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Is this a Celestron Super Polaris+ ?

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#1 dwyer2bp

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 02:19 PM

Dear CAT buffs,

 

I recently bought a pair of Celestron SCTs. When picking it up the owner gifted me practically everything they owned, including an old GEM. I setup the GEM once and thought 'yikes'. Then I set it up again and took the time to tighten down some things and actually put the C8 on top and thought it is actually very clean and sturdy. It even has a motor on each RA and DEC axis (each with their own old-school looking connector interface). You can de-clutch those motors and use the slow motion knobs and it seems to work flawlessly.

 

After doing some googling: Is this a Celestron Super Polaris C8? The C8 has no sticker indicating coatings (so there must not be coatings) and even does not have print written on the front ring that keeps the corrector plate in, so I figure this is most likely a "super c8" but I'm not an expert.

 

gallery_308122_16542_2159914.jpg

 

Link to more photos: https://www.cloudyni...per-polaris-c8/

 

Thanks for help ID-ing the scope and mount,

Brian


Edited by dwyer2bp, 12 April 2021 - 02:21 PM.

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#2 Augustus

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 02:26 PM

Yep, SP-C8. 


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#3 Nippon

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 03:49 PM

Second the yep, SP C8


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#4 alphatripleplus

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 04:21 PM

Yes, I have one that is still running.  I have the Vixen SkySensor 2000 Goto system on it instead of the non goto RA and Dec motors.



#5 dwyer2bp

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 04:53 PM

Any idea what these parts are for? They seem to be different versions for mounting a camera. One has a clamp butI don't know what that's supposed to clamp onto.

 

Specimen #1:

gallery_308122_16542_544298.jpg

 

 

Specimen #2:

gallery_308122_16542_1067817.jpg



#6 stomias

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 05:35 PM

I still have a functioning SPC8 bought in 1985. Still works like new. I've enjoyed it immensely....

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Album: LIV
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Edited by stomias, 12 April 2021 - 05:35 PM.

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#7 stomias

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 05:39 PM

Those other parts have nothing to do with the SPC8


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#8 stomias

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 05:39 PM

First one is a car window clamp I believe, the second one is a camera piggyback slo/mo 


Edited by stomias, 12 April 2021 - 05:41 PM.

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#9 photoracer18

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 05:40 PM

Specimen one is for mounting a spotting scope on your partially down car window for traveling. As in bird or wildlife watching.

Specimen two if for getting slow-motion precision on top of a photo tripod, for camera or spotting scope.


Edited by photoracer18, 12 April 2021 - 05:40 PM.

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#10 CHASLX200

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 06:10 PM

Best smaller mount ever made for the money back in the 80's.


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#11 dwyer2bp

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 06:24 PM

I've always wanted to pickup a CG-4 and this seems pretty similar. I was thinking of keeping the mount/tripod for myself and letting the OTA go.

 

I'd rather not separate the OTA from the mount. I did that with my first C8 that was complete on a Celestar mount/tripod and it just had that feeling like separating R2D2 from C3PO. Any idea of a reasonable asking price for this as a package?

 

Thanks everyone for your input.


Edited by dwyer2bp, 12 April 2021 - 06:25 PM.


#12 stevew

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 09:44 PM

Best smaller mount ever made for the money back in the 80's.

True, but in the 80s they weren't cheap..



#13 stevew

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 09:46 PM

I've always wanted to pickup a CG-4 and this seems pretty similar.

Looks can be deceiving.

The Chinese knock offs are not the same as the Vixen Japan quality.


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#14 Nippon

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 10:20 PM

I've always wanted to pickup a CG-4 and this seems pretty similar. I was thinking of keeping the mount/tripod for myself and letting the OTA go.

 

I'd rather not separate the OTA from the mount. I did that with my first C8 that was complete on a Celestar mount/tripod and it just had that feeling like separating R2D2 from C3PO. Any idea of a reasonable asking price for this as a package?

 

Thanks everyone for your input.

That Super Polaris mount is leagues ahead of a CG4. With patience and perhaps a want ad you can find Vixen motors and a controller. The SP and GP share the same motors and controllers. Orion's Skyview Pro goto kit can be adapted pretty easily to a Super Polaris. You would be hard pressed to find a better built mount these days. 


Edited by Nippon, 12 April 2021 - 10:23 PM.

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#15 CHASLX200

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 06:08 AM

True, but in the 80s they weren't cheap..

I paid around $450 for a bare SP mount new in 1986. I added dual axis drives for another $275 soon after.



#16 CHASLX200

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 06:09 AM

Looks can be deceiving.

The Chinese knock offs are not the same as the Vixen Japan quality.

I had the very first CG5 and 4 mounts in 1997 and they were rude and crude. What a big let down they were with the small tripod legs.



#17 PJBilotta

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 11:16 PM

I have the exact same scope with motors and controller. The Super Polaris mount is such a joy to use - simple, silky smooth motion, lightweight, yet sturdy. It makes a C8 a grab-and-go scope!
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#18 alphatripleplus

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 07:05 AM

Yes, I have one that is still running.  I have the Vixen SkySensor 2000 Goto system on it instead of the non goto RA and Dec motors.

I would also add that for visual with the C8, the mount is adequate. I prefer using a bigger mount for EAA or imaging with that scope though.


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#19 gnowellsct

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 07:48 AM

Looks can be deceiving.
The Chinese knock offs are not the same as the Vixen Japan quality.


What he said. The super Polaris is a very high quality lightweight mount for small apertures. It can handle a 4-in refractor or a c8.

I have one of the ultra rare super Polaris mounts with motors in both right Ascension and dec. I don't think I've used it in 10 years but I can't bring myself to cut loose of it.

The main defect is that you have to constantly release and then retighten the clutches. There are mounts out there where you don't have to do that.

There is hardware out there for putting on digital setting circles.

My c8 is vintage 2016 and it is one of my most frequently used instruments along with the c14 and several different apos from 3 to 5 in. I use it on a g11 with a 92 mm refractor on top.

I forgot to mention that one of the reasons I don't bother selling my super Polaris is that they are in my view very underpriced on the used market because they are not go to. The super Polaris is a lean design which brings smooth capability and simplicity to people who like to observe on an equatorial mount.

However, it is not generally known, but if you point the dec axis straight up you can use it as an alt az mount.
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#20 gnowellsct

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 12:29 PM

Instructions for alt-az on astromart


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#21 dwyer2bp

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 02:50 PM

I will be trying the alt-az setup too. I have found a replacement pin for one of the counterweights so I can properly use the mount with the C8.

 

I saw ADM has a saddle for this mount too so I can stick with the V dovetail. I put out an ad on CN for one.


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#22 telesonic

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 09:29 PM

The old Vixen Super Polaris is a great classic mount, no doubt about it, at all. They were probably Vixen's best at the time, maybe other than the GPDX IIRC.

 

I have 1 and 3/4 SP's. One has been my main use mount for a few years, and I bought another one minus legs and hub / polar scope for parts if ever needed.

 

There are a few things to note about the SP I've learned from other folks on here, and some through trial and error myself:

 

1.) Sometimes you will get one of these, and it will have a bent worm gear - it's fairly common, if you have one of the rigid slow-motion stalks on it... and bang it on a door, or anything like that, it will bend. They are brass, and fairly soft. Just beware, in case you want to add a stepper motor to it later. A bent gear is no fun when trying to add a stepper and it's gears / clutches, but it's usually no big deal if just using the manual slow motion controls.

 

2.) Stepper Motors -  there are two versions of these, the older one being a 5 pin and the newer ones are an 8 pin. 5 pins are usually called MD-5 and 8 Pin ones are MT-1. Also, there were a few different controllers based on the pinout. There were also a few different ratios on the steppers themselves..... all in all, it's a very lengthy ordeal - but most of this can be researched on the internet.

 

A.) If you get a controller and motor setup for one of these (they can be found on the classifieds here) they are center negative on the power adapter. Make note, and don't let the magic smoke escape.

 

B.) There are still companies (last I checked) that can build drive systems for these mounts. One is AWR in the U.K. and I think there is another, but I don't recall the name.

Sidenote ~ I had AWR build a dual axis controller for my SP and 1/300 OEM steppers a few years ago. Kinda pricey, but worth it.

 

3.) As gnowellsct noted in post #19 which, BTW is a very good post! bow.gif

Yes, you can get hardware for DSC's, it's definitely out there. I put a New old Stock set on my SP, totally worth it! (if you'd like the name, PM me.... as he is retired and may still have some in his inventory.)

 

As long as you don't hang a ton of weight on it, you'll be fine. I'll admit that I do have a Go-To CG-5 that I enjoy, but the simplicity of steppers with a good DSC setup works just as well, maybe if not better. Way better if I want to Keep it Simple Stupid.

 

My SP usually hangs out on it's stock wooden tripod, for quick sessions. But, I did like it so much that I built a pier for it, and bought another for spare parts. Oh, and if you email Brian at Vixen.... you may be able to get a newer Polar Scope reticle for it. One from a GP or whatever newer model they had a few years ago will fit. I did it to mine also. (actually my avatar picture at the moment.)

 

 

So that, my friends, is my longwinded experience with the Vixen Super Polaris. It's not the definitive on it, just sharin' some knowledge.

 

Cheers,

T

 

 

Polar scope reticle:

 
Vixen SP polar finder replacement reticle test

 

SP on the yard pier:

 

Yard Pier

 

 


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#23 jurdea

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Posted 23 April 2021 - 08:22 PM

The Super Polaris is fully upgradeable to a GoTo mount and at a reasonable price.  Check out AstroGadget.com for their Super Polaris package which is available for less than $300 including shipping.  I went that route and have had several enjoyable sessions with the newer unit.  The installation was not difficult although I did a few simple mods to the kit with a file to make sure the motors would not come loose with time.  The new stepper motors drive the worms through toothed belts and have proven to be reliable and accurate.  Each motor is plugged into a controller which is wirelessly interfaced to the SynScan app which I run off of an Android tablet.

 

An old dog has learned some new tricks....

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#24 akvik

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Posted 24 April 2021 - 08:52 AM

Dear CAT buffs,

 

I recently bought a pair of Celestron SCTs. When picking it up the owner gifted me practically everything they owned, including an old GEM. I setup the GEM once and thought 'yikes'. Then I set it up again and took the time to tighten down some things and actually put the C8 on top and thought it is actually very clean and sturdy. It even has a motor on each RA and DEC axis (each with their own old-school looking connector interface). You can de-clutch those motors and use the slow motion knobs and it seems to work flawlessly.

 

After doing some googling: Is this a Celestron Super Polaris C8? The C8 has no sticker indicating coatings (so there must not be coatings) and even does not have print written on the front ring that keeps the corrector plate in, so I figure this is most likely a "super c8" but I'm not an expert.

 

gallery_308122_16542_2159914.jpg

 

Link to more photos: https://www.cloudyni...per-polaris-c8/

 

Thanks for help ID-ing the scope and mount,

Brian

Nice - I have the exact same setup - bought it used and very happy with it!



#25 gnowellsct

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Posted 24 April 2021 - 07:09 PM

Dual axis motors on an SP are scarce as hen's teeth due to the need for a special bracket to hold the dec motor in place.  

 

Don't sell off this Super Polaris thinking you'll be able to get one back with dual axis motors.

 

All that said, I haven't used my SP in years because the G11 just is so much nicer.  It doesn't take much longer to set up, if at all, and having to fidget with all those clutches gets really annoying after awhile.  

 

There are two sets of clutches, one to slew the mount long distances, and the other on the motors to use the paddle control.  So that's four clutches.    

 

A very well made light duty mount and if you get used to it, it's great.  But it's hard to go back to those clutches once you've tasted life without them.

 

Greg N


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