View Full Version here: : Vixen Polarie-first light

10-06-2012, 12:14 AM
I bought my Vixen Polarie from OPT in the US, I am sorry to say, several (maybe two ? or more?) months ago, but haven't actually used it till today.

I have seen some discussion regarding this mount on IIS so maybe this report will be of interest

The reason I havent tested the Polaries is mainly because I also have an astrotrac-had that for over a year- and have been still fiddling with that to try and get my workflow optimised.

Obviously I am sucker for small portable mounts that track well and dont need autoguiding

having managed a decent (well I think so) image with the astrotrac a few weeks ago, today I took the Polarie out for a spin,

First power
I used rechargable eveready batteries which I got from Coles. I was expecting 2 hours. I got possibly 3 and a half or possibly four..the mount was stiil going when my camera battery gave up.

secondly tracking
obviously polar alignment is hit and miss. does Sigma Octans actually exist?
still sort of just pointed in the general direction, after finding Sigma Octans with binos. I used an inclinometer to set the latitude though.

I got 30 to 45 seconds without trailing.

I am sure it wont be too hard to push this up to a minute. You need some one to stand next to you with a green laser pointing at the SCP and you can set up in minutes.

Unfortunately tonight I was the only one from our club at the dark site.

So as far as the mount is concerned, I think it tracked exceptionally well despite the rough and ready polar alignment

I stuffed up as usual and didn't image in RAW but captured jpegs.. still trying to figure out how that happened :(

but I imaged for nearly an hour on a couple of targets, and the mount tracked really well.

here is one image-about 55 thirty second image stacked, and a bit of the normall processing in photoshop

overall: am I happy with this purchase?

You bet!

It weighs nothing, works really well, doesn't chew up battery..if I lived in the northern hemisphere and could polar align easily I wouldn't buy another mount !

oh of course it has limitations. It has a load limit-I used the stock canon 18-55 lens which it handled with ease. Big lenses? I don't know. (i don't have any fancy lenses, I use a Borg 45ED with the astrotrac..and I don't think the Polarie is capable of handling even this tiny telescope..got to try one day)

The attached image is with a Canon 550D (stock) with the stock 18-55mm lens. I think this image was at 55 mm at f5.6.

Yep I am happy.

I used a tripod I already had, so didnt have to invest big bucks

I know what I am taking to Cairns in November. :);)

slightly larger image


10-06-2012, 08:23 AM
Great, thanks Narayan!

Mine arrived the other week and I finally put batteries in it and tested it in the house just on Friday :) I haven't had it outside yet, but it seems very easy to setup and use.

I'm planning on taking it to the kimberley and looking forward to seeing how it goes with inaccurate polar alignment. I'll be pointing it roughly south and that's about it :)

It does remind me though, I need to check the latitude for the places we're staying :)

I'll definitely be taking it to cairns too!

Thanks for the report.

10-06-2012, 05:59 PM
Hi Narayan,

Nice pic. :)

It's an absolutely great little product, I'm extremely happy with mine too.
As you hit on I don't know how difficult alignment is in the south but all I have been doing until I get a polar scope is place polaris in the sight hole and at 50mm can get close to 3 minutes worth of an exposure and at 18mm I can get around 5 minutes, unfortunately for me LP is an issue though.

One day once I get the polar scope I'll get around to writing a thorough review but I absolutely adore it.

10-06-2012, 06:43 PM
There was some talk of an adapter for the skywatcher polar scope, but I don't know if that is just talk

A polar scope is most probably useless for the southern hemisphere of course..the astrotrac one I bought -at enormous expense I might add -is useless..I have to drift align to use the astrotrac (though I use I at 240 mm with the Borg 45ed and focal reducer)

I think at 18 mm the Polarie will be very forgiving :)

I don't have anything bad to say about the astrotrac, but if the Polarie can carry a PST, that's a killer app right there.

It's the lack of hassle that i think I will enjoy most?.and the absolute portability, take anywhere benefit.

10-06-2012, 07:08 PM
It was mentioned that an adaptor might be made for the EQ5 polar scope on another forum by a Vixen rep.

...was the exact quote from Pete Gamby, I hope he doesn't mind me repeating it. :)

Still I haven't heard anything more about this yet and it's my birthday in a couple of days so the better half has been informed and I'm optimistic that I'll get one as a pressy.
Again though, it's more of an Northern hemisphere tool I'd imagine.

There is a vid with it being used with a Lunt35 on youtube and it should be able to take a PST, I'll get around to trying it out with mine eventually.

I agree, it's so easy and hassle free and I just got back from Crete with mine it certainly is no burden for packing in luggage.