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Stupid stupid Vixen Porta & flex handles


glennbech
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I upgraded The vixen Porta's handles with flexible ones; https://www.optcorp.com/vx-8800-flexible-11-5inch-handle-for-vixen-gp-porta-mount.html because I am doing more visual astronomy than before.

 I was observing the moon tonight, and it traveled a bit high tonight. I noticed that the handles do not rotate over a certain altitude. They bump into the mount. I'm just saying: You had one job!! Advice?

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Edited by glennbech
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1 minute ago, iPeace said:

The mind boggles...can you move the clamp further outwards, and still have it hold and turn the worm gear reliably?

I can try, but the problem gets worse and worse at higher altitudes :) I'm not sure they thought this through...

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2 minutes ago, glennbech said:

I can try, but the problem gets worse and worse at higher altitudes :) I'm not sure they thought this through...

Yes, just realized that after closer examination. Will have to think about this one.

Edited by iPeace
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What happens if you try mounting the scope the other way around on it? Can you reverse the cable as well? I have what is called the Skywatcher AZ4 over there, which looks very similar - but has no problem running into the tripod at zenith.

Failing that, perhaps a shovel and a 21-gun salute followed by burial?

Dave :D

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It is a bad design flaw, I agree, but one which disappears completely if you remove the slow motion handles. I know that defeats one of the main selling points of the Porta Mount but when I had one it did slew quite smoothly so I tended not to use the slow-mo too much. 

Perhaps your best solution?

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IMG_20160318_090751.thumb.jpg.9879360d78

Ha! Looks like the vixen engeneers have made things quite flexible. I re mounted the telescope plate so that it is pointing to zenith at the time the handle enters the problem area. 

There was an extra mind twist here because my oldest son broke the metal knob opposite the one you see here. The knobs securing the scope is now under - but that's less of a problem. 

Looks like the vixen  guys are not so stupid after all :)

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1 hour ago, PBS said:

Short Hex head Grub screws instead of the knurled ones? Ok you will need an allen key to fit/remove the slow-mo drives but...

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I'm going to get a couple of those today and see if I can DIY a hack that lets me adjust tension without an Allan key...

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The original handles are slip on. The mount wasn't designed for flexible handles with bolts - it is not a design flaw in the mount but in the handle!

I use handles from an old Skywatcher mount with my own bolts. Works fine :)

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Now it looks just like my US-version of the Skywatcher AZ4, which here is sold as the Orion VersaGo II. And it provides ample space for looking straight-up at the zenith. I have a Skywatcher 150mm Mak on it. At the outer limits of it's stated capacity - but fits the 150mm like a glove. No issues at all.

Glad you're getting sorted there, Glenn!

Dave

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