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!
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 modeling 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.