Mid-80's Vixen Saturn Mount
Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:22 PM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:23 AM
Michael (AaronM) might know. He has a few of these.
There is something interesting in the Japanese history of Vixen mounts that sounds like the Super Polaris was introduced right after a Goto patent expired. The Saturn was Vixen's (relatively) heavy duty mount before that.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:47 PM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:03 PM
I did some more searching and found another LINK that shows the mount on a pedestal. It gives a little more information, but I can't determine the source, so it seems a little vague.
kauzuak - From what I gather, the Sensor mount was somewhere in size between the Polaris and the Saturn.
Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:24 PM
Google "Saturnmontierung" or "Saturn-montierung" search both web and images. Most of them seem to be in Germany* where Tasco distributed a lot of Vixen stuff in the early/mid 1980s. Is the 4" a Vixen scope? What is the focal length? I'd love to see pictures.
*( I didn't try a Japanese language search)
Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:05 PM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:05 PM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:13 PM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:33 PM
I assume that the Saturn mount is fairly rare. I would have to imagine that Celestron was selling this short-lived refractor to directly compete with Unitron, and that the Saturn mount was designed specifically for this application. Of course, the era of the long-focus refractors was coming to an end as the fluorite refractors were becoming competitive price-wise. These excellent shorter tube refractors were much more manageable and the Polaris/Super Polaris mount became very popular. The SCT's were all fork-mounted, so I don't think there was much demand at the time for a heavy GEM.
As for solid, I generally brace myself using the tripod when I'm observing and there is absolutely no motion imparted to the scope. Wind doesn't seem to affect it at all. It's as rock-solid as anything I've ever seen. I'm not sure what the whole scope weighs when fully assembled, but it easily exceeds 100 pounds. The downside to all this is that it's definitely not a grab and go scope.
I still have to wonder if there is any literature out there with actual specifications on the mount. I'm not sure exactly what I want to do at this point, but eventually I would like to build a permanent pier for the mount, then adapt other scopes to use the mount as well.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:50 AM
I've owned all the above, except the Saturn.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:13 PM
Ducky62 - I have to admit that I've never thought about searching the internet in other languages. I've been wearing out Google's translator page for the last day or so and it does look like Germany is a hot spot for Vixen mounts. It's a little difficult since languages don't usually translate well, but with a little work, you can get a pretty good feel for what is being said.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:26 PM
Try reading machine translations of Japanese!
Many of their sites have text as image which doesn't translate at all and it isn't very easy to separate out the words and phrases in the Japanese characters that you want to use as search terms .There is a lot of interesting and useful information out there in languages other than English.
Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:40 PM
This should be the mount.
Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:47 PM
Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:28 PM
Very interesting to see the APL mark on that late a Vixen 'scope too..
Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:19 PM
I also wondered about the APL mark. If I remember right, my brother special-ordered this scope through the local Science Center. It's possible that it had sat on a shelf in a warehouse for some time before he bought it. I haven't seen any other examples of this scope around, although I'm sure they exist somewhere. I gather from these links that it might have been sold elsewhere under the Vixen brand. It would be interesting to know when APL ceased to exist.