High performance Japanese-made observatory-class equatorial mount with Star Book 10 Controller.
The new AXD2 mount is the latest generation of Vixen’s renowned Atlux equatorial mount series. The Atlux Deluxe (AXD) has been engineered to cope with the demands of the most advanced astro photographer. As digital camera resolutions have increased, so has the need for more accuracy and stability in an equatorial mount. The use of multiple high precision bearings, worm gears and drive components mean the AXD2 is perfect for long exposure and very high resolution astro photography.
A new feature to the AXD2 mount, is the PF-L Polar axis scope. This uses a three star alignment process with an adjustable illuminated reticule and now comes as standard with the AXD2 mount. Other new features include the tracking precision. The periodic motion of the AXD2 has been improved from +/- 3.5 arc seconds to a guaranteed tracking rate of +/- 2.8 arc seconds.
Portable but stable
Lightweight but strong A7075 aluminium alloy is used for the construction of the RA and DEC axes on the AXD mount. This material is stronger than titanium but is also 38% lighter. This helps to keep the overall weight of the mount head down to a transportable 25kg.
Extremely smooth slewing and tracking
A total of 21 bearings are used in the mount’s moving parts to help with the smoothness and accuracy of the tracking. Multiple bearings are used in both the RA and DEC axes with a combination of ball and needle bearings offering smooth motion under the highest payloads
Improved RA axis components
The RA axis shaft is 50mm in diameter which is 20% larger than the previous generation Atlux mount and so offers higher payload capability. The brass RA worm gear has 270 teeth which again represents an improvement over the previous generation and means better accuracy in tracking.
Accurate stepper motor control
Stepper motors control the rotation of the gears at all speeds using Vixen’s unique micro-step motion control system. This system delivers 400 pulses per second to the motors and eliminates the need for numerous reduction gears in the motor gear train. As a result, backlash is significantly reduced.
High performance slewing
The stepper motors used in the AXD have sufficient torque to slew a payload of 30kg (66lb) at up to 800x sidereal rate.
Optimised motor positioning
The RA and DEC motors are placed in the lower part of the declination body, following the design that has been so successful in the Vixen SX mount range. This brings the centre of balance of the declination body below the cross-over point of the two axes. As a results, the motors effectively become part of the mount’s counterweight package, reducing the amount of additional counter weight required for a given payload.
Factory-set periodic error correction
Vixen Periodic Error Correction (VPEC) means that each and every AXD is factory tuned with a permanent periodic error correction table stored on the mount’s internal memory. In addition, user programmable PEC can be applied separately to both RA and DEC axes to further improve tracking performance.
NEW! On screen ‘moon map’ function
The latest version of the Star Book TEN firmware includes a ‘moon map’ function. This allows the user to call up an on-screen map of the visible portion of the moon. Major sites of interest on the moon’s surface are highlighted and can be selected for the scope’s GO-TO function.
Polar Scope PF-LPolar axis scope
The polar scope PF-L with built-in dark field illuminator is supplied as standard with the AXD2 mount and is mounted in the RA body. Vixen’s excellent reticle design and precise RA axis/polar scope alignment allow for precision polar alignment. No hour angle setting is required, making set up quick and simple.
|Specifications ||AXD Mount |
|R.A. slow motion axis ||Worm and wheel gears with 270-tooth whole circle micro movement, 135mm in diameter, made of brass |
|DEC slow motion axis ||Worm and wheel gears with 216-tooth whole circle micro movement, 108mm in diameter, made of brass |
|Worm gears ||14.5mm in diameter, made of brass |
|R.A. & DEC. axes ||50mm in diameter, made of A7075 super aluminum-alloy |
|Number of bearings ||21 pieces (6x R.A axis, 4x DEC. axis, 2x R.A and DEC. worm gear shafts, 2x each for the R.A. and DEC. super gears, 3x for the R.A. setting circle) |
|Counterweight bar ||25mm in diameter, Retractable |
|On-sreen R.A display / Setting circle ||10 arc minute increments / 1 arc minute increment with vernier |
|On-sreen Dec display / Setting circle ||2 degrees increments / 10 minutes (0.167 degrees) increments with vernier |
|Polar axis scope ||Pre-installed 6X20mm finder scope, 8 degrees field of view, automatic turning off dark-field illuminator, 3 degrees or less setting accuracy, Battery: CR2032 (supplied for checking purpose), 3 stars alignment (Polaris, delta UMI and 51 Cep for northern hemisphere, or Sigma, Tau and Chi in Octantis for southern hemisphere) with precession correction until the year 2040. |
|Drive motor ||Pulse motors with micro-step motion control (400 pps) |
|Slewing ||Automatic go-to slewing and high precision tracking with STAR BOOK TEN, 800× of sidereal rate at maximum slewing speed |
|Photographic loading weight ||30 kg (Maximum torque load: 750 kg/cm at a point of 25cm from the place where the R.A and Dec axes cross. |
|Power source ||DC12V 0.6 ~ 2.5A |
|Dimensions ||457 x 465 x 152mm |
|Weight ||25kg (55.1lb) without counterweight |
|Counterweight ||7kg (15.4lb) x 1pc |
Star Book 10
The Star Book Ten controller is not available for purchase as a standalone item. It is included only with the AXD mount and is not backwards compatible with the Star Book controller supplied with Vixen’s SX and Atlux mounts. Users wanting GO-TO functionality for their GP series mount can purchase the Star Book S.
This latest generation of Vixen’s computerised GO-TO controller is named Star Book Ten* and has been designed to guide you to a database of more than 270,000 objects in the sky as quickly and easily as possible. The new controller includes many new features as well as a host of updates and improvements to the existing Star Book platform. One of these new features is the so-called “see to” system which shows a preview of a chosen object on the controller screen before the GO-TO sends the telescope to that object.
* The Japanese word “Ten” means “The Heavens”
High resolution TFT LCD screen
The controller has an LED-backlit 5” LCD display with 0.3 megapixel (800x480) wide format resolution. Combined with the onboard 2D graphics acceleration of the Renesas SH7764 processor, this means that Star Book Ten delivers fast and smooth scrolling with clear graphics and text at all zoom levels.
Night vision and deep dimming
The addition of a night vision mode and red keypad backlighting make this a truly observer-friendly controller. The keypad and screen backlight levels can be controlled independently. The LED backlighting of the LCD panel means that the screen can be “deep dimmed” to allow full colour display use whilst protecting the user’s night vision.
This allows the user to start and stop either an imaging or observing session by simply switching the mount off and on again. The hibernate mode works only if the mount is not moved and the two axes are not manually repositioned.
Huge object database
A database of more than 270,000 celestial objects including Messier, NGC, IC objects and the SAO star catalogue is built in and can be searched by name or number. User defined objects including comets and artificial satellites can also be added.
Multiple PEC modes
Whilst Vixen includes an individually adjusted RA PEC at the time of manufacture, the controller allows the user to add an additional layer of mount training data for the RA and DEC axes.
Multiple object tracking rates
The motion of the moon, the sun, planets and comets can all be tracked.
Artificial satellite tracking
Star Book Ten includes data on the most popular artificial satellites including the International Space Station (ISS). Other objects can be added to the database by the user.
Expansion board (optional)
To provide added features for the serious astro photographer, the controller can accept an optional expansion board. This includes a PAL/NTSC video input which can be used to take still or video images to a memory card in the onboard SD card slot. When used with a guide scope and camera, the expansion board provides “closed loop” autoguiding, controlled by the Star Book Ten itself.
|Specifications ||Star Book Ten |
|CPU ||32 bit, 324MHz Renesas SH7764 RISC Processor |
|Display ||5” TFT LCD 0.3 megapixel (800x480) resolution screen with LED backlight |
|Autoguider port ||ST-4 compatible |
|LAN port ||10BASE-T |
|Mount connect port ||D-SUB 9-pin male plug |
|RA & DEC display ||RA: 1 second increment. DEC: 0.1 minute increment |
|Power source ||DC12V (power supplied from the mount) |
|Power consumption ||~0.25W |
|Dimensions ||169 x 154 x 30mm |
|Weight ||400g (14.11oz) excluding cables & expansion unit |
|Celestial object database ||272,342 (SAO: 258997, NGC objects: 784, IC objects: 5386, Messier objects: 109, 7 planets, 1 quasi-planet, the moon and the sun) |
Note 1: Vixen AXD2 mounts are manufactured to order, delivery is typically 6-8 weeks from date of order.
Note 2: All Vixen AXD2 mounts purchased at FLO are covered by a full Vixen-UK two year warranty.