Recently I have been thinking of upgrading the iOptron ZEQ25 mount to be able to take my other telescope the Astro-Tech 8″ Ritchey Chretien astrograph. Even though it is close to the load capacity of the iOptron, I have read that some people have had success using this combination. Hence I decided that I needed to upgrade the Vixen mount clamp to a Losmandy/Vixen one from ADM. I ordered this through First Light Optics.
The ADM Losmandy/Vixen Dual Mount Clamp kit for iOptron ZEQ25 arrived within a few days of ordering it from FLO.
First impressions were that it was very sturdy but heavy. I have to say that with this clamp mounted onto my iOptron ZEQ25 it certainly is a little heavier to carry about – but still manageable.
Now the first task is to unscrew the 6 Allen screws fixing the Vixen clamp onto the mount. It sounds easy from what I have read online, but it is far from it. Removing the 6 Allen screws was easy, but the clamp was fixed very tightly on the mount that it took tremendous force to get it off – if I knew how hard it would be to remove the clamp, I probably would not have done this upgrade. But since I had bought it, I had to get it done. So alot of muscle went into removing this and after some hammering and pulling, it finally came off. Phew! Sadly I did not take a pic of the mount with that clamp off – I was so relieved that I could not wait to get the new Losmandy/Vixen clamp mounted on – and I ain’t gonna take it off again.
With the fixing puck mounted on via the 6 Allen screws, it is then time to fix the Losmandy/Vixen clamp onto the mount via two further Allen screws.
I have to say that the clamp feels very study indeed and the knobs are easier to turn than the original ones of the Vixen clamp. But as you can see below there were some scratches to the finish of the mount in the corners from where I was struggling to get the original mount clamp off.
Once the new clamp was mounted, I had to redo the tuning of the Dec and RA gears to ensure it fit properly, as per instructions I found on Youtube. Then I had to run the mount in both Dec and RA to get the encoder motors to burn in. And I have to say that it all works nicely now. Sadly somehow my Polar scope illuminating bulb has stopped working, and it will cost over $30 to get this replaced – so I will need to do some DIY and replace this at a much lower cost.
But I am pleased with the new mount clamp, as it means I should be able to use my Astro-Tech 8″ RC scope with it as well. Test and pics to follow when I have a chance to try this out.