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Vixen SXDX2 with StarBook 10 Review

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#1 Charlie Hein

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 08:40 AM

Vixen SXDX2 with StarBook 10 Review

By Chris Thomasel

#2 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:20 PM

Chris,

Thanks for sharing. Looks like you're having a pretty good time. I'm using the same mount as well. I usually observe double stars, asterisms, carbon stars, Collinder clusters and the Moon & planets. Regards

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#3 core

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 03:52 AM

Chris,

Thanks for the review, still soaking it in! I've been using a SS2K and SXW for a a while now, and moved the later to a NexSXD board after the frustrating Dec bounce, but I do miss some of the Vixen-only features such as RA/Dec tracking in unaligned EQ mode - if I'm not mistaken it's the only GEM's that will do it.

Daniel,

What are the differences between the SXD2 and SXP mount, other than price?

#4 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 12:57 PM

Hi Peter,

I'll be posting some info on the differences between the SXD, SXD2 and SXP mounts in the vendor forum soon to answer some of these questions in more detail along with some photos. In the meantime though, both of these mounts are much more refined from their SXD predecessor and use a completely new operating system. As far as the SXD2 and the SXP, the SXP employs a wider and slightly longer declination shaft also made of carbon steel. It also houses 15 piece bearing system while the SXD2 houses 9 and as a result, holds a few extra pounds of load. You can image with both mounts but the SXP takes it up another notch. I will elaborate more in the vendors forum.

Clear Skies!

#5 thesubwaypusher

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 02:14 PM

Hi Daniel:

Thanks for the input. I think your setup (as well as the background!) is a beautiful one! Although I could not personally use the Starbook like that without being protected. I think you have a more controlled observing environment than I do! And that tripod is totally awesome!

Thanks, Chris

#6 thesubwaypusher

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 02:17 PM

Thank you Peter. I sincerely hope it has been a help to you in your decision-making process. Good luck on selecting the right mount.

Chris

#7 Castor

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 08:54 PM

Hello Chris,

I wanted to express my gratitude to you for posting your excellent review of the Vixen Sphinx SXD2 and the Starbook Ten, which was very instrumental on my next mount purchase.

I was happily enjoying my Vixen SXW with a Meade 8-inch SCT, when I started thinking about buying the next step from Vixen in carrying capacity (the SXD) for a future larger scope. Then I read your fine article on the SXD2 and suddenly I realized that by making an additional effort, I could have the same advanced controller of the unattainable (for me) $10k Atlux, on a mount with the capacity and portability that I was looking for and just within my reach. The Vixen Sphinx SXD2 basically costs the same ($3.2k) as a Losmandy G-11 w/Goto. Sure, the G-11 is an excellent mount, beautifully made, bigger and with more carrying capacity (I have one too). But if you are just looking for a portable mid-sized, accurate, intuitive Goto mount of good quality and clean looks that you can easily carry and setup, I believe the Vixen SXD2 is the perfect candidate for the job!

So I took the plunge and purchased a brand new Vixen SXD2 with Starbook Ten and HAL130 tripod. After having used it a few hours with my 8-inch SCT, I'm happy to report that the mount is all that had envisioned when I read your article on the mount and it works accurately for my visual observing requirements.

Soon after the mount purchase, I ordered a C11 XLT OTA for using it on the Vixen SXD2 for visual deep-sky observing and also on my trusty Losmandy GM8 for visual planetary observing. I haven't properly tested my C11 on the SXD2 yet, but after the first experiences with the mount carrying this OTA, it's clear to me that the combination has lots of potential. The only upgrade that I have made to this mount so far, is attaching it to a Celestron ASGT-CG5 tripod with 2-inch steel legs (by using a $70 adaptor from Vixen, #25168) for added stability with the heavy C11 tube, but in all fairness, I haven't tried the C11 on the SXD2 with the supplied HAL130 tripod. With the 8-inch SCT, the mount on the standard tripod is very solid and lightweight at the same time.

If I had not read your review at the right moment, I'd probably have missed the opportunity to own this lovely and very capable small mount.

We are grateful for the time and effort you took to share your experiences with us!

Following a CN tradition when new equipment arrives (No picture, it didn't happen!), here is a picture of my new Vixen SXD2 with Celestron ASGT-CG5 tripod and the new addition to my SCT stable, the C11 XLT OTA.

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#8 thesubwaypusher

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 05:41 PM

Thank you so much dude! That was very nice of you to say.

I am very glad I could help you.

And your setup looks EXCELLENT!

Chris

#9 Castor

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 09:32 PM

Thank you so much dude! That was very nice of you to say.

I am very glad I could help you.

And your setup looks EXCELLENT!

Chris


Thank you Chris!

Acknowledging your contribution to my mount purchase decision is the least that I could do, especially after all the work that you went through to write the review article. I'm extremely happy with my new Vixen Spinx SXD2 mount and I thank you for your help!

As Steve Jobs once said, "Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice".

Keep up the good work!






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