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F15Rules

Show us your Vixen Scope or mount

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I have loved Vixen telescopes and mounts for nearly 30 years. I think they are a very underrated brand, and they have (and still do) produced some of the best, most accessible amateur scopes and mounts ever.

From achromats to reflectors, mak-cassegrains to apochromats, they have offered, in my experience, excellent optics, understated but attractive build characteristics and very pleasing instruments. Their Super Polaris, Great Polaris and GPDX mounts were the original (and best, IMHO) affordable equatorial mounts, much copied, but not bettered for longevity and quality of engineering for the price. I have owned the following models:

SP102m, Custom 80m, Pulsar F13 102mm all achromats), and 2 ED103s doublets...and 2 wonderful GP mounts.

I'd love to see your pictures of Vixen scopes past and present, of whatever type, and with any anecdotes or stories about them that you are happy to share.

Here is my starter, my ED103s doublet, seen here fixed to a CG-4 mount with a Takahashi FS102 clamshell. It is optically excellent, very lightweight and portable, and makes me smile every time I use it.

Looking forward to seeing yours :hello2::headbang:

Dave

IMG_20170828_104456558.jpg

IMG_20170828_104423844.jpg

Edited by F15Rules
Photos added
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Can't see the pics of yours Dave :icon_scratch: (edit: oh yes I can now - very nice ! :icon_biggrin:)

Here are pics of my old (I owned this around 1990) Bresser Uranus which was really a Vixen SP102M in a black colour scheme (complete with early Skysensor GOTO) and a couple of my current Vixen ED102SS toting it's Vixen handle and rings, care of your good self Dave plus Moonlite focuser. I've owned the ED102 for over a decade now :icon_biggrin:

 

 

bresseruranus.jpg

vix102ota01.JPG

vix102ota02.JPG

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Here's a old one of my C8 on a Vixen GPD mount.

And a Pentax 100 SDUF II on a Vixen GPD. I think that a very similar design to the SDUF has now been taken up by Vixen in the Vixen VSD 100 f/3.8 astrograph

Both with Vixen Skysensor 2000PC GOTO controller.

Jeremy

C8 on SP.jpg

Pentax SDUF.jpg

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Your Skysensor looks so modern compared to the "shoebox size" that my late 1980's one was Jeremy. My old brick had a red LED display just like the old Sinclair calculators and digital watches - very 80's :icon_biggrin:

I'll be the modern units are much more user friendly as well. The old ones took seemingly forever to set up :rolleyes2:

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20 minutes ago, John said:

Can't see the pics of yours Dave :icon_scratch: (edit: oh yes I can now - very nice ! :icon_biggrin:)

Here are pics of my old (I owned this around 1990) Bresser Uranus which was really a Vixen SP102M in a black colour scheme (complete with early Skysensor GOTO) and a couple of my current Vixen ED102SS toting it's Vixen handle and rings, care of your good self Dave plus Moonlite focuser. I've owned the ED102 for over a decade now :icon_biggrin:

 

 

bresseruranus.jpg

vix102ota01.JPG

vix102ota02.JPG

Lovely John☺. The goto handset on the Bresser reminds me of how big mobile phones used to be!! That must have been very cool back then..

I suspect your lovely ED102SS will have to be prised from your cold hands many years from now?.

Dave

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11 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

Here's a old one of my C8 on a Vixen GPD mount.

And a Pentax 100 SDUF II on a Vixen GPD. I think that a very similar design to the SDUF has now been taken up by Vixen in the Vixen VSD 100 f/3.8 astrograph

Both with Vixen Skysensor 2000PC GOTO controller.

Jeremy

C8 on SP.jpg

Pentax SDUF.jpg

Great pics Jeremy..I really think the C8 looks great in "refractor white"!:hello2:

Dave

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10 minutes ago, F15Rules said:

I really think the C8 looks great in "refractor white"!

Yes, I thought it looked great too. This was supplied by Phil Stone of Superscopes in the 1990's, along with the pillar. It was originally on a Vixen SP.

Jeremy

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22 minutes ago, John said:

Your Skysensor looks so modern compared to the "shoebox size" that my late 1980's one was Jeremy.

Yes you're right, John.

Before the SS2k, I had the with Skysensor 3D controller. It was about the same size as the SS2k box, but much less functionality and very slooooow GOTOs.

The SS2k was a superb device.

Jeremy

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I can join in with this... my vixen GP.. won't say much about it other than she's well travelled and well loved.. especially now..

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Ta

Fozzie 

 

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That tripod and pier extension is a work of art, Steve:hello2::hello2:

Dave

Edited by F15Rules
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Nice thread! Also sometimes partial to a bit of Vixen. 80mf achromat plus Vixen SLV eyepiece..I still have the eyepieces at least:   

vixen80mf.jpg

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You have a beautiful set-up there Dave! Your 103mm makes my 100DC look pathetic! Anyhow, here are my Vixen mount pics.

Below: my Vixen GP on its tripod.

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And pier mounted in my observatory.

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Below are a few pics of my Vixen Polaris mount which is interchangeable between Equatorial and Altazimuth modes. I bought the mount as being only useful as spare parts, but after winding in a loose worm, found that its as good as new! ?

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Edited by mikeDnight
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"You have a beautiful set-up there Dave! Your 103mm makes my 100DC look pathetic!"

Er, I don't think so, Mike:rolleyes2::icon_biggrin:.. mind you, I'd love to do a side by side comparison of the two, that would be interesting!

Dave

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My first Vixen was the NA140SS which was so lightweight and fabulous for deep sky or doubles. It wasn't too bad on brighter stuff either; CA certainly never bothered me. The T-Rex didn't even break sweat carrying it, but that was a heavy mount.

IMG_20160225_1355592.thumb.jpg.25a21932a77c75c86d1a76362530a8b1.jpg

Life changes saw me needing to sell it, but it's been replaced with my new SD103 which appears to sit very nicely on my Porta II - although I've not managed a clear night since getting the scope last week. The Porta II does still have the encoders on from my Argo Navis days and I could get another Argo Navis handset or the Nexus DSC, which I personally found more user-friendly. 

20180115_210149.thumb.jpg.b9da4c918a305e228e7a1b69dcaa1e29.jpg

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A Vixen GP-DX EQ mount......

 

FS128_a.jpg.ad51995ac302c8bff044bffcd33429f4.jpg

 

A Vixen GP EQ mount

IM715.thumb.jpg.25b2b7335ca5dc4a71fec598c7c28f61.jpg

My first scope on a Vixen Super Polaris EQ mount

5a5d1d3a7e56a_astrosystems215.thumb.jpg.f09db7384a91f4a8e266f948203b3848.jpg

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Some of my Vixen Atlux on its original mount, with SkySensor 2000PC. As already mentioned, a very capable controller even by today's standards.

IMG_1733.JPG

IMG_1912.JPG

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That Atlux was a beast Stu! I recall drooling over that in the Astro mags back in the day, I think Fullerscopes sold it on the matching mount for around £5k? - a fortune in those days..but what a scope! Thanks for sharing??.

Dave

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Never owned a Vixen telescope and probably never will, having a Tak. 

I like their products a lot though. 

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1 hour ago, dweller25 said:

A Vixen GP-DX EQ mount......

 

FS128_a.jpg.ad51995ac302c8bff044bffcd33429f4.jpg

 

A Vixen GP EQ mount

IM715.thumb.jpg.25b2b7335ca5dc4a71fec598c7c28f61.jpg

My first scope on a Vixen Super Polaris EQ mount

5a5d1d3a7e56a_astrosystems215.thumb.jpg.f09db7384a91f4a8e266f948203b3848.jpg

Cracking setups David!

An FS128 on a GPDX mount, a dream combo..

An Intes Micro Mak on a GP mount also a dream setup. I had the same model scope I believe, almost refractor like sharpness and contrast?.

Dave

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1 hour ago, osbourne one-nil said:

My first Vixen was the NA140SS which was so lightweight and fabulous for deep sky or doubles. It wasn't too bad on brighter stuff either; CA certainly never bothered me. The T-Rex didn't even break sweat carrying it, but that was a heavy mount.

IMG_20160225_1355592.thumb.jpg.25a21932a77c75c86d1a76362530a8b1.jpg

Life changes saw me needing to sell it, but it's been replaced with my new SD103 which appears to sit very nicely on my Porta II - although I've not managed a clear night since getting the scope last week. The Porta II does still have the encoders on from my Argo Navis days and I could get another Argo Navis handset or the Nexus DSC, which I personally found more user-friendly. 

20180115_210149.thumb.jpg.b9da4c918a305e228e7a1b69dcaa1e29.jpg

 

The NA140SS always intrigued me.. such a big refractor for not all that much money. And not SO much CA according to some reports?

And you DID go for the ED103s replacement, the SD103s! Brilliant! Did it come with the rings, handle, finder and flip mirror all included? 

Please do a full report, first light etc with more pics asap??.

Dave

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10 hours ago, Piero said:

Never owned a Vixen telescope and probably never will, having a Tak. 

I like their products a lot though. 

I can recall a few years back there were rarely any posts on this forum about Takahashi products but quite a few folks had Vixen's of one type or another. Today Tak's seem to be much more frequently discussed so I'm assuming that the ownership levels are higher now. Or maybe my memory is playing tricks on me :icon_scratch:

 

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10 hours ago, F15Rules said:

The NA140SS always intrigued me.. such a big refractor for not all that much money. And not SO much CA according to some reports?

And you DID go for the ED103s replacement, the SD103s! Brilliant! Did it come with the rings, handle, finder and flip mirror all included? 

Please do a full report, first light etc with more pics asap??.

Dave

CA was there on the NA140, but I only ever found it a problem on planets where I couldn't see past it; of course, it was never intended to be a planetary scope anyway. It was fine on any star other than the very brightest (and why would you want to look at Sirius with it anyway?!). I think it was actually an f10 or something with a lens towards the focuser end? It showed really lovely colours on faint doubles and had a huge field of view. Maybe it was just a bit too niche though - neither a really big aperture like a Newt nor really really clean images like a good Apo. Then there's the price....it's a lot!

I did get the SD103, yeah. It came with all that included, but also only a single speed focuser. I can't see that being a problem though. I'll let you know if I ever get a chance to look through it. Seems to suit the Porta II perfectly!

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I'm really surprised that the new SD103s didn't come with a dual speed as standard, especially at that price..:icon_scratch:..

As you say, it's not the end of the world, but a retrofit fine focuser will cost around £180 I believe. My own ED103s, being an older model, also only has a single speed, but it's very smooth, and with a T2 Baader prism and fine focusing eyepiece holder (1.25), I effectively have a dual speed focusser on the cheap?.

My ED103s worked well on the Porta II and I will probably get another  Porta eventually.

Dave

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6 hours ago, John said:

I can recall a few years back there were rarely any posts on this forum about Takahashi products but quite a few folks had Vixen's of one type or another. Today Tak's seem to be much more frequently discussed so I'm assuming that the ownership levels are higher now. Or maybe my memory is playing tricks on me :icon_scratch:

 

I reckon the FC-100 (sorry, I'll put 50p in the swear box ;) ) has been a bit of a game changer John. It's such a good visual scope, and relatively affordable, I think it has raised Tak's profile outside imaging quite a lot.

Back to Vixen... had two of these, very nice

IMG_1257.JPG

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