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Slowmo control adjustment astrotech voyager

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#1 borix

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 01:12 PM

Did anyone ever attempt to adjust the slow motion control by adjusting the 3 bolts on the black round plate?

One of the slow motion controls is very tight about 2/3rd of the time so I wonder if this could be adjusted.

#2 Lane

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 01:20 PM

It voids your warranty. Remember curiosity killed the cat and it might just kill your mount too.

#3 Phil Frederick

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 03:25 PM

I had a Voyager last year and experienced backlash in the azimuth slo-mo control (alt worked fine). Thought about sending it back but that's a real pain so I sucked it up and voided my warranty! :lol:

What I found was that it takes a bit of trial-and-error tweaking and patience to get the adjustment just right so that the gears mesh smoothly. This entails loosening the three cap screws slightly, jockeying the black plate slightly, tightening the cap screws and then checking to see if you got it right. Repeat the procedure...until you do get it right. Worked perfectly after that.

I never quite understood why messing with this should void the warranty and why they just don't include instructions--it's really not that hard, just takes some care and patience. Fact is, that many in this hobby are tinkerers by nature and just want to know how something works--so they'll be especially challenged and will likely try it anyway expecially if the manual says "don't"!! :fingerscrossed: :smash: :lol:

#4 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 06:06 PM

I also bit the bullet and voided the warranty on my Voyager, and glad I did. My goal was to regrease it and adjust the worm gears, which would slip when at Zenith with my 102ED. The mount is now much smoother and a joy to use, with just the right amount of backlash and no worm-gear slippage.

Without violating the TOS and getting into any details to promote unauthorized mods/actions, I'd just like to state that there really isn't anything to break or damage on these mounts by taking them or adjusting the "factory adjustments". It's a pretty well built mount and it was nice to see it apart to understand how the assemblies work. IMHO it's a very good design for the money.

#5 marked

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 07:03 PM

Steve and Phil,

Did you find that your adjustments had any impact on the tension needed on the axes to get the slo-mo controls to work? On my Voyager, the tension needs to be set fairly tight, especially on the alt axis, for the controls to engage in both directions (I understand that balance has a big effect on this, but the threshold between balance and the controls engaging in both directions seems pretty small).

Thanks,

Ed

#6 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:20 PM

Hi Ed, you pretty much hit the nail on the head - balance is a key here. Weight is also a factor, what size scope are you using? I really like my Voyager mount and think it really is a step up from the Portamount, but I do feel my 102ED is at the limit of the mount for "user-friendly" operation.

Yes, the threshold between gear slippage and the tension screw engaging is pretty small, but easy to manage. I just worked to find the point the slow-motion controls engage and move in all positions without slippage, and with the least amount of tension applied, then leave the tension screw alone.

#7 Phil Frederick

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 11:24 PM

What Steve said!

Balance the scope and adjust the tension/clutch control and you're set. A much heavier/lighter EP requires a slight adjustment in tension, but not a big deal.

I've been a great fan of the Tak Teegul (Lapides) for years as it's build and operational qualities are excellent--HOWEVER, it still requires some slight clutch adjustments on occasion to compensate for balance with EP changes. Same as the Voyager.

If everything else is working ok I wouldn't worry about it. It's a nice mount. Otherwise, tinker with the adjustments (if you're comfortable with this) or alternatively try a new copy. And I'd reiterate that IMO this mount works very well with an 80-90mm refractor or a 127mm Mak/C5 SCT. Though you can use a 102ED class scope on it, balance becomes even more critical and damping becomes longer.

#8 borix

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:17 AM

Phil and Steve,
you just made me a happy man.

I just bought this mount second hand and it has a loose azimuth and tight alt axis. Getting this mount to my house was already very problematic (think about glass wool as packaging material :shocked: , missing parts, seller who is lying about the price he paid and I found out it was a show model before he had it :flame: ). Anyway I have it here now and I am fed up and want to use it not send it back to the seller and start a fight to get my money back or send it for repair.

So your instructions already made it possible to enjoy the mount now because I was extra frustrated when I found out it had these axis problems. Now I know I should be able to fix it myself and I like the mount better already. :)

#9 marked

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:16 AM

Thanks Steve and Phil.

I'm using a TV102 on the Voyager. I think I've worked out the balance well, and got a TV brass equalizer 1 1/2" adapter to minimize the weight difference between my eyepieces. I was just wondering if adjusting the gears or changing the grease would make a noticeable improvement on top of that.

Ed

#10 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:27 AM

Hi Ed, neither really fixes the issue you're asking about, unless your mount was really out of adjustment from the factory.

Changing grease as I did gives it a smoother motion during panning, mainly when panning by hand without the slow-motion controls. And it also helps the motion in freezing temps, which is mainly why I regreased.

Adjusting the gear mesh is mainly for backlash, so unless they are really out of adjustment, normally it's not something you have to worry about. Good test for this is operate the controls without your scope mounted, and without the tension screw engaged. Operate each control, running the mount a full 360 degrees in both Alt and Az. There should be no dead spots anywhere. If so, then you might want to look at adjusting the gear mesh, otherwise, I'd leave it alone.

#11 marked

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 10:14 AM

Thanks Steve - That's a great description, so I think I'll leave well enough alone.

Ed

#12 borix

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:31 AM

Steve or Phil,
can you tell me what I can expect if I completely remove the black cover from one of the axis? I presume you will have to remove this if you want to re-grease it.

Many loose parts that will be hard to put back or simple straight forward stuff?

#13 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:27 AM

Well, since you mentioned your mount is not under warranty now, plus overseas shipping costs to the US for repair being expensive...

The black cover is attached internally and as I recall it is actually the last part to be removed in disassembly. I should've taken pictures of mine when I stripped it down, but I didn't. Basically, the heads come apart starting from the end opposite the black cover (for the altitude axis, the side where the dovetail plate mounts comes off first). Removing the 3 setscrews around the collar the dovetail plate mounts to allows you to unscrew that piece... As I recall, underneath that is a retaining collar, held in place by more setscrews. Don't hold me too closely to the sequence as I know there are more steps; this is the best I can recall at the moment. Also, underneath the thin metal plates covering the worm gears are 2 setscrews which lock the gear retaining collars/nuts. You have to back off these setscrews before removing the worm gear.

Sorry for lack of detail, it's been 7 months now since I took it apart. Perhaps I'll get ambitious and go through it again soon, taking step by step pix. For the moment it's working too well to mess with. :)

If you're going to do this, just take it slow and it'll be easy to figure out. If you're worried about reassembly, take pictures at each step, and lay the parts out in assembly line order... Also, I found a heavier grease such as typical office machine/typewriter grease, or Pete's Red Synthetic works better than the thinner white lithium which might be more prone to weeping out.

Hope this helps,

#14 Phil Frederick

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:12 PM

borix,

I never dissassembled mine (only adjusted the black plate) so I've got to defer to Steve on this one.

#15 borix

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:54 PM

Thanx for the info. I might give it a go one day because I have the feeling the grease inside now is not really good or at least not spread out evenly. When I decide to disassemble it I will take pics.

So far I only adjusted the alt plate a little and now the axis already turns much more easily. It is actually a bit too loose now but there is improvement.






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