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Old Vixen GP-DX Mount upgrade options


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Hi

I'm currently looking to get back into astrophotography after a long gap. I have a Vixen GP-DX mount which I bought back in 1998. It has dual motors but at least one motor does not function at all and I've not much confidence in the controller either. 

I'd like to use a Vixen ED80SF refractor and possibly a VC200L if I can restore it. I'm wondering what the options are regarding this mount - can it be upgraded or should I just replace it? 

Options seem to be:

1. Buy the DD3 controller and new motors. 

2. I've heard of Vixen mounts being upgraded with EQ5 Synscan or other systems but don't really understand how.

3. Simply replace it with something like the celestron avx mounting

Is it worth sticking with this mount and if so which is the best way forward? I'd like as many options as possible open - such as ability to use a guidescope and ideally control via PC etc.

How does the Vixen GP-DX hold up against more modern mountings of the same price bracket? 

Also is there any general maintenance on this mounting that should be done after years of no-use? The tripod is also in need or replacement, are there any current tripods compatible with the mounting?

Any thoughts or advice much appreciated,

Tristan

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There's a video on youtube on how to fit the eq5 synscan kit. It's very easy to do. I did it to my GP with no issues whatsoever. Dunno about others, but i find my GP to be an absolute trooper of a mount, easily coping with my 10" f4.8 newt, unless it gets a bit breezy

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I've not got a great deal of experience of newer mounts but my GP-DX (the second one I've owned) is something I'm not going to part with.  It's so solid and nicely built, and there are all sorts of options for drives (AWR, Vixen basic drives or go-to, DK-3) that will fit.

I did run mine with the Synscan EQ5 kit but found it really noisy - a consideration if you've got neighbours nearby (not that I really care any more, now the neighbours have fitted "security" lights that have killed off any back garden observing).  But is was fairly easy to fit; a bit of whittling on the plastic casing, but an easy job even for a ham-fisted person like me, and it was very accurate and easy to use (easier than the Skysensor).  It comes ready for guiding.

I now use an old Skysensor 2000 kit on the GP-DX, and also have a GP with MT1 motors and DD3 controller which is a lovely simple set-up if you don't need go-to.

In terms of maintenance, my GP-DX had spent ages in a garage before I bought it, and it runs sweetly.  The grease seems to have survived OK somehow - maybe the garage it lived in had a good steady temperature.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did run mine with the Synscan EQ5 kit but found it really noisy

Gotta love a good understatement :D i could hear mine through double glazed kitchen window...

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  • 3 years later...

Old thread I know, but I’ve just replaced my GPDX Skysensor and motors with the SynScan EQ5 upgrade kit.  I actually think the new motors are much quieter than the old ones.  And it all talks to EQMOD/ASCOM as well...

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

Hi all,

Recently got a GP-DX with motors and an idea gotostar controller. The mount is in fantastic condition, except for a wobbly drive-shaft on the DEC-axis (and a broken motor casing). It's working, but I expect the wobbly axis will increase wear on the gears, and they are still so nice and shiny :) Was wondering if anybody here is still active, and may have some spares?

Best regards,

Han

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