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A little vixen

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#1 Bowlerhat

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 04:50 PM

It's been on my radar for a while, but it's never been mentioned much. Probably because it is perceived as a scope that marketed as a child scope. The vixen Sirius 40L (40mm, f20) was seen in 1981 vixen catalog as one of the first sirius line, along with Sirius 60L (60mm, f15). Vixen has marketed smaller scopes such as 30mm diameter, but always as handheld, with full fledged ones starting from 50mm.

 

The scope has a small stand, which doesn't extend further. This makes the position pretty low.

 

1981

 


Edited by Bowlerhat, 08 November 2020 - 11:47 PM.

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#2 Bowlerhat

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 04:52 PM

Sirius 40L 1

 

The entire package is simple: a wooden tripod with yoke mount, two plastic eyepieces (8mm and 20mm), and the 5x finder.

The bolt for the mount was missing..


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#3 Bowlerhat

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 04:56 PM

Sirius 40L 2
 

The mount..sadly is almost unusable. Movement on altitude is fine enough with grit, but the movement on azimuth is gluey..the backlash is too much. The base plate is metal, however the clamp is plastic, so the clamp strength differs too much.

 

Sirius 40L 3
 
Interesting enough there's a DK mark (Daiichi Kougaku) on the mount.
 
Sirius 40L 4
 

Similar mark on the focuser too. All of which, made by plastic. Either it's for children, or vixen cutting up costs.


Edited by Bowlerhat, 08 November 2020 - 11:44 PM.

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#4 Bowlerhat

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 05:00 PM

I feel there are some details on the scope, but there's  a lot of cost reduction as well..

 

Sirius 40L 6

 

For example, the bolts for finder is mounted on a metal piece, which makes it more solid than the usual bolt and washer. The tube of the OTA is PVC, and not flocked.

 

Sirius 40L 5 1

 

The finderscope..although made by plastic tube, is painted black inside instead! The 5x finder has some glass lens, and two plastic baffles at front and at the back. The back part allows adjustments for focus by push pull mechanism..and the finder mount, is usual metal.

 

Sirius 40L 5

 

The scope has two baffles and a light cone, which sits before the cell. One baffle in the middle, and another one at the end of the focuser tube.


Edited by Bowlerhat, 08 November 2020 - 05:19 PM.

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#5 Bowlerhat

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 05:01 PM

Sirius 40L 6
 
Sirius 40L 6 1

 

The lens cell, is made from bakelite. Although feels solid, it's only held by a single plastic retaining ring. Looking at Daiichi Kougaku mark..I wonder if the objective is supplied by Daiichi as well.


Edited by Bowlerhat, 08 November 2020 - 11:44 PM.

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#6 Bowlerhat

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 05:04 PM

Vixen Sirius 40 L (1)
 
Vixen Sirius 40 L (2)
 
Entire scope package.
 
Testing the optics, it's actually rather sharp than my other two (king& prince f20). No trace of colour even with a 4mm vixen ortho. 

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#7 Bowlerhat

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Posted 08 November 2020 - 05:05 PM

Sirius 40L 8
 
The plastic is really soft. I found a tiny hair crack that made the screw loose..so I drilled one by hand. It works, but I had hoped it's more solid..the plastic is really soft.
 
Sirius 40L 9

 

Upgraded the finder into a vixen finder mount. 

 

The verdict?

After all, it's just another vixen: a scope to go to which do work - and they always will - and you can't get really wrong with it. I think with better materials, the scope is actually good. There are details, but they're misplaced and compromised through.


Edited by Bowlerhat, 08 November 2020 - 05:18 PM.

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#8 memento

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 04:30 AM

Thanks for showing these very detailed photos!

 

A lot of details and the overall finish remind me a lot of my first scope, a Vixen Cygnus 60/800 that was also made by Daiichi Kogaku. All the cheap Vixen scopes of that era (everything below their "Vixen Custom" lineup) seem to be made by them.

 

You just can't beat these sub-60mm refractors for cuteness.


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#9 Bowlerhat

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 04:53 PM

Thanks for showing these very detailed photos!

 

A lot of details and the overall finish remind me a lot of my first scope, a Vixen Cygnus 60/800 that was also made by Daiichi Kogaku. All the cheap Vixen scopes of that era (everything below their "Vixen Custom" lineup) seem to be made by them.

 

You just can't beat these sub-60mm refractors for cuteness.

It is interesting that the 40mm actually one of the model that survives later on as Star-Pal 50L..I feel a bit conflicted-it's made by so much plastic (pretty much everything except the bolts and finder mount), yet there are some details there. If only they're using metal, this is more than adequate design compared to others.


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#10 Kokatha man

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 07:46 PM

...the more I look at anything D-IK - & I knew they supplied Vixen, along with others, of a lot of components - the less I see of anything comparable to my D-IK 80mm f15.

 

The scope per se is superb as imaging attests to...but even though the notion of worm & wheel drives on both axes is commendable & unusual, the EQ mount is so under-engineered that I would never use the ota on the mount intended for it..! I was so disappointed that it still sits un-assembled on one of my work-benches under covers, not being able to find any enthusiasm to finish putting it together...

 

Perhaps someone at the factory said "I've just received a supply of really good 80mm objective lenses, let's make a decent scope of our own branding!" & someone else said "sure, but we've got to use our 50mm scope's mounts!" lol.gif


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#11 Bowlerhat

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 11:39 PM

...the more I look at anything D-IK - & I knew they supplied Vixen, along with others, of a lot of components - the less I see of anything comparable to my D-IK 80mm f15.

 

The scope per se is superb as imaging attests to...but even though the notion of worm & wheel drives on both axes is commendable & unusual, the EQ mount is so under-engineered that I would never use the ota on the mount intended for it..! I was so disappointed that it still sits un-assembled on one of my work-benches under covers, not being able to find any enthusiasm to finish putting it together...

 

Perhaps someone at the factory said "I've just received a supply of really good 80mm objective lenses, let's make a decent scope of our own branding!" & someone else said "sure, but we've got to use our 50mm scope's mounts!" lol.gif

Different size, same case. They put all the focus on the objective.. don't they also supply the takahashi starbase 80? 



#12 memento

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 05:33 AM

The scope per se is superb as imaging attests to...but even though the notion of worm & wheel drives on both axes is commendable & unusual, the EQ mount is so under-engineered that I would never use the ota on the mount intended for it..! I was so disappointed that it still sits un-assembled on one of my work-benches under covers, not being able to find any enthusiasm to finish putting it together...

I have the same mount like you (I think) but my Daiichi Kogaku came as a 60/910. There the mount is adequate, of course.

 

But yes, that was more than a strange decision by them to put a much bigger 80mm refractor on the same mount. I can imagine it's no fun. Maybe you find a 60mm for the mount and re-mount the 80 onto something else? I saw someone setting up a Tasco / Towa 80/1200 on a modern Celestron Goto mount which looked quite nice (despite it being non original) and also surely would be very practical. Thomas



#13 walter a

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 08:01 AM

Here is another example of DK F/20 on a slightly better mount and adjustable height tripod but still a lot of plastic.

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#14 Bowlerhat

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 08:28 AM

Here is another example of DK F/20 on a slightly better mount and adjustable height tripod but still a lot of plastic.

You know they're really cutting costs when they start to label with stickers instead of emboss. That focuser looks the same tbh.



#15 Kokatha man

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 06:22 PM

...don't really know too much about which scopes or parts D-IK supplied to Vixen B/hat...& your sticker comment is apposite - perhaps the fact they put their own name on my 80mm f15 indicated they really were chuffed about it & even the guidescope (40mm f11.25) is excellent, but they still used a sticker I.D. & that mount for a much smaller scope..! lol.gif

 

You'll pardon me if I say that I think the way the mount connects to the ota is diabolical on that little Vixen - Dick Smith, when still selling such stuff had a little 50mm scope that looked almost indentical.

 

Thomas, the shift from 50 or 60mm to 80mm is absolutely dramatic in weight & load/momentum & the reason why I lost interest in restoring the mount. (not much actual work tbh so I should at least put it together again & clear up some bench space!)

 

It sits on an EQ6 where it is very happy btw - as I am when I take it outside! smile.gif

 

I've shown these before but here it...the quality 10:1 Crayford-style, focuser which I got some stick for also - but makes a big difference...first with the original focuser (not bad at all, but can't compete with the replacement) & with the focuser conversion...

 

Dai-Ichi-Kogaku-Finished-otas#2.png

 

Dai-Ichi-Kogaku-Fin#3.jpg


Edited by Kokatha man, 21 November 2020 - 06:27 PM.

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#16 Kokatha man

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 06:25 PM

And on the EQ6...plus a quick grab of Saturn at the worst possible time. (near conjunction, very late & low in the sky)

 

Dai-Ichi-Kogaku-FINAL+EQ6Mount#4.jpg

 

D-IKogakuSat_Q80Nm50_IMG_3766_pipp.png

 

 


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#17 Kokatha man

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 06:29 PM

ps: the other sticker (blue) is from the store in Brisbane (Audio Optical) that originally sold the scope...



#18 Bowlerhat

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 07:45 PM

...don't really know too much about which scopes or parts D-IK supplied to Vixen B/hat...& your sticker comment is apposite - perhaps the fact they put their own name on my 80mm f15 indicated they really were chuffed about it & even the guidescope (40mm f11.25) is excellent, but they still used a sticker I.D. & that mount for a much smaller scope..! lol.gif

 

You'll pardon me if I say that I think the way the mount connects to the ota is diabolical on that little Vixen - Dick Smith, when still selling such stuff had a little 50mm scope that looked almost indentical.

 

Thomas, the shift from 50 or 60mm to 80mm is absolutely dramatic in weight & load/momentum & the reason why I lost interest in restoring the mount. (not much actual work tbh so I should at least put it together again & clear up some bench space!)

 

It sits on an EQ6 where it is very happy btw - as I am when I take it outside! smile.gif

 

I've shown these before but here it...the quality 10:1 Crayford-style, focuser which I got some stick for also - but makes a big difference...first with the original focuser (not bad at all, but can't compete with the replacement) & with the focuser conversion...

 

attachicon.gifDai-Ichi-Kogaku-Finished-otas#2.png

 

attachicon.gifDai-Ichi-Kogaku-Fin#3.jpg

Ah, I meant the sticker as general trend. Early vixens and scopes usually have metal plate or engravings, but on later on everyone start to use stickers and that's also when they start replacing metal with plastics!

 

I believe on that label though! beautiful scope waytogo.gif

If only their scopes are more available..I would love to see through their nagamitsu 60mm f20


Edited by Bowlerhat, 21 November 2020 - 07:49 PM.


#19 Kokatha man

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 09:14 PM

..I would love to see through their nagamitsu 60mm f20

This one, I presume..?

 

ScreenHunter_2212 Nov. 22 12.41.jpg

 

ScreenHunter_2211 Nov. 22 12.38.jpg


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#20 grif 678

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 09:57 PM

These small scopes have captured the hearts of kids at Christmas, they did me. I have a soft place in my heart for these small scopes, do not know exactly why, just do. I just bought a mint condition Skilcraft 60mm refractor from 1969, hardly ever used at all. I fixed the lens inside the tube which just slipped out of its baffle, and now it is good as new, as well as looking as new. Even the box is like new for a 50 year old scope. The two booklets with it are pristine, and the scope is well fitted into its pre-cut styrofoam . I know it is a toy scope, but it is made better than a lot of real scopes made today, hardly any plastic anywhere. I wish I could do pictures, they would be nice to see, showing the condition of this 50 year old scope. A very nice wooden tripod with an altaz mount which looks like the one on the opening post.


Edited by grif 678, 21 November 2020 - 10:04 PM.

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#21 Bowlerhat

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:06 PM

Bingo. Not classic per se...but classic reboot?

 

These small scopes have captured the hearts of kids at Christmas, they did me. I have a soft place in my heart for these small scopes, do not know exactly why, just do. I just bought a mint condition Skilcraft 60mm refractor from 1969, hardly ever used at all. I fixed the lens inside the tube which just slipped out of its baffle, and now it is good as new, as well as looking as new. Even the box is like new for a 50 year old scope. The two booklets with it are pristine, and the scope is well fitted into its pre-cut styrofoam . I know it is a toy scope, but it is made better than a lot of real scopes made today, hardly any plastic anywhere. I wish I could do pictures, they would be nice to see, showing the condition of this 50 year old scope. A very nice wooden tripod with an altaz mount which looks like the one on the opening post.

They look good! and despite the size, it's a real telescope, not a toy. I think it's part of the charm.



#22 memento

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 07:11 AM

Thomas, the shift from 50 or 60mm to 80mm is absolutely dramatic in weight & load/momentum & the reason why I lost interest in restoring the mount. (not much actual work tbh so I should at least put it together again & clear up some bench space!)

 

Your 80mm tube is an awesome refractor, yes.

 

Funny that I once had a 80/1200 which clearly was a Towa tube (Towa 339 / Tasco 10K) but it was originally sold together with a very beefy, heavy-duty Dai-Ichi Kogaku mount!

 

While you have a genuine Dai-Ichi Kogaku 80mm tube that sits on their small mount intended for only 60mm scopes!

 

But if you can find a nice 60/910, then the mount that you've got will be great for it and totally worth the repairs! I totally love it:

 

post-51704-0-01260400-1523743779_thumb.jpeg


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#23 Kokatha man

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 07:19 AM

That's a thought Thomas - I have a couple of 60/900's, a Sears 6333 & a Zemex/Eikow...you've given me a reason to put the mount together & also clear that work-bench..! :waytogo:

 

I've got to say that in looking at that link of yours I wish it had come with that particular mount! 




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