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I picked this up yesterday from Ed Harrison and managed a very quick first light tonight, dodging clouds all the time.
For a relatively long scope it is lightweight and easy to handle. I popped it on my Giro-WR which, with the counterweight bar I couldn't find, will handle it easily for grab and go use.
The Vixen is a fine looking 'proper' scope. The objective, which appears to be in a collimateable cell has that classic fluorite look to it, lovely stuff. The focuser is original, and is surprisingly good; very smooth with little or no shift. I have, however ordered a Feathertouch to go on it as I really enjoy the additional control to be had with the dual speed, and just the feel!
So, first light? Not too much seen unfortunately, and the seeing was not much to write home about. Star images looked pretty clean and well collimated, I'll test more fully next time out. Vega's tiny secondary was pin sharp, and the Double Double split cleanly. Highlight for me tonight though was the Double Cluster. Often underwhelming from here, it had that lovely diamonds on velvet look to it, with tens of tiny stars just on the limit of visibility beautifully resolved.
A fairly inconclusive session all in all apart from the DC, but these scopes have an excellent reputation and it's nice just having the pleasure of owning one. I'm sure it will give me plenty of enjoyable nights observing in future.
Following on from this thread Michael started....
....in a blatant act of plagiarism, I purchased the same dual mount adaptor and additional TS Vixen clamp for my Giro-WR. To fit the adaptor properly, I needed to add 4 spacers made from a plastic milk bottle, and it now works very well. In addition, whilst playing around with the various pieces, I replaced the lightweight shaft in the Giro-WR with a 13cm Stainless Counterweight shaft. This adds a little weight, but the result feels much better; smoother motion and I'm sure it will cope with heavier weight. I can swap back at any time so no permanent alteration has been done.
I also found that I could arrange it so I can add a counterweight shaft extension plus weight without removing the clamp, making the whole thing much more flexible for single and dual scope use. Very pleased, and grateful to @michael.h.f.wilkinson for the idea
Note to self, must get a smarter looking CW, or paint this one!