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What mount is this?

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#1 Moe Arif

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 11:52 AM

I am paring down and trying to determine the make/model of this mount. It came with a Televue Genesis and all this time, I was under the impression that this is a Gibraltar mount but I haven't been able to find a picture to confirm this. It would be nice to know what it is so that I can determine a price. Picture below - thanks for your help.

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#2 Moe Arif

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 11:52 AM

Another pic

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#3 EFT

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 11:57 AM

One of the numerous Vixen GP clones.

#4 Moe Arif

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 12:10 PM

One of the numerous Vixen GP clones.


Thanks for your response. You pointed me in the right direction. After some picture searches, I think this is actually a Vixen Super Polaris mount which preceded the GP mounts. And from the on-line pictures I found, I believe, this is an original Vixen, not a clone (no vixen labels but says "Japan" on it, and the setting circles look exactly the same).

If someone could verify what I found, that would be great. Thank you.

The other question is: is it worth holding on to? I also have a Meade LXD-55 mount and I was thinking of keeping the meade due to its goto/tracking over this Vixen. Thoughts/comments?

Thanks :)

#5 EFT

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 12:26 PM

You are correct. I meant the SP not the GP.

Being made in Japan it is probably one of the better mounts and may in fact be a Vixen, although I would expect some marking. The biggest drawback with the mount is the lack of what is now a standard saddle. For that I would probably not bother with it.

#6 tomharri

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 12:35 PM

It's easy to put a vixen sized clamp on older mounts.

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#7 Moe Arif

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 12:36 PM

You are correct. I meant the SP not the GP.

Being made in Japan it is probably one of the better mounts and may in fact be a Vixen, although I would expect some marking. The biggest drawback with the mount is the lack of what is now a standard saddle. For that I would probably not bother with it.


Good point about the saddle. Thanks - I'll keep the LXD75.

#8 gnowellsct

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 01:43 PM

Look you guys. THAT IS A VIXEN. It is the Super Polaris which preceded the Great Polaris. It is a great mount made in Japan. This is an extremely well reputed mount for light duty use such as refractors up to 100 mm or a c6 or c8. The setting circles work very well. The tracking can be very good provided the RA drive shaft hasn't gotten bent over the years. For reliability and smoothness it will blow the socks off an LXD75. But yes, it is not go-to.

This mount can also be set to point straight up and used as an alt-az mount!!!!

The wood tripod is also prized because of its superior damping ability to many of the metal mounts out there. This was one of the finest generally marketed mounts of the 1980s.

Greg N

#9 Starhawk

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 02:19 PM

I can verify it's a Vixen Super Polaris. The square flange between RA and DEC gives it away.

I tried out two of them. Both turned out to have bent RA shafts. No idea how that happens to them. Nice mounts in every other way.

-Rich

#10 Littlegreenman

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 02:58 PM

Vixen Super Polaris. 100% In the second picture in the top middle above the mounting 'plate' is a square piece with one hole; it is offset by about a 30 degree angle. That is the DEC motor. Earlier versions of this mount did not have that, and required a now hard to find DEC motor mounting bracket. If you sell it, point this out; it will add some to the desirableness.
Re: alt/az use. The early Vixen Polaris can easily be flipped into alt/az mode. Not so easy or maybe not at all with this mount. I'm certain of that the plan Polaris can be used alt/az: I'm not as sure with the Super Polaris.

Bent shafts: unfortunately no uncommon with older GEMs of this class, no matter what brand. (I'm not familiar with Losmandy and other more expensive mounts). Shafts get bent when a force is applied to either a motor or slow motion cable or rod, and the shaft bends at the point where there is no other metal to 'protect' it. This can occur if the mount falls over, or during transportation, storage, etc. If the motor drives are very tightly clampled down, it will be less likely to occur. Flexible cable type slow motions are less likely that slow motion rods to impart a bending force, although the flexible ones bounce and can jiggle the image.

If you sell a mount with bent shafts, you should include that info in your description. A bent shaft can make mounting motors difficult or impossible. A shaft can be unbent but it is tricky and has a risk of breaking it or making it worse.

LGM

#11 jrcrilly

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 03:42 PM

I'll keep the LXD75.


I'd think hard about that. Frankly, it would be like keeping a HEQ-5 over a Tak EM-10 or an EQ-6 over an EM-200. I can't think of a good reason to ever choose a Chinese knockoff over a Japanese original.

#12 orlyandico

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 11:48 PM

Yes it might be better to transplant the LXD75 motors to the Vixen SP and sell off the now-motorless LXD75 for a hundred bucks.

Having used an LXD75 and owned a Vixen for some time, there's no comparison in the precision of the machining.

#13 Moe Arif

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 08:35 AM

Wow, thanks for all the replies. I am SO glad I posted the question here rather than selling this off as a cheapie old mount. After sleeping on it, I decided to keep this SP and sell the LXD75. The build quality and ability to add tracking easily makes this a superior choice but the other factor is the age of it - I love older stuff.

#14 Moe Arif

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 08:41 AM

On the question of using this as an alt-az mount: I took the plate off for latitude adjustment and sure enough, I could point it straight up. Does it look right for using as alt-az?

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#15 Geo.

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 01:59 PM

I can verify it's a Vixen Super Polaris. The square flange between RA and DEC gives it away.

I tried out two of them. Both turned out to have bent RA shafts. No idea how that happens to them. Nice mounts in every other way.

-Rich


People toss them around with the rigid slow mos in place. Five inch lever + brass worm don't mix well. This is a later SP with the integral dec motor bracket. Should go in the $225 range with the legs.

Yes, you have to take off the latitude side plate to make gross lat. adjustments. The SPs I have worked on use Imperial fasteners, so you can go to Home Depot and get stainless replacements for those rusted screws.

#16 Moe Arif

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:34 AM

while I had those rusted screws out, I thought I would soak them in EvapoRust overnight. This stuff works great - I learned about it in the Classic Telescope forum. The screws look a lot better - I'll post a picture once I go home after work (some reason, I have to be at this place called "office" during the day)

#17 gnowellsct

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 11:33 AM

super polaris in alt-az read and learn

#18 Moe Arif

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 02:13 PM

The rusted screws look a lot better now after soaking overnight. See below compared to the first picture. I think these original screws were plated (nickel?) because shiny stuff is flaking off.

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#19 gillmj24

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:13 PM

Billy Mays couldn't've done any better on those bolts.






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