP). Otherwise, the current PAC is plenty usable.

I agree, I want them fixed too. But look at Synta's software, they're just now picking up PAC. Axis balancing is a relatively new concept too. And, neither of these are available for AP people (without other software).

I dunno, I'm pretty happy with where it's at. Definitely not Celestron, but it's not too shabby.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Raginar]
      #5669033 - 02/08/13 01:27 PM

Celestrons All Star Polar Alignment is very accurate. I usually imaged without doing a drift alignment.
After doing PAC I still need to do a drift. Even after doing the PAC 2 or 3 times I still needed the drift. I did a drift then tried PAC and it had me move the mount out of alignment. Try it some time.
Usable, it depends what you consider usable.
And if your just doing visual or AP.

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5669549 - 02/08/13 06:19 PM

Neilson,

I'll just keep using something else then. I'm sure they'll get around fixing it someday. As long as it continues to control my mechanically superior mount... I'm happy . My issue with the CGEM was that it couldn't perform mechanically.

The MI250 rocks!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Raginar]
      #5669832 - 02/08/13 09:54 PM

Hi Raginar,
I see you have an MI250. I just saw some pictures of one. That is an increadable looking mount. I wish I had one of those.
I recieved my new G11 mount with a number of serious mechanical problems. I blamed them for my Gemini 2's issues. But as the mechanical problems are getting fixed my Gem2 is still the same. Once my mounts mechanical issues are fixed, I wouldn't give it up for a Meade or Celestron mount. But I do find it hard accepting the Gem2 after using the NexStar.
I have been watching Rene fix things and add things that people want to make the Gem2 better, but only after its requested. If there are a lot of people saying the accuracy is good enough as long as its in the eyepiece somewhere then thats as good as it will ever be.
But if we ask him if he would improve the accuracy so that items are centered, especially DSO's for imaging, I bet he would do it.

And yes I emailed him a request to increase the goto and PAC accuracy about a month ago. But If others let him know its wanted he might go ahead and improve the goto's and PAC's accuracy.

Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5669896 - 02/08/13 10:25 PM

I agree completely. It's amazing the difference a mechanically sound mount makes.

BTW, did my first 'full' setup with modeling. Surprisingly easy to accomplish, completely spot on with not being that accurate. And, you definitely need to build models on each side of the meridian.

Edit: So I was examining the data I got from my new pointing model after using PEMPRO. Have you guys ever paid attention to how sensitive it is to the pointing model? The numbers for it's polar alignment significantly changed depending on where I was in the model. Perhaps that is the issue we're running into when using PAC?

Edited by Raginar (02/08/13 11:11 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Raginar]
      #5669959 - 02/08/13 11:27 PM

Hi Raginar,
Wow thats great. I wonder if different models of mounts make a difference on quality of accuracy.
I am thinking of swapping out my gearbox to see if it helps. I had noticed on mine that I definately have to make a model of both sides for goto's also.
What ota are you using on it.

I am glad you are getting good results with that real nice mount.

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mistyridge
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/28/05

Loc: Loomis, CA
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5670064 - 02/09/13 02:09 AM

Check your coordinates....Lat - Lon. and time clock. If you are off on all your gotos by the same amount that could be the problem.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: mistyridge]
      #5670088 - 02/09/13 02:54 AM

Have you tried flashing the sram? That would clear any corrupt settings.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5670108 - 02/09/13 03:29 AM

If Celestron sold a $1000 retrofit nexstar and motors, with programmable gear ratios, I suspect there would be a market.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5670452 - 02/09/13 10:25 AM

Hi Mike,
I have rechecked that information many times. In fact the Gem 2's internal battery died within a few weeks of recieving the mount. Scott sent me a replacement battery that started with 3.3volts but in a few weeks it was down to 2.5v and I had to keep reentering the info. I bought 2 more batteries and its been a couple weeks and this one started at 3.4volts and is already down to 2.9v. I haven't had to reset the info yet but I check it every day. I get the voltages from the Gemini web server page then checked the batteries with my multimeter when I replaced them. I find the Web server's volts reading to be accurate. I expected the batteries to last around 5+ years but you never know how long they might have been in the packages. Thank you for your help.

Hi Hilmi,
Yes, several weeks after I got the mount I followed the procedure to update the firmware. Even though it was up to date. Flashing the sram was part of that process if I remember correctly. But I will try flashing the sram today. Thank you for your help.

Hi Orlyandico,
Yes, At least I would buy one, but I would prefer the Gemini 2 to be improved similar to the NexStars level.

Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5670677 - 02/09/13 12:46 PM

OK, let me clarify by 'not accurate' . First star, off as I'd expect from my Nexstar. Second star, off significantly (3 degrees or so?) and not quite as I'd expect from my Nexstar. Third star, put it within a degree (again not as accurate as my Nexstar, would've expected it to be spot on). Fourth star, spot on.

When I flipped to get the other side, I expected the GOTOs to be 'more' accurate. They weren't. It was essentially the same as starting over. This makes sense since each side of the sky has separate models.

Now the interesting part. I'd polar aligned with PEMPRO, so I assumed I was within a arc-minute of the pole on each axis now. When I started the model on the East side, It had a large number in pole azimuth and a smaller number in pole elevation (15000 and around 300). As I refined, that number got smaller (around 1000 in each when I got to my 5th star). What surprised me is that the pole numbers became significantly off when I started the W side of the model! It again went large to 15000 for the azimuth and a smaller number for the elevation. But, as I got to the 4th star on the W side, it became what I expected of around 1000 in each value.

So, maybe PAC is very dependent on our modeling behaviors. If you're not putting in enough data points on the E and W side, perhaps it isn't capable of calculating a precise polar alignment?

Anyways, just thought I'd share.

Hilmi, thanks for the help! I finally figured out how to use the semi-automatic modeling, and it really works well. That definitely made the difference for me. Oh, and I had the scope slew to my only real target last night (M81) and it put it within arc-seconds on my ST-10. No plate solve required. I was definitely happy with it . That was with 6 stars on each side of the meridian in my model.

Finally, I want to see how it does when I wake it up next. My CGEM was never accurate after 'sleeping'. I always had to use plate solving after putting it to sleep (or just knock out a new alignment). If my G2 wakes up and can point, I'll be VERY happy indeed.

Neilson,
I agree, I like the color screen and features of the G2. The ASCOM driver is AWESOME compared to Nexstar. I hate that I needed another program like Nexremote (which wasn't free :/) in order to control it. Also, the fact that the ASCOM driver works with the data in the mount and vice versa... I hated creating two mutually exclusive models with Nexremote/Nexstar HC.

Overall, I'm extremely pleased with G2.

Oh, anyone wanna tell me how to do PEC? I did a 30-minute run in PEMPRO.... Made the curve, and unlike my CGEM, it didn't have a way to 'upload' it directly to the mount? It required me to play it back.... which took the worm time for a full rotation obviosuly. And then the ASCOM driver wouldn't let me turn on PEC? Any ideas?

Oh, and my PE was around +/- 2" I love this MI-250. I've never had guiding so easy! My RMS was .11 and my oscillations were around .48 (where they should be).


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Raginar]
      #5670807 - 02/09/13 01:50 PM

for pempro, make sure you have selected Gemini L4/L5 as the mount type. when you do that you get a new tab (way at the end, in the bottom pane) that lets you upload and download curves directly to the mount.

IIRC there are 2 gemini mount types in PEMPro and only one of them supports the direct upload.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Raginar]
      #5670810 - 02/09/13 01:51 PM

Quote:

anyone wanna tell me how to do PEC? I did a 30-minute run in PEMPRO




You need to run the mount setup wizard in PEMpro and select Gemini as mount type


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Raginar]
      #5670939 - 02/09/13 03:50 PM

Your making me want your mount even more. Especially that low PE.
I havent been able to figure out how those pole numbers work on Gem 2. With NexStar they made sense to me. My pole numbers on my Gem2 were usually around 400-800 for the first and 1300- 6000 for the second. Does it mean its 6,000 arcseconds off?

I'm glad your mounts working out good.
You just have to build a model on the East side for PAC. I believe you need 4 stars but more is better. The quality of that model effects how good PAC will figure the Polar alignment.

My alignment stars on both sides were just as you described yours were.
I found it was best to use one or two stars that overlap the East and West models or after doing the West model the East model stars were off a little. That was just my experience, you might check it out.

Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5671409 - 02/09/13 08:46 PM

Neilson,

I'll keep that in mind about using repetitive stars on each side of the meridian. That's good advice!

pfile, I'll have to go through the mount setup and see if there is an option for a G2/MI250. I'm sure PEMPRO thinks I have a G1/MI250 right now.

This thread has been very fortuitous! I learned a lot over the last few days going through everything with ya'll.

Thank you!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: EFT]
      #5674952 - 02/11/13 10:52 PM

Ok, I've got a new one. MI-250 and G2: how long do I have to wait after hitting the safety limits (95 in the W and 92 in the E) before I can do a meridian flip? I tried imaging to the safety limit and slewed... and it told me to *BLEEP* off I assumed since both numbers are greater than 90... there is overlap?

Finally, if I do hit a safety limit, it seems to really jack up the driver? Is there any way to keep it from doing that?

Thanks,


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Raginar]
      #5674966 - 02/11/13 11:13 PM

Dont know. That is a rather narrow overlap compared to what I have on the G11. As for hitting the limits it never seemed to be a harsh stop on my mount.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5674985 - 02/11/13 11:28 PM

i think those numbers are in degrees from CWD to the east and west, so i don't think there could be overlap unless they are > 180 degrees.

i think by default once you hit a limit, the mount really refuses to move. it will move if you use the handpad to back it out though. the driver has an "automation" setting that will automatically nudge the mount out of the safety limit, i assume so that mount control programs can move the mount or do a meridian flip or what have you. but when you enable this the driver warns you about it, so i was a little afraid to turn it on


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: pfile]
      #5675047 - 02/12/13 12:16 AM

Actually the best way to imagine the angle is to think of it as the angle to the left or to the right from the telescope when it is in counter weight down position.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5676804 - 02/12/13 11:28 PM

Hi,
Is there a special setting if I want to image unguided. I am in sidereal rate but the mount runs slow in RA.

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5676812 - 02/12/13 11:33 PM

If ti is running slow then you need to check you'r mount set up. There is a page where you set the ratios for your particular mount. I'm not at the system now so I can't guide you. It also has a list of pre-defined selections such as the MI250 or G11 etc.. If you have a Titan, the Gemini II unit has 2 different types of that mount in the pre-defined settings.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5676830 - 02/12/13 11:48 PM

Hi Hilmi,
My mount is a G11 and that is what I set it too. I haven't messed with anything else except the TVC I set to 25 and I also set the mount limits.
I found the default gearing settings on line I will check them tomorrow. Both worms 360, spur gears 25, motor encoders 256. I have never messed with them but I will check them. Thank you.

neilson

Edited by neilson (02/12/13 11:58 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5676865 - 02/13/13 12:21 AM

Then I opine (don't you just love those extravagant words you sometimes find in the English language) that you have a combination clutch slip/balance problem. I'm no expert, it took me almost a year to get my mount tuned in, so check with the true experts.

But to my understanding the speed is set in the hand controllers and the speed is maintained by the motor encoders. So If mechanically the mount is turning at the right speed, but you are still falling behind in RA, that indicates to me you'r clutch isn't doing its job.

The clutch is A) Easy to replace B) A consumable item C) Very cheap.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5676974 - 02/13/13 02:52 AM

Hi Hilmi,
My clutches were slipping bad. I thought it was the cause of my problem. Scott sent me some different clutches and now they hold very good. Very stiff, no more slipping at all. But the RA is still slow.

I checked balance over and over, I even tried making it heavy to the West to speed it up but the mount slows it back down.

Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5677062 - 02/13/13 06:17 AM

there is sidereal rate and king rate. and they're slightly different right?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5677607 - 02/13/13 12:35 PM

Hi Orlyandico,
King is for imaging near the horizon. Increased refraction makes things go at a different speed than the normal sidereal rate near the horizon. King rate compensates for that. I think thats right.

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5679315 - 02/14/13 12:08 PM

Hi Everyone,
I posted my complaint on the Gemini 2 Yahoo group.
It wasn't long before someone with a fairly new G11 Gem2 replied that he is having all the crazy problems that I am with his. There appears to be some kind of bug in the Firmware or defective units. I don't know how this is going to be resolved. I sent an email to Scott and Craig the owner of OPT where I bought it. I have been sending both of them complaints about this ever since I bought it in December. Now I have proof that it's the mount, not me.

Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
10gauge
sage


Reged: 10/31/10

Loc: Boston
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5679351 - 02/14/13 12:25 PM

Please keep us informed how this gets resolved. Darn, the mechanics are beautiful as I've been considering getting a G11, now I might go with the Alt-Az EQ-6 Pro if Losmandy doesn't resolve the issue. Good Luck!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: 10gauge]
      #5679531 - 02/14/13 01:47 PM

Hi 10gauge,
The choice would be easy for me after all the problems the one I got has. But I am biased. You might get a good one. If Scott fixes all my mounts problems to my satisfaction then my opinion might improve.
The Alt/Az Eq-6 Pro is a mount I would like to own.

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5702760 - 02/27/13 12:08 AM

Hi Everyone,
I received a replacement Gemini 2 computer main box today. I tested it and the results are looking good.

I made an East model then slewed back to several alignment stars and they were fairly close to the center. I slewed to M42(orions nebula) and it was centered. This never happened before. I did a PE run using PHd with guiding disabled and the tracking was good. It ran slow before. I took a 2 1/2 minute guided image and my stars were round. They were football shaped before.
The only problem I had was when slewing to an East side star that was not near where any of the modeling stars were and it was outside the 12mm illuminated reticule eyepiece. This tells me I need to use all 12 alignment stars on both East and West models if I want all my goto's in my eyepiece.

My Gemini 2 still needs more testing to make sure since I just did 2 hours worth tonight. It's looking much better than it has the past 2 months.

It's not as good as my Celestron CGEM DX was. It just needs 2+4 stars and all the stars I goto were centered not just fairly close. If my G11 Gemini 2 keeps working as good as it did tonight then I will probably keep it.

They just released an update to the firmware so I will install it and test it tomorrow. Its supposed to fix some of the bugs. They hope to fix the rest of the bugs next update.

Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5704481 - 02/27/13 10:55 PM

Hi Everyone,
Well I installed the new firmware in my Gemini 2 today. I started testing my tracking and goto's. They were working good finally.

Then I wanted to slew to the horsehead nebula to image it. There is no Bernard catalog (Bernard 33) and it looks like they removed the IC catalog (IC434). It looks like the NGC catalog is gone also. No Caldwell, But there is the Messier catalog. And some others I never heard of. I think their star and double stars and things like that. I dont know if I'm supposed to enter the coordinates but I dont know any.

Then to make things worse the handbox locked up again. The only way to fix that is restart and do another 24 star model. No Way, I gave up for tonight.

Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5704600 - 02/28/13 12:42 AM

Catalogs can just be copied across thats not an issue. Hand controller locking is from shoddy design where they madethe box too tight a fit just slightly loosen the screws on the back of the box. I suspect they will be introducing a revised design of the hand controller soon

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5704633 - 02/28/13 01:04 AM

Hi Hilmi,
I already updated and no longer have the old firmware and I havent a clue how to copy them across.
I already tried loosening the screws on the handbox. At least every other day my screen locks up making me turn it off and restart it. Sometimes twice a day. Its very frustrating.

Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5704649 - 02/28/13 01:29 AM

Im happy with my Gemini II taking into account that it only now is maturing. Its the sloppy backlash and adjustment mechanism of my G11 that I am not happy with. I feel that for imaging this was a bad choice. I have outstanding native uncorrected PE that last night I measured at +/- 2.6 but then the DEC backlash makes guiding difficult in some orientations. Make Dec tight and it stalls, loosen it and you will have guiding difficulty. Adjustment mechanism is archaic and annoying

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5704684 - 02/28/13 02:02 AM

Hilmi,
That doesn't sound good. I hope you can get it worked out. I am happy with finally getting 8.5 arcseconds total PE. I'm hoping PEC will bring it down some more.
Do you have to re train the PEC each time you turn the mount off.

I just found out from TOM that the NGC by Didier has all the NGC items in it. And that Rene may have found an alternate IC catalog but it has to be converted to use with Gemini and should be updated later. Both catalogs could not be in the Gemini 2 for copywrite reasons and these alternate ones will work.
I am relieved.

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5705179 - 02/28/13 11:53 AM

Hi Hilmi,
Tom just said that you cannot copy the NGC or IC catalogs across because the Gemini 2 firmware looks for them and will delete them each time you power up. I can understand them not being allowed to include these catalogs but who's business is it what we install ourselves. My Gemini 2 came with NGC and IC catalogs already installed. What right do they have to erease them and not allow them. Well its not really a big deal because they are going to have alternate versions. And thats good enough for me.

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
gdd
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5705606 - 02/28/13 03:43 PM

Quote:

Im happy with my Gemini II taking into account that it only now is maturing. Its the sloppy backlash and adjustment mechanism of my G11 that I am not happy with. I feel that for imaging this was a bad choice. I have outstanding native uncorrected PE that last night I measured at +/- 2.6 but then the DEC backlash makes guiding difficult in some orientations. Make Dec tight and it stalls, loosen it and you will have guiding difficulty. Adjustment mechanism is archaic and annoying





Does the Gemini-2 backlash compensation (TVC) help at all?

Gale


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: gdd]
      #5706355 - 02/28/13 10:45 PM

I have applied backlash compensation through MaxikDL with limited successs. But problem is still there.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5706375 - 02/28/13 11:07 PM

every time i read one of these threads i thank the stars i didn't buy a G11...

it is simply mind-boggling that a $3600 mount should have such problems. I mean, one expects such issues with a CGEM and adjusts one's expectations. But not when you pay over twice!

(sorry, off topic)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5706407 - 02/28/13 11:30 PM

Pretty much on topic. It's just like gambling, you feel one more time and you'll get it right. But you never really get there

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
gdd
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/23/05

Loc: N Seattle suburb, WA
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5706489 - 03/01/13 12:53 AM

Quote:

have applied backlash compensation through MaxikDL with limited successs. But problem is still there.




I read that MaximDL performs backlash compensation by waiting a programmable length of time for the worm to reverse direction.

Gemini TVC uses a different approach, it reverses the direction of the motor at high speed for a programmable amount to quickly take up the slack and then resumes at normal guide correction speed. Might be worth an experiment to see which method works better. Or maybe those with experience in both methods can let us know.

Gale


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mistyridge
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/28/05

Loc: Loomis, CA
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: gdd]
      #5706519 - 03/01/13 01:32 AM

I am still using last years update which seems to work OK for my use...visual + some planet imaging. I think I will skip the latest update as it seems to cause problems and is hard to install.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: mistyridge]
      #5706562 - 03/01/13 03:09 AM

What problems? I installed the latest update and it went without any trouble at all. It adds a nice emergency stop button and so far it "seems" to have removed the guiding bug.

Its not difficult to install it just needs manual installation as compared to automatic install.

The difficulties I am facing are mechanical


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5706760 - 03/01/13 08:47 AM

Hi Hilmi,
I set my TVC backlash on my Gemini to 30 and it made a noticable difference on my mount. I ended up lowering it to 25. But your right, each repair has me thinking its the last one then something else goes wrong. Its been frustrating but at least I have been able to get them fixed. If something needs replacing Scott sends you the part. Meade or Celestron would never do that.

But for the money I paid I did expect the mount to perform much better right out of the box.

neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: neilson]
      #5706791 - 03/01/13 09:10 AM

Here's an interesting one... Maxim backlash compensation doesn't wait.. it applies a fixed pulse movement whenever reversing direction to take up the slack. Say your mount has 2 seconds worth of backlash (at guide speed). This means that if dec guiding ever has to reverse direction, Maxim will apply a 2-second pulse to reverse.

the problem with this scheme is, if your mount has a lot of backlash.. say it has 20" of backlash (which is not uncommon). at 1X guide speed it would take 20 freakin' seconds to reverse direction in declination...

My Littlefoot controller (and the Gemini 2 as described above) have a different method: when reversing direction, a fixed number of pulses are sent, but at a much higher speed than the guide speed (for the Littlefoot it is at 40X sidereal - this is called the backlash speed).

That way, dec reversals are supposedly "instantaneous."

In my experience this doesn't work, but the problem on my AP600 mount is stiction. Even after applying 30-40 pulses to reverse direction, the mount doesn't move. Or if it does, it over-shoots.

(another OT) i got the AP600 for $2K (same price as a new G11 non-Gemini!) because I thought, it's an AP, it has to be great... well the periodic error is great, but it had (and has) a lot of problems in declination as described above.

the AP 9000QMD controller has a backlash adjustment, but it wasn't working for me. so I read up on the Littlefoot controller and thought, I'll add GoTo to this thing and fix my declination problems at the same time! (with the fast backlash speed feature).

well it didn't work. the Littlefoot controller was almost $1K (at least it didn't cost as much as a Gemini 2). so i was in the same situation.. throwing money in trying to fix the mount. eventually i gave up.

then I thought about getting a G11.......... because i thought, with the Ovision worm and all, I can get AP level performance. I wouldn't even need a Gemini 2, because I could retrofit the Littlefoot to a G11.

fortunately i resisted that temptation.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5707023 - 03/01/13 11:28 AM

I have just gone through some balancing acrobatics today and I am now testing the entire setup again. It seems to all work, but unfortunately to get this to balance, I had to keep the camera at an orientation which does not result in a pleasing image. So now I am thinking maybe the camera needs some kind of counter weight system so that it never affects balance regardless of orientation.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
SMigol
sage


Reged: 07/30/10

Loc: California, USA
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5707240 - 03/01/13 02:01 PM

FWIW, my g11 has the dec backlash issue, too. What I've done is bumped my DEC guide rate to .5x vs .2 by using the Gemini web page. This is the only place where you can set different guide rates for the axes. It helps significantly. I also use Maxim's stiction control set at the maximum (9x) and set the dec aggressiveness to not overshoot. Thus, it will bump along, slowly adjusting DEC depending on what the drift suggests. Rarely it will overshoot and then it will try to get back. The slightly higher rate does help. Mostly the higher rate just breaks the stiction to keep things moving.

Note that I had to use this function when the weather got colder. I fully expect to turn this off once temperatures return to their temperate norms.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LOSMANDY GEMINI 2 GOTO SYSTEM new [Re: SMigol]
      #5707255 - 03/01/13 02:10 PM

SMigol, i also used the same technique on my AP600. anti-stiction for the win. I used 0.3X in RA and 1.0X in DEC (on the Littlefoot). Results were still.. not exemplary.

The Mach1 made all these issues go away hard.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | (show all)


Extra information
29 registered and 34 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Dave M, richard7, bilgebay 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 6812

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics