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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently?
      #6042700 - 08/23/13 11:28 PM

Hi All,

I recently got a new Vixen ED100Sf f/9 refractor that I intended to use on my old Vixen GP2 mount + HAL110 tripod. Unfortunately, the tripod turned out to be too short for the long tube. I am currently using a Vixen #3909 GP2 Half Pillar to compensate, but I would prefer just using a taller Vixen tripod.

I thought about buying a new HAL130 tripod to replace my old HAL110, but then I found out that on February 2011 Vixen Co. announced the "Unification of the Connection Specifications between Mounts and Tripods" and now Vixen GP Mounts and Sphinx Mounts use one tripod, the SXG Tripod. Regrettably, the new HAL130 SXG Tripod is not compatible with my old Vixen GP2 Mount, unless I purchase an expensive adaptor (Vixen#25169-8) that would bring the total cost to $320.00 and would only add to the complexity that I was trying to avoid in the first place.

New Mounting Base for GP2/GPD2

New Optional Tripod Adapters for GP2/GPD2

But then I found out that there is currently a promotion from Vixen Optics with a GP2/HAL130 combo for only $499.00.

http://www.vixenoptics.com/mounts/gp2mount.htm

I was this close to click on the BUY NOW button, but after a quick search I discovered that the advertised height for the new HAL130 SXG (from 25" to 39") is almost the same as my HAL110 (max. vertical height: 38.75" or 98.5cm, length of fully extended legs: 43.5" or 110cm). If the advertised specifications for the new HAL130 SXG are correct, then I would not gain anything by buying the new GP2/HAL130 combo.

HAL130 SXG Specifications

Has any of you acquired a new Vixen GP2 Mount + HAL130 Tripod combo recently? If so, how long ago? Would you be so kind to please measure the vertical height/leg length of your tripod for me?

I would greatly appreciate your help!


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BoldAxis1967
sage
*****

Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Kentucky
Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Castor]
      #6043081 - 08/24/13 07:19 AM

Castor,

I use a HAL130. The maximum vertical leg length from the top plate is 51.5 inches. Straight down from the top plate is 46 inches.

I use the HAL130 with the GPD2 so I did not make any measurements from the dove-tail saddle.

Hope this helps.

LB


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BoldAxis1967
sage
*****

Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Kentucky
Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Castor]
      #6043085 - 08/24/13 07:22 AM

I purchased the HAL130 in August of 2012.

LB


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: BoldAxis1967]
      #6043372 - 08/24/13 11:03 AM

I'd say stay with what you have, now. The pier is actually keeping you out of a non- obvious problem. If you didn't have the pier extension, the eyepiece end of the scope would be constantly in danger of hitting the tripod.

Alternatively, I suggest considering field pier options. Or, you could consider options to move the center of gravity for he scope forwards so the eyepiece end isn't so low. For example, the finder might move to the rings.

-Rich


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6044331 - 08/24/13 10:20 PM

Hi Rich,

Thank you very much for your input!

I have considered the possibility of the scope hitting the tripod if I use the mount directly attached to a tripod, but since I only use the telescope manually (non-go-to), I'm just careful when aiming it. But you do make a valid point here, because with the pier extension I can point the telescope in any direction without the obstacle of the tripod legs.

Regarding the center of gravity of the telescope, I currently use an 8x50mm right-angle finder-scope on top the rings and a 2" diagonal and I am quite happy with that arrangement.

The reason that I was considering buying a second GP2 mount, is because the one that I have now, does a fantastic job (sufficiently steady) carrying the TV-85 refractor (or the occasional C6 SCT) for quick looks when mated to a very light AL150 tripod. With the Half Pier and HAL110 tripod that would no longer be true for the smaller scopes. With a second GP2 with a longer HAL130 I could have each mount optimized for the telescope that is being carried.

So I am still on the fence of buying a new GP2 Mount with HAL130 tripod at the special $499 Price if the tripod legs are actually 130cm long!

Clear skies to you!


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: BoldAxis1967]
      #6044348 - 08/24/13 10:32 PM

Quote:

Castor,

I use a HAL130. The maximum vertical leg length from the top plate is 51.5 inches. Straight down from the top plate is 46 inches.

I use the HAL130 with the GPD2 so I did not make any measurements from the dove-tail saddle.

Hope this helps.

LB



Quote:

I purchased the HAL130 in August of 2012.

LB



Hi BoldAxis1967,

Thank you very much for taking the trouble to measure the HAL130 tripod of your GPD2 mount!

The maximum vertical leg length that you measured (51.5") is in agreement with the info from old on-line ads (from 31.9" to 51.1") and once converted to centimeters (130.8mm) it's consistent with the original Vixen tripod nomenclature for their tripods (HAL110=110cm max. leg extension, HAL130=130cm max. leg extension, AL90=90cm max. leg extension, AL150=150cm max. leg extension). Also, the maximum vertical length from the top plate that you measured (46") is also very close to the on-line advertised specs. (from 25.5" to 44.5") of the original HAL130-GP Tripod.

Your date of purchase (August of 2012) gives us a base line for helping establish the most recent date when a brand-new HAL130 tripod agreeing with the original specs was last delivered.

By posting here I was hoping to find out if the new specs advertised by the U.S. Distributor (Vixen Optics) and various sellers are just a typo or if there has been an actual change in the specifications with the new model (HAL130 SXG).

Thank you again for your feedback and I'm hoping others are willing to post here their own measurements to help refine our data!

Summarizing:
August 2012 - GPD2/HAL130 - Tripod Specs.: length: 51.5 inches ; vertical height: 46 inches.


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Geo.
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Castor]
      #6046805 - 08/26/13 11:24 AM

I have a HAL130 and the D2 and like the combination, but use the tripod a lot more with my Giro III. I also have a older HAL that should be designated a 160. It's from the pale green paint era. I've never seen another.

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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Geo.]
      #6048146 - 08/27/13 02:50 AM

Thank you for your feedback GEO!

I have the light duty version of the longer tripod (AL150), alas not it's not as strong as a HAL.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Castor]
      #6048454 - 08/27/13 09:34 AM

You can stuff the legs with foam by getting an inexpensive foam sleeping bag pad and stuff it in the leg sections to absorb energy. Cut the pad into strips and stuff them in. You won't be able to get two legs to be identical, which is good, because it causes destructive interference in their natural frequencies, so the mount stops shaking very quickly.

-Rich


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #6048480 - 08/27/13 09:50 AM

Hi Rich,

Thank you for the tips for improving the stability of the tripod!

I would still prefer getting the Vixen Heavy Duty Aluminum tripod (HAL) for the long refractor (ED100Sf), but it's good to know there are options to improve the performance of a lightweight tripod.

Take care!


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Agatha
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/04/12

Loc: Coulee Region, Wisconsin
Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Castor]
      #6048558 - 08/27/13 10:38 AM

Castor,

I purchased a Vixen SXG-HAL 130 four months ago. I got it for one of my Porta mounts. It is a very nice tripod. It is in another state (I'm moving). I am going to Wisconsin with another carload of stuff in a couple of days and if I can get to it, I would be happy to take some measurements.

It may be the same as what BoldAxis1967 measured. I purchased mine separately from OPT.

I'll let you know what I find out.

Best,


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astrobug
member
*****

Reged: 10/31/06

Loc: Portland, OR
Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Agatha]
      #6049064 - 08/27/13 03:12 PM

Castor-
I just picked up a Vixen ED100sf myself. This has replaced my 5" f/8 Burgess achromat. I have a Meade LXD-75 instead of the Vixen GP/GP2, but IIRC, the mount head height is pretty similar. I got rid of the stock Meade tripod long ago in favor of a home-built tall cherry wood tripod (the Meade was the first run, 1.75" tubular steel version, actually plenty sturdy, just didn't get very tall).
Anyhow, here's my $0.02 on tripods:

1) I would prioritize stability over height
2) wood dampens vibrations better than metal
3) a locking spreader/fixed eyepiece tray contributes immensely to stability
4) fully extending the tripod legs will greatly decrease their stability (my rule of thumb: overlap at least 1/3 of the leg length)
5) with a long focus refractor like this, you can choose between standing and sitting or sitting and kneeling .

So with all this in mind, have you considered a wooden surveyor's or photo tripod (e.g. Leica, Wild, Sokkia, CST/Berger, Berlebach, Zone VI, or perhaps a lucky find on a Tak or A-P)? Survey tripods tend to cover a very large height range, so you could probably get by with just one mount and one tripod for all of your scopes (and just extending the legs accordingly). I think Universal Astronomics sells an adapter that fits the older-style Vixen GP mounts.

I'll second the recommendation to make the eyepiece end as heavy as possible (easy to do on a scope this light). Moving the optical finder as close as possible to the focuser may help.

And finally, as to whether you need a second mount, that's between you & your wallet/CFO/credit card company (as applicable). My Meade is a little more wiggly than I'd like, and really not suitable for anything but piggyback photography. I've been tempted by the Vixen GP2/HAL130 deal myself, as I expect it would work great out of the box without any fiddling (unlike my Meade). But the add-ons (polar scope & motor drives) more than double the price. So I'm thinking that something along the lines of a new Orion Sirius or iOptron IEQ30 or a used Losmandy G8 might fit my needs better for the same money.


I hope this info helps.
-Brett


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: astrobug]
      #6051794 - 08/29/13 01:27 AM

Hi Brett,

First let me thank you for your very detailed and thorough reply!

It's always wise to listen to the advice from people who have more experience using the same observing equipment, so I am all ears here! Just by coincidence, I also own a Meade LXD-75 mount with 2"/1.54" tubular steel legs and I concur with your remarks: "plenty sturdy, just didn't get very tall".

Considering the long effort you made to help me, I'll try to give you a detailed reply, but my English is not very good, so please bear with me.

Yes, I have considered a wooden tripod for my Vixen GP2 Mount, but being the mechanically challenged person that I am and given my limited payment resources (no PayPal account, no cashier checks, etc.), I have a hard time ordering from specialized sellers or adapting accessories that were not designed for a specific product. So, I checked for off-the-shelf tripods available for Vixen GP Mounts and these were the models that I found (at OPT):

- Vixen UNI 18 Astro Wood Tripod For Vixen GP/SPX Mounts ($499.00).
- Vixen Planet Wood Tripod for Vixen GP/SXP Mounts ($699.00).

If I owned the higher capacity Vixen GPD2 Mount and it was my most used mount, I could justify the expense. But for a light duty GP2 and just for casual lunar/planetary/double star observing, I would have a hard time rationalizing it. I have never ordered from Universal Astronomics and haven't checked on their products, so I can't comment.

On the recommendation to make the eyepiece end as heavy as possible by moving the optical finder as close as possible to the focuser, it already is as close as it's possible within my mounting ring system (TeleVue MRS-4011). I would not like to attach the 8x50mm right-angle finder scope to the finder base on the focuser because it's too close to the eyepiece and I'd be bumping it with my forehead all the time, or worst yet, scratch my expensive eyeglasses.

And finally, as you wisely pointed out, as to whether I need a second mount, "that's between you & your wallet/CFO/credit card company (as applicable)". In my case, for the modest mounting requirements of the Vixen ED100Sf refractor for visual use, I would prefer spending my limited budget on a brand-new Vixen GP2 Mount with HAL130 Tripod at a special price of $499.00 plus shipping, than just a tripod that I could not be 100% sure that it would be compatible (due to the changes in 2011 of the coupling standards of the Vixen GP mount/tripods). If one day I am fortunate enough to own the heavier and more expensive Vixen GPD2 Mount, I'll consider again your recommendation of buying a wood tripod for it.

Since you mention that you were thinking that something along the lines of a used Losmandy GM8 (among others) might fit your needs better, I should warn you that the height of the LW tripod that comes included with the mount, is exactly the same as the one of the Meade LXD-75 Mount. I measured the vertical height of the fully extended Losmandy LW tripod of my Losmandy GM8 Mount and it's just 42.5 inches from the floor to the top of the semi-pier (where it connects to the mount head).

By the way, I placed my order for a Vixen GP2/HAL130 SXG Tripod package today!

Thank you again for your good advice!


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Agatha]
      #6051805 - 08/29/13 01:36 AM

Quote:

Castor,

I purchased a Vixen SXG-HAL 130 four months ago. I got it for one of my Porta mounts. It is a very nice tripod. It is in another state (I'm moving). I am going to Wisconsin with another carload of stuff in a couple of days and if I can get to it, I would be happy to take some measurements.

It may be the same as what BoldAxis1967 measured. I purchased mine separately from OPT.

I'll let you know what I find out.

Best,



Hi Agatha,

Thank you for your kind offer, but I know how complicated and tiresome moving can be, so please don't go out of your way to measure your Vixen tripod.

Wishing you all the very best settling in at your new home,


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Castor]
      #6051838 - 08/29/13 02:18 AM

Hi All,

A good fellow CN'er was kind enough to measure the tripod of his very recently acquired Vixen GP2/HAL130 SXG combo. Thank you Keith!

According to his measurements, the legs extend from 33" to 52.5" and the overall tripod height with legs fully extended and spread is 45.5".

These measurements are close to the published specs of the original Vixen HAL130 GP Tripod, and they differ from the ones advertised for the new HAL130 SXG on various sites.

Based on this recent update, and the assumption on my part that the current advertised specs for the HAL130 SXG are inaccurate, I decided to act upon my initial plan of acquiring a new Vixen GP2/HAL130 SXG and placed my order today!

When I receive my mount, I'll post my own measurements here. Thank you All for your help!

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


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astrobug
member
*****

Reged: 10/31/06

Loc: Portland, OR
Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Castor]
      #6053005 - 08/29/13 05:29 PM

Castor-
You're welcome for the input. I started out in astronomy as an ATM, and tend more towards tinkering, but with two kids under 10 now, my free time is in short supply, so I am learning buy stuff that 'just works' without modification.

Thanks for the feedback on the GM-8 tripod, this seems a little short for my needs. Plus the whole package is rather heavy for the payload spec, so this will go to the bottom of the list, is not off entirely.

Yes, some of the nicer wood tripods cost more than the mount head, but there is likely a reason (aside from looks ). That said, you are correct in thinking that many of these are meant for much higher-end mount heads (e.g. the Berlebach Planet for the A-P Mach1).

Please report back on how well the GP2/HAL130 combo works out for you in terms of height & stability with the ED100sf. I think it should work great, given how light the scope is. And if that is the case, I may need to reconsider this option. From what I've heard, you don't _have_ to use the Vixen drives on it (e.g. Meade LXD 55/75 motors fit with just a shorter mounting bolt or two). Hopefully I can make a decision and save up the dough before the deal ends.
-Brett


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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: astrobug]
      #6053147 - 08/29/13 06:49 PM

My GP2 and HAL 130 is about two years old. The mount has a machined aluminum collar 45 to 60mm that adapts it to the tripod it came with. To use my mount with the SXG tripod just requires removal of the adapter. If your mount has this collar you can remove it and attach to the SXG. The collar is unpainted aluminum with three allen set screws

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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: Nippon]
      #6055386 - 08/31/13 12:38 AM

Hello Nippon,

Thank you for your interesting contribution to this thread!

From the description of your GP Mount/Tripod and the dating, it seems that it was purchased right in the middle of transition period when the new standards were being adopted.

So, you have a GP2 Mount head with a 45mm dia. mounting base (the new standard) that includes the 45mm to 60mm adapter collar to attach it to your tripod, that was designed to accept the old standard (60mm dia.) mounting base. In my view, you have the best of both worlds, because you can use your mount with any Vixen tripod designed either for GP or SX mounts!

If you check the pictures from a current GP2 at this Vixen GP2 unboxing thread, you will notice that now, mount and tripod adhere to the new 45mm standard, and no adaptor is required.

My old Vixen GP2 Mount has a 60mm dia. cast mounting base, so I would need a special adapter (Vixen #25169-8) to be able to use it with a new HAL130 SXG tripod. Once you add the cost of the adaptor ($70.00) to the cost of the tripod ($250.00), the GP2/HAL130 package at the current special price looks like a good deal!

Take good care of your special GP2 mount/tripod set!


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: Anyone got a new Vixen GP2+HAL130 combo recently? new [Re: astrobug]
      #6055488 - 08/31/13 03:36 AM

Quote:

Castor-
You're welcome for the input. I started out in astronomy as an ATM, and tend more towards tinkering, but with two kids under 10 now, my free time is in short supply, so I am learning buy stuff that 'just works' without modification.

Thanks for the feedback on the GM-8 tripod, this seems a little short for my needs. Plus the whole package is rather heavy for the payload spec, so this will go to the bottom of the list, is not off entirely.

Yes, some of the nicer wood tripods cost more than the mount head, but there is likely a reason (aside from looks ). That said, you are correct in thinking that many of these are meant for much higher-end mount heads (e.g. the Berlebach Planet for the A-P Mach1).

Please report back on how well the GP2/HAL130 combo works out for you in terms of height & stability with the ED100sf. I think it should work great, given how light the scope is. And if that is the case, I may need to reconsider this option. From what I've heard, you don't _have_ to use the Vixen drives on it (e.g. Meade LXD 55/75 motors fit with just a shorter mounting bolt or two). Hopefully I can make a decision and save up the dough before the deal ends.
-Brett



Hi Brett,

After reading about your ATM roots, I now have a better understanding of your logic for choosing astronomical equipment. I place myself at the other end of the spectrum, the type who is always afraid of causing damage by tinkering and who goes to great lengths to make sure that two items are 100% compatible before buying. Maybe I'm exaggerating, perhaps 99% might do.

Don't discard the Losmandy GM8 Mount from your list just yet! It's a very good mount for visual observing, it's just that the LW tripod is not the best match for it. My final goal would be buying a G11 HD tripod for the GM8, but for the moment an old Meade Standard Field Tripod with a GM8/G11 Meade Tripod Adapter will have to suffice. I just ordered the adaptor!

Just as you, I love wood tripods and would willingly accept to pay a premium for their looks and vibration dampening properties. But sometimes, their cost is almost prohibitive! And there's always the thought in the back of my mind that due to their wide contract/expand ratio in concert with the fluctuations in ambient humidity, one day without previous warning, a leg could get loose and in the process collapse the whole tripod, damaging it's precious cargo (mount, telescope, accessories, etc.).

I would be happy to report back on how well the GP2/HAL130 combo works out in terms of height & stability with the ED100sf! But the weather rarely cooperates with my plans. I agree with you that the ED100Sf is a lightweight scope for 4 inch f/9 scope, however in order to adapt mine to the Gibraltar5 mount, I replaced the original lightweight rings for a 4" Mount Ring Set from TeleVue. The only negative result of this upgrade is that the scope is now heavier, so stability was affected when used on lighter mounts like the Vixen GP2. With the original Vixen rings, I could balance the scope on my GP2 mount with just one 8.1 lb. counterweight placed about two thirds of the way down the CW bar. Now, after replacing the rings, I have to slide the same counterweight all the way to the end of the CW bar, pass the safety knob. So my ED100Sf scope might not be a representative sample. The initial tests with my old Vixen GP2 plus Half Pier extension on a HAL110 Tripod seem to indicate that the mount can carry the scope reasonably well for visual use, but far from rock steady. I don't have any reasons to believe that the new GP2 on the fully extended HAL130 would do better -as a matter of fact, it could do worse. But I should mention that the ED100Sf on a GP2 Mount is my lightweight choice for casual visual lunar/planetary/double star observing, nothing serious. Observing comfort, portability and equipment readiness are more important for my enjoyment when doing casual observing than extracting the last ounce of optical performance.

Regarding the drives, my budget would not allow me to buy the Vixen DD3 Dual-Axis Motor Drive Set right now, but I plan to acquire one in the future. I have a Vixen Single-Axis Motor Drive on my old GP2 Mount, so I plan to use that one for the time being.


You can read more about the upgrades and find a few pictures of the scope here: Vixen ED100Sf+TeleVue RMS-4011 Rings on Gibraltar5


Thank you for your help!


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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]
      #6055837 - 08/31/13 10:59 AM

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.

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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Castor
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081564 - 09/15/13 05:55 AM Attachment (45 downloads)

Final picture of the series! The ED100Sf Refractor on the GP2 Mount and the GP-HAL130 Tripod
pointing straight up. Adequate for observing while seated on an adjustable chair.


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Agatha
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6081719 - 09/15/13 09:16 AM

Everything is really beautiful. I'm glad that all has worked out. Thanks for all the pictures and descriptions. It is interesting and helpful to see such good documentation from you regarding the adapter.

Have fun with that shiny new refractor. Very pretty.

Best,


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Castor
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Agatha]
      #6083246 - 09/16/13 03:24 AM

Thank you Linda, you are very kind!

Even when I was not a member of the Cloudynights forum, I received a lot of help here just by reading posts and looking at pictures. I'm just trying to return the favor!

Regards,


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coopman
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6083819 - 09/16/13 12:12 PM

Thanks for the detailed description & pictures. I am considering ordering this mount/tripod combo myself. I am glad to see that the slo-mo controls were included with the mount. I did not think that they were included and was having a hard time finding anyone with the 3823 slo-mo handle in stock (besides Vixen).

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Castor
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: coopman]
      #6085249 - 09/17/13 03:13 AM

Thanks!

Yes, two plastic slow motion controls are included with the mount: A short one for Right Ascension (the one you use for tracking) and a longer one for Declination. But if you are going to be using this mount without a motor drive, it would be a good idea to buy an extra slow motion control (short one, #3822, $6.95) so you can have one within easy reach on each side of the mount (East/West).

An important consideration with the Vixen GP2/GPD2 Mounts is the cost of adding a motor drive system:

If you only want tracking, guiding and slow centering speed, the only option currently available from Vixen Optics is the #37912 Dual Axis Motor Drive DD3 Set ($429.00). And if you would like to keep the option of manual tracking, you would need to add two #3828 Vixen Manual Clutches (at $54.95 each), for a total of $538.90.

If you want go-to and/or fast centering speed, the only option currently available from Vixen Optics is the #2522 Vixen Starbook-S Goto Upgrade package for Great Polaris Mounts ($999.00).

Clear skies!


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orlyandico
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6085274 - 09/17/13 04:14 AM

There is another approach.. buy some unloved LXD55 or 75, strip off the motors and bolt them to your Vixen.

Sell the now motorless LXD55 or 75 for a hundred bucks or use it as a manual only outreach mount.


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Castor
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6086954 - 09/17/13 10:28 PM

Yes, that could be an option for someone who has the skills and enjoys tinkering with their mounts. Thank you!

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cirrus1500
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6087392 - 09/18/13 07:13 AM

Thanks Castor for this thread. I have just received my Vixen Starguy (Porta II with SXG-HAL130 tripod), and reading your thread let me know my options for other Vixen EQ mounts usable with my SXG-HAL130.


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Castor
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6089332 - 09/19/13 02:51 AM

Thank you Cirrus1500 and congratulations on your new Vixen Starguy mount!

My experience with Vixen Optics products has been very positive and wanted to share my recent findings with others, just as others were so kind to help me with my request of measuring their tripod!

I wonder why Vixen Optics chose not use their standard base connection (60mm dia.) when they introduced the SX line of mounts? It's unfortunate that they adopted the new smaller base (45mm dia.) as the new standard for their mounts, including the Great Polaris (GPs), because now you are never sure if a custom tripod from other manufacturer will be compatible with your Vixen mount. But I consider myself very lucky that I got exactly the tripod that I wanted when I ordered the GP2 Mount w/Tripod package.

In these times of Goto and robotic mounts, I can't help wondering if the days of the manual GP2/GPD2 are counted? I just hope that I have enough time to save for a GPD2 mount for my heavier scopes!

Best,


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cirrus1500
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Reged: 04/09/13

Loc: California
Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6089340 - 09/19/13 03:17 AM

Thanks, Castor. My Starguy with the SXG-HAL130 also has the 45mm connection. It comes with a Porta II to 45mm adapter.

I am not sure if the new 45mm standard is a good thing since the contact area between the mount and the base may be less than with the original 60mm connector. Would this result in less stability? If so, you are indeed very lucky to have received one of the last batches of the 60mm base HAL130s.


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Castor
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6090951 - 09/20/13 01:03 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

Cirrus1500, thank you for your data about the connection size (45mm) of the Starguy with the SXG-HAL130 Tripod!

I am not sure too if the new 45 mm dia. standard connection is a good thing or if the former 60 mm dia. standard connection is better, since I am not clear which provides a larger contact area between the mount and the tripod.

After reading your comment, I measured with a metric dial caliper the height of the section of the GP2 Mount base that connects it to the tripod and also measured the depth of the socket (cavity, hole, receptacle, etc.) of the GP-HAL130 Tripod that receives the mount. What I found is that the socket is deeper (20 mm) than the height of the protruding section of the base of the mount (18 mm), so in practice the base of the mount never contacts the bottom of the socket and therefore, most of the vertical load of the mount is transferred from the lip of the mount base to the top of the tripod.

In this scenario, the 60 mm diameter connection would not provide better vertical support than the 45 mm diameter connection. But I'm not a technical person, so this is only an observation. But as you point it so well, I was lucky to have received one of the last batches of the 60mm base HAL130s, because that's the exact match for my old GP2 Mount.

I added a composite picture (not to scale) of the base of the GP2 mount and the top of the GP-HAL130 Tripod with labels for clarity.

Clear skies!


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cirrus1500
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6091048 - 09/20/13 03:08 AM Attachment (17 downloads)

Castor, your descriptions are very clear. After looking at your pictures, I went to look at my Starguy mount and they are similar in the sense that the SXG HAL130's socket is also 20 mm deep and deeper than the height of the protruding section of the base of my Porta II convertor (16-17 mm). So the weight of the mount is supported by the mount base (in my case,Porta II converter base) like you said. Fortunately for me, the Porta II convertor has quite a large contact area with the tripod base (about 103mm out of the 128mm tripod base diameter) so it feels rather stable. I guess it depends on how large an area of the tripod base top is being used to support the mount. I hope the new standard GP mounts take full advantage of both the socket depth and the tripod base to achieve maximum stability. For benefits of those considering the Starguy mount, I have attached the pictures of the connection below.

(Edited once for more clarity)

Edited by cirrus1500 (09/20/13 03:17 AM)


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cirrus1500
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6091049 - 09/20/13 03:11 AM Attachment (15 downloads)

The measurements:
-SXG HAL130's socket depth 20mm
-Protuding section of Porta II convertor 16-17 mm
(already tried to reduce as much parallax error as possible)

btw, convertor base diameter is about 103mm (sorry, no picture)

Edited by cirrus1500 (09/20/13 03:14 AM)


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cirrus1500
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6091066 - 09/20/13 03:51 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

Something I just noticed. The new HAL130 tripod with the 45mm diameter connection have a bigger flatter base area than the old 60mm standard (roughly shaded in green). Maybe Vixen figured that a bigger flat surface may be able to support heavy mount heads better. Just a guess..

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Castor
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: cirrus1500]
      #6092000 - 09/20/13 03:30 PM

Thank you very much Cirrus1500!

Your comments, measurements, comparison with other mounts and the detailed pictures has brought new insight to this thread and I feel it's no longer unidimensional -I only have the GP2 Mounts, the GP Tripods and nothing from the side of the Vixen SX line. It's very interesting for me looking at pictures of the SXG-HAL130 or the Starguy Mount, and I'm sure other readers feel the same.

Quote:

I hope the new standard GP mounts take full advantage of both the socket depth and the tripod base to achieve maximum stability.




Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case! When you posted your measurements of the connecting base and tripod socket, it confirms that the socket being deeper than the height of protrusion that it receives is the norm for these mounts. Now that I look closer into it, it makes sense! It would be difficult to manufacture both parts (using the aluminum casting method) to the precision required for all parts to come in perfect contact at the same time. I am not good with analogies, but think about a four leg table or chair placed on uneven terrain: It would be very difficult to make sure that all four legs are in full contact with the ground. So just a small error of slightly longer protrusion would mean that the lip of the mount base would not sit properly on the outer ring of the tripod top.

The reason that I say that the new standard GP mounts don't take full advantage of the larger area on the top of the tripod to achieve maximum stability, is because the bottom part of the GP2 Mounts is hollow (see my previous pictures) and there is no structure on this part of the base that comes in contact with the top of the tripod -except the edge, of course. I would love to find out if the new SX line of mounts were improved on this area.

Quote:

Something I just noticed. The new HAL130 tripod with the 45mm diameter connection have a bigger flatter base area than the old 60mm standard (roughly shaded in green). Maybe Vixen figured that a bigger flat surface may be able to support heavy mount heads better. Just a guess..




You picture makes your point very clear, thank you! This could be the very reason that Vixen Optics decided to increase the area of the flat surface on top of the SXG Tripods, by reducing the diameter of the connection from 60mm to 45mm. The larger the contact area, the better the distribution of the load and the better the stability. But until we see a picture of the underside of a Vixen SX mount, it's only a guess from our part!

Regards,


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Nippon
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Reged: 10/22/09

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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6092257 - 09/20/13 06:21 PM

Contact at the edge is what counts. The socket just helps you attach the head to the tripod. The SX heads have a larger diameter base casting than the GP and need the increased flat area of the SX tripod to make full contact at the edge. A GP will be no more steady on an SX than it is on the older tripod because the base of the GP and the flat area of the old tripod are the same diameter.

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BoldAxis1967
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Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6092360 - 09/20/13 07:27 PM

Quote:

Castor: In these times of Goto and robotic mounts, I can't help wondering if the days of the manual GP2/GPD2 are counted?




I too have these concerns. I love having the option of using mannual control. The GPD2 is I believe the only mount to support medium weight bearing loads that has manual control knobs. At least the GP2 and GPD2 are well respected and the GPD2 has recieved some very positive reviews recently so maybe sales will be high enough to keep this line of production going.

Let us know how your new mount and tripod operates after first light.

LB


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Castor
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Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: BoldAxis1967]
      #6092790 - 09/21/13 02:11 AM

Hi BoldAxis1967, nice of you to re-visit this thread -you were the first person to reply to my call for measures, many thanks!

As much as I love the Great Polaris Mounts and wish that Vixen would keep manufacturing them indefinitely, I have to face the reality that most consumers now want goto on their mounts and there is little interest in non-goto, much less manual mounts.

The "Unification of the Connection Specifications between Mounts and Tripods" announced on February 2011, seems like the first step in that direction, discontinuing the classic GP Tripods and replacing them with the SXG Tripods.

The second step could be the discontinuation on June 2012 of the Goto option for the GP2/GPD2 Mounts: The Starbook-S Goto Upgrade.

For me it's very important having a light equatorial mount of good quality, so I thought it was a good idea to purchase a second GP2 mount at the special price, even if what I initially wanted was just the HAL130 tripod. For deep-sky observing with small telescopes I'm fine just using the manual slow-motion controls of the mount. For planetary observing I prefer having a motor drive, so all I require is the single-axis drive on my GP2 and a small battery pack. No need to carry heavy batteries or power tanks!

Another advantage that I see with these mounts (GP2/GPD2), is that as long as you take reasonable care of them and a replacement for the drive/motors is available, they could give you many years of good service. With goto mounts there is always the thought in the back of my mind of having to deal with shipping the mount back to the factory and long waits for repairs when the electronics eventually fail. If money is no object, then you just throw away the damaged mount and replace it with a fancier one. But if resources are limited (like in my case), then a good quality, low maintenance mount is a good investment!

Regarding your question about first light of the new mount and tripod, I just assembled it once, tested that it would move smoothly, took a few pictures of it and then put the new mount in storage. I expect it to be my backup mount when my old GP2 finally quits working or when I need a second lightweigth mount.

But I have used my old GP2 on the new GP-HAL130 Tripod for brief moments and they seem to make a good combination with my ED100Sf Refractor. The working height of this setup is fine for observing while sitting and the vibrations dampen in a few seconds (2-3), permitting planetary observing up to 225X with reasonable steady images. But I don't think this is the most stable mount for a refractor this long. For me it's fine, because what I wanted was a light 4-inch scope on a light mount for observing on weekdays, when time for observing is very limited. If I were looking to extract the last ounce of planetary performance, I would probably go for the 6-inch refractor on the Losmandy G-11, but then my back would complain! For me, comfort while observing is at the top of my list, so the light ED100Sf on the ultra-smooth and lightweight Vixen GP2 on top of a very light HAL130 Tripod while sitting on an adjustable stool is heaven!

I should start saving for a Vixen GPD2 before it's too late. You are very lucky to have one already!

Best regards,


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Nippon]
      #6092806 - 09/21/13 02:29 AM

Quote:

Contact at the edge is what counts. The socket just helps you attach the head to the tripod. The SX heads have a larger diameter base casting than the GP and need the increased flat area of the SX tripod to make full contact at the edge. A GP will be no more steady on an SX than it is on the older tripod because the base of the GP and the flat area of the old tripod are the same diameter.



Thank you for your observations Nippon!

I checked on pictures of the underside of the Vixen SXD Mount and found out that this part of the mount is hollow, just as it is with the Great Polaris Mounts. There is some structural support in that area, but it's hard to see if they ever come in contact with the top of the tripod. So, for all accounts it seems that the SX mounts, just as the GP mounts only make full contact at the edge. I fully agree with you that a GP Mount will not be more steady on an SX Tripod than it is on the older tripod.

So my fundamental question still remains unanswered: What was gained from changing the connection base of the Vixen Tripods and Mounts from the former 60mm diameter to the new 45mm diameter?


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Nippon
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 10/22/09

Loc: Central Florida
Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Castor]
      #6092903 - 09/21/13 07:11 AM

Perhaps it was so they had enough room to put the threaded hole for the azimuth adjustment peg for the GP on the sx tripod. The old tripod uses a cast peg and it is right on the edge of the 60mm hole. That is the only thing I can think of

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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: I just got my new Vixen GP2+HAL130. Pictures! new [Re: Nippon]
      #6094401 - 09/22/13 01:29 AM

Quote:

Perhaps it was so they had enough room to put the threaded hole for the azimuth adjustment peg for the GP on the sx tripod. The old tripod uses a cast peg and it is right on the edge of the 60mm hole. That is the only thing I can think of



Perhaps! But the Celestron Advanced Series CG5 Tripod shares the same 60mm dia. base connection and uses a removable alignment peg on the same position of the Vixen SXG-HAL130 tripod without any problem.

There has to be another reason for the reduction in connection diameter of the Vixen mounts that we are not aware of. Probably the same reason the Synta EQ6 (Atlas) Mount was designed with a small diameter connection from the start.

No matter! I'll keep an eye on my next target: The Vixen GPD2.

Thanks!


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