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Twilight I Or Vixen Porta II?

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#1 JonNPR

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:47 AM

Now with two (!) of the $59 C102GT wonders from OPT, I am looking to make a deal with Mrs. Claus for a better mount. I asked about these over in one of the 102 mega threads in the Refractors forum, but then thought you guys here might be the big trove of knowledge and experience for choosing between these two mounts.

My factors:
I am not looking for an EQ

My need is for the scope and mount to function as close as possible as a grab 'n go combo, without giving up too much stability

The price for either of these two mounts is about the highest we can afford now

Thanks for any pros and cons and general advice on these two mounts!

Jon

#2 JonNPR

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:12 AM

Nobody?

#3 rigel123

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 11:24 AM

I like my Porta II, I use it with a Lunt 60 and Orion ED80T, but nothing as large as your C102. I would think it would handle it OK. Specs show the Porta Mount with a load capacity of 20 lbs compared to the Twilight at 15 lbs.

#4 JonNPR

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:16 PM

Thanks Warren! Appreciate the info.

Jon

#5 Stelios

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:21 PM

I have the Porta II as well, which I like (but I replaced the spreader tray with the much better spreader tray from Agena Astro. Without that replacement the mount felt shakier).

The Twilight I however looks really good (I like the legs better than the Vixen legs), and if I was buying again it might well be my choice at $299. It was more expensive when I was shopping.

Caveat: I use an ED80, and your C102 will be heavier and longer. Make sure you balance it well.

#6 Locoman

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 01:22 PM

I have tried the c102 on my StarGuy which is the Porta ll wit a sturdier tripod. With the supplied dove tail on the c102 it was shakey but with ring and an 8" dove tail it was a lot better. It still is a little shakey but workable.

#7 T1R2

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:45 PM

I'd get the twilight II so you can upgrade to a 5" refractor or a 8-11 SCT, it only helps to have somewhat beefier mount that can be used with larger ota's than having to buy a new mount every time you get a new scope.

#8 JonNPR

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:56 PM

Thanks guys. This is very helpful.
The Twilight II is attractive for the very logical reasons stated. But the price primarily, plus the additional weight push it beyond my boundaries. Also, I believe without the pricey pier extension, it is actually a bit shorter when fully extended than the TLI.

Thanks again,

Jon

#9 brokenwave

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:00 PM

My brother has a Porta II with the HD spreader tray from Starguy, he finally bought a Twilight I and is very happy with it. It is even sturdier than a Porta with a HAL tripod and cost less. It dampens with a 102 or 6" MAK in 1/2 the time as Porta II. Much better because the tripod is so so for the Vixen Porta II even with the HAL upgrade.

#10 Locoman

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:03 PM

You could do what I did. I got a 4"X6" pvc pipe connector and a long enough bolt and make a really cheap half pier. You can see it in the pic.

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#11 JonNPR

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 01:16 AM

Locoman, I like what you did with the pier!

I have received a lot of comments that the stability of the Twilight is a bit better than the Portamount although most who have the Porta really like it. Same with the Twilight.

Decision made. A fellow CN member just advertised his lightly used Twilight I, and unlike the last two PortaMounts I missed, was able to buy this one.

Expecting to find viewing high in the sky a bit awkward due to the max height of the mount (and my 6' frame)...I might be seeking piers and other mods or tricks in the future.

Thanks all,

Jon

#12 rigel123

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:04 PM

Enjoy!

#13 brokenwave

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 08:50 PM

You will be happy with it.

#14 JonNPR

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:38 PM

Thanks - Shipping Monday!

Now I believe I will have to buy a Vixen rail (right term?) to attach to my rings, in order to mount the rings on the Twilight. Currently I have them screwed onto a camera tripod mount adapter

Jon

#15 brokenwave

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:58 PM

Yep it has a Vixen style saddle.

#16 JonNPR

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 04:11 PM

Can you recommend a specific model dovetail to attach a pair of 4"/102mm rings I use with the scope, to the Twilight I mount saddle? I understand the mount is essentially the same as the Orion Versago III.

Thanks!

Jon

#17 DavidNealMinnick

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:03 PM

Can you recommend a specific model dovetail to attach a pair of 4"/102mm rings I use with the scope, to the Twilight I mount saddle? I understand the mount is essentially the same as the Orion Versago III.

Thanks!

Jon


I like Anthony's dovetail plates, seen here.

#18 JonNPR

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 03:31 PM

Thank you, David!

#19 dpippel

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 03:45 PM

Anthony has great products for sure. If you're on a budget here are some other options:

http://agenaastro.co...-vixen-eq5.html

http://www.telescope...13-Orion-Dov...

#20 JMZM

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 06:52 AM

I am in a similar situation to Jon. I am looking at a light alt-az mount with slow motion controls for air travel with a 80 mm f6 refractor (9.5 lbs). Weight seems to be very similar for both (16.7 lbs for Twilight I, 15 lbs for Porta). Vixen states higher load capacity (20lbs vs. 15 for Twilight) but some folks state that the Twilight is somewhat more stable. Is that the consensus? Right now price is the same, so I would purchase one or the other based on stability since all other factors seem to be the same.

Thanks a lot for your opinions!

Cheers,

Jose

#21 JonNPR

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 12:37 PM

Ok, just about ready to order, mount is due here on Monday - so last question: is about weight and length. Obviously, this is my first encounter with these options, and I appreciate very much for your help, guys!

For an f10 C102GT long tube, on the Twilight I mount, should I be concerned about the weight of the plate and does its length make a difference in stability/shakes?

I saw a universal 7" that is 10 oz, but pricey with shipping. The Orion universal 13" - twice as heavy? Didn't see the weight on their page.

Advantages to longer or shorter plate?

Thanks!

Jon

#22 DavidNealMinnick

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 12:02 PM

Ok, just about ready to order, mount is due here on Monday - so last question: is about weight and length. Obviously, this is my first encounter with these options, and I appreciate very much for your help, guys!

For an f10 C102GT long tube, on the Twilight I mount, should I be concerned about the weight of the plate and does its length make a difference in stability/shakes?

I saw a universal 7" that is 10 oz, but pricey with shipping. The Orion universal 13" - twice as heavy? Didn't see the weight on their page.

Advantages to longer or shorter plate?

Thanks!

Jon


Jon, I don't see an advantage to the longer one as it has more weight for the mount to bear. You'll need to slide the OTA forward or back in the rings to achieve proper balance in either case.

The angular Vixen plate is quite limited as far as sliding it for-aft on the mount. And pay attention how your rings bolt up to the plate. If the ring's boltholes are on center, the plate sold by Orion will not accommodate them as the plate's center bar is flush with the mount's saddle plate.

#23 JonNPR

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 12:38 PM

Thanks David. I will find out next Saturday, when that Orion plate is due. Saw that I had enough points on Amazon for the Universal version yesterday, before reading your post.

Jon

#24 JonNPR

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 12:56 PM

David, in case the plate I ordered doesn't fit, as you described, what model do you suggest that will ?

Thanks -

Jon

#25 DavidNealMinnick

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 01:18 PM

Jon, if you're getting a Vixen/Celestron-style plate it will fit the mount. My concern was regarding ring bolt pattern/dovetail plate hole pattern compatiblility, and how it will effect the plate's ability to slide fore-aft on the mount. You'll see what I mean when it arrives, and if unworkable ADM has one that will.






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