Well respected throughout the world, the Vixen GPD2 telescope mount is a finely-machined, compact, and portable solution for supporting and navigating your telescope. This mount is so well designed and assembled that its 'entry-level' sibling, the GP2, is the standard which is universally copied by many different companies outside of Japan (usually known as the 'CG-5' or 'EQ-4'). The copies focus on lowering costs, and in so doing use rougher tolerances and inferior lubricants-a cottage industry exists surrounding improving them via aftermarket changes. Why suffer through such scenarios when the real thing is so easily acquired?
Every geared part on the Vixen GPD2 is individually inspected before assembly, and it is 100% manufactured in Japan. The GPD2 is the flagship of Vixen's Great Polaris breed, and though it externally appears nearly identical to the GP2 it is none the same under the hood, with 62mm steel right ascension/declination axes, brass worm gears with twice the machining precision of the GP2 model (to tolerances of just 1 micron), a polar axis scope and R.A. & declination graduations standard, and an extra counterweight as well. The tracking accuracy and maximum loading weight are both dramatically increased versus the GP2. Mounts are qualified for 'moment load' instead of a specified weights, because this accounts for the varied force that different-shaped scopes of the same weight affect upon a mount, but Vixen Japan claims very conservatively that the GPD2 supports loads of up to 22 lbs (10 kg), and in particular cases of well-balanced scopes it can of course be much more than that.
One of the best elements of buying a Vixen GPD2 is that it is so modular; Vixen offers a slew of upgrades to accommodate your growing astronomical interests and skills, so you'll use the mount for a long time to come. There's the MT-1 motor drive and SD-1 controller for simple right ascension motor movement, and for superior astronomical tracking you should consider the optional Starbook-S navigational system, which offers precision "GO TO" capability in a controller that has a built-in star chart. It is a system that is continually praised for its accuracy and ease of use.
This package of the GP2 also comes with Vixen's standard tripod, the HAL130 Vixen's GPD2 mount does not include the dovetail mounting plate, but they're included with every Vixen optical tube assembly. You can use the Accessory Plate to mount most any other manufacturer's scope on to the GPD2. To take full advantage of the whopping load capacity of the Great Polaris GPD2, it is recommended to purchase additional counterweights when using heavier telescopes. When observing with longer Cassegrain or refractor telescopes, the #3909 GP Half Pillar accessory will provide the most comfortable observing.