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Vintage Vixen Polaris questions

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#1 Track


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:36 AM

I recently picked up a "new to me" Vixen Polaris mount and had a few questions...

The mount has all the original clutches that I can see, but it is missing at least 3? knobs for fine adjustment. The brass? posts on the mount seems to be milled for a knob or extender but I don't have either. Can these be found readily? Are there any 3rd party companies that make retrofit knobs for these mounts? At least one retailer carries a "fine adjustment knob" for a Polaris mount, but it's specifically for the Great Polaris. Would these fit?

Based on a few Polaris posts that I've read, it seems as if the original polar scope is somewhat hard to find. Any third party options here?

Finally, the threaded weight bar has the weight, but also a collar. What should be threaded first as I've seen it both ways on a few pictures???


#2 desertrefugee


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:52 PM

Hi Track,

It sounds like you're just missing a couple of slow motion controls. The brass shafts on the Polaris are standard size and will accept pretty much any control you might be able to find. Orion's will fit for sure. I currently have a Super Polaris. It uses the same controls. I suspect the GP is exactly the same.

You'll have a tough time finding a polar scope. Others might work, but I wouldn't know which ones.

The collar on the counterweight bar goes on first all the way to the top of the shaft. Then install the weight and spin to adjust the balance.

Great mount. I've had a couple of them. Good luck with it.

#3 John Carruthers

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:17 AM

Many of the later Vixen SP and GP parts will fit. The 'posts' sound like the ends of the worm shafts. Some had clutches fitted here, some had flexy manual slow motion cables, some had motors. The shafts are very slightly different being 0.25" diameter not 6mm as is common these days.

#4 jsiska


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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:25 PM

I recently picked up a "new to me" Vixen Polaris mount and had a few questions...

Based on a few Polaris posts that I've read, it seems as if the original polar scope is somewhat hard to find. Any third party options here?


The Polaris mount is one of the few and easiest mounts to change from polar equatorial to altitude/azimuth (Alt/Az) modes and back again. This is a great option. If I recall reading correctly, if the Polaris mount has the polar alignment scope on it, the eyepiece end of the alignment scope would hit the top of the base of the mount when attempting to us the mount in the Alt/Az mode. One would have to take the polar alignment scope completely off the mount to get the mount into Alt/Az mode. It would then be a hassle reinstalling and realigning the polar alignment scope if you wanted to switch the mount back to polar alignment mode later.

I don’t have a polar alignment scope on my Polaris mount.

For visual purposes, just polar aligning the mount using the finder-scope on the main telescope with the North Star should be sufficient.

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#5 hottr6



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Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:40 PM

Chuck the threaded rod; it is a PITA if you use multiple OTAs on the mount. The counter-weight shaft from a CG5 works great and can carry more weights that are cheaper to find/buy.

#6 simpleisbetter


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Posted 13 October 2012 - 12:20 AM

For good quality knobs, checkout focusknobs.com

#7 roscoe



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Posted 13 October 2012 - 06:49 AM

or, check out scopestuff.com They have all sorts of small parts, and will have the slo-mo's that fit.


#8 *skyguy*



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Posted 13 October 2012 - 09:48 AM

Contact Don Rothman at "Astro Parts Outlet":


He had a "polar scope" in "like new" condition for my Vixen Polaris mount ... at a very reasonable price ($60). He specializes in telescope replacement parts ... including old and newer telescope mounts.

#9 Starhawk


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Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:47 PM

Forget the polar scope: you can eyeball it equally well for visual, and it's 45 minutes of drift alignment if you're doing AP, with or without the polar scope.

I used the space for wire pass-thru after I put a drive on both axes (you have to make one for DEC). Note, the gear ratio is 144:1.

CGEM weight bars work as well- put out an ad for people who upgraded their CGEM to the Starizona long rod.

Upgrade the mount head to a vixen dovetail clamp. I made my own.

Pay attention to the vixen latitude adjustment screw- weakest part of the mount. I had to make a replacement.

Remember to have fun with it as a grab n go.


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