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Vixen Porta II Alt-Az Mount # 5863

4.6 (10 Reviews) Read Reviews Write Review
Brand Vixen Optics
Part Number 5863
Availability available

Product Info

Manufacturer Description

The Porta II is a solid altazimuth mount with a 20lb payload capacity and features Slow Motion Flexible Handles to minimize vibrations and keep your view sharp. This is very useful in searching and tracking celestial objects. The Sky at Night says: "When moving the telescope around the sky with this mount, we found any vibrations quickly dampened down. The whole system was very stable, even when the tripod was at its maximum extended height"*. The mount head is easily removed to allow for a switch to a heavier tripod. In addition, this is a great mount for terrestrial viewing. With no locks or clutches, our gear drives make it a simple matter to precisely track a planet or a ship on the horizon by turning the elevation and/or azimuth control handles. The Porta II Mount features slow motion control of both axes, solid central bolt for easy tripod change, flex handles and accessory tray.

The “World-Standard” dovetail attachment system on PORTA II was developed by Vixen. This allows the PORTA II to accept various dovetail mounted optical tubes and binoculars.

Specifications:

  • Mount: Port II Altazimuth Mount
  • Tripod: Aluminum 2 section adjustable; 35.4" to 51" (90cm to 130cm)
  • Mount Weight: 15 lbs including tripod
  • Load Capacity: 20 lbs
  • Vertical and Horizontal Slow Motion: 120 Tooth Wheel Gears whole circle movement; Friction control system
  • Telescope Attachment: Dove Tail Plate
  • Accessories: Flexible Slow Motion Handles (2), Accessory Tray, Tool Kit

Reviews

4.6 (Based on 10 Reviews) 100% of reviewers recommended this product.
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    1. Dave In Vermont

      Dave In Vermont Well-Known Member

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      User Notes:
      Review by David F.
      1484739083
      Jan 18, 2017

      4.0 The Vixen Porta II Mount

      Pros:

      Cons:

      Comments:

      The fact that it has the cable-controls is what allows me to state - this Alt/Az leaves it's closest relative back in the weeds. It's perfect for my Solar-Sytem-designated telescope - a 150mm F/12 Maksutov - easily used at the Maks' best characteristics - high-magnification - without distractions from vibration.

      All around perfect for me!

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    2. Guest

      Skill Level
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      User Notes:
      Review by Errol
      1482973527
      Dec 28, 2016

      5.0 The finest Mount I've ever used

      Pros:

      Cons:

      Comments:

      This is the finest Mount I've ever used. I purchased the Meade Infinity 102mm Refractor Telescope back in June of 2016 but I did not really like the performance of the mount which was supplied with the Meade telescope because of its limitation to keep resetting the Alt AZ slow motion controls to restart all over again and also the weight of the Telescope which caused a lot of vibrations because of the weight of the scope and its accessories like the very heavy zoom eyepiece I own and also since I upgraded the rack and pinion focuser for the GSO 2" Crayford Focuser for Refractors - Dual Speed (with 96.6mm Telescope Adapter) I also upgraded with a 2" mirror diagonal which altogether makes it very heavy.

      I saw the Vixen 5863 Porta II Mount at a reduced price of $249.00 and decided to gift myself one for this 2016 Xmas season. I purchased it right here on the AgenaAstro website.
      I setup the Mount and did some final adjustments and also to get the feel of the movements by swinging it left to right, right to left, up down and down up. I also tried out the slow motion controls using the slow motion control knobs for both horizontal and vertical movement and I was quite impressed by this little beast.

      I now took out my Meade Infinity 102mm Telescope and set it up using the same dovetail that is attached to the telescope and hooked it up to the Porta II Mount. It fitted perfectly and I was absolutely satisfied with the fit.

      The Vixen 5863 Porta II Mount when fully extended is approx 56-1/4" vertical i.e. from ground to the very top.
      The slow motion control knobs: One is short approx 5-3/8" and the other is a bit longer approx 9-1/2" long all plastic.

      Details of the slow motion knobs, I don't like them period so what I did was removed the Meade slow motion knobs and used them on the Vixen 5863 Porta II Mount. Those Meade knobs are way superior to the one supplied with the Vixen 5863 Porta II Mount and it fitted perfectly.

      The WORM DRIVES are the best I ever used for fast free swing or for slow motion movement. What you have to do is to just take a little time and patience and with the supplied Allen wrench (2) under the rubber cover on the base of the mount, tighten or loosen to suit how firmly you need it so it will have perfectly smooth movement. So far I've not had any backlash with it, it slews at the finest turn of the slow motion controls either way back and forth or up and down.

      There are two screws on the top of the mount to attach the telescope. One of them is a dovetail lock knob and the other is a safety screw. In the event while slewing you make a mistake in the dark and turn the dovetail lock knob you will still have the safety screw to hold the telescope in place so it will not fall off, I love that feature, it's good design by the manufacturer.

      The tray is not all that bad but could be better. It's circular and approx 7-1/8" in diameter. The Meade tray is better but it cannot fit on this mount.
      The Tripod legs are strong and made of Aluminum. Seems they've since removed the Japanese manual and now replaced with the English manual.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    3. Guest

      Skill Level
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      Time with Product
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      User Notes:
      Review by poogi of Woodbridge, NJ.
      1257638400
      Nov 7, 2009

      4.0 Sturdy and lightweight grab and go mount

      Pros:

      Strong Construction,Compact

      Cons:

      Comments:

      Lightweight so you can just grab it and set it up quickly. If you were to purchase the motor kit from JMI it would be the perfect little set that could. The mount gears are smooth and stable, the tripod sturdy yet lightweight. Easy to set up and use, great item. You could use this mount for any type of scope --refractor, reflector, or SCT. People pleaser and built to last.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    4. Guest

      Skill Level
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      Time with Product
      Unknown
      User Notes:
      Review by richsvt of Boston, MA.
      1249689600
      Aug 7, 2009

      5.0 Vixen Porta

      Pros:

      Light weight,Compact,Strong Construction,Accurate

      Cons:

      Comments:

      Was looking for a light weight mount for my 80ED scope as a grab and go set-up. Had a GEM and was too cumbersome. The Porta is just the right size and weight. Love the mechanicals. Very smooth and easy to operate right of the box. Handles the scope weight(with 2" EP and diagonal) without blinking. Very easy to put in my car and travel to dark sites. I can carry my scope in one hand and the mount in the other without breaking a sweat. This is now my primary mount. I added flexible controls to help reach easier.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    5. Guest

      Skill Level
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      Time with Product
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      User Notes:
      Review by Kopernic of Beach Lake, PA.
      1249516800
      Aug 5, 2009

      5.0 Finally! A capable and versatile alt-az

      Pros:

      Compact,Strong Construction

      Cons:

      Comments:

      I love richest-field type telescopes. I loathe the heavy, cumbersome equatorial mounts that are standard equipment with almost any telescope. For a long time, there has not been much real choice in a simple, alt-az mount for a medium size refractor. Dobsonian type mounts aren't really suitable, and the standard generic alt-az mount was taxed at more than about 3 lbs. Vixen set about to remedy this situation, and to my way of thinking, they have hit a home run. The Porta is light and easy to use, yet capable of a "5 Kg" load, which is exactly my 120st refractor and 50mm finder scope. It moves with a light touch and stays there until moved again. The slow motion is continuous - you never run out of gear travel- and very smooth. You can actually track motion at 150X. The ideal mount should also be easy to set up, and stable. Check and check again. I can't think of anything I would like to change.This is not the cheapest alt-az on the market, but it's the most worth buying. Vixen's mount is a real winner.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    6. AstroGuy1

      AstroGuy1 New Member

      Skill Level
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      Time with Product
      Unknown
      User Notes:
      Review by zardoz66 of Illinois.
      1243036800
      May 22, 2009

      5.0 Vixen Porta Mount close to perfection

      Pros:

      Easy operation,Light weight,Smooth

      Cons:

      Slo-Mo controls are cheap

      Comments:

      The Vixen Porta Mount is an excellent grab and go mount. How do I know? After using all kinds of mounts I really do find myself grabbing and going with this. I have used an 80mm APO Refractor and a 5" Mak-Cass and it handles both very well. The motion is smooth in both directions and the darn thing is just easy to use. The mount itself weighs in at 12 pounds and it can handle about 11 pounds more before getting unstable. For the price you can't go wrong with this one!

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    7. AstroGuy1

      AstroGuy1 New Member

      Skill Level
      Unknown
      Time with Product
      Unknown
      User Notes:
      Review by Joplin of South Carolina.
      1241827200
      May 8, 2009

      4.0 A Very Portable Alt-Az Mount

      Pros:

      Easy to use,Well thought mount,Great for scopes 10lbs

      Cons:

      Cheap accessory tray,Cheap slow motion knobs

      Comments:

      I own a Vixen 80mm fluorite refractor that has been my favorite quick look telescope for about 5 years. I use it often in my yard where there are many trees that have to be avoided and setting up then aligning an equatorial mount is too much trouble. I wanted a mount that would be light yet reasonably stable and much easier to set up. My ideal mount for these quick looks would be of an alt-az design with slow motion controls for high power viewing and a dovetail system to allow quick attachment. I settled on the Vixen Porta alt-az mount, which offers all of these features

      I've been impressed with the performance of the Porta Mount. It is under 12 lbs. and easy to carry out the front door with or without a scope attached. Setup is a breeze and only the plastic accessory tray needs to be removed to fold up the mount. Both axes are easily adjusted to the right amount of friction using the handy allen wrench stored under a rubber cover on the mount. Motions are smooth with little stiction and there is no slipping out of position once the scope is aimed. Balance is more forgiving than with other small alt-az mounts I'e used. I can switch from a 4 oz. eyepiece to a much heavier 1 lb. eyepiece and the scope stays on target. The slow motion movements are very accurate and smooth so it is easy to track and re-center objects at high power. The stability of the mount is excellent with damping times of 2 seconds at 175x (I should note that my 80mm weighs about 8 lbs. including " diagonal, finder, and eyepiece.)

      The aluminum tripod included with the Porta mount is well suited to a mount of this size and provides reasonable stability if the legs are not fully extended. If the legs are fully extended they wiggle too much. This may become a problem with longer refractor telescopes since the eyepiece position may end up being very low. In the case of my 80mm, the balance point is very near the focuser so this is not a problem. The Porta mount uses 3 socket head cap screws to attach the tripod to the mount rather than the single bolt that the Great Polaris series uses.

      There are a couple things about the mount that could have been made better. The slow motion knobs appear to have metal shafts but they are actually one piece of molded plastic with metal reinforcement inside, and simply push onto the mount. The fit is too loose and this makes the otherwise excellent slow motions feel funky. The knobs can easily be replaced with higher quality ones. The plastic tripod spreader works well now but I have to wonder about the long term durability of it.

      The Vixen Porta mount is a good match with small scopes weighing about 10lbs or less and offers the benefit of both smooth motions and slow motion controls for high power tracking. It is best suited to short optical tubes (or ones that balance near the rear of the tube) due to the clearance between the mount head / legs, and to keep the eyepiece in a comfortable position. The dovetail saddle accepts Vixen style dovetails which are widely available. The Vixen Porta mount is one of the best small alt-az mounts available at a reasonable price. I will be using this mount a lot since it makes one of my favorite scopes even more fun to use.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No

      This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.com

    8. Stargazer

      Stargazer New Member

      Skill Level
      Unknown
      Time with Product
      Unknown
      User Notes:
      1224685140
      Oct 22, 2008

      5.0 A Very PORTAble MOUNT

      Pros:

      Lightweight, stable, slow motion controls

      Cons:

      A built in handle would be nice

      Comments:

      I wondered what all the hype was about concerning the Alt-Az (altitude-azimuth) mounts for Grab-n-Go astronomy viewing. I already had a mid-sized GEM (german equatorial mount) with motors on both axes. I could even flip the head around in a few seconds and “kind of” use it in the alt-az mode.

      Well, here in northern Michigan, there's an old saying...”if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes, it'll change”. If there was ever a need for a Grab-n-Go setup, this would be the place.
      Even with the smaller variety of GEM, setting it up is a little cumbersome. I found myself making several “Grab-n-Grunt” trips from the garage to the yard...tripod with head, counterweights with shaft, stabilizer tray and eyepiece case, OTA with diagonal, and finally, the observing chair. Then, after several precious minutes of viewing, I would reverse the whole process while the clouds chased me back to the garage!

      I'm a sucker for a good sale and when the Vixen Porta Mount package was offered at a substantial savings, I had this sudden urge to lighten my wallet and help the economy.

      The Porta Mount came with a 70mm refractor but I had a different rider waiting to take its place - a Celestron C6 SCT. The 9 lb. telescope is a perfect match for the Porta Mount and the sturdy arm holds it well. Some say that the mount will handle an 8” SCT ( about 13 lbs.) and I believe it would.

      For comfortable seated viewing with the SCT, I extend the legs about 18”. This gives me total coverage of the sky with my adjustable chair. Even with the legs extended, I find the mount to be very stable with any high power vibrations dampening in less than 2 seconds. I have added a wooden eyepiece tray below the included plastic tray that fits between the legs. This, no doubt, helps the stability even more.

      A set of wooden legs would be the next step but I don't feel that I need them at this time. I have also attached a handle to the dovetail of the C6 to help in moving the scope while observing. A built in handle on the mount would be a welcome addition.The slow motion controls work very well and I've found that a one time tension adjustment was all that was needed to get smooth, stiction-free performance.

      I now have a true Grab-n-Go setup. The lightweight mount, along with the C6 and attachments, can be easily picked up and carried to any place in the yard with little effort. They got the name right...a very PORTAble MOUNT.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No
    9. zardoz66

      zardoz66 New Member

      Skill Level
      Unknown
      Time with Product
      Unknown
      User Notes:
      1199022120
      Dec 30, 2007

      5.0 Vxen Porta Mount close to perfection

      Pros:

      Smooth and easy operation, light weight

      Cons:

      The Slo-Mo controls are just cheap - replace!

      Comments:

      The Vixen Porta Mount is an excellent grab and go mount. How do I know? After using all kinds of mounts I really do find myself grabbing and going with this. I have used an 80mm APO Refractor and a 5" Mak-Cass and it handles both very well. The motion is smooth in both directions and the darn thing is just easy to use. The mount itself weighs in at 12 pounds and it can handle about 11 pounds more before getting unstable. For the price you can't go wrong with this one!

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No
    10. Joplin

      Joplin New Member

      Skill Level
      Unknown
      Time with Product
      Unknown
      User Notes:
      1171036800
      Feb 9, 2007

      4.0 A Very Portable Alt-Az Mount

      Pros:

      Easy to use and well thought mount great for short telescopes up to 10lbs.

      Cons:

      Cheap slow motion knobs and accessory tray, tripod can't be used fully extended.

      Comments:

      I own a Vixen 80mm fluorite refractor that has been my favorite quick look telescope for about 5 years. I use it often in my yard where there are many trees that have to be avoided and setting up then aligning an equatorial mount is too much trouble. I wanted a mount that would be light yet reasonably stable and much easier to set up. My ideal mount for these quick looks would be of an alt-az design with slow motion controls for high power viewing and a dovetail system to allow quick attachment. I settled on the Vixen Porta alt-az mount, which offers all of these features

      I’ve been impressed with the performance of the Porta Mount. It is under 12 lbs. and easy to carry out the front door with or without a scope attached. Setup is a breeze and only the plastic accessory tray needs to be removed to fold up the mount. Both axes are easily adjusted to the right amount of friction using the handy allen wrench stored under a rubber cover on the mount. Motions are smooth with little stiction and there is no slipping out of position once the scope is aimed. Balance is more forgiving than with other small alt-az mounts I’ve used. I can switch from a 4 oz. eyepiece to a much heavier 1 lb. eyepiece and the scope stays on target. The slow motion movements are very accurate and smooth so it is easy to track and re-center objects at high power. The stability of the mount is excellent with damping times of 2 seconds at 175x (I should note that my 80mm weighs about 8 lbs. including 2” diagonal, finder, and eyepiece.)

      The aluminum tripod included with the Porta mount is well suited to a mount of this size and provides reasonable stability if the legs are not fully extended. If the legs are fully extended they wiggle too much. This may become a problem with longer refractor telescopes since the eyepiece position may end up being very low. In the case of my 80mm, the balance point is very near the focuser so this is not a problem. The Porta mount uses 3 socket head cap screws to attach the tripod to the mount rather than the single bolt that the Great Polaris series uses.

      There are a couple things about the mount that could have been made better. The slow motion knobs appear to have metal shafts but they are actually one piece of molded plastic with metal reinforcement inside, and simply push onto the mount. The fit is too loose and this makes the otherwise excellent slow motions feel funky. The knobs can easily be replaced with higher quality ones. The plastic tripod spreader works well now but I have to wonder about the long term durability of it.

      The Vixen Porta mount is a good match with small scopes weighing about 10lbs or less and offers the benefit of both smooth motions and slow motion controls for high power tracking. It is best suited to short optical tubes (or ones that balance near the rear of the tube) due to the clearance between the mount head / legs, and to keep the eyepiece in a comfortable position. The dovetail saddle accepts Vixen style dovetails which are widely available. The Vixen Porta mount is one of the best small alt-az mounts available at a reasonable price. I will be using this mount a lot since it makes one of my favorite scopes even more fun to use.

      Bottom Line: Would you recommend this item? Yes
      Was this review helpful? Yes / No
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