Jump to content

1912116577_Solarchallenge2022banner.jpg.913a200cf105ddeae9f37765cb1d0c73.jpg

Vixen Polarie Counterbalance Kit for under a fiver


Varavall
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all

When I saw the cost of a counterbalance kit for my Vixen Polarie (very nearly £500 with the added bar and weights) I thought what a con. So a quick visit to the local scrapyard, bought some scrap aluminium alloy (hard and heavy) and made one in a couple of hours. Looks a bit rustic, but it can be painted white and the large weight can be moved to achieve good balance. If anyone is interested in the specs, say so and I'll post them up.

 

IMG-20210927-WA0004.thumb.jpeg.731306f0295e144a6833c2c7b7446394.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

I'm certain a small lathe and mill would pay for itself over the years in this hobby, given the cost of astronomical accessories. Or is that the astronomical cost of accessories? 

Good improvisation there. I picked up some of the Vixen parts (slide rail, counterbalance bar) and cobbled a counterweight together for my Fornax using TS Optics pan heads etc. Have radial adjustment in RA and Dec now, but ended up costing a couple of hundred euro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_2039.jpg

Edited by 900SL
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 01/01/2022 at 15:27, heathenwoods said:

Yeah! I'd definitely like to see the specs. The Vixen accessory prices are crazy so I'd love to hear about other solutions 🙂

Hi, sorry for the slow response. I attach a couple of photos with dimensions, etc.  which may help. The cube part is 50mm X 50mm X 50mm. and the arm is 10mm thick with a 1/4" hole drilled at one end to take the screw to hold the ball head. As I own a milling machine I machined a slot in the arm to facilitate adjustment. If you don't have access to a milling machine or someone with one, you could just drill a series of 10mm holes along the length of the arm for adjusting balance. The counterweight is just a lump of aluminium weighing 1Kg; I calculated the weight I would need for my setup, but 1Kg is sufficient for a 5-6Kg load at its furthest extension. If any further info required, just ask. Happy machining!DSC_9825.thumb.JPG.0606c15cd3b7835f66da64be46f57750.JPGDSC_9826.thumb.JPG.25e637b1eb00181e8dd974ddc1cfc175.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 02/01/2022 at 11:26, 900SL said:

I'm certain a small lathe and mill would pay for itself over the years in this hobby, given the cost of astronomical accessories. Or is that the astronomical cost of accessories? 

Good improvisation there. I picked up some of the Vixen parts (slide rail, counterbalance bar) and cobbled a counterweight together for my Fornax using TS Optics pan heads etc. Have radial adjustment in RA and Dec now, but ended up costing a couple of hundred euro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_2039.jpg

Nice looking bit of kit! Yes, my milling machine has earned it's keep. A lathe would be useful, but with a rotary chuck I can machine circular bits and bobs; a bit more fiddly and slower but a lot cheaper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.