Gemini-2 and Gemini-1 Telescope Mount Controller
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Credits for the Gemini-2 mount controller.
The Following persons are affiliated with Losmandy (Hollywood General Machining, Inc.) in some manner:
  1. Dr.-Ing. René Görlich  (Dr.-Ing stands for Doctor of Engineering) Writer of Gemini-1 and Gemini-2 firmware.
  2. Scott Losmandy (Owner of Hollywood General Machining, Inc.)
  3. Russell Jamcic (One of Scotts right hand men on the Mounts)

The following personnel are not affiliated with Losmandy in any way. (in no particular order)

  1. Karen Posselt now Karen Görlich as of Aug 14, 2015
  2. Thomas S Hilton
  3. Paul Kanevsky
  4. Mark Crossley
  5. Peter Simpson
  6. Florian Appert
  7. David Sandage
  8. Didier Garriou
  9. Bob Erdmann

A Little History:

Dr.-Ing. René Görlich developed the Gemini-1 controller and released the first version back in November of 2000.  That system went through 4 major versions of the PCB and also many version of the firmware up through Level 4 V1.05  You can see this development at the bottom of Dr.-Ing. René Görlich site, and the different PCB versions here.  What most people do not know is that the Gemini-1 unit during the initial development was tested first in Australia. The Level 4 version of the Eprom for Gemini-1 was also tested in Australia by René himself.  He traveled to the outback to do much of the testing of the Level 4 version of the Gemini-1.
This system was designed and developed by Dr René Görlich as a bet, that he could do it for under 2K$.  A direct quote from René: "Roland Christen stated in a news group that nobody would be able to design a telescope control servo system at a price below 2k$. I did, but to a certain degree I've have to admit he was right to a certain degree. Only dedicated users, companions, testers like you made it possible to put it on the astronomy market at much lower cost."

I think, but am not sure, that at the time he was using one of Losmandy's digital drive systems on his mount.  I think that Scott Losmandy and Larry Myers was contacted for funding, and Aveox was used for the servo part of the Gemini and also to lay out the PCB boards.

Well as electronic do, they change and advance.  Most of the time electronic parts do not stay in production for more than 10 years at maximum.  This happened with the Gemini and severely hampered production on new units starting in 2008. 

At the time Dr.-Ing. René Görlich, was not in a position to start on the Gemini-2 because of his work as a  Dean at Technische Universität Berlin (he supervised 45 professors and 1500 students over a 5 year period, and still taught also, and still teaches but is no longer in the position of Dean.)  So the development of a replacement had to wait, even though it was being discussed heavily. 

I think that Dr.-Ing. René Görlich, and Scott Losmandy started the actual development of the Gemini-2 in 2009, as I was contacted in June of 2010 and asked if I would like to be a beta tester and could I recommend others to be beta testers also.  I said Yes, and recommended two others to be beta testers, because of there work in developing the new ASCOM Gemini.net driver.

So the beta test began, and rumors were going left and right that there might be a new Gemini controller.  Well about 6 months after the beta test began, one of the beta testers put pictures of the Gemini-2 on a web page.  He never expected anyone to see it, but as we all know, if it is on the web, it is not secret.  The news was spread in the Gemini users group.  Scott started being hounded for units.  He sold some units, and asked that the ones he sold them too, be made part of the beta test program.   I am really not sure when he started selling them without people being in the beta test program, but I think it was around Sept or Oct of 2010.


How others have contributed:
  1. Karren Görlich - She helped Dr.-Ing. René Görlich develop all the graphical characters used in the hand controller, and has helped him with the user interface of the hand controller. She has also helped him in testing the hand controller interface.  Without her, the hand controller would have taken a lot more time to develop.
  2. Paul Kanevsky - He was the major coder behind the ASCOM Gemini.net driver, and has been working on it to include all the new features that the Gemini-2 has, along with a new UDP protocol to communicate with the Gemini-2 at a speed that cannot be matched by USB or Serial connections.  He has also been a beta tester. Paul has done it again with the writing of the GFU (Gemini Firmware Upload) program now for both Windows and the Mac, which is now the easiest way to update firmware in the Gemini-2.  He also answers most if not all the ASCOM Gemini.net questions, and continues to support both the Gemini.net driver, and the Gemini Firmware update program.  Next to René he is probably the most important person contributing to the success of the Gemini 1 and Gemini-2.
  3. I, Thomas Hilton, started the Gemini-2 and the Gemini-2 beta uses group in June of 2010, and also the Gemini ASCOM users group, and the Gemini ASCOM Beta group back in August of 2009.  I saw a need for a new Gemini ASCOM driver and started out with the writer of the visual basic version.  It became very apparent that the new driver needed to be done is a .NET language, because ASCOM 5.0 had been released.  Since he was not willing to do that, Paul, Robert, Mark and others jumped in to do the first version of the ASCOM Gemini.net driver.  I was a beta tester for it, as I don't know how to write code. After the Gemini-2 came along I also started the Gemini-2 Web site, and continue to update it.  I had a previous site up, called ArizonaSkys that had allot of support information about the Gemini-1 mount controller. I also developed the combined file method of updating the Gemini-2 controller. I have also been a very active beta tester, and a critic to René when necessary and I am sure he feels that I can be a "Pain the A--" sometimes.    But I must say, that was not very often, as he is a pleasure to work with, and I consider him a good friend, even though we have never met in person.
  4. David Sandage has worked with René for many years and is the moderator of the Gemini users group along with René - They made me a moderator of that group, last year also.  David has made many great suggestions, and been an avid beta tester of the Gemini-2. He is also one of the authors of the Gemini-1 Level 4 manual.  He helped write the first getting started guide, but the changes to the hand controller, that guide became obsolete.
  5. Robert Turner jumped in and did the Web based Mobile hand controller - this was based on his work with Paul Kanevsky in developing the ASCOM Gemini.net driver.  Robert developed just the hand controller portion and GPS portion of the ASCOM Gemini.net driver.  He then developed the mobile web based controller, to work in iPhones/iPads and Androids phones and tablets.  He has also been a beta tester. For some unknown reason Robert has dropped out of the Gemini Groups and is no longer supporting the Mobile Hand controller.
  6. Mark Crossley - was a beta tester for the Gemini.net ASCOM driver and also did the very nice manual for this driver.  He also contributed many ideas to it's design. Mark from time to time jumps in and fixes the manual when I add to it.  He just knows much more about editing and publications, than I do. 
  7. Peter Simpson jumped in and helped René on two fronts, the UDP code, and refining the math for the modeling.  He has only been a beta tester since May of 2011. He has also contributed to the coding and testing of the ASCOM Gemini.net driver.
  8. Florian Appert - Florian came up with a method to provide night vision screens for the web interface and work with René to incorporate them into the code.
  9. Both Bob Erdmann and Didier Garriou have granted permission to use there IC and NGC catalogs respectively in both the main unit and the Hand Controller.  Thank you both.

As you can see, the Gemini and the Gemini-2 have been developed by many people, but Dr.-Ing. René Görlich is the spearhead, the founder, and the driving force behind them both. Many years ago he developed the G1 and it has provided many an astronomer great and accurate service.  We are hoping that the Gemini-2 builds on that reputation.

The Gemini-2 keeps developing.  There has been so many menus and improvements that René has added due to the suggestions posted by the users on the Gemini-II Users Group.  It has come a long way, and René still has many more upgrades and additions planned for it.  As one user has said, about the only thing it won't do after a long night of observing is make you a cup of coffee.

I know that many others have also contributed with there suggestions into the development of the Gemini-2,  and I really hope I have not missed any major players.  If I have please let me know.

Thank You ALL!!!!.
Page last updated on Aug 28, 2015
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This site is not for profit and sells nothing and asks for no money for any help it provides.  This site is here to help fellow Gemini-2 and Gemini-1 owners. This Web Site is not associated with Losmandy-Hollywood General Machining Inc. or any of their employees and never has been. There is no guarantee that all the information is correct, but strives to provide the best information possible. The use of any information is at your own risk.  The webmaster is an unpaid beta tester, and tries to work with other beta testers, and René the writer of the firmware. 
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