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AT Voyager Altazimuth Mount anyone?

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#1 JAFE

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 06:41 PM

I want to purchase an altazimuth mount for my Tak 78 refractor and for the last year I hear a lot of good opinions about the Vixen´s Porta Mount. But now I just got to see the new Astro-Tech Voyager Altazimuth Mount on Astronomics. :question:Both looks the same and this are the main differences:

AT vrs Vixen
* Price $299 vrs $399
* Weight 13.75# vrs 12.5#
* Height 33.5"-47.75" vrs 36"-56"
* Weight capacity 20#? vrs 11#
* AT comes with one flexible control cable
* AT is in stock and Vixen is not.
* AT is chinesse? and Vixen is Japanesse.

I know that is to early to pretend that anyone could advice about this new mount but I ask if somebody knows about it.

Thanks and clear skies. :bow: :bow:

#2 stulevine.com

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 07:02 PM

Ordered one on Saturday and hope it will be here by Friday the latest. I will post some pictures and let you know how it works out. I bought this for my AT66ED and went for this over the Vixen Porta Mount because it has nicer features, greater weight capacity (for the next BIG APO), and included accessories like 8.25" flexible control cable that can be substituted for the short azimuth control knob (for the Porta, you'd have to spend another $50 for two of these). I read other less compelling things about the Porta mount in numerous user reviews.

#3 JAFE

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 07:27 PM

Thanks stulevine. I´ll keep waiting for your pics and your overall opinion. Congrats on your new mount. Depends on your news maybe I will purchase one of this to convert my FS 78 to a grab-n-go package.
:jump:
Clear skies.

#4 Tom T

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 07:44 PM

Are they in stock and shipping already?

#5 oldsalt

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 08:08 PM

According to the website they are T.

#6 JAFE

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 10:04 PM

Yes Tom, I have one on my shopping cart saved for a later purchase :jump:

#7 stulevine.com

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 09:41 AM

Are they in stock and shipping already?


Tom,

They became available "In Stock" on Saturday on the astronomics.com web site so I quickly put in my order for one. It was shipped out yesterday (late). The tracking# has it in my hands by Thursday. Can't wait!

Stuart

#8 Steve Fisher

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 12:31 PM

Stuart:

I'll be waiting for your first thoughts as well. Can't wait to hear.

#9 DennisF

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 01:27 AM

I do hope I'm wrong because I'm interested in this mount as well as many others. But evidence leads me to believe this mount may have a potentially serious problem.

TONGKW in post #2136755 mentions he is happy with the mount with one exception. When the arm is positioned at a 45 degree angle and the scope is pointed at zenith, the mount has a tendency to tip over backwards unless a leg is positioned behind the scope.

ASTROLABE related in post #2169094 that he has checked the mount out at a store and was pleased with it except for 2 things-one of which is that the tripod legs are too short for comfortable seated viewing while at zenith. Short legs=more stability.

Finally, looking over the description for the optional eyepiece tray, it's made of iron, not aluminum or even steel. Not something you normally find on a tripod/mount. Especially one that was designed to be light using aluminum legs.

It will be interesting to see what the hands-on reviewers have to say about this possible problem with larger/heavier scopes.

#10 Astronomics

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 09:48 PM

The iron tray isn't to bad, it comes in at 1 pound 3 oz. I was concerned about the weight, but the iron allowed the tray to be made at a reasonable cost.

We haven't had any issues with tipping at all. We had a 6" refractor on it and it worked just fine.

I am 6'3" and found the tripod to work fine. Is it a tad short, yes. However it didn't bother me for a night of observing.

#11 DennisF

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:04 PM

Well that's encouraging. Do you recall the refractor's length and weight?

#12 DNTash

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:04 PM

Kong -- can one buy the head without the tripod?

#13 Astronomics

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:52 PM

6" f/5.9 20 pounds.

Not yet.

#14 donnie3

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 03:04 AM

just received my mount today. got it put together. i find it to be a very good looking mount! the legs were a lot thicker then i thought, looking at the photo of it on the web. i have only two issues, the height is set down not stand up and the altitude movement is too stiff even with the tension adjusted all the way out, thinking about calling astronomics tech service and see if this can be fixed. there is a factory tension adjustment that the instructions say not the loosen or adjust. other then those 2 things i think its a keeper. i have my c5 mounted on it but it can carry a lot heavier scope then this. don

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#15 donnie3

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 03:11 AM

another photo.

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#16 DennisF

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 03:25 AM

What's the range of motion on the arm? From vertical to ??? Also wondering if the arm is infinately adjustable between its range or does it have detents? (Like a click-stop on a TV zoom?)

#17 Starkler

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 06:38 AM

Donnie could you please measure the height from ground level to the centre of the alt hub at max tripod height?
Thanks :)

#18 Steve Fisher

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 09:48 AM

I have to admit, it's looking pretty tempting.

#19 TONGKW

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 10:25 AM

The arm of this mount can only be positioned at 45 degrees on either side of the vertical. But I would only use this mount with the arm in the vertical position (the picture shown below is with a C8 OTA).
I also find the height of the tripod that come with this mount (the TG2 version from Taiwan) a bit low and I have since made an adapter for using it with a Gitzo 1415 tripod.

K W TONG
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C8 + CG-5GT, TSA102 + HEQ5 PRO, MK67 + Kenko NES, WO ZS 80FD + Mizar K mount, NexStar 6SE, C5, Maxvision ED80, Mini Borg 50, PST

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#20 donnie3

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:17 PM

starkler, it measures 50"

#21 donnie3

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:25 PM

tongkw, did you have any problems with the altitude motion being too stiff. if so, how did you correct this. im almost tempted in going ahead and adjusting the factory settings. don

#22 stulevine.com

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 02:38 PM

Just received mine this morning. Pretty simple to assemble. So far so good. However, had one issue and had to call Astronomics support. Learned that it is ok to tighten the "black screws" or setscrews on the Altitude Slow Motion Assembly (NOT the factory adjustment screws which are silver, that's a NO NO). Mine were loose. I made sure all were tightened as was recommended. It's steady enough for my AT66ED.

A couple of caveats I discovered:

1) The mount seems to be coated with some sort of protective oil. Make sure when you get yours, and you are ready to assemble and adjust it, that you wipe all the parts down. Especially the bare metal parts. I did not :( and spent 30 minutes wiping my scope down and removing finger prints of this protectant. Yuk!

2) Setting the exact amount of friction for the Altitude SMC is important and a bit tedious. I had to get mine just right otherwise turning the SM knob for declination did not catch. Probably because my scope is so small and light in comparison to say an 80mm or larger scope.

On my wish list, a handle attached to the Altitude SMC would be nice instead of having to touch the scope to move it up and down (essentially use that as a handle).

Here are some pictures:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

I'll post more info after a session this evening looking at the stars. So far it's been nice for terrestrial viewing as well.

Stuart

#23 L. Morgan

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 03:00 PM

When I saw this mount "in stock" @ Astronomucs, I was sorely tempted. I have an AT66ED that is a fine little scope. Presently this scope is mounted on an EQ1. Been looking for a portable, user friendly ALT-AZ. Astro-Tech makes some sood stuff for few bucks. I'm looking forward to first light reports from owners of this mount before I order.

Nice pics - drool.....

LM...Fort Worth, Graham, Tx.
PO1 USN: 1964-1972 Viet Nam Vet
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#24 JAFE

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 04:22 PM

Thanks to all for your reports on this mount. :jump: Stuart I saw in your pics that you don`t have the 8" flexible cable that came with this mount, why?
Another than the things that all of you had mentioned this mounts looks a true value. I will purchase one by this weekend. Thanks again to all. :bow: :bow:

#25 stulevine.com

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 06:42 PM

Thanks to all for your reports on this mount. :jump: Stuart I saw in your pics that you don`t have the 8" flexible cable that came with this mount, why?
Another than the things that all of you had mentioned this mounts looks a true value. I will purchase one by this weekend. Thanks again to all. :bow: :bow:


:question: Ah, that's good question. I was going to mention my experience with that, but decided not to. But, I might as well go into it and shed some light on others who will probably sit quisically staring at the mount when faced with a similar dilemma :).

So, with that said and out of the way, depending on what configuration you choose to go with (they are listed as options a, b and c in the installation manual) will determine the method you employ to actually install the 8" flexible cable. I decided on approach © - 45 degrees, Azimuth SMC on the right. I originally thought I could use approach (a) 45 degrees, Azimuth SMC on the left, but my scope ended up with the Reticle finder on the bottom. Not the sort of setup that is useful if you know what I mean. On the AT66ED there is one place to mount finder and it's opposite the L-brack dovetail. So, having gone with the option ©, left only one place to put the 8" flexible cable at the opposite side of the scope from where the eye piece is. Not a very practicle location. However, if you think a little out of the box, what they do not tell you in the manual (maybe I missed it?) is that you can actually remove the control knobs and switch them around from one side to the other. That would at least give me the option of moving the Azimuth control knob to the front and install the 8" flexible cable on the back. And it would work if it were not for my scope extending down too far in the zenith position. The diagonal and focuser tube bump into the handle (Grrrrrr). Anyway, what I decided to do instead was to install the 8" flexible cable on the Altitude SMC, basically moving the control knob to the top and attaching the cable to the bottom. Like this:

Posted Image

That works. So, that's my story.

Stuart






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