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M45 using the new Vixen Polarie travel mount


madjohn
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Hi folks

I couldn't post any more details this morning as I was hurrying out the door but these are the details.

I had the good fortune to be given one of the new Vixen Polarie mounts (one of only two in the country at the moment-will be going on sale from Astrofest apparently) to have a play with and to get some feedback as I already have and use the excellent Astrotrac 320AG.

Its about the size of the old VHS video cassette so scores points for compactness there, however its not lightweight for its size but thankfully not ridiculous either. :)

Its big advantage is the fact you do not need to rewind it like the Astrotracs 1 hour 50 min run time, it will keep tracking as long as you need if you plug in a power lead into the mini USB port-using the two AA batteries it can take gives you about two to two half hours tracking before it starts to flash a warning at you.

The big disadvantage however is its misery payload- only 3.5lbs compared to the Astrotracs 32lbs however after using it for about a month I'm very impressed with its performance, mounted on a proper heavy duty tripod and geared head (in my case the Manfrotto 055XV and 410 geared head) instead of the supplied wobbly Velbon one it is capable of some great photography as my M45 image shows.

I have taken other images using my Miniborg 45ED scope and it copes fine but I reckon thats about as big as it will take

Using camera lenses is what its really been designed for though and I have taken some fine images using my stock Canon 18/55EF-S lens such as this image of Auriga shows...

post-15189-133877724784_thumb.jpg

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M45 isin't hard object but it is one of my favourites!

Nice image! Great job!

I don't agree, I think it's the hardest target I've ever imaged and only after four attempts do I have something I can live with!!

Another tracking triumph for this mount. It could be just what half the imaging world is looking for...

Olly

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If the tracking rate is adjustable i.e. > than sidereal, it would also make a good mount for timelapse panning applications.

Hi Kev

Yes the rate is adjustable-in fact it has a 'Starscape' setting which is half sideral so you can keep foreground objects sharper while imager the skies in the background at least for a little while.

It has the usual lunar and solar rates too.:D

John

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If the tracking rate is adjustable i.e. > than sidereal, it would also make a good mount for timelapse panning applications.

Hi Kev

Yes the rate is adjustable-in fact it has a 'Starscape' setting which is half sideral so you can keep foreground objects sharper while imager the skies in the background at least for a little while.

It has the usual lunar and solar rates too.:D

John

Not really quick enough for a reasonable panned timelapse John. x2 or even x4 sideral would be more usual i.e. 30 or 60 degrees / hour. The Merlin alt/az mount has upto x8 from memory but of course is a much larger package.

Edited by Photosbykev
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