Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Anyone using Vixen EQ mounts? new [Re: mayidunk]
      #6034882 - 08/19/13 04:24 PM

Quote:

IMO, the mechanical qualities of the Sphinx, and the straightforward, sturdy design of the NexSXD motor controller board, coupled with the excellent software in the very affordable NexStar+ HC, makes for a pretty unbeatable combination of form, and function!

I was able to get the Vixen case at a more reasonable price at the time. The internal construction has proven dependable in holding everything in place so far, but the exterior aluminum skin is very prone to dings and dents. I wish the industry hadn't gone in that direction, and had instead stayed with roto-molded exteriors. In fact, every time I see an old roto-molded Orion eyepiece case for sale, I grab it! Best case ever!!!




It's a nice combination, no doubt about it, but also one that costs a lot of money compared to the competition. As for mechanical qualities, those I've used have been "OK," not "excellent" as I'd hoped for given the price. The Sphinxes I've tested have been comparable mechanically to most of the Synta gear on the market. That does not mean "bad," just "not much better, if any."


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mayidunk
Don't Ask...
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Betwixt & Between...
Re: Anyone using Vixen EQ mounts? new [Re: rmollise]
      #6035280 - 08/19/13 07:58 PM

Quote:

Quote:

IMO, the mechanical qualities of the Sphinx, and the straightforward, sturdy design of the NexSXD motor controller board, coupled with the excellent software in the very affordable NexStar+ HC, makes for a pretty unbeatable combination of form, and function!

I was able to get the Vixen case at a more reasonable price at the time. The internal construction has proven dependable in holding everything in place so far, but the exterior aluminum skin is very prone to dings and dents. I wish the industry hadn't gone in that direction, and had instead stayed with roto-molded exteriors. In fact, every time I see an old roto-molded Orion eyepiece case for sale, I grab it! Best case ever!!!




It's a nice combination, no doubt about it, but also one that costs a lot of money compared to the competition. As for mechanical qualities, those I've used have been "OK," not "excellent" as I'd hoped for given the price. The Sphinxes I've tested have been comparable mechanically to most of the Synta gear on the market. That does not mean "bad," just "not much better, if any."



I guess I musta got lucky!

Aside from the backlash, and having to use Loctite Blue to hold down the nut on the saddle thrust bearing (not the DEC bearing, it's a ring nut that loads the roller bearing under the saddle, with no place for a grub screw) this mount has been excellent! The bearing preload on both axes is fine, and when carrying the AR152 there are no vibrations when tracking at any attitude, no stalling, or straining when slewing, no apparent flexure, and when the OTA is tapped, vibrations settle within a second or two! Now, this is using it for purely visual use. If I used it as an AP mount, it admittedly may not fare as well under the weight of the AR152. But, under the weight of the SVR80ED, I think it might do a pretty good job!

In any event, it may have been a bit spendy adding the NexSXD, and Celestron HC. However, given the price breaks I originally got on the mount, it still ended up being fairly cost effective for me, it works perfectly for my intended purposes, and I'm a happy camper! Heck, even before I replaced the StarBook, it still performed pretty admirably! I only finally decided to replace the StarBook with the NexSXD so I wouldn't get stuck holding the bag if the StarBook ever went South on me again. Especially as Vixen is now apparently going to be phasing it out, replacing it with the stepper-motor versions!

While the StarBook was a cool idea for its time, its time passed too quickly, and in the end Vixen's hidebound ways pretty much ensured that it would never amount to much. Replacing it with a stepper-motor version is kind of too little, too late in light of all the better control options that are now available.

However, despite all that I, too, think that the StarBook is still very cool, and I'm glad I have one! And what really matters in the end is that the OP comes away from this with a good sense of what's out there, be it Vixen, Synta, or whatever, that they may hopefully make a well informed decision.

For me? The Vixen is a keeper! For someone else? As in all things, YMMV...

Be well, "Unk!"


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Gord
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/06/04

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: Anyone using Vixen EQ mounts? [Re: rmollise]
      #6039224 - 08/21/13 09:44 PM

Quote:



The catch is that right now you can get a ready to go computerized CG5 mount that will probably make you a lot happier for about the same price.




Hi Rod,

You are correct. There is a lot going for these Celestron mounts. However, I have/had 2 of them! I kept the better performing one (mechanically speaking) and it happens to be a non-goto version. I just use the basic dual axis drives and don't need the computer part. And of course, I do realize just because you have the computer, doesn't mean you need to use it. They work fine for just tracking with the quick align.

But, it then all comes back to the whole quality thing. Compared to the Vixen, it seems like these ones are a step below in terms of the finish. Now that one is an older Vixen and a DX, so I'm not sure if the normal GP (or GP2 in this case) would be of similar quality in terms of feel. The DX has steel shafts and brass gears. I think the GP's are just aluminum.

I think someone else mentioned it earlier, there is a lot of competition when you get to the price point of the new GPD2 (since you need to add a lot of stuff). The Losmandy G8 is likely cheaper, but I would say higher quality. It looks a bit heavier than the Vixen though (22lbs for the head vs. 18 for the GPD2).

I also looked up the SkyWatchers and the EQ5 bare mount (non-goto) is $400. I think I'd lean to the Vixen at that price point. The SW EQ5 is likely a bit closer in terms of capacity to the GPD2 than the GP though (if it's the same as my CG5A).

I guess I'm still on the fence. Perhaps it's best to just keep waiting for a used one.

Clear skies,


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | (show all)


Extra information
27 registered and 25 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Dave M, richard7, bilgebay 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 1613

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics