Jump to content


Photo

Wood legs for the Vixen Portamount?

  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 steve-in-kville

steve-in-kville

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 271
  • Joined: 24 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Pennsylvania, USA

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:33 AM

I just ordered a Vixen Promount tripod for my Orion 90mm. I thought I had seen some pics of after-market wood legs on these. Does anyone know where such legs can be purchased? Many thanks.

#2 JIMZ7

JIMZ7

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1450
  • Joined: 22 Oct 2005
  • Loc: S.E.Michigan near DTW

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:39 AM

"Hands On Optics" sells them for $99. Very nice adjustable hardwood tripod legs. I used them on a Vixen Polaris mount with a 4" f/9.8 refractor. Very sturdy/hefty. :refractor:

Jim :dob:

#3 steve-in-kville

steve-in-kville

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 271
  • Joined: 24 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Pennsylvania, USA

Posted 16 February 2013 - 09:48 AM

I first said promount.... I meant porta mount. Sorry. Not enought coffee yet!

#4 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: In a galaxy far far away...

Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:40 AM

Actually took delivery of a set of wooden legs from Hands on Optics and the holes do not line up with the Porta Mount.

I am lucky I have a friend who is a carpenter and he will fix them for me.... Caveat emptor...

#5 Binojunky

Binojunky

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2802
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2010

Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

I picked up a set of used Vixen wooden legs for my Porta, I find they are steadier than the stock aluminum but heavier,DA.

#6 moynihan

moynihan

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2315
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2003
  • Loc: Lake Michigan Watershed

Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:18 AM

HOO wooden legs on my AT Voyager. Recommended.

#7 aolo

aolo

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 70
  • Joined: 20 Jan 2012
  • Loc: Panhandle Florida

Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

My Hands on Optics Wooden Legs holes do not match the Porta Mount holes. Both are newly purchased.

#8 KWB

KWB

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16312
  • Joined: 30 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Westminster,Co Elev.5400 feet

Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:39 AM

I first said promount.... I meant porta mount. Sorry. Not enought coffee yet!

I haven't had any coffee,but the spelling in the thread title is fixed. :cool:

BTW,I'd say you have a very good idea. I have used a 90mm F/10 refractor on this very same mount,using the stock aluminum tripod with less than the greatest of satisfaction. Damping times around 2.5 seconds. A study wooden tripod makes a marked improvement,yet doesn't really add to making the setup a burden to carry outdoors completely assembled.

#9 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: In a galaxy far far away...

Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:53 AM

Aolo, you need to trim 8mm off to get the holes to align.

#10 aolo

aolo

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 70
  • Joined: 20 Jan 2012
  • Loc: Panhandle Florida

Posted 16 February 2013 - 12:07 PM

Thanks nicknacknock!

#11 core

core

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1435
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK

Posted 16 February 2013 - 12:28 PM

I have a spare Super Polaris wooden leg that I put onto my Portamount, works much better but I wasn't too fond of the height adjustment process, ergonomics of carrying it around, and setting up process. Ended up getting a set of Oberwerk Tall tripod (their tall 'blemish' units go for $150, the regular height blems go for $120) - Not only looking much nicer, it is so much more stable imo. It's easy to carry the whole setup with scope out the door for a quick peek. The rounded corners of the wooden legs also gives it a nicer 'feel' when handling the tripod.

Attached Files



#12 core

core

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1435
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK

Posted 16 February 2013 - 12:40 PM

The Oberwerk comes with 3/8" stud mounting plate; I believe the Portamount II will mount direct onto 10mm bolt (eg, Vixen's own HAL tripods), so you will need to enlarge the stud adapter plate and get the appropriate hardware - or perhaps give Oberwerk a call and see if they can accommodate that change with their blemish products.

On my unit (original Portamount), I already have a Vixen adapter plate, which frustratingly has a 1/4" mounting hole - the 1/4" to 3/8" adapter plate (the zebra striped piece) is a Manfrotto 120, runs around $23. The final 2 additions to the setup is an excellent eyepiece tray and panhandle from fellow CN'er Manny Miles.

Attached Files



#13 KerryR

KerryR

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3068
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2007
  • Loc: SW Michigan

Posted 16 February 2013 - 12:48 PM

I have a PortaII had and HOO wooden retrofit legs.

Like the others mention, the holes didn't line up, so I had to do some trimming to get it to work. They're functional, but not particularly well crafted; for the price I wouldn't expect them to be.

They reduce dampening times significantly over the stock aluminum legs, but I still found focus oscillations wider than I'd prefer.

They're also a bit short for standing observation, though they are 6'-8" taller than the stock legs, if memory serves.

In the end, I put the PortaII head on a heavy-duty Bogen camera tripod with a crank elevator, as sold by Big Binoculars for use with their 4" 45* binos (25 pounds). This gives me all the height I need for standing observation, they're very rigid, and the crank elevator makes putting the eyepiece exactly at the best position easy. Very expensive tripod, though.

The taller Oberwerk tripod mentioned a few posts up would probably be a better solution than the HOO version, and probably look and feel better. I had a standard height Oberwerk tripod for my 4" Obies. It was a nicer tripod than the HOO version.

Another option is the Universal Astronomic Heavy Duty Wooden tripod-- a very nice wood tripod, very tall, very stable. Maybe a tad too tall, even fully compressed, for short refractors 4" and less.

#14 terraclarke

terraclarke

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4965
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: The Bluegrass State

Posted 16 February 2013 - 12:59 PM

A rasp, some sandpaper and 10 minutes or so on the top of each leg and they will lineup just fine, just take a little off and reshape and smooth the top and you are good to go. No one will notice the difference except you; you will notice a marked increase in stability. And yes, it's carrying a 4 inch F11 refractor.

Attached Files



#15 core

core

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1435
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:01 PM

In the end, I put the PortaII head on a heavy-duty Bogen camera tripod with a crank elevator, as sold by Big Binoculars for use with their 4" 45* binos (25 pounds).


Kerry, did you get the 475B or 161MK2B(and what scope)? I had my Porta on a 028B, the adjustable height via crank lever was fantastic, but the comfortable limit of the setup was about a 80/90mm short-focal refractor.

#16 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 43885
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:16 AM

I have a spare Super Polaris wooden leg that I put onto my Portamount, works much better but I wasn't too fond of the height adjustment process, ergonomics of carrying it around, and setting up process.



The height adjustment process is time consuming for the Vixen legs. I just replace the bolts with carriage bolts, and that makes it much easier. I did the same with the Hands on Optics wooden legs but I hear that the new ones come with carriage bolts.

When installed the Hands on Optics wooden legs on my Portamount I swapped the spreader from the Vixen legs so it's a folder, I typically leave the legs extended and just fold it up for storage and transportation.

To hold my eyepieces, I took a Rubbermaid plastic storage container about 8-10 inches in diameter, drilled a hole in the center and mount it to the spreader. If dew is a risk, I can use the cover but most often it is not necessary.

Jon

#17 steve-in-kville

steve-in-kville

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 271
  • Joined: 24 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Pennsylvania, USA

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:57 AM

Thanks for the replies.

#18 KerryR

KerryR

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3068
  • Joined: 05 Dec 2007
  • Loc: SW Michigan

Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

In the end, I put the PortaII head on a heavy-duty Bogen camera tripod with a crank elevator, as sold by Big Binoculars for use with their 4" 45* binos (25 pounds).


Kerry, did you get the 475B or 161MK2B(and what scope)? I had my Porta on a 028B, the adjustable height via crank lever was fantastic, but the comfortable limit of the setup was about a 80/90mm short-focal refractor.


It was the 161MK2B. I originally used it with the Obie BT100-45's, which I no longer have.

I use(d) it (the tripod and PortaII head) with a Genesis (heavy, no longer have it), an Orion 127 Mak, C6, Megrez90, Pronto, Orion ED100, Celestron Comet Catcher, and Astrotelescopes 100mm f7. It works well for those scopes, the shorter the better-- it's not the weight but the length that seems to cause more problems.

I've also attempted a Parks 6" f6 Astrolight (tube diameter doesn't fit the PortaII head very well), a C6R, and Meade ED127 f9. These scopes are a bit big for this setup, so I default to other mounts for those scopes.

If using a heavier and/or longer scope for planets or tight doubles, I raise the whole tripod and keep the crank elevator lower, which reduces settling times and focus oscillations.

Best match is the ED100 and Megrez90, for which the mount/tripod/elevator is very solid.

#19 Tim J K

Tim J K

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 174
  • Joined: 19 May 2009
  • Loc: Iowa

Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:54 PM

Terra- I have the Porta II with the Hands On Optics wooden legs too. I also sanded them to fit. I had considered one of those 4 inch f/11 achros, but thought it would be too much for the mount. How is the stablity of that combination, and does the eyepiece end up pretty low when viewing objects that are higher in the sky? Thanks.

Tim

#20 nicknacknock

nicknacknock

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 721
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2012
  • Loc: In a galaxy far far away...

Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:57 AM

Tim,

They seem to be great legs. I am also in the process of having them sanded and primed again to accommodate my Porta II mouunt.

I was just annoyed to discover that they need to be sanded in order to fit! I specifically emailed HOO regarding this matter and their reply (prior to me ordering) was that they fit.

OK, so it's no major issue, but I would have still ordered if they'd just mention that they need some minor work to make them fit. A vendor should always be candid about their products.

I am sure that in the end I will be very pleased with the legs (heck, anything over the standard Porta tripod should be an improvement), but I will be a bit more cautious now to buy anything from HOO again.

CS,

Nicos

#21 GOLGO13

GOLGO13

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3111
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2005
  • Loc: St. Louis area

Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:37 AM

Those legs fit my original vixen porta mount right off...so the new porta mount must be a little smaller on that section.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics