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Porta II mount needs help w damping time

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#1 davebuechler

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:04 PM

I have a Vixen Porta II mount and it makes a great G&G but am tired of the slow damping time and vibrations at higher magnifications when using my AT106. Have been shopping for tripod upgrade. Berlebach is pretty darn expensive and maybe overkill. Any alternative and cheaper suggestions?

#2 daniel_h

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:35 PM

it has a 3/8" female thread? a god manfrotto 028 or 055 should be ok, gitzo are good also

#3 munchmeister

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:50 PM

Oberwerk sometimes has 'seconds" which are hard to tell from 'firsts.' I like mine and the price was very reasonable.

#4 Don Taylor

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:57 PM

The Porta II head attaches to the tripod with a single M10 bolt - same thread as some other Vixen tripods and also Celestron ASGT and CGEM, Meade LX75 (and others?), Orion/Skywatcher/Synta CG-5, CG-6 etc.

I'm using a Celestron ASGT tripod and on mine the Celestron center bolt only engaged the Porta II by about 3 threads. I had to modify the Porta II adapter (the black piece on the bottom of the head) to get more 7+ threads.

Can't compare to the original Vixen Porta tripod as I only purchased the head and already had the tripod from another project.

Others on CN have used the Hands On Optics wood legs and report good performance - but I have no personal experience with those.

#5 sewhite

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:09 PM

Dave

You may want to consider the modification I did to my Porta II in another thread Link

This cost only a few dollars and may reduce the vibration issue sufficiently. If not, you are only out a little time and money. I to was looking for a low $ solution and did not want to purchase another tripod. Someone has mentioned replacement wood legs from Hands on Optics but it required modifications to fit.
I sure others have found good tripods to recommend if you want that solution. :) I look forward to seeing what other people have done.

Stan

#6 DavidNealMinnick

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:25 PM

I have a Vixen GP2 which came with the HAL130 tripod. Recently, I saw this ad on their site, bought it, then proceeded to transfer the GP2 to the Report tripod, Porta to the HAL. I like it.

#7 RTLR 12

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:26 PM

The Porta II head attaches to the tripod with a single M10 bolt - same thread as some other Vixen tripods and also Celestron ASGT and CGEM, Meade LX75 (and others?), Orion/Skywatcher/Synta CG-5, CG-6 etc.


Just for FYI, the CGEM uses a 12mm center bolt.

Stan

#8 Don Taylor

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:24 PM

Thank you. I stand corrected.

I had been told the CG-6 (atlas) was 10mm as well. Wonder if it too is 12mm.

#9 davebuechler

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:23 AM

thank you all for your suggestions and comments. I knew that you guys would have some ideas and solutions. I think I might try Stan's idea first and fill the legs with spray foam. If that doesn't work then I will try to find a Oberwerk tripod and upgrade,
Excellent ideas and thanks again

#10 davebuechler

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:25 PM

Ok well I skipped the fill the legs with foam idea, although it sounds like a great idea and ordered the Oberwerk Tripod. Thanks for the suggestion Munchmeister. You are right at $129 for a factory second (plus $15 shipping) makes it a great value and if they can mount 28 lb binos plus a fork mount, it should be plenty of support/stability for the Porta II and my AT106.

#11 beatlejuice

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:17 PM

I put one of these triangular accessory tray on my AT Voyager tripod and it was a noticeable improvement. It says you have to flip the knob holder for the Porta. Not sure how that would affect it.

Eric

#12 Locoman

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:41 PM

After owning the StarGuy for a while (Which has the Porta 2 mount head on the very sturdy Vixen Hal 130 tripod) my opinion is that most of the of the problems with vibrations and damping times has more to do with the mount head and not the tripod. When I mount my SLT mount head that came with my 102-GT on my HAL-130 my C6-N, 102 F/9.8 achro, and C6-sct are a lot more stable than when I use the Porta 2 mount head. One thing that helps is to take the mount off the tripod and take apart the bottom and tighten the azimuth bolt. In order to tighten the altitude bolt or bolts you would have to take off the nice looking decal which would be a chore and wouldn't look pretty afterwards. I can put a scope on the Porta mount and push up, down and sideways and notice a little slack in the altitude joint. So I guess my point is that getting a heavier duty tripod may help a little but it probably will not eliminate the vibrations especially when you use a longer tubed scope.

#13 davebuechler

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:10 PM

Hi Locoman and thanks for your comments. I agree that the Porta II mount can develop slop and play in the gearbox. I have taken mine apart and removed all the slack in both Altitude and Latitude, works like a charm. (The blue label can be removed and replaced without significant damage) I guess i will find out in a few days if it is the mount or the tripod. I am thinking tripod but stay tuned and i will let you know.

#14 Locoman

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:58 PM

Hi Locoman and thanks for your comments. I agree that the Porta II mount can develop slop and play in the gearbox. I have taken mine apart and removed all the slack in both Altitude and Latitude, works like a charm. (The blue label can be removed and replaced without significant damage) I guess i will find out in a few days if it is the mount or the tripod. I am thinking tripod but stay tuned and i will let you know.


How did you take off the decal and put it back on?

#15 davebuechler

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:32 PM

I am not sure of the name of the tool. I can take a pic tomorrow and post it but it looks like a dental pick on steroids. Actually a small flathead screwdriver may work as well. Basically the decal is only attached around the very outside perimeter only by about 1/8". Once you pry one side of the decal up it is easy to remove.

#16 terraclarke

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:42 AM

Heavy wooden legs such as those at Hands On Optics and a heavy steel vixen accessory tray to hold the legs together as a unit. Securely tighten the leg bolts to the mount head. For added stability, if you have an extra counter weights lying about, set it in the middle of the tray.

#17 Don Taylor

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:22 PM

I am not sure of the name of the tool. I can take a pic tomorrow and post it but it looks like a dental pick on steroids. Actually a small flathead screwdriver may work as well. Basically the decal is only attached around the very outside perimeter only by about 1/8". Once you pry one side of the decal up it is easy to remove.


This indeed how it can be done. However, I took mine off a few days ago to lube and tighten the elevation gearbox and using the pic or a sharpened probe I just could not remove the decal without damage.

The decal is actually a thick vinyl sandwich on an aluminum plate. Total is about 2mm or .080" thick. On mine it was fit so well into the mount head that I could not get any tool under the edge to pry it up.

So mine got damaged. I've elected to just paint the space under the decal ( where the cap screws are that mount the elevation gearbox) a textured white to match the rest of the head. That way I can disassemble at any time without dealing with the decal. As delivered the space under the decal is bare metal.

If you are especially picky about keeping the decal, and yours is fitted tightly like mine there's a good chance you will damage it.

BTW most of the excess play in my Porta II was in the elevation gearbox. Taking apart, lubing, and reassembling did help mine quite a bit. Of course YMMV.

#18 Edward Swaim

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:54 PM

The azimuth would benefit from a Teflon or milk jug washer around the outer edge of the cast aluminum. It is not meant to be a bearing surface, but putting some of the weight on it would help.

#19 bremms

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 03:13 PM

My Porta is on a Hal130 and is very stable, given its limitations. The tray helps too. Terra's suggestions for the stock tripod are spot on.

#20 davebuechler

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 03:30 PM

Well I tried the Oberwerk Tripod and the mount just doesn't fit.

Munchmiester, how did yours mount to the Oberwerk Tripod? Was there any modification done? I thought it would just bolt on but no.....never that simple

#21 davebuechler

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:22 PM

Well it took me a minute to get the parts to mount the Porta II to the Oberwerk tripod....but well worth the wait!!!! Made a HUGE difference in the damping time and is now super steady at high magnifications, even on my deck!!! Can't wait to put it in the grass. :jump: :jump:

A BIG Kudo's to Manny Miles for custom making the parts to fit the mount to the tripod. Not only is it a very professional look but it saved me many$ compared to buying parts from Vixen & Oberwerk. Plus the EP tray is VERY nice! Thank you again Manny!!!! :bow:

A few pics for those interested..

Attached Files



#22 davebuechler

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:23 PM

another

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#23 davebuechler

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:27 PM

One more from the bottom

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#24 davebuechler

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:36 PM

Ok one more just for fun

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#25 Agatha

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 10:29 PM

Dave,

That looks great. Good to hear of the improvement and thanks for the wonderful pictures. :)

I notice a lot of trees...how is your viewing?
Best, Linda B.






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