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The following, will provide a general selection guide that will help you quickly understand VSI's item codes and the links at right will help decide what specific port rings and adapters are necessary to create your particular imaging train, or simply dock a major component (i.e. Slider, Sidewinder, VSI Toad focuser, etc.) to your scope.

You can build your own imaging train using these links, or just call VSI and I will help build it with you. However, before calling VSI, you should [at least] know your scope's visual back format. Especially if you have a scope from a manufacturer that has many different optical types and models, like Takahashi, TMB, Vixen, Borg, etc. That way, we have a place to start.

If you don't know your scope's visual back format, you can call the manufacturer or reference your owner's manual. If these are not available, then you can measure your scope's visual back threads yourself. Use a caliper and measure the outside diameter of the threads, not the inside diameter, because thread sizes are referenced from the outside diameter, not the inside. An example would be AstroPhysics 2.7"-24tpi threaded moving focuser tube, or Takahashi's 72mm-1mm visual back. Using an SAE caliper, you would measure a diameter of slightly less than 2.7 inches, and using a metric caliper, you would measure slightly less than 72mm. This simple method comfirms that the VSI port rings listed at the various links are correct. You don't have to measure the threads per inch, unless you have a thread gage.


ABBREVIATION REFERENCE GUIDE (click on product code below to go directly to link)

Sidewinder and Zerotator port rings are identical (2.9"). This means that any config you create will be directly interchangeable. The only difference is VSI component profiles. As the Sidewinder is longer than the Zerotator. Regarding configs, when referring to the Sidewinder, it also applies to the Zerotator. VSI offers a myriad of adapters, port rings, converters and couplings. If a specific connection isn't listed, call VSI. I can custom machine any threaded adapter using your scope part(s) as a reference template. I prefer to have your existing threaded part in-hand to better match the threads, rather than just cutting a sloppy chased thread.

Many have said that VSI has too many confusing adapters and couplings. This is probably true, because VSI has many dozens of different adapters that can be installed in various locations along your imaging train. VSI also has the best selection, by far, on Planet Earth. So your confusion is well justified, but I do believe that a good selection is important, simply because there are so many different types of telescopes and imaging equipment available to the modern astroimager. I hope the above will make your final imaging train decisions easier and less frustrating. After all, that's what VSI components are all about - creating an ultra-low profile, rock-solid imaging train, and removing the frustration from astroimaging. - PBVS

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