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New Vixen Porta II at Orion

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#1 Carl Kolchak

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:53 AM

Hi everyone,

Has anyone order the new Vixen Porta II Altazimuth Mount from Orion? Any upcoming reviews?

peace & clear skies

#2 Manny Myles

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 11:24 AM

Seems to be not instock yet, I'll probably get one to do make sure my mods will still work with it then retire my V1 Porta.
m2

#3 Jim7728

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 01:07 PM

Seen it announced at Vixen Japan, has made it over to US site.

http://www.vixenopti...nts/porta2.html

Some nice improvements.

#4 mathteacher

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 01:31 PM

Uhhh, looks the same as the old one. Just a different mounting screw on the bottom. And different handles for the slo-mo shafts. Am I missing something? They are still saying it handles 20lbs?

#5 Jim7728

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 02:06 PM

It does look the same, thought the original had a 15lb limit.

#6 Waduino

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:02 PM

You can now easily put it on a "standard" tripod, and the motion control knobs won't fall off (from the looks of it). Evolution.
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#7 Manny Myles

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:45 PM

Same weak link with the same type tripod???
Why not sell the head seperately
m2

#8 mathteacher

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:51 PM

It does look the same, thought the original had a 15lb limit.


If you look on Vixen's website, it says the capacity of the original is 20lbs. Vendors' websites spec 10-15lbs. 10lbs is more reasonable IMO. My 100ED is lighter than 10lbs and the porta can't really handle it (I realize it is long). My ST80 works great with it; though it only weighs ~4lbs with diagonal and EP.

#9 Starlighter

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 07:45 PM

Uhhh, looks the same as the old one. Just a different mounting screw on the bottom. And different handles for the slo-mo shafts. Am I missing something? They are still saying it handles 20lbs?


No, you're not missing anything. They made it so the head can be easily detached from the tripod. And they replaced the push on slow motion controls with what appear to be short flex cables with different handles as well as set screws so the handles don't slide off. It still has the lousy aluminum legs. I dumped mine in favor of wooden ones from Hands On Optics and that made a huge difference in stability. I also replaced the stock slow motion handles with spares I had from a CG4 EQ mount.

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#10 Carl Kolchak

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 10:49 AM

Seems to be not instock yet, I'll probably get one to do make sure my mods will still work with it then retire my V1 Porta.
m2


Hi Dave,

It's good to hear you will provide your upgrades to the new model. I love the improvements you did to my Portamount! :)

peace & clear skies,

#11 insinu8

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 05:26 PM

Richard,

I purchased one of these and am successfully using it with my 120ST. I find it a nearly perfect GnG set-up. The only thing I changed was to get replacement slo-mo knobs from Orion which are metal instead of the included plastic ones (they get all wobbly after a few used and fall off).

#12 ranger

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:42 AM

I am going to give it a try. I'll report back once I get it.

#13 Manny Myles

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 06:07 PM

I just ordered mine and ships Friday AM.
So I can harldy wait for this to get here.
m2

#14 Carl Kolchak

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:27 PM

Christopher, ranger, and Dave,

Thanks for your replies. I look forward to seeing each review. I guess it's time to start setting some money aside now! :)

peace & clear skies,

#15 Tom Machtemes

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 10:01 AM

Hi,

I'm going to get mine on April 21, I'm going to use it with a SV102ED2, which weights about 15 Lbs. My Porta Mount I tigten the tension too much, and the Alt-Slo-Mo now has to be repaired.

:thanx:

Tom

#16 Terrance

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:03 PM

The issue for me is what size connecting bolt the new Porta II mount head could take, if you tried to transfer the mount head to another tripod?

#17 Manny Myles

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:46 PM

We'll let you know as soon as I get it or maybe some one else will share this info.
m2

#18 ranger

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 01:41 PM

I have read that the Porta II takes a 1/4 inch thread to mount the head to the tripod. This is a standard thread size for tripods. It is unclear if the mount head is flat on the bottom or if there is an attachment that is needed in addition to secure the head to a camera tripod. I'll let you all know when I get mine.

#19 ranger

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:17 AM

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#20 Starlighter

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 10:28 AM

Do yourself a favor. Dump the cheap, flimsy aluminum legs and get the wooden ones from Hands On Optics. They're a breeze to install. I use my SV102ED on the Porta and it works well. I have the SV with the FT focuser so the scope weighs more than 10 lbs. With the SV finder and a hefty eyepiece I think it weighs in at around 14 lbs and it's quite stable on the Porta.

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#21 ranger

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:08 AM

Thanks for the advice Starlighter. I am going to try getting the adapter and use the head on a sturdy photo tripod. If that doesn't work I will go the replacement leg route. It's odd that such a great head would be paired with such a *BLEEP* set of legs.

#22 Starlighter

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:47 AM

If Vixen made the Portamount available with these wooden legs which I'm sure cost no more to make, they would start off with a very solid mount.

#23 ranger

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:03 PM

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#24 codemonkey

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 04:17 PM

I added the wooden legs to my Porta I - definitely an improvement. Still some play in where the legs bolt to the head, and in the plastic spider where the pins go through, so I made "bushings" from some brass tubing. Tightened things up a little more.

#25 Terrance

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 05:10 PM

Well I did the same thing-bought the wooden legs from Hands-on Optics and put them on my original Vixen PortaMount.

Then I took them off again and put the original aluminum legs back on. I noticed no difference in damping time of the legs.

Furthermore, the original tripod legs, like most tripods, but unlike the wooden set, have a simple knob to turn for shortening or extending the legs, allowing a quick length change with a single hand, while the wood replacements have 2 simple screws with wing nuts on each leg making a length change in the legs a pain and requiring 2 hands, one on each side of the leg done twice for each leg. They are now sitting unused in my garage.

Other people may have different results, but mine would make me cautious about recommending this modification for either the Portamount or Porta II.






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