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EXOS-2GT Information Thread...

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#1 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 08:26 PM

I'm starting this thread for anyone owning the Explore Scientific (Bresser) EXOS-2GT GEM, or for anyone contemplating getting one. There isn't a single, central repository for information about this mount, such as it's features and how best to set it up and use it. If anyone has one of these mounts, please post up a pic of it, what scope(s) you use on it, as well as any valuable information and experiences about the mount others can find useful (either in using it, or for those contemplating purchasing it). 

 

I'll start it off. Here's my EXOS-2GT with an AR102 on it. I made a custom designed pier extension for mine. I'm just starting to figure out how to use it and I'm stuck in a glacier far up north where when it's warm enough to want to use it, it's cloudy and/or snowing, and when it's clear at night it's also sub-zero temps, so it might be a while before I actually use it outside. I know others who are using it, so please add some info about your EXOS-2GT in this thread. 

 

EXOS-pier2.jpg   EXOS-pier1.jpg


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 16 January 2017 - 08:29 PM.

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#2 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 11:02 AM

So far, this is what we know about the EXOS-2GT...

 

It is pretty much the same as the Meade LXD75, as it was slightly re-designed by the same person (company), but it has the JOC (versions 2.2a) controller and firmware, not the Autostar. One can replace the motors and controller with Meade LXD75 motors and the Autostar (if you can find them) as the mount itself is identical (with ball bearings on both RA and DEC axes).

 

* - The polar scope uses a South Pole visual, but also has North Pole markings.

* - The controller may or may not retain settings programmed into it, based on the internal battery. The battery required is a CR1220 and you have to open the hand controller completely to access it.

* - It comes supplied with an empty battery power box that takes eight (yes, 8) "D" batteries, but you can use an alternate 12v power source.

* - The power module uses a 2.5mm (tip positive) plug. 

* - The ST-4 autoguider port does work. The RS232 port on the handset does not and so there is no computer interface.

* - While there are the options of doing one, two, or three star alignments, apparently one star alignment works best for more accurate GoTo's.

* - All of the catalogs (Messier, NGC, etc.) are accessible and you do NOT have to scroll through them. You can just punch in the catalog number once in that catalog. 

 

If anyone has any more information to add to this thread, please do so!


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 17 January 2017 - 11:03 AM.

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#3 Gofr

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 11:46 AM

Here's my setup with my Meade Polaris 90 on my Exos 2. Had to buy a lighter 3.8 lb counterweight to help balance it as the stock 9.9 lb weight was far too much for my scope (and even then you can still see how far up the weight goes). Been a great experience with it so far. Will want to still test out the 2 star align goto accuracy next time I'm able to get out.

 

15977737_1529401200418499_52564612158550


Edited by Gofr, 17 January 2017 - 11:49 AM.

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#4 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 12:28 PM

Here's my setup with my Meade Polaris 90 on my Exos 2. Had to buy a lighter 3.8 lb counterweight to help balance it as the stock 9.9 lb weight was far too much for my scope (and even then you can still see how far up the weight goes). Been a great experience with it so far. Will want to still test out the 2 star align goto accuracy next time I'm able to get out.

 

15977737_1529401200418499_52564612158550

That might be a lightweight scope, but it's long and makes it prone to twisting the mount, so I think the EXOS-2GT is solid enough to be stable with that scope. I'll bet it's a really nice planetary scope. It must be at least an F/10?

 

Let us know how your two star alignment works with it. 


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 17 January 2017 - 12:28 PM.


#5 Gofr

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 12:35 PM

Yeah, F10. I had a heck of a time picking between it and a 130mm F5 newt as my starter scope (both were the same price). I knew I was going to want to focus more on planetary viewing since I'm in a very heavily light polluted city, so I picked it over the bigger newt. That and I have to admit I've garnered a bit of a refractor bias. xD It has been quite a blast so far and the CA is indeed practically nonexistent visually.


Edited by Gofr, 17 January 2017 - 12:36 PM.

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#6 labmand

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 06:28 PM

Great looking mount, I am a Lxd75 fan, lots of us have been waiting for the Explore Scientific promised Pmc Eight upgrade for this Explore Scientific (Bresser) EXOS-2GT GEM with the Joc controller/software. Just wanted those that read this new thread without reading the several other related threads that a new upgrade is in the works, Even though it seams to be very slow coming.

#7 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 07:33 PM

Great looking mount, I am a Lxd75 fan, lots of us have been waiting for the Explore Scientific promised Pmc Eight upgrade for this Explore Scientific (Bresser) EXOS-2GT GEM with the Joc controller/software. Just wanted those that read this new thread without reading the several other related threads that a new upgrade is in the works, Even though it seams to be very slow coming.

Actually it's already available. You can find one HERE for $999. Comes with the PMC-8, and yes I verified it comes with the hand controller. But it also only works with Windows as far as a computer interface. I'm fine with the handcontroller only as I don't want to be bringing out a laptop too. But for those that want it, yes it's now available. 

 

The new PMC-8 version has these additional features...

 

Precision Dual-Axis Micro-Stepper Motors
Integrated WiFi for Wireless Control
ExploreStars GoTo App for Windows
70,000+ Object Database


Edited by MarkMittlesteadt, 18 January 2017 - 10:24 AM.


#8 Gofr

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 11:36 AM

I'm mostly interested in PMC8 for whatever superior software it may have. Being an open source code, I'm hoping some talented programmers out there can make some good stuff for the PMC8. I won't be upgrading up to it anytime soon, so by the time I am ready to upgrade, it'll be have been out long enough for people to know how good it is and see what interesting programs people have written for it.


Edited by Gofr, 18 January 2017 - 11:36 AM.

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#9 labmand

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 10:10 PM

That is good news, Any one have one yet? Hoping to see some reviews.


Great looking mount, I am a Lxd75 fan, lots of us have been waiting for the Explore Scientific promised Pmc Eight upgrade for this Explore Scientific (Bresser) EXOS-2GT GEM with the Joc controller/software. Just wanted those that read this new thread without reading the several other related threads that a new upgrade is in the works, Even though it seams to be very slow coming.

Actually it's already available. You can find one HERE for $999. Comes with the PMC-8, and yes I verified it comes with the hand controller. But it also only works with Windows as far as a computer interface. I'm fine with the handcontroller only as I don't want to be bringing out a laptop too. But for those that want it, yes it's now available.

The new PMC-8 version has these additional features...

Precision Dual-Axis Micro-Stepper Motors
Integrated WiFi for Wireless Control
ExploreStars GoTo App for Windows
70,000+ Object Database

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#10 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 10:16 PM

That is good news, Any one have one yet? Hoping to see some reviews.
 

 

Great looking mount, I am a Lxd75 fan, lots of us have been waiting for the Explore Scientific promised Pmc Eight upgrade for this Explore Scientific (Bresser) EXOS-2GT GEM with the Joc controller/software. Just wanted those that read this new thread without reading the several other related threads that a new upgrade is in the works, Even though it seams to be very slow coming.

Actually it's already available. You can find one HERE for $999. Comes with the PMC-8, and yes I verified it comes with the hand controller. But it also only works with Windows as far as a computer interface. I'm fine with the handcontroller only as I don't want to be bringing out a laptop too. But for those that want it, yes it's now available.

The new PMC-8 version has these additional features...

Precision Dual-Axis Micro-Stepper Motors
Integrated WiFi for Wireless Control
ExploreStars GoTo App for Windows
70,000+ Object Database

 

I think you might have to be the first one to buy it and provide the review for us. ;) I think it's still pretty new to the market. But they also seem to be out of stock everywhere. 



#11 rmollise

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 09:36 AM

Actually it's already available. You can find one HERE for $999. Comes with the PMC-8, and yes I verified it comes with the hand controller. But it also only works with Windows as far as a computer interface. I'm fine with the handcontroller only as I don't want to be bringing out a laptop too. But for those that want it, yes it's now available. 

 

 

The new PMC-8 version has these additional features...

 

Precision Dual-Axis Micro-Stepper Motors
Integrated WiFi for Wireless Control
ExploreStars GoTo App for Windows
70,000+ Object Database

 

 

Well, the mount pictured at B&H is the previous, non PMC version. Also, if it was available at B&H it wasn't for long ("More coming soon.")...


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#12 labmand

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 10:16 AM

Ah ha! Sooo... is it really out? Seams that at least a picture should be out by now, Only been waiting for a year or so, No I won't be the 1st, I would have 6 Or 8 mouths ago, but I decided to not wait any longer and went another rout for now, but will be keeping an eye on this Lxd75 clone
For sure, because the Autostar Lxd75 is going to be hard to beat, contrary to some with negative views.
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#13 rmollise

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 12:25 PM

Ah ha! Sooo... is it really out? Seams that at least a picture should be out by now, Only been waiting for a year or so, No I won't be the 1st, I would have 6 Or 8 mouths ago, but I decided to not wait any longer and went another rout for now, but will be keeping an eye on this Lxd75 clone
For sure, because the Autostar Lxd75 is going to be hard to beat, contrary to some with negative views.

There is a picture on the ES website. Prototype? Mockup? Who knows, but it shows a black version of the mount with the appropriate box mounted to the tripod.



#14 bottlecrusher

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 08:14 AM

 

Ah ha! Sooo... is it really out? Seams that at least a picture should be out by now, Only been waiting for a year or so, No I won't be the 1st, I would have 6 Or 8 mouths ago, but I decided to not wait any longer and went another rout for now, but will be keeping an eye on this Lxd75 clone
For sure, because the Autostar Lxd75 is going to be hard to beat, contrary to some with negative views.

There is a picture on the ES website. Prototype? Mockup? Who knows, but it shows a black version of the mount with the appropriate box mounted to the tripod.

 

Look at the paint close and it appears to be spray painted on.  I'm thinking it's a prototype.



#15 Gofr

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 11:51 AM

Have you received any info from ES on registering the mount yet?



#16 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 01:02 PM

Have you received any info from ES on registering the mount yet?

Yes I have. Sorry...forgot to post it. They said there is no serial number and when registering, just leave that space blank. So no matter if you leave that blank or put something in there, the product is registered. 



#17 Gofr

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 02:56 PM

Oh ok, so my original register with the random number I did put is ok then, so long as I have the email proving it, I guess. Cool, thanks.



#18 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 06:41 PM

Oh ok, so my original register with the random number I did put is ok then, so long as I have the email proving it, I guess. Cool, thanks.

Yup.



#19 davehilltop

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 01:25 PM

Hi Mark,

  I just stumbled upon your thread.  I searched on Cloudy Nights before I purchased an EXOS-2GT through B&H Photo but never found the thread frown.gif  Anyway received my EXOS-2GT yesterday.

It was drop shipped from the ExploreScientific warehouse. I got it mostly assembled last night. The documentation I received was kinda of a joke !  A quick start guide with 7 little pictures

actually showing the EXOS-2GT assembly procedure. Anyway I figured it out.  I didn't receive a battery box with mine ??  Contacted ES and they are shipping one to me. By chance do you know 

if there's an ac adapter that would be compatible ? Also mine came with these two flexible shafts with a big knob on one of each. The other end has a little metal thing on it with a small knurled fastener.

I believe this for moving the mount manually (slow motion) ?  Cant figure where they go or perhaps with the motors on the mount you don't use them ?? I'm a complete rookie on EQ mounts.I'll get a pic up asap.

I have a  SW 100ED scope mounted. Just got that a few days ago. It only weighs 8.4 lbs. so the supplied counter weight seems to heavy. I couldn't get it balanced even after moving the weight right up to the mount.

 

Regards to all !  Dave

 



#20 rmollise

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 04:09 PM

Hi Mark,

  I just stumbled upon your thread.  I searched on Cloudy Nights before I purchased an EXOS-2GT through B&H Photo but never found the thread frown.gif  Anyway received my EXOS-2GT yesterday.

It was drop shipped from the ExploreScientific warehouse. I got it mostly assembled last night. The documentation I received was kinda of a joke !  A quick start guide with 7 little pictures

actually showing the EXOS-2GT assembly procedure. Anyway I figured it out.  I didn't receive a battery box with mine ??  Contacted ES and they are shipping one to me. By chance do you know 

if there's an ac adapter that would be compatible ? Also mine came with these two flexible shafts with a big knob on one of each. The other end has a little metal thing on it with a small knurled fastener.

I believe this for moving the mount manually (slow motion) ?  Cant figure where they go or perhaps with the motors on the mount you don't use them ?? I'm a complete rookie on EQ mounts.I'll get a pic up asap.

I have a  SW 100ED scope mounted. Just got that a few days ago. It only weighs 8.4 lbs. so the supplied counter weight seems to heavy. I couldn't get it balanced even after moving the weight right up to the mount.

 

Regards to all !  Dave

 

If you have the goto version of the mount, the slow motion shafts are not used.

 

Best bet for power? A 12vdc power cord and a jump-start battery pack. 



#21 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 05:41 PM

Hi Mark,

  I just stumbled upon your thread.  I searched on Cloudy Nights before I purchased an EXOS-2GT through B&H Photo but never found the thread frown.gif  Anyway received my EXOS-2GT yesterday.

It was drop shipped from the ExploreScientific warehouse. I got it mostly assembled last night. The documentation I received was kinda of a joke !  A quick start guide with 7 little pictures

actually showing the EXOS-2GT assembly procedure. Anyway I figured it out.  I didn't receive a battery box with mine ??  Contacted ES and they are shipping one to me. By chance do you know 

if there's an ac adapter that would be compatible ? Also mine came with these two flexible shafts with a big knob on one of each. The other end has a little metal thing on it with a small knurled fastener.

I believe this for moving the mount manually (slow motion) ?  Cant figure where they go or perhaps with the motors on the mount you don't use them ?? I'm a complete rookie on EQ mounts.I'll get a pic up asap.

I have a  SW 100ED scope mounted. Just got that a few days ago. It only weighs 8.4 lbs. so the supplied counter weight seems to heavy. I couldn't get it balanced even after moving the weight right up to the mount.

 

Regards to all !  Dave

I'm actually surprised you got the RA/Dec manual controls as there is no way to use them on the EXOS-2GT as the GoTo version uses motors that completely cover the motor shafts. 

 

I use a Talentcell 12v 11000mAh to power my mount. I had to get a 2.5 adapter as it came stock with a 2.1mm plug (you need 2.5). It powers my mount easily for a very long time and the battery is small, lightweight and just velcroed to my mount. Far better than wasting money (and having to discard used) D size batteries. 

You can find lighter counterweights, even used. Just Google EXOS/Bresser counterweights, and even the Meade LXD75 counterweights work as well. 


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#22 davehilltop

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 09:03 PM

I'm actually surprised you got the RA/Dec manual controls as there is no way to use them on the EXOS-2GT as the GoTo version uses motors that completely cover the motor shafts.

I use a Talentcell 12v 11000mAh to power my mount. I had to get a 2.5 adapter as it came stock with a 2.1mm plug (you need 2.5). It powers my mount easily for a very long time and the battery is small, lightweight and just velcroed to my mount. Far better than wasting money (and having to discard used) D size batteries.

You can find lighter counterweights, even used. Just Google EXOS/Bresser counterweights, and even the Meade LXD75 counterweights work as well.

 

Thanks for the follow up Mark !

   Yes those manual controls had me baffled for a while. Too bad I got those but no battery box. I chatted with ES support and they said they would send me one. I went ahead and also ordered a Talentcell

and some adapter cables to go from 2.1mm to 2.5mm. Seems a no brainer rather then dealing with D Cells.  I also found a used 8.2lb. counter weight on line so once all those goodies arrive i should be in business.

  Thanks, Dave


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#23 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 09:12 PM

Awesome!

 

I am still on the same charge on my battery and I've used my scope at least a dozen times with it. Granted, I'm not slewing all over the place, but it slews finding alignment stars and objects but mostly it's just tracking while I observe and it doesn't draw much power then. 

 

Be sure to input accurate data in the handcontroller initially, polar align the mount (super easy to do) and I've found (as have many others) a one star alignment works best. 



#24 davehilltop

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 12:53 PM

OK Good news first :)  I received my Talentcell, charged it and it powers the mount fine. Question, originally I assumed since it had two motors and each had it's own 12v connector that I would be connecting power to both motors ?  Apparently you only need to power what is called the control panel on the RA motor ? Thats what I'm doing as the power connector on the Dec motor is not a 2.5mm or 2.1mm. Bad news, for the first few minutes both motors worked fine as I tested slewing the scope to various positions. Then the scope would only move on the RA axis. I could hear the Dec motor running but it sounded  like it wasn't engaging  the gear train ? Not sure what to call that. I unlocked and locked the Dec lock and it started moving again but the next time I stopped the mount and then started it, again no movement on the Dec axis. Unlocking and Locking does not correct the trouble. Now all I get is the sound of the motor running but I believe its just not engaging the gear train. RA motor is fine.  Any suggestions appreciated. Just wanted to check in before I call ExploreScientific :)   Thanks, Dave



#25 MarkMittlesteadt

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 11:13 AM

Does the Dec not move when slewing? 

 

Yes, you only power the control panel on the RA motor, where the handcontroller plugs into. Don't forget to connect the cord that goes from the RA motor to the Dec motor. The Dec motor will not function unless you connect the RA and Dec motors together with the cable. That's how the handcontroller communicates with the Dec motor.

 

You can see the coil cord of the handcontroller and the other coiled cord goes from the RA motor to the Dec motor in this pic of mine...

 

battery-mount.jpg


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