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The Super Polaris Mount in Alt-Az Configuration

Posted by Greg Nowell   05/20/2009 12:00AM

The Super Polaris Mount in Alt-Az Configuration
The Vixen Super Polaris mount, sold with Celestron C8s in the 1980s and early 1990s, was part of a "golden era" when Celestron teamed with both Vixen and Losmandy to turn out first class German equatorial mounts at reasonable cost. Compared to later clones, the Vixen mount features fine machining and smooth movements.

In recent times this fine mount has been selling complete with the highly desirable wooden tripod for as little as $175 on the used market. With Chinese go-to equatorial mounts available for $400 to $500 on the used market, it would seem that the superior machining and control of the Vixen original design is no longer in demand.

Or is it? Unlike its successor, the Great Polaris, the Super Polaris can be set up in alt-azimuth mode. This means you can use it for "quick set ups" for refractors and also take it out for birding and daytime terrestrial use. The little brother of the Super Polaris, known simply as the "Polaris," could be set into alt-az mode simply by raising it in altitude till it pointed straight up. Less well known is that with an Allen wrench the Super Polaris can be moved into the same position. C8s and four inch refractors can easily be used on this mount. With many expensive alt-az mounts selling for hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars, the Vixen Super Polaris is "worth a look" on the used market as a good quality alternative to other alt-az mounts.

I have excerpted instructions on how to set your Super Polaris into alt-az mode. My thanks to my fellow club member Mike Mayer for providing a pdf of the original instruction booklet and letting me know about this option.