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Explore Scientific / Losmandy G-11 with Explore Scientific PMC-Eight GoTo System

$3,699.99
SKU ES-G11PMC8-00

Description

The Explore Scientific/Losmandy G-11 was designed by Explore Scientific’s Engineers, and features the PMC-Eight, which represents a new approach to robotic precision motion control for telescope mounts with a robust eight processor electronics board for a wide range of software clients. While the design is innovative, we are doing what no other telescope company has done, and that is to make the controlling interface language and example software code open source, so that programmers in the astronomical community can create new platforms and new astronomy GoTo experiences to best suit their needs for casual observations and research.

The result is a robust high-end equatorial mount that offers either hardwired or wireless connectivity with a computer running any ASCOM-compatible software. For users without such software, Explore Scientific provides an intuitive mount control graphical interface software package called ExploreStars, which is downloadable from the Microsoft App Store, Google Play, or iTunes App Store at no charge. ExploreStars is currently available for Windows 8.1 and 10, Android, Amazon Fire, and Apple tablets. Tablets and computers must be purchased separately.

The equatorial mount underlying the Explore Scientific/Losmandy G-11 with PMC-Eight GoTo system is a modified version of the Losmandy G-11. For example, Explore Scientific has replaced the servo motors in the standard G-11 with stepper motors to more precisely control the motor rate to .01 arc seconds per second. Another modification is the use of helical couplers on each axis ($175 value on each axis) to provide more reliable operation and higher performance by connecting the worm and motor more securely in the RA and DEC axes. Moreover, the Explore Scientific’s modified mount includes the Losmandy RA extension (a $295 value) (the 0.6" saddle plate extension is not necessary with our setup) that not only allows the mount to track beyond the meridian but also allows the 35-pound mount head to be separated into components of 15 and 20 pounds for easy transportation.

The heart of Explore Scientific’s PMC-Eight GoTo controller is the eight processor micro-controller. In addition to standard features like an auto-guide port (ST4 contact input) and a serial port for conventional hardwired connectivity, the PMC-Eight encompasses such advanced features as a wireless Ethernet 10/100 with full IP function which permits access to the controller from anywhere, which provide fast and robust operations. To fully unlock the potential of this controller, Explore Scientific has adopted an open-source approach – meaning that Explore Scientific freely provides documentation for the controller and example software demonstrating how the controller’s features can be utilized. Thus, the astronomy community which we refer to as the OpenGoTo® Community is encouraged to develop and share creative applications for the PMC-Eight. We also offer one of, if not the only ASCOM compatible wireless driver on the market. It is also one of, if not the only ASCOM driver with complete open-source code available to write whatever you might need into the code of the ASCOM driver.

The combination of a 60-pound payload capacity, various ASCOM compatible software packages coupled with the precision of the PMC-Eight system makes the Explore Scientific/Losmandy G-11 an excellent choice for the serious astronomer. Additionally, the Explore Scientific OpenGoTo Community provides a resource for advanced amateur astronomers to develop his/her own applications for this system. And, when controlled by ExploreStars, this mount is a proven favorite among audiences during events outreach and at star parties.

Specs

Item Number ES-G11PMC8–00
Load Capacity Equipment Rating Instrument Weight: 60 lbs. (27.22 Kilos)
Load Capacity Total Rating Total Weight: 100 lbs.
Tripod height: Adjustable/Folding 33" - 48"
Counter Weights Includes 21 lb counterweight and 1–1/4 inch diameter weight shaft w/safety knob. Optional 7 lb and 11 lb counterweights available.
Dovetail saddle-plate Accepts both “Dâ€

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Exceptional Mount

A couple of years ago, I wanted to replace my old VMA200 mount with something more modern.
While visiting the Paris Astronomy show (RCE 2012) I noticed the Nova120. At that time, it was a brand new offering that I have not seen before, hence my hesitation to purchase
I wanted to purchase a E.U product to guarantee the quality and ease of access to support in my own language. I checked the forums and heard nothing but good things about the Nova120 so I decided to purchase it.

I have used enough astronomical instruments in the last 30 years to know what great quality is. The Nova120 coupled with the PRISM v10 and a CDK20 (508 mm) helped me pull off 900s unguided images with great ease. (Raw FITS File here). Payload of this setup is about 80 kg (160 lb).

The dizzying slew speeds, excellent accuracy and painless tracking makes this hobby easy and enjoyable again.
After using this setup for a year and a half, the only problem I had was rebalacing the gear after changing scopes. The superb electronics and software included make this tasks even more easier that just eyeballing the scope for movement due to unbalance.

You can very easily watch the motor consumption and know where the unbalance is....that easy. I have so much data that it is becoming difficult yo keep up.
I have absolutely zero regrets, this purchase has made everything easier: No summer/winter worm-gear adjustments, no guiding... just start imaging night after night after night.

Eric Barbotin

Imaging Made Easy

Prism is my GoTo program for observatory control and imaging. Prism's many features make imaging taking a breeze.

I was concerned about giving Prism a try , especially as its quite expensive. So far Im very impressed and glad of my decision.
Im a beginner at all this so haven't tried other more recommended software, Prism appealed as it seems to do everything instead of using several programs 👍🏻

Great lightweight guide scope

This guide scope replaces a 400/80 that was waaay too heavy for what it did. The smaller 60mm scope does a great job guiding and I can RA balance with just one counter weight now - much better - and it looks like something Ferrari designed

Still learning Prism using Wireless links...

I have much of your software working at this time... I have it parked on my main computer, and a notebook... My main computer is a OverClock computer with 32 Gigs of RAM Clocking presently at 4400MHz with software parked on SSD drives... The rotation dome by NexDome is still not working... Most problems like this have to do with ASCOM Drivers... There is not very much detail information on how to use this software... I have to feel my way to a total operational staus... Second issue... The rain in the San Francisco Bay Area this year has limited my access to my larger telescope (12 inch SCT)... This rain has been so significant, I was force to weatherize my observatory... My goal here is,,, I am trying to remotely control my observatory totally. I have used Netgear Powerline 2000 to handle camera images and discover controlling rules to do that... High speed is vital for images with cameras over 3 Megs... I have both 12 Mega sensors and 24 Mega sensors... I am also using Netgear Nighthawk router and its mating extender to increase control signals to my observatory that is about 100 feet on the side of hill... I am also using Virtual Here software on a Raspberry Pi inside the observatory to solve the USB interface requirements... I started out using Model B and B+ on level 3 raspberry Pi's... I have moved to Level 4 Raspberry Pi to gain access to USB 3.0 technology... Big difference! I hope by early spring to have everything working... Bob Ritter MicTechS