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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Nippon]
      #6056935 - 09/01/13 12:33 AM

Quote:

I bought a SX half pillar to use my Porta head on my HAL 130. It works but the pillar is not as ridged as it would be on the flat top SX tripod. The pillar was $250. I should have bought the SX tripod instead for the Porta. The pillar is made to work on the old HAL 130 but at a compromise due to the fact that the old HAL has a smaller flat area and the pillar just contacts on three ribs on it's underside. On the SX it would contact across the whole base. So the pillar is heading to the sale table at my next star party.



Hi Nippon,

I'm sorry that your SX Half Pillar didn't work well with your HAL130 (GP version) for the Vixen Porta Mount. I love Vixen Products and they have set some standards in the industry (like the Vixen dovetail plate or the quick release finder bracket shoe).

So I was very disappointed to find about the change in their standards for mount-tripod connections which was announced on Feb. 18, 2011 under the title: "Unification of the Connection Specifications between Mounts and Tripods" at the Vixen-Co.jp Website.

http://www.vixen.co.jp/en/info.html#110218a

Why change something that has worked fine for more than 20 years and is now standard (Vixen SP, GP, GPDX, GP2, GPD2) just to make all their tripods and extensions (half pillars) compatible with their new SX-type of mount?

I have a #3909 Vixen Half Pillar for my old Vixen tripods that I currently use on my old GP2 mount, but I'm afraid if I need an extension for my upcoming GP2 mount I will need to buy another expensive ($249.00) #25167 Vixen SXG Half Pillar. Bad news indeed!

I hope that you can find an ideal solution to your Vixen Porta Mount.

I'll report back when I receive my new GP2/HAL130.

Clear skies!


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Nippon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/22/09

Loc: Central Florida
Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Castor]
      #6057716 - 09/01/13 01:49 PM

I'm a Vixen fan too. I have a Vixen ED 103 S and it is a wonderful scope. Let me ask you this . Do you have any experience with the Vixen Starbook goto system. One vendor, at least, has the system to add to a GP2 or GP2D and I would like to add it to my GP2 but I can actually buy a new Celestron Advanced VX mount for $200 less. Plus the starbook does not seem to be popular with folk here on CN. Any opinions?

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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Nippon]
      #6058209 - 09/01/13 07:42 PM

Hi Nippon,

I'm sorry, but I don't have experience with the Vixen Starbook goto system.

Good luck with your quest!


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081491 - 09/15/13 04:05 AM Attachment (20 downloads)

Hi All,

About two weeks ago, I ordered a Vixen (GP2) Great Polaris Equatorial Mount w/tripod from OPT at the current $499.00 promotion price (the special offer ends by September 30th). Last week I received my new mount/tripod combo and I’m very happy with it!

The GP-HAL130 Tripod came packaged in a single-layer cardboard box with custom styrofoam, while the GP2 Mount Head came double-boxed in double-layer cardboard, also with styrofoam inserts. The tripod has a “Made in China” label cast on the inner side of the legs, while the mount head has a “MADE IN JAPAN” label on the box, on the round Vixen GP2 logo on both sides of the mount and also cast on the base of the dovetail saddle.

What caught me by surprise with the package that I received is that it’s different from the one that a fellow CN’er purchased very recently and was posted on the Mounts section of this forum: Vixen GP2 Unboxing. He got the Vixen GP2 mount with the SXG-HAL130 Tripod that adheres to the current “Connection Specifications between Mounts and Tripods” that use a common 45mm diameter mounting base. The tripod that comes bundled in the package that I received had a “GP-HAL130” label on the box and its connection base agrees with the former 60mm dia. Vixen standard for GP mounts. On the mount side, the GP2 that I received is from the new 45mm dia. standard, but it also includes a (#25168-1) GP45 to 60AD (45mm to 60mm) Adapter designed to attach a new GP Mount to the original GP Tripod, required for the tripod included.

Receiving this particular mount/tripod combination has been very beneficial for me, because the only thing that I initially wanted was a Vixen GP-HAL130 Tripod (60mm dia. base) for my old GP2 Mount (60mm dia. base), but it’s currently unavailable for separate purchase because it was replaced by the SXG-HAL130 tripod (45mm dia. base). So instead of buying the new SXG-HAL130 Tripod plus the required adapter at about $319.00 plus S&H, I went for the GP2/HAL130 combo at the special price of $499.00 plus S&H. I’m so glad that I did, because my old GP2 Mount fit like a glove on my new GP-HAL130 Tripod that came bundled in the package.

Since my Vixen ED100Sf refractor mounting dilemma (lightweight manual eq. mount for a long refractor) has been satisfactorily resolved by my old Vixen GP2 Mount on the newly acquired Vixen GP-HAL130 Tripod (not requiring the use of a mount extension), I see no need for having two GP2 mounts on use, so I decided to pack the new mount back on its box and put it on storage, pending some future call. Prior to packing, I put the new mount on its tripod and took some pictures (not the best quality, I know) for the community, hoping that the information could be useful for someone who is still on the fence of buying this mount/tripod package at the special price before the deal is over. I hope that you like them!

But before I proceed with the pictures, I would like to reply to my own call for measurements. I measured the included GP-HAL130 Tripod, and my results are: Maximum length of extended legs is 51.5 inches (130.8 cm), Vertical Height of fully extended tripod straight down from the top plate is 46.0 inches (116.8 cm).


Summarizing:
August 2012 - -- - GPD2/HAL130 - - - Extended Tripod Specs: length: 51.5 inches ; vertical height: 46 inches.
August 2013 - -- - GP2/SXG-HAL130 - Extended Tripod Specs: length: 52.5 inches ; vertical height: 45.5 inches.
September 2013 - GP2/GP-HAL130 - - Extended Tripod Specs: length: 51.5 inches ; vertical height: 46.0 inches.


First picture! The inner mount box containing the brand-new GP2 Mount.


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081492 - 09/15/13 04:07 AM Attachment (15 downloads)

Label on one side of the mount box: “Vixen GP2 Equatorial Mount Unit” “#3990” “Made in Japan”.

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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081502 - 09/15/13 04:27 AM Attachment (13 downloads)

Red/white label on the other side of the mount box: "Vixen GP2", mostly writing in Japanese.

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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081504 - 09/15/13 04:29 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

Label on the tripod box: “GP-HAL130”. Box showed some shipping wear and tear, but its content arrived unharmed.

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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081506 - 09/15/13 04:31 AM Attachment (15 downloads)

The upper deck of the mount box showing the counterweight bar and the slow motion knobs.
Not shown, but included in the box is the mount instructions manual and warranty card.


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081507 - 09/15/13 04:35 AM Attachment (21 downloads)

The lower deck of the mount box showing the GP2 as originally packaged with two hex keys
and the 8.2 lbs. counterweight tucked in one corner.


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081509 - 09/15/13 04:39 AM Attachment (20 downloads)

The Vixen GP2 Mount and all included parts. Please note the “shiny” aluminum GP45
to 60AD Adaptor pre-attached on the base of the mount (included with this package).


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081511 - 09/15/13 04:42 AM Attachment (19 downloads)

View of the GP2 Mount from other angle showing better the “shiny” aluminum GP45
to 60AD Adaptor included that converts the 45mm dia. connection base of current
GP2 mounts to the 60mm dia. connection base of former Vixen GP mounts and tripods.


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081515 - 09/15/13 04:44 AM Attachment (13 downloads)

Close-up view from below of the GP2 mount connecting base with the “shiny” aluminum
GP45 to 60AD included adapter attached. Inscribed on the inner side of the mount,
there is a label: “Vixen 45mm”.


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081518 - 09/15/13 04:47 AM Attachment (16 downloads)

The Vixen GP-HAL130 Aluminum Tripod included with the GP2 Mount package fully extended.

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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081520 - 09/15/13 04:49 AM Attachment (10 downloads)

From left to right: The included Vixen GP-HAL130 Tripod next to my old (and shorter) Vixen GP-HAL110 Tripod.
The HAL130 that I received is made in China, while my old HAL110 is made in Japan. Both tripods fully extended.


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081522 - 09/15/13 04:52 AM Attachment (14 downloads)

Close-up view from below the GP-HAL130 Tripod showing the Mount Locking Knob.

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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081526 - 09/15/13 04:54 AM Attachment (13 downloads)

Close-up view of the top of the GP-HAL130 Tripod showing the 60mm dia.
mounting base (former standard), the protruding bolt of the Mount Locking
Knob at the center and the fixed-position alignment peg (post) to the right.


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081527 - 09/15/13 04:57 AM Attachment (28 downloads)

Left to right: My new Vixen GP2 Mount with the included GP-HAL130 Tripod and my older Vixen GP2 Mount with an old
GP-HAL110 Tripod –tripods fully extended. The height gain with the new mount/tripod combo is easily perceived here.


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081538 - 09/15/13 05:09 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

My new Vixen GP2 Mount with the 8.2 lbs. counterweight on the included GP-HAL130 Tripod.

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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081539 - 09/15/13 05:13 AM Attachment (28 downloads)

Close-up of the new Vixen GP2 Mount with the 8.2 lbs. counterweight on the GP-HAL130 Tripod.

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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081542 - 09/15/13 05:18 AM Attachment (19 downloads)

My recent Vixen ED100Sf Refractor mounted on the GP2 Mount and the GP-HAL130 Tripod
(as included on the GP2 Mount w/Tripod combo). A Vixen Single-Axis Motor Drive is installed.


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