Losmandy GM8 Equatorial Mount with Gemini 2
If you're tired of messing around with equatorial mounts that just can't handle your observing and imaging requirements, the Losmandy GM-8 is definitely worth a look. This heavy-duty mount is machined of aluminum and stainless steel, and sports all stainless steel hardware.
The Losmandy GM8 will handle a load capacity of 30 pounds, and this model comes with the Gemini 2 GoTo System, complete with servo motors that deliver slewing rates of up to 6 degrees per second and an online database of 41,000 objects. Below you'll find specifications on the GM-8 mount itself, and below that, a write up on the Gemini 2 GoTo System.
Losmandy GM-8 Specifications...
- R.A./DEC Axis: All machined aluminum and stainless steel, black anodized.
- All stainless steel hardware.
- One 2.100" diameter needle thrust bearing. One 2.000" diameter needle thrust bearing. Two 1.500" diameter needle bearings.
- 2.812" diameter, 7075 aluminum worm gear, 180 tooth.
- Dual supported, ball bearing housed stainless steel worm-heat treated and ground.
- Variable slip clutch, both axes. One knob design.
- 1.250" diameter aluminum shafts.
- Fully locking, unique tangent arm design altitude adjustment, 0-64 degrees, large knob for easy alignment.
- Laser engraved latitude scale in 2 degree increments.
- Single knob azimuth control, bi-directional +/- 8.5 degrees.
- 3.500" diameter laser engraved setting circles 6 minute R.A. / 2 degrees DEC. R.A. circle engraved for Northern and Southern Hemisphere.
- Porter slip ring design.
- 160 oz/in stepper motor, 1.0 arc sec. step.
- Spit Dovetail saddle-plate design. Accepts Losmandy "D" series dovetail plates. Dovetail plate drops in and locks allowing for interchanging of any tube assembly, reducing the need for DEC weights.
- Removable stainless steel weight shaft w/safety knob.
- 7 lb counterweight. Optional 11 lb and 21 lb. extra counterweights available.
- Through the axis polar scope, works in Northern and Southern hemisphere. Polar scope optional.
- Instrument weight capacity 30 lbs.
- Equatorial head weight 21 lbs.
- Tripod: All machined aluminum, black anodized.
- Tripod height, adjustable from 27" - 43"
- Fold-up tripod design for easy transporting.
- Tripod weight 15 lbs.
- Dual-Axis Electronics: Diamond push button pattern.
- R.A. and DEC. reversing switches.
- Three guiding rates - 30%, 50% and 2x sidereal rate.
- Three setting rates - 4x, 8x, 16x sidereal rate and super fast 32x HST (high speed transfer).
- Quartz tracking rates: sidereal, solar, lunar, king.
- Periodic Error Correction (PEC).
- Programmable DEC. Backlash Compensation (TVC).
- Control panel dimmer.
- Accepts auto-guider systems.
- Northern and Southern Hemisphere operation.
- 12 volt DC - 500ma power use.
- Tiltable control panel for easy access.
- Small hand control box for comfortable use.
- All heights are to top of tripod. Add 9" @ 34 degrees to center of Dec.-R.A. junction. Add 6" from Dec.-R.A. junction to top of saddle.
Losmandy Gemini 2 GoTo System...
The Losmandy Gemini 2 system is a DC servo motor based GOTO computerized positioning system designed for the Losmandy HGM-TITAN, G-11 and G-8 mounts. The Gemini 2 system has many features designed to quickly and accurately point the telescope to an object, then track it with even higher precision than the previous digital stepper drive used by Losmandy. The choice of servo motors gives two main advantages over stepper motor based systems. Servo motors run with a continuous smooth rotation, rather than discreet steps as with stepper motors. They also have very high torque, even at high slewing speeds. As a result the Gemini 2 system can deliver up to 8 degrees per second slewing rates with the G-8 mount, 6 with the G-11 and 5 with the HGM-TITAN.
Gemini 2 can be used as a stand alone system in the field. It can be powered by any 3A, 12-18 Volt DC source. No personal computer is required. A user brightness adjustable Touch Screen Display allows navigation through all internal databases for field use without a PC. The following databases comprising of over 40,000 objects are built into the Gemini system, more than enough to keep even the most avid observer busy for some time!
- 168 BSL.guc
- 303 Combined_Constellation_Stars.guc
- 5437 IC.guc
- 1125 LBN.guc
- 1787 LDN.guc
- 110 Messier.guc
- 8290 NGC.guc
- 1143 PN.guc
- 17636 SAO.guc
- 313 Sh2.guc
- 223 Southern_Constellation_Stars.guc
- 3988 WDS.guc
The Gemini 2 system has an impressive list of features:
- Full Color Graphic Touch Screen clearly displays all functions
- Classic four-button pattern for guiding, centering, moving and slewing on both the touch screen and a tactile membrane on the rear
- Support for the original four-button controller
- For Losmandy GM8, G-11 & Titan mounts
- Custom mount support using the Programmable Gear Rate function
- 8°/sec Slew Rate (GM8)
- 0.5 arcsec positional accuracy
- DC Servos for improved accuracy with higher torque than stepper motors
- GPS-compatible with optional receiver
- Stand-alone system. No PC required!
- Ethernet 10/100 with full IP function permits operation from anywhere using a browser, ASCOM, or app over the web or serial port
- Non-Volatile Memory and Real-Time Clock
- Two USB ports; Virtual COM to PC, ASCOM or planetarium program
- Port E - future high-res encoders
- Port F - multi-function serial; A/D I/O
- Firmware upgrade via internet
- PEC correction
- Auto-Guide port (TTL)
- Dual 12~18V DC input/output (1.5A)
A new Touch Screen Hand Controller is now standard for all Gemini 2 systems. The hand paddle features membrane switches with provide excellent tactile feedback, while centering or moving of the telescope when at the eyepiece. The display works in parallel to the main electronics, allowing users to access all of the main panel functions via the Touch Screen Display.
Gemini 2 uses a Meade LX200 command sub-set, with most LX200 commands being implemented. The user can update the internal real time clock via a GPS unit, as well as user location information. Coupled with The Sky by software Bisque and CCD camera, users can confidently determine the positions of minor planets and comets, and place them on a CCD detector time and time again.
The Gemini 2 design incorporates surface mounted PC board technology for reliable performance in the field. The main control board also has auto-guider and accessory ports to allow full remote control of the system via a Web server from anywhere in the world. (Gemini 2 has been successfully tested with Software Bisques IAS server software).
The Gemini 2 system has built in "T-Point" like pointing software that can use from one to many stars to refine its pointing accuracy. With multi-star modeling pointing accuracy has been measured to within three arc minutes around the entire sky, and to less than one arc minute with short slews from an updated position located within a few degrees of a reference object. Gemini 2 is also fully T-Point (Software Bisque) compatible. Extended personal computer based T-Point modelling runs can give better than 1 arc minute positioning accuracy across the entire sky! Further, with Gemini's warm re-start option, previously stored PC T-point data can be reused without the need to conduct a short mapping run.
How accurate is Gemini?
Pictured is a T-Point summary of a 60 star mapping run with a Losmandy mount fitted with Gemini 2. Note the Sky RMS pointing of 26.27 arc seconds. While some manufacturers claim incredible accuracies with their GoTo systems, few will actually state actual results as shown above. While single star alignment assumes that your Losmandy mount is accurately polar aligned, the Gemini 2 system only requires rough polar alignment to deliver excellent pointing accuracy across the entire sky using multi-star alignment models.
Losmandy Product Number: GM8G2