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Really old tracker / mount

Discussion in 'Astrophotography' started by barry13, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi,

    My dad (who has Alzheimer's) has a TeleVue Renaissance 550mm f/5.5 telescope on an old tracker mount.
    edit: it's a "Comet Halley Commemorative" version of the Renaissance.

    The mount/tracker has a couple of Chinese or Japanese characters on it (image below); from what I've read, these trackers were called 'Vixen' and re-branded by Celestron. This one does not say Celestron on it, but looks very similar to a Celestron "SuperPolaris Computer Controlled Mount", which my dad has a brochure on.
    I also found a manual at http://geogdata.csun.edu/~voltaire/classics/vixen/vixen_polaris.pdf ; everything looks the same except for the controller; the one I have has many more buttons and says KYSENSOR and 'Made in Japan'.

    Also, I believe my dad has software on an old laptop to control the tracker with a serial cable; does anyone know what the software would be called so I can try to find it?

    I was originally planning to sell the scope and accessories, but a local dealer said there's a little mold on the edge of the front objective and therefore it has very little resale value, so I'm probably going to keep it. I'm exposing it to sunlight to make sure the mold is dead.

    I'd like to try to use it, but am wondering how to use the controller or where to find the software and docs.

    Thanks,
    Barry

    Tracker label:
    20150301_134757-crop.

    Controller:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    more pics at
    http://dealbert.net/cameras/Telescope/
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  2. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    That looks very interesting!

    I did a bit of googling and found this if it helps:

    http://www.company7.com/televue/telescopes/tv101br.html

    It looks like it's got a standard 2" focuser so you could easily attach a field flattener with a T-Adapter to m43 mount. It looks in great condition and I'm sure it must be possible to disassemble the primary so you can give it a good clean. I'm sure that it would take some great pictures with a bit of TLC.
     
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    It's a Vixen Skysensor.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    That one seems slightly different; mine says f/5.5 and I forgot to mention that it's a Comet Halley Commemorative edition.
    Anyways, probably similar enough... I believe I do have a T->m42 (Pentax screwmount) adapter with it, and I have an m42->mu43 adapter, so I can probably get the camera onto it, haven't tried yet. I'm more interested in getting the tracker working first.

    Thanks!
    Barry
     
  5. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Thanks Ray; I see a matching image of the controller when I search for that; I'll look for docs and software!


    BTW, the guy at the telescope shop said this tracker was too ancient to try to figure out, but I figure if I can find the docs and software, it may be usable. Any opinions?

    Thanks!
    Barry
     
  6. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    It looks like you've got a very good setup there, with equatorial mount and all. Those Go To trackers can be a pain to install and set up in your PC, especially when it's so old, but they don't usually require PC connection and should work standalone, it's just a matter of working out how to set things up via the control. I have a Meade Go To system that's not too old, yet Meade effectively dumped anything and everything to do with the system. That's one reason I wouldn't touch anything made by Meade today, as they don't seem to care one jot about older customers.

    Most of the controllers follow similar patterns, so you could try some of these instructions: http://www.company7.com/library/vixen/notes.html.

    Here's another source: http://www.manualslib.com/manual/336753/Vixen-Skysensor-3s.html?page=3#manual.

    And if you completely hit a brick wall, this site may have a few experts: http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=62570.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  7. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Something I read says the tracker has hundreds of pre-set objects; do these things still work accurately after 20+ years?

    (This is more of a question about the accuracy of the tracker and its calendar, etc. than about the consistency of planetary orbits, etc.)

    Barry
     
  8. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Mine has thousands of objects, I think it might be over 10,000. Yes, it should be accurate once you set time and date, as it then calculates where the objects would be now.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon

    Sorry to hear that Barry.
     
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