Soon after acquiring my 2009 build G11, the mod program started.
Mod 1: Being a boat builder / sailor, I dislike protruding knobs etc. So I reversed the tripod leg knobs. No more trip hazards!
Mod 2: I found the assembled tripod awkward to carry. So fit tripod carry handles. Heavy duty Satin Chrome brass "D" handles (not the Bunnies type) were "adjusted" with a half round file to fit the contour of the tripod head stub leg stubs. Screws and penny washers were fitted from inside the leg stubs - requires 1/4 drive ratchet and bit.
Now the tripod is more balanced when carrying outside - simple ergonomics.
Handles link: http://elraco.com.au/product_info.ph...oducts_id=8441
Mod 3: Allen Key Cap screws that connect the mount to the tripod are a pain. The after market no-tool knobs interfere with operation of Altitude and Azimith Adjuster knobs. The better solution is a "T" handle ball type Allen key. Just keep it with your mount. Note other "T" handle ball type Allen keys are also great for remove / install of Gemini motors, Altitude Lock cap screws etc.
Mod 4: Counter Weight Shaft case. It seemed strange such a fine piece of machining is supplied without a case or protector. Find a short length of 40mm electrical conduit fit an end cap - presto CWS case! (Nbr1 son is an electrician
Mod 5: Supplied CWS safety bolt and washer are a PITA. ADM Slow Motion Knobs are just the right size 1 5/8" dia x 5/8 knurled grip. Counterbore and tap to suit an Allen key cap screw (use Locktite).
Mod 6: TBC I was surprised to find the Gemini panel has no environmental sealing, yet the case is a beautiful example CNC milling. We all know Micro electronics does not like to be wet (dew) while powered. So precaution suggests some form of protection is required - solution invert and rotate Gemini so motor sockets remain on the same side as the motors. (RA lead may need lengthening). Drill and tap the reverse end of the Gemini case for the Gemini indexing handles. The Gemini mount lugs need to be packed out 15mm (use flexible plastic as spacers) and add longer 1/4 UNC socket caps screws.
All connections fit as normal, the additional benefit of this mod is that you now have a flat surface to velcro the Gemini Handpad!
Mod 7: TBC CKS Clutch Knob Set is on the way from Losmandy. Yes they seem expensive, but they provide better feedback and finer adjustment of clutches. To make DIY handles for ex-factory knobs seems easy, but only if you have a lathe, mill drill and indexing table. The handle shape is more than just eye candy.
Mod 8: TBC Also in the order is a OPW Block for the RA - the G11 has HPW fitted ex-factory. There good install guides on the web. The reported PEC results appear to be excellent and stable.
As others have said, its a shame Scot Losmandy does not ship new mounts with ALL his improvements as standard. The basic design is time-proven. Users and reviewers state its capable of carrying most mid range scopes with a high degree of accuracy. But the best features are all the upgrades and most replacement parts are readily available on-line by Losmandy. The user base is huge and informative.
Plus there is quite a gap up the dollar ladder to get more load, more accuracy and better design.