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Stop the world, I want to observe!

Why A Drive Set?

The telescope determines what one may see, but it is the equatorial mount head that determines much about how the telescope or other attached payload may be used

Earth by NASA (22,634 Bytes) Earth rotates on its axis at a rate of about one revolution every 24 hours or so, and so celestial objects appear to move across the sky in an arc as the Earth turns. The Equatorial Mount permits one to move a telescope in the opposite direction from that which the Earth is rotating, and with a drive it can move at the same apparent speed as that of the Celestial objects. Telescope drive systems are sometimes referred to as a "Clock Drive" since the earliest mechanical drives were weight driven clock mechanisms modified to rotate only once every 24 hours.

Right: Click image if you wish to see an animated movie of the Earth Rotating.
This is a Quicktime presentation courtesy of NASA, and so your Web Browser should be enabled to view it (3,491,793 bytes).

The equatorial mounts made by Vixen are among the few well made platforms with gear sets that can be turned by hand. And so once the mount is "Pole Aligned" so that its axis of rotation parallels that of the Earth, it is then a simple matter to turn one hand knob causing the mount to move in an arc corresponding to the motion of objects overhead. However many observers find that having to constantly turn a knob to stay on target is distracting. So Vixen has engineered their Super Polaris and Super Polaris DX (both now discontinued), Great Polaris GPE, GP, and GPDX mounts to accept optional drive systems including the SD-1 Single Axis Drive & Corrector, or the DD-1 Dual Axis Drive & Corrector. With this accessory you can walk away from the telescope and come back later to find the telescope still on the target. A drive makes it easier to share the telescope with others during an observing session. And it is possible to start into astrophotography; we have numerous photos on Company Seven's showroom walls taken by our customers with this equipment.

For an observer located in the northern hemisphere celestial objects rise in the eastern horizon, gradually moving in an arc up and right across the sky towards the South, and then continue moving to the right and down towards the western horizon. For those persons "down under" in the southern hemisphere, the motion turns the telescope in the opposite direction. And so the SD-1 and DD-1 provide a switch to permit the operator to select either a clockwise or counter clockwise motion.

Vixen also offer a retrofittable "Go To" computer control system, the "SkySensor 2000". The original SkySensor introduced in its first form in 1984, was the first commercially viable "Go To" open loop computer control system for amateur telescopes. Now the SkySensor 2000 and SkySensor 2000 PC are the vastly refined and improved successor however, the PC version is not sold in the USA.

Drives Controllers and Specifications

Other Components of Vixen Drive Sets


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