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Mini Review - Orion VersaGo Alt-Az

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#1 PAW

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:54 PM

In search of a simple yet stable mount for a variety of OTA's, I recently settled on an Orion VersaGo mount.

Last year I started purchasing dovetails from Orion for the following telescopes for use on the VersaGo:

80mm Orion Express
130mm Celestron Reflector

Assembly time for the VersaGo was about 20 minutes.

I have no experience with other Alt-Az mounts, but the VersaGo feels stable and is light enough to easily move around.

Stability test: tapping on the OTA and counting 1x, 2x, etc..yielded the following results:

80mm Refractor (Orion Express): less than 1x
130mm Celestron Reflector: approx. 2x

I was even able to mount my 120mm f8.3 refractor, although I have not fully tested that combo yet.

Slewing and general movement of the VersaGo is very smooth.

The handle can be in an upper or lower position (upper position pictured).

Sorry for the poor picture quality...(and yes, I had to modify the dovetail to get it to work with this short tube refractor - an Orion Express 80mm)



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#2 Astrobuddy

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 10:54 AM

With similar price, you may have an altazi mount with goto.

#3 mischief

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 07:58 PM

Hi, Paw,

Thanks for the review; I am glad you like the VersaGo. I also purchased one a while back; I got the combination with the Orion ST 80. The mount worked ok with the ST 80 and a Vixen VMC 110 and an Orion Mak90. However when I tried using it with a Lunt 60T H alpha and a binoviewer, the altitude axis kept slipping. I couldn't move the OTA far enough to balance successfully. The same thing happened when I tried the binoviewer with other OTA's. So I bought an Astro-Tech Voyager alt/az. It has slow motion controls which can be adapted for motor drives with JMI Microslew. Sorry, I like the Voyager much better. The VersaGo has some advantages, it is lighter and a little easier to put together and it probably will work fine if the OTA can be balanced correctly; didn't know how to do that with the OTA's I'm using.

Anyway, good luck with it.

Dorothy :roflmao:

#4 PAW

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 10:03 PM

I only paid $200 for this mount, although normally it's $319. I can't think of any decent GoTO's for that kind of money.

My philosophy when buying this mount was keep it simple, also I wanted to make sure my dovetails fit.

I was able to balance my 120mm Refractor (f8.3) without issue, although I have only tried that combo on one occasion.

The VersaGo does have a 15 lb limit - it is pretty sturdy though.

#5 PAW

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 10:57 PM

As far as GoTo my next mount will be an iOptron.

#6 Astrobuddy

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 10:52 AM

$200 is a good deal. I thought $320, then an iOptron Cube would be better choice, $242 the basic goto, $360 with GPS.






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