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Show us your Vixen Scope or mount


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I have a Vixen Super Polari's mount which carries an Astro systems 150mm Newtonian reflector, I bought them both back in the early eighties, the last time I used them was a couple of years ago, the motors still worked and the scope gave stunning view's, I was wondering about the polar scope because if I remember when you looked through the polar scope the reticule had the year next to it or it was in the manual and as the years went by you had to alter the mount so Polaris was a little bit away from the reticule. My question is can I fit a newer polar scope.

Cheers

Keith

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Also my Long Perng 110mm f6 APO on my other duel axis driven ( DMD-3 ) Vixen Super Polaris mount , these are just the best small/mid weight mounts out there awesome Japaneese design and engineering .

Once aligned south it tracks for hours without loosing the object , almost perfect .

 

Brian.

IMG_20181116_165504 (2).jpg

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  • 1 month later...
On 27/12/2018 at 03:28, Brian Nordstrom said:

Also my Long Perng 110mm f6 APO on my other duel axis driven ( DMD-3 ) Vixen Super Polaris mount , these are just the best small/mid weight mounts out there awesome Japaneese design and engineering .

Once aligned south it tracks for hours without loosing the object , almost perfect .

 

Brian.

IMG_20181116_165504 (2).jpg

Some beautiful Vixen based setups you have there Brian:headbang:. 

That little Newt looks just so "right" on the Vixen SP, thanks for sharing!

Dave

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On 26/12/2018 at 20:23, thommo10 said:

I have a Vixen Super Polari's mount which carries an Astro systems 150mm Newtonian reflector, I bought them both back in the early eighties, the last time I used them was a couple of years ago, the motors still worked and the scope gave stunning view's, I was wondering about the polar scope because if I remember when you looked through the polar scope the reticule had the year next to it or it was in the manual and as the years went by you had to alter the mount so Polaris was a little bit away from the reticule. My question is can I fit a newer polar scope.

Cheers

Keith

Hi Keith,

To be honest I wouldn't bother..unless you are into Imaging, the manual alignment with the original polar scope will work for years yet.. just get Polaris near the centre of the reticule and it will track well for visual use ?

 

Dave

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On 24/03/2018 at 08:34, kerrylewis said:

I seem to have missed this thread to date.

So here’s the big Atlux alongside his little Tak  brother. Mount by Skywatcher! 

6C5D92CF-9FFC-49D2-8A59-DB1D06BFB940.thumb.jpeg.b000b1e42efb062626281ed499be6bd7.jpeg

Fabulous gun emplacement, er, I mean scope setup Kerry!

I'd love to have a peep through an Atlux - as a much younger man in the 80s I used to drool over them in the catalogues and astro mags, you could buy half a house for the cost of one even then! Thanks for posting :thumbsup:

Dave

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On 24/03/2018 at 10:20, chiltonstar said:

I also missed this thread........

Home made OTA using a 102mm f13 Vixen achromat, circa 1980 vintage, on a Vixen mount. Still gives stunning views after 30 years use, and will be out & about for Mars in July!

Chris

 

bigfracsm.png

Lovely setup, Chris!

I owned an F13 Vixen 102mm a few years ago - it was called a "Pulsar". It was actually the only Vixen scope I ever owned that under performed..I actually got the lens tested by Es Reid, who suggested that the outer 10% was the problem (he said it was operating at 1/4 wave at best). On Es' recommendation, I made a mask down to 90mm and it transformed the performance and turned it into an F14.7 90mm. It was always a beautiful scope to look at, and the guy who bought it from me knew about the lens' limitations but was more interested in it as a "statement piece" for his London flat!

Vixen also made an F15 102mm frac, called the Saturn - not many of them about, but apparently totally amazing on double stars, with very little CA.. I once came close to buying one from a guy in Northumberland for £500 complete with a Vixen original full height pier and GP mount - now THAT was a gorgeous looking scope!!

Dave

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2 hours ago, F15Rules said:

Lovely setup, Chris!

I owned an F13 Vixen 102mm a few years ago - it was called a "Pulsar". It was actually the only Vixen scope I ever owned that under performed..I actually got the lens tested by Es Reid, who suggested that the outer 10% was the problem (he said it was operating at 1/4 wave at best). On Es' recommendation, I made a mask down to 90mm and it transformed the performance and turned it into an F14.7 90mm. It was always a beautiful scope to look at, and the guy who bought it from me knew about the lens' limitations but was more interested in it as a "statement piece" for his London flat!

Vixen also made an F15 102mm frac, called the Saturn - not many of them about, but apparently totally amazing on double stars, with very little CA.. I once came close to buying one from a guy in Northumberland for £500 complete with a Vixen original full height pier and GP mount - now THAT was a gorgeous looking scope!!

Dave

I too had a Vixen 102mm F13 and had a terrific time with it. No optical issues that i was aware of with mine! When i bought it from Peter Drew sometime around 1985/86, I really felt I'd made it, having longed for a top class 4" refractor for a long time. What amazed me was that on top of its superb lunar and planetary performance,  the 4" F13 was an excellent deep sky scope, giving some really contrasty views. I suppose an F13 back in the mid 80's was really a rich field comet seeker and thought of as a short focus scope. But from what I remember, it showed no noticeable CA and like all good refractors, it always delivered the views with style. Sadly ive misplaced the only two photographs I had of it, and am sorry I sold it so as to fund 'A' Level Chemistry & Geography text books. I passed the 'A' Levels, but should have been certified "THICK IN THE HEAD" for parting with that Vixen!

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I should have mentioned, the Pulsar F13 I had was a rare Altazimuth mounted scope, it came with a yolk type robust fitting on the tube, very simple but effective. It had really long flexible slow motion controls too.

I removed the yolk mount though and covered the holes left by removing it with black insulation tape. 

Pulsar 1.JPG

post-4043-0-91864100-1434730599_thumb.jp

Shown here on an old Vixen Super Polaris mount and CG5 tripod..

 

Dave

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Exactly the same as mine Dave, but I found the fork a bit bouncy, so like you I mounted it on an equatorial and discarded the fork. It's a shame really as the fork would have been ideal for my Tak.  I didn't remove the wing nut thingy's on the side of the tube, but used them as a means of attaching a home made bracket for mating with the equatorial mount. 

I kept mine in our bedroom, and where most men would be looking at the beautiful silhouette of their wife laid alongside them, thinking "what a lucky little lad I am"!  I - ever the romantic - left her knocking back the zeds, while I laid there admiring the silhouette of my gorgeous refractor standing in the corner of the room thinking, "what a lucky little lad i am"!! 

Edited by mikeDnight
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4 hours ago, F15Rules said:

Lovely setup, Chris!

I owned an F13 Vixen 102mm a few years ago - it was called a "Pulsar". It was actually the only Vixen scope I ever owned that under performed..I actually got the lens tested by Es Reid, who suggested that the outer 10% was the problem (he said it was operating at 1/4 wave at best). On Es' recommendation, I made a mask down to 90mm and it transformed the performance and turned it into an F14.7 90mm. It was always a beautiful scope to look at, and the guy who bought it from me knew about the lens' limitations but was more interested in it as a "statement piece" for his London flat!

Vixen also made an F15 102mm frac, called the Saturn - not many of them about, but apparently totally amazing on double stars, with very little CA.. I once came close to buying one from a guy in Northumberland for £500 complete with a Vixen original full height pier and GP mount - now THAT was a gorgeous looking scope!!

Dave

Interesting! I bought mine from Vixen just as an achro doublet, and made the cell and tube assembly. The lens was pretty good, but eventually fungus invaded the edge of the lens and one of the Al tabs moved so last year I disassembled it, cleaned up the surfaces and re-assembled it. I experimented a bit with the spacers and found that a slightly thicker spacer worked a lot better than the original, and I've since had some very impressive views of 1 arcsec doubles with it, as well as Saturn and Jupiter. I have heard that sometimes the pair of lenses are not properly lined up and positioned in the cell - maybe just a rumour.

Chris

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An improptu session with my Vixen ED102SS tonight on the Skytee II mount and Berlebach Uni 28 tripod. I've got an original Vixen R&P focuser back on the scope again which is nice to use. Here I was rather fruitlessly trying to pick out the Leo Triplet out of a rather murky sky. Back to double star splitting I think !

 

vixorigfoc01.JPG

vixorigfoc02.JPG

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8 hours ago, Stu said:

Looks good John. Why the change back to an original focuser? You had a Moonlite fitted if I recall correctly?

I must admit, I wondered the same at first..But I have to say, the original single speed Vixen R&P on my ED103s is buttery smooth and I can't imagine needing anything different on the scope. And there is something really nice about using a scope in its' original state - so long as it doesn't compromise its' performance?.

On my wish list for retirement is a task to fettle the big R&P on my FS128..It's had so little use before I bought it (and not that much since, due to work etc etc), that it still feels a little stiff. But I know it can be adjusted to make it freer and smoother, and there are useful threads online to assist‚ėļ.

Your Vixen is looking great, John!:thumbsup:

Dave

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That's one of my all time favourite refractors John. I've seen some wonderful sights and had many happy hours at the eye end of a Vixen ED102SS. I can't remember seeing much in the way of false colour, only great views of DSO's, the planet's and the Moon. Through a 20mm Nagler from a dark site M42 was spectacular, showing several levels of black nebulosity with the bright nebula almost exploding out from behind the black dust. The effect was almost 3D, and the pearl green hue of the nebula was very obvious. I remember following Europa's tiny disc as it transited the complex cloud tops of Jupiter, followed by the sharpest black Indian ink spot of its shadow transit. And the Vixen ED's rendition of Saturn's rings was breathtaking, revealing hints of countless divisions across the A & B rings, almost like the grooves on a vinyl record. The Crepe ring looked like grey/blue smoke on the inside of the each anse. So good Infact was the view of Saturn in the Vixen, that i soon after, sold my TV NP101 IS as it was left standing by the ED doublet with regard to the planet's. My reasoning was two fold: Obviously there was a large sum tied up in the 101, which really rubbed against the grain with me. Then I had it set in my mind that, if the 101 can't show Saturn's rings well, its not showing anything well. Right or wrong, I felt that if the Vixen shows Saturn's rings in such detail, then it must be giving the same level of definition on everything, including nebulae. The 101 on the other hand, although giving very nice views, had to be lacking in definition by comparison. Bye bye NP101 :hello:

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I did have a very nice Moonlight CF2 on the scope but a chance to get an original Vixen focuser, from one of the last ED102SS's came along at around the same time that the very old Moonlite CF2 on my ED120 developed some real issues so the ED120 now has a much newer CF2 and the Vixen a very smooth original focuser. The swap around has shaved quite a bit off the overall weight of the Vixen as well. Moonlites are lovely but weigh quite a bit by the time the hefty flange is taken into account. The Vixen is back to it's original weight of 3.3kg. I've owned the Vixen for 12 years now - the longest of any of my scopes :icon_biggrin:

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, Stu said:

I can add this one on here now, Vixen Sphinx mount, my second now. Nice quick session with it this evening with the Tak, accurate gotos after a very rough setup.

20190223_181822.jpg

I've never seen a Sphinx mount in the flesh Stu. What are the main differences versus the GPDX?

Is the loading capacity higher?

Do you find the Ali tripod compromises rigidity/stability? It's certainly a nice looking mount‚ėļ.

Dave

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4 hours ago, F15Rules said:

I've never seen a Sphinx mount in the flesh Stu. What are the main differences versus the GPDX?

Is the loading capacity higher?

Do you find the Ali tripod compromises rigidity/stability? It's certainly a nice looking mount‚ėļ.

Dave

Outside looks there are a few significant differences Dave. Firstly the motors and wiring are all internal so it is neater with fewer cables to get tangled. Infact all you need to connect is power and one cable for the controller.

Secondly the electronics and DEC motor are mounted so that they act as counterweight to the scope so you need less weight on the counterweight bar. The bar itself is retractable which is a neat feature.

Finally the controller is called a Starbook, and has a larger, colour display that acts like a mini planetarium so you can scroll around the sky and pick targets to goto, or select from lists as is more traditional. It generally works well although it has some limitations. Dimming the screen enough is not possible using the built in controls so for deep sky observing you need to put a red film over it. Slews are relatively quiet and quick. I think the load capacity is similar to the GP-DX at 10kg, but the mount is lighter at 7kg so it is more portable.

The tripod is actually pretty good, it is made from fairly thick aluminium and whilst not quite EQ6 standard is quite solid. I plan to use this mount when I take the Mewlon away from home somewhere darker which should be fab!

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The scope has been on here before, sorry, but not on a nice GP mount and dual drives!
Set up for its maiden test earlier today, to sort balance etc.
What a nice set up this makes ?

(ED103s on GP Mount on SW 1.75" SS Tripod)
IMG_3430.thumb.JPG.ceeb17c2d1129fb254c8a8a25c6e33b5.JPG
 

EDIT 28/02/19 having now used it, tracking was wonderful, but getting to move to find things when used to alt az simplicity was quite a challenge, such a challenge it may not stay sadly.
 

Edited by Alan White
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39 minutes ago, Alan White said:

The scope has been on here before, sorry, but not on a nice GP mount and dual drives!
Set up for its maiden test earlier today, to sort balance etc.
What a nice set up this makes ?

(ED103s on GP Mount on SW 1.75" SS Tripod)
IMG_3430.thumb.JPG.ceeb17c2d1129fb254c8a8a25c6e33b5.JPG
 

 

Looks lush Alan! Goes very well with the GP.

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  • 1 month later...

Loving the 'vintage' Vixen mounts on this thread - I really regret selling my gorgeous green RA-driven GP back in 2005-ish and I'm now looking to pick up a replacement having got back into the stargazing malarkey with a Heritage 130P!

Next on the (ever growing) list is to replace the wonderful Orion Optics 200mm Newtonian that I stupidly sold at the same time =P 

All the best to my fellow Vixen fans ?

 

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