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Celestron Vibration Pads

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#1 GOLGO13

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 09:37 PM

I've used Celestron branded vibration pads for well over a decade. Almost everytime I use them vibrations go from a second to near nothing. And this has worked for near every mount/scope combination I've ever used.

 

Often I've heard of people saying it doesn't work for them. I can't understand that. As long as they are real made with Sorbothane I would think they should work very well for everyone.

 

So helpful for high power planetary observations.

 

What say you CN folks?


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#2 Jethro7

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 10:04 PM

Hello GOLGO13,

I use the Losmandy vibration pads. I can tell you that they do work for me in three ways. First, damper vibrations. Second, keeping the tripod legs from sinking into the ground throwing off my alignments. Third, mine glow in the dark and that keeps me from accidently tripping over the tripod legs. If I had to guess, the reason they dont work for some is that their mounts are not really stable to begin with and so the vibration pads really do not make much of a difference.

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


Edited by Jethro7, 05 August 2021 - 10:05 PM.

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#3 fcathell

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 10:28 PM

I've used them for over 30 years.  Work great. If I'm not mistaken, these were designed by Kevin Medlock of one of the San Francisco area astronomy groups many years ago.  This guy was very innovative with astronomy equipment and endeavors. 

 

Frank

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#4 KJL

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Posted 05 August 2021 - 10:43 PM

Often I've heard of people saying it doesn't work for them. I can't understand that. As long as they are real made with Sorbothane I would think they should work very well for everyone.

I’m almost certain those critics are running tripods with legs that splay outwards without a central support (like a typical photo tripod) and viewing on concrete, asphalt, wood, or other hard and semi-smooth surface.

In those conditions, the hard body of a Celestron-type footer is slippery and greatly exacerbates the ability of the tripod to dampen vibrations.

In fact, in that (rather common) situation, the footers actually dramatically increase vibrations.

Only when the forces on the tripod feet are more-or-less vertical (no tendency to splay) do the Celestron pads work well.

This is why I use Sorbothane pads that are sticky on BOTH sides under my photo tripods.

Edited by KJL, 05 August 2021 - 10:44 PM.

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#5 vtornado

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 11:50 AM

I have not experimented too much, but I know on hard surfaces they help.  Less if you are setup on softer dirt.

 

I also think it depends upon where the origin of  your mount's shakyness originates.

If your mount head is loose or weak, for example some of those one armed mounts, then the

majority of the shakes may be in the flexion of the mount head and not the tripod / ground interface.

 

I assume wooden legs are helped less than steel legs.

 

For a video camera on a 5 ft tripod on a hard floor, zoomed all the way in I have found that block of wood with high density foam glued on the underside, helps reduce the jitters.  I'm sure the anti-vibration pads would work but they are not in the budget.


Edited by vtornado, 06 August 2021 - 11:51 AM.

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#6 Dennis_Oz

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 10:28 PM

Some years ago, I performed a series of practical tests to determine the effectiveness of using a set of Celestron vibration suppression pads (VSP's) to:
i. better understand how they perform and;
ii. measure their contribution in suppressing vibrations for visual observing.

 

Test Approach:
Cause a tennis ball, suspended on a fixed length of string, to strike the focuser under controlled conditions and estimate the amplitude of displacement caused by the mechanical strike and record the time to reduce any vibrations to zero amplitude.
I set up the test equipment in my garage to ensure that any breezes, or gusts of wind, did not pollute the experiment.

 

Test Equipment:
• Vixen GP-DX GEM.
• Vixen ED102S f9 refractor.
• 100mm focuser extension tube.
• Vixen GA-3 illuminated guider (built-in 3x Barlow, 6 concentric circles)
• Vixen 10mm Plossl.
• 3.9kg dec shaft weight.
• Orion Optics (UK) pier with adjustable feet. 1.1m long. Feet are terminated with metal plates that are slightly smaller than the VSP central pad.

 

OTA/mount configuration:
• Dec shaft was horizontal.
• OTA was horizontal.

 

Testing Surface:
• Concrete floor.

 

Target Light Source:
• Red LED approx. 25 metres away.

 

Mechanical OTA Striker:
• Lawn tennis ball suspended on a piece of string 30 inches long. The ball was pushed back with my extended arm, to a fixed marker, then let go to strike the focuser tube with a single hit to produce a reasonably consistent and repeatable striking force.

 

Timer:
• A kitchen LCD timer with press to stop/start button.

 

Test Conduct:
• A fixed red LED was observed in a Vixen ED 102mm f9 refractor field of view, using an illuminated reticule, (6 concentric circles), whilst a tennis ball suspended on a fixed length of string was made to strike the focuser under controlled conditions.
• The tennis ball was made to strike the focuser by releasing it from a measured, consistent height.
• The initial set up involved acquiring the red LED in the GA-3 illuminated guider, with a 10mm Plossl eyepiece, positioning he LED at the centre of the field of view of the telescope.
• The illuminated reticule has 6 concentric circles.
• The largest illuminated reticule circle (6) was visible just inside the edge of the field of view.
• When the focuser was struck by the tennis ball, the initial LED displacement was out to circle 5.
• The first measurement to be taken was when the LED's displacement amplitude decayed wholly to within circle 4.
• The second measurement to be taken was when the LED image ceased all movement.

 

Test Measurements:
Two measurements were taken for each tennis ball strike of the focuser.
• Measurement 1 - the time for the LED image to stabilise within circle 4 of the illuminated reticule was recorded.
• Measurement 2 - the time for the LED image to become completely stationary was recorded, i.e. nil displacement in the eyepiece field of view.

 

Test Results:
Without VSP's:
• Measurement 1 - Five separate strikes; LED image stabilized with circle 4, after 3 seconds had elapsed.
• Measurement 2 - Five further strikes; LED image came to rest after 6 seconds had elapsed.

 

With VSP's Fitted:
• Measurement 1 - Five separate strikes; LED image decayed to inside circle 4, after less than 1 second had elapsed.
• Measurement 2 - Five further strikes; LED image came to rest within 1 second, i.e. the LED returned to its stationery position in one second, without oscillating within circle 4 as previously.

 

Results:
• Based on 20 individual strikes, and within experimental error, the VSP's had no discernible effect on the amplitude of the displacement.
• However, the VSP's significantly reduced the dampening times.
• Timing measurements relied on hand/eye co-ordination to start/stop the timer.

 

Best regards

 

Dennis Simmons


Edited by Dennis_Oz, 06 August 2021 - 10:29 PM.

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#7 vtornado

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 11:28 PM

My experiment was done on a wood deck, not as precise as yours I "flicked" the focuser with a finger

and used a stopwatch to record the time it took for the image in the scope to settle.

The mount was a az3 mount with aluminum channel legs,with a 100mm f/10 refractor.

IIRC settle time was around 6 seconds.   When I replaced the aluminum legs with wood legs

it was 4.  vsps and wood legs took it down to 2 or 3.


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#8 GOLGO13

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 07:27 AM

Yeah, I just do high power planets and give the scope a nudge. The other day it was on a deck with my 76mm on the Vixen AP mount with the lighter legs it has. 1 second at 160x without any pads. Almost no seconds with the pads. Amazing. I've had these results over and over on many different scope and mount combinations. Love them!!

#9 epdreher

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 07:37 AM

Better than the Celestrons and far cheaper.  No sliding problems, even with metal feet on a pebble-textured concrete surface:

 

https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

scope1.jpg


Edited by epdreher, 07 August 2021 - 07:43 AM.

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#10 Nippon

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 09:13 AM

I bought my first set for a Celestron Nexstar 8SE and they helped a great deal. But I have found with the tripods for my Vixen GPD2, which is wood, and my Vixen Sphinx SXW's HAL 130 they actually make the set up less steady. The reason is the mount feels like it's on sponges. They are great for undermounted scopes but not so much for a sturdy mount and tripod.



#11 GOLGO13

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 10:44 AM

Better than the Celestrons and far cheaper.  No sliding problems, even with metal feet on a pebble-textured concrete surface:

 

https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

attachicon.gifscope1.jpg

Bold claim, but I will put them to the test. And if nothing else I can use them on the washing machine.


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#12 epdreher

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 10:51 AM

I own both these and the Celestrons.  Not just a claim, but experience using both of them with my wife’s AVX.



#13 GOLGO13

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 10:58 AM

I own both these and the Celestrons.  Not just a claim, but experience using both of them with my wife’s AVX.

I wonder how the cork vs rubber versions do? I got the cork for now.



#14 epdreher

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 12:14 PM

These are hybrids.  I think it's ideal.  I've risked a few subs seeing if my walking around the tripod caused any problems while watching PHD2 graphs.  If walking softly, I saw nothing at all.  Intentionally heavy, there was some reaction but likely not enough to lose the sub.



#15 Kevin_A

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Posted 09 August 2021 - 08:01 PM

I tested them out and on a light mount they worked great but a heavy mount not so good. It depends on the weight as sorbathane comes in different load rating hardness versions. 



#16 Kutno

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Posted 10 August 2021 - 05:33 PM

I've used Celestron branded vibration pads for well over a decade. Almost everytime I use them vibrations go from a second to near nothing. And this has worked for near every mount/scope combination I've ever used.

 

Often I've heard of people saying it doesn't work for them. I can't understand that. As long as they are real made with Sorbothane I would think they should work very well for everyone.

 

So helpful for high power planetary observations.

 

What say you CN folks?

 

They work for me, too.



#17 DJL

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Posted 11 August 2021 - 09:06 PM

I had these on my wish list until I watched this video from James Lamb: https://youtu.be/FSxuVPmB_-k

 

Short version - damping can reduce the amplitude of the vibration but increase the length, which would not be good for AP.


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#18 darkandstormynight

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 05:08 PM

Very cool video DJL. Sounds like damping pads are useful for visual. For AP, the image at 14:00 suggests damping pads should make no difference at very large image scales, would be detrimental at intermediate image scales, and would still be helpful at very small image scales where excursions are greater than the size of a pixel even with the stiffer setup. I guess the results would also vary by the initial force of the wind gust.

 

What I don’t understand is why the theoretical considerations and the graph generated by the simulation are not consistent with Dennis_Oz' real world observation of no change in amplitude. Maybe his setup with the reticle and an LED at 25 meters is geared towards visual observation and wouldn’t detect a difference on the scale of a few microns?



#19 Dennis_Oz

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 06:20 PM

Very cool video DJL. Sounds like damping pads are useful for visual. For AP, the image at 14:00 suggests damping pads should make no difference at very large image scales, would be detrimental at intermediate image scales, and would still be helpful at very small image scales where excursions are greater than the size of a pixel even with the stiffer setup. I guess the results would also vary by the initial force of the wind gust.

 

What I don’t understand is why the theoretical considerations and the graph generated by the simulation are not consistent with Dennis_Oz' real world observation of no change in amplitude. Maybe his setup with the reticle and an LED at 25 meters is geared towards visual observation and wouldn’t detect a difference on the scale of a few microns?

Good question. My tests were performed with the gear as shown in the attached photo, but in my garage at home and not at the photo location.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Vixen GP DX Mount at Astrofest.jpg

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#20 vtornado

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 07:15 PM

Hmmm from an energy transfer paradigm how does this work?

 

There have been posts here including my own about "thumping" the scope and waiting for it to settle down.

 

With the energy transfer concept I am adding some energy into the telescope.

 

What happens in two scenarios when a "thump" is imparted onto the optical tube,

given two medium weight scopes like a 100-120mm refractor.

 

A.  Super solid  mount and the dampening time is close to zero.

B.  Rickety department store scope that shakes like a leaf for 10 seconds.

 

What is happening to the energy in both scenarios? 

Is the energy simply not transferred to scope in A and is reflected back into the thumper? (small energy transfer)

Is the frequency of the vibration of so high A that the magnitude of the amplitude is not noticed?

 

How does the addition of vibration pads effect the system? 


Edited by vtornado, 13 August 2021 - 07:16 PM.

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#21 darkandstormynight

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 08:27 PM

My assumption is that the vibration pads absorb the kinetic energy and convert it to heat, but I’m no engineer and that’s a total guess.



#22 Spikey131

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 08:29 PM

I use them with the AZ Mount Pro with a C8 and NP101.  I recently mentioned this in a related thread and was laughed down by at least 2 experienced astronomers who considered them bupkus.

 

But my experience confirms Dennis’s excellent testing:  they do work to reduce dampening time and as such help with high magnification work, especially with double stars.  They are a relatively inexpensive method to improve mount stability.


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#23 darkandstormynight

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 08:44 PM

I have a set of the Celestron pads and for visual they clearly reduce settling time on my rig. Just ordered a set of the ones epdreher recommended in post #9.



#24 GOLGO13

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 09:00 PM

I use them with the AZ Mount Pro with a C8 and NP101.  I recently mentioned this in a related thread and was laughed down by at least 2 experienced astronomers who considered them bupkus.

 

But my experience confirms Dennis’s excellent testing:  they do work to reduce dampening time and as such help with high magnification work, especially with double stars.  They are a relatively inexpensive method to improve mount stability.

I find a lot of "experienced" astronomers have never tried things they put down. That is annoying.

 

Simple to try of course. Literally every time I've used them they have made a huge difference if I have any vibration at the eyepiece. When I get a chance I will try the cheap pads suggested on Amazon. They seem promising, but have not had a chance to try them.



#25 Dennis_Oz

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 10:20 PM

I think that some of the variation in results can be attributed to the mechanical "weakness" in my set up, where the pier is sort of fixed at the bottom, but unconstrained at the top, so any significant force applied at the top end will more easily contribute to a deflection compared to a tripod, with a much wider base and little vertical extension.

 

Also, there is a long moment arm with the Vixen refractor and this will magnify any knocks or wind gusts.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis




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