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G11T vs MyT vs EQ8-R

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#1 schellaj

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 10:06 AM

I want to upgrade my CGX mount and am looking at Losmandy G11T (Titan RA), Paramount MyT, SW EQ8-R (not Rh).  This will likely be my last mount for at least 10 years.

 

I typically get around 0.8 " RMS total (worse in poor seeing), but I'm constantly fighting with my RA so my stars are usually a bit oblong (eccentricity 0.5-0.6). So basically, like everyone, I am looking for tighter, rounder stars)

 

Also of consideration is that I can't see Polaris from my location so polar alignment needs to be done other ways.

 

I have a C8 on it now and do mainly astrophotography with it. I will upgrade to a C11 Edge at some point (so the load will not grow past 45-50 lbs). I have a pier setup outside, but I take in the mount when really bad weather comes in. PA is maintained very well even when remounting onto the pier so I only have to PA maybe once a year.

 

My questions are:

 

G11T - 1. how well can guiding be done?

            2. how easy to PA without Polaris?

            3. how good is it mechanically?

 

EQ8-R - 1. how well can guiding be done? (not a lot of info I can find yet)

               2. how good is it mechanically?

MyT - 1. would love to get this, but is it really worth the extra $2k? (money I could put towards my OTA down the road).

         

I will likely never live in an area where the seeing is excellent so I don't really want to pay for a mount that is overkill.

I know this question has been asked in many different forums, but its hard to sort out the info.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Jason



#2 bobzeq25

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 10:21 AM

All good mounts, any would be a good upgrade.  Quality increases with price.  What is "worth it" is simply a personal choice. 

 

Send me your last 5 years of tax returns, arrange for the mind reading session, and I'll make a recommendation.  But I've seen few people ever regret getting "too good" a mount.



#3 rgsalinger

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 10:23 AM

My view is that the MYT is an upgrade ONLY if you are portable. I would not recommend that level of expense for a mount with 50 pounds of capacity unless you are going to be carrying it around. Mine works great with my AP155 (very long tube) and I have a pier plate that I can use at the observatory but that mount is only marginally better (RMS with the 155 is around .4 in both axes) than what you have now. I love the simplicity of the mount - it's trivial to maintain it and the lightweight tripod is wonderful The SKYX does an extremely accurate PA as well and comes with the mount. For an observatory your other choices are much better. 



#4 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 10:37 AM

All are good mounts. As a MyT owner, I'd also say that your MyT question is unanswerable. To paraphrase Alex McConahay: "Only you know the value of money to you".

 

I would disagree with Ross, though - While many people do use the MyT quite successfully in a field setting, its lack of a polar alignment scope (you can use a PoleMaster) and 48v electrical needs makes travel and field setup a bit more ponderous than other mounts. It also requires a tool to secure the payload, has only a rudimentary hand controller (if it matters), lacks a tip-in saddle but has all kinds of great features to make it safe for unattended operation. The MyT actually comes from a line of robotic observatory mounts and that is what drives its design philosophy compared to, for example, Takahashis, Losmandys or AP mounts which have design elements that make them particularly field friendly.

 

More importantly, I think, regarding the MyT is software: I like the SkyX Pro but many do not. While it's true that you can "put baby in the corner" and relegate it to the role of a fancy mount driver, you'll still have to work with it and through it. Go do research on SkyX and see if it looks like something you'd like or can work with. If it looks like SkyX isn't for you (even as a driver) then go buy a mount that is software agnostic.

 

I'll also point out that like all "one number measures" RMS may be of dubious value. For example, I live in Denver where all of my air gets shredded by the Rocky Mountains and I'm often under the jet stream. While my MyT generally clocks in with low RMS and eccentricity, it can vary wildly depending on conditions between successive nights or even during the same night. Some nights are better than others. A lot of what you get with a higer-end mount is convenience and consistency.

 

My opinion is worth everything you paid for it.


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#5 rgsalinger

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 12:07 PM

I bought a cheap 12/48 volt buck converter which has so far worked just fine. This eliminates, for me, any requirement for 48 volt power out in the field. It's true though that for visual, you are still going to need some kind of computer if you are going to enjoy the mount.

 

You can use the SKYX to polar align the mount but it's not much faster than doing a drift alignment. You can buy the wifi board for the mount and use an iPad to control it for star parties.

 

Ken's for sure right about that saddle, though. I can't get my 48 pound reflector up on either of my Paramounts by myself safely. I can get my 30 pound refractor, but that's my limit. 

 

I was really thinking that the OP was looking at mounts for imaging, I should have been more ecumenical in my thinking.

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#6 schellaj

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 01:39 PM

Thanks for the responses.

 

Yes, imaging is my only real concern.  I don't really care if I can do unguided imaging as I expect I would guide regardless (why not?).  Payload may be an issue down the road, but unlikely will I every go above a C11 + imaging train.

 

I'm not as concerned about portability as I do all of my imaging at home.  

 

Money is only an issue because I hate to spend the extra money unless there is an obvious benefit.  If there isn't an obvious benefit I would spend the "saved" money on upgrading my OTA.

 

I have looked at the SkyX software and it does look impressive. I was somewhat less impressed with the Gemini2 software but expect that i works just fine. Hard to tell until you actual use it.

 

I probably am putting more thought into this than I would for a car.

 

I do find it odd at how little "in-actual-use" information there is about the SW EQ8-R. Maybe it's just that people spend this kind of money are spending it on the more tried and true mounts.  It looks good on paper, but I think it may end up being a more expensive version of a CGX with all the same issues I have now.

 

Thanks again for advice,

 

Jason



#7 rgsalinger

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 02:00 PM

Consider also a CEM120 without encoders. I have yet to see a bad report on one of those. The encoder versions can be problematic. Mine works fine but I would not buy another one - I'd save the money. Since it's been out longer I think that the software and firmware are more mature than the EQ8. This Titan is a proven performer once you learn Gemini and figure out how to cable the beast so that there are no snags ever. I love my CEM because I just swap OTA's and it takes me longer to redo the parameters in the SKYX and CCD Autopilot than it does to cable up the mount.

 

When permanently mounted, once you set up the Gemini, you should never need to ever use it again. Your automation software will connect to it, unpark, etc all on its own. So, really the awkwardness of Gemini II (IMO) is irrelevant if you are not planning to use the mount portably. (And it's not so bad once you learn it.)

 

Rgrds-Ross



#8 Tim

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 03:11 PM

Nova Scotia tends to get colder winter than Ontario - I am originally from NB.  I have MX in my observatory and recently sold the MYT because I felt I wasn't using it enough but now want another mount again..

 

Paramount work flawlessly in the cold minus 20,30 -below Celsius no issue.

 

 Not sure how the others work as I haven't owned them.  The Bisque mounts have home position sensor that helps again not sure about the other mounts.

 

Designed to be used remotely even if that means your in the house and the mount is outside hundred feet away on a cold winters night.

 

 

The Software I am still learning it has its quirks I use one software to image LRGB or one shot colour dither guide everything. No other software to buy learn integrate or manage its one of the key reasons I went with the mount and also the software / mount were made for each other so its a happy marriage. 

 

when I was portable one battery EGO that also use in my snowblower weed whacker and lawnmower and leaf blower runs the mount easily  could run the mount all night and recharges in 30 minutes or so.. its one of the easiest battery set ups ever. perhaps not the cheapest.

 

Like a few others have said it could be more mount than you need. Depending on the OTA I am using the mount is overkill.  Having a good mount will help with any unplanned future purchases.  I would say out of the three the MYT will hold its value better.

 

 My only regret is I haven't had a chance to try the Astro physics mount.  

 

Personally I would take the G11 over EQ 8 that's just my gut speaking and years of reading post. I have nothing to back that up with. 


Edited by Tim, 08 April 2021 - 03:20 PM.


#9 rgsalinger

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 05:12 PM

I use my CEM120 90 miles from my house and have never had a problem that could be traced to remote use over the past 2 years. It uses a set zero position (like a homing sensor) that is not lost during power up and power off.  So, if you think that you are lost, you just Search Zero and then park the mount and all's well. The built in GPS is nice too if you are remote. 

 

I've never used it in temperature below 30F, though. I know that Paramounts the Losmandy mounts have been proven to work in low temps, I don't think that the EQ8R (new design) or the CEM120 have demonstrated this yet.

 

Rgrds-Ross



#10 schellaj

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 05:43 PM

Yes. I'm ready some threads about the Cem120 now. As expected, the negative voices are generally louder than the positive. Here in Nova Scotia, I've imaged in the 10-15 F range frequently in the winter. Really, the only thing in the mount that would be cold sensitive is the grease.

There's probably no right answer except to make a decision and live with it.

Jason

#11 Sacred Heart

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 02:12 AM

I have both a Paramount ME and a G11T.

      With the Paramount you need the Sky program to run it.  Roughly $100 for renewal every year, but if you do not want the latest upgrades you do not need to renew the subscription.

      The Losmandy works with alot of different software.  It will work with the Sky X or Astro Photography Tools software. The G11T comes apart in two sections, RA separates from the Dec, for portability.

 

Both have excellent forums and customer support.   Bisque still supports my ME, 20 + years old.  Losmandy does the same for their mounts as well.

 

The Sky X will let you do just about anything you want with a camera and mount,  that being said, I have a learning curve with  Sky X  to get through.    Gemini 2 is a language of it's own too,  I have a learning curve with it as well.

 

If you can buy a mount that surpasses your needs, well you are done buying mounts.   Either one of these mounts will get you 10 years down the road, no sweat.

 

Maintenance,  my paramount ME is a breeze to lubricate. That is all I ever had to do to it.   The G11T is 9 months old, never did anything to it.

 

I cannot tell you about tracking errors or anything like that.   I want to do a mapping run, T Point model on both mounts.  I am waiting for my refractor to clear customs so I can get this done.

 

    My experiences,   Joe


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#12 EXT64

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 05:11 AM

I'll add since I did just tear down my G11G last year, it is very easy too for lubrication.

#13 schellaj

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 07:39 AM

I have both a Paramount ME and a G11T.

      With the Paramount you need the Sky program to run it.  Roughly $100 for renewal every year, but if you do not want the latest upgrades you do not need to renew the subscription.

      The Losmandy works with alot of different software.  It will work with the Sky X or Astro Photography Tools software. The G11T comes apart in two sections, RA separates from the Dec, for portability.

 

Both have excellent forums and customer support.   Bisque still supports my ME, 20 + years old.  Losmandy does the same for their mounts as well.

 

The Sky X will let you do just about anything you want with a camera and mount,  that being said, I have a learning curve with  Sky X  to get through.    Gemini 2 is a language of it's own too,  I have a learning curve with it as well.

 

If you can buy a mount that surpasses your needs, well you are done buying mounts.   Either one of these mounts will get you 10 years down the road, no sweat.

 

Maintenance,  my paramount ME is a breeze to lubricate. That is all I ever had to do to it.   The G11T is 9 months old, never did anything to it.

 

I cannot tell you about tracking errors or anything like that.   I want to do a mapping run, T Point model on both mounts.  I am waiting for my refractor to clear customs so I can get this done.

 

    My experiences,   Joe

Thanks for the input Joe. I hadn't considered that you could run the G11T with SkyX. My trepidation with Loasmandy was the Gemini2 system but I quite like the SkyX system (from what I've seen).

 

Lubrication is another factor I hadn't thought of. I just assumed it could be done reasonably easy. I've Hypertuned my CGX which it not so easy, but I managed to do it without ruining the mount.

 

Cheers,

 

Jason



#14 Sacred Heart

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 08:16 AM

Thanks for the input Joe. I hadn't considered that you could run the G11T with SkyX. My trepidation with Loasmandy was the Gemini2 system but I quite like the SkyX system (from what I've seen).

 

Lubrication is another factor I hadn't thought of. I just assumed it could be done reasonably easy. I've Hypertuned my CGX which it not so easy, but I managed to do it without ruining the mount.

 

Cheers,

 

Jason

I do not know how much of the Sky X  is able to do with the G11T,  I know it moves it - slewing and pointing.  All I have is either a 7" Mak, which is on the G11T now or a C14 on my ME.  I have not done a T Point modeling run yet.  Waiting on an AT72EDII to get that done.  All I have is a DSLR and a QHY462 planetary.   Maybe someone here can help with what the Sky X can and cannot do with a Losmandy.

 

You should not have to " hypertune " either a Losmandy or Bisque mount.

 

If you go with the G11T,  on the nights you bring it in, park it in the counter weight down position.  The G11T has clutches.  So, when you take it apart and it is not in the same position exactly you might have to do another pointing model.  Being it has levels for both axis just start from CWD, that way you may only have to just sync it to the first star.   You should be doing " warm restart "  at start up between sessions.   Warm restart remembers the last settings.

 

Before you buy,  look at the Losmandy how to videos on youtube.  Any questions, call or Email Losmandy tech support.  You will either talk to Brian or maybe Scott or if you Email you should here back the same day.

 

Tech support email and link to youtube videos

 

http://losmandy.com/support.html

 

Phone number   just scroll down

 

http://losmandy.com/

 

Hope that helps,   Joe



#15 rkaufmann87

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 09:46 AM

The Gemini 2 system is very simple to learn in my opinion however as with anything new there is a learning curve. For me it took a couple of days before I felt comfortable navigating it. Their support is great and includes many videos, an active user group https://groups.io/g/Gemini-II  where most Gemini 2 experienced users hang out. In addition the developer of Gemini 1 & 2 occasionally writes in if needed. 

 

Either mount would do the job, however Losmandy has been around with the same basic design for over 25 years for good reason, their mounts work, are reliable, the support is good and the build quality is excellent as well a number of other reasons. 



#16 rgsalinger

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 02:09 PM

Your mount choice is irrelevant in terms of what you can do with the SKYX, if you get the full suite. The problem with the SKYX is that there are 3 things that you cannot do with it that most people would like to have when imaging. First of all, the SKYX will not manage automated meridian flips, no matter what mount you have. Second of all the SKYX will not manage more than one target at a time. Ken Sturrock (CN Administrator) has written scripts to get around these two issues. I've never used them but I'm certain that they work. Third the SKYX has no facility to recover from errors - lost guide star, plate solve fail, etc. 

 

Rather than rely on anecdotes you should take a look at the manuals for the various mount options and give them a read. The iOptron system may have the best hand controller software, but it's extremely rare to see anyone take two nights to get one of these mounts working. It took me about 4 hours (my third GEM) which included a firmware update (no longer needed), accurate polar alignment, setting up my OAG and creating a custom park position. The built in GPS alone eliminates any issues with time and location, just one less thing to worry about. The through the mount cabling makes wiring it up plug and play. 

 

I have not seen a bad report on a non EC mount which is what you want to compare to the Titan. Take a look around and see if you can find some.  At the end of the day, initial setup is irrelevant if the mount is permanently installed. You should really never have to interact with anything in a mount of this class beyond just invoking the ASCOM driver for the mount. You might also consider who in your neighborhood has the same equipment. There's nothing like someone who's done it before.

 

Rgrds-Ross



#17 WadeH237

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 06:43 PM

Your mount choice is irrelevant in terms of what you can do with the SKYX, if you get the full suite. 

I am pretty sure that ProTrack only works if your mount is a Paramount.  This is a pretty significant feature, and it is dependent on the mount choice.



#18 Tim

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Posted 09 April 2021 - 08:07 PM

Your mount choice is irrelevant in terms of what you can do with the SKYX, if you get the full suite. The problem with the SKYX is that there are 3 things that you cannot do with it that most people would like to have when imaging. First of all, the SKYX will not manage automated meridian flips, no matter what mount you have. Second of all the SKYX will not manage more than one target at a time. Ken Sturrock (CN Administrator) has written scripts to get around these two issues. I've never used them but I'm certain that they work. Third the SKYX has no facility to recover from errors - lost guide star, plate solve fail, etc. 

 

Rather than rely on anecdotes you should take a look at the manuals fo

 

Rgrds-Ross

My experience thoughts opinions are somewhat different with SKY X.

 

1 - if you run a TPOINT with the SKY X you shouldn't be needing to plate solve as the mount is accurate and lands the object dead centre on the chip. You can plate solve if you want. True if your plate solving and it doesn't work for some reason you have to sort it out. if its working its working in my experience rarely an issue once set up.

 

2 -if you use the LTI interface available in the SKY X that's makes imaging simpler using a separate built in GUI.  It does do meridian flips then finds your target refocuses and continues your image run. It can do filters or one shot color and different durations etc and you can save the routine for another time or have multiple ones you can save and load depending. Can also do live stacking and save files for stacking later.

 

3 -LTI does let you pick different targets for imaging.

 

4 -you can copy paste modify write your own scripts fairly easily if you want to.



#19 Jeff_Richards

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 07:25 AM

 

2 -if you use the LTI interface available in the SKY X that's makes imaging simpler using a separate built in GUI.  It does do meridian flips then finds your target refocuses and continues your image run. It can do filters or one shot color and different durations etc and you can save the routine for another time or have multiple ones you can save and load depending. Can also do live stacking and save files for stacking later.

 

3 -LTI does let you pick different targets for imaging.

 

4 -you can copy paste modify write your own scripts fairly easily if you want to.

What LTI doesn't do is guiding so you better have a mount capable of unguided imaging...



#20 Tim

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 07:53 AM

What LTI doesn't do is guiding so you better have a mount capable of unguided imaging...

yes  good point LTI doesn't guide that likely could be a no go for a lot of people, The SKYX has built in guiding software but its not available in LTI GUI.

 

I haven't had the need to guide so far it does dither without guiding.  I could see not guiding as an issue if you had a different mount or shooting really long focal length or poor polar alignment.  

 

Hopefully we will get a software update with a few new features, Its seems to be a long time and slower than usual for new updates other than the 64 bit version that I haven't downloaded yet.




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