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Vixen Polaris and digital setting circles

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#1 Nippon



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Posted 03 May 2011 - 08:41 PM

Does any company make a digital setting circle kit for the old Vixen Polaris mount or the latest version of the Celestron CG4 mount?

#2 jsiska


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Posted 03 May 2011 - 09:51 PM

The JMI On-line Catalog still shows that JMI does under Next Generation Computers for Telescope Guiding. Scroll way down to:

“We Outfit the Following Telescopes and Mounts with Encoders for Use with Our Computer Units,” and under Vixen you will find the Vixen Polaris mount listed.

Kind of expensive to put digital setting circles on a mount that has a max telescope payload of only 10 pounds. It’s a very nice mount – don’t get me wrong. I have a Polaris mount and I kind of like the manual setting circles that came with it. I guess if I was to mount a scope like a 3.5” Questar or some other high end under 10 pounds OTA on the Polaris, I’d probably put digital setting circles on it.

I have put JMI encoders along with a JMI SGT-MAX on my Meade 880 Research Grade Newtonian and found the hardware fits perfectly. Looks like an original factory installed option.

#3 Eddgie



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Posted 04 May 2011 - 07:54 AM

Yes, this is the downside to upgrading an older mount like this.

I have a Polaris with a simple RA drive, and I love it for what it is. I have Vixen HAL 110 legs on it, so it is super light, and the RA drive runs off of a 9 Vdc battery, so the whole mount with eyepeices and 100mm refractor can be carried out in one trip.

But to upgrade it to DSCs simply would not be very cost efficient.

I have a CG5 ASGT that I only paid $400. This is little more than it woudl cost to upgrade the Polaris, And you get to KEEP THE POLARIS!

The steel legs on the newer CG5 ASGTs are too heavy for a small scope, but people that upgrade the older mounts often have the old, light weight aluminum tripods for sale cheap. This allows one to put together a light weight full Go-To scope/mount for very little money.

I really like the Polaris as an alternative to a Alt Az mount for a small refractor (I have a 100ED f/9 on mine and it works BEAUTIFULLY!). I can't understand why people object to GEM mounts in favor of small Alt Az mounts. IT is SOOOOOO much better to use a GEM.

So, I get the desire to keep the mount, but I also think that it is not a good value to upgrade it.

HOWEVER.. If the OP did it, I can't say I would blame him. Like I said, it is so far superrior to small Alt-Az mounts to use that I can totally appreciate it if someone said "This is what I like, and I think it will work for ME!"

I would TOTALLY get that.

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