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To update an older GM8 or find a new replacement?

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#1 Kevin_VA

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 08:50 AM

I have an older GM8 with digital setting circles. The stepper motors, especially the RA motor, sounds a little rough but they seem to be functional. Not sure if the sound is a sign of problems to come or not. All in all, a good stout mount with no issues, as most are.

Been kind of envious of GoTo mounts lately. I know my GM8 can be upgraded to Gemini II and with the new servo motors. But for the cost of updating an old mount, I can get something else new or lightly used that would have maybe more capacity and functionality. Think SW EQ6-R for example. Or is the functionality and connectivity of the Gemini II and EQ6-R similar? Thinking it would be nice to operate the mount from a laptop (admittedly, I have a lot to learn about the newer control systems). I would like to try some astrophotography, would be starting with DSLR photography through my MN56 Mak-Newt, which looks like it'll work based on my preliminary testing.)

Then there is the possibility of upgrading to the G11 RA unit, keeping the GM8 DEC axis. That would have some benefits, but then with that and the Gemini II upgrade, that is a LOT of coin going into an older mount. Doesn't seem to make much sense to me, no matter how nice the end product would be.

Any thoughts or comments that could help me out?



#2 macdonjh

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 09:01 AM

If you are worried about your mount's motors, you can contact Losmandy and order replacement motors.

 

Upgrading to Gemini II is simple, but as you said, pretty expensive.  I like Gemini and prefer to not have a computer with me when I observe.  I don't like the big, bright screen.  I sometimes wish I had the benefits of a full-fledged planetarium program, though.

 

If I remember correctly, the GM-8 has a rated payload of 30 pounds, the EQ6 is rated for 40 pounds, and a Losmandy 811 is rated for 50 pounds.  Maybe the extra capacity will be useful, but you're the only person that can answer that question.



#3 peleuba

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 09:01 AM

I have an older GM8 with digital setting circles. The stepper motors, especially the RA motor, sounds a little rough but they seem to be functional. Not sure if the sound is a sign of problems to come or not. All in all, a good stout mount with no issues, as most are.

<<SNIP>>

Any thoughts or comments that could help me out?

 

If your motors track, they are fine...  Steppers are noisy and the noise can cylce louder and softer.

 

I have both an older G11 and a GM8, both with DSC's.  I looked at upgrading one of these to goto via Gemini.  I ended up keeping both Losmandy mounts "as is" and purchasing a Celestron CGEM-DX to see what all the fuss regarding goto was about.

 

Fast forward to today and I am thrilled with my choice.  The Celestron go to is easier to master then any version of Gemini.  I spent about the same amount of money on the CGEM-DX as I would have outfitting one of the Losmandy's with goto.

 

I keep the CGEM-DX on a permanent pier outside 24/7/365 with a C9.25 mounted on it.  All ready to go at a moments notice.  Its my most used telescope by far.


Edited by peleuba, 20 March 2019 - 09:07 AM.



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