Vixen SXW Sphinx Mount with SX-HAL 130 TripodItem#: HN-VIX077
The Vixen SX or SPHINX mount and STAR BOOK hand controller are groundbreaking advancements in high speed, portable GOTO mount technology. The SPHINX is a solid, well built mount that has the look and feel of Vixen quality.
Beginners and seasoned hobbyists will benefit from the portability of the mount, the easy to use controller, the ability to download future upgrades directly to the controller and the versatility of placing a variety of optical tubes on this equatorial mount.
The innovative STAR BOOK hand controller offers astronomical navigation with a large full-color LCD screen! The color screen is a detailed star chart that acts as a navigational and GOTO guide for the mount.
Zoom-In/Out buttons for the color star chart display also control the motor speed. As you zoom in closer to an object on the display screen, the motor speed automatically becomes finer and as you zoom out the motor speed increases to cover larger distances.
Features and menu options are displayed on the large color screen and are easily navigated with simple buttons on the controller. The STAR BOOK is amazingly easy to use and makes the SPHINX available to a wide range of ages and experience levels.
The SPHINX mount comes with the STAR BOOK controller and the retractable counterweight shaft and a 1.9kg (4.2 lb) counter weight. This allows you to use and balance a wide range of optical tubes. When using the mount with heavier optical tubes, additional counterweights are available.
The Vixen STARBOOK Controller - A hand-held personal planetarium
Vixen is known for its amazing quality and high-end performance. But what Vixen has done with their hand-controller simply makes everyone look inadequate. If you have never had the pleasure of seeing the STARBOOK controller in action, get ready for something pretty exciting. There is simply nothing else like it.
Vixen SX Sphinx, Vixen SXD Sphinx and Vixen ATLUX mounts include the powerful STARBOOK hand controller. At first glance you would think it’s a video game device. STARBOOK is an actual map of the night sky on a LCD screen. The Vixen STARBOOK controller features a large 4.7" Color LCD display and is the command center of the Vixen mount. It features simple navigation buttons on each side of the body and are simple to navigate in the dark. Its dimensions are approximately 7.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches and weighs approximately 14 oz. At the bottom of the controller you will find a port for connecting STARBOOK to the Equatorial Mount, a LAN Port for communication with a PC and for firmware updates, and an Autoguider Port.
Setting up the mount with the STARBOOK controller is simple. A cable connects the mount to STARBOOK and when the mount is powered on, you are greeted with the Vixen logo on the STARBOOK screen. Simply enter your observing location (longitude, latitude, local date and time) then store the settings for current and future use. The Mount then needs to be put into the "home" position. Simply point the mount north and the telescope tube west. There are also alignment marks on the mounts body to assist you. From the home position you are now ready to align the telescope with the night sky.
Chart Mode and Scope Mode
Before we begin aligning the mount, its important to know that the STARBOOK controller has two "modes". CHART Mode (the screen menu will change to Blue in color when in CHART MODE) or SCOPE MODE (the screen will change to Red in color with in SCOPE MODE). In both modes the STARBOOK will display a map of the night sky with objects named. A cross hair will show its current pointing location. The difference between CHART MODE and SCOPE MODE is the movement of the cross-hair. In CHART MODE, when moving the directional buttons, you will NOT actually move the telescope you will simply move the cross-hair of the chart on the map to a new location. But when in SCOPE MODE, if you move the cross-hair you actually move the telescope mount to that location.
Alignment of the Telescope
Now that the telescope is in the HOME position and the basic time/location information is stored into STARBOOK, you are ready to align the telescope with the night sky. In CHART MODE, simply locate a known star on the map. You could select Vega for example. Align the cross hairs to Vega on the map and select "GOTO". STARBOOK will now automatically switch to SCOPE MODE and begin moving the telescope to where it thinks Vega is. Simply center Vega in your finderscope, then center in your eyepiece and press "ALIGN". Repeat this process for 2 or more stars. Now that your mount is aligned with the night sky you can use STARBOOK to navigate through the night sky.
The Vixen STARBOOK controller can also be used without the mount. For educational learning of the night sky from indoors or on cloudy evenings, STARBOOK can be powered on without the mount. You can explore the night sky in CHART MODE and begin planning your next observing session.
Dimensions & Specifications
Telescope Accessories Series
Vixen Telescope Mounts
- Cigarette lighter for Sphinx and Skypod mounts
- For nights you don't have access to a wall plug-in
- DC power cord
- 6-foot length
- Powers Sphinx and SkyPod mounts
- Input: 100V~240V AC
- Output: 12V DC - 3A, center pin negative
- Plug: 5.5mm OD / 2.1mm ID / 9.5mm Shank
- Illuminated Scope with 6x Magnification
- Makes polar alignment simple and accurate
- Etched reticules for Northern and Southern Hemispheres
- Unique bubble level design
- Accurate celestrial pole alignments to +/- 15 arc second