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Love my Vixen GP, but...

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#1 GoodAsh

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 07:42 AM

Hey everyone!

I currently am using a TSA120 on the Vixen GP on my wooden balcony. It shakes like crazy when I focus. I don’t want a new mount, I love my GP!! My questions are:

Does the shaking happen because of the mount or the tripod?

Would a 16” extender from Orion help if I collapse the wooden legs?

Thanks in advance!
Al

Edited by GoodAsh, 26 February 2021 - 07:48 AM.

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#2 ChiefMcGeek

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 07:49 AM

More than likely it's your tripod - a set of antivibration pads could take care of that.

The only other thing I can think of is that you're using it on your balcony - there could be a little bit of instability in the supports for that, causing enough wobble for your telescope to notice but not necessarily to the point you yourself would. Try using it at ground level and see if it still shakes! :)


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#3 GoodAsh

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:11 AM

More than likely it's your tripod - a set of antivibration pads could take care of that.

The only other thing I can think of is that you're using it on your balcony - there could be a little bit of instability in the supports for that, causing enough wobble for your telescope to notice but not necessarily to the point you yourself would. Try using it at ground level and see if it still shakes! :)


Yes, I’m ordering the pads today. I’ll have to set up on the parking lot to see. I have used this mount with my FS102 for years without all the jitteriness. I was surprised that the TSA120 would affect it so much. I’m only at 20lbs with the new OTA and accessories.

Al
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#4 earlyriser

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:41 AM

Did you use the mount with the FS102 without problems on your balcony?  My first thought was the source of the vibrations was movement of your balcony, but that should have been there with the FS102.


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#5 GoodAsh

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:49 AM

Did you use the mount with the FS102 without problems on your balcony? My first thought was the source of the vibrations was movement of your balcony, but that should have been there with the FS102.


Yep, same balcony and tripod. Maybe at 20lbs it’s just too much for the mount.

#6 Bean614

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 08:52 AM

Hey everyone!

I currently am using a TSA120 on the Vixen GP on my wooden balcony. It shakes like crazy when I focus. I don’t want a new mount, I love my GP!! My questions are:

Does the shaking happen because of the mount or the tripod?

Would a 16” extender from Orion help if I collapse the wooden legs?

Thanks in advance!
Al

"Would a 16” extender from Orion help if I collapse the wooden legs?"

 

Yes, absolutely!  I use an Orion SVP 16" Extension (and also have the 8" version) on Vixen GP and several of the newer Metal 'clones'.  Works wonders!


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#7 GoodAsh

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:07 AM

"Would a 16” extender from Orion help if I collapse the wooden legs?"

Yes, absolutely! I use an Orion SVP 16" Extension (and also have the 8" version) on Vixen GP and several of the newer Metal 'clones'. Works wonders!


Ok, I’m going to order one of those as well! Thanks.

#8 earlyriser

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 12:08 PM

Yep, same balcony and tripod. Maybe at 20lbs it’s just too much for the mount.

Maybe.  Presuming the TSA120 is longer than the FS102, that can make a difference too.  



#9 GoodAsh

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 01:30 PM

Maybe. Presuming the TSA120 is longer than the FS102, that can make a difference too.


Yes. It’s about 4” longer.

#10 GoodAsh

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:12 PM

Just spent some time with the Sun. I completely collapsed the tripod legs and the shaking is so much better! Of course, I had to sit to observe, pretty sweet. So, I think the 16” pier is going to be great!

#11 Terra Nova

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:24 PM

I have a very solid deck. The posts are a combination of 6”x6” and 4” x 6”. The decking itself is redwood 2x4s, not deck boards. I do a lot of observation on my deck and it’s fine as long as I am seated as is anyone else on it. Still, every time my 25 pound dog would walk across the deck and I was looking throughout the telescope, there would be vibrations. And this is with a heavy mount like a Meade LX70 which is a GP/CG-5 class mount and a tripod with 1.75” steel legs. Same story with my pedestal mount. I got some Celestron anti-vibration pads and that was a total waste of money. They had no effect whatsoever. What I realized is that even with the decking nailed down securely, the long deck boards act just like guitar strings and high frequency harmonic vibrations are very efficiently propagated along them. The only solution is if observing at high magnifications on the deck one needs to remain seated and dogs, cats, and even rabbits (yes we had a 10pound pet rabbit for a number of years) need to be off the deck. The good thing is that the damping time on my deck is quite short, so just look away for a couple of seconds if a person walks across. Animals, on the other hand are often wanting to move around. Especially night when the air is filled with interesting smells.


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#12 GoodAsh

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:24 PM

Switched out to CG4 tripod collapsed...even better!! It has the 1.75” legs. Almost no shake at all. Pier extension plus dampeners, this things gonna be perfect!
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#13 blakestree

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:25 PM

I think you're d

 

Just spent some time with the Sun. I completely collapsed the tripod legs and the shaking is so much better! Of course, I had to sit to observe, pretty sweet. So, I think the 16” pier is going to be great!

I think you're doing good work. I fully-collapse my tripods, whenever possible. And, I encourage others to try it, as well. I miss the convenience of standing, but sitting is a far better posture, for viewing at magnification, not to mention the greater tripod stablity.

 

 

edit:

I even buy the tallest tripods I can, just so I have to extend them less.


Edited by blakestree, 26 February 2021 - 02:56 PM.

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#14 GoodAsh

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:27 PM

I have a very solid deck. The posts are a combination of 6”x6” and 4” x 6”. The decking itself is redwood 2x4s, not deck boards. I do a lot of observation on my deck and it’s fine as long as I am seated as is anyone else on it. Still, every time my 25 pound dog would walk across the deck and I was looking throughout the telescope, there would be vibrations. And this is with a heavy mount like a Meade LX70 which is a GP/CG-5 class mount and a tripod with 1.75” steel legs. Same story with my pedestal mount. I got some Celestron anti-vibration pads and that was a total waste of money. They had no effect whatsoever. What I realized is that even with the decking nailed down securely, the long deck boards act just like guitar strings and high frequency harmonic vibrations are very efficiently propagated along them. The only solution is if observing at high magnifications on the deck one needs to remain seated and dogs, cats, and even rabbits (yes we had a 10pound pet rabbit for a number of years) need to be off the deck. The good thing is that the damping time on my deck is quite short, so just look away for a couple of seconds if a person walks across. Animals, on the other hand are often wanting to move around. Especially night when the air is filled with interesting smells.


Agreed. No one is allowed on the balcony when someone is observing. Also, Lady is no longer with us. Sadness ensues. 17.5 year old Cairn Terrier. She died last year.
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#15 Terra Nova

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:36 PM

^ :sad: ^ So sorry to hear that your dear companion crossed the rainbow bridge. By granddog Buster made the journey early this week. We seldom realize haw very much the little canine critters fill our hearts until they are gone. I’m sorry for your loss.



#16 GoodAsh

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:40 PM

Thanks Terra. I’m sorry to hear about your grand dog. They really are part of our families. Here’s Lady helping me sand Unitron tripod legs.

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#17 GoodAsh

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 06:43 PM

So far...collapsing the tripod legs and adding Celestron anti vibration pads has made a world of difference. Settles with a second now! Just need the pier now (ordered) because looking up at the zenith was a back breaking excercise!! Thanks for everyone’s help here.

Al
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#18 Reid W

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 07:43 PM

Tighten the bolts at the top of the legs where they attach to the tripod head.



#19 GoodAsh

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 08:36 PM

Yes, I did that, thanks! I’m very happy with the result now. The pier is the final puzzle piece and I get to enjoy using my GP for many more years to come!
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#20 PJBilotta

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 02:47 AM

I have switched to a pier extension and SOLID legs - no vibration anymore! Non-telescoping wood legs are rock solid, and can easily be made DIY. I use a set that came with a classic SP-C6 Newt. The pier extension brings the total height up to the perfect level for seated observing with minimal vibration.

#21 GoodAsh

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 09:29 AM

I have switched to a pier extension and SOLID legs - no vibration anymore! Non-telescoping wood legs are rock solid, and can easily be made DIY. I use a set that came with a classic SP-C6 Newt. The pier extension brings the total height up to the perfect level for seated observing with minimal vibration.


Thanks for the tip. Once I get the pier installed I’ll know if the vibration is tolerable or not. I have built tripods before and solid is definitely the way to go!

Al

#22 blakestree

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 09:50 AM

Might I add, you could try weighting your tray and feet. I'll do it sometimes, to lower center of gravity a bit and plant the tripod more, when I get serious.


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#23 alphatripleplus

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 04:51 PM

Just to confirm what others have said : - I have a SP mount with the original wooden tripod, and stability is much improved by collapsing the legs and tightening the bolts at the top of the legs. However, I haven't tested it out on a balcony.smile.gif


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#24 starblue

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 01:55 AM

I'll just note that the payload limit for a GP mount is 16 pounds. Under that it works great. At 22 pounds if you balanced it well it worked OK in still air, but with a breeze blowing it became very wind-prone and shook like jello, and that's with a GP on a wooden tripod at its lowest position on grass. A GP-DX sounds better suited for your bigger scope.


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#25 GoodAsh

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Posted 02 March 2021 - 06:36 AM

I'll just note that the payload limit for a GP mount is 16 pounds. Under that it works great. At 22 pounds if you balanced it well it worked OK in still air, but with a breeze blowing it became very wind-prone and shook like jello, and that's with a GP on a wooden tripod at its lowest position on grass. A GP-DX sounds better suited for your bigger scope.


Yeah, been on the lookout for one. However, since making some improvements, it is way steadier now. Waiting for the pier to come to see how it works. More to come...


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