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Equipment Discussions >> Classic Telescopes

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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Space_Girl1234]
      #5623932 - 01/15/13 07:50 AM Attachment (36 downloads)

Mine also has a smooth counter weight bar??

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Grava T
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Quebec, Canada
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: droid]
      #5623946 - 01/15/13 07:59 AM

That's a Super Polaris. All SP mounts had a smooth counterweight bar but most Polaris mounts that I have seen had a threaded bar. I prefer the sliding weight over the other design.

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turk123
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/09/10

Loc: N.E. Ohio
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Space_Girl1234]
      #5623964 - 01/15/13 08:18 AM Attachment (59 downloads)

Quote:

So what is the different between the Polaris and the Super Polaris mounts?




Here is a picture. This may help.


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Space_Girl1234
member


Reged: 03/06/11

Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: turk123]
      #5624765 - 01/15/13 04:35 PM

Thank you for the pictures.

Could someone list the differences..they are not readily apparent.

And which one is the more desirable...and why?


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hottr6
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Grava T]
      #5625747 - 01/16/13 08:14 AM

Quote:

That's a Super Polaris. All SP mounts had a smooth counterweight bar but most Polaris mounts that I have seen had a threaded bar. I prefer the sliding weight over the other design.



Both shafts have the same thread count, so you can use the smooth bar on the Polaris.


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hottr6
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/28/09

Loc: 7,500', Magdalena Mtns, NM
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Space_Girl1234]
      #5625756 - 01/16/13 08:28 AM

Quote:

Could someone list the differences..they are not readily apparent.

And which one is the more desirable...and why?



Visually, there are many differences. Summarizing:
The Super Polaris (SP) has a greater payload than the Polaris.
The Polaris works extremely well in alt-az mode. The SP is not as well balanced in alt-az mode.
The SP is a lot heavier, is a marginal grab-n-go.
Both axes can be driven on the SP, only RA on Polaris.
I would think that tracking precision is the same for both.
The SP is a lot more expensive (both mounts are available only on the used market).
The SP has been cloned many times. There is only one Polaris.
Later SP clones have ball- and thrust-bearings on the RA axis for even greater payloads, the original SP and Polaris use plain bearings.

Desirability is a user-determined value. I have both (actually a CG5-clone) and use the Polaris far more often because of it's portability. YMMV.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Space_Girl1234]
      #5625757 - 01/16/13 08:28 AM Attachment (29 downloads)

Quote:

Thank you for the pictures.

Could someone list the differences..they are not readily apparent.

And which one is the more desirable...and why?




The Super Polaris is a somewhat larger, more robust mount so it's better suited for larger telescopes. The Polaris is something of a rarity in that it is a small high quality mount, totally enclosed gears etc.

The Polaris can be used as an ALT-AZ mount without modification. The polar scope will need to be removed and then the altitude axis used for polar alignment is pointed at the zenith and all is done. I don't have a photo of a the Polaris in the ALT-AZ mode but I do have a photo of the similar vintage Mizar which is the other small, high quality mount.

Jon


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orion61

*****

Reged: 10/20/07

Loc: Birthplace James T Kirk
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5625800 - 01/16/13 09:00 AM Attachment (44 downloads)

I still have mine from the mid 80's it came with a C8 on it, the C8 is long gone still have the mount!
Old and beat up as it is, it still keeps ticking,
Tore it apart the other day and tightened the Axis up, and re-lubed it, just like new now. except all the battle scars.
Here she is next to my 127 Mak, the short pier is homemade
and works great, that is a 5" Celestron Acro Prototype Refractor mounted on it.
One of about 30 made, purchased from Gary Hand in the early 90's before they decided on the 6" for production.
Size perspective I am 6' tall and come up to the finder eyepiece standing.


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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: orion61]
      #5625850 - 01/16/13 09:31 AM

Ive always though the Orion astroview was a clone of the polaris???

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: droid]
      #5625961 - 01/16/13 10:42 AM

Quote:

Ive always though the Orion astroview was a clone of the polaris???




Not to my mind. The Polaris mount is like the Mizar, the body is straight with no offset. The astroview and the cg4 are like the larger mounts, the RA axis is offset from the pivot.

Jon


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Zamboni
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/03/05

Loc: Colorado Springs
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5626413 - 01/16/13 03:38 PM

The CG4 is a polaris clone in almost all respects except for the offset from the pivot.

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Space_Girl1234
member


Reged: 03/06/11

Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: hottr6]
      #5627311 - 01/17/13 12:49 AM

Thanks for the further information.

Are the motors, polar scope, tripods interchangable between the two mounts?

Are spare parts available from the manufacturer?

What are the payload weights for the different mounts?

What are the best "clones" of the Polaris/Super Polaris that are readily available today?

Any links to the manuals for both mounts so I can do my own research so I don't ask so many questions here?

Thank you for answering my questions.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5627440 - 01/17/13 05:03 AM

Quote:

The CG4 is a polaris clone in almost all respects except for the offset from the pivot.




I have both the EQ-3 and the Polaris. There are significant differences, the most obvious is the offset from the pivot and all the ramifications that follow. Given that fundamental difference, are you saying that the parts are interchangeable or exactly how is a clone? The Mizar looks much more like the Polaris that the EQ-3/CG-4 does.

Jon


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Zamboni]
      #5627441 - 01/17/13 05:03 AM

Quote:

The CG4 is a polaris clone in almost all respects except for the offset from the pivot.




I have both the EQ-3 and the Polaris. There are significant differences, the most obvious is the offset from the pivot and all the ramifications that follow. Given that fundamental difference, are you saying that the parts are interchangeable or exactly how is it a clone? The Mizar, though obviously not a clone, looks much more like the Polaris that the EQ-3/CG-4 does.

Jon


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Masvingo
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Ayrshire, Scotland
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Space_Girl1234]
      #5628566 - 01/17/13 05:59 PM

There's a copy of the Super Polaris 'scope and mount manual on Robert Provin's excellent site. which has a few pages dealing with the mount.

James

Edited by Masvingo (01/17/13 06:03 PM)


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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Space_Girl1234]
      #5630291 - 01/18/13 05:32 PM

My mother bought me one in 1991 with a C4.5. The Newt is long gone, but the Polaris now carried a SkyWatcher 100ED.

The mount is my favourite, ever. The clock drive still works after all these years. I have a polar finder and even the illuminator for it, which is a pen lite mounted on top of the mount shining into the polar axis hole. I even have a Dec. motor from JMI.

I have never really put this mount away in the past two decades. The Chinese mounts just have not equalled it, in my opinion.

GW


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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: WEST VIRGINIA USA
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5630301 - 01/18/13 05:36 PM

By the way, I had the Chinese mount which came with a CH102HD more than fifteen years ago. I believe it was a CG4. Although the Polaris drive fit right on, the gear ratio was not the same, so it did not work right. I ditched the Chinese mount long ago - very shaky!

The Vixen Polaris polar scope does fit a CG5 which I have now. GW

Edited by Glen A W (01/18/13 05:37 PM)


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Bonco
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/17/06

Loc: Florida
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Glen A W]
      #5630316 - 01/18/13 05:47 PM

A little off topic but my Super Polaris declination drive is not functioning. I'm not sure if its a problem with the drive or the hand controller. Any suggestions on how to trouble shoot the problem? Love my SP.
Thanks Bill


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Geo.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Bonco]
      #5630370 - 01/18/13 06:31 PM

The hole in the Polaris weight shaft is to insert a pin to assist in removal from the mount.

"Are the motors, polar scope, tripods interchangable between the two mounts?"

No, but you can move the tripod legs from one hub to another. The hubs are different.

"Are spare parts available from the manufacturer?"

No, but I have a couple partial mounts I use to provide parts. Pretty sure Don Rothman has some too. Major part replacements are worm gears that have been bent and broken saddles.

"What are the payload weights for the different mounts?
IMO, 15# max for the Polaris. 22# for the SP."

"What are the best "clones" of the Polaris/Super Polaris that are readily available today?"

Polaris: EQ3-2, CG-4, Orion AstroView. All these mounts seem to come from Synta.

The SP was succeeded by the Great Polaris, which is still sold as the GP-2. I like the earlier GPs better as I think the quality was higher. The GP-2 on a good tripod (HAL130) runs $600 new and comes pretty much stripped. All up $1900. (Case is $495!) Used, with a polarscope and setting circles, $300-400. GP-E or GP-2 will run you a bit more.

The GP clones include, but may not be limited to: the CG-5, EQ-4 and EQ-5, Orion Superview Pro, Jinghua/Bosma EM-8, Meade LXD55 and 75, iOptron GEM. The Synta (CG-5) and the Jinghua/Bosma EM-8 have been sold under various brands. Sell for $100 up used $250 or so if you can find one without drives. The CG-5 goto (ASCG-5GT) has been discontinued and is selling at $600. It has a good reputation. Celestron sells some spares. I'd rate it as the best clone of the GP. The LXD75 would be second. It has also been discontinued and old stock is all you'll find. Meade doesn't sell spares and has its hands full with its current products. So it's not clear how long they'll provide any support for the LXD-75.

The SP can be used in the Al/Az position without modification also.


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kauzuak
member
*****

Reged: 03/03/05

Loc: Burleson, TX
Re: Evolution of the Vixen Polaris GEM? new [Re: Geo.]
      #5630768 - 01/18/13 10:59 PM

There is a lot of potentially confusing info here for beginners looking for info about the differences between the Vixen SP and Polaris mounts. Just look at turk123's image. Nuf said ... But of course I can't stop there, the SP and polaris could be considered the fathers of the CG5 and others, but actually the vixen GP series is where the CG5, and and later LXD55/75 were cloned. I consider all other clones (EQ-3, CG4, etc) to be a different breed. The clone that resembles the SP the closest in spirit and execution, is the Orion SkyView (ie has decent sized setting circles). FYI, Orion61, your pic is of a GP not an SP. Not at bad thing, just newer (~>1991). : )

Edited by kauzuak (01/18/13 11:16 PM)


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