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My Losmandy G11T review

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#1 Jeffmar

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Posted 01 October 2021 - 05:03 AM

In general I really like my G11T. It is well built, should last for decades from what other owners of Losmandy mounts say. It seems to work really well with auto guiding. It is very stable even with my C14. It is very different from my Celestron mounts and to be fair It took a while for me to learn how to use those mounts also.

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#2 mborland

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Posted 01 October 2021 - 05:04 PM

What kind of guiding accuracy do you get with the C14 mounted?



#3 Jeffmar

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Posted 02 October 2021 - 02:11 AM

What kind of guiding accuracy do you get with the C14 mounted?

I haven’t done enough guiding using the C14 to give you a good answer. I have done some unguided imaging with the G11T/C14 combination for up to 45 seconds and got some good. images. The image below was one of them. By the time I got my guiding issues solved with my Losmandy mount I was using mostly a 127mm refractor for imaging. I haven’t given up on imaging with the C14. This next spring I will use it for getting images galaxy season. 

 

M51
 
I have been getting just below .7 total using my 5 inch refractor and C8 during guiding. I have been pretty happy with my images lately with my smaller scopes. These are all done using my G11T
 
Double cluster
M31 again
m27
M13

 

 


Edited by Jeffmar, 02 October 2021 - 02:24 AM.

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#4 Mbenj2405

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Posted 04 October 2021 - 05:44 AM

Nice review! thanks!


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#5 Gerry Smith

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Posted 04 October 2021 - 10:24 AM

Very nice review. I switched from Celestron to Losmandy about a year ago. The difference between painted cast aluminum (recycled pop cans) and anodized machined aluminum amazed me.


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#6 Jeffmar

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Posted 04 October 2021 - 03:18 PM

Very nice review. I switched from Celestron to Losmandy about a year ago. The difference between painted cast aluminum (recycled pop cans) and anodized machined aluminum amazed me.

 

The build quality of Losmandy mounts is certainly a big step up from the mounts I have used. 

 


 

 



#7 macdonjh

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Posted 04 October 2021 - 08:57 PM

Thank you for your review.  

 

"The G11T will get there, it just seems to require a lot more alignment stars to get the same accuracy."  This made me chuckle.  The number of stars required to build a pointing model is one of the things I didn't like about Gemini 2.  I'm back to Gemini 1 on both of my mounts.  Good luck with your newish mount.  It looks like you're taking good photos with it.  Perhaps lunar and planetary with your C14?


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#8 Jeffmar

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Posted 05 October 2021 - 01:56 PM

Thank you for your review.  

 

"The G11T will get there, it just seems to require a lot more alignment stars to get the same accuracy."  This made me chuckle.  The number of stars required to build a pointing model is one of the things I didn't like about Gemini 2.  I'm back to Gemini 1 on both of my mounts.  Good luck with your newish mount.  It looks like you're taking good photos with it.  Perhaps lunar and planetary with your C14?

I have set up this mount once or twice a week for a year now. I have been doing six stars and sometimes seven to get alignment where I want it to be. The process has become a lot quicker with all the practice I have been getting. I guess it’s kind of like buying a diesel semi truck vs a sport utility vehicle. The diesel semi will last almost forever and will haul big loads, but it isn’t going to go up a twisty road all that well. 

 

I have used my G11T exclusively since I got it a little over a year ago. I still have my Celestron CGX-L and have been tempted to use it instead, but I was determined to learn how to use the Losmandy mount as well as I could. The CGX-L is simpler and quicker to set up, but for now It is my backup mount and my Losmandy mount is working quite well for autoguiding.


Edited by Jeffmar, 05 October 2021 - 02:18 PM.


#9 Moontan13

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Posted 05 October 2021 - 11:43 PM

I appreciate this review. Losmandy has been on my radar since the mid 90's when I started doing astronomy. My mantra has been "mount before optics" ever since I acquired a CG5, and did crazy stuff like putting an 80mm Meade ST on it. My mount had been re-built by an expert at Denver Astronomical Society, and tracks ~wonderfully~ with a 6" f-5 newt, which I mention because the weight of it is much less than the CG5 can carry.

I've decided a bigger and better mount should be next on the major purchase list. What are the competitors for the Losmandy 11 in terms of quality and payload?


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#10 macdonjh

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Posted 06 October 2021 - 10:03 AM

I have set up this mount once or twice a week for a year now. I have been doing six stars and sometimes seven to get alignment where I want it to be. The process has become a lot quicker with all the practice I have been getting. I guess it’s kind of like buying a diesel semi truck vs a sport utility vehicle. The diesel semi will last almost forever and will haul big loads, but it isn’t going to go up a twisty road all that well. 

 

I have used my G11T exclusively since I got it a little over a year ago. I still have my Celestron CGX-L and have been tempted to use it instead, but I was determined to learn how to use the Losmandy mount as well as I could. The CGX-L is simpler and quicker to set up, but for now It is my backup mount and my Losmandy mount is working quite well for autoguiding.

That was my experience with Gemini 2 as well: a minimum of six stars (three on each side of the meridian) and most times eight.  That was just to get going for the night.  With Gemini 1, three stars are enough to get going.  I'll add stars throughout the night and pointing accuracy generally improves with each added star.

 

One of the cool things about Gemini 2, though, is the ability to store at least one pointing model (maybe two) in the hand controller's SD memory card.  If you have yourself set-up such that your mount set-up is repeatable, you might be able to do a warm start and a couple of synchs and have pointing accuracy and polar alignment good enough.  If your pointing model ever "goes bad" for some reason you can restore/ reload it.  Like after changing the battery...


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#11 macdonjh

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Posted 06 October 2021 - 10:16 AM

I appreciate this review. Losmandy has been on my radar since the mid 90's when I started doing astronomy. My mantra has been "mount before optics" ever since I acquired a CG5, and did crazy stuff like putting an 80mm Meade ST on it. My mount had been re-built by an expert at Denver Astronomical Society, and tracks ~wonderfully~ with a 6" f-5 newt, which I mention because the weight of it is much less than the CG5 can carry.

I've decided a bigger and better mount should be next on the major purchase list. What are the competitors for the Losmandy 11 in terms of quality and payload?

If your CG-5 fits your needs, why replace it?

 

From Losmandy, the GM-8 has approximately the same weight capacity as the CG-5.

 

Competitors for the G-11 would be the i-Optron CEM60, Celestron CGEM DX (50 lb rated capacity), Celestron CGX, Takahashi EM-400 or NJP, perhaps others in the +60 lb rated capacity range.  Of course, there are other considerations besides rated capacity.  For example, if you like your CG-5, you might like the HEQ-5/Sirius or EQ-6/Atlas.  Both have more capacity than the CG-5, better mechanical construction, are easy to work on (OK, the Atlas is somewhat of a pain).  Many astrophotographers get good results with both.



#12 Jeffmar

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Posted 06 October 2021 - 05:04 PM

I have been thinking of getting a G811 with the lighter tripod since my CGX bit the dust.

 

Years ago I had an old C11 mounted on a CG-5. It seemed like if I touched the scope the whole thing would rock back and forth for a minute. Okay, it wasn’t really a minute but you get what I mean, and that old CG-5 worked just fine for my 100mm f/5 refractor.



#13 iantaylor2uk

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Posted 06 October 2021 - 05:25 PM

I have a G11 which I bought new in the UK in 2009. It had the 492 digital drive system on, but I have since upgraded it to Gemini 2. I like the fact that Losmandy mounts are easy to strip down for cleaning and regreasing. It also works well with the ASI Air Pro if u are into astrophotography.
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#14 macdonjh

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Posted 06 October 2021 - 06:29 PM

I have been thinking of getting a G811 with the lighter tripod since my CGX bit the dust.

 

Years ago I had an old C11 mounted on a CG-5. It seemed like if I touched the scope the whole thing would rock back and forth for a minute. Okay, it wasn’t really a minute but you get what I mean, and that old CG-5 worked just fine for my 100mm f/5 refractor.

Bias alert: I've used a G-11 on the HD tripod for years, only recently did I get a GM-8 with the LW tripod.

 

I found the LW tripod to be flimsy-feeling.  If I try to be objective, setting my GM-8 down and lightly kicking the tripod legs to get them spread made my mount rigid enough for visual.  I just couldn't get over how bendy the tripod felt after years of using the HD tripod.

 

Of course, I don't have any problem carrying a G-11 assembled (but without a scope mounted).  If you prefer not to do that, the LW tripod saves you something like twenty pounds, or something like that.


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#15 Jeffmar

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Posted 07 October 2021 - 12:45 PM

Bias alert: I've used a G-11 on the HD tripod for years, only recently did I get a GM-8 with the LW tripod.

 

I found the LW tripod to be flimsy-feeling.  If I try to be objective, setting my GM-8 down and lightly kicking the tripod legs to get them spread made my mount rigid enough for visual.  I just couldn't get over how bendy the tripod felt after years of using the HD tripod.

 

Of course, I don't have any problem carrying a G-11 assembled (but without a scope mounted).  If you prefer not to do that, the LW tripod saves you something like twenty pounds, or something like that.

I appreciate the heads up. The tripod for my CGX-L is actually heavier than the heavy duty tripod for my G11T, so I can’t complain too much about that. I would still like a GM-811. There is a guy who brings his G11 to star parties in my area with a beautiful wooden mount, and it seems very sturdy. I might get one like that just because it is such an attractive tripod.  We talk about equipment that is too heavy, and we whine about mounts that are too flimsy. CAN WE EVER FIND HAPPINESS?grin.gif


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#16 firemachine69

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Posted 09 October 2021 - 08:08 PM

I have been thinking of getting a G811 with the lighter tripod since my CGX bit the dust.

 

Years ago I had an old C11 mounted on a CG-5. It seemed like if I touched the scope the whole thing would rock back and forth for a minute. Okay, it wasn’t really a minute but you get what I mean, and that old CG-5 worked just fine for my 100mm f/5 refractor.

 

 

The idea of tossing out a 3k mount is infuriating.



#17 Bkmiller4463

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 12:36 PM

Great setup.


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#18 Jeffmar

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 04:47 PM

​Hi Jeff, I’m the guy of whom you speak. Let’s chat at the next star party, maybe we can swap tripods for the night and you can see what you think of the Planet. I’m not sure if your mount will fit my adapter and vice versa, but we can give it a shot.

 

Thanks for the nice comments and you’re right - it *is* purty!

Brian

Hey Brian,

 

Good to know you are on this forum. If I had a little more room in my garage I think I would get one of those beautiful tripods. 

See you at the next star party!

 

Jeff


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#19 OrionSword

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 11:32 AM

Thanks for the positive review.  I ordered a G11T on Sept. 20, 2021 in case my Orion HDX110/EQ8 let's me down.  The auxillary encoders failed earlier this year.  Even though the EQ8 has a larger payload it is a very difficult mount to service.  I have no problem tearing down Atlas mounts but an EQ8 nowhere resembles those in construction.

 

I could tell that the G11T is a different story if the user ever needs to do maintenance.  A friend of mine in another state has had 14 years of reliable service from his G11 and uses it mainly for astrophotography.

 

I am guessing I might receive mine somewhere between Nov..-Dec.


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#20 Jeffmar

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 05:04 PM

Thanks for the positive review.  I ordered a G11T on Sept. 20, 2021 in case my Orion HDX110/EQ8 let's me down.  The auxillary encoders failed earlier this year.  Even though the EQ8 has a larger payload it is a very difficult mount to service.  I have no problem tearing down Atlas mounts but an EQ8 nowhere resembles those in construction.

 

I could tell that the G11T is a different story if the user ever needs to do maintenance.  A friend of mine in another state has had 14 years of reliable service from his G11 and uses it mainly for astrophotography.

 

I am guessing I might receive mine somewhere between Nov..-Dec.

I think the G11T should work great with any scope you have listed. It works really well with my ES ED127 for imaging. I am going to try using my C14 now and then for imaging galaxies. It will be interesting to see how much I can push that mount.

 

Good luck with your mounts!


Edited by Jeffmar, 13 October 2021 - 05:05 PM.


#21 George N

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Posted Today, 09:24 AM

I appreciate the heads up. The tripod for my CGX-L is actually heavier than the heavy duty tripod for my G11T, so I can’t complain too much about that. I would still like a GM-811. There is a guy who brings his G11 to star parties in my area with a beautiful wooden mount, and it seems very sturdy. I might get one like that just because it is such an attractive tripod.  We talk about equipment that is too heavy, and we whine about mounts that are too flimsy. CAN WE EVER FIND HAPPINESS?grin.gif

I have owned a GM-811 and LW tripod for several years - unfortunately one of the last before the new spring-loaded drives - so some long snowy winter it needs to go back to Losmandy for the up-grade. It is my "travel" mount - especially needed when I'm at my Adirondack camp - since 'everything' needs to be carried down/up a 50 yard hill to the lake front to get open sky. I have only used it for imaging mostly with an ES 127ed refractor and DSLR or SBIG STL-6303e CCD. I polar align for imaging with a PoleMaster - or just use the buile in Gemini routine for visual. Like others I have found the need for 6 star alignment for accurate slews - but the field is so large with my set-up that even with 2 star alignment target objects are at least in the field. It did just fine holding the 5-inch refractor (heavy FT 3-inch focuser) and big CCD. I've also used it a few times with an ES 8" F/3.9 carbon fiber Newt and DSLR.

 

Future plans: I hope to control the mount from my laptop via Ethernet cat-6 cable ( using the ap that mimics the hand control on the laptop or my copy of TheSkyX Serious - won that in a raffle!! ). Sometime next year I plan on upgrading to TheSkyX Imaging with full T-point and camera control, guiding, etc - I recently purchased a used SBIG AO-L guiding unit. I may purchase a separate G-11 Dec unit so I have the option to configure the mount as a 811 or 11 - depending on the payload and weight-carry requirements.

 

Based on my use of this mount (three friends also have G-11's that they like) - when my ancient Mountain Instruments MI-250 currently in my observatory dies - the G11T will certainly be a likely replacement.




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