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Vixen Sphinx Skybook Display Flicker

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#1 mayidunk

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 01:24 PM

I recently bought a Vixen Sphinx SXW mount, and when testing it last night, noticed that the LCD display on the Skybook seemed to flicker at the lowest brightness setting. Has anyone else experienced this with their Skybooks? Mine is currently running version 2.0.

BTW, I was really happy to discover that both axes on the mount were not at all tight, as some have experienced with their mounts. The bearing adjustments seem to be spot on, and turn just as easily as my GP! (That was a real load off!)

I sprung for the PA scope, but was disappointed to see that Vixen had obstructed the PA window on the mount with metal protrusions that are meant to keep little fingers from getting lopped off! I hope it doesn't affect my being able to see Polaris under less than transparent skies.

Also, from time to time I've run across posts where people discovered that, though the DEC clamp has two knobs, that only one knob actually tightens the clamp. I have discovered that both knobs will tighten the clamp, you just need to either turn one knob fully clockwise, or turn the other fully counter-clockwise. Both knobs are on the same shaft, which actuates the locking mechanism. It's actually a pretty elegant design once you realize that "righty-tighty" works with only one of the knobs!

I think I'm really going to like this mount...

Bob :jump:

#2 adamsp123

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 02:34 PM

Hi Bob, Did you buy it secondhand, I have 2 starbooks and neither flicker, does it do this with brighter settings? If not turn the brightness up and get some dark plastic to cover the display to reduce the brightness to sensible nightime levels.
The polarscope should work fine, another thing - I got mine S/H and one of the thin wires in the starbook to mount cable broke where it went through the ferrite bead thing, the cable bend is too severe, I repaired the cable and ditched the ferrite, has no affect on operation nor does it end up affecting other equipment.
Nice light mount and very capable.

Pete

#3 mayidunk

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 06:00 PM

It's brand new. The flickering is very subtle, and not at all distracting. It actually looks like it's doing what it's supposed to.

Oh well, aside from slightly noisy motors (I believe they're the new motors as the Skybook has a setting that allows you to cut the fast slew speed in half in order to decrease the motor noise) I am loving this new mount! It's very intuitive, both to set up and run.

Once the snow/rain/clouds clear out, I should get a better idea of how it's performing. With all the noise the motors seem to make, I wonder if it would quiet down if I upgraded to the current version?

Thanks!

Bob

;)

#4 adamsp123

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:05 PM

Yes you can alter the maximum slew rate but compared to say the CG5 it is pretty quiet, don't think updating the starbook will alter the noise only to allow slew rate selection which IIRC was not available on earlier starbook versions.

#5 amys

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:19 PM

If you slew to the west using the Starbook, the obstruction of the polar axis scope disappears.

#6 mayidunk

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 04:52 PM

If you slew to the west using the Starbook, the obstruction of the polar axis scope disappears.

This is correct. However, Vixen has added little metal fingers to the front opening of the PA "OTA" behind the round blue plastic cover. This is to keep small finger from getting pinched by the hole in the DEC shaft when the scope is slewed away from pointing west.

#7 amys

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 06:08 PM

Yeah -- I realized that's what you were referring to after I posed my response. :foreheadslap:

#8 mayidunk

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 10:50 PM

Yeah -- I realized that's what you were referring to after I posed my response. :foreheadslap:

If I had a nickel... ;)

#9 hGmnwi

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 03:10 AM

Relax, Bob. Those little metal fingers will not affect your polar alignment. I'm using a SXD and am quite happy with it for visual application.

The starbook LCD is too bright in the field, maybe you would like to add a dimming sheet on it. Then you would have a larger range to adjust brightness.

My mount is quite noisy indoor but is acceptable outdoor. It's because of its motor type so I don't think firmware update will make any improvement. (Mine is v2.1b42.)

Just FYI, remember to do your alignment in 2 stars in the west then 2 stars in the east and no star in polar area sequence. That will improve your goto precision a lot.


Huang

#10 mayidunk

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 03:48 AM

I was just a bit concerned about those little arms reducing the apparent aperture of an already small scope. However, once the weather clears, and I get to use it, I'll probably agree that those arms aren't really an issue.

Thanks for the good advice re: alignment stars. I think I'm going to experiment with doing two stars in the quadrant of the sky I'm viewing in, and add additional stars in pairs as I move to different quadrants. Since I'm not doing AP, that should be more than enough, though time, and experience, will tell.

My backlight seems to get really dim, though it may not be dim enough in the end. I want to put film on the display anyway, to protect it from scratches. Since none came with the mount, I'll need to check with Vixen to see if they still sell it.

Again, good advice, thanks!

Bob

#11 yowser

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 08:38 AM

I recently got my film from telescopes.net for $5.95 (http://telescopes.ne...item/VIXEN-2529), free shipping. Includes 2 sheets from Vixen. I also saw at the yahoo Sphinx users group that others are using 3M privacy sheets in addition to shield others from the screen.

#12 mayidunk

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 11:28 AM

I recently got my film from telescopes.net for $5.95 (http://telescopes.ne...item/VIXEN-2529), free shipping. Includes 2 sheets from Vixen. I also saw at the yahoo Sphinx users group that others are using 3M privacy sheets in addition to shield others from the screen.

I jumped all over that! Thanks.

Bob






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