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Gemini GTD E.Fric new mount or?

astrophotography equipment mount
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#1 greg_gorr77

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 03:36 PM

Gemini-E.fric Mount.png Hi All,

 

I am following this forum for quite while now - learning from most of you all. But now when it comes to big money decision I would like to get a bit of help to go through.

Is there anybody out there interested in new Gemini mount?

 

I have a bit secret stash to spend on new mount. Currently riding on Avalon M Zero - but I want a change to allow me to set heavier teles if needed,

but after all ive chosen one mount and this is how i have convinced myself:

 

The E.Fric - stands for Economic Friction, 66 pounds capacity there is nothing there in this class - great idea!

that what everybody wants - is it?

Gemini has proved several time that they have a quality and precision. LegendaryG41. G53F, focuser, mighty MoFod...so where is the catch? The new mount with no controller in basic package  that is not a big problem as you can add OneStep module,

no encoders? - same PE as the big names with encoders without guiding

 

https://www.youtube....OpiR6o8vl8&t=1s

 

There is not many precision mounts out there - ASA - direct drive, Mesu - ver 1 was good - ver 2 - hmmmm no - JTW friction drive- it will never show up..frown.gif who else? 

- but what do I know?.....

 

What do you think?

Greg

 

 

 

 



#2 nico974

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 09:03 AM

Hi,

I can tell you a bit more about this mount.
I'm one the first user of this mount. It's been about 4-5 mounths that I have it.

I use it with a TS130Q F5 and moravian G2-8300.
it works fine, I'm happy of it. It's rigid, easy to use and have a real good mechanic.
I've just finish to write a test report, so you can see it with the following text (I don't find if we can upload a pdf, so I paste the text only)

sorry if there are mistakes, I'm french and not so fluent english, so...

 

hope it will help you to chose !

 

nico

 

 

NEW MOUNT TEST

Gemini Telescope Design: E.FRIC

                                                                                                                                                                                                 By Nicolas Vouillon

 

Gemini Telescope Design recently released a new mount: the E.Fric.

It replaces the G53F.

Like the previous one, it’s an equatorial type with friction drive and therefore without backlash.

http://www.geminitel...man-equatorial/

 

The name is simply the acronym for Ecological FRICtion drive.

Clearly, this means that the mount was manufactured in an ecological approach: reduced ecological footprint, use of conventional machining, 3D printing and some parts are standard (drive motors for example) in order to be able to repair fairly easily if needed.

The manufacturer's approach is to offer a robust, reliable, easily repairable mount, easy to use and with a rather comfortable load capacity, all for a fairly low overall weight.

A fairly advanced design was made on the mechanics in order to eliminate not only an encoder but also the need for autoguiding (within a certain focal length of course)

 

 

Let's move on to the main technical data :

http://www.geminitel..._tech_sheet.pdf

 

Weight : 18kg

Load capacity : 30 kg without counting the counterweights

Latitude adjustment range : 16 to 65 °

No polar finder but an adapter for the Polemaster already integrated

Counterweight bar diameter : 30mm

Motors : nema 17 bipolar

Dovetail type : Losmandy

Aiming speed : 5 ° / sec

Pointing accuracy : 0.1%

Tracking accuracy : better than 2 '' arc

Electronic controller : not supplied

Counterweight : not supplied

Separable into 2 parts with 4 BTR screws (tools included)

 

 

                Concerning the electronic controller, it will be up to the future owner to choose and order it. He obviously propose a manufacturer with whom he works : instein astro

(https://instein.eu/) and he’s Onstep controller. (sold 210 €)

Its launch price in Europe is € 3,640 including VAT (without delivery) and this includes a 5-year guarantee! rare enough to point it out.

 

Why did I choose this mount?

 

Simply because at the end of last year (end of 2019), I was looking for a new mount to replace the well-known EQ6 Pro and to work without autoguiding if possible.

Having evolved over time from a skywatcher 80ED + apn to a TS130Q F5 + moravian + filter wheel, the venerable EQ6 had become too limited.

In parallel to this, Andras of GTD, began to publish pictures of his future mount with 3D drawings. I quickly fell in love with a design that was finally different from classic production! What also convinced me was his video without autoguiding : the star stays in its place for 10 min (https://www.youtube....OpiR6o8vl8&t=1s)

After a few discussions with him on the future capabilities of the mount, I decided to take it.

I received it in less than a week… I did not expect such speed from UPS

(small clarification: I live in Reunion island)

 

 

 

Unpacking and installation

 

The mount was well packaged, fixed inside on a kind of small pallet, simple but effective. The time to take it out and assemble the different parts with the BTR key provided, in a few minutes the mount was ready.

To fix it on my mobile column, I had only one small modification to make : drill and thread to put a simple screw there (it is a personal plate which did not have an az pin or other at the base) . He has in fact made sure that the mount is very easily adaptable to standard flanges and therefore that it is in a way universal. 1st good point!

Once everything is fixed on the column, the mount seems very robust and rigid.

After having installed everything : counterweights, controller, redo the wiring, etc., I could not shoot until 2 months later, due to the weather….

 

 

 

1st tests

 

So let's get to the heart of the matter : leaving EQ6 and having only had this mount, I had a little trouble at first getting used to the new interface of the Onstep controller.

The big advantage of this controller is that by default it has an RJ45 and WiFi connection, and that it is also possible to control the mount with a smartphone, very practical for those who want to go on the filed with it. The noise in goto of the mount is a little surprising at the beginning compared to the EQ6 but we got used to it quickly.

Unfortunately I don’t have access to the south pole to my house (thank you the neighbor’s tree….) I do my stationing with EQalign. Simple and practical software in my case (even if I am a bit limited to adjust the latitude because of my environment).

Once all this is done, I finally start to be able to image. (I spare you the 3 nights to take the head to make the controller work and its configuration…). So I started to go crescendo in terms of exposure times : 30sec, 1 min, 2 min then 5 min.

 

Verdict : up to 2 min the stars are round but at 5 min they started to be stretched. (I'm 650mm focal length) here attached a 200% zoom on the stars.

So I headed for the emblematic nebula of the southern hemisphere : Eta Carinae.

Being very bright, it was the perfect target for 2 min exposure.

The nights being quite short because of the arrival of the clouds in the middle of the night at each session, I was finally able to do 7 hours of total exposure with the 2 min unguided frame. (Ha: 150 frames kept on 163, R = G = B = 18 frames kept on 18 for each)

 

Here is the result after treatment:

 

I then did other sessions in order to obtain round stars over 5 min, but unfortunately I never got there.

But that did not surprise me too much given that I am not in a fixed position and that I cannot have an excellent stationing because of the trees, conditions (among other things) sine qua none to do without autoguiding.

 

So I reinstalled my autoguiding system in order to be able to pose for 5 minutes.

Not surprisingly the stars are perfectly round and I had never had such a flat guiding diagram ! I am permanently below +/- 0.5 with PHD!

 

For further.

 

Regarding power consumption, it consumes almost nothing. According to data from the Ultimate Power Box : 0.33A in tracking and 0.61 in goto. Convenient for those who want to be nomadic and count each amp.

By synchronizing on one star, the goto are very good, the selected object is each time close to the center. By doing it on 3 stars, this is almost perfect.

For my part, since I use the plate solve, I therefore do not need to make a pointing model, synchronization on 1 star is enough for me.

Something also appreciable: the very simple stop system for the 4 separation screws in 2 parts of the mount. Indeed, during the unscrewing of the screws, they remain in place thanks to this system and then facilitates reassembly thereafter. We can not lose them and are quickly replaced!

 

However, there are still some small negative points, but nothing too bad:

 

  • The mount is very sensitive to a slight imbalance, it really has to be carefully made.
  • You have to be careful for the orientation of the plate support because otherwise the retaining screws will come up against the clamping screw of the declination axis
  • Some will probably regret the absence of a polar finder.
  • Regarding the graduations for latitude, it could have been more precise.

 

 

A word about the controller

 

What was the more difficult to adapt was the controller. It is really unfortunate that the manufacturer (Instein) does not provide detailed explanations on the first start-up. It is not complicated in itself but when you discover something new without explanation it is a little painful to have to seek and try to understand. Fortunately Andras guided me well to configure it.

Besides, as much as the interface on the phone is very well done (practical for nomads), as much on the computer I find it’s not very ergonomic, incomplete and with some bugs. But once the operations entered, I did not have to complain more than that.

 

For those who want to use it through several software at the same time (like me with Cartes du ciel, SGP and PHD), be sure to select `` generic hub '' because otherwise you can only use the mount with only one software at a time.

 

In conclusion

 

So I find that this frame is really worth it. Indeed, it is robust, light compared to its load capacity (it has the same weight as an EQ6 but carries much more), quick to implement and above all has a very good mechanics which means that you can go without autoguiding up to a certain focal point of course and if polar alignment was done well.

All this in terms of price, I think it is a very good choice, especially if we compare to other mounts of the same range and with roughly equivalent load capacity, such as for example an avalon linear which cost 5000 € and goes up to 25kg.

In addition, nothing moves, everything is very rigid once everything is screwed, it really gives you confidence.

Next, just to see how it would behave with more load. In my case I am at 15kg of material, that is to say half the admissible load.

So I am ultimately very satisfied with this mount. Except some concerns related to the controller, I never had any problem, the mount is quickly forgotten.

 

 

 

To summarize :

 

For :

Weight, load capacity, mechanical precision, separable into 2 parts, integrated polemaster adapter, 5 years warranty.

 

Against :

 

Sensitive to the slightest imbalance, counterweight and controller to buy elsewhere.


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#3 GeminiGTD-Italy

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 10:32 AM

Thanks Nicolas! I am glad you like it. 

András

 

Hi,

I can tell you a bit more about this mount.
I'm one the first user of this mount. It's been about 4-5 mounths that I have it.

I use it with a TS130Q F5 and moravian G2-8300.
it works fine, I'm happy of it. It's rigid, easy to use and have a real good mechanic.
I've just finish to write a test report, so you can see it with the following text (I don't find if we can upload a pdf, so I paste the text only)

sorry if there are mistakes, I'm french and not so fluent english, so...

 

hope it will help you to chose !

 

nico

 

 

NEW MOUNT TEST

Gemini Telescope Design: E.FRIC

                                                                                                                                                                                                 By Nicolas Vouillon

 

Gemini Telescope Design recently released a new mount: the E.Fric.

It replaces the G53F.

Like the previous one, it’s an equatorial type with friction drive and therefore without backlash.

http://www.geminitel...man-equatorial/

 

The name is simply the acronym for Ecological FRICtion drive.

Clearly, this means that the mount was manufactured in an ecological approach: reduced ecological footprint, use of conventional machining, 3D printing and some parts are standard (drive motors for example) in order to be able to repair fairly easily if needed.

The manufacturer's approach is to offer a robust, reliable, easily repairable mount, easy to use and with a rather comfortable load capacity, all for a fairly low overall weight.

A fairly advanced design was made on the mechanics in order to eliminate not only an encoder but also the need for autoguiding (within a certain focal length of course)

 

 

Let's move on to the main technical data :

http://www.geminitel..._tech_sheet.pdf

 

Weight : 18kg

Load capacity : 30 kg without counting the counterweights

Latitude adjustment range : 16 to 65 °

No polar finder but an adapter for the Polemaster already integrated

Counterweight bar diameter : 30mm

Motors : nema 17 bipolar

Dovetail type : Losmandy

Aiming speed : 5 ° / sec

Pointing accuracy : 0.1%

Tracking accuracy : better than 2 '' arc

Electronic controller : not supplied

Counterweight : not supplied

Separable into 2 parts with 4 BTR screws (tools included)

 

 

                Concerning the electronic controller, it will be up to the future owner to choose and order it. He obviously propose a manufacturer with whom he works : instein astro

(https://instein.eu/) and he’s Onstep controller. (sold 210 €)

Its launch price in Europe is € 3,640 including VAT (without delivery) and this includes a 5-year guarantee! rare enough to point it out.

 

Why did I choose this mount?

 

Simply because at the end of last year (end of 2019), I was looking for a new mount to replace the well-known EQ6 Pro and to work without autoguiding if possible.

Having evolved over time from a skywatcher 80ED + apn to a TS130Q F5 + moravian + filter wheel, the venerable EQ6 had become too limited.

In parallel to this, Andras of GTD, began to publish pictures of his future mount with 3D drawings. I quickly fell in love with a design that was finally different from classic production! What also convinced me was his video without autoguiding : the star stays in its place for 10 min (https://www.youtube....OpiR6o8vl8&t=1s)

After a few discussions with him on the future capabilities of the mount, I decided to take it.

I received it in less than a week… I did not expect such speed from UPS

(small clarification: I live in Reunion island)

 

 

 

Unpacking and installation

 

The mount was well packaged, fixed inside on a kind of small pallet, simple but effective. The time to take it out and assemble the different parts with the BTR key provided, in a few minutes the mount was ready.

To fix it on my mobile column, I had only one small modification to make : drill and thread to put a simple screw there (it is a personal plate which did not have an az pin or other at the base) . He has in fact made sure that the mount is very easily adaptable to standard flanges and therefore that it is in a way universal. 1st good point!

Once everything is fixed on the column, the mount seems very robust and rigid.

After having installed everything : counterweights, controller, redo the wiring, etc., I could not shoot until 2 months later, due to the weather….

 

 

 

1st tests

 

So let's get to the heart of the matter : leaving EQ6 and having only had this mount, I had a little trouble at first getting used to the new interface of the Onstep controller.

The big advantage of this controller is that by default it has an RJ45 and WiFi connection, and that it is also possible to control the mount with a smartphone, very practical for those who want to go on the filed with it. The noise in goto of the mount is a little surprising at the beginning compared to the EQ6 but we got used to it quickly.

Unfortunately I don’t have access to the south pole to my house (thank you the neighbor’s tree….) I do my stationing with EQalign. Simple and practical software in my case (even if I am a bit limited to adjust the latitude because of my environment).

Once all this is done, I finally start to be able to image. (I spare you the 3 nights to take the head to make the controller work and its configuration…). So I started to go crescendo in terms of exposure times : 30sec, 1 min, 2 min then 5 min.

 

Verdict : up to 2 min the stars are round but at 5 min they started to be stretched. (I'm 650mm focal length) here attached a 200% zoom on the stars.

So I headed for the emblematic nebula of the southern hemisphere : Eta Carinae.

Being very bright, it was the perfect target for 2 min exposure.

The nights being quite short because of the arrival of the clouds in the middle of the night at each session, I was finally able to do 7 hours of total exposure with the 2 min unguided frame. (Ha: 150 frames kept on 163, R = G = B = 18 frames kept on 18 for each)

 

Here is the result after treatment:

 

I then did other sessions in order to obtain round stars over 5 min, but unfortunately I never got there.

But that did not surprise me too much given that I am not in a fixed position and that I cannot have an excellent stationing because of the trees, conditions (among other things) sine qua none to do without autoguiding.

 

So I reinstalled my autoguiding system in order to be able to pose for 5 minutes.

Not surprisingly the stars are perfectly round and I had never had such a flat guiding diagram ! I am permanently below +/- 0.5 with PHD!

 

For further.

 

Regarding power consumption, it consumes almost nothing. According to data from the Ultimate Power Box : 0.33A in tracking and 0.61 in goto. Convenient for those who want to be nomadic and count each amp.

By synchronizing on one star, the goto are very good, the selected object is each time close to the center. By doing it on 3 stars, this is almost perfect.

For my part, since I use the plate solve, I therefore do not need to make a pointing model, synchronization on 1 star is enough for me.

Something also appreciable: the very simple stop system for the 4 separation screws in 2 parts of the mount. Indeed, during the unscrewing of the screws, they remain in place thanks to this system and then facilitates reassembly thereafter. We can not lose them and are quickly replaced!

 

However, there are still some small negative points, but nothing too bad:

 

  • The mount is very sensitive to a slight imbalance, it really has to be carefully made.
  • You have to be careful for the orientation of the plate support because otherwise the retaining screws will come up against the clamping screw of the declination axis
  • Some will probably regret the absence of a polar finder.
  • Regarding the graduations for latitude, it could have been more precise.

 

 

A word about the controller

 

What was the more difficult to adapt was the controller. It is really unfortunate that the manufacturer (Instein) does not provide detailed explanations on the first start-up. It is not complicated in itself but when you discover something new without explanation it is a little painful to have to seek and try to understand. Fortunately Andras guided me well to configure it.

Besides, as much as the interface on the phone is very well done (practical for nomads), as much on the computer I find it’s not very ergonomic, incomplete and with some bugs. But once the operations entered, I did not have to complain more than that.

 

For those who want to use it through several software at the same time (like me with Cartes du ciel, SGP and PHD), be sure to select `` generic hub '' because otherwise you can only use the mount with only one software at a time.

 

In conclusion

 

So I find that this frame is really worth it. Indeed, it is robust, light compared to its load capacity (it has the same weight as an EQ6 but carries much more), quick to implement and above all has a very good mechanics which means that you can go without autoguiding up to a certain focal point of course and if polar alignment was done well.

All this in terms of price, I think it is a very good choice, especially if we compare to other mounts of the same range and with roughly equivalent load capacity, such as for example an avalon linear which cost 5000 € and goes up to 25kg.

In addition, nothing moves, everything is very rigid once everything is screwed, it really gives you confidence.

Next, just to see how it would behave with more load. In my case I am at 15kg of material, that is to say half the admissible load.

So I am ultimately very satisfied with this mount. Except some concerns related to the controller, I never had any problem, the mount is quickly forgotten.

 

 

 

To summarize :

 

For :

Weight, load capacity, mechanical precision, separable into 2 parts, integrated polemaster adapter, 5 years warranty.

 

Against :

 

Sensitive to the slightest imbalance, counterweight and controller to buy elsewhere.

 

 


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#4 gotak

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 10:56 AM

Can we seen some guiding example graphs?



#5 greg_gorr77

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 11:37 AM

Hi Nico,

Hope you are well.

That is great news!!
What was the worst PE you've had? and why? 

PE below .05 PE without encoders.... amazing!!! The Onestop: did you talk with manufacture about your issues with it?

Greg


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#6 nico974

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 12:19 PM

yes, here attached 2 example of guiding graph.

 

I'm fine, thanks greg. what do you mean by PE ? 
I didn't talk to instein for it because at the end everething works pretty well with my software, so I don't need more, just sometimes I've got to reboot the controller but that's all

Attached Thumbnails

  • autoguidage2.jpg
  • autoguidage.jpg

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#7 nico974

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 12:30 PM

and here the stars for 2 min and 5 min unguided

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2min bis.jpg
  • 5min bis.jpg

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#8 GeminiGTD-Italy

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 12:44 PM

I think Greg means the Periodic Error by PE. There is no arcsecond level Periodic Error in this drive configuration. Drift in DEC, small imprecision in true tracking speed and differential flexture of the OTA will eventually trail the stars. Some of these can be tuned and cancelled but differential flexture will remain.

András


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#9 hjd1964

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 12:56 PM

I didn't talk to instein for it because at the end everething works pretty well with my software, so I don't need more, just sometimes I've got to reboot the controller but that's all

 

 

Could you elaborate?



#10 hjd1964

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 01:03 PM

I think Greg means the Periodic Error by PE. There is no arcsecond level Periodic Error in this drive configuration. Drift in DEC, small imprecision in true tracking speed and differential flexture of the OTA will eventually trail the stars. Some of these can be tuned and cancelled but differential flexture will remain.

András

In OnStep, for the highest level of unguided performance, a multi-star align is necessary.  With enough stars OnStep will model many effects (including tube flex) and allow control of tracking (on both axes) using the pointing model.

 

It would be a good idea to join the OnStep group.


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#11 nico974

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 01:04 PM

I don't know why, sometimes when I connect the controler, nothing happen, even on the app on the phone, I've got ''command failed'', so I reboot it and it's just fine after.


Edited by nico974, 29 April 2020 - 01:04 PM.


#12 GeminiGTD-Italy

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 01:08 PM

In OnStep, for the highest level of unguided performance, a multi-star align is necessary.  With enough stars OnStep will model many effects (including tube flex) and allow control of tracking (on both axes) using the pointing model.

 

It would be a good idea to join the OnStep group.

Thank you for this! I noticed the multi star align but never had the mount in a permanent setup to give it a try!



#13 hjd1964

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 01:16 PM

I don't know why, sometimes when I connect the controler, nothing happen, even on the app on the phone, I've got ''command failed'', so I reboot it and it's just fine after.

Is this only at power on, or does it just freeze right in the middle of a session?



#14 gotak

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 02:21 PM

Looks good. Umm tempting :).



#15 greg_gorr77

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 02:47 PM

I think Greg means the Periodic Error by PE. There is no arcsecond level Periodic Error in this drive configuration

Mr. Gemini - thank you :)

 

In OnStep, for the highest level of unguided performance, a multi-star align is necessary.  With enough stars OnStep will model many effects..

 

hjd1964

Sounds good, I never though that OneStep can do that - forum is a must :) 



#16 gotak

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 02:51 PM

What counter weights can we use? It's 30mm shaft which seems to be mainly used on European mounts.



#17 greg_gorr77

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 02:52 PM

yes, here attached 2 example of guiding graph.

 

on that night - do you remember if wind was a problem? …. couple jumps on Dec line....



#18 greg_gorr77

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 02:55 PM

gotak,

I have several Avalon 30mm shaft - as ive got it almost freebee 

But over the years I realize that you local will do for fraction of the price - I can send you a PM with general design you could use to ask around.



#19 GeminiGTD-Italy

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 02:57 PM

What counter weights can we use? It's 30mm shaft which seems to be mainly used on European mounts.

30mm, as you supposed. Means that 1,25" is fine too.

András


Edited by GeminiGTD-Italy, 29 April 2020 - 02:58 PM.


#20 greg_gorr77

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 03:01 PM

What counter weights can we use? It's 30mm shaft which seems to be mainly used on European mounts.

i.e.:

Geoptic 32mm inner diam- but they do like to rust - so clear coat is necessary....

Astro Physics -  1.125" shaft should do...


Edited by greg_gorr77, 29 April 2020 - 03:02 PM.


#21 jambi99

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 03:19 PM

Men, I'm starting to regret my MX. The mount has been stored for almost a year now(moving to my new house in july) so I can't use it away. Of course I would be loosing some payload and The SkyX, but the extremely low maintenance aspect of the friction drive mount is very appealing.


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#22 gotak

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 04:23 PM

Men, I'm starting to regret my MX. The mount has been stored for almost a year now(moving to my new house in july) so I can't use it away. Of course I would be loosing some payload and The SkyX, but the extremely low maintenance aspect of the friction drive mount is very appealing.

Exactly no grease to get dirty.

 

Does CGX-L CW that fit 32mm shafts works?



#23 greg_gorr77

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 04:30 PM

Hi Jambi99,

I have had MX+ for about 6 months - it is good bit of kit, but,,,

lways loved roller drive - not so much on other designs..... 

anyway,

If you hurry up you will get it cheaper - I think - Gemini is doing grand promo now - Is that right Andras?

more pics:

E.Fric 3.jpg

 

Maintenance…? 

Look at the trains!!!

- metal to metal drive, massive torque - isn't that friction drive? as log as you don't blow it up it will keep going...



#24 jambi99

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 04:48 PM

Still, the maintenance on premium worm drive mounts is pretty low. Re-greasing the mount is an hour job, once a year. I think I can deal with that. Usually tinkering is more problematic on Chinese or middle/low-end mounts. I think I would miss the extra 24# of load capacity for my setup(C14). Plus in my case, I'm (will be)100% permanent in an obsy. The paramount make more sense( limit switch, skyx, modeling ect..).

 

Anyway, that Gemini mount looks like an awesome deal for someone looking for a premium mount with a really respectable payload. The low maintenance on the friction drive is a great bonus.


Edited by jambi99, 29 April 2020 - 05:06 PM.


#25 jambi99

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 05:01 PM

Ha! I forgot... More importantly and speaking of "friction" , I can't imagine myself convincing my wife that I changed my mind regarding what was supposed to be a one time buy and that I will never have to upgrade ever( you really have to justify the expense).


Edited by jambi99, 29 April 2020 - 05:05 PM.



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