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Explore Scientific Losmandy G-11 PMC-8 GoTo Equatorial Mount - ES-G11PMC8-00
Losmandy G-11 Equatorial Mount & Tripod
with Explore Scientific PMC-Eight GoTo System
Explore Scientific wanted the perfect mount to showcase their PMC-Eight GoTo System, and they chose wisely! First, let's talk about the Losmandy G-11 Equatorial Mount, and then we will tell you all about the innovative "OpenGoTo" computerized drive system by Explore Scientific.
If you have been an amateur astronomer for any length of time, you are well aware of the quality of Losmandy products. Made in the USA, the Losmandy G-11 mount is precision machined of stainless steel and aluminum and then black-anodized. With an instrument capacity of 60 pounds, the G-11 mount provides astrophotographers with a solid platform to mount their mid-to-large-size Schmidt-Cassegrain and refractor telescopes, along with the other instruments that constitute their astrophotography rig.
The Losmandy G-11 Mount and Tripod is a top performing astronomical instrument that has withstood the test of time. If you are an astrophotographer looking for a high quality mount to support your telescope, the Losmandy G-11 is for you.
Losmandy G11 Specifications:
- All machined aluminum and stainless steel, black anodized
- All stainless steel hardware
- One 3.750” diameter needle thrust bearing
- One 2.000" diameter needle thrust bearing
- Two 1.500" diameter needle bearings
- 5.625" diameter, 7075 aluminum worm gear, 360 teeth
- Dual supported, ball bearing housed ground High Precision Brass Worm
- Variable slip clutch, both axes with one-knob tension design
- Fully locking, unique tangent arm design altitude adjustment, 14°-64°, large knob for easy alignment (8-68° possible, with small modification)
- Laser engraved latitude scale in 2° increments
- Single knob azimuth control, bi-directional ± 8.5°
- 5.0" diameter laser engraved setting circles, 4 minute R.A., vernier reading to 1 minute / 1° Dec., vernier reading to 0.1°, R.A. circle engraved for Northern and Southern Hemisphere
- Porter slip ring design
- Dovetail saddle plate allows for the interchanging of any tube assembly; this reduces need for Dec weights
- Removable stainless steel weight shaft with safety knob
- Includes one 21 lb. counterweight
- 7 lb. and 11 lb. extra counterweights available as options
- Through-the-axis Polar Scope capability, works in Northern and Southern Hemisphere; Note: the Polar Scope is optional
- The Losmandy G11 weighs 92 pounds including the 21 lb. counterweight
- Includes the Losmandy heavy-duty Folding Tripod
- Instrument weight capacity: 60 lb.
- Total Weight Capacity: 100 lb.
Losmandy G11 Folding Tripod Specifications:
- All machined aluminum, black anodized, powder coated
- Tripod height, adjustable from 33" - 48"
- Extremely sturdy and rigid when assembled, for superior astrophotography
- Removable leg design for easy transporting
- Tripod (only) weight: 35 lb
Explore Scientific PMC-Eight GoTo System
The electronics of the PMC-Eight GoTo System are quite unique and special, and they are extremely robust. They include a Multi-Processor Micro-controller with 8 CPUs (thus the name) that run independently and are completely deterministic in their behavior. Within this multi-processor system is a 64 Kbyte EEPROM Non-Volatile Memory bank; a Wireless Ethernet 10/100 with full IP function which permits operation from anywhere using standard client software; the first commercially offered wireless ASCOM driver; serial port and standard ST4 auto-guiding port.
This PMC-Eight system is all controlled from a Windows app for PC, tablet, or phone with a full graphical user interface called ExploreStars - the first application from the OpenGOTO Community. The wireless ASCOM driver supports standard astronomy-related planetarium software and programs.
The Losmandy G-11 mount is moved by newly installed high-resolution .9° 400 count stepper motors with a micro stepping controller that makes the motor work at 12,800 steps per revolution with drive rates accurate to a few arc-seconds per day.
The Explore Scientific ExploreStars app, available at the Microsoft App Store, has basic functions found in other GOTO systems, with an important exception, the app and the command language driving the PMC-Eight is open source - meaning anyone can modify this software or create their own software through Explore's Software Developers Kit (SDK) - and you can download your modified software onto the PMC-Eight electronics. Create a Messier challenge. Create a selectable list of objects you want to photograph and program that information into the software. Share it with the community of astronomers that are using this software.
Wait until you see the interface - it's beauty and the graphics will impress you. A classic four-button pattern for guiding, centering, moving and slewing is displayed on the touch screen of your tablet or phone. Selectable and User Enterable GoTo, Slewing, Centering and Guiding Rate, as well as standard 1 star, 2 star alignment and 3 star alignment functions are included. Tracking rates include Sidereal, King, Lunar and Solar, but you can also define your own tracking rate. There is a Synchronize function, a Search function, Coordinate input, Custom mount support using enterable stepper count scaling, and Polar Axis Correction.
The PMC-Eight has a database of 70,000 objects. The Hipparcos/Tycho II database is used for stellar objects. Where possible, the Bayer, Flamstead, SAO, HD/Harvard, DM, BD/CD/CPD, and GSC catalogs have been cross-referenced. The user can search by any of these designations to find a given star. When the system first starts, it loads the 2,000+ stars of magnitude 5.5 and brighter. The user can load the additional 68,000+ star catalog as needed. For non-stellar objects, the RNGC/IC catalog is used. The system is designed so the user can update the provided catalogs and create their own catalog using tables and scripts in Microsoft Access. Also, each object has a unique ID number, so users can report errors and omissions.
Explore Scientific includes the RA Extension Kit ($295 value) which enables the user to split the G11 mount head into two easy to carry pieces and is used to insure seamless tracking through the meridian. Explore Scientific also provides a robust motor assembly which includes a helical coupler connector for the motor and worm block system as well as a heavy motor adapter plate. This results in a high performance system for your astrograph.