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My Losmandy G11T review

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#26 NevelP

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 06:47 AM

Thanks Jeffmar. Strange that you didn't receive the polar scope, assuming you asked for it of course. wink.gif  I don't think they stopped making them. When I emailed Losmandy a couple days ago about polar alignment with the G11T, Brian said:

 

"Regarding the G11T polar scope, it attaches to the side, not the rear. It has a different design than the G11 and GM8: https://store-losman...s.com/hgm-tps. ​If you are imaging, you might consider ​computer-assisted polar alignment, such as iPolar, polemaster, sharpcap, etc."

 

No indication that they're stopping production for the G11T polar scope.


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#27 MikeBY

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Posted 22 November 2021 - 03:49 PM

Thanks for the nice review.  I had Losmandy on my ultimate system list and finely bought a used G-11 with Gemini 1 this year.  It's an older version from 1998 where the DEC axis and RA extension don't separate so easily. The prior owner had updated it  to the last  Gemini 1 version, stepper motors and brass precision worm gear on RA. After basic maintenance cleaning and re-greasing it works as well as any other G11 mount. . I located a HD tripod for it. Not as convenient as the folding leg version but wow is it solid.  

Something to be said for a mount that 23 years later is functioning so well. I could upgrade it to the newest tucked motor configuration, worm gears and even Gemini 2 but don't have an immediate NEED. The incremental performance and design improvements are subtle. Nice to have the option so easily available.  If the previous commenter wants to trade Gemini 2 down to Gemini 1, we can talk. :) 

 

I too have a CG-5 (advanced-GT) mount. 2 of them.  They are better than a star tracker and used cost me less.  

I did see some ways of fixing that 16/17 error you had if you still have that other mount 

That's one of the best things about the Losmandy mount. 

You don't have a mount wearing out because of short cuts taken in the original design and manufacturing.  



#28 Jeffmar

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Posted 24 November 2021 - 02:27 PM

Thanks Jeffmar. Strange that you didn't receive the polar scope, assuming you asked for it of course. wink.gif  I don't think they stopped making them. When I emailed Losmandy a couple days ago about polar alignment with the G11T, Brian said:

 

"Regarding the G11T polar scope, it attaches to the side, not the rear. It has a different design than the G11 and GM8: https://store-losman...s.com/hgm-tps. ​If you are imaging, you might consider ​computer-assisted polar alignment, such as iPolar, polemaster, sharpcap, etc."

 

No indication that they're stopping production for the G11T polar scope.

I think I will call and ask again. I have been doing fine with my polar alignment without the scope. I have found the closer I am to good alignment in the beginning, the easier it is to adjust using other methods.



#29 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 24 November 2021 - 06:17 PM

I bought a brand new G11S (492 control) in early 2019.  It was from the last run of that mount, November 2018.  I have the Astrodevices encoders on it, with a Nexus DSC.  It's by far the best mount I have ever owned. 

 

I haven't had to make any adjustments since I set it up in the observatory in early spring of 2019, and did a good drift alignment. 

 

I like the push to over GOTO. No worries about cables getting hung and broken or pulled, with gentle push to operation.  I especially like the smooth Porter style clutches. No repeated loosening and tightening to do, unlike the Atlas mount it replaced.  Compared to the Atlas, the G11 is in another league.


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#30 Dave_L

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 12:49 AM

Really nice review. Thank you! It is not just astronomy, but it is true with so many disciplines and pursuits... the learning curve for new equipment is often the most important thing! It is often not how good your software, hardware or tool is... but rather, how good you are at using it! It really pays off to get to know your equipment, software or hardware, or whatever the tool is. The capability of you to understand and implement the tool is often more important that the quality and capability of the tool itself. Consider a paintbrush in my hands versus Michelangelo! Same tool, different outcome!


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#31 Jeffmar

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 04:05 PM

Really nice review. Thank you! It is not just astronomy, but it is true with so many disciplines and pursuits... the learning curve for new equipment is often the most important thing! It is often not how good your software, hardware or tool is... but rather, how good you are at using it! It really pays off to get to know your equipment, software or hardware, or whatever the tool is. The capability of you to understand and implement the tool is often more important that the quality and capability of the tool itself. Consider a paintbrush in my hands versus Michelangelo! Same tool, different outcome!

Thanks, Dave! It is interesting that you would say that today because last night when I had my gear, including my G11T, out at a dark site it occurred to me that things were going along flawlessly. I was using my C11 to image the Crab Nebula and the Horsehead Nebula. I did a half dozen calibration stars and did polar alignment, which took me less than 10 minutes. My C11, even with a focal reducer, has a pretty narrow field of view, but the mount slewed to every target I told it to go to with barely a hitch. I was concerned that the C11 with another 12 pounds of gear would push the limits of autoguiding, but that was not the case. You are absolutely right when you say the learning curve is often the most important thing. Going back to things going flawlessly, that has been happening more often as time goes on. 

 

I have a small group of people I often go out to the desert with to do astrophotograpy. We all at different stages of learning our gear. One of my friends, who is very good with any kind of tech and has been doing a lot of astroimaging, was up and running in 5 minutes after setup. It took me closer to 15 minutes. Another friend took a bit longer, but he is getting faster every time we go out imaging. 

 

Thanks for your comment, Dave! have great week.

 

Jeff



#32 Magnar W.

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 01:57 PM

Nice review. I have two G11 mounts, and they are excellent! But they just are stored away, since I have moved to a town and don'n have any place to set them up.


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#33 Jeffmar

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 06:37 PM

Nice review. I have two G11 mounts, and they are excellent! But they just are stored away, since I have moved to a town and don'n have any place to set them up.

Thanks! I was kind of in the same boat until a few local astronomy club members showed me a few great places to do imaging. I went to star parties, but had given up on imaging because my neighborhood is so light polluted. Maybe there is someone in a local astronomy club who can help you out.



#34 macdonjh

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Posted 10 December 2021 - 05:49 PM

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

Sometimes you have to make your own happiness: 

20210128_160138.jpg

 

The prior owner had updated it  to the last  Gemini 1 version, stepper motors and brass precision worm gear on RA.  

One nit-pick: Gemini works with servo motors, not stepper motors.  Building on your praise for Losmandy durability: I posted a wanted classified ad a few years ago for a broken or otherwise unused G-11.  I didn't need a tripod, just the head, controller (Digital Drive preferred in this case) and a weight or two.  A fellow Cloudy Nighter and I agreed and I got a G-11 for a bargain price.  I had to buy a spray can of brake cleaner and one bearing from Losmandy (about $40 total), but that and an afternoon of cleaning, regreasing and tuning provided me with a fully functional push-to G11.


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#35 Kaydubbed

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 02:48 PM

I have the G11T with the FHD tripod and I like it. It really deserves a pier because it is so heavy, so I recommend either using a pier mount, or getting JMI medium duty buggy with the big pneumatic wheels to allow allow you to not have to break down 160lbs of tripod and mount and scope every night. You won't use the mount that much if you have to break it down constantly, trust me. 

 

The ALT-AZ adjustments are bottom line, the best of any mount. With one hand, you can polar align in a minute with Sharp Cap. It is just so smooth. If you have used a Celestron mount with the uncomfortable push screw adjustments, you will be amazed how smooth the adjustments are, even with a ton of weight on the saddle. 

 

I get amazing accuracy with guiding using PHD2's multistar guiding [.15RMS] with my smaller scopes and a bit less with my Edge 11. 

 

The extension piece is nice because although the mount is heavy, if it must be moved to say, a dark site, it can be broken down into chunks, and also the ability to do a meridian flip and keep a few minutes over the meridian is sort of a requirement for AP.

 

It is completely waterproof and it isn't cast. Since it is solid aluminum, you can leave the full mount and FHD tripod outside with a cover all year and it won't rust and the grease job Losmandy does on the internals makes me confident that moisture won't stick around in the internals. Since it isn't cast like Chinese mounts, it doesn't have casting lines, so it won't crack, or fail spectacularly. 

 

My RA motor tore itself apart last year and I called Losmandy and although it was really weird for that part to fail like that, I had a new one shipped out in no time, so great service. You can literally get Scott Losmandy on the phone if he is around the office, or in the shop. 

 

Gemini 2 and its ASCOM interoperability work flawlessly with ethernet and the hand controller is feature-rich. I will say that the touch screen is weird, mushy, and feels like something you'd get on a 2007 Windows PDA.

 

So, I would say DON'T get the G11T unless you plan on a permanent mount fixture and need the extra weight the 'Titan' RA piece provides over the normal G11, which is already a heavy mount. 


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#36 Jeffmar

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Posted 15 December 2021 - 01:45 AM

I wish I did have a place for an observatory and a pier, but it isn’t happening. Oh well.

 

I have probably set up my G11T 50+ times in the year and a half I have owned it. It works well so, to me, it is worth the extra effort. My CGX-L actually had heavier components to lug around and I used it for 3 years. Now it is my backup mount in case my Losmandy breaks, which is kind of funny because my Celestron mount is probably far more fragile than my G11T.

 

I have been extremely happy with how well this mount does with autoguiding even with a C11, a dew shield and a small breeze. 



#37 wargrafix

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Posted 15 December 2021 - 09:02 AM

i was excited....until i read its useful from 12 degrees up... :-(



#38 gnowellsct

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Posted 16 April 2022 - 06:47 AM

What was causing the stalling and how did you fix it?

#39 SCTUSER

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Posted 01 May 2022 - 11:09 AM

Hi.
Thanx for the great review :-)

My old non GOTO G 11 has been a pleasure to use since I got it in 1999. It has spent over 15yrs living outside under a cover. I got it originally for my C 8 and since then it has carried a C 11 and now a Meade 12" SCT. It is my forever mount. They are that well made IMHO !

I was thinking up upgrading it to Gemini, but instead I'm going to get a Nextstar 8 SE so I can have GOTO and portability in a lighter setup.


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#40 Jeffmar

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 07:21 PM

Hi.
Thanx for the great review :-)

My old non GOTO G 11 has been a pleasure to use since I got it in 1999. It has spent over 15yrs living outside under a cover. I got it originally for my C 8 and since then it has carried a C 11 and now a Meade 12" SCT. It is my forever mount. They are that well made IMHO !

I was thinking up upgrading it to Gemini, but instead I'm going to get a Nextstar 8 SE so I can have GOTO and portability in a lighter setup.

It is stories like yours that made me go with Losmandy. With a little care Losmandy mounts seem to last for decades. I haven’t seen that with Chinese mounts yet. 



#41 gnowellsct

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Posted 12 June 2022 - 11:00 AM

I've been using the stepper losmandy g11 since about 2002. These days I usually use it with the Berlebach wooden tripod. The HD tripod is excellent and I recently tried it out with the AP 900 qmd. The one thing I can say about push to with digital setting circles is that you never ever ever have a stall. Well I mean, you might stop and take a drink of your coffee. But stalling, no.
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#42 Prinz_Eugen

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Posted 21 July 2022 - 04:16 PM

Great review. I'm in the process of buying a proper mount that lasts. You might have solved that problem for me. Thank you!


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#43 MensaDei

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Posted 31 July 2022 - 02:30 AM

Great review. I had an older CGE Pro for my C14 and it started giving me trouble about a year ago (same messages first error 16 and 17), even replacing the motherboard only gave me a few months extra before it went uncontrollable. I considered the Losmandy C11 Titan mount but eventually went with another brand, because of the weight of the C14 and accessories (too close to the limit for the Losmandy).

The Losmandy (I had the opportunity to try it for a few nights) is very solid and definitely capable for scopes like the C11 or a short tube 150 APO.

Regarding the CGE Pro (Celestron does not make those any longer and I do not know whether they were Chinese), that mount was really strong so I decided to rebuilt it with a kit and it now has belt drives and Onstep guidance, so that one is in use again.


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#44 Tyrone

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 09:02 PM

I have owned a G11T for a couple years. It is on a pier. Every three or so months I mechanically align the mount with SHARPCAP and my guide scope or imaging scope.

 

When imaging I start the mount up, I point my scope to a random location in the sky take an image, use ASTAP as a plate solver (or astrometry.org) to get the coordinates of the image and use those coordinates to sync the mount. This will giver me centered gotos for several nights with no multi star alignments.


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#45 Kaydubbed

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Posted 05 October 2022 - 09:28 AM

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

I get phenomenal guiding with my 'T' and smaller scopes [80mm/115mm refractors], along with the slick 'new' multi-star guiding in PHD2. When I started using it, I thought I was guiding hot pixels. I haven't put my Edge11 on in a year, but I know people have gotten great results with a large-prism OAG.

 

guiding

 



#46 MazzifLOL

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Posted 08 December 2022 - 11:00 AM

Nice review.  I've had my G11G with FHD tripod for a few months now. I was coming from an Eq6-R, but wanted a bit more payload to slew around my 254/1270.   Great build quality.  Assembly felt pretty intuitive to me and I had it up and connected pretty quick.  Ill get .5 - .8 on guiding and that's just fine. I have a semi-permanent configuration, where my setup lives outside covered 24/7. I operate in sub freezing temperatures during these winter months, and it never complains. Always smooth crisp accurate operation.     

 

Losmandy G11G with TsOptics

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#47 rwoodin3

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Posted 15 December 2022 - 10:44 PM

Thanks for the review, I didn't read the entire thread, but it sounds like a similar experience to what I had with a new G11 mount that I purchased, that was delivered in 3/22, and sold in 10/22.
What stands out to me is the poor pointing accuracy, so-so guiding, finicky setup and unexpected behavior with with Losmandy mounts.

I was completely new to astrophotography when getting this mount, along with a Mead 10" LX200 ACF SCT. I worked on optical systems such as photolithography, metrology spectroscopy machines (tools), used primarily in semiconductor manufacturing facilities for the last 30 years, so I thought I could catch on to astrophotography reasonably quick. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

Safe to say, I had and still have a lot to learn. I just want to caution those new to astrophotography, and all the hardware and software that goes along with it, that has to mostly work well in order to accomplish good imaging. I think the most important thing is that when you're new to this hobby, there's no way to really know what to expect until you use the hardware and software extensively. Reading up on it helps, but without getting to long winded, It comes down to astrophotography being hard enough to learn all on it's own, even when all the hardware and software is behaving. Add hardware and software that's unreliable to that and you have a recipe, in my case at least, for a great and prolonged amount of frustration. I had no prior experience to know that the G11 pointing was not accurate, or that Astroberry, APT and NINA software all had their glitches. I thought for months that it must be me, that I was doing something wrong. Much of the frustration was just my lack of experience in this hobby, but there was as much if not more that actually was not performing well in the hardware and software. I sold my G11 in October 22 when I got tired enough with having to depend on luck to get any imaging done on any particular night. Some nights my rig behaved logically, other nights, for a myriad of reasons, it behaved so poorly that there was no chance of achieving any imaging.

I can say all this now, because I bought and started using a Sky Watcher EQ6-Ri Pro mount in October. The difference in performance was immediately apparent, with the mount slewing accurately and reliably to any object, after being properly polar aligned. The guiding worked better as well, getting 0.7" on average. I had used a raspberry pi with Astroberry software and then a miniPC with either APT or NINA, with NINA being the only one that came close to working reliably. The new mount worked well with NINA. Then I bought, received and started using the ASIAIR Plus, to control the mount, the ASI294MC Pro main camera, ASI120MM mini guider camera and the ASI EAF focuser. At this point, my frustration level during a night of imaging went from 80% down to 20% and is still falling. The only negative with AAP is wifi transmit & receive can go in and out at times.

I can't overstate just how much easier the Skywatcher mount and ASIAIR Plus have made astrophotography for me.

The Losmandy G11 series are well made, heavy duty mounts, but they may not work easily or correctly "out of the box", as this article said. Anyone purchasing the Losmandy should expect spending quite some amount of hours getting it working as best as possible. I could not recommend a Losmandy mount for someone new to astrophotography.

PS. I performed adjustments on Skywatcher EQ6-Ri Pro to remove "stiction" in both axes, adjusted the DEC backlash (RA was good) and RA belt tension. I'm getting 0.5' to 0.6' guiding with my 30 lb. package, most any night when skies are good and clear.


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#48 Jeffmar

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Posted 05 January 2023 - 11:29 PM

Thanks for the review, I didn't read the entire thread, but it sounds like a similar experience to what I had with a new G11 mount that I purchased, that was delivered in 3/22, and sold in 10/22.
What stands out to me is the poor pointing accuracy, so-so guiding, finicky setup and unexpected behavior with with Losmandy mounts.

I was completely new to astrophotography when getting this mount, along with a Mead 10" LX200 ACF SCT. I worked on optical systems such as photolithography, metrology spectroscopy machines (tools), used primarily in semiconductor manufacturing facilities for the last 30 years, so I thought I could catch on to astrophotography reasonably quick. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

Safe to say, I had and still have a lot to learn. I just want to caution those new to astrophotography, and all the hardware and software that goes along with it, that has to mostly work well in order to accomplish good imaging. I think the most important thing is that when you're new to this hobby, there's no way to really know what to expect until you use the hardware and software extensively. Reading up on it helps, but without getting to long winded, It comes down to astrophotography being hard enough to learn all on it's own, even when all the hardware and software is behaving. Add hardware and software that's unreliable to that and you have a recipe, in my case at least, for a great and prolonged amount of frustration. I had no prior experience to know that the G11 pointing was not accurate, or that Astroberry, APT and NINA software all had their glitches. I thought for months that it must be me, that I was doing something wrong. Much of the frustration was just my lack of experience in this hobby, but there was as much if not more that actually was not performing well in the hardware and software. I sold my G11 in October 22 when I got tired enough with having to depend on luck to get any imaging done on any particular night. Some nights my rig behaved logically, other nights, for a myriad of reasons, it behaved so poorly that there was no chance of achieving any imaging.

I can say all this now, because I bought and started using a Sky Watcher EQ6-Ri Pro mount in October. The difference in performance was immediately apparent, with the mount slewing accurately and reliably to any object, after being properly polar aligned. The guiding worked better as well, getting 0.7" on average. I had used a raspberry pi with Astroberry software and then a miniPC with either APT or NINA, with NINA being the only one that came close to working reliably. The new mount worked well with NINA. Then I bought, received and started using the ASIAIR Plus, to control the mount, the ASI294MC Pro main camera, ASI120MM mini guider camera and the ASI EAF focuser. At this point, my frustration level during a night of imaging went from 80% down to 20% and is still falling. The only negative with AAP is wifi transmit & receive can go in and out at times.

I can't overstate just how much easier the Skywatcher mount and ASIAIR Plus have made astrophotography for me.

The Losmandy G11 series are well made, heavy duty mounts, but they may not work easily or correctly "out of the box", as this article said. Anyone purchasing the Losmandy should expect spending quite some amount of hours getting it working as best as possible. I could not recommend a Losmandy mount for someone new to astrophotography.

PS. I performed adjustments on Skywatcher EQ6-Ri Pro to remove "stiction" in both axes, adjusted the DEC backlash (RA was good) and RA belt tension. I'm getting 0.5' to 0.6' guiding with my 30 lb. package, most any night when skies are good and clear.

Last summer my G11T glitched out on me so I switched to my CGX-L. It turned out that getting my G11T running again was fairly simple but by that time I was starting to really enjoy the simplicity of my Celestron mount. It’s definitely more dummy proof and has better pointing accuracy. My CGX-L is just easier for me to use. The guiding between the two mounts is about the same. I often get .5 to .7 RMS guiding on both. I have relegated my G11T to backup status just because I swear a lot less when using my Celestron mount. I kept hoping I would get a better handle on my Losmandy mount, but after more than two years, it never quite happened. I haven’t given up on it yet. When it works for me, it works really well. 



#49 Cbchhaya

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Posted 04 April 2023 - 05:34 PM

Does anyone here use the G11T in a remote obs (I.e. not their backyard)? I would love to hear your experience and what you think of some feedback I received about these mounts not being “remote friendly”.

Thanks.
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