Vixen Porta Mount vs. Orion Versa Go II HD
Posted 30 January 2010 - 03:00 PM
Posted 30 January 2010 - 04:11 PM
The Vixen arm is one piece from the azimuth axis to the alt axis. The Orion arm is two pieces screwed together. The Vixen is also about twice the diameter at the azimuth axis.
I've got a TV 102 I'll be testing on the Vixen this week (weather permitting). My feeling is the tripod is the weak link, but we'll see and I'll report back.
Posted 31 January 2010 - 08:43 AM
Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:00 AM
There's also the Vixen Porta II which I heard, is a heavier duty Porta Mount. Orion lists them on their website for around $300. They're a bit salty at that price, but may be worth looking into.
Klutz that I am, slow-motion is the only way for me. I found a Gibraltar to be almost unuseable at high magnifications. I expect other alt-az mounts w/out slo-mo would be similar.
Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:15 AM
Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:30 AM
EDIT: Never mind! I just looked at Orion's page and the VersaGo II HD is the Synta AZ4. In that case I can vouch for the VersaGo II HD. It is very smooth and sturdy. You can easily move it with two fingers and it stays where you point it. I use mine with a skywatcher 120mm f/5 refractor.
A few caveats: the altitude tension control is limited. You can only add so much tension, so if you plan on using some really heavy accessories it might create a balancing issue. Also the threaded holes where the pan handle screws in are rather rough; I can see the threads getting chewed away by repeated screwing, so I generally leave the handle in one position.
Otherwise, I've been very satisfied with this mount. I bought it as an upgrade from an AZ3 and it is everything I hoped it would be. Used with a rich-field scope, I don't miss having slo-motion controls. I hope this helps.
Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:48 AM
If you're super picky about vibrations... go with the AZ4/VGII with heavy steel legs. IMHO, you're not going to be pushing 300x with a 102 f/5 achro, so slow motion controls are not a necessity. I was using 300x with my pipe mount last night and it was no problem setting up Mars for the next drift through the FOV.
Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:54 AM
I have the original Portamount which works fine with a 6" f/5 Newtonian. No experience with Orion Versa Go, so I will follow this thread.
Posted 31 January 2010 - 01:52 PM
Posted 02 February 2010 - 02:28 PM
The Porta was set up with the legs collapsed for maximum rigidity, so it will only go downhill from here.
The head grasps the OTA well, there is enough friction to keep it stable when changing EPs. There is quite a bit of vibration evident when focusing @ 110x, but it settles down within two seconds. Any contact with the eyecup causes some movement. The slow motion controls work well and without vibration.
I put a hand on the tripod to stiffen it up and things seemed to improve. The tripod is clearly the weak link here. I think I'll make up some solid wood legs, fixed length, and see how that effects the setup. The 102 is clearly a lot of scope for this mount.
Posted 04 February 2010 - 01:22 AM
Guessing the Vixen Porta should work well with a Apex 127mm Mak. But what about a 8" Reflector - if it's within the weight limits? The "arm" is big enough?
Posted 04 February 2010 - 10:21 AM
Looks to me like the Porta head is pretty solid (Az. control issue aside ...), and the legs are pretty much useless. This head on a better pod would be considerably more stable. I'll probably put together some beefy wood legs and see how that goes while I'm looking for the right mount for the 102.
The 8" reflector is definitely too big for the Porta. I had a 6" SCT on there briefly, that was OK.